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

First visit to gynecologist

Taking care of your health is very important. Regular visits to your general practitioner as well as to a gynecologist are must if you care about your body and want to stay healthy. Specialists say that women need to see their gynecologist at least once a year since the beginning of their sexual life. Others say that it is important to have a first gynecological exam for women who have not yet started being sexually active but have reached the age of 18. And of course, in case a woman has problems with her reproductive system she needs to see her gynecologist at any age.
A gynecological examination is something that many women are afraid of before they actually have it for the first time. Here is a list of the things that are going to happen during your first visit to a gynecologist, including the preparation before it.

Before the Exam

When you decide to make an appointment with your gynecologist, do make sure that your visit will be during the middle of your menstrual cycle. Once the appointment is scheduled avoid having sexual intercourse, vaginal douche or putting anything, like tampons into your vagina two days before it. You are advised to think and write a list of any questions and queries you would like to ask your doctor. In addition, think of your choices when birth control method is concerned.

On the day of your scheduled exam you do not need to do anything special. You should shower normally with soap and water, avoiding talc or cream since it could affect test results. It is best for you to wear comfortable clothes in order to feel calm when you have to get undressed.

On the Day of the Exam

Before your examination a nurse may ask for urine and blood samples for the test. The nurse will also weigh and measure you and your blood pressure. Afterwards you will talk to your doctor, who will ask various questions about your previous medical history, your family history and past surgeries. It is also important for you to remember when your first period was and what it is like – whether it is regular, how long it lasts etc. It is important to tell your doctor whether you are sexually active or not. Feel free to ask any questions you want.

Your gynecologist will then ask you to undress and leave you alone in a room for a while. You will also be given a hospital gown or drape sheet, which will help you feel more comfortable and relaxed. After you are ready, the doctor will ask you to sit on the examining table putting your feet in the foot rests.

Physical and External Genitalia Exams

Physical examination includes palpation of the breasts to check for any abnormalities, pelvic, abdominal and manual exams. The gynecologist will examine your external genitalia with latex gloves on. Your vulva will be examined for any pathologic symptoms. Physical examination should not be painful but if it is, you should tell your doctor straight away, since this could be a sign of certain pathology.

Speculum Examination

The speculum exam follows the physical examination. The gynecologist will insert a lubricated speculum into the vagina to check for any abnormalities like cysts, erosions, irritations and others. Before the speculum is inserted the doctor will first slip a finger into your vagina to find the cervix and detect the vaginal angle. 

During this exam the Pap smear is taken. This means that a few cells of your cervix will be swiped with a brush or spatula. This is not painful but may cause some spotting for the patient afterwards, which should not be painful either. The doctor will then collect samples for sexually transmitted diseases tests. Only then the speculum will be gently removed from a woman’s vagina and the examination will be over.

Bimanual Exam

During this part of gynecological examination the gynecologist will lubricate her/his two (second and third) fingers and put them into the vagina. The doctor will put another hand on the abdomen in order to palpate the uterus and ovaries and check for any swelling or growths.

Bimanual exam ends the gynecological examination, which normally takes not longer than 5 minutes. You may now remove your legs from the stirrups and get up from the examination table and get dressed.

After the Exam

You may ask any questions about your examination after it is over. The doctor can do some tests in the own laboratory, therefore you will be able to discuss the results of some tests on the same day. Results of the other tests performed may take a few days, and hence you will need to come back once again for them.

In case any treatment is needed the gynecologist will prescribe certain medications. He/she will also recommend you a method of birth control if you need one. Remember to ask any questions that you wish about your test results, choices of birth control, treatment or sexual life. Your gynecologist is there for you to help and give any information you need.

As you can see there is nothing to fear about the gynecological examination. If you still have any concerns about the exam, feel free to ask your friends, your sister or your mother as there is nothing embarrassing about it. And after you have had your first gynecological examination you will practically know that it is nothing extraordinary, uncomfortable but very informative and important for every woman. Remember, that staying healthy is taking care of your body and health.