Menopause

Women are unique in their nature. Their body changes and women stop to be reproductively available after they have lived half of their lives. These changes are normal, natural and affect not only the physical but also psychological part of women. Some people compare menopause to the metamorphosis of a butterfly — women also have to take time during this period and stay with themselves alone, like a future butterfly in a cocoon.

What is menopause?

Menopause literally means the last menstruation. Menstruation usually stops because the levels of estrogen and progesterone are so low that they are not able to stimulate endometrium and it becomes very thin and, hence, does not bleed. Usually menopause comes to women when they are in their early/mid 40s to late 50s/early 60s. Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop to produce hormones because they have too few egg cells.

The period before menopause is called a climacteric period during which hormones are changing, fluctuating but are still able to stimulate endometrium and cause menstrual bleeding.

The period from the occurrence of menopausal symptoms to postmenopause is called perimenopause.

The period after the last menstrual flow is postmenopause and is generally described as a 12-month period with no menstruations when ovaries are intact and straight after the surgery when the ovaries have been taken out.

Menopause symptoms

Women going through perimenopause and menopause experience unpleasant symptoms that may interfere with their normal life. These symptoms are hot flashes, night sweats, heart palpitations and migraine headaches. Breast swelling and tenderness may occur resulting in discomfort. Your periods will become irregular and vaginal dryness will occur. You may feel unhappy about your changed libido, you may have to adjust lower or greater sex drive. Other symptoms include skin changes, bone loss, changed thinking and sleeplessness.

Menopause treatment

Menopause is a normal change in a female life. It is not an illness and has no specific treatment and it does not have to be cured. However, medical staff has some methods that may treat the bothering menopause symptoms.

Hot flashes may be treated with soy protein since it contains phytoestrogens, the natural plant estrogens that may replace the deficiency of human estrogens. Lifestyle modifications are also known to be effective in overcoming hot flashes. A woman should exercise regularly and avoid food substances, such as alcohol, caffeine, and spicy food, that stimulate the occurrence of hot flashes.

Weight gain may be avoided if a woman controls her diet and exercises more. In order to prevent the development of osteoporosis, females should maintain normal calcium intake and perform regular exercise.

A well-known treatment method is hormone replacement therapy, which includes a combination therapy of estrogen and progesterone or estrogen itself. This type of treatment is considered to be helpful for building up the bone mass, decreasing cholesterol level, and decreases the number of fractures.

Bear in mind that some women may find it hard to accept the changes of their body and mind. Therefore, family support is vital. In addition, a woman should try to understand the changes and accept them as a normal progression of their lives.

Recommended e-books:

  1. How to conquer menopause
  2. Menopause relief secrets

Infertility

Infertility is defined as inability to naturally conceive a baby or carry it out. A couple is concerned to be infertile when it cannot conceive a baby or carry the pregnancy to term after a year of practicing normal sexual intercourse.

Healthy couples in the middle of their 20’s have an estimated chance of 25% to become pregnant in every month.

Infertility causes

6.1 million of adults are infertile in the United States. One third of cases is due to female infertility, another one third accounts for male infertility, 15% of infertile cases is due to the factors of both partners and the rest is considered to be unexplained cases.

Infertility is classified as primary and secondary infertility.

Primary infertility is when a couple cannot conceive a baby and they have had no babies before. For example, Robertsonian translocation in the chromosomes causes recurrent abortions or complete infertility.

Secondary infertility is defined when a couple have already had a baby but is not able to conceive another one or carry the pregnancy to term. This may occur due to many medical conditions, illnesses, traumas etc. In addition, a couple may not be able to have a baby due to age or because they are in a big stress of becoming another baby. If either of the partners in a couple has been changed, infertility is not considered to be secondary.

Female infertility

Female factors include various hormonal disorders, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, adrenal disease. Also, female infertility may be caused by serious diseases of the liver and kidneys. Even psychological factors play an important role. There are several central factors, associated with different hypothalamic-pituitary disorders, such as hypopituitarism and hypothalamic dysfunction. Many gynecological diseases and syndromes may impair reproductive function. These include ovarian disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, luteal dysfunction, ovarian neoplasm and many others. Tubal occlusion, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and pelvic adhesions are the most frequent reasons of female infertility.

Some conditions, related to the uterus, cervix and vagina may also affect fertility. These are vaginismus, vaginal obstruction, cervical stenosis, antisperm antibodies found in the cervix, insufficient cervical mucus, so the sperm cannot travel further and survive.

Certain genetic or inborn disorders also result in female infertility. These include uterine malformations, Asherman’s syndrome, intersexed conditions, turner syndrome.

 

Male infertility

Males may also be infertile due to hormonal disorders, which affect the development of their reproductive system and the sperm. Such disorders include diabetes, thyroid, hyperprolactinemia, hypopituitarism, hypogonadism. Fertility may be affected by psychological factors, alcohol, drugs and smoking. Some genetic causes impair the fertility function, such as Klinefelter syndrome. There are also many specific testicular reasons which result in infertility. These are cryptorchidism, hydrocele, varicocele, seminoma, neoplasm of the seminal cells. Mumps, a simple childhood disease, may affect the reproductive function. Different posttesticular factors, such as obstruction of the vas deferens, infection, impotence, retrograde ejaculation, when the sperm does not come out from the urethra but redirects to the urinary bladder, affect reproductive function of a man. And finally, the quality of the sperm, which is defined by its motility and number of sperm present in the ejaculate, is also very important for a man to fertilize a woman. A man may produce too few sperm or it can be of poor motility.

Combined factors

The couple may be infertile if both of the partners are infertile or only one of the partners have reproductive deficiency or, in a woman’s case, she is not able to carry the pregnancy to term. Also, there are cases when individually both partners are fertile but being together, they need assistance in having a baby.

Infertility treatment

There are various treatment options, which are used depending on the disorder. Fertility medicines, such as clomifene citrate, are used to stimulate ovulation. Obstructed Fallopian tubes can be treated with surgery, called tuboplasty. In vitro fertilization is especially popular these days. In in vitro fertilization donor egs or sperm may be used when a couple’s reproductive cells are unusable or impaired. Intracytoplasm sperm injection, zygote intrafallopian transfer and gamete intrefallopian transfer are three modifications of in vitro fertilization.

Recommended e-books:

  1. Become pregnant
  2. Conception secrets – how to get pregnant fast
  3. Uncover answers to infertility
  4. Pregnancy success

PMS

Imagine the situation: you come home from work after a terribly long day during which your female boss was scolding you all day long, your secretary got insulted and burst into tears when you asked her to bring you a cup of morning coffee, and finally your wife/better half/lover locked herself in your bedroom in front of TV with a giant jar of chocolate-peanut butter ice-cream. Have you tried asking “What’s wrong?” Did it get worse? I bet it did.

PMS medicine

This is what the male friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and life partners of more than 45 million women worldwide are going through at least once a month: they have to deal with all possible women’s mood changes caused by anxiety, depression, cramps, heaviness and headache. They feel irritable, start crying without reason, find themselves confused, lost, clumsy, absent-minded, withdrawn, and paranoid and even have suicidal thoughts. They don’t feel beautiful and if one tries to compliment them, everything turns to another drama on the monthly basis.

Don’t be surprised when the conversation with the verbal and physical expression of sympathy, care and love will turn into the outpouring of the swearwords, names and reasonless charges. Does something like ‘I need a hug, GET LOST!, I miss you, I WANNA BE ALONE!, kiss me, I HATE YOU!’ uttered at the same time sound familiar to you? I wouldn’t be surprised if the only thing you would want to ask in the situation like this would be ‘Honey please make sense!’

PMS symptoms

Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact reasons of PMS are unknown. It is also unknown why some of us can go into extremes, some have fairly mild symptoms, and others do not feel anything at all. However, doctors believe that PMS, depression and physical discomfort has something to do with neurochemical changes in women’s brain.

Recent studies proved that female hormone estrogen makes its contribution to PMS as well. It has a feature of increasing brain activity and action of the heart. It also explains why some women tend to gain wait before their period starts, which definitely is one more reason for a woman to feel irritated and out of control.

You Can Avoid It, if You’re… Lucky

The more you try to make the situation better, the less successful you are. It’s one more of those general truths. You may try to approach a woman with a PMS symptoms by making jokes and using such euphemistic words as Aunt Flo, Monthly Visitor, Special Friend etc.; you may pretend that you understand and support her, you may constantly tell her how beautiful, lovely and fabulous she is, but none of that would work. The only thing that might help is consulting the calendar and getting yourself emotionally ready for the upcoming outburst of PMS symptoms. You might be lucky and get it right! And in case you didn’t, it would at least be a good reminder of when to go to the store and get some chocolate, ice-cream and chocolate chip cookie dough. Take a deep breath man and go, just go!

Ineffective birth control

All the people having sexual intercourse consider the chance of pregnancy. Therefore, the majority of them are using contraceptive methods. However, not all birth control methods are equally effective or ineffective at all.

DOUCHING

Some women also use misleading method which is called douching. It is used right after sex when women expects to ‘clean’ vagina and vulva from sperm by vaginal douche. However, this method is completely ineffective as this process, on the contrast, puts sperm only deeper in vagina which is followed by a huge chance to become pregnant. In addition, the organism of every woman has an ability to clean itself. Therefore, there is no need for vaginal douche.

WITHDRAWAL

This method is used by immense amount of couples since they discovered that pregnancy is that result of man’s ejaculation into vagina. This is the natural way to avoid pregnancy as it doesn’t require any other additional costs or contraceptives. If any other birth control methods are not available at certain moment, man just has to take out his penis from vagina just before he ejaculates and ‘come’ somewhere away from vulva. However, man must be familiar to his body as much as possible to ejaculate in time. Moreover, there must very strong trust between partners of intercourse. Therefore, all these aspects influence this method to be considered as ineffective birth control. The rate of failure is as high as 19%. It is also very important to emphasize that during the intercourse before ejaculation certain ‘pre-ejaculation’ fluid comes out of sperm. Usually it is lubricating fluid; however, it happens that some sperm can also be present. Hence, man who is has not familiar to his body enough or has no experience or ejaculate prematurely should not practice the method of withdrawal.

OTHER INEFFECTIVE METHODS TO AVOID PREGNANCY:

  • Pills and antibiotics. Both of the drugs used together can result in pregnancy. Some antibiotics and drugs can make birth control pills ineffective; therefore, it is important to ask the doctor before taking antibiotics.
  • Stand up after intercourse. Some misguided women think that you should immediately stand after sexual intercourse in order to stop sperm going towards uterus. However, sperm start moving at the same moment it is inside.
  • Man having hot bath before sex. It has no connection with avoiding pregnancy.
  • Refraining orgasm of women or breastfeeding. Totally ineffective!

Virginity

People usually associate this word with the white wedding dress and innocence. However, today it is not as important and widespread as it used to be. To put it in a term, a girl is a virgin until the moment she has sex for the first time.

Losing virginity

The process of losing virginity is explained clearly from the physiological point of view. During the first sexual intercourse the hymen or a membrane is physically torn. A hymen is a part of vulva and it in a way closes the entrance to vagina. Therefore, after the first time penis goes into vagina and membrane is torn woman is considered not a virgin any more. However, the absence of hymen doesn’t necessary mean that women had sex already. It can happen that woman was born without it or the hymen disappeared itself during the lifetime. Women can also loose hymen in the process of exercising or using a tampon. It is also possible the women can have very thick membrane. In this case, she needs surgical cutting or total removal of hymen.

Second virginity

Some people wish to get back their virginity. Therefore, they choose to become virgins for the second time. They succeed achieving this by abstaining from sex . Some choose to do it for several month, others needs years while third category of these people choose to have sex only after marriage.

People decide to renew virginity for several reasons. Firstly, it can happen that you had your first sexual intercourse too early. Despite of this fact, person wants to have normal further sexual life and tries convincing itself and a new partner about being virgin. Secondly, many people consider virginity being a symbol of power – the physical and mental power to control your body. We can also look at the etymology of this word. The origin comes from old Greek word ‘Virgo’ that associates with the ancient goodness of power. Finally, it can happen that you lost your virginity because of the rape or any other kind of pressured sex. It is normal that you still want to have your real first time with the person you love.

Men virginity

From the medical point of view, we can indicate if the man had sex before. They have a skin, in a way similar to the women’s hymen, and they loose it during the first sexual intercourse. This piece of skin is called ‘frenulum’ and it is situated immediately below the tip on the underside of the penis. It is not a true indicator; however, absence of this piece of skin shows that man has a little or no experience in sex.

Male menopause

It was discovered that males are suffering from the menopause as well as women do. They even share the same symptoms. Men can experience it even at the age of 30; however, usually it appears when he is between 45 and 60 years. After the years of 40, the male hormone testosterone produces noticeably less than before. Testosterone motivates the sexual drive, and is responsible for bone and muscle development in male and sexual development while he is still a boy. However, even the healthiest man by the age of 80 will have amount of testosterone at the level of pre-puberty.

Male menopause causes

There are some factors, which can have an affect on the man’s heath and can cause male menopause. These include smoking, intensive consumption of alcohol, obesity, hypertension, poor or incorrect diet, lack of exercise, psychological problems and, eventually, a mid-life crisis. But all mentioned causes are treatable.

Male menopause symptoms

As it was mentioned before, the symptoms are very similar to those that women have. However, the difference is that not all the men experience it. Only 40 % out of all men that are between 40 and 60 will suffer for stress, depression, mood swing, irritability, sleep disturbances, reduced libido and potency. Even 51 % of healthy man can experience certain degree of impotence. Age is not the problem – 40 % of man can perform normal erection up to 70 years or more. It can happen by combination of other diseases. Total impotence and sexual frustration can become a problem because of the lack of understanding of the partner.

Male menopause treatment

First of all, it is very important for a man to admit the chance that he might be suffering from male menopause . Moreover, he should realize that it is a simple disease and is treatable. Man should choose the effective way to reduce stress as much as possible. Spend more time for pleasure and get enough hours to sleep. They also should change their diet into healthy one – eat more nutritious, low-fat, high-fiber products. It can also cured by reducing the amount of alcohol and caffeine and start drinking more water, exercising. Finally, this is extremely important, to find people to talk to, have a friendly chat about the concerning problems.

Male menopause risks

The male menopause should be treated very carefully. Otherwise, it can result in diseases that are worse than this one. Increasing level of testosterone might result even in prostate cancer. By increasing androgen level male might also start suffering from heart diseases or liver diseases. Therefore, it is very important to start treating male menopause carefully.

Recommended e-books:

  1. How to conquer menopause
  2. Menopause relief secrets

Pregnancy test

Sometimes it happens that women forget to take a birth control pill or to use another birth control method or just family decided to have a baby. The result is the same in both situations – no menstruations and nausea. Well, it looks you may be pregnant! How to check it without going to gynecologist? Home pregnancy test (HPT) will help to test the presence of a pregnancy after 2-3 weeks after ovulation.

The history of pregnancy test

Women tried to test the presence of pregnancy even in Antiquity – the ancient Egyptians watered bags of wheat and barley with the urine of possibly pregnant woman. In the beginning of XX century, there were used so-called “rabbit tests” – it was discovered that it is possible to test pregnancy if you inject the urine possibly pregnant woman into a rabbit. There would be corpora hemorrhagica in the ovaries of the rabbit. To see bulging masses on the ovaries, it was necessary to kill the rabbit, so even if woman was not pregnant, poor rabbit would die.

Fortunately, today we don’t have to kill any rabbits to find out the pregnancy. Pregnancy tests today look for Human Chorionic Gonadtropin (hCG) – a hormone produced during pregnancy and to tests are easier to perform – all you need is blood or urine.

Home pregnancy test – how to take it?

New home pregnancy tests can find out the presence of pregnancy even after 2-3 weeks after ovulation. These pregnancy tests are sensitive to measure the hCG hormone in woman urine. Testing kit is very easy to use. First what you have to do – check the expiration date and make sure that testing kit is still valid to use. Read the directions carefully, because they can vary from brand to brand, for ex., some brands recommend to value results after 5 min, another after 10 min. In addition, some tests vary in the displaying results – one show pink lines on the test strip, another reveal a red plus or minus sign.  Next step – make a pee and drop as many urine drops to indicator as it’s written in directions and wait 5-10 min (as it is recommended in directions). Usually for better and more accurate results, it’s recommended to use morning urine. Remember, do not read results after 10 minutes!

Now you can value the result – positive pregnancy test result – two coloured lines on the test strip, negative pregnancy test result – one coloured line on the test strip. The result is invalid if no red line appears on control window or if a line appears only in test window.

False positive result

A false positive result – when test shows the presence of pregnancy, but woman is not pregnant. It may happen when woman have so-called “chemical pregnancy”. It means, that a fertilized egg implanted into woman’s uterus and developed enough to start producing hCG, but then stopped developing. If it happens, woman will go on having menstruation. Whereas new generation of pregnancy tests is sensitive to measure pregnancy in an initial stage, it’s recommended to wait for about a week after period is due.

So, if you pregnancy test result is positive, you have to immediately consult with your gynecologist about your pregnancy. Even if your pregnancy test result is negative, but you feel being pregnant, you should take another test some days later and consult with gynecologist.

The reliability of birth control methods

This information will let you know which method of birth control has the highest reliability and efficiency and which one you should avoid to use.

 Birth control methods
 Reliability/Efficiency
 Tubal ligation /vasectomy  99.6 – 100%
 IUD "Mirena"  99.8 – 100%
 Copper IUD  98 – 99.7%
 Injectables  99.4 – 99.9%
 Birth control pills  99.8 – 100%
 Contraceptive patch  92 – 99.7%
 Contraceptive ring  92 – 99.1%
 Progestin-only pills  92 – 98%
 Cervical cap  90 – 95%
 Male condom  88 – 95.8%
 Female condom  79 – 95%
 Natural family planning  80 – 86.6%
 Spermicides  79 – 99.7%
 Emergency contraception  75 – 80% (onetime)
 No birth control  15 – 56.9%

Contraceptive patch vs. Birth control pills

The contraceptive patch has his one big advantage – once you placed it, you don not need to do anything for the whole week. However, women really have unlimited fantasy about the contraceptive patch – they think if you take a birth control pill, it means that you use a drug, but if you stick contraceptive patch, it does not mean that you use drugs, because we do not stick drugs directly on the skin. In addition, there is a disinformation that the patch is non-hormone birth control method , because it contains something like “special non-hormone substance”. That’s why many women think that contraceptive patch is “something special” and is safer then birth control pills. However, it is not true.

The similarity between contraceptive patch and birth control pills

It is not difficult to list the similarity between contraceptive patch and birth control pill . Firstly, they contain the same hormones in the same doses – estrogen and progestin. Also both of them work in the same way – prevent ovulation, the liver turns both hormones in inactive form and they are eliminated from organism through kidney and intestine. In addition, both of them have the same side effects and similar reliability.

Difference between contraceptive patch and birth control pills

You can see a clear-cut distinction between these birth control methods when the contraceptive patch is compared with new generation of birth control pills. Birth control pills can treat acne, while contraceptive patch can cause it; birth control pills treat or reduce PMS symptoms, while contraceptive patch doesn’t have such effect. New progestin, which is used in birth control pills, does not have any influence on metabolism, so you can use pills as long as you would like to do it, while the patch contains progestin, which splits in liver into a substance that have strong androgenic effect.

Birth control methods and alcohol

There have been made lots of scientific reports on the reaction of alcohol and drugs, on the alcohol influence on human body overall. Also many people especially youngsters are wondering how alcohol affect birth control . Good to know that people care about that. In most cases it is concentrated on the pills interaction with alcohol. But there is also another side of other contraceptives and alcohol.

To begin with alcohol does not decrease the effect of the birth control pills . The 99% effectiveness stays the same using alcohol or not together with the pills. But on the other hand it makes you get drunk much more quick. Also it might be that alcohol can make you sick and by vomiting the pill will be thrown together. Of course in this case it will not have any protection.

Second thing to discuss is the indirect influence of alcohol on the birth control . What does alcohol make you feel? Probably more relaxed, happier, not so concentrated as being sober. It has been determined that women even agree to have sex with the accidental partner rather than not being drunk. As a rule condoms or other types of contraceptives are forgotten. As a result in many cases it appears that woman gets pregnant. In such kind of situations people risk to catch the sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

Of course every situation is individual and those who really care about themselves and the person they are interacting with will not blame alcohol for not preventing from the gestation. Actually there has been a study on alcohol and birth control which showed that alcohol had no affect on condom or any other type of contraceptive use. And it also appeared that women were more likely to discuss birth control and STD prevention .

So take care of yourself, respect your body. Even if it happens that you decide to have sex being drunk, try to remember to use the condoms or any other kind of birth control methods .