The students quickly discovered there was something extremely odd about their cadaver. Their assignment was to open the chest cavity and examine the heart. After doing so, they discovered that they couldn’t find the inferior vena cava, a large vein that normally comes directly out of the right side of the heart. When they called the skeptical professors over for help, the professors found that Bentley’s vein was on the left side of her body and had traveled up through her diaphragm, along her chest vertebrae and then curved over the aortic arch and into her heart’s right side. None of this was normal.
As the students and their equally bewildered professors continued working on Bentley, they found that many of her veins were either missing or misplaced. The right atrium of her heart was twice its normal size, and her right lung had only two lobes rather than the usual three. Her stomach was on the right side of the body instead of the left, and her liver was on the left rather than the right. Bentley’s entire digestive tract was also inverted.
Bentley had been born with a rare condition called “situs inversus with levocardia” that occurs in about one of 22,000 births. The mutations that cause the condition to occur early during an embryo’s development, probably during the first or second month.
The Italian anatomist Marco Severino had first described the condition in 1643. A century later, Matthew Baille, a Scottish physician, gave the condition its name. “Situs” is Latin for “location,” while “versus” means “inverted.” Like the medical students in Portland, Baille had also examined the cadaver of a seemingly healthy and normal person and was equally stunned by his findings.
Bentley’s healthy heart enabled her to live a full and active life. She served as a volunteer nurse during World War II and got married and had five children. Her main health complaint was chronic heartburn. The first hint of her bizarre anatomy with its wrong place organs occurred when she underwent an appendectomy. The surgeon noted Bentley’s appendix had been in the wrong place. Later on, she underwent a hysterectomy and gallbladder removal with no recorded issues.
Bentley had planned to be an organ donor. Instead, she had made medical history by being the longest-lived person with situs inversus with levocardia.
Are you ready to confront the naked reality about vagina change? Some small life decisions that you previously thought had no tangible effects could be forcing your vagina to age faster than it should. Before we dig deep into detail, let’s clear the air and define the “aging” term. Here, aging describes the loss of elasticity and muscle tone of the vagina. It is a normal process, but some factors trigger its acceleration. Read on to educate yourself.
Inadequate exercise Lack of exercise weakens the muscles even in other body regions. The muscles tend to slump when workouts become foreign. Certain exercises such as pelvic tilt exercises and Kegels should help strengthen the pelvic muscles and keep your vagina in healthy shape.
Persevering the “dry spell” The dry spell period refers to a prolonged state without sex. According to experts, it contributes to vagina change by reducing overall muscle tone and lubrication production. If you are going through a dry spell, don’t worry as you can take things into your own hands. Consider giving yourself orgasms through masturbation or the use of toys. You might also reconsider cutting the dry spells to short periods to keep your pelvic muscles lubricated and healthy.
Childbirth We’re guessing you all saw this particular piece coming. While bringing a baby into this earth could be one of the most satisfying things in life, it does rule out the contribution to “aging.” Delivering a baby naturally causes loss of vaginal elasticity from tears and overstretching the muscles. It’s a rough reality that affects women past childbirth. Nonetheless, all isn’t lost, and new moms can regain vaginal tightness through home remedies such as squats, Kegels, planks, and yoga.
Use of over-the-counter hygiene products Little known to the majority of women, the vagina cleans itself naturally. Some women take up creams, lotions, douches, soaps, and sprays in an attempt to wash and groom the vagina. These products could be quite abrasive to the interior lining of the vagina, which triggers vaginal change. The thinning of the lining prematurely could trigger bad odor, pain, and itchiness among other discomforts. Avoid products that promise to clean the vagina with an aim to keep the organ healthy. Take a bath at least daily with clean water, wear dried inner wears, and wipe yourself dry after every shower.
Taking certain medications We aren’t just talking about hard prescription drugs. It is believed that even the rather harmless over-the-counter medicines can have an adverse impact on the vagina. Over time, it could lead to dryness and loss of tightness. You could always switch to healthy alternatives to relieve pain and other symptoms. For instance, massages, acupuncture, chiropractic care, heat and cold therapy, exercises, healthy diets, and drinking a lot of water; all help with alleviating pain.
There you have it. Now that you know what factors speed up vagina change, it’s time to take matters into your own hands. It’s never too late to take up challenges and make a few lifestyle changes.
The answer lies in men and women’s biology. As you might’ve learned in school, men and women have different chromosomes. Men are considered the heterogametic sex, as they both X and Y chromosomes. Women are homogametic, with two XX chromosomes. These differences in chromosomes determine the person’s sex and they are responsible for most changes in development. They tell the body whether to develop male or female characteristics, although there are variations in every person.
Fat distribution is one of the explanations for why women live longer. Women have more subcutaneous fat, which is fat under the skin. Men have more fat around the organs or visceral fat. Visceral fat has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease. This might explain why men face a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, even at young ages.
The presence of the male and female hormones might also be to blame. Estrogens are hormones primarily found on the female body. Estrogens have been found to prevent DNA damage and aid longevity. They can act as antioxidants in the human body, which could benefit men as well.
In contrast, testosterone might be a reason men meet their demise faster. Men have much more elevated levels of testosterone than women, which influences their behavior. High levels of testosterone can lead to an increase in risky behaviors. This explains why men engage more in activities such as smoking and drinking alcohol. They also take jobs in industries that can be more dangerous, such as construction or mining. Testosterone literally kills men in many cases. This is mirrored by studies done in men who were castrated as children, which made them produce much less testosterone. These men added 14 to 19 years to their lives. This isn’t to say that testosterone is inherently bad but compare to estrogens they seem to have detrimental effects.
The advances in modern medicine have also contributed to this. Throughout history, young women have been disproportionately affected by infectious diseases. As modern medicine decreased the risk for infectious disease, women also benefit especially from this. There is also the theory that, since these women were infected, they passed on genetic resistance to their offspring. Richer countries also see a bigger gender gap in longevity than less wealthy ones due to all of these factors.
Whatever the reasons might be, there are many reasons as to why women live longer than men. Of course, women are not immune to disease either, and they should still be very vigilant about their health. Perhaps it would be a good idea for both men and women to use this knowledge for longevity and health. Everybody wants a long, healthy life after all!
Free bleeding is exactly what it sounds like; it means forgoing any type of blood collecting product during your period. You may have heard of this trend as its popularity has recently grown; here’s what you need to know.
What is Free Bleeding and Why are Women Doing It?
Pads, tampons, cups, and even “period underwear” all go out the window when a woman decides to free bleed. This causes many questions among women who do use menstrual products. Where does the blood go? Why do women choose to free bleed? Should I give it a try?
Some women choose to free bleed in honor of girls around the world who don’t have access to period products; many of these girls miss school when they are on their period. Some women, like Kiran Gandhi, bring awareness to this issue by running marathons, period blood freely running down their legs and soaking their shorts.
Some women choose to free bleed in an effort to normalize the fact that women, indeed, do bleed every month, and that there is nothing to be ashamed about. Periods are often thought to be something to hide; many girls would be horrified if they leaked on their way to class in high school.
There is also the environmental impact that must be considered. Pads and tampons create an enormous amount of waste in our landfills. This issue has led some women to use a reusable cup or to simply let the blood flow freely.
For others, using period products is uncomfortable; their choice to forgo the use of these products is to reduce the pain and discomfort that their period brings.
It’s a different world we live in now. The shame that is associated with menstruation is slowly diminishing thanks to women who are willing to take a stand. Kiran kickstarted the conversation, and it continues to impact women across the globe. Whether it’s for environmental or social reasons, more women each day are making the choice to free bleed.
Free Bleeding Health Benefits
Tampons are known to cause Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). By choosing not to use menstrual products, the incidence of toxic shock syndrome decreases.
While many women find bleeding freely is more comfortable than inserting a tampon or wearing a pad, there are no proven health benefits to this style of menstruation.
Should You Free Bleed On Your Next Period
While there is quite a lot of controversy about whether or not women should allow period blood to flow freely in public, there is nothing preventing them from doing so. Many women prefer to use period products; the choice is entirely personal.
If you decide that you would like to free bleed, you can start at home or swap out your traditional period products for special underwear. You can free bleed at night while you are sleeping for a tampon-free rest.
Once you are more comfortable with bleeding freely, you can do it all the time if you want. The choice is entirely yours, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
As you already know, periods are messy. While they are certainly nothing to be ashamed of, bleeding freely will require a lot of clean up. You may not be able to free bleed at work unless you use the special underwear.
No matter how you decide to handle your period, whether you stick to pads, use period panties, or completely forgo all products, it’s always your decision
Women, especially, need to listen to their bodies. Often times, we know there’s something up, but we ignore the signs. One woman who had struggled with infertility issues in the past was developing a belly she thought from overeating. She enrolled in a fitness boot camp, but no matter how much she exercised, her growing belly wouldn’t budge. Could she be expecting? She took a pregnancy test, but that came back normal. As far as a health issue like an ovarian tumor, it wasn’t something she’d ever imagine.
Josephine Clinton, 49, was baffled by her so-called baby bump. Her friends and family had been hoping that her rounded tummy could be a dream pregnancy. Clinton, however, knew better because of her past infertility issues, says a report by Women’s Health Magazine. That bump didn’t contain a growing baby, and doctors assumed it was irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Her friends later felt badly having Clinton take a pregnancy test. They had gotten her hopes up for a baby even though the odds were great.
Still, Clinton went on with life and her normal routine. She thought her enlarged belly was maybe due to a gym injury, but other odd symptoms were emerging. Fox News did a story on the woman who was starting to believe something had to be amiss. Her entire body was becoming very thin except for her abdomen. Her face was gaunt, and her legs and arms were like matchsticks. Clinton was frightened and finally, made a move.
She headed to a local emergency room, and medical personnel responded immediately. A scan was taken discovering a mass in her pelvic region. Josephine Clinton now had an answer for her swollen stomach. She had developed two massive ovarian tumors. One was smaller and the size of an apple. However, the larger tumor had grown to the size of a grapefruit.
Luckily, her kind of ovarian tumor was benign. It is called a borderline ovarian tumor, says Cancer Research U.K.. Abnormal cells begin growing in the tissue covering the ovary. Surgery cures the condition.
Following her diagnosis, Josephine Clinton underwent a full hysterectomy two months later. She feels fine and lucky she is in good health.
Her advice to all women is to listen closely to their bodies. Don’t be afraid to speak up about your symptoms. Seek proper medical advice, and go from there.
The female orgasm has always been termed as a mystery. Even women don’t know what exactly it’s all about. A lot of women have been brainwashed into believing lies about the female orgasm, making them expect the impossible out of themselves. The more information women get about the female climax, the better they will be at knowing what they need and asking for it. Even with the limited knowledge that we have, here are a few things we know are right:
If the foreplay is really good, women can orgasm before the man.
3. Orgasms can cure pain
The body’s pain threshold increases by about 69% during an orgasm. This is due to the release of oxytocin which makes it difficult for a woman to perceive pain.
4. It shows itself in different ways
Contrary to what many people believe, squirting is just one of the few ways women orgasm. Some women experience an overwhelming ‘high’, some experience sudden muscle relaxation which presents as tremors.
5. You can have multiple orgasms over a short period
Once a women orgasms, her genitals become very sensitive, and this paves the way for even more orgasms.
6. It takes women longer to orgasm
Women are generally more anxious than men and tend to have more on their mind which may interfere.
7. You’re more likely to orgasms with other women
Females know what works best for them and so it’s easy to know where to work on.
8. Sometimes you can orgasm without knowing
Some female orgasms such as ejaculation, are so discreet it’s hard to notice.
9. The absence of an orgasm doesn’t mean you didn’t have a good time
A lot of women were still having fun way before the concept of the female climax came into play.
10. You can orgasm while exercising
Exercise increases blood flow to the lower parts of the body which eventually makes the genitals more sensitive.
11. Size doesn’t matter
Whether or not a woman orgasm depends on how well their partner can satisfy their needs and knows what they’re doing.
12. Orgasms inhibit parts of your brain
The components of the brain involved in inhibition and good reasoning show decreased activity during orgasm.
13. Orgasms are not experienced in the genitals
Orgasms happen primarily in mind. The brain then sends signals to other parts of the body through the release of hormones which lead to individual behavior.
How to train your body for orgasms
• Touch yourself and then communicate with your partner. • The first few days of your cycle are when you are most sensitive so take advantage of that. • Take time during foreplay. This builds tension which ensures a stronger, better climax.
Only about 8% of black women manage to access medical care compared to 15% of white women. Further studies suggest that women of color tend to suffer in silence and isolation while struggling with childbearing issues.
Why are they subjected to this kind of suffering?
Socioeconomic elements in our societies.
Generally, fertility treatments are expensive and can cost thousands of dollars. Affordability seems to be an issue for the average black woman, and this leads to the shocking figures quoted earlier. When it comes to access to healthcare, women of color are more likely to shy away from searching for help. The academics and the media then turn away attention from the women of color. They focus on the patients who happen to be the white women.
Women currently in their reproductive ages have grown through the years when the country was struggling to eradicate racism. The percentage of women of color are still suffering from an inferiority complex. It affects on how they deal with fertility problems. These inferiority emotions make many of them shy away from seeking medical attention.
Research has revealed that women of color were more likely to feel uncomfortable talking about reproductive issues. Therefore, they rarely open up to fertility doctors, support groups, family members, or friends. In most cases, women of color would rather keep infertility issues to themselves than disclose to anybody for help.
The black community has been treated with resentment
The Tuskegee Study revealed that black men had been denied appropriate medical care when they contracted syphilis in 1930s. This kind of mistreatment has affected women of color who still live in fear by the medical community and fertility doctors
Racial discrimination has been a vice that most women could attest to have faced in medical settings. Reports suggest that women of color have faced horrifying racial remarks when seeking medical treatments, especially due to fertility problems. Such treatments have discouraged black women from going to hospitals to seek help for infertility.
Also, when programs aimed at helping women with fertility, the advertising strategies excluded women of color. This, in turn, sent a negative message to the women of color. The advertisements didn’t include them as target clients for the fertility treatments.
There have been many misconceptions about women of color stating that they rarely develop fertility problems. Growing up in a community that believes that all women of color are highly fertile affects those who have a problem. These beliefs may seem harmless until a black woman hiding in fear of ridicule from her fellow black peers.
Most of the time, society is to blame for women of color suffering from fertility issues in silence. If there has to be a positive change, it has to start from within the community.
According to a publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, a 32-year old Russian woman went to the doctor after noticing a strange lump in her face that seemed to change position. At first, it was below her left eye. That’s strange, but most of us wouldn’t worry too much, especially if it went away. Five days later, however, the lump appeared again, this time above her eye.
Now that’s weird. Things got even stranger when, after 10 days, the lump appeared in her lip. The intense swelling was unmistakable and enough cause for alarm that the woman finally sought medical treatment.
Doctors (and the patient) were horrified to discover the truth was literally living under her skin: a parasitic roundworm.
The worm, known as Dirofilaria repens, is a specific type of parasitic roundworm that infects people through mosquito bites. The Center for Disease Control explains that Dirofilaria can infect a variety of mammals; in dogs, they’re called “heartworms,” which many of us have heard of and even give our pets regular preventative medication for.
The CDC also describes the infection process; most of the larvae that enter the skin through a mosquito bite die, but the ones that live will grow and exist under the skin. Humans are considered “accidental hosts” and don’t typically contract or spread the disease.
It turns out that there are three different types of Dirofilaria that can infect human beings: D. immitis, D. repens and D. tenuis. D. tenuis is the aforementioned heartworm, but the Russian patient had contracted a D. repens parasitic worm in her face.
The good news is that this type of worm isn’t found in the United States; research shows multiple cases of humans with D. repens worms in Russia and Belarus; between June 1997 and 2013, there were 1,300 documented cases of women in the region who contracted the parasitic tapeworm. All of the women had visited rural areas shortly before the worm appeared, which is also the case for the patient in this story.
The doctors successfully removed the worm from the woman’s face, and she has since made a “full recovery” according to the journal. We’re all relieved, and this was a much-needed reminder to not skip out on insect repellent this summer.
We spend a lot of time worrying about the size and shape of our breasts, but nipples are often completely ignored. This often overlooked part of the human body can actually be very important. Even if you are not planning on giving birth or breastfeeding anytime soon, your nipples still have an import role to play. Here’s what you need to know about inverted nipples.
How Can You Tell If
Your Nipples Are Inverted?
Telling whether or not your nipples invert is easy. All you have to do is take a glance at your breasts. If the nipple is taller than the surrounding tissue, it is normal. If you notice your nipple is flat against the breast or dips into a small hollow, it is inverted. Either one or both can be inverted, and 2 to 10 percent of all women have a retracted nipple. Some inverted nipples remain inverted even when stimulated, while others may temporarily poke out before retracting again.
What Causes Nipples
The basic cause of a retracted nipple is simply a shortened duct in the breast that pulls the tissue inwards. Some women are just born with this, and it may be slightly genetic. However, there are also some health conditions that can make a formerly pointy nipple inverted. In some rare cases, cancer can cause nipples to invert. It can also be caused by repeated infections, clogged ducts, or inflammation in the breasts.
How Can You Treat Nipples That Are Inverted?
In some cases, you might just need to wait and see if your inversion will correct itself. Following infection or clogged duct treatment, your nipple will most likely return to its former shape. If you were born with inverted nipples, you can choose plastic surgery to make them stick out. You can also use piercings or suction devices to temporarily reposition the nipple.
Do Inverted Nipples
Cause Any Health Problems?
In most cases, inverted nipples are harmless. You can still feel the same sensations regardless of nipple position. However, it may make breastfeeding a little difficult. Depending on the severity of the inversion, the baby may struggle to latch on. Even though they are not dangerous, keep in mind they can be a sign of something like cancer, so you should take any sudden nipple inversion seriously.
As you can see, inverted nipples are fairly common and usually are not a problem. If you’ve always had them, it is a relatively harmless condition caused by shortened ducts. Though they might make breastfeeding a little more difficult, it will not greatly impair your health. However, if a nipple that previously poked out has retracted, you should check with a doctor just to make sure you are healthy.
Getting bumps on your vagina can be scary. It can even be scarier when the bumps get an infection and become painful. Where do they come from? There are many reasons behind vaginal bumps. These include syphilis, infected sweat glands, molluscum contagiosum, ingrown hairs, Bartholin’s cyst, genital warts, sebaceous cysts, skin tags or new moles, hair removal, and breakout.
A recent study by the CDC states that there is a 20 percent increase in cases of syphilis. The initial symptom of the disease is a few painless bumps on your vagina or mouth. The bumps will stay for three to six weeks before disappearing. But the disease will still be there. You can treat it with antibiotics.
2. Infected Sweat Gland
Sweat glands are usually present on the whole body, including the genitals. Women who exercise in tight leggings have faced the risk of infected sweat glands when the leggings trap the sweat. This is particularly when they fail to bathe immediately. You can avoid the bumps by cleaning the vagina and wearing dry clothes.
3. Molluscum Contagiosum
Molluscum Contagiosum is a virus that infects the skin and causes firm bumps. The bumps usually appear on the hands, genitals, and face. The immune system fights off the virus, but you can seek medical treatment if it persists.
If you have bumps near the vaginal opening, then it is highly likely you have Bartholin’s cyst. It occurs when lubrication glands block and fill with fluid. It can fill with pus and cause pain after an infection. Visit a doctor for draining of the cyst and antibiotics.
6. Genital Warts
Genital warts consist of a kind of STI caused by particular HPV strains. Tiny bumps on the vagina characterize it. It is not harmful, but you should still see a doctor for a checkup.
7. Sebaceous Cysts
Sebaceous cysts develop when incessant rub against clothing and when there is stuffy environment around the vagina. You need to undertake a warm soaks and see a doctor to prevent the bumps from getting an infection.
Removing hair from the vagina can cause the skin to be itchy and red. It can also cause folliculitis and ingrown hairs. This results in painful bumps. Keep away from removing hair for two weeks, and all will be well.
Breakouts not only take place in your teenage years but also when you are an adult. They can take place on your face and other body areas, like on the vagina. You should let the bumps clear up on their own as opposed to squeezing them.
Whenever you have the issue with vaginal bumps, don’t panic. Be sure to seek medical help before taking any action.
Believe it or not, experiencing two periods in a month isn’t uncommon. However, if it keeps happening, it may be a sign of a bigger issue.
Some things to consider are the length of your cycle and your lifestyle, as well. While most reasons are usually harmless, here are some reasons why this happens and what you can do about it.
1. Your Birth Control
If your period has come on twice this month, make sure you’ve taken your birth control correctly. Forgetting to take your birth control pills can cause an irregular cycle due to a change in hormones.
Luckily, this problem is an easy fix. Just continue taking your birth control pills as prescribed and use a backup method of birth control until your next period.
2. You’re Pregnant
One sign of pregnancy can be an irregular period. Usually, your period stops until you give birth, but for some women, you may notice spotting. This occurs in the first trimester due to many reasons, such as polyps or even exercise.
If you’ve noticed these symptoms, it is recommended that you see a doctor to rule out any abnormalities, such as an ectopic pregnancy. This occurs when the egg implants outside of the uterus. This results to irregular bleeding but could turn into a life threatening emergency over time if left untreated.
A common reason you could be having two period a month are fibroids, which are benign (harmless) tumors that can grow on your uterus. Symptoms of fibroids include painful periods, back pain, or bloating.
An OB-GYN uses an ultrasound to diagnose this condition. They can be removed through through several methods and this should stop the bleeding.
If you’ve notice that your irregular bleeding with some inflammation, you may have an infection. You may be suffering from bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. Some symptoms of bacterial vaginosis would include discharge or even odor. If you have these symptoms, contact a doctor immediately for treatment.
If your hormone levels are off, the result could be an extra period. The area of the brain that produces hormones for your thyroid also produces hormones for menstruation. So if your thyroid gland is under-active or overactive, it could affect your period as well.
If you’ve been under a lot of stress lately, a side effect could be an irregular period. Stress affects your hormone production and ovulation.
If you think your stress is causing you to bleed irregularly, there are some measures you can take to get your body back to normal. Try doing relaxing activities, such as meditation, yoga, or even therapy.
Endometriosis is a painful condition that occurs when uterine tissue grows in other areas of the body, such as outside of the uterus. The result is painful cramping, abdominal pain, and irregular bleeding.
If you suspect you have this condition, talk to your OB-GYN about laparoscopy surgery to get a diagnosis and treatment options.
The years before you reach menopause can cause your hormone levels to change. This stage, called perimenopause, can last about a decade and could lead to irregular cycles.
During perimenopuase, women notice shorter periods, resulting in multiple periods within a month. Other effects include lighter or heavier bleeding and skipping periods altogether. Once you notice that your periods have decreased and you haven’t had one in a full year, you’ve reached menopause.
Having tumors on your cervix or uterus can cause irregular bleeding. If you notice that you keep having two periods in a month, go see a doctor for screening. They can diagnose diseases, such as ovarian cancer, with ultrasounds or a biopsy. If you’ve ruled out everything else, it’s important to get checked for early detection and treatment.
A heart-shaped uterus might sound adorable, but it can actually cause some health problems. If you have this condition, which is also called bicornuate uterus, you might need more medical attention during pregnancy. In this article, I will provide some interesting information about bicornuate uteruses. Keep reading to find out if you might have one.
What Is a Bicornuate Uterus?
If you’re just the same as anyone out there, you might not even know what a normal uterus looks like. It turns out that this important organ is normally pear-shaped. A healthy uterus has a gently rounded shape that is larger at the top and hollow inside. Women who have a heart-shaped uterus have a uterus shaped like a heart. Instead of being a smooth, rounded dome at the top, the uterus is dented right down the middle.
This is a fairly rare condition that only affects about 7 out of 1,000 women. It is congenital, which means that if you have it you were born with it. A bicornuate uterus happens because if the fallopian tubes at the top of the uterus do not fuse together correctly.
How Can You Tell if Your Uterus Is Heart-Shaped?
Some women can spend a lifetime without knowing they have this. For many women, it is a condition that presents no symptoms at all. You menstruate on time and get a normal heavy period. There is a slightly higher risk of getting endometriosis with a uterine abnormality. This is basically menstrual tissue that backs up into the fallopian tubes instead of exiting the uterus.
Signs of endometriosis include pain during periods, discomfort during bedroom activities, and abdominal pain at other times of the month. All of these symptoms are the most common sign of a bicornuate uterus. However, many women remain unaware until they try to get pregnant. A bicornuate uterus often causes repeated miscarriages and dangerously premature births. According to one study of uterine defects, a bicornuate uterus increases repeated miscarriage risks by up to 37.6 percent.
Because symptoms are not immediately noticeable for so many, it will take a doctor’s input to diagnose the condition. After repeated difficulties getting pregnant, the doctor may decide to do some tests. Imaging tests like ultrasounds may show the abnormal shape. If the ultrasound is not clear, you might need a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test to see if you have the condition.
Can You Get Pregnant With a Bicornuate Uterus?
If you are interested in bearing a child, having a heart-shaped uterus can cause some issues. However, I was happy to find that a bicornuate uterus does not affect your overall fertility. You can still get pregnant at the same rate as other women. The main concern just issues during pregnancy. Doctors will classify this type of pregnancy as high risk, and women will need extra help.
There is a four times higher risk of a baby having a birth defect. This is part of the reason why miscarriages are more likely for women with a bicornuate uterus. If the fetus is not viable, it may be miscarried. Even healthy fetuses have a higher risk of miscarriage. To lower this risk, doctors may suggest that mothers go on bed rest or get frequent checkups.
Later on in the pregnancy, there is a risk for a difficult birth. A bicornuate uterus can cause an early delivery that requires the baby to get extra care. It can also make the babysit with their feet facing downward. This is called a breech position, and it can require a Cesarean delivery.
Estrogen is a group of sex hormones that facilitate the development and maintenance of female features in a human body. The hormone plays a key role in the growth and development of female secondary characteristics, such as breasts, armpit, and pubic hair. It is also involved in the reproductive system and menstrual cycle. In the menstrual cycle, estrogen gives a suitable environment for the fertilization, implantation, and nutrition of an early embryo.
What is Estrogen?
During puberty, the ovaries begin to release estrogen hormones according to each monthly menstrual cycle. The estrogen levels rise at once halfway through the cycle, triggering the release of an egg. After ovulation, the level then suddenly decreases.
Estrogen typically travels through the bloodstream in fluids, and interact with cells in various tissues in the body delivering instructions and messages.
It is one of the most useful hormones for women besides progesterone. The hormone progesterone helps to maintain pregnancies and implantation of an egg in the uterus.
Function of Estrogen
Estrogen is very important in the reproductive function and cycle of a woman.
Estrogen affects the following areas of a female body:
•Ovaries. Estrogen helps in stimulating the growth of the egg follicle.
•Fallopian tubes. Estrogen stimulates the growth of a thick, muscular wall in the fallopian tube. It also facilitates the contractions which help in transporting the egg and sperm cells.
•Vagina. Stimulates the growth of the vagina to its adult size. It also promotes the thickening of the vaginal wall, and an increase in the acidity of the vagina to reduce vaginal bacterial infections. It also responsible for the lubrication of the vagina.
•Cervix. It is thought that estrogen regulates the flow and thickness of the uterine mucous secretions. This improves the movement of the sperm cell to an egg and facilitates fertilization.
•Uterus. Estrogen develops and maintains the mucous membrane that lines the uterus. It boosts the size of the endometrium besides enhancing blood flow, enzyme activity, and protein content. Estrogen further stimulates the contraction and development of the uterus muscles.
•Mammary glands. Estrogen is responsible for the growth of the breasts during puberty. It also promotes the pigmentation of the nipples and also stops the flow of milk when the infant ends breastfeeding.
The differences between the male and female bodies are made by the estrogen. For instance, estrogen:
• Increases the fat storage around the thighs and hips making women’s body to be more curved and contoured.
• Makes the bones shorter and smaller, shoulders narrower, and the pelvis broader.
• Stimulates the body hair to get finer and less pronounced as well as making the woman’s hair on the head more permanent.
• Helps in slowing down the growth of the females during puberty as it raises the sensitivity to insulin. Insulin determines the amount of body fat and the lean muscle one can develop.
• Suppresses the activity of the glands in the glands in the skin which produce oily substances reducing the likelihood of acne in females.
• Makes the vocal cords shorter and voice box smaller making females to have a higher-pitched voice than the males.
There are certain foods which contain phytoestrogens which may affect the levels of estrogen in the body. They include:
• Cruciferous vegetables
• Grains and seeds
• Soy and the foods that contain soy protein
Some researchers consider the phytoestrogen to be disruptors of the endocrine. They show dual functions sometimes such as the ability to increase and decrease the activity of estrogen.
It is has become a common misconception that phytoestrogen may negatively impact one’s health. However, there is some research that confirms that the food containing phytoestrogen listed above may lower the risk of cancer, reduce hot flashes, and improve other symptoms of the menopause.
Uses of Estrogen
Bio-identical estrogen, a synthetic estrogen, and the estrogens obtained from pregnant mares (Premarin) are used for various medical purposes.
The most common uses of estrogen are in the hormone replacement therapy and the birth control pills. It is also used for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy for menopause.
Birth Control Pills
The birth control pill is the most commonly used method to control births in the U.S. Estrogen is included in the combination of oral birth control pills along with the hormone progestin.
Most women take low-dose birth control pills, which has about 20 to 50 micrograms of estrogen.
The estrogen in the pill sends feedback to the brain. The feedback causes a range of effects in the body such as:
• Prevents ovulation
• Stops the pituitary from producing follicle stimulating hormone.
• Supports the lining of the womb to avoid the breakthrough bleeding that sometimes leads to spotting between periods.
• Stops the secretion of luteinizing hormone.
Birth controls may be prescribed for alternative uses such as to:
• Ease severe cramping and heavy bleeding
• Regulate the menstrual cycle
• Protect ectopic pregnancy
• Reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and growth of ovarian cysts
• Help reduce the severity of the acne that is hormone related
• Decrease the symptoms of the perimenopause
The following are some of the risks that a birth control pill carries:
• Heart attack
• Pulmonary embolism
• Blood clots
• Breast swelling and tenderness
• Changes in weight
• Nausea and vomiting
• Irregular bleeding
• Long-term use can also lead to breast cancer.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
The aim of hormone replacement therapy is to relieve some symptoms of menopause. It achieves this by bringing the levels of female hormone back to normal. The treatment may be provided in form of estrogen-only or a combination of estrogen and progestin.
• Dryness of the vagina
• Mood swings
• Hot flashes
• Pain during intercourse
• Sleep disorders
• Decrease in the sexual desire
It is recommended that hormone replacement therapy or HRT to be used at the lowest doses and for the shortest duration to achieve the desired goal and avoid the side effects such as:
• Headaches • Nausea • Bloating • Breast soreness • Mood swings • Water retention
Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT)
Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) is used to raise the levels of estrogen in women who have undergone menopause and their uterus had been removed. This is because ERT is associated with uterine cancer but would not have this effect in women after the uterus is removed.
This treatment has additional benefits such as to:
• Prevent osteoporosis
• Decrease the symptoms during the menopause
• Prevent the colon cancer
• Reduce the early bone loss
A person should avoid ERT if:
• is pregnant
• has liver diseases
• is a smoker
• has a history of blood clots
• has vaginal bleeding
• has a history of stroke
• has a strong history of breast or ovaries cancer.
The normal levels of estrogen may vary a great deal. For example, differences can be observed between the levels of the estrogen of two women in the same day of their cycles or in the same woman on different days.
However, when the levels of estrogen raise or fall too far, the functions of the body may become irregular leading to the following side effects:
• hot flashes or night sweats
• menstruation becomes less frequent or stops
• heavy or light bleeding during menstruation
• lumps that are non-cancerous in the uterus and breasts
• sleeping problems and mood swings
• low sexual desire
• weight gain mainly in the waist, thighs, and hips
• dry skin
• feelings of anxiety and depression
In men, high levels of estrogen may cause infertility, prostate cancer, erectile dysfunctional, and the development of larger breasts.
When taking the medications that have estrogen, it is important to keep track of the symptoms and ensuring that you maintain balanced levels of estrogen.
Brown discharge before a period is usually a discharge from the vagina that has blood. Normally, vaginal discharge is thin and white or clear. When the discharge is brown, it is more likely to have small amounts of old blood. When the old blood takes longer to come out of the uterus it turns brown. It is typically harmless. However, it could be an indication of an underlying health condition.
What causes the brown discharge?
The brown discharge before the period can occur for various reasons such as the following stated below.
If You’re Not Pregnant
When one is not pregnant, the discharge may be caused by:
Old blood coming out of the uterus some days after the end of a period
A period when about to start, whereby the flow is light
Spotting of ovulation, which is pinkish-brown
Reaction to a vaginal exam or Pap smear test
Reaction to a vigorous sex
Brown or pink discharge or spotting before a period is an early sign of pregnancy.
This discharge is caused during the implantation process whereby bleeding occurs as the fertilized egg burrows into the lining of the uterus. The implantation can happen between 1 and 2 weeks after the egg has been fertilized.
Brown discharge before a period can also be an indication of perimenopause, especially for the women in their 40s or 50s. This is the transition period just before menopause, when the periods are about to stop.
What are the most serious causes of the brown discharge?
There are other very serious causes of the brown discharge. They can happen at any age irrespective of whether the woman is pregnant. Such serious causes are:
Pelvic inflammatory disease
This is an infection of the uterus and cervix that can result to brown discharge.
Sexually transmitted diseases
For some sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, one may notice the brown discharge in the vagina.
Retained foreign body
If a foreign object is accidentally left in the vagina, brown discharge that is bad-smelling can occur. Such objects are condoms, tampons, and contraceptive rings.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
This is a condition of hormonal imbalance. It may bring about irregular, light bleeding.
Brown discharge is a symptom of cervical cancer, although it is extremely rare. The National Cancer Institute studies show that cervical cancer affects about 0.6 percent of women in their lifetime.
When To See a Doctor
Brown discharge is less commonly a cause of concern and does not require you to see your doctor. However, you should see your doctor if you get brown discharge that:
smells bad goes on for a number of weeks happens often after sex is accompanied by itching in the vagina is accompanied by cramping or pain
Sometimes, the brown discharge may be a sign of a very serious condition. When this is the case, there are other symptoms that accompany the brown discharge. If you experience these symptoms, you should see your doctor straight away.
The breast-feeding women are aware of how the breasts feel and they normally notice changes in their bodies. During lactation, it is common to get breast lumps making women to be worried about breast cancer. Is there a Link Between Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer?
It is common to find that women with breast cancer are concerned about the safety of breast-feeding. They also do not know whether the treatment of the cancer will affect the baby.
In this article, we explore whether there is a relationship between breast-feeding and breast cancer.
You can get breast cancer if you are breast-feeding, although it is very rare. There are 3 percent of breast-feeding women in breast cancer cases.
Research by National Cancer Institute suggests that the risk of getting breast cancer is higher in the years after pregnancy and childbirth. The increased risk is a result of changes in hormones during pregnancy. However, generally, breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer, particularly in premenopausal women.
The period of pregnancy and breast-feeding will reduce the number of menstrual cycles a woman can have in a lifetime. This will lower the woman’s exposure to hormones that will increase the risk of cancers.
There are factors that make it difficult for lactating women to get a diagnosis of breast cancer, such as: Breast-feeding can bring symptoms similar to those of breast cancer.
A doctor may not think of testing a woman for cancer if she gets a lump when breastfeeding since there are likely causes.
Breast ultrasounds and mammograms can give a false positive or results that are not conclusive when breast-feeding. When a woman should see a doctor with a breast lump?
In many cases, the breast lumps in women who are breast-feeding are not cancerous and should not be a cause for worry.
However, you should see your doctor if a breast lump:
Does not go away Increasebs in size When pressed does not move within the tissue of the breast Dimples the skin or to look like an orange peel
Can you breast-feed if you have a breast cancer?
Usually, a doctor will recommend you stop breast-feeding if you have breast cancer. Treatments of breast cancers affect the supply of a woman’s milk and impact the baby negatively. The doctor will help you to determine the best treatment for you since it can be different from one person to another.
The possible treatments are:
This treatment uses medications that are very strong to destroy the body cancer cells. When undergoing chemotherapy, you need to stop breast-feeding.
It is done to remove the cancerous growth or a lump. In extreme cases, it can involve removal of one breast or both. The magnitude of the surgery will determine whether one can continue to breast-feed. Radiation. Whether a woman can continue breast-feeding while under radiation depends on a particular type of therapy.
It is rare, to develop breast cancer while breast-feeding. Women should see their doctor when they have worries about their breasts. They should also make sure they have a clinical breast examination. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, discuss your options with the doctor such as whether you should continue to breast-feed or not.
Data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that just 6,000 cases of syphilis were reported in the year 2,000. Shockingly, more than 88,000 new cases of syphilis were reported in 2016.
Jessica Shepherd, an ob-gyn in Chicago notes that she has seen the number of these devastating STD infections grow tremendously since 2012.
Statistics from The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that syphilis normally affects men who sleep with men, although 10% of new diagnoses are among women.
Syphilis is a super-scary condition, and that’s what makes this alarming news. The bacterial infection is commonly spread through oral, anal, or vaginal sex. It progresses in three different stages. The seemingly prettier face of this condition is it can be easily treated with antibiotics in the first two stages. Nevertheless, if left untreated for 12 months, it becomes latent. This means you may have no symptoms but the bacteria can remain in your body for many years.
The bacteria can become active again after 10 to 30 years. The third stage happens to be the worst. Syphilis can damage your eyes, nerves, heart, and other organs. It can lead to death, permanent blindness, and paralysis.
Shepherd says it is important to go for a diagnosis at an early stage when it can be treated. If untreated during pregnancy, it can be passed on to babies. Most people note they have this venereal disease during the first or second stage. However, some people may not realize their symptoms are a result of the condition.
It is important to be on the lookout for the following symptoms of syphilis.
Swollen lymph glands and fever
A low-grade fever of about 100.4 to 100.6 degrees Fahrenheit can occur at any stage. It can last for a few days or a couple of months. Though fever can be triggered by many things, you should contact your doctor if you suspect syphilis.
You may notice patchy bald spots (syphilitic alopecia) on your scalp during the secondary stages of syphilis. Shepherd notes that this is not a major symptom of syphilis because hair loss can be caused by changes in hormones, medical conditions, and medications. She adds that to suspect syphilis, hair loss should be accompanied by other symptoms like skin rash.
A funky skin rash can occur anywhere during the secondary stage of untreated syphilis. This rash manifests as a small, rough red bump that may disappear unnoticed as it is non-itchy. Most syphilis rashes appear on the soles of your feet or palm of your hands but they are not localized. It is an indication that the bacteria is traveling through your blood and may start affecting other body areas other than where the infection took place.
Sores in moist areas
Multiple large gray or white sores can appear on moist skin surfaces including underarm, groin, mouth, anus, or vagina. They may look like genital warts and are also not painful. Shepherd recommends booking an appointment with your ob-gyn if you notice these types of bumps.
Some women lose a couple of pounds during the secondary stage of syphilis. Other symptoms that may accompany weight loss include muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, and sore throat.
Clumsiness and sensory deficits
If untreated, syphilis advances to the tertiary stage whereby it affects the brain. It causes a condition known as neurosyphilis. In reference to the CDC, this condition affects about 10% of patients who fail to seek syphilis treatment at an early stage. It can lead to meningitis, brain damage, or spinal cord inflammation.
Untreated syphilis can lead to vision impairment or permanent blindness during the tertiary stage. Being a blood-borne pathogen, syphilis can impair the function of any organ including the brain.
Your wedding day is right around the corner, and you’re feeling a lot of emotions. You’re worried whether the cake will be ready on time, you have a dress drama, and the weather report just gave you bad news. It’s natural to want your day to be perfect. But stress is one precursor to unexpected weight gain.
Unfortunately, sometimes we unknowingly have habits that cause us to pack on excess pounds when we least expect it. Planning your wedding is no exception. Here are four things people do that can cause weight gain before their big day.
Forgetting to Eat
A major misconception is that if you skip a meal, you’ll cut back on calories and lose weight. In fact, 31 million people in the U.S. skip breakfast. Contrary to what you may have heard, skipping meals is not healthy and can lead to packing on extra pounds. Your anxiety is high right now, but don’t skip any meals, especially breakfast. Our bodies are programmed to store excess energy in fat cells, and skipping meals slows your metabolism.
Adding more things to your planning list is overwhelming. However, try planning your meals to help you avoid skipping them. The bottom line is that metabolism plays a vital role in weight control. So, don’t forget to eat.
Eating Too Fast
You have the wedding planner who calls throughout the day, the wedding rehearsal dinner, and wedding party fires to put out. You have very limited time for yourself. But don’t eat your meals too quickly. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to send out signals of fullness. When you eat too fast, your body doesn’t know that you’re full, so you may overeat.
Try to drink two glasses of water before you eat so that you feel fuller. Then try putting your fork down between bites. Give your body time to digest your food and signal that you’re full.
Opting for Diet Drinks
You’ve opted for diet soda versus regular soda. You think you’ve made a great choice and are doing well before your big day. Well, that’s not entirely true. Epidemiologic data suggest that people who consumed artificially sweetened beverages gained more weight than people who didn’t. If you’re trying to lose weight before your big day, make sure you’ve done your research. To help you avoid making bad choices, resources like LifeSum can provide health education to help you with your weight loss journey.
It’s true that sleep affects weight. Sleep loss affects secretion of the hormone cortisol, which regulates appetite. Then your brain makes terrible choices, like buying a large latte to keep you fueled. Also, when you’re sleep-deprived, you’re more likely to snack late at night.
So let your wedding planner handle stressful tasks because that’s his or her job. Set aside a specific time for sleep, and stick to it. Make sure others are aware of your sleep time, and make sure they respect it.
Getting married is a stressful time and can lead to unintentional weight gain. Self-awareness and control will help prevent adding extra pounds before your big day.
The pelvis lies somewhere between the upper part of your thighs and the belly button. Whether you are a man or a woman, you can experience pain in this region of your body. Pain in your pelvis usually occurs if there is a problem with your digestive tract, urinary tract, or reproductive organs.
Although women can experience pelvic pain during menstruation, there is no need to panic. However, it may require seeking medical intervention if the pain becomes serious.
Let’s have a look on possible causes of pelvic pain.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) can result due to bacteria. Infections can affect your kidneys, bladder, or urethra. UTIs mostly affect women with between 40% and 60% reporting such infections in their lifetime.
Sexually transmitted infections like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can cause pelvic pain. People between the ages of 15 and 24 are the most affected by these two STIs. Men usually experience pain in their testicles while it occurs in women when passing urine or during a bowel movement.
A hernia happens when a tissue or an organ pushes through weak muscles in your chest, thigh, or abdomen. It creates an achy bulge and may be painful. You can either push the bulge in or let it disappear when you lie down.
Appendicitis occurs when your appendix becomes swollen. It usually affects people aged between 13 and 30. The pain starts suddenly and can become severe. It can be centered on the lower right side of your abdomen or around the belly button.
This condition occurs when minerals such as uric acid or calcium clump together in your urine. It may form hard rocks sometimes. The condition is more common in men than women. You may not notice any symptoms until the stones start moving.
This is an inflammation caused by an infection of the urinary tract, particularly the bladder. The pain may be accompanied by other symptoms such as strong urge to urinate, burning pain when urinating, blood in the urine, strong-smelling urine, or low-grade fever.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS can manifest as intestinal symptoms such as cramps. It’s usually common in women than men. IBS abdominal pain usually improves after a bowel movement. Other symptoms associated with IBS include diarrhea, bloating, gas, constipation, and mucus in the stool.
Pudendal nerve entrapment
The nerve that supplies feelings to your anus, genitals, and urethra is known as pudendal. You can experience pain after an injury, surgery or when a growth puts pressure on this nerve. The pain can feel like an electric shock around the genitals or the surrounding region. The pain becomes worse when you are seated and improves while standing.
Adhesions occur when scar-like tissues in your abdomen stick together. It usually affect about 93% of people who undergo abdominal surgery. Although adhesions are usually painless, they can cause belly pain. Contact your doctor if you experience symptoms like vomiting, nausea, constipation, or swollen belly.
Pelvic Pain in Women
There are some causes of pelvic pain that only women experience. They include:
Also known as “middle pain,” this condition usually causes pain in the pelvis and lower belly in some women when ovulating. The pain that lasts for a few minutes to hours occurs on the side where the egg is released. It is good to inform your doctor if it becomes serious or accompanied by other symptoms like nausea and vomiting.
Menstrual Cramps and Premenstrual Syndrome
The majority of women experience cramps prior and during their monthly period. The discomfort is triggered by hormonal changes and contraction of the uterus. The cramps are normally mild but can become serious sometimes. Other symptoms that can accompany cramps include nausea, vomiting, bloating, fatigue, food cravings, moodiness, and headaches.
This is the loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy. A miscarriage can trigger severe pain or cramp in your belly. It can be accompanied by bleeding.
This is a condition where a fertilized gee grows outside the uterus, particularly along the fallopian tube. It can be life threatening if it bursts the fallopian tube.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PID occurs when the reproductive tract of a woman becomes infected with bacteria. The infection starts from the vagina and spreads toward the fallopian tube, ovaries and other organs.
Ovarian Cyst Rapture
Cysts are sacs filled with fluids that usually form in your ovaries. Although most women get cysts, they don’t recognize any symptoms. Nevertheless, you can experience abdominal pain if a cyst bursts or twists.
Other Causes of Pelvic Pain in Women
Uterine fibroids: Growths on the uterine wall. Endometriosis: Occurs when tissue outside your uterus tries to shed every month. Pelvic congestion syndrome: Thick ropy varicose veins form around the ovaries. Pelvic relapse: Weakening of the muscles that support the uterus, especially in older women. Other Causes of pelvic Pain in Men Bacterial prostatitis: Swelling and inflammation of the prostrate gland. Chronic Pelvic pain syndrome: A long-term pelvic pain without infection. Urethral stricture: Blockage or narrowing of the urethra due to injury, swelling, or infection. Benign prostatic hyperplasia: noncancerous expansion of the prostrate gland. Post-vasectomy pain syndrome: Testicular pain for more than 3 months after surgery
When to Seek Medical Assistance
There is nothing to worry about if your pelvic pain is mild or temporarily. However, contact your doctor immediately if the pain doesn’t disappear in one week. Also, seek medical help if you are accompanied by these symptoms: Traces of blood in urine Trouble when urinating Chills Fever Foul-smelling urine Difficulties during bowel movement. Bleeding between monthly periods.