Category Archives: Health

Why older men are healthier than older women: Lack of menopause leaves men feeling better (despite threat of dying younger)

Why older men are healthier than older women: Lack of menopause leaves men feeling better (despite threat of dying younger)

2018-11-30

By SAM BLANCHARD HEALTH REPORTER FOR MAILONLINE

Genes which come into play late in life could be the answer to why women suffer poorer health than men in old age – even though they live longer.

A study has revealed going through the menopause causes women to accumulate genes evolved to benefit males, which are bad for female health.

But because men can remain fertile long into old age, their bodies do not suffer the same decline when they pass middle age and they feel better for longer.

Women are still likely to live longer – in the UK their life expectancy is 82.9 years while men’s is 79.2 – but they can expect to be in worse health.

Scientists put the effect down to a genetic ‘sexual conflict’, where different genes benefit or harm the sexes in different ways and are in a constant ‘tug of war’.

Scientists at the University of Exeter did experiments on flies to track how genes change after the female body stops preparing to reproduce – the menopause.

They found because women no longer need to pass on their genes after middle age, they don’t produce as many which would keep them healthy in later life.

Whereas men remain fertile for longer so might need to pass on their genes at any time, meaning they are programmed to stay healthy and prepared to have children.

 

Five reasons why men visit the gynecologist

Five reasons why men visit the gynecologist

2018-11-29

While gynecologists are known to deal with sexual and reproductive health of women, they at times find themselves having to attend to male patients. Studies conducted over a period of time in different geographical areas show that at least 10% of people who seek professional advice and services from gynas are men.For men’s reproductive system queries, men are advised to see an urologist or an andrologist since they are trained in the field and are bound to give ways forward from their experience in the field. However, some men still find themselves straying into a gynecologist’s office once in a while.

Some of the reasons men who confessed to vising a gynecologist gave include;

Fertility problems

Being unable to sire children is a major problem for married couples and it prompts need for medial insights. Men who have issues with making their partners pregnant due to low sperm count or other infertility issues often find themselves seeing gynas. This can be as a couple or individually depending on a number of factors. Here, they get advised on why they can’t be fathers and how to go about it.

To accompany their spouse

Men and women have different needs at different times in their lives. This means that no matter how close you are to your partner, there are times you’ll be away from him and vice versa. Things like going to the salon, seeing your gyna and such are all female and most men do not even stop to wonder how it goes. For some though, accompanying you to your endeavors is not a task to them.

STDs/STIs

Sexually transmitted Diseases and Infections have bothered mankind for ages. Not keen to choose gender, they affect both men and women, often forcing them to seek health attention. According to gynecologists who talked about seeing male patients, some of the men who walk in through their doors are often in search for ways to handle STIs or such. Common diseases and infections bothering these men include Yeast infection, Gonorrhea and even Syphilis.

To know what women go through

Curiosity knows neither age nor boundaries. Just like some people want to know how some machinery works, there are men who are eager to know what happens to women at the gynecologists. These men will bear the stares they get once they walk into a gyna’s waiting roomful of women just to go through the experience. They necessarily do not have an issue to present to the gyna, they are just curious of the services offered.

Matters sexual health

Most men, almost all men are concern about their sexual life more than anything else. They want to know what is healthy for their reproductive system and its functionality from specialist. From ejaculation disorders, erectile dysfunction, low libido and such, some men get the impression that talking to a doctor who knows much about women reproductive health may give them a more satisfactory sex life.

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/article/2001304315/five-interesting-reasons-why-men-visit-the-gynecologist

To meet gender-related SDG targets, improve the resource allocation

To meet gender-related SDG targets, improve the resource allocation

2018-10-18

The low allocations, huge fluctuations over the years in funds, and the underspending clearly indicate that political interest in efficiently targeting the SDGs is marginal. Political interest is driven either for electoral gains or as firefighting mechanisms

Adequate resource allocation accounts for the continued deficit in health, nutrition and welfare outcomes for women and girls in India.

The trajectory towards realising the SDG targets is not going to be easy with the current level of political commitment to these issues. If this deficit has to be reduced in order to move towards the SDG targets in the stipulated time, budgets for service delivery have to be increased substantially without further delay.

Over the last few years, new programmes and schemes targeted at women and girls have been launched, especially in areas such as health, nutrition, livelihood and protection from abuse. Some progress has been made in law-making on domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex selection.However, inadequate allocation of resources have made implementation of these programmes and schemes ineffective or limited in their reach.

The health, nutrition and welfare deficit in India is still high when compared with countries of similar level of development such as Thailand or Mexico,or even countries which are less economically developed such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Within this, there are class, caste and gender inequities, as well as regional inequities. A large part of this deficit is due to inadequate budgetary allocations. Even resources committed in the budget are either underspent or used inefficiently.

The picture we get from the government’s own data sets such as NFHS, SRS and NSSO is that maternal and child mortality remains a major problem in many states in India. Access to basic healthcare services, including maternal, sexual and reproductive health is grossly inadequate. Violence against women and marriage before legal age continue to be high, despite stringent legal provisions and investment in supportive programmes and services.

On the positive side, we see an increased public debate and media attention to gender issues.This periodically leads to increase in budgetary allocations – for instance, when an epidemic strikes, or children die in large numbers due to malnourishment, or rape cases get highlighted in the media.

An assessment of budget allocations and expenditures of some of the key programmes and schemes targeted at reducing gender inequities leads to the conclusion that there is lack of serious intent in achieving the goals. These programmes and schemes are launched with much fanfare but end up being populist proclamations directed towards electoral outcomes or public relations exercises.

Early study results suggest fertility app as effective as modern family planning methods

Early study results suggest fertility app as effective as modern family planning methods

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER

Early results from a first-of-its-kind study suggests that typical use of a family planning app called Dot is as effective as other modern methods for avoiding an unplanned pregnancy.

Researchers from the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University Medical Center are studying women’s use of the app for 13 menstrual cycles, or about one year. The ongoing prospective study design is the first to apply best-practice guidelines for assessing fertility awareness based methods in the testing of an app.

The interim results following Dot’s use for six cycles are published in the journal Contraception (title: Estimating six-cycle efficacy of the Dot app for pregnancy prevention.) Dot is owned by Cycle Technologies, which is solely responsible for the app.

Dot provides a woman with information about her fertility status each day of her menstrual cycle. It uses an algorithm and machine learning to identify the fertile days of her cycle based on her cycle lengths.

After women had been in the study for six cycles, the researchers found that the app had a typical-use failure rate of 3.5 percent, which suggests that Dot’s one-year typical efficacy rate will be comparable to other modern family planning methods such as the pill, injections, and vaginal ring.

“Given the growing interest in fertility apps, it was important to provide these early results,” says Victoria Jennings, PhD, principal investigator of the Dot efficacy study and director of the IRH.

718 participants in the United States enrolled in the study, and 419 participants completed six cycles of use. There were 15 confirmed pregnancies from cycles when participants used the method incorrectly (such as having unprotected sex on days of high fertility). No pregnancies occurred in cycles when participants reported correct use of the app during high risk days for pregnancy.

“Our purpose is to provide guidance to women who want to use Dot as well as to health providers and policy makers who are interested in this emerging method of family planning,” Jennings says. “We hope this paper contributes to the on-going discussion about the effectiveness of fertility apps and how their efficacy should be assessed.”

Final efficacy results are expected in early 2019.

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This study was supported by the United States Agency for International Development grant (OAAOAO13O00083).

In addition to Jennings, study authors include Liya T. Haile, Hanley M. Fultz and Dominick Shattuck of the IRH, and Rebecca G. Simmons of the University of Utah. The authors report having no personal financial interests related to the study. The Dot app is a proprietary technology developed by Cycle Technologies, a company owned by a family member of Jennings’.

About the Institute for Reproductive Health

The Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University Medical Center has more than 30 years of experience in designing and implementing evidence-based programs that address critical needs in sexual and reproductive health. The Institute’s areas of research and program implementation include family planning, adolescents, gender equality, fertility awareness, and mobilizing technology for reproductive health. The Institute is highly respected for its focus on the introduction and scale-up of sustainable approaches to family planning and fertility awareness around the world. For more information, visit http://www.irh.org.

About Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.” The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization, which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. Connect with GUMC on Facebook (Facebook.com/GUMCUpdate), Twitter (@gumedcenter). Connect with Georgetown University School of Medicine on Facebook (Facebook.com/somgeorgetown), Twitter (@gumedicine) and Instagram (@georgetownmedicine).

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-10/gumc-esr101518.php

Men’s anxiety: How to combat middle-aged pressures so they don’t reach crisis point

Men’s anxiety: How to combat middle-aged pressures so they don’t reach crisis point

2018-09-25

The mid-life crisis is a common cliche, but an expert today explains how pressure to perform in life is driving many men into mental health difficulties.

our middle years can be a high pressure and confusing time, but don’t bottle up your feelings (or get a tattoo that you’ll regret later).

We all know the cliches of the midlife crisis – the sports car, the wardrobe overhaul, the desire to chuck yourself around at Arctic Monkeys gigs and, um, the affairs.

But there are reasons behind the stereotype.

There’s a wake-up moment in middle age when you realise most of your life is probably behind you.

Plus the stress of caring for a young family as well as ageing parents, while ­shouldering job ­pressure can take its toll on your mental health and relationships .

In fact, a report from the Office for National Statistics found middle-aged people are the least happy, have the lowest levels of life ­satisfaction and suffer the most anxiety.

And men are more vulnerable than women, who reported feeling more satisfied overall.

“There’s always been a clear ­correlation between how the economy is doing and the mental health of middle-aged men,” says Dr Rafael Euba, consultant psychiatrist at The London Psychiatry Centre ­(psychiatrycentre.co.uk).

“There’s pressure to achieve, which isn’t always easy, especially in times of economic hardship, and that can provoke a deep sense of failure.”

While women tend to deal with psychological distress by talking to each other, Dr Euba says men are reluctant: “Most men still think acknowledging they’re suffering is a sign of ­weakness, and so put up with stress which is more likely to come out in other ways, such as drinking.”

Have you reached a crisis point? Our Q&A could help you to find out, and learn how to navigate those rocky years…

Do you fail to embrace new things and feel the best is behind you?

Middle age can actually be a great time to try new things, says Dr Euba: “When you’re young there are many possibilities in the future, but by middle age it’s common to think, ‘this is my life’, and dwell on things you haven’t achieved.

“But you could argue you’re in the peak of life. Yes, if you watch films and read novels you’d think that peak time is the 20s, but people in their 20s make huge mistakes.

“By now, you’re ­experienced, you know what you like and what you don’t, you will ­probably have more money and freedom, so potential to enjoy life is huge. You may also look at life in a balanced way.”

Do you feel overwhelmed by stress, but keep it bottled up?

Planning your goals and reaching out to friends for support are key, says Dr Euba.

He says: “Stress often comes down to economic ­pressure and dealing with the system – providing for your ­family’s future and dealing with authorities over schools and care provided for elderly parents.

“You need to be able to delegate if you can, to compromise where necessary, to negotiate and to plan.

“If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s crucial to make use of your social network and don’t regard stress as a sign of weakness, but as a sign you have to plan things and get support from the other people in your life.”

Do you feel trapped or dissatisfied at work?

This is a tough one to sort out, admits Dr Euba: “Most of us can’t just walk out of a job if we have dependents. But it can help to remind ourselves of the norm – that it’s a minority of privileged people who genuinely love their job and earn good money from it. They are the exception to the rule – not you.

“Don’t compare ­yourself to others. These days, largely thanks to social media, if your life isn’t amazing it’s tempting to believe you’re failing. But it’s normal to have difficult days.

“Set yourself smaller, achievable goals and celebrate those wins and, if possible, try to carve out areas of your work that you’re in control of.

“It’s also important to understand there’s much more to being a man than how big your salary is and how far you go in the hierarchy.”

Are you anxious about your physical health?

Our bodies begin to decline in middle age and it can be a painful glimpse of what’s to come.

Dr Euba says: “The knowledge there’s less ahead combined with the onset of physical ailments can cause anxiety. Getting fitter is good for the mind and there’s growing medical evidence that exercise can help people beat depression. The key is, don’t overdo it.

“Pay more attention to lifestyle – don’t smoke and don’t drink too much – and just be aware of your body. Taking responsibility for your health will help you feel in control.”

Do you feel your sex life and relationship are dull? Do you want to cheat?

If you’ve been in a relationship a long time, along with a sense of stability can come a sense that life is, well, just a bit boring.

Dr Euba says: “Men’s sexual potency does start to decline in middle age, and although it’s more subtle than it is for women, it can affect self-image for some men.

“If that’s combined with a lack of sexual interest from their partner, many guys take that as a personal failure. These things make couples more vulnerable to affairs.

“It helps to know these issues are normal and seeking help in therapy doesn’t mean you’re less of a man.”

#LetsTalkSex: Is It Normal to Have a Curved Penis?

#LetsTalkSex: Is It Normal to Have a Curved Penis?

2018-08-29

Talking about sex is the best thing you can do for yourself if you are a sexually active person. You must educate yourself about safe sex practices, regardless of who you’re having sex with.

Over the past few weeks, we got multiple sexual health queries from our readers.

Dr Anurag Puri, Consultant, Department of Urology at Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh answer some of the queries here.

Last few days back, I slipped from the bed while sleeping. My penis was erect when I fell. There’s pain on the right side of the penis since then. Are there any home remedies for the same?

If you have fallen on erect penis and there is pain,there may be fracture of penis. You must immediately consult a urologist for clinical assessment and penile usg if required.

Is having a small sized penis genetic or is there some other issue? Will there be any problems if one has a small penis?
Small penis may be genetic or due to hormone deficiency. Even if the size is small and you are able to penetrate your female partner, then there’s no need to worry.

Are women with disabilities second class citizens?

Are women with disabilities second class citizens?

2018-08-24

There are an estimated 40 million EU citizens facing numerous barriers in the enjoyment of their rights, suffer social exclusion, discrimination and violence.

Despite representing 16 per cent of the EU’s female population, women and girls with disabilities are still living on the margins of society. Such actions must stop and the European Institutions must speak out collectively to prevent this ongoing abuse.

Women with disabilities need special support, yet there is no proper focus on them at EU level, neither in the strategy on women nor in the strategy on persons with disabilities. It’s as if they have disappeared, like they are of lesser value than the rest of the population.

It has been heart-warming therefore to see the European Parliament’s FEMM Committee has focussed on this subject and asked the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the body representing European organised civil society to do the same.

The EESC adopted its opinion on the matter in July, calling on EU Institutions and Member States to step up their efforts to protect women and girls with disabilities, who continue to face multiple and intersectional discrimination on the grounds of both their gender and disability, often resulting in their social exclusion.

The situation of women and girls with disabilities is not only worse than that of females without disabilities, but it is also worse than that of their male peers.

They are up to five times more likely to be victims of violence, domestic as well as institutional. Gender and disability stereotypes can also be found in media and in educational systems across the EU, thus constituting to an obstacle to an inclusive education.

Only 18.8 per cent of women with disabilities are employed, against 28.1 per cent of men. Those employed, often face underpayment while those that are unemployed are exposed to poverty and social exclusion.

“Disability should be mainstreamed in EU gender policy and gender in the EU disability strategy, as well as in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights”

Disability should be mainstreamed in EU gender policy and gender in the EU disability strategy, as well as in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. For this, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and its Article 6 which concerns women with disabilities must be implemented fully.

EU funds should be used to support Member States to introduce measures that guarantee the full participation of women with disabilities in public and political life, employment and education and empower them to have full control of their sexual and reproductive rights.

Access to healthcare must be improved for these females: both disability-specific as well as mainstream healthcare services. Healthcare facilities and equipment – such as mammogram machines and gynaecological examination beds – are often physically inaccessible to them, meaning that they find themselves excluded from preventive health measures, like breast screenings.

The EESC called for an end to forced sterilisation and for all women to be granted the right to make their own decisions about retaining their fertility or starting a family and stressed the importance for the EU and Member States to implement the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating gender based violence.

The EU and its Member States should launch an awareness-raising campaign about disability-related legislation, which should make women and girls with disabilities more visible and help combat prejudice against them.

It is hoped that women with disabilities will put themselves forward in the upcoming European elections in May 2019.

About the author

Gunta Anca is European Economic and Social Committee, Rapporteur Women with Disabilities

PCOS (Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome) and What You Should Know.

PCOS (Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome) and What You Should Know.

2018-06-26

Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder which affects every one in ten women. PCOS is one of the causes of female infertility. Many women trying to get pregnant face barriers because they miss their period and therefore miss ovulation. PCOS is therefore linked with reproductive health. What contraception to use for women with PCOS depends greatly. Hormonal contraception like birth control can work for some women but not for others. It is always beneficial to speak to a doctor or specialists as everyone’s hormonal levels vary.

 

It is not always necessary that women with PCOS can not have children. There are various treatments that can help women with PCOS conceive. One example for conceiving is to engage in copulation during ovulation. Another method can be IVF.

 

PCOS can be diagnosed when there are irregular ovulation periods in a woman’s menstrual cycle. Women have irregular period with the time duration in between one to six months.

 

A woman with PCOS will have high levels of androgen in their body. Even though androgen is found in both men and women, men possess high levels of the hormone and it helps with the development of male genitalia and secondary sexual characteristics.

 

High blood sugar levels cause hormonal imbalance and can order the ovaries to make more testosterone. Androgen helps make that happen. High blood sugar leads to high androgen which leads to high testosterone which leads to PCOS. High blood sugar is the result of insulin resistance. When our cells get used to a certain amount of insulin they demand more which causes high blood sugar levels.

 

 

 

PCOS is diagnosed when ovarian cysts are discovered on a woman’s ovaries via ultrasound.

 

PCOS has undiscovered roots. The main cause of PCOS is unknown but much research has been conducted to conclude that it may be genetic as well as environmental.

 

Common symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Weight gain
  • Facial hair
  • Dark hair growth on the belly and breasts
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Infertility
  • Difficulty conceiving
  • Irregular periods
  • Acne

 

PCOS does not have a cure, however, it is manageable. Exercise, a good diet as well as alternative lifestyle choices can decrease PCOS symptoms.

 

The best way to decrease high blood sugar levels is through a good diet. Foods such as…:

 

  • Vegetables
  • Lemon or cucumber diffused water
  • Lentils
  • Corn
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Salmon
  • Lean meat
  • Peanut butter

 

…helps manage PCOS.

 

For more detailed information, click on the link below!

https://food.ndtv.com/health/the-right-diet-can-go-a-long-way-in-helping-you-with-pcod-772795

https://www.bustle.com/articles/184282-can-you-have-kids-if-you-have-pcos-yes-and-these-women-did

https://www.pcosdietsupport.com/fertility/4-things-to-do-before-trying-to-conceive-with-pcos/

 

 

World bicycle day 2018: How bicycling boosts health

World bicycle day 2018: How bicycling boosts health

2018-06-04

Sunday, June 3 is World Bicycle Day 2018, organised by the UN to celebrate the bicycle as a “simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit” method of transport, which of course also brings many health benefits. Here we round up some recent research which shows how swapping the car for the humble bike could give our health a big boost.

Improved mood and reduced stress

A small Canadian study published last year found that cycling to work can help get your day off to a better start, with those who commuted to work on their bike arriving in a better mood and with a lower level of stress than those who took the car. This positive effect also helped cyclists have a better day in general, reducing stress and even boosting work performance.

A lower risk of heart disease

UK research published earlier this year found that cycling or walking to work could help cut the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD) or stroke. The large-scale study looked at over 350,000 participants to find that regular commuters who used a more active means of travel for commuting, such as cycling, had an 11% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 30% lower risk of fatal CVD. Regular commuters who cycled in their spare time had a 43% lower risk of fatal CVD. Even those who were not regular commuters but took the bike occasionally saw benefits, showing an 8% lower risk of all-cause mortality.

Reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes

A large-scale study carried out by the University of Southern Denmark found that cycling can help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. After looking at 24,623 men and 27,890 women, researchers found that those who cycled regularly were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and the more they cycled each week, the lower the risk was. The results also indicated that even those who took up regular cycling at a later age still benefited from a 20% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than non-cyclists.

It can help keep off extra weight

UK researchers who compared the daily modes of transport of nearly 150,000 participants found that cycling was one of the most effective forms of exercise for keeping trim and losing weight and was even more effective than walking. Those who cycled to work had lower BMIs than those who walked, drove, or took public transport and lower levels of body fat than those who took public transport or the car.

It’s safe for sexual health

Two separate studies published earlier this year found that cycling does not affect a man’s sexual or urinary health or a woman’s gynecological health. The first, carried out by the University of California, found that male cyclists’ sexual and urinary health was no worse than swimmers’ or runners’, although adjusting the handlebar height to be higher or even with the saddle reduced the chance of genital numbness and saddle sores. Researchers from UC San Francisco also found that although female cyclists had a higher risk of genital numbness and saddle sores than non-cyclists, as well as a higher risk of urinary tract infections, they showed no worse sexual or urinary function, and in fact high-intensity cyclists may benefit from improved sexual function.

https://www.thedailystar.net/health/world-bicycle-day-2018-how-bicycling-boosts-health-1585234

Here’s what a world without birth control might be like

Here’s what a world without birth control might be like

2018-04-16

 April 14

Remember the early 2000s, when the United States passed laws banning condoms and the pill, and sex was officially designated for reproductive purposes only?

Of course you don’t — it never happened. But a new art exhibition in New York imagines what life would be like if it had.

“Museum of Banned Objects,” at the Ace Hotel New York Gallery through April 30 (continuing online after that), looks at the history of “The Ban” from the vantage point of a dystopian future. The law — sweeping legislation in which all reproductive-health products and contraceptives were made illegal — took birth control underground.

Artists Ellie Sachs and Matt Starr, the museum’s “curators,” have assembled a collection of items that, while ordinary today, would be historical artifacts post-Ban, including condoms, birth control pills and bottles of the pre-exposure prophylaxis drug Truvada, used to prevent HIV infection. Each item is displayed in isolation along with a placard that delves into its history and use before it was made illegal.

If the museum is chilling, it’s supposed to be. Sachs and Starr intend the installation, which they developed along with Planned Parenthood, to illuminate unnerving uncertainties about reproductive rights. It evokes memories of not-so-distant days in which contraception was illegal in many states and strict anti-obscenity laws made the frank discussion of sexuality — and sexual health — complicated. And its exploration of the erosion of protections for contraception raises questions about how safe those rights are today.

Sachs and Starr say the point of their work is to drive social change and raise awareness about how close their fictitious world could be. Birth control isn’t banned. But the power of the Museum of Banned Objects is in its plausibility.