Which Type Of Abortion Is Right For You?

Post Abortion Care FAQs – Answered

Pregnancy is a very important and challenging phase in a woman’s life. And if you do not wish to continue with a pregnancy, abortion is a popular choice. If you have recently had an abortion, chances are you are going through a lot, both physically and mentally.

One you get abortion services Los Angeles, there are a lot of things that need to be taken care of. These things ensure that your reproductive and overall health is maintained.

Now, we also know that you would be having a lot of questions in your mind. To answer some of the questions, here we have created a list of FAQs regarding post-abortion care.

Take a look:

When can I resume normal activities?

It is advised that you should only resume normal activities a day after you get the procedure done. You should take rest on the day of the procedure and avoid activities that are likely to induce pain.

When can I drive?

If you have got narcotic pain medications or oral relaxation, drive at least 8 hours after the procedure. If you have got intravenous (IV) medications, don’t drive for 24 hours.

Is bleeding normal?

You can bleed for a week or even on and off for up to 4 weeks after the procedure. You might notice small blood clots, red or dark purple in color. It is suggested that you do not use tampons after the procedure. Sanitary pads are the best choice.

Blood tinged discharge that is yellow or brown is also common.

Will I experience cramps?

It is normal to experience cramps for a few days after the procedure. 

Experts at the Her Smart Choice abortion clinic Burbank suggest that you can take ibuprofen or Tylenol for pain relief. Hot water bags on the abdomen and rest will also help.

At Her Smart Choice, we understand that abortion is a mentally and physically taxing procedure. Whether you are alone or with a family to offer support, proper information and expert guidance remain the primary necessity.

In the non-judgmental and accepting environment at our clinic, you will not only get the right treatment at the right time but also sufficient guidance.

Our experts will make sure that you are well-informed and well taken care of. When you visit our facility for abortion clinics pill, we will make sure that you are making a choice that is in your best interest.

We will suggest you all possible abortion alternatives, and even female reproductive healthcare procedures that suit your situation. Once you have the options, you can choose the option that you are the most comfortable with.

This ensures complete peace of mind and no unwanted effects on your physical or mental health.

Her Smart Choice is a safe and trusted place where you can get care, treatment, and guidance. We understand that the decisions you are about to make can have a life-altering impact. To ensure that you don’t end up with results that were uncalled for, we help you make the smart choice, always!


How To Differentiate A Normal Menstrual Cycle From An Abnormal One?

3 Things to Know Before Getting an Abortion Done

If you are not willing to start a family at the moment, missing your periods can be a scary situation for you. If you think you are pregnant and want to get an abortion, you should first take a deep breath, relax, and then act.

If you do not wish to continue with the pregnancy, abortion is certainly a viable option. But, it is not always the case. There can be situations when you should consider other options. Unlike surgical abortion, medical abortion that includes pills is a much safer alternative.

Nevertheless, if you do not wish to continue with the pregnancy, visit an abortion clinic Los Angeles at the earliest.

However, before you get an abortion done, here are 3 important things that you need to consider:

Is your pregnancy viable?

There can be certain cases when the pregnancy is not viable. In such situations, there are complications in pregnancy which are most likely to result in a natural miscarriage.

Though these situations are rare, you should visit an expert and before directly looking for an abortion, get the proper checkup done.

In case of a pregnancy that is not viable and natural miscarriage is likely to occur, take steps as per the suggestion of the expert.

How many weeks pregnant you are?

The stage of pregnancy plays an important role in deciding the method of removing pregnancy. Your medical care provider will be able to guide you in the best way.

At Her Smart Choice, we make sure we consider how many weeks pregnant you are before suggesting any best option.

At our private abortion clinic Los Angeles, we carry out proper tests and then make sure that the decision that you make is well guided and based on accurate information.

Get Tested for STD/STI

Even if you do not have any active symptoms of STD/STI, you might be infected. Before you get an abortion, it is wise to get tested for STD/STI.

There have been cases when the abortion procedures became complicated due to underlying STDs or STIs.

This can pose a major risk to your life long reproductive and overall health.

At Her Smart Choice, you cannot just get a safe abortion, but also get tested and treated for STD/STI, if the need be.

Her Smart Choice believes that you have all the right to make decisions for your life and those decisions should be based on complete information and proper guidance.

The staff at our abortion clinics in LA is non-judgmental and completely supportive. We understand you. And we make sure you get the treatment and care that is the best suited for your mental, physical, and reproductive health.

If getting an abortion is your choice, we will make sure you are given proper guidance, treatment, aftercare, and all possible help.

Life can get tough sometimes. And in situations like these, Her Smart Choice helps you make the right choice.


Visiting an Abortion Clinic – How Can It Help?

You had many plans in life, right? And pregnancy wasn’t one of them. 

However, if you are pregnant and do not wish to take the pregnancy to term, finding a women’s abortion clinic is the first step that you should take.

We understand the social, psychological, and even financial inhibitions might force you to take drastic measures but you need to stay calm.

Help of all sorts is readily available and you just need to look at the right place. If you are pregnant and wish to abort, here are three simple ways in which an abortion clinic can help you:

 

  • Provide Consultation

 

It is not always the case that you know what’s best for you. You could always have someone advise you on what you should do next. During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of changes. These changes are physical as well as psychological. Experts at an abortion clinic will not just give you information about the medical aspects but also offer psychological support.

 

  • The Right Way to Abort

 

Most people don’t really know the options that they have. If you do not want to become a mother just yet, you have several safe ways for abortion. And surgical abortion is just one of them. You can make use of abortion tablets or IUDs as well. What method of abortion is used depends on your preference, your health condition, and the stage of pregnancy.

Experts at Her Smart Choice will help you make an informed choice.

We offer complete information, explain the options available, and constantly support you in all possible ways so that you feel confident about making a smart choice.

 

    • Financial Aid

 

If you are financially not ready for pregnancy, abortion might seem like the best option, right? But, abortions are also not free of cost. Being a medical procedure, you need to pay certain fees.

However, that does not mean you have no help available. If you are financially unstable, experience struggles like homelessness, or your pregnancy is a result of sexual abuse or even if you are below 18 years of age, you can get financial help.

Her Smart Choice aims to make abortion affordable for everyone who needs it.

When you visit one of our facilities, we will make sure we offer you as much financial aid as possible. This is in the form of low-cost abortions as well as helping you find funding organizations for the procedure.

Her Smart Choice believes in the freedom of women. We believe that women have the right to choose what happens in their life.

Pregnancy, sexual health, and wellness, and abortion are issues that need to be openly discussed. We make sure you get the right information, advice, consultation, care, and treatment at all times.

Our low-income abortion clinics aim to help girls and women make the smart choice by ensuring that you have the information, guidance, and funding needed for the same.

We care for you and your life and take all possible efforts to help you make the smartest choice for your well-being, both mental and physical.


What Happens if You Take an Abortion Pill When Not Pregnant?

Life can be tough sometimes. And some of the toughest times for women include pregnancy as not all women are ready for the responsibility, risk or change that it brings. If you are not planning on conceiving, missed periods can be your biggest woes. 

Have missed your periods? Do you think you might be pregnant? The first thing you should do is take a pregnancy test. Or rather, take a couple of pregnancy tests. (To eradicate the chances of false positives and negatives.)

If your test comes positive and you do not want to continue with the conception, your best option would be to visit a Hollywood abortion clinic.

Visiting a medical practitioner would ensure that you get the right solution for pregnancy termination. Trying to administer pills yourself or taking other extreme measures is not recommended.

But, what if, in the heat of the moment, you take an abortion pill yourself? And what if you are not really pregnant? Will it cause any side-effects? Would it affect future pregnancies? Would it be harmful to your psychological and mental health?

Well, let us find answers to these questions. 

First things first. Is it harmful if you take abortion pills if you are not pregnant? No. Taking an abortion pill will cause no harmful effect on your body. It has no effect on future pregnancies. And no direct effect on your metal or psychological health. However, you may still experience common side-effects of the pill. These include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting and low-grade fever.

To prevent such a situation, it is better that you visit us at Her Smart Choice and make a wise decision. We are here to educate, inform and help you make a smart choice.

When you visit one of our facilities, we leave no chance for any doubts.

If you are pregnant and would not like to continue with the conception, we can offer you several viable options. Options that are much safer than taking an abortion pill on your own. At our abortion clinic LA, we offer you the choice of medication and surgical abortion.

The medication abortion involves abortion pills (mifepristone and misoprostol). This is the preferred method for pregnancies less than 10 weeks old. The two pills perform different functions. The experts at our facility can help administer the right dosage at the right time for the right and risk-free results. 

Mifepristone blocks the progesterone receptors. This prevents progesterone from continuing the pregnancy. 24 or 48 hours after the first pill, misoprostol is given to expel the pregnancy. You might also start bleeding before you take the second pill.

When you are undergoing medication abortion, you need proper guidance and support. Both of these can be offered to you at our private abortion clinic.

We believe your right to be able to choose. It is your body, your life and so should be your choice.

While taking a pill while not pregnant would cause no major harm, we can help you better. With counselling, care and confidential treatment, make the smart choice with Her Smart Choice.


Is it safe to take Birth Control Pills and Antidepressants at the same time?

 

With Antidepressant Prescriptions Skyrocketing in United States, it creates a unique debate for women – who to listen to? Their Psychiatrist or OB/GYN?Is it safe to take birth control pills and antidepressants at the same time?

 

The incidence of depression has increased drastically over the past few decades. Women are more prone to develop depression due to several factors that are common as well as completely independent of the causative factors in men. 

 

The mounting job pressure, demands of career and family responsibilities, commuting to workplace, academic failures, loss of near ones, and an unpleasant event in life are the factors that can make men as well as women prone to develop depression.

 

Factors such as postpartum depression and premenstrual syndrome occur specifically in women resulting in mild to severe depression.

With Antidepressant Prescriptions Skyrocketing in United States, it creates a unique debate for women - who to listen to? Their Psychiatrist or OB/GYN?

Since these conditions tend to occur during the reproductive years, it is likely that women would have to use antidepressants prescribed for relieving depression together with birth control pills. 

 

Hence, there is a need to understand how birth control pills and antidepressants interact with each other and whether it is safe to use both these medications at the same time.

 

Why is it important to understand the interactions between birth control pills and antidepressants?

Generally speaking, most antidepressants do not interact with the action of oral contraceptive pills, also called birth control pills. For example; women who are using hormonal contraceptives may be prescribed an antidepressant like Prozac if they suffer from symptoms such as extreme mood changes, lack of interest in daily activities, and so on. 

Is it safe to take birth control pills and antidepressants at the same time?Prozac is a type of antidepressant containing fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

In this case, Prozac may not interfere with the action of the birth control pills causing pregnancy. However, this doesn’t mean it is safe to use these medications together. Because the combined action of the two may potentially cause drastic changes in the mood. 

Antidepressants like Prozac are known to affect the production and release of hormones in the body. And since birth control pills are comprised of synthetically prepared female reproductive hormones like progesterone and estrogens, the risk of interaction between these medicines can not be ignored. 

Similarly, there are a number of antidepressants each having the potential to alter the body’s physiological processes and the hormonal balance. Hence, women in reproductive age who use birth control pills need to be aware of how these antidepressants can affect the action of their contraceptive pills in order to avoid side effects and prevent the reduced effectiveness of both. 

 

Birth control pills and antidepressants

As discussed earlier, women are likely to develop depression due to a number of reasons. Biological, relationships, lifestyle, psychosocial factors, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding are the factors unique to women and thought to contribute to their higher risk of depression.

The hormonal changes occurring in the body before and during menses can result in a condition called premenstrual syndrome or PMS. The common signs and symptoms of PMS include mood changes, irritability, heaviness in the breasts, abdominal pain, and cramps in legs. 

In some cases, the symptoms are so severe that they prevent the woman from carrying out routine activities. Women who experience severe symptoms of PMS are often advised to use antidepressants. 

However, these drugs may worsen mood swings and irritability and even cause a failure of the contraceptive pills they are using. Also, the continuous use of antidepressants may not be appropriate or necessary in such cases as the symptoms tend to occur only before and during menstrual periods. These factors must be taken into consideration before women start using antidepressants to manage PMS while also using birth control pills. 

Similarly, women may also experience severe postpartum depression following childbirth due to the hormonal changes occurring in the body during this phase as well as the sudden lifestyle changes and challenges posed by motherhood. 

Breastfeeding itself acts as a natural method of contraception during the initial few months after delivery when the mother is breastfeeding the child. However, once the woman stops breastfeeding, she may need to use birth control pills to avoid pregnancy until she feels she is ready for the second child. 

In this case, it is important to be aware of the interactions between the antidepressant she is using and the birth control pills, especially if the symptoms of postpartum depression are severe necessitating long-term use of the antidepressant drug.

Similarly, there are various other situations when women of reproductive age may have to use birth control pills and antidepressants together. This is why; women should take efforts to find out how these drugs affect each other’s actions, alter their effectiveness, or cause side effects. 

 

Use of birth control pills, and antidepressants for PMDD

PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a condition similar to PMS. In fact, PMDD is a more intense form of typical premenstrual syndrome. The common signs of this condition are severe anxiety, extreme irritability, and drastic mood swings. 

Women who have a history of postpartum depression or mood disorders are prone to develop premenstrual dysphoric disorder. 

PMDD is often confused with depression as both these conditions cause similar symptoms such as sadness, despair, increased sensitivity to criticism, suicidal thoughts, and so on. The use of antidepressants is common in women with PMDD. However, it should be noted that the symptoms of PMDD are linked to the hormonal changes typically occurring around ovulation and before periods.  

Hence, the use of antidepressants may not be appropriate in such cases, especially if the woman is already using birth control pills and wishes to avoid pregnancy. 

It has been found that most women find remarkable relief in their symptoms of PMDD by simply using birth control pills. The use of oral contraceptives has been found to work more effectively than antidepressants in reducing the symptoms of PMDD as well as in some cases of PMS. Let us have a look at how birth control pills could help to relieve PMDD. 

Most birth control pills contain synthetic versions of female reproductive hormones called estrogens and progesterone. These hormones help to prevent conception by inhibiting the process of ovulation. These pills also provide the body with a steady dose of estrogens without any peaks or drastic fluctuations. This action helps to prevent the release of eggs by the ovaries. 

Later, oral contraceptive pills start delivering a fixed amount of progesterone to stop the growth of the uterine lining called endometrium. Finally, most birth control pills have a 7-day dosage schedule of placebos, which cause the hormonal levels to fall resulting in your periods to start. 

The menstrual flow that begins during the use of placebo pills is a withdrawal bleeding caused as a reaction to the lack of supply of hormones. This is the basic action by which most birth control pills help to prevent pregnancy.

Since these pills deliver estrogens and progesterone in steady doses, they can make the hormone levels in your body more predictable thereby controlling the symptoms caused due to hormonal imbalances.

For example; cramps in the legs and abdomen caused due to PMS or PMDD may be relieved by using oral contraceptives. These pills work by controlling the production of prostaglandin, which is responsible for causing excessive uterine contractions.

Also, mood swings, depression, and anxiety caused due to the fluctuations in the levels of hormones can also be relieved by the steady release of estrogens and progestogen achieved through the use of oral contraceptives. 

This points to the need to avoid or minimize the use of antidepressants and instead, use only birth control pills to relieve PMDD and PMS while preventing conception. This strategy can also allow women to avoid the side effects of antidepressants known to occur due to their prolonged usage.  

This is one of the reasons why the simultaneous use of birth control pills and antidepressants is not recommended. In some cases, it could worsen the side effects of antidepressants; in some cases, it may lessen the effectiveness of birth control pills; and in some cases, it may be unnecessary.

 

Can antidepressants lower the effectiveness of birth control pills?

Antidepressants like SSRIs may interfere with the action of glands that produce hormones in the body. This could alter the levels of estrogens and progesterone in women. Antidepressants can also alter the bioavailability or the amount of circulating hormones in the body. 

The fluctuating levels of estrogens and progesterone due to the use of antidepressants can, thus, change the balance of female reproductive hormones thereby lowering the effectiveness of oral contraceptive pills. This can not just result in a few side effects associated with hormonal imbalances but may also lead to an unintended pregnancy.

Some women may also experience increased mood swings and irritability as side effects of the hormonal medications. Hence, if women find exacerbations in their symptoms of depression, PMS, or PMDD, it could be attributed to the interactions between antidepressants and birth control pills. A change in the antidepressant or the birth control pill, in such cases, may alleviate the symptoms. 

However, the way antidepressants alter the action of oral contraceptive spills varies among women. There are differences in the levels of estrogens and progesterone from woman to woman. At the same time, the way the compounds in antidepressant drugs are metabolized in the body can also change depending on the specific health issues or metabolic rate and dysfunctions in different women. 

These factors need to be taken into consideration while determining how the antidepressants can alter the action and effectiveness of oral contraceptives. In some women, the use of antidepressants may cause a bigger drop in the effectiveness of birth control pills while in some, it may not interfere with each other’s actions much. 

The use of anti-seizure medications

Anti-seizure mediations, as the name suggests, are prescribed to women who suffer from seizures or convulsions. However, the use of these drugs is not limited to seizures. 

Most women with depression are also prescribed anti-seizure drugs. It is important to mention that these drugs are known to decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptive pills. For example, anti-seizure medications like Lamotragene, Tegretol, and Topomax, which are commonly prescribed to treat depression or stabilize bipolar disorder, can affect the hormonal balance in the body resulting in the failure of oral contraceptives. 

Hence, women suffering from depression or seizures should inform the physician about the use of oral contraceptives and their desire to avoid pregnancy so that appropriate medications can be prescribed to them. 

In case anti-seizure drugs must be prescribed to relieve severe depression, it is best to adopt additional measures of contraception such as condoms or diaphragms in combination with oral contraceptive pills to avoid pregnancy. 

 

Can birth control pills trigger depression?

Most women are concerned about mood changes and depression that may occur due to the use of birth control pills. Not just oral contraceptive pills but also the other hormonal birth control methods such as the patches, implants, rings, injections, and IUDs have been reported to have caused depression in some women.

The rising cases of depression associated with the use of these hormonal medications have led to several research studies.

Most of these studies have not shown any definitive association between the use of hormonal methods of contraception and depression. In fact, a critical review of these studies has revealed that the overall percentage of women that can develop depression due to hormonal contraception was very small. 

It has been found that just 2.2% of women who used hormonal contraception developed depression in comparison to 1.7% who did not. These findings suggest that only some women could be susceptible to this side effect. 

Hence, women need not avoid adopting hormonal birth control methods for the fear of developing depression. On the contrary, the hormonal balance achieved through the use of oral contraceptive pills has been associated with relief from the existing symptoms of depression. 

The mood-stabilizing action of birth control pills is so effective that it may help women avoid the use of antidepressants known to cause serious side effects. 

The Bottom Line

Birth control pills and antidepressants have a complicated relationship. The type of antidepressant or oral contraceptive used, the body composition, and stages in the menstrual cycle need to be considered to evaluate the possible interactions between these drugs. 

Women must seek the advice of a gynecologist and psychiatrist and inform them of the medications they are already using and their intentions to avoid conception so that the physicians can recommend appropriate treatments. 

 

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antidepressants, Prozac, postpartum depression, premenstrual syndrome, bi-polar, borderline, seasonal affect disorder, psychiatrist, birth control, obgyn, women’s ealth, pregnancy prevention

 

 With Anti-Depression Prescriptions Skyrocketing in United States, it creates a debate for women – who to listen to? Their Psychiatrist or OB/GYN?

Is it safe to take birth control pills and antidepressants at the same time?


IUD: Most Common Myth’s: Breaking the Misconceptions

 

IUD: Most Common Myth’s: Breaking the Misconceptions

An Intrauterine Device or IUD is among the most effective birth control methods that you can use, especially when there are chances of human error with other methods such as the breaking of a condom while having sex or forgetting to ingest an oral contraceptive pill. 

An IUD is found to be 90 times more successful as a birth control method in comparison to male condoms and 45 times more successful in comparison to the contraceptive pill.  The T-shaped, tiny device is also easily reversible and long-lasting. After a physician inserts or places an IUD in your uterus, it may prevent the occurrence of pregnancy for about three to 10 years depending on the model you choose. Currently, there are four models available; three of them release a low amount of hormones gradually. The fourth model is hormone-free and it has a copper coil curled around, which creates a reaction in your body. Due to this reaction the uterus becomes toxic to sperm and fertilization doesn’t occur. 

Using an IUD can return your fertility faster after its removal. This is especially helpful if you want to conceive in the future. 

Despite all the benefits, there are lots of myths that surround the use of an IUDs. Some females believe that an IUD is approved only for older females who already had kids. Others are scared to use it as they have heard many horror stories regarding the insertion of an IUD and the pain it causes. 

Each birth control method can’t fit every woman and each one of them prefers to have a different type of contraception. However, by having enough information regarding your options for birth control and by recognizing the myths surrounding them you can choose the best birth control method. 

The following are the most common myths regarding IUDs

Myth 1: Having an IUD before having kids can put you at risk

This is far from the truth; instead, the opposite of this is true. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend an IUD as the first choice of birth control for sexually active adolescents, as they are very effective and safe. According to them any woman who has undergone puberty and has matured sexually can use an IUD. 

Myth 2: IUD insertion is very painful

Another common myth is that an IUD insertion can be very painful. Some women believe that placing an IUD can be the most painful event of their lives. However, the ability to tolerate pain is different for every woman. Hence, an IUD insertion may be painful for some but not a big deal for others. 

Though an IUD placement is indeed unpleasant, for the majority of the women, this pain remains for a short duration. The pain may feel like a few menstrual cramps ranging from mild to severe. 

If you have any such apprehension you should discuss with your physician your tolerance to pain before getting an IUD. Most women get them inserted without any kind of problem. Moreover, you should consider the fact that a couple of minutes of pain and discomfort can give you five or more years of efficient and worry-free contraception. 

Myth 3: The IUD may fall out

Another common myth that many women believe is that their bodies can expel or throw out the IUD from their uterus. This may happen; however, it is very unlikely. It occurs in about three to five percent of the females and if it happens it will most likely happen within two to three months of getting the device placed. The expulsion of an IUD increases your risk of having an unintended pregnancy. Due to this reason physicians recommend that females use another birth control method as a backup for the initial several weeks after they get the device. 

You must be aware of what happens when in case an IUD does fall out. Sometimes, you may have a severe cramp or pass a large blood clot and the device will also come out of the uterus with it. 

In case you think that your device is no longer in its place, ask your physician to teach you the method to check the string of the device (it is a thin thread made of nylon, which hangs out of your cervix in the vagina and makes the removal of the an IUD easy). You may also ask your doctor to check the IUD for you. 

Myth 4: An IUD can cause infertility and infection

There is a history behind this rumor. In the 60s and 70s, there was an IUD on the market that was bad. It led to infertility in women. Some women lost their wombs and others were left dead. Though this IUD was removed from the market, its nightmarish legacy continues to affect the modern-day IUD. 

IUD: Most Common Myth’s: Breaking the Misconceptions

Holding an IUD birth control copper coil device in hand, used for contraception – front view

Furthermore, some physicians form part of this problem. Although data from 40 years demonstrate that current IUDs don’t increase the risk of infection in a woman and are safe to use, some physicians misinform their patients. According to a survey published in the Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, 30 percent of the gynecologists, obstetricians, nurses, physician assistants, and family doctors believe that IUDs are unsafe for females who have never delivered a baby. 

The IUDs used presently are safe and effective and don’t lead to infections or infertility. Infection associated with the insertion of an IUD may occur probably because the IUD or instruments carry with them germs from your lower genital area. If the bacteria are normally present in your genital tract, then some mechanism eliminates or removes this contamination automatically from your uterus shortly after the device is inserted and the infection doesn’t occur. Your doctor can further reduce your risk of getting an infection by following the routine procedures to prevent infection such as the “no-touch” technique of insertion (in this technique the doctor doesn’t let the uterine sounds (instruments) or IUD touch any surface that is unsterile such as speculum, hands, tabletop or vaginal walls). 

Myth 5: The physician has to induce a uterine contraction to place an IUD in the uterus

Though the term uterine contraction is related to labor, a cramp and uterine contraction are essentially similar or same – a squeezing sensation of your uterus, a sensation, which you must have experienced before. Women get cramping or uterine contractions during periods as their cervix opens slightly to expel the menstrual blood. 

When the doctor places an IUD, they open the cervix slightly, initially to take the measurement of your uterus and then place the device. Both these activities can stretch your cervix and cause a big cramp. However, no medication is given to produce a contraction or cramp that you feel. 

Myth 6: An IUD work by inducing abortions

Some people don’t like to use an IUD as a birth control method as they have the incorrect belief that it prevents conception by inducing abortions. This is not true. In the majority of the cases, an IUD works by preventing the fertilization of an egg. The copper-containing IUD acts as a spermicide and kills or impairs the sperms so that they are unable to fertilize the egg. Progestin containing IUD causes thickening of your cervical mucus, which prevents the sperms from entering your uterus. In very rare cases, an IUD may prevent implantation and this is also considered a birth control or contraceptive effect of the IUD. 

Myth 7: An IUD is not a very effective birth control method

Some women have the incorrect belief that an IUD is not a very effective birth control method or that its birth control effects are lost only after a couple of years from the time it is placed. On the contrary, an IUD is greater than 99 percent effective. Both the copper-containing and hormonal IUDs are very effective birth control methods. They are one of the most efficient reversible birth control methods. 

The hormonal IUD prevents pregnancy in about 998 females out of 1000 females who use it during the first year. Over five years of use, about five to eight females out of 1000 females may become pregnant. You can use this IUD for up to five years. The copper-containing IUD prevents pregnancy in about 994 females out of 1000 females who use it during the first year. During the 10 years of use, about two out of 100 females may become pregnant. This IUD remains effective for about 12 years. 

Myth 8: An IUD causes health risks and side effects

Some females desire not to use an IUD as they have the incorrect belief that an IUD may cause health risks including cancer, birth defects or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and/or side effects. On the contrary, an IUD is a very safe birth control method. 

An IUD never moves to the brain, heart or any other body part outside your abdomen. Proper technique of an IUD insertion can help in preventing many problems including perforation, infection, and expulsion. 

An IUD doesn’t cause cancer in a healthy female but cancer of reproductive organs contradicts the use of an IUD as it increases the risk of perforation, bleeding and infection. If you have breast cancer, then the use of a hormonal IUD is contraindicated (should not be used). 

An IUD doesn’t increase your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV. But, females who have a high risk of getting exposed to Chlamydia or Gonorrhea should not get it inserted. 

An IUD doesn’t increase your risk of having birth defects in the baby or having multiple pregnancies. 

Myth 9: An IUD can cause miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy 

Some women desire not to use an IUD as they have the incorrect belief that an IUD may cause a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. The fact is that your risk of having a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy is not increased after removing the IUD. On the contrary, the risk of getting an ectopic pregnancy in a female using an IUD is much less in comparison to the risk in a female not using any birth control method. 

An IUD doesn’t lead to miscarriage after its removal. If it is placed using the correct insertion technique, IUD use may not lead to difficulty of any sort in your future pregnancies. 

Myth 10: An IUD can cause a change in the menstrual pattern that can harm your overall health

Many women don’t desire to use an IUD as they have the incorrect belief that an IUD may either stop their monthly periods (cause amenorrhea) or cause painful, more frequent, or painful bleeding during periods and this can be harmful to the overall health. The fact is that the change in menstrual pattern is not harmful. You can experience menstrual pattern changes based on the kind of IUD you are using. 

If you are using copper-containing IUD you may experience:

  • Prolonged and heavy monthly bleeding.
  • More pain and cramps during periods.
  • Irregular bleeding.

These menstrual changes are quite normal and don’t indicate any illness. These are most commonly present during the initial three to six months after inserting the IUD and lessen gradually. 

If you are using hormonal IUD you may experience irregular, prolonged, or heavy bleeding during the initial few months. After that you may experience:

  • Predictable, lighter, and regular bleeding.
  • Light, no, or infrequent monthly bleeding.

These changes in bleeding are also normal and don’t indicate any illness. 

Myth 11: An IUD can cause inconvenience while having sex

Some couples have an incorrect belief that it can cause inconvenience while having sexual intercourse, and that it may hurt the penis of the male partner causing pain, or cause pain and discomfort in the female.  The fact is that using an IUD can make you more relaxed about not having unintended pregnancies, increasing your sexual pleasure and allow both the partners to enjoy sex better. 

 

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You Got A STD?!? – Now What?

You Got A STD?!? – Now What?

 

The diagnosis of a STD(s) or sexually transmitted diseases can be devastating for most men and women. It may raise several questions in their minds. At the same time, it can also increase concerns about how they can overcome the infection. 

The mixed bag of emotions, as well as the health issues that have been diagnosed, need to be managed carefully in order to avoid worsening the condition. Men and women who are suffering from a STD(s) are advised to follow the guidelines given below in order to manage their health in a safe and effective manner and overcome the emotional turmoil caused due to the same.

You Got A STD

Doctor, patient and urine test cup. Physician giving pee container to a woman in clinic or hospital emergency room. Urinary sample for medical exam in hospital. Checkup for infection.

What are STDs?

When the doctor informs the patients that he or she suffers from a STD, there is a need to understand what it exactly means. Sometimes a diagnosis of a STD is made by patients themselves, based on the specific symptoms they develop. In either case, it is important to understand what a STD(s) means and the different forms of these conditions so that patients can seek appropriate treatment. 

A proper understanding of sexually transmitted diseases, how they spread, the various routes of transmission of these infections and the available treatment modalities can help patients recover faster.

A STD(s) or sexually transmitted diseases refer to the infective conditions that are most often, though not exclusively, transmitted through sexual intercourse. The common sexually transmitted infections include HIV, syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydia, genital warts, and gonorrhea. Hepatitis, and trichomoniasis are also common infectious disorders transmitted through sexual intercourse. 

Earlier, STDs were referred to as venereal diseases. What makes STDs a serious concern is they are some of the most common contagious diseases. Also, some forms of STDs tend to produce recurring symptoms while some forms are difficult to cure completely. 

It is estimated that more than 65 million people in America suffer from incurable STDs. More than 20 million new cases of STDs are reported every year of which nearly 50% are young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years. 

Since STDs are known to have long-term emotional and physical consequences, it is important to be aware of the best ways to manage these conditions. Regular treatment coupled with the adoption of safe sex practices can help men and women avoid future sexually transmitted infections. 

Hence, the knowledge of how to avoid STDs forms the crux of the management of these infections. Patients who are diagnosed with a STD should find out why or how they might have contracted the infection and how they can avoid such infections in the future. This forms the first step that they should follow after the diagnosis of a STD. 

How do sexually transmitted diseases spread?

STDs spread from one person to another through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. STDs such as trichomoniasis may also spread through contact with moist or damp objects such as wet clothing, towels, and toilet seats, though it is more commonly transmitted via sexual contact. 

Men and women are at a high risk of STDs if they:

  • Have multiple sex partner.
  • Have sexual intimacy with someone who has had multiple partners.
  • Practice unprotected sex or do not use condoms during intercourse.
  • Share needles while injecting intravenous drugs.
  • Have used contaminated needles. 
  • Had a transfusion of infected blood. 
  • Trade sex for drugs and money. 

These risk factors make it clear that STDs can also get transmitted through routes other than sexual intercourse. Hence, it is advisable for men and women to avoid blaming themselves or their partner when they are diagnosed with these conditions. 

It should be noted that blaming the partner when the infection has actually been contracted due to the use of an infected needle during the administration of injection or blood transfusion may only strain their relations. 

Men and women should rather focus on avoiding the factors that may increase their risk of repeated STD in the future. 

It should also be noted that the pathogens that cause STDs can reside in the blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and even saliva of the infected person. Hence, care should be taken to avoid vaginal, anal, as well as oral sex with a partner known to have a  STD. Some STDs such as hepatitis B can spread through skin contact and the sharing of personal items like toothbrushes and razors. 

Men and women diagnosed with STD should make an effort to educate themselves about the possible modes of transmission of the infection so that the spread of the pathogen to others can be prevented. 

Treatment of STDs 

The diagnosis of any STD must be followed by the proper treatment of the specific condition. It is advisable to seek advice of a healthcare practitioner for the management of a STD. The doctor would not just prescribe appropriate medications for treating the infection, but also provide advice regarding the best ways to avoid the spread of the disease. Depending on the infection, the patient will be advised the following treatments for the STD:

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics administered in a single dose are usually prescribed for patients diagnosed with STDs of bacterial and parasitic origin. Antibiotics are effective for the management of STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and trichomoniasis. 

 

Antibiotics act in a variety of ways to control the infection. They may kill the bacteria directly or create an environment that makes their survival difficult. 

 

In most cases, chlamydia and gonorrhea are treated at the same time as these two infections tend to appear together. 

 

Different antibiotics may be prescribed to patients in varying dosages and durations based on the specific infection and the age of the patients

 

Once the antibiotic treatment is started, the entire course of the medication must be completed as recommended. If patients feel they would not be able to take the medication as prescribed or complete its entire course, they should inform the physician so that she/he can prescribe a shorter and simpler course.

 

Additionally, patients should abstain from sex during treatment and for seven to ten days after they have completed the course of antibiotics as well as until the sores have healed completely. Experts suggest retesting after about three months to rule out the presence of reinfection.

 

  • Antiviral drugs: treatment of STDs caused due to viruses are treated using antiviral drugs. For example; patients diagnosed with herpes or HIV are advised to use antiviral drugs. 

 

A daily suppressive therapy using an antiviral drug can help patients have a lower risk of recurrence of herpes. However, it is still possible for the patients to transmit the infection to their partner during sexual intercourse. Hence, the physician may also advise the partner of the infected patient to undergo antiviral therapy. 

 

While there are no medications to cure AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) caused due to HIV (Human immunodeficiency Virus) infection completely, patients may be prescribed antiviral drugs to keep the infection in check for several years. 

 

Regular treatment of patients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS using antiviral drugs can help to control the multiplication of the virus thereby slowing down the progress of the infection. However, patients may still carry the virus and transmit the infection to the partner. Hence, couples need to follow appropriate precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the infection. 

 

Patients are advised to seek treatment for HIV and other STDs at the earliest once the diagnosis is made. The sooner they start the treatment, the more effective the results will be.. 

 

Taking an antiviral medication exactly as recommended would help to heal the sores, relieve the symptoms, and reduce the viral count thereby reducing the risk of serious complications.

 

Partner notification and preventive treatment

Patients suffering from a STD are required to inform their sexual partners about the diagnosis as they are likely to spread the infection during sexual intercourse.

They should inform their current sexual partners as well as other partners they have had intimate sexual contact with over the past one year. The symptoms of most STDs do not become evident for a period ranging from a few weeks to months. Hence, even if the current or past partners seem to be in good health and do not have any evident symptoms, they must be informed about the diagnosis so that they can get tested. In case, the tests show positive results, the partners should also seek appropriate treatment for the infection. 

Guidelines of partner notification 

All states have different guidelines related to the disclosure of the diagnosis of STDs. Most states require certain STDs to be reported to the concerned health departments. Public health departments usually employ expert disease intervention specialists who can provide help for notifying the partners.

Official yet confidential notification to the partner can help to limit the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly syphilis and HIV. This practice can also steer the high-risk patients toward counseling and early diagnosis and treatment. 

Patients who have had a STD once are more likely to contract the same or another infection again in the future. Hence, partner notification is essential to reduce the incidence of reinfection. Patients diagnosed with STDs should follow these guidelines so that they can protect the health of others while also avoiding reinfection in the future. 

Here are some more recommendations that patients should follow when diagnosed with STDs

Recommendations for patients diagnosed with a STD

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Pregnant women diagnosed with STDs should contact a physician to learn more about the risk of transmitting the infection to the baby. Certain types of STDs such as HIV, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, chlamydia, and genital herpes are known to spread to the fetus or infant during pregnancy and labor. 

STDs in pregnant women may also increase the risk of complications such as premature labor and infection in the uterus. Some STDs like syphilis may cross the placental barrier and infect the fetus. 

Women should also be aware of the risk of transmission of the infection to the baby during breastfeeding. Women who have HIV should refrain from breastfeeding to prevent the spread of infection to the baby. 

STDs like trichomoniasis require women to wait until the course of the antibiotic is over before they can start breastfeeding the baby. Women diagnosed with syphilis or herpes can breastfeed provided they do not have active sores on any part of the breasts. 

How to reduce the spread of STDs?

Men and women should learn effective ways to reduce the spread of STDs in the future. Here are some precautionary measures recommended to  reduce the spread of STDs:

  • Avoiding any form of sexual contact 
  • The use of barrier methods of contraception such as condoms during vaginal, oral, or anal sex.  
  • Avoiding multiple sexual partners
  • Discussing each other’s sexual history before intimate contact with a new partner
  • Avoiding the use of contaminated needles
  • Receiving vaccination for hepatitis B and HPV 

Counseling

It can be common for men and women to experience emotional challenges when they are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease. In most cases, the emotional upheaval is associated with a feeling of guilt, shame, and even helplessness. Questions may also be raised about the source of the infection and the trust issues in the relationship especially when the infection is contracted through the partner. 

Hence, patients are advised to undergo individual and family counseling to prevent mental stress, strained relations, and more serious complications such as depression. 

Conclusion

Taking proper treatment can help to relieve the symptoms of STDs and ensure a faster recovery of patients. At the same time, individual and family counseling also forms an integral part of the management of sexually transmitted diseases. 

Adequate precautionary measures must be taken to prevent the recurrence of the same or of other sexually transmitted infections. Comprehensive management of STDs keeping in mind the physical and emotional symptoms can help patients and their partners to stay healthy while enjoying safe sex.

 

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For additional information, please visit hersmartchoice.com. 

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The Change Before “The Change”; Hot Flashes, Infertility, Happening Earlier Than You’d Expect?

 

The Change Before “The Change” Hot Flashes, Infertility, Happening Earlier Than You’d Expect? menopause

 

Hot flashes and night sweats! I was kind of prepared for it. I knew that somewhere around my 50’s, I would start getting these symptoms or maybe a few years earlier. I also knew there would be mood swings; I would be more irritable or angry and so on. 

But, I had reassured myself again and again that it was going to be just a natural phase of menopause that I couldn’t avoid. However, though most of the things I knew about menopause were correct, there was a small misconception I had and that was about the age! 

I was under the impression all these symptoms wouldn’t start when I got closer to 45. So, when I was around 40, I was relaxed thinking I have a few more years to go before I need to face menopause.

But, during that age itself, I started getting those annoying symptoms. I used to feel a sudden surge of heat in my body. I used to get all sweaty even when the weather was pleasant. My moods had become unpredictable. 

I started to wonder if it could be due to menopause. But I was still menstruating regularly. So, it didn’t make sense because menopause is actually a phase when the woman stops getting her periods.

So, why was I suffering from all these symptoms? It was very important for me to know that. I also wanted to find out how I could get relief because those hot flashes, mood swings, and sweating had started affecting my life in a huge way. 

Since I wanted to get a clear idea of whether these symptoms had anything to do with menopause, I decided the best person to approach for advice was a gynecologist. When I met my gynecologist, she told me I was suffering from a phase called perimenopause. I came to know many facts about perimenopause from her which I want to share with you today.

What is Perimenopause?

“Most women think ‘this can’t happen to me as I am still menstruating,'” said my gynecologist.  

However, the symptoms most women brush aside thinking they are not linked to menopause are actually due to a phase that occurs before menopause. And this phase is called perimenopause. 

It is the time when the production of estrogen in the ovaries begins to reduce gradually.

Perimenopausal symptoms usually last up until menopause when the ovaries stop producing or releasing eggs. In the initial 1 or 2 years of perimenopause, the decline in estrogen levels speeds up.

“Perimenopause is a transitional time that can occur around the age of 35. Women may begin feeling symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and increase sweating”, said Corio, a gynecologist in New York. 

However, not all women experience the same set of symptoms due to perimenopause. Some women are able to sail through this phase without much discomfort while others develop severe symptoms that interfere with their routine life significantly. 

 

The Change Before “The Change” Hot Flashes, Infertility, Happening Earlier Than You'd Expect

The Change Before “The Change” Hot Flashes, Infertility, Happening Earlier Than You’d Expect

What are the common symptoms of Perimenopause?

The symptoms of perimenopause are quite similar to those of menopause. The only striking difference is perimenopause occurs before menopause. The symptoms may include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Reduced fertility 
  • Irregular periods
  • Fatigue
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Decreased libido
  • Heart palpitations

These are the common symptoms of perimenopause. In rare cases, women may develop tenderness in the breasts along with pain or discomfort in the vagina during sex that could be linked to vaginal dryness. 

They may also experience involuntary leakage of urine, especially while coughing or sneezing along with urinary urgency or a frequent, urgent need to pass urine. 

Difficult in getting sound sleep is also one of the symptoms of perimenopause that can affect the daytime productivity of women and worsen their mood swings and irritability. The loss of sleep can also lead to low energy levels and fatigue. 

However, I still didn’t understand what menopause, perimenopause or anything related to women’s reproductive functions could affect my body temperature or sweating. In fact, I always had this question in my mind. 

My gynecologist explained to me why I was experiencing these symptoms. She told me hot flashes involve a sudden sensation of a wave of warmth or heat through the body that is usually accompanied by sweating, rapid heartbeat, and redness or flushing of the skin. The hot flashes usually last for about 1 to 5 minutes and are followed by a cold chill.

It is estimated that nearly 75% of women experience hot flashes during perimenopause.

Experts have attributed this sign to the decline in the levels of estrogen that occurs as women move towards the menopausal phase. As estrogen levels decline, the hypothalamus, a part of the brain which regulates body temperature, perceives an increase in body temperature. So, to bring the temperature back to normal, the brain releases hormones that work by increasing the heart rate and inducing dilation of the blood vessels. 

This leads to a sudden surge of blood through the face and skin aimed at dissipating the heat across the body tissues. The increased blood flow is what is primarily responsible for the hot flashes most women experience every now and then during the perimenopausal and menopausal period. 

Similarly, the natural cooling method triggered by the body to reduce the temperature works by increasing sweating, which explains why I was getting sweaty in spite of the weather being so pleasant. 

I also wanted to know more about why women’s ability to conceive reduces with age and whether it was due to perimenopause. The doctor told me the decline in fertility is linked to both aging as well as perimenopause. 

The drop in estrogen production during perimenopause inhibits the production and release of eggs from the ovaries thus causing a failure to get pregnant. 

However, the gynecologist also told me that some women are able to conceive even during perimenopause, though the chances are extremely low. Even Corio had mentioned that all women need to know this. 

She told me, ”Your chances of getting pregnant reduces after the age of 24. I see it often, women are just 32-year-old and 35-year-old, and their eggs are not viable for conception. The egg quality is poor. They are already in perimenopause and they do not even know it.” 

Being aware of the fact that fertility can decline as age increases, especially when we enter perimenopause, can allow women to make appropriate decisions about pregnancy planning. 

The decline in estrogen levels can also cause vaginal atrophy causing dryness and thinning of the vaginal tissues. This leads to a feeling of tightness, pain, and soreness in the vagina during sex. This affects women’s sexual pleasure and reduces their libido.

How long does perimenopause last?

On average, the duration of perimenopause is about 4 years. However, in some women, this phase may last just for a few months, while in others, it may begin at an early age and continue for 8 to 10 years. Perimenopause can be said to have ended when the woman has not had her periods for 12 months.

How to differentiate perimenopause from normal menstrual irregularities?

I was getting my menses regularly. However, I had noticed there were some changes in the flow. My menstrual flow was heavier than ever and I was also passing clots. I wanted to know whether these changes were also due to perimenopause and the hormonal change occurring due to it.

The gynecologist told me that most women get irregular periods during this phase. However, some women may have normal and regular periods while some may experience regular periods though with a few changes in their regular pattern. 

She told me that the effect of perimenopause on your menstrual cycles depends on how the levels of two female sex hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, change during this period. During perimenopausal phase, women may develop menstrual irregularities such as:

  • Heavier flow
  • Passing of large blood clots
  • The periods last longer than usual
  • Spotting between periods
  • Spotting after sex
  • Periods come more frequently

Most of these abnormal changes in periods could be linked to the changes in estrogen production. At the same time, it can also be due to other causes such as the use of birth control pills, fibroids in the uterus, and blood clotting disorders. 

In some cases, the spotting could also occur as a result of pregnancy. Most women do not consider pregnancy to be the cause of spotting especially after they have had kids or passed a certain age when they do not think they can get pregnant. However, it is essential to rule out this possibility as well because the ovaries are still producing eggs during perimenopause and hence, it is possible for women to get pregnant and experience spotting due to it. 

In rare cases, increased bleeding, and frequent periods can also occur due to cervical, endometrial or uterine cancer. Hence, women are advised to contact a gynecologist when they experience a change in their menstrual cycles to find out if it is due to perimenopause or any other factor.  

Menopause vs. Perimenopause

So far, I had a misconception that women can develop hot flashes and mood swings only due to menopause. But now that I had learned that even perimenopause can cause similar symptoms, I was obviously interested in knowing what the difference between these two phases was. 

The doctor told me perimenopause is when you still get your periods whether regular or irregular. Hence, it is still considered your reproductive age. Menopause, on the other hand, marks the end of periods as well the women’s reproductive age. 

You may enter perimenopause or menopause at an earlier age if you:

  • Have a history of early menopause in your family 
  • Have had an oophorectomy or hysterectomy 
  • Are a smoker
  • Have undergone treatment for cancer 

What is the treatment for Perimenopause?

I was eager to know if there was a way to overcome the symptoms that I was being plagued with for many years. 

The gynecologist told me I could get temporary relief from hot flashes by using low-dose birth control pills. However, if the symptoms are severe, it is advisable to choose other options such as birth control skin patch, progesterone injections, and vaginal ring. 

She also recommended some lifestyle strategies to relieve the symptoms. Let me share them with you:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Get adequate sleep every day and try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Maintain a healthy weight 

Narrative

The doctor’s advice gave me insight into what was happening to/with me, I had clarity. Now, I know why I was experiencing those symptoms that were supposed to occur in a few years from now. I was in perimenopause. 

The doctor asked me to do some tests including blood levels of hormones. Based on the reports, she advised me to use a birth control patch. I also followed the advice related to my lifestyle as suggested by her. 

The symptoms started subsiding slowly with the treatment. The doctor had also advised me to use calcium supplements as I had a higher risk of osteoporosis. My complete health check-up had revealed my bone mineral density was low. 

The comprehensive treatment offered by the gynecologist based on my specific symptoms and overall health helped me overcome this phase with ease. 

It’s been 2 years since I visited the gynecologist for the first time. I am taking treatment and doing tests regularly to check my hormonal levels. Within a few more years, I suppose, I would stop getting periods and enter menopause. However, I am confident, I wouldn’t have to face any difficulties during menopause as I am seeking regular advice from my gynecologist who recommends appropriate treatment based on my symptoms and hormonal levels. 

Conclusion

Perimenopause is a change in women’s life that occurs before the major change of menopause. Women may experience hot flashes, reduced fertility, and other symptoms during perimenopause due to the decline in the production of female sex hormones.  If you are suffering from such symptoms, it is best to contact a gynecologist so that you can receive timely treatment based on the correct diagnosis.

 

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For additional information, please visit hersmartchoice.com. 

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