Ebola and Pregnancy: What is the risk?

As the Ebola outbreak continues to claim lives even outside of Africa, there are many concerns among susceptible groups. Pregnant women are one of these groups that are considered to be at high risk, as are young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems like in HIV infection. These susceptible individuals are not only at risk from Ebola, but just about any infectious disease. However, when a relatively uncommon infection like Ebola breaks out, with no known cure or vaccine, then concern is well founded.

Continue reading

Constipation and Irregular Bowel Movements in Healthy Women

Constipation is a symptom and not a disease. It can be a symptom of various diseases, not only those affecting the gastrointestinal tract. However, constipation can sometimes occur in a person with no underlying disease. Even more frustrating for some, particularly females, constipation can occur in otherwise healthy women who are health conscious and strive hard to maintain their fitness. It appears that constipation is not due to a single factor but rather several lifestyle and hormonal factors that makes it more frequent in females.

Continue reading

Urinary Problems in Women, Causes and Different Types

Urinary problems are common in women but many a time, due to shyness or embarrassment, a woman will rather bear with the problem than seek medical help until the condition becomes really intolerable. Another reason for avoiding the doctor is the fear that there is no other remedy for problems like incontinence except surgery, while in reality there are various methods of tackling the problem such as lifestyle changes, behavioral treatment, Kegel exercises, and medication.

Continue reading

Trichomoniasis in Women – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Trichomoniasis is a protozoal sexually transmitted infection that can affect both men and women. It usually does not cause significant symptoms and resolves spontaneously in men. In women, however, it persists and can affect the unborn child. Trichomoniasis increases the susceptibility of a person to contract viral infections like HIV. However, with proper preventative measures, the risk of contracting trichomoniasis as with most other sexually transmitted infections is greatly reduced. Asymptomatic partners should also be treated as the person may be a carrier and can infect or re-infect others.

Continue reading

Syphilis in Women – Signs and Symptoms, Stages, Tests and Treatment

Syphilis is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection that affects both men and women. It can be acquired, where it is contracted during life and most often through sexual intercourse, or congenital, where it is present from birth. Syphilis has been decreasing throughout most of the last quarter of the twentieth century. However, these has been an increase  since 2000, particularly in homosexual men. It nevertheless remains one of the common sexually transmitted diseases, alongside gonorrhea and genital herpes.

Continue reading

Female Sexual Act – Arousal, Erection, Lubrication and Orgasm

There are many misconceptions about female sexual health and act. The processes involved in arousal, facilitation of the act and orgasm is not significantly different from men, albeit the difference in the sex organs among the genders. Differences do, however, also lie in the psyche of men and women, cultural perceptions, social impact, personal inhibitions as well as the possibility of pregnancy should a woman partake in sex. These issues may not have a significant impact or be of consequence in males, the male sexual act or performance. The female sexual act can be broadly divided into stimulation (arousal), erection and lubrication and orgasm.

Continue reading

Medication and Surgery for Treating Women with PCOS

Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) depends on the individual case and desire of the patient to fall pregnant as soon as possible. It is important to note that dietary and lifestyle modification may be useful in PCOS and should be first be undertaken before medical and surgical treatment options are considered. This includes adopting a diet pattern similar to those for type 2 diabetes and regular exercise. For overweight and obese women the goal is to lose weight which can drastically improve menstrual patterns and could possibly lead to ovulatory cycles. Diet and lifestyle modification, however, is for all women with PCOS irrespective of the BMI (body mass index).

Continue reading

Chlamydia Infection in Women – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Chlamydia is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection which is very common in both women and men. One of the reasons for its prevalence is that it is largely asymptomatic – about three-quarter of women and half of men with a chlamydia infection show no signs and symptoms. It is therefore easily transmitted by the carrier to the unsuspecting partner. While it may affect both genders, chlamydia is more prevalent in women. Chlamydia infection is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in the United States and it is believed that the incidence is actually much higher but those infected are unaware of it.

Continue reading

Hematuria in Women (Blood in Urine)

Hematuria is the term for the presence of blood in the urine. Normally there is only a trace amount of blood in urine although there is a high quantity of the pigment deposits and other components present from broken down blood cells. In hematuria, blood is detected in the urine and this can be microscopic where it is not evident by the naked eye, or macroscopic / gross when it can be clearly seen. Even in gross hematuria, the urine may not be red and bloody but there is an abnormal hue to the urine due to the presence of blood. The urine may look very dark yellow, mustard or brown, orange, pink or even red. However, it is important to note that these abnormal colors of urine are not always due to blood.

Continue reading

High Blood Pressure in Pregnant Women

High blood pressure (hypertension) can occur at anytime in life and may lead to serious and even life-threatening complications. It can be of greater concern in pregnant women as it can jeopardize the pregnancy. It therefore needs to be constantly monitored in pregnant women and treated if necessary to limit the complications. Sometimes the hypertension is present before pregnancy and persists through or even exacerbates with pregnancy. At other times, hypertension arises during pregnancy in women without a history of high blood pressure. Irrespective of the time of onset, hypertension carries the a definite risk in maintaining a health pregnancy. Hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure exceeding 140 mmHg and a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg or more.

Continue reading