Womens' Health

Woman body is amazingly complex and delicate. Multiple roles as the mother, daughter, wife, homemaker, wage earner is physically and mentally quite taxing. I have tried to put focus on some major health issues in women.


Osteoporosis Description:

Although some loss of bone density is a natural part of aging, certain women are at higher risk for developing the very porous bones and bone fractures associated with osteoporosis. Women who are thin or have a small frame are at higher risk Osteoporosis, which means "porous bones," is a condition that causes bones to gradually thin and weaken, leaving them susceptible to fractures. About 1.5 million fractures occur each year due to osteoporosis. Although all bones can be affected by the disease, the bones of the spine, hip, and wrist are most likely to break. In elderly people, hip fractures can be particularly dangerous because the prolonged immobility required during the healing process can lead to blood clots or pneumonia, both of which can have fatal consequences. For women, the loss of bone density speeds up during the first five to seven years after menopause and then slows down again. Scientists believe that this rapid postmenopausal increase in bone loss is caused by a sharp decline in the body's production of estrogen, which appears to help keep calcium in the bones.

Bone's Density Test for Osteoporosis:

A bone density test measures a small part of one or a few bones to evaluate the strength of your bones and potential risk for osteoporosis. The bones most commonly measured by a bone density test include the hip, the spine, and the heel. The most widely used bone density test is the DXA test of the hip and lower spine. DXA stands for dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. The DXA test is painless and takes about 10 minutes. It uses only a fraction of the radiation needed for a chest X-ray. Your doctor can order the DXA bone density test and give you your T-score, which represents the overall strength of your bone. A T-score is a measurement of how you compare to young adults of the same sex and race. If you fall below average, the T-score will be a negative number. A T-score between -1 and -2.5 indicates low bone mass, a condition called osteopenia, which is mild thinning of bone. It is not, however, as severe as osteoporosis. A T-score below -2.5 (for example, -3) indicates your bone mass is more than 2.5 times thinner than that of a young adult. This is a sign that you have osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis Prevention Tips:

Osteoporosis usually strikes after menopause. But you can take action now to avoid it with the osteoporosis prevention tips.

Importance of Regular Exercise to prevent Osteoporosis:

It's recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises force your body to resist gravity and stimulate cells in the body that make new bone. Strength training causes the muscles to pull on the bone. This results in increased bone strength. Strength training also increases flexibility and reduces the likelihood of falling -- the number-one risk factor for hip fracture.
The following examples of weight-bearing and strengthening exercises can help keep your bones strong

  1. Aerobics
  2. Climbing stairs
  3. Dancing
  4. Jogging
  5. Sports
  6. Running
  7. Tai chi
  8. Walking
  9. Water aerobics
  10. Yoga

These exercises will not only help you improve your muscle strength, they will also help strengthen your bones

  1. Lifting canned goods or bags of groceries
  2. Lifting free weights
  3. Lifting young children
  4. Using ankle and wrist weights
  5. Using elastic resistance band
  6. Using weight machines
  7. Using your own weight as resistance

Why is Calcium and Vitamin D important for strong bones?

If you don't get enough calcium every day through diet or supplements, your body will be deficient of this mineral. Then your body will break down the bones to replenish it and bone loss will increase. You can get ample calcium from any of the following

  1. Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
  2. Calcium fortified juices and food
  3. Sardines with bones
  4. Certain vegetables
  5. Soy products
  6. Calcium supplements

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It helps your body absorb calcium into the bloodstream. When your body is depleted of vitamin D or has an insufficient supply, the blood levels of calcium plummet.
Vitamin D can be obtained through minimal sun exposure (10 minutes a day) and from your diet.

Normal Menstrual Cycle

What is a menstrual cycle?

The menstrual cycle is the series of changes a woman's body goes through to prepare for a pregnancy. About once a month, the uterus grows a new lining (endometrium) to get ready for a fertilized egg When there is no fertilized egg to start a pregnancy, the uterus sheds its lining. This is the monthly menstrual bleeding (also called menstrual period) that women have from their early teen years until menopause, around age 50. The menstrual cycle is from Day 1 of bleeding to Day 1 of the next time of bleeding. Although the average cycle is 28 days, it is normal to have a cycle that is shorter or longer. Girls usually start having menstrual periods between the ages of 11 and 14. Women usually start to have fewer periods between ages 39 and 51. Women in their 40s and teens may have cycles that are longer or change a lot. If you are a teen, your cycles should even out with time. If you are nearing menopause, your cycles will probably get longer and then will stop.

What controls the menstrual cycle?

Your hormones control your menstrual cycle. The hormones estrogen and progesterone play the biggest roles in how the uterus changes during each cycle.

  1. Estrogen builds up the lining of the uterus.
  2. Progesterone increases after an ovary releases an egg (ovulation) at the middle of the cycle. This helps the estrogen keep the lining thick and ready for a fertilized egg.
  3. A drop in progesterone (along with estrogen) causes the lining to break down. This is when your period starts.

A change in hormone levels can affect your cycle or fertility. For example, teens tend to have low or changing progesterone levels. This is also true for women close to menopause. That is why teens and women in their 40s may have heavy menstrual bleeding and cycles that change in length. Other things can change your cycle. They include birth control pills, low body fat, losing a lot of weight, or being overweight. Stress or very hard exercise also can change your cycle. Pregnancy is the most common cause of a missed period.

What common symptoms are linked to the menstrual cycle?

Some women have no pain or other problems. But other women have symptoms before and during their periods. For about a week before a period, many women have some premenstrual symptoms. You may feel more tense or angry. You may gain water weight and feel bloated. Your breasts may feel tender. You may get acne. You also may have less energy than usual. A day or two before your period, you may start having pain (cramps) in your belly, back, or legs. These symptoms go away during the first days of a period. When your ovary releases an egg in the middle of your cycle, you may have pain in your lower belly. You also might have red spotting for less than a day. Both are normal.

How can women take care of bleeding and symptoms?

You can use pads or tampons to manage bleeding. Whichever you use, be sure to change the pad or tampon at least every 4 to 6 hours during the day. Pads may be best at night. Many women can improve their symptoms by getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Try to reduce stress. A heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm bath also can help with cramps. You can take an over-the-counter medicine such as ibuprofen or naproxen before and during your period to reduce pain and bleeding.

Menstrual Cycle Disorders

Menstrual cycle disorders make their presence known through a myriad of physical and emotional symptoms. Read the following questions about the signs and symptoms of menstrual cycle disorders. How many questions you can answer with a “yes?”

  1. Do the days before your period make you wish you could just stay in bed?
  2. Do you crave salty or sweet foods like potato chips and candy the days before you bleed?
  3. Have you been bleeding or spotting between periods?
  4. Are your periods so unpredictable you can’t make plans?
  5. Is it difficult, even impossible, to button or zip your clothes shortly before your period starts?
  6. Do you sometimes feel so bloated just before menstruating that you wonder if your scale is broken when it doesn’t say you’ve gained ten pounds?
  7. Has it been so long since you had your last period you aren’t sure what month, or season it was?
  8. Do you have frequent menstrual cycles less than 21 days apart?
  9. Is your period so light that you’re not even sure you’re menstruating?
  10. Do you change tampons or pads so often you’re thinking of buying stock in the company that makes them?
  11. Do you have more headaches, or migraines, when your period’s due?
  12. Do you have periods that last longer than seven days?
  13. Do you have regular menstrual cycles that are more than 35 days, or 5 weeks, apart?
  14. Do pelvic pains or cramps warn you when your period’s going to start?
  15. Do menstrual cramps feel worse than childbirth: or at least worse than the way, you imagine labor pains might feel?
  16. Do you have constipation or diarrhea every time you start your period?
  17. Do you have pelvic pain that occurs around the time you ovulate?
  18. Do you feel anxious or panicky just before menstruation?
  19. Do you go from happy to mad to sad and back again often before your period?
  20. Does your family seem to get on your nerves more often the last week or so before menstrual bleeding begins?
  21. Do you ever find yourself screaming at the people you love when your period is near?
  22. Have you noticed your spouse, significant other, or other family members seem busier with away from home activities more often when it’s close your next period?
  23. Do the people you work with seem to hassle you the week or two before your period?
  24. Have you ever hastily quit your job just before menstruation begins?
  25. Do you feel angry more often when you’re expecting your period soon?
  26. Do you ever cry over trivial matters, things that you’d normally never cry about, in the days before you menstruate?
  27. Do you feel sadness before your period starts that goes away once menstruation begins?
  28. Do you find it difficult or impossible to get out of bed the day before, or on Day 1 of your menstrual cycle when menstruation begins?
  29. Do you ever feel so depressed just before your period starts that you’re not even sure you want to live?
  30. Do you feel your best within the first few days of your menstrual cycle, and continue feeling good until about halfway through your menstrual cycle when you slowly notice you’re not feeling so great again?

If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, you might have a menstrual cycle disorder. Menstrual cycle disorders can cause all of these symptoms, as well as others. For example, premenstrual syndrome or PMS, and the more severe form premenstrual dysphoric disorder can cause many of the physical and emotional symptoms described in the previous questions.
Abnormal uterine bleeding, a menstrual cycle disorder , causes many of the types of abnormal bleeding patterns referred to in these questions. In fact, several different types of abnormal bleeding patterns fall under the diagnosis of abnormal uterine bleeding. A diagnosis of abnormal uterine bleeding includes amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea – both of these types of abnormal uterine bleeding refer to the absence of menstruation. There are two types of amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea occurs when menarche doesn’t occur by age 16. You may receive a diagnosis of secondary amenorrhea if you have had periods previously, but you haven’t menstruated for several months. Oligomenorrhea occurs when your menstrual cycles last longer than 35 days.
Benign uterine fibroid tumors depend on estrogen – a female sex hormone produced by the endocrine system glands – to grow and develop. The female gonads, or the ovaries, produce the estrogen that uterine fibroid tumors need to grow and develop. Irregular bleeding is a common symptom in women who have uterine fibroid tumors. While the symptoms of uterine fibroid tumors can be unpleasant, the good news is that because the tumors are estrogen-dependent fibroids often shrink and disappear as estrogen levels decline at menopause. It is extremely rare for uterine fibroid tumors to be malignant, or cancerous, hence the name benign uterine fibroid tumors. The medical term for fibroid tumors is leiomyomas.

Treatment for Menstrual Cycle Disorders

Menstrual cycle disorders include a number of types of abnormal bleeding patterns, as well as premenstrual syndrome or PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD, and dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps. Treatments for menstrual cycle disorders range from things as simple as starting an exercise program to help relieve menstrual cramps or the symptoms of PMS or PMDD, or taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen for dysmenorrhea, to something as life changing as having a hysterectomy for uterine fibroid tumors.

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

If you’re experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding or AUB, several factors play a role in determining the appropriate treatment. These factors include the type of abnormal uterine bleeding you’re experiencing, the underlying cause, your age, and whether you desire future pregnancies. Treatments for abnormal uterine bleeding include high doses of conjugated equine estrogens forsevere, acute bleeding; hormonal contraceptives such as The Pill, the patch, and the vaginal ring for amenorrhea, menorrhagia, and other types of abnormal uterine bleeding; and surgical procedures such as dilation and curettage or D&C for severe, acute bleeding, endometrial ablation; and hysterectomy when other treatments have failed to provide effective relief of symptoms and future childbearing is not an issue.

Hormonal Treatments for Menstrual Cycle Disorders

Hormonal contraceptives including The Pill, the patch, the vaginal ring, and the Mirena IUD offer effective relief for many women from menstrual cycle disorders including PMS, PMDD, dysmenorrhea, anovulatory bleeding, and women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding, as well as other types of abnormal bleeding patterns.

Menstrual Cramps

While ibuprofen is often effective for reducing menstrual cramps, you may not be aware that ibuprofen can also help to reduce blood loss as
much as 20% to 50%. Other NSAIDS or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen also provide effective relief of menstrual cramps. Alternative self-help measures that may relieve menstrual cramps include heat in the pelvic region and regular exercise.


Oral contraceptives are the preferred treatment for PMS among most physicians. However, several other therapies can provide effective relief from the symptoms of PMS and PMDD. These include

  1. Eating a diet rich in complex carbohydrates
  2. Cutting out things that can make symptoms worse such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, salt, and refined sugar
  3. Taking supplements and / or increasing dietary sources of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, B6, and vitamin E
  4. Antidepressants such as fluoxetine or sertraline
  5. Anti-anxiety medication
  6. Diuretics such as spironolactone for fluid retention and / or bloating
  7. Short-term therapy that lasts no longer than six months with GnRH agonists such as Lupron in combination with estrogen or estrogen-progestin therapy. While some women claim to get relief from the symptoms of PMS by using herbal supplements and natural hormones such as evening primrose oil and natural progesterone, the bulk of current scientific evidence does not support the use of either of these commonly used products. Finally, while exercise is not a treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding, it often effectively relieves the symptoms of PMS and / or PMDD, as well as helping to reduce menstrual cramping as previously mentioned. In fact, taking a 20- to 30-minute walk just three times weekly provides several other benefits to your health such as:
  8. Increasing the chemicals in your brain which are responsible for mood and energy
  9. Decreasing levels of stress and anxiety
  10. Improving sleep quality
  11. Reducing your risk for a number of diseases including heart disease and several types of cancer.

Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps

If you are experiencing symptoms of menstrual cramps, Here are some of the more popular natural remedies for menstrual cramps.

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. They are also available in capsules, which may be the preferable form because many brands filter out any pollutants in fish, such as mercury and PCBs. At least eight studies involving a total of 1,097 women have investigated the relationship between diet and menstrual cramps and have found that Omega-3 Fatty Acids intake seemed to have a positive effect on menstrual cramps. It decreases prostaglandin levels. The results suggested that the women experienced significantly less menstrual cramps when they were taking the Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These capsules are sold in drug stores, health food stores, and online.
  2. Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral found naturally in foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. It is also available as nutritional supplements. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels and is needed for normal muscle and nerve function, heart rhythm, immune function, blood pressure, and for bone health.
High doses of magnesium may cause diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, irregular heart rate, and confusion. It can interact with certain medications, such as those for osteoporosis, high blood pressure (calcium channel blockers), as well as some antibiotics, muscle relaxants, and diuretics.
  3. Acupressure: Acupressure is a traditional healing practice that is based on the same principles as acupuncture. Instead of applying needles to acupuncture points, pressure is applied. A point that is often recommended by acupuncturists for menstrual cramps is called Spleen 6. Although there are only preliminary studies on acupressure for menstrual cramps, it is a simple home remedy that is often recommended by alternative practitioners.
  To find the point, acupuncturists suggest feeling the bony point of the inner ankle. From that point, draw an imaginary line up the lower calf from the inner ankle. The point is approximately four finger widths from the inner ankle. It isn't on the shin bone, but just beside it towards the back of the calf.
With your thumb or middle finger at a 90 degree angle to the skin, apply gradually increasing pressure. Hold for three minutes. The pressure should not be painful or uncomfortable. Acupressure to the Spleen 6 point should not be done if you are pregnant. It should also not be done over broken or infected skin.
Eating light, frequent meals and following a diet that is rich in complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) and low in salt, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine also helps reduce painful menstruation for some women. It’s especially important for women who experience bloating or fluid retention during menstruation to lower their salt consumption, since excess salt intake can cause fluid retention. Regular physical activity works wonders at reducing many of the symptoms of PMS, including menstrual cramps. If you’re under stress, like many of us are, relax your body and mind through meditation oryoga.
Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, which are available without a prescription, often provide effective relief from painful menstrual cramps. If you have PMS as well as menstrual cramps, you may want to try taking supplements such as vitamin B complex, essential fatty acids, calcium, and magnesium. The following supplemental amounts are in addition to the amount in a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, which all women should take regularly

   1200 mg of calcium in two divided doses.
   250 mg of magnesium (If you experience constipation or diarrhea while taking magnesium, talk to your doctor. You may need to increase or decrease the amount of magnesium you take.)
   Supplemental vitamin B6 varies from 50 to 200 mg
   50 mg of vitamin B1

Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps

   Low-fat diet
   Vitamin E
   Vitamin B1


Pregnancy is such an amazing life event. It starts with a egg being released in a process called ovulation. The egg will join with the sperm in the fallopian tube. If the egg is fertilized it will journey towards the uterus an implant. This is when you are said to bepregnant.

How long is pregnancy?

Pregnancy lasts an average of 266 days form conception. This makes pregnancy about40 weeks from the first day of your last period (LMP). You may also hear people refer to trimesters in pregnancy. There are three trimesters in pregnancy.

  1 First Trimester: Weeks 1-12
  2 Second Trimester: Weeks 13-26
  3 Third Trimester Weeks 27-42

Quick list to help you stay on the healthy side.

  1 See your practitioner before becoming pregnant.
  2 Start changing your food habits to include a healthy variety of foods.
  3 Exercise! Starting now will help you stay in shape during pregnancy, can lower your risk of miscarriage, and has been proven to help reduce labor complications and length.
  4. Educate yourself!
  5. Eat a new vegetable you've never tried.
  6. Check out a book on pregnancy.
  7. Take a prenatal vitamin. They can be prescribed by your practitioner or you can buy them over the counter. Ensure it contains 0.4 mg of folic acid.
  8. Ask your partner to join you on your new healthy habit changes.
  9. Track your cycles. Learning what you can about your cycles will help determine when you ovulate and when you conceived. These make for more accurate due dates.
  10. Ask your friends about pregnancy and parenthood.
  11. Avoid chemicals that could possibly harm your baby. You can find these at work, in your home, and just about anywhere, be environmentally sensitive.
  12. See your dentist before you get pregnant and brush your teeth daily.
  13. Tell any medical professional that you may be pregnant if you are trying to get pregnant. This can prevent exposure to harmful tests and chemicals if you are pregnant and don't know it yet.
  14. Remember, it can take up to a year to become pregnant. If you have been actively trying for a year or more than six months if you are over 35, see your practitioner.
  15. Announce your pregnancy when you are ready.
  16. Talk to your parents, what do you want to take from their experiences? How do you want to be different?
  17. Rest when you can.
  18. Use non-medicinal remedies for problems like nausea, heartburn, and constipation.
  19. Drink six - eight eight ounce glasses of water a day.
  20. Read yet another book!
  21. Join a prenatal yoga or exercise class.
  22. Keep your prenatal appointments with your midwife or doctor. This will help ensure that if you have any problems that they are caught early and kept to a minimum.
  23. Take an early pregnancy class.
  24. Remember to add 300 - 500 calories a day while pregnant.
  25. Tour your selection of birth facilities before making a choice if you are not having a home birth.
  26. Review the signs of premature labor and warnings signs for when to call your practitioner.
  27. Keep a food diary to ensure that you are keeping up with your daily requirements.
  28. If you are decorating your house or a nursery remember to avoid fumes often associated with paint and wall paper. Perhaps have friends do the heavy work while you help make snacks for them. Keep the windows open!
  29. Baby sit a friend's baby and learn a bit about caring for a newborn.
  30. Take a childbirth class. Sign up early to ensure you get the class and dates that you want.
  31. Take a breastfeeding class to help prepare you for the realities of breastfeeding.
  32. Stretch before bed to help prevent leg cramps.
  33. Continue to exercise, even if you have to slow down. This will help you recover more quickly.
  34. Write a birth plan. Something to help you clarify what you want or need for your birth experience. Share this with your practitioners and those you have invited to your birth.
  35. Practice relaxation whenever you can. Try for at least once a day.
  36. Do pelvic tilts to help with late pregnancy back pain. It will help relieve your pain and even encourage the baby to assume a good birth position.
  37. Review the signs of labor and warning signs.
  38. Take a picture of yourself before the baby comes!
  39. Read birth stories.
  40. Kiss the baby!

Postpartum Recovery and Postpartum Depression

After you give birth to your baby you may experience some pain or discomfort. There may be more pain if you had an episiotomy, forceps or vaccum, or a cesarean section. There are specific pain medications available to you to help you ease the pain. You may wonder if you will experience postpartum depression. While many women will have some mild depression after the birth of a baby called the baby blues, the majority do not go on to experience postpartum depression. You may have certain risk factors for postpartum depression, which would make it more likely that you would experience it. Treatment is usually very successful.


Breastfeeding is a special way to nurture your baby. Not only is breast milk the perfect food for your baby, but it also provides you with benefits as well. You may experience some problems as you learn to nurse your baby, these are usually short lived. Your pediatrician will recommend that you breastfeed for at least a year, though every drop of breast milk your baby gets is great for both of you. If you need help with nursing be sure to call someone like a lactation consultant 


Premature Menopause

In addition to dealing with hot flashes, mood swings, and other symptoms that accompany menopause, many women undergoing premature menopause have to cope with additional physical and emotional concerns.

Menopause Basics

The term "menopause" is commonly used to describe any of the changes a woman experiences either just before or after she stops menstruating, marking the end of her reproductive period.

Medical Causes of Menopause

Some women experience induced menopause as a result of surgery or medical treatments, such as chemotherapy and pelvic radiation therapy.

Menopause Symptoms

If menopausal symptoms occur, they may include hot flashes, night sweats, pain during intercourse, increased anxiety or irritability, and the need to urinate more often.

Menopause Causes

Loss of estrogen is believed to be the cause of many of the symptoms associated with menopause.

Comfort majors & treatments

  1. Stay cool. Keep your bedroom cool at night. Use fans during the day. Wear light layers of clothes with natural fibers such as cotton.
  2. Try deep, slow abdominal breathing (six to eight breaths per minute). Practice deep breathing for 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening and at the onset of hot flashes.
  3. Exercise daily. Walking, swimming, dancing, and bicycling are all good choices.

Nonprescription treatments include

  1. Vitamin B complex
  2. Vitamin E
  3. Ibuprofen

some alternative therapies like botanical and herbal therapies have shown promise for relieving menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.


Infertility doesn’t mean you can never have a child.

Infertility is when you cannot get pregnant after having unprotected and regular intercourse for six months to one year, depending on your age. The main symptom of infertility is the inability to achieve a successful pregnancy. You may not have or notice any other symptoms. In general, infertility can be caused by a hormone problem or a problem with the structure or function of the male or female reproductive tract. Men and women will have different symptoms.

Infertility Symptoms in Women

In women, changes in the menstrual cycle and ovulation may be a symptom of a disease related to infertility. Symptoms include

  1. Abnormal periods. Bleeding is heavier or lighter than usual.
  2. Irregular periods. The number of days in between each period varies each month.
  3. No periods. You have never had a period, or periods suddenly stop.
  4. Abnormal ovulation. If your ovaries do not release eggs, you cannot get pregnant.
  5. Painful periods. Significant pelvic pain. Back pain and cramping may also occur.

Sometimes, female infertility is related to a hormonal imbalance. In this case, symptoms can also include.

  1. Skin changes, including more frequent acne
  2 Changes in sex drive and desire
  3. Dark hair growth in man-like places (hirsutism), such as on the lips, chest , and chin
  4. Loss of hair or thinning hair
  5. Weight gain

Other symptoms that may result from disorders linked to infertility include

  1. Insulin resistance
  2. Milky white discharge from nipples unrelated to breastfeeding
  3. Pain during sexual intercourse
  4. Structural problem in the reproductive organs. It is found during a pelvic exam or imaging test.

Many other conditions can lead to infertility in women. Symptoms vary, depending on the disorder and where it affects the reproductive tract. Your doctor can run tests to see how well your ovaries and fallopian tubes work. Although many people still think of infertility as a "woman's problem," in about 40% of infertile couples, the man is the sole cause or a contributing cause of the inability to conceive. One-third of infertility cases can be attributed to male problems, including low sperm count. So it's crucial that men get tested for fertility as well as women. Yes, it can be embarrassing, but discovering male fertility problems early can mean earlier treatment and a successful pregnancy. Male infertility testing can also spare women unnecessary discomfort and expense.

Treatment & Care

The selection of treatments for infertility seems confusing as if a lot of medications are available.


  1. Tubal Ligation Reversal: Tubal ligation reversal is surgery to reopen, untie, or reconnect a woman's fallopian tubes so she can become pregnant.
  2. Assisted Reproduction
  3. Surrogacy, Traditional and Gestational: In traditional surrogacy, another woman carries and gives birth to a baby conceived with her egg and your partner's sperm (through artificial insemination). In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate carries and gives birth to a baby conceived with your egg and your partner's sperm, then transferred as an embryo to her womb.
  4. Tubal Cannulation: Tubal cannulation is a procedure to help clear a blockage in the fallopian tubes.
  5 The Most Common Fertility Drugs: Fertility drugs remain the primary treatment for women with ovulation disorders; some are taken orally and some are injected. In general, these medications work by causing the release of hormones that either trigger or regulate ovulation. Even if you're using assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization, fertility drugs are still an important part of treatment. Since the number and names of all of the infertility medications may seem dizzying, here are the basic facts on the drugs most commonly prescribed.
  6.. Clomid or Serophene for Infertility:

   Indication: Clomid (clomiphene citrate) is often the first choice for treating infertility, because it's effective and been used for more than 25 years. Clomiphene is given to women who are not ovulating normally. Clomid and Serophene, the brand names of clomiphene, are anti-estrogen drugs. As a result, they cause the hypothalamus and pituitary gland located deep in the brain to release hormones -- GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone), FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) -- that will stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs. These fertility drugs are often used in combination with assisted reproductive techniques or artificial insemination.
   Use: The typical starting dosage of clomiphene is 50 milligrams per day for five days. You typically take the first pill on the third, fourth, or fifth day after you start your period. You can expect to start ovulating about seven days after you've taken the last dose of the drug. If you don't ovulate right away, the dose can be increased by 50 milligrams per day each month up to 150 mg. After you've begun to ovulate, most doctors suggest taking clomiphene for no longer than six months. If you haven't become pregnant after six months, your doctor will probably prescribe a different medication or refer you to an infertility specialist.
   Effectiveness: Approximately 60% to 80% of women who take clomiphene will ovulate, and about half will be able to get pregnant as a result of taking the drug. Most pregnancies occur within three cycles.
   Side effects: The side effects of clomiphene are generally mild. They include hot flashes, blurred vision, nausea, bloating, and headache. Clomid can also cause changes in the cervical mucus, which may make it harder to tell when you're fertile and may inhibit the sperm from entering the uterus. Like many fertility drugs, Clomid can increase the chances of multiple births, although it's less likely to cause the problem than some injectable hormones.

  7 Injectable Hormones for Infertility: If Clomid on its own isn't successful, your doctor may recommend injectable hormones to stimulate ovulation. Some of the types are

   Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), such as Pregnyl, Novarel, Ovidrel, and Profasi. This drug is usually used along with other fertility drugs to trigger the ovaries to release the mature egg or eggs.
   Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), such as Follistim, Fertinex, Bravelle, and Gonal-F
   Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG), such as Pergonal, Repronex, and Metrodin. This drug combines both FSH and LH (luteinizing hormone).
   Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH), such as Factrel and Lutrepulse. This hormone stimulates the release of FSH and LH from the pituitary gland. These hormones are rarely prescribed in the U.S.
   Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Agonist (GnRH agonist), such as Lupron, Zoladex, and Synarel
   Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Antagonist (GnRH antagonist), such as Antagon and Cetrotide.

Indication: Any of these hormonal drugs can be used to stimulate or control ovulation as a way of treating a number of infertility problems.

Use: All these drugs are given by injection only and in varying doses depending on how they are being used. Some are given beneath the skin while others are injected into the muscle. Injection sites can include the stomach, upper arm, upper thigh, or buttocks. The injections are usually started on the second or third day of your cycle (with the first day being the first day you see bright red blood) and given for seven to 12 consecutive days. Some patients will be prescribed both injections and oral Clomid.

Effectiveness: As with clomiphene, the injectable hormones have a high rate of success in stimulating women to ovulate. Of those who ovulate, as many as 50% are able to get pregnant.

Side effects: Most side effects are mild and can include tenderness; infection; and blood blisters, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. There is also a risk of ovarian hyperstimulation, a condition in which the ovaries become enlarged and tender. Ovulation-stimulating drugs also increase the chances pregnancy with multiples, which can raise the risks for both mother and child.

  8 Other Fertility Drugs

   Aspirin Studies have shown that aspirin can reduce the risk of miscarriage in certain cases, although you should talk to your doctor about whether it makes sense for you.
   eparin A drug used to lower the risk of miscarriage in women who have repeated spontaneous miscarriages.
   Antagon (ganirelix acetate) An injected drug that is used to inhibit premature ovulation in women undergoing fertility procedures. Side effects can include stomach pain, headache, and fetal death.
   Parlodel and Dostinex (bromocriptine and cabergoline) These are medications used to lower prolactin hormone levels and reduce the size of a pituitary tumor that may be decreasing ovulation when present. They are usually given orally in small doses and increased as needed. They can also be administered by placing the tablet in the vagina. Side effects include dizziness and upset stomach.

  9. Laparoscopic Surgery and Endometriosis: This outpatient procedure removes endometriosis, one cause of infertility.
  10. Artificial Insemination: This simple procedure can be a good initial treatment for infertility.
  11. In Vitro Fertilization
  12 Use an Egg Donor: This increasingly common procedure has a high success rate.
  13. Overcoming Stress and Infertility: Relaxation techniques may improve fertility for some women.
  14. Treating PCOS: Medications and lifestyle changes that can help you get pregnant.
  15. All About ICSI: This technology is used to treat sperm-related fertility problems. It's a myth that relaxing or "giving it time" will overcome infertility. Fertility problems are medical in nature, and there are effective treatments.

Skin care

Tips for Dry Skin Care

To help turn dry, problem skin into smoother, fresher skin, experts offer these quick tips for women.

  1. Focus on smart fats: Essential fatty acids -- like the omega-3s -- help produce your skin's oil barrier, vital in keeping skin hydrated. A diet short of these body-boosting fats can leave skin dry, itchy, and prone to acne
  2. Smooth on that sunscreen: Keep skin healthy with "a broad spectrum sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher," Dry skin, wrinkles, moles, and skin cancers can all result from too much sun, so add a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection to your line of defense. Aim for about an ounce to cover all sun-exposed skin. And if you think an overcast day means you don't need sunscreen, think again. Skin-damaging ultraviolet light can penetrate clouds, fog, even snow.
  3. Use a gentle soap: Scented, antibacterial, or deodorant soaps can be harsh, removing your body's essential oils, leaving skin even more itchy and dry. Instead, reach for an unscented or lightly scented bar preferably herbal product. Use herbal face wash for facial skin care.
  3. Remember to moisturize: Within a few minutes after your warm shower, smooth on your favorite moisturizer.


A. Facts About Breast Cancer

Why do I need to register or sign in for WebMD to save?

We will provide you with a dropdown of all your saved articles when you are registered and signed in. Cells in the body normally divide (reproduce) only when new cells are needed. Sometimes, cells in a part of the body grow and divide out of control, which creates a mass of tissue called a tumor. If the cells that are growing out of control are normal cells, the tumor is called benign (not cancerous). If however, the cells that are growing out of control are abnormal and don't function like the body's normal cells, the tumor is called malignant (cancerous). Cancers are named after the part of the body from which they originate. Breast cancer originates in the breast tissue. Like other cancers, breast cancer can invade and grow into the tissue surrounding the breast. It can also travel to other parts of the body and form new tumors, a process called metastasis. A person's age, genetic factors, personal health history, and diet all contribute to breast cancer risk.

Who Gets Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women after skin cancer. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women (lung cancer is first The majority of breast cancer cases are "sporadic," meaning there is no direct family history of the disease. The risk for developing breast cancer increases as a woman ages.

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

The symptoms of breast cancer include:

  1. Lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle.
  2. A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea.
  3. A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast.
  4. A blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple.
  5. A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple (dimpled, puckered, scaly, or inflamed).
  6. Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple.
  7. A change in shape or position of the nipple
  8. An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast.
  9. A marble-like hardened area under the skin

Breast cancer treatments are local or systemic.

  1. Local treatments are used to remove, destroy, or control the cancer cells in a specific area, such as the breast. Surgery and radiation treatment are local treatments.
  2. Systemic treatments are used to destroy or control cancer cells all over the body. Chemotherapy; hormone therapy such as tamoxifen; aromatase inhibitors such as Arimidex, Aromasin, and Femara; and biologic drugs such as Herceptin, Perjeta, and Tykerb are systemic treatments. A patient may have just one form of treatment or a combination, depending on her needs.

B. Skin Cancer and the Sun

The sun's rays make us feel good, and in the short term, make us look good. But our love affair isn't a two-way street: Exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces. Consider this: One woman at age 40 who has protected her skin from the sun actually has the skin of a 30-year-old! We often associate a glowing complexion with good health, but skin color obtained from being in the sun – or in a tanning booth – actually accelerates the effects of aging and increases your risk for developing skin cancer. Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun's ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. The skin also bruises and tears more easily -- taking longer to heal. So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you're young, it will definitely show later in life.

Exposure to the sun causes:

  1. Pre-cancerous (actinic keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma) skin lesions - caused by loss of the skin's immune function
  2. Benign tumors
  3. Fine and coarse wrinkles
  4. Freckles
  5. Discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation
  6. Sallowness a yellow discoloration of the skin
  8. Telangiectasias the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin
  7. Elastosis the destruction of the elastic and collagen tissue (causing lines and wrinkles)

What Causes Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of all cancers in the U.S. and the number of cases continues to rise. It is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. This rapid growth results in tumors, which are either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

How is Skin Cancer Treated?

Treatment of skin cancer is individualized and is determined by the type of skin cancer, its size and location, and the patient's preference.

  1. Wide surgical excision
  2. Sentinel lymph node mapping (for deeper lesions) to determine if the melanoma has spread to local lymph nodes
  3. Drugs (chemotherapy, biological response modifiers) for widespread disease
  4. Radiation therapy for local control of advanced melanoma in areas such as the brain
  5. New methods in clinical trials

How Can I Help Prevent Skin Cancer?

Nothing can completely undo sun damage, although the skin can sometimes repair itself. So, it's never too late to begin protecting yourself from the sun. Your skin does change with age -- for example, you sweat less and your skin can take longer to heal, but you can delay these changes by staying out of the sun. Follow these tips to help prevent skin cancer

  1. Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 .30 minutes before sun exposure and then every few hours thereafter.
  2. Select clothing, cosmetic products, and contact lenses that offer UV protection.
  3. Wear sunglasses with total UV protection.
  4. Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours (between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.).
  5. Perform skin self-exams regularly to become familiar with existing growths and to notice any changes or new growths.
  6. Eighty percent of a person's lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. As a parent, be a good role model and foster skin cancer prevention habits in your child.

C. Cervical Cancer

What is cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated when it's found early. It is usually found at a very early stage through a Pap test.

What causes cervical cancer?

Most cervical cancer is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV. You can get HPV by having sexual contact with someone who has it. There are many types of the HPV virus. Not all types of HPV cause cervical cancer. Some of them cause genital warts, but other types may not cause any symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

Abnormal cervical cell changes rarely cause symptoms. But you may have symptoms if those cell changes grow into cervical cancer. Symptoms of cervical cancer may include

  1. Bleeding from the vagina that is not normal, or a change in your menstrual cycle that you can't explain.
  2. Bleeding when something comes in contact with your cervix, such as during sex or when you put in a diaphragm.
  3. Pain during sex.
  4. Vaginal discharge that is tinged with blood.

How is cervical cancer diagnosed?

As part of your regular pelvic exam, you should have a Pap test. During a Pap test, the doctor scrapes a small sample of cells from the surface of the cervix to look for cell changes. If a Pap test shows abnormal cell changes, your doctor may do other tests to look for precancerous or cancer cells on your cervix. Your doctor may also do a Pap test and take a sample of tissue (biopsy) if you have symptoms of cervical cancer, such as bleeding after sex.

How is it treated?

The treatment for most stages of cervical cancer includes

  1. Surgery, such as a hysterectomy and removal of pelvic lymph nodes with or without removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes.
  2. Chemotherapy.
  3. Radiation therapy.

Depending on how much the cancer has grown, you may have one or more treatments. And you may have a combination of treatments. If you have a hysterectomy, you won't be able to have children. But a hysterectomy isn't always needed, especially when cancer is found very early.

D. Ovarian Cancer and Menopause

What Is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor that develops in a woman's ovaries. Ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among women. It most often occurs in women who are older than 50. When found in its earliest stages, over 90% of women treated for ovarian cancer will live longer than 5 years. Unfortunately, early ovarian cancer is hard to detect. Many cases of ovarian cancer are found after the cancer has spread to other organs. In these cases, the cancer is much more difficult to treat and cure.

What Causes Ovarian Cancer?

The cause of ovarian cancer is not yet known. You have an increased risk of ovarian cancer if you

  1. Have a family history of ovarian cancer
  2. Have never been pregnant.
  3. Are over the age of 50, because the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer increases as you age

Studies show that women who have had children, who breastfeed, or who use oral contraceptives (birth control pills) are less likely to develop ovarian cancer. These factors decrease the number of times a woman ovulates, and studies suggest that reducing the number of ovulations during a woman's lifetime may lower the risk of ovarian cancer. Menopause itself does not cause ovarian cancer. But studies have linked long-term estrogen replacement therapy (more than 10 years) to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

What Are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?

In its early stages, ovarian cancer has few symptoms. The first sign of ovarian cancer is usually an enlarged ovary. The ovaries are located deep within the pelvic cavity, so swelling may go unnoticed until it becomes more advanced.

Symptoms of more advanced ovarian cancer include

  1. Swollen abdomen (caused by build-up of fluids produced by the tumor)
  2. Lower abdominal and leg pain
  3. Sudden weight loss or gain
  4. Change in bowel or bladder function
  5. Nausea
  6. Swelling in the legs

How Can I Protect Myself From Ovarian Cancer?

While there is no definitive way to prevent ovarian cancer, there are steps you can take that may reduce your risk and detect the disease in its early stages, increasing your chances of survival. They include

  1. Get a routine pelvic exam.
  2. Report any irregular vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain to your doctor.
  3. If you have close family members (mother, sister, or daughter) with ovarian cancer, discuss your risk factors with your doctor.
  4. Don't use excessive talcum powder on or near the vagina.
  5. Nausea
  6. Eat a low-fat diet.

Although it is not known for sure if eating a low-fat diet or one that is rich in vegetables can actually decrease your risk of developing ovarian cancer, eating a healthy diet can decrease your risk for many chronic diseases, including some other types of cancer.

Thyroid Problems

What is hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism means your thyroid makes too much thyroid hormone. Your thyroid is a gland in the front of your neck . It controls your metabolism, which is how your body turns food into energy. It also affects your heart, muscles, bones, and cholesterol. Having too much thyroid hormone can make a lot of things in your body speed up. You may lose weight quickly, have a fast heartbeat, sweat a lot, or feel nervous and moody. Or you may have no symptoms at all. While your doctor is doing a test for another reason, he or she may discover that you have hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is easily treated. With treatment, you can lead a healthy life. Without treatment, hyperthyroidism can lead to serious heart problems, bone problems, and a dangerous condition called thyroid storm.

What causes hyperthyroidism?

Graves' disease causes most hyperthyroidism. In Graves? disease, the body's natural defense (immune) system attacks the thyroid gland. The thyroid fights back by making too much thyroid hormone. Like many thyroid problems, it often runs in families. Sometimes hyperthyroidism is caused by a swollen thyroid or small growths in the thyroid called thyroid nodules.

What are the symptoms?

  1. You may feel nervous, moody, weak, or tired.
  2. Your hands may shake, your heart may beat fast, or you may have problems breathing.
  3. You may be hot and sweaty or have warm, red, itchy skin.
  4. You may have more bowel movements than usual.
  5. You may have fine, soft hair that is falling out.
  6. You may lose weight even though you eat the same or more than usual.

If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor. Without treatment, hyperthyroidism can lead to heart problems, bone problems, and a dangerous condition called thyroid storm.

How is hyperthyroidism diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and do a physical exam. Then he or she will order blood tests to see how much thyroid hormone your body is making.
Sometimes hyperthyroidism is found while you are having a test for another reason. You may be surprised to find out that you have this problem.

How is it treated?

If your symptoms bother you, your doctor may give you pills called beta-blockers. These can help you feel better while you and your doctor decide what your treatment should be. Hyperthyroidism can lead to more serious problems. So even if your symptoms do not bother you, you still need treatment. Radioactive iodine and antithyroid medicine are the treatments doctors use most often. The best treatment for you will depend on a number of things, including your age. Some people need more than one kind of treatment.

  1. Radioactive iodine is the most common treatment. Most people are cured after taking one dose. It destroys part of your thyroid gland, but it does not harm any other parts of your body.
  2. Antithyroid medicine works best if your symptoms are mild. These pills do not damage your thyroid gland. But they do not always work, and you have to take them at the same time every day. If they stop working, you may need to try radioactive iodine.

After treatment, you will need regular blood tests. These tests check to see if your hyperthyroidism has come back. They also check to see if you are making enough thyroid hormone. Sometimes treatment cures hyperthyroidism but causes the opposite problem-too little thyroid hormone. If this happens, you may need to take thyroid hormone pills for the rest of your life.

Hypothyroidism, It is due to underproduction of thyroid hormones. Since your body's energy production requires certain amounts of thyroid hormones, a drop in hormone production leads to lower energy levels.

Hypothyroidism poses a special danger to newborns and infants. A lack of thyroid hormones in the system at an early age can lead to the development of cretinism (mental retardation) and dwarfism (stunted growth).


The most common reasons for feeling tired are about daily habits.

  1. What you eat: Reaching for coffee and sugar can backfire, leaving you more fatigued as your blood sugar levels fluctuate wildly. Instead, go for a balanced, healthy diet replete with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. "Most people feel like they're less tired if they eat a healthy diet. "Eating healthy also means you'll carry less weight, and obesity is a big contributor to fatigue.
  2. How much you sleep: Many people don't get enough sleep. If you're one of them, avoid tea /coffee in the hours just before bedtime, turn off the TV before bed, and keep your bedroom quiet and restful.
  3. How much you exercise: Regular, vigorous exercise, finish at least three hours before bedtime, so you have time to wind down.
  4. Anemia: "This is a very common cause of fatigue and very easy to check with a simple blood test,". "It's particularly a problem for women, especially those who are having heavy menstrual periods." You can remedy anemia with an iron-rich diet, heavy in meats and dark, leafy greens, or supplements if you have a chronic iron deficiency
  5. Deficiencies in key nutrients: such as potassium. Again, this is easily checked with blood testing.
  6. Thyroid problems: Over- and under-active thyroids both can cause fatigue. A blood test for your level of thyroid-stimulating hormone can help evaluate your thyroid function.
  7. Diabetes: People who have uncontrolled diabetes "just plain don't feel good,". "If you feel draggy and you're also having blurred vision or lots of urination, you should get that checked with a blood test."
  8. Depression: If your feelings of exhaustion are accompanied by sadness and loss of appetite, and you just can't find any pleasure in things you once enjoyed, you may be depressed. Don't keep that to yourself. Your doctor, or a therapist, can start you on the path back to feeling better.
  9. Sleep problems: If you never feel rested, and nothing seems to fix that, you might look into visiting a sleep lab, especially if you snore. Snoring can be part of obstructive sleep apnea, in which people briefly stop breathing several times a night. There are treatments for that.
  10. Undiagnosed heart disease: Tiredness can be a sign of heart trouble, particularly in women "If you have trouble with exercise you used to do easily, or if you start feeling worse when you exercise, this could be a red flag for heart trouble. If you have any doubts, see your doctor."

But again, start with the basics: your sleep, your diet, and your activity level. Sometimes the simplest fixes are all it takes.


  1. Depression in Women Women experience depression about twice as often as men. But depression can often be treated.
  2. Anorexia Nervosa: This article provides in-depth information about the eating disorder anorexia nervosa.
  3. Binge-Eating Disorder: Get detailed information on binge-eating disorder, also called compulsive overeating.
  4. Bulimia Nervosa: Read about bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder marked by binge eating followed by purging.
  5. Estrogen and Emotions: It's clear that estrogen is closely linked with women's emotional well-being. Depression and anxiety affect women in their estrogen-producing years more often than men or postmenopausal women.

Other Conditions

  1. Acne: Just about everyone gets acne sooner or later -- and not just as teens.
  2. Lipedema Prolapsed Bladder: In women, the front wall of the vagina supports the bladder. This wall can weaken or loosen with age.
  3. Pelvic Organ Prolapse (Vaginal Prolapse): Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition in which structures such as the uterus, rectum, bladder, urethra, small bowel, or the vagina itself may begin to prolapse, or fall, out of their normal positions.
  4. Prolapsed Uterus: As a woman ages and with a natural loss of the hormone estrogen, her uterus can collapse into the vaginal canal, causing the condition known as a prolapsed uterus.
  5. Ovarian Cysts and Tumors: Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form in the ovaries. They are very common. They are particularly common during the childbearing years.
  6. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): You've coped with cramps, tampons, and padded bras, but being a woman can also mean having to cope with urinary tract infections, or UTIs.

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