Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Five Most Common STD’s in Women

std

5 Most Common STDs In Women:

 

How To Spot Symptoms Of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

 

Untreated sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) cause infertility in at least 24,000 women each year in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC). These unacknowledged health issues can be very serious. For example, untreated syphilis in pregnant women causes infant death in up to 40 percent of all cases. It’s important to recognize the signs of an STD so that you can treat the infection before it becomes a health risk. Here are the most common STDs among women.

 

Chlamydia

The rate of infection of chlamydia among women is more than two and a half times the rate among men. Most people with chlamydia have no symptoms, but it can lead to serious health problems like infertility. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics for treatment. But even if you’ve been treated for chlamydia in the past, you can get the infection again.

 

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is similar to chlamydia in that women are more often affected than men. But, unlike the former, many more people with gonorrhea stay undiagnosed. Signs of the infection include painful urination and white, yellow, or green discharge.

 

Gonorrhea treatment involves two different antibiotics, but without medical care women can develop pelvic inflammatory disease.

 

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is more common in women than men, but it affects a whopping 20 percent of teens and adults. There is no cure for herpes. But your doctor can prescribe medicines that help prevent and ease the pain and shorten outbreaks — which is when it’s more likely to spread.

 

Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV)

HPV is the most common STD among both genders, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly every sexually active man and woman will contract at least one strain of HPV throughout their lifetime.

 

Most people with HPV do not know they are infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it. If untreated, women are the ones at risk. The virus is the main cause of cervical cancer.

 

Syphilis

It can take up to 90 days after exposure to syphilis, an infection caused by bacteria, for symptoms to appear. As previously stated, untreated syphilis in a mother is a serious life risk for an unborn baby. The STD can be treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

 

Last year, the rate of syphilis diagnosis actually decreased 21 percent among women, but increased 1.3 percent in males.

 

When it comes to unprotected sex, women naturally bear more of the consequences than men. Certainly, a man will never become pregnant after sex without a condom, but a woman also might bear, disproportionately, the consequences of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). Consider a few sobering facts: untreated STDs cause infertility in at least 24,000 women each year in the U.S. alone. You may be astonished to learn as well that untreated syphilis in pregnant women causes infant death in up to 40 percent of all cases. Finally, when it comes to untreated chlamydia, men suffer neither symptoms nor ill effects most of the time, while women can develop pelvic inflammatory disease which might lead to reproductive system damage.

 

So why are women impacted by STDs differently than men? A few key reasons go a long way to explaining feminine vulnerability:

One/ For many common STDs — including chlamydia and gonorrhea — women are less likely to show symptoms compared to men and when symptoms do occur, they may appear to go away even though the infection remains. More importantly, men find it easier to notice symptoms because they signs are so obvious — an unusual discharge, for example. Since women experience a whole range of natural discharges, all of them quite normal, they find it much more difficult to distinguish when an abnormal one appears.

 

Two/ Not only is the vagina a suitably moist environment where bacteria may easily flourish, but its lining is exceedingly more delicate and thinner than the skin of a penis. This natural fragility means viruses find it easier to penetrate.

 

Three/ Women have visibility issues. Notably, it’s harder for a woman to see a genital ulcer (from syphilis, say, or herpes) because they could occur only inside her vagina and not on the surface of her genitalia. Meanwhile, it’s difficult for a man to miss seeing a sore making its debut on his penis.

 

Four/ Finally, everyday sexually transmitted infections wreak havoc on a woman’s more gentle system while causing no problems in men. Along with chlamydia, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is contracted by both men and women frequently. However this common virus does not lead to serious (if any) health problems for most men while it is the main cause of cervical cancer in women. The fairer sex has been dealt an unequal hand.

 

So what’s a woman to do? In a phrase: protect yourself.

 

Speak Up

See your doctor, but more importantly talk to your doctor. There’s no shame in asking to be tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases, and this is true whether your visit is with your primary care physician or your ob/gyn. If you haven’t already been given one, you might want to ask for the HPV vaccine.

 

Don’t stop here, though. Once you get a sense of a partner’s sexual history, go all the way and ask about STDs, especially if he or she has been around the block a few times. Make it a joke, if you have to, but simply ask: Ever been tested for STDs?

 

Finally, and yes we’ve saved the best for last, use condoms. Imperfect though they may be, they offer a good deal of protection against STIs and pregnancy. You’re never perfectly safe, and sadly, even long-term boyfriends (and husbands) have been known to spread disease to their partners. It’s always worth it, knowing you’ve done your best at self-protection.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How One Drink A Day Can Affect Your Heart

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How Drinking Alcohol Every Day Affects Your Health

 

Having one drink each day could put your heart at risk for abnormalities for the rest of your life.

 

 

Having an occasional happy hour drink or celebratory toast doesn’t typically increase your risk of disease. In fact, having a glass of wine throughout the week has been found to improve your heart health. But if having a drink turn into an everyday habit, a team of researchers at the American Heart Association warn it could drastically increase your risk of irregular heartbeats and blood flow.

For the study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers recruited 5,220 American participants of the average age of 56. For six years, each participant underwent electrocardiograms (EKG), which is a way to measure the electrical activity of the heart in order to reveal any abnormalities. In addition, researchers surveyed participants to find out how much alcohol they consumed on a regular basis. Those who drank habitually every day – even if it was just one drink – were at the highest risk for atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that causes irregular beats and failure to pump blood properly.

 

“Our study provides the first human evidence of why daily, long-term alcohol consumption may lead to the development of this very common heart rhythm disturbance,” said the study’s senior author Dr. Gregory Marcus, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, in a statement. “We were somewhat surprised that a relatively small amount of alcohol was associated with a larger left atrium and subsequent atrial fibrillation.”

 

For every one drink a person had each day, not only did it increase their risk of developing atrial fibrillation by 5 percent, it also meant they were up to 75 percent more likely to have a larger heart chamber (left atrium). Living with these heart abnormalities greatly increases the risk of other conditions, such as high blood pressure, stroke, and abnormal heartbeats. Ultimately, this doubles a person’s risk of succumbing to a heart-related death. While alcohol’s effect on the heart is still not completely clear, researchers plan to continue exploring the link in order to reduce the risk of heart abnormalities.

 

“It’s not one size fits all when it comes to the effects of alcohol and heart health,” Marcus said. “Our hope is that by understanding the mechanistic relationship between alcohol and atrial fibrillation we might learn something inherent to atrial fibrillation in general that could help identify new ways of understanding and treating the disease.”

 

Health and Wellness Associates

  1. Dillon

312-972-WELL

 

Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Can Aspirin Reduce Your Risk of Cancer?

aspirin

Can Daily Aspirin Lower Cancer Death Risk?

Millions of Americans take low-dose aspirin every day for heart health. In doing so, they may also slightly lower their risk of dying from several cancers, a large new study suggests.

Researchers found that among more than 130,000 U.S. adults, those who regularly used aspirin were 7 percent to 11 percent less likely to die of cancer over the next few decades.

The risks of dying from colon, breast, prostate and — for men — lung cancer were all lower among regular aspirin users, compared to non-users, the findings showed.

The findings add to evidence that aspirin has cancer-fighting abilities, the researchers said. But they also stressed that people should not start popping a daily aspirin in the hopes of avoiding cancer.

There is strong evidence, from research in general, that low-dose aspirin may lower the risk of colon cancer, said Dr. Ernest Hawk, a professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) already recommends that certain older adults consider taking low-dose aspirin to curb their risk of colon cancer — as well as heart disease.

Specifically, the task force suggests that people in their 50s and 60s talk to their doctor about whether the benefits of daily aspirin outweigh the risks. The USPSTF is an independent medical panel that advises the federal government.

For one, he said, aspirin has risks, such as stomach bleeding and hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke. So people need to discuss those potential harms with their doctor.

Plus, even within the 50-to-69 age group, not everyone stands to benefit from aspirin to the same degree. The task force recommends that low-dose aspirin (typically 81 milligrams a day) be considered only for people at increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years.

Yin Cao, the lead researcher on the new study, agreed that people should not start using aspirin without talking to their doctor.

She said her findings “add evidence to support the USPSTF recommendation on colon cancer.”

But research has been more mixed regarding breast, prostate and lung cancers. And, the new findings don’t prove that aspirin use prevents those diseases, said Cao, an instructor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston.

The study included more than 130,000 U.S. health professionals who were followed for up to 32 years. They were asked about their aspirin use at the outset, and again every two years.

Nearly 13,000 study participants died of cancer over the next few decades. But the risks were somewhat lower for regular aspirin users, the study authors said.

The biggest difference was seen with colon cancer: Aspirin users were about 30 percent less likely to die of the disease.

In addition, women who used aspirin were 11 percent less likely to die of breast cancer, while men showed a 23 percent lower risk of dying from prostate cancer and a 14 percent lower risk of lung cancer death.

However, Hawk said, the findings can only point to correlations. “It’s always possible that aspirin use is a surrogate for a healthy lifestyle, in general,” he said.

Cao said her team tried to account for other lifestyle and health factors. But she agreed the findings don’t prove cause and effect.

Another issue is that no one knows how much aspirin is needed to see a benefit — or how long it takes to kick in, said Dr. Robin Mendelsohn.

“Many of the studies in colorectal cancer,” she said, “indicate that it takes many years to see a decrease in cancers [with aspirin use].”

Cao was scheduled to present the findings Monday at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. The results should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archved

312-972-WELL