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Menopause is that one magical day when a woman hasn’t had any menstrual bleeding for 12 months. The following day, she is considered post-menopausal. Women may experience menopause starting in their 40s or 50s. The average age is 51.
What most of us consider menopause is actually Peri-menopause, or as I call it, the Hormonal Roller Coaster. This is the time in life when periods are erratic, symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats begin and women start to feel more fatigued, notice some leaking urine, less sex drive and more wrinkles. (more…)
Everyone has questions about whether it’s ok to have sex in pregnancy, if intimacy will lead to labor or bleeding and whether it’s normal to be lots more interested or completely turned off. The trouble is, very few of us are comfortable asking our health care providers and so rely on friends or the internet (more…)
What? As a women’s health NP, we’re more consumed by measuring a mom’s growing tummy and reassuring her about the baby’s growth and development, not about any thoughts that women should try to have well-defined abdominal muscles. I read about this from Rachel Zarrell’s post with photos of pregnant women with baby bumps and defined abs via BuzzFeed. (more…)
Imagine how the Internet of Everything could change how we diagnose breast cancer!
This documentary, Detected follows the development of an amazing wearable technology that detects teeny tiny temperature changes within breast tissue and sends information via your smart phone to your physician about whether there is a concern for an increased risk of breast cancer.
Now imagine women around the world who don’t have access to mammograms and yet where cell phones are literally a lifeline. Now the Internet of Everything can help women who don’t even wear bras find worrisome risks and governments with few resources devise programs to screen women at highest risk so that precious resources can be used for treatments.
Welcome to a new world in Breast Cancer Screening. The movie, Detected, from Ironbound films, was shown in Austin at the South by Southwest Film festival. View the trailer here.
I’m reading Atul Gawande’s book Mortality and thought I’d share a story about how I care for my patients as they continue on life’s journey.
Katherine was one of my favorite patients. I met her when she was in her early 70’s and cared for her well into her 90’s. She was a breast cancer survivor and we were monitoring her bone health because she, like 1 in ?? women after menopause had developed osteoporosis. As she aged, our conversations changed. At each visit, she not only provided updates of her medical history, all of her new medications but I also heard the latest on her kids, saw the school photos of her grandkids, and best of all, listened to some of the best travel stories and advice before Trip Advisor was ever created. She and her husband took full advantage of retirement and managed 2- 3 trips each year to exotic locations I could only dream of.
I learned from caring for Katherine to live every moment. She brought in smudged black and white photos of her family smiling in their black rubber boots about to board a sea-plane in the early 60’s in the wilds of Alaska. I remember her telling me about a trip to St. Petersburg when she was 92, and how much she loved going back to visit Paris. “I love to walk wherever I go, the only thing that stops me now, is sometimes I get out of breath as I get older.”
This reminds me to add a few tips about your period and when to give your health care provider a call.
• Your daughter hasn’t had a period or shown any signs of puberty by age 14, including absence of:
– breast development
– underarm hair
– pubic hair
• There’s been a gap of greater than 3 months between periods
• Periods are occurring more frequently than every 21 days
• Periods are lasting more than 10 days
• The flow is so heavy, a tampon and/or a pad is getting soaked through in less than 1 hour, and this occurs for more than 1 day
This is a great video from Hello Flo! Click the image above or watch it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEcZmT0fiNM
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Mache Seibel, the founder and creator of My Menopause Magazine that’s available on iTunes.
Dr. Seibel teaches at Harvard and is an expert in many areas of women’s health. He offered up a wealth of information about how we can stay healthy as we age.
#1 Eat well – it almost goes without saying, but we can’t say it enough. Eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains while avoiding packaged and pre-prepared foods is one of the best ways to stay healthy.
Years of research will tell you what you see with your friends and family who are healthy. By eating choosing to have at least ½ of your plate filled with vegetables and having less red meat, you can avoid heart disease and diabetes.
#2 Sleep – We often forget how important sleep is for our well being. We all know that less sleep means more irritability and a shorter fuse, but you may also be surprised to learn that more sleep means a lowered risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Studies on night shift workers have found higher rates of obesity.
Many of us find that being tired leads to more food cravings. (more…)