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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sex and Oral Contraceptives

When you see your gyno it's important to be able to discuss the issue of sex: not just sexual risks and STDs (although you definitely need to discuss that); but the whole topic: your libido, your arousals, your orgasms, your partner relationships, your cycle and sex, any pain, any prior unwanted sex,it's all important and all of these concerns may relate to the use of birth control pills. Gynos love to look at hormone levels, and in turn, we love to try to tag our sexual behavior to specific hormones, lack of hormones, or lack of effective hormone levels. To the extent that oral contraceptives can alter our sexual hormones, being on the birth control pill might affect how your sex life is. A study attempted to be the first to look at how sexual function was on birth control pills and it was just published on line.
Overall women did not have adverse effects on their sexual function although when researchers looked specifically at desire, arousal, and pleasure which all decreased slightly. Orgasms and responsiveness were not adversely affected. Thus it is possible that sexual function can change when on a contraceptive. This study evaluated the women over 3 months of use, thus it cannot be fully extrapolated to women on the birth control pills longer. Initially women do require time for the hormone levels to be steady, so it's important not to jump to conclusions based on just a very short time on the therapy. This study did look at ages 18-35, although most sexologists would say a teen's sexual response is very different from a mature woman in her thirties. Other possible confounding factors for some women are: low initial arousal rates, use of other medications, chronic infections, or low lubrication. It would be worth consulting with your gyno if you have any of these conditions and to see what therapies might be available to you.

Overall sexual function was similar in women in the oral contraceptive and placebo groups. The PFSF domains desire (-4.4, 95% CI, -8.49- -0.38, P = .032), arousal (-5.1, 95% CI, -9.63- -0.48, P = .030) and pleasure (-5.1, 95% CI, -9.97- -0.32, P = .036) were significantly reduced in comparison to placebo, whereas orgasm, concern, responsiveness and self-image were similar between groups. The mean frequency of satisfying sexual episodes and personal distress were also similar between groups. - See more at: http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/jc.2016-2032#sthash.mQHFAhum.dpuf

Overall sexual function was similar in women in the oral contraceptive and placebo groups. The PFSF domains desire (-4.4, 95% CI, -8.49- -0.38, P = .032), arousal (-5.1, 95% CI, -9.63- -0.48, P = .030) and pleasure (-5.1, 95% CI, -9.97- -0.32, P = .036) were significantly reduced in comparison to placebo, whereas orgasm, concern, responsiveness and self-image were similar between groups. The mean frequency of satisfying sexual episodes and personal distress were also similar between groups. - See more at: http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/jc.2016-2032#sthash.mQHFAhum.dpuf

Monday, August 22, 2016

Female Metabolic Syndrome Patients May Warrent a Pelvic Ultrasound

Treat days are fine if you exercise and balanced the rest of your diet today!
Metabolic syndrome is a condition that raises the risk of multiple disease and death rates from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It is diagnosed by a cluster of symptoms, medical conditions, and blood tests. There are five key components of metabolic syndrome: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and elevated blood sugar (fasting value over 100). Women with this syndrome are more likely to have hypertension, insulin insensitivity, obesity, and elevated blood lipids. Factors such as alcohol intake, lack of exercise, smoking, stress and poor diet make metabolic syndrome features worse, and makes the consequences of metabolic syndrome on your health worse as well. Essentially all women with metabolic syndrome. For women with this syndrome, it is more common for them to have uterine polyps also known as endometrial polyps. Endometrial polyps can be a precancerous condition, and they are important to treat. Some women with endometrial polyps will have heavy bleeding, others will have no actual unusual symptoms at all. Pelvic Ultrasound is the way these polyps are diagnosed. So next time your gyno asks you to take a some blood tests including a cholesterol test because she is worried you have metabolic syndrome, you may want to ask if you need an ultrasound as well.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Adenomyosis as a Cause of Painful Periods

When To Schedule Your Flu Shot: In the Morning!

Men and women, take note, there is is a new battle ground in the war of the sexes: our immune systems! Women respond to flu shots better than men do. And now here's the newest twist: getting vaccinated in the morning, gives you better protection than being vaccinated later in the day (in the studies morning mean 9 AM to 11 AM). This was proven in a study with higher antibody concentrations. All adults can benefit from protection against getting the flu, and getting a Flu shot seems to be one of the best ways to be protected. For women, we focus a lot of attention to getting your Flu shot early if you are pregnant! Babies aren't vaccinated against the flu for the first 6 months, so getting parents vaccinated is important. For men, oddly we are seeing that high levels of testosterone can lead to lower antibody levels in men. This seems to stem from both having a certain set of genes as well as the high testosterone. Women with the same genes were not shown to have problems responding to the flu shot, and we have not seen problems with women who are on hormone therapy or birth control pills having their flu shot be effective. In fact we think that the flu shot is more effective in women because of their estrogen levels.  If you get a shot, you are virtually assured of not getting seriously ill even if you do catch the flu. If you get a shot when pregnant, about 60+% of the babies are protected against getting the flu as well. Talk to your physician now about the importance of getting a flu shot, we hope that you all will see that flu shots are a great public health strategy as we prevent millions of cases of the flu each year with them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Women's Health Wednesday: Menopausal Therapy Means Heart Health Therapy!

The menopausal years and the menopausal transition years are critically important for your heart health and you and your gyno need to have a talk, not only what is happening with your sex drive, your moods, and the hot flashes many women get, but you need to focus on what consequences menopause has on your cardiovascular system. According to a new study called ARIC women have significantly increased risk of heart disease before, during and right after menopause. Markers of inflammation soar, blood sugar control falters, cholesterol and blood lipids elevate, and their waist enlarges. the highest risk years for the most rapid changes are ages 45-60. The consequences can be seen in weight gain, bone loss, poorer vision, more skin wrinkling, and basically all the signs of organ aging due to lower nutrients and more body toxins. This study didn't indicate that hormone therapy was 'preventative' of cardiovascular risk, but it was not powered to look at that, and there is no indication that women were given hormone therapy with respect to their heart health. Some hormone therapy in menopause
has been shown to help improve some of these same cardiovascular risk factors. It is possible to treat and prevent many of these symptoms with other therapies, and it is time that you come in to discuss with your gyno!

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Vaginal Contraceptive Ring

If you are a female between the ages of 18 and 35 you may be eligible for a contraceptive ring investigational contraceptive medication study. Qualified participants will receive study-related medical evaluations and care at no cost. If interested, please call 217-356-3736.

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