Tag Archives: Uterus

Women are Sometimes Unreasonable

Women are often maligned and labelled as “unreasonable, unrealistic, illogical and hysterical”, even when their statements are reasonable and logical. “Blame it on the hormones” is the usual explanation from a male-dominated society. Physicians (mostly male) in the 19th century, unaware of hormone levels, concluded that somehow all this behaviour was connected to the presence of a uterus (from the Greek word hystera which means womb). They sometimes recommended hysterectomy to remove the root cause of these problems and render these women “normal”.

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Unfortunately, some surgeons today, too, subscribe to this view. Women in the reproductive age are advised a hysterectomy to remove the uterus, once it has finished its reproductive function, to relieve them of all their physical and psychological symptoms.

Yet 15 per cent of women suffer from unreasonable anger, excessive sensitivity, paranoid thoughts, anxiety, depression, uncontrollable crying spells, and bizarre food cravings during the pre-menstrual period. In 0.4 per cent, the symptoms may be severe enough to be labelled psychotic. These symptoms are called pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). They are not because of the presence of the uterus, but are attributed to the body’s response to normal changes in the hormonal (oestrogen and progesterone) ratios during the course of a menstrual cycle.

In PMS sufferers, there’s a lack of perfect synchronisation in the hormone levels, both at the pituitary-hypothalamic level in the brain and at the level of the ovaries (not uterus). Surges and dips cause changes in the biochemical neurotransmitters (serotonin) and precipitate the depressed “low feeling”. Attempts to alleviate the depression and push up neurotransmitter levels lead to food cravings and binge eating.

The mental changes can be disruptive to the family and in the workplace. By the time the distraught family persuades the woman to seek medical help, the onset of menstruation has restored the woman’s Jekyll-and-Hyde personality to normal. Unfortunately, the menstrual cycle and mood swings repeat themselves month after month.

PMS is commoner between the ages of 30 and 45. This led to the erroneous belief that it was in some way connected with approaching menopause. This isn’t true. However, this is the time when women experience the maximum stress in both their family life and career. They often fail to cope with the combination of stress and hormonal imbalances.

Some physical changes can be produced as a result of the hormones. Fluid retention can result in a measurable weight gain (1-2kg). This can make clothes tighter. There may be backache, joint pain, breast tenderness and palpitations.

Treatment becomes imperative when the mood swings make women depressed and suicidal, or psychotic and murderous. (Most murderesses committed their crime during their pre-menstrual phase). Also, job efficiency and interpersonal relationships may be affected because of tiredness, fatigue, sensitivity and ill temper...click & see.

It is difficult to convince women with PMS that they need help, especially since they are normal for around 20 days in a month. Also, the sensitivity varies from woman to woman. Some with mild forms may be acutely conscious of their problem, while others with severe degrees of PMS may rationalise their behaviour. To avoid PMS,

Try to maintain a body mass index (weight divided by height in metre squared) as close to 23 as possible

Instead of three large meals, eat six small meals at regular three-hour intervals. Add at least six helpings of fresh fruits and vegetables, one with each meal. These are high in fibre and beneficial antioxidants. Fibres delay digestion and absorption, helping to maintain a steady blood glucose level with no depression-inducing dips

Reduce the salt intake in cooked food to one teaspoon a day

Avoid fried, salted snacks and chocolate

Reduce the use of caffeine by cutting down on carbonated colas, tea and coffee

Do regular aerobic exercise such as an hour of walking, jogging, cycling, climbing stairs or swimming to reduce stress. Exercise improves blood circulation and reduces bloating and fatigue. It produces a sense of well being. It boosts the body’s natural production of endorphins, which acts as a mood elevator

Daily supplements of vitamins and minerals may be administered to relieve some PMS symptoms. A multivitamin capsule with B6 (100 mcg), B complex, vitamin E (400 IU) and vitamin C (100mg) and calcium (1,000mg) supplementation is beneficial

Capsules of evening primrose oil, oral contraceptive pills, low dose diuretic therapy, mild antidepressants and tranquilisers have been tried and have anecdotally helped some sufferers.

PMS tends to run in families. This may be because the hormone ratios are inherited, leading to similar behaviour. This becomes more likely because of a comparable lifestyle, with improper diet and inadequate physical activity.

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Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Soy Formula Linked To Fibroid Tumors

A study has linked soy formula given to babies with uterine fibroids in adults. Uterine fibroids are tumors of the uterus that can cause pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, and fertility problems. Uterine fibroids are the leading cause of hysterectomy.

Twenty thousand women participated in the study. They were asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, and were also asked about a variety or early childhood exposures including whether they had been fed soy formula.

According to Baby Gooroo:
“Women who were fed soy formula as babies were 25 percent more likely to develop uterine fibroids … The link between uterine fibroids and soy formula is thought to be a response to the isoflavones (naturally occurring estrogen-like substances) in soy, and in particular, the high exposure at an early age in women given soy formula during infancy.”

Sources: Baby Gooroo February 4, 2010

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Baby Development & Care from Birth to Three Months

It is very difficult to know  what a newborn baby is capable of. In the early days and weeks after birth, to the naked eye, not much. Eating, crying, sleeping, and pooping seem to take up the majority of her day, with a few moments of alertness thrown in for good measure. But recent research has shown that she’s doing a lot more than that. “Even in the first minutes of life, babies are a wonder,” says Naomi Steiner, MD, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at Tufts-New England Medical Center, in Boston. “The newborn has a superactive brain and is primed to learn.”
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Recent research, much of which relies on high-tech advances in intrauterine photography and brain imaging, now offers empirical proof of what parents have known all along: Babies are smart. What’s more, each baby is born with a unique personality that becomes readily apparent within the first few weeks of life. “Babies come into the world as themselves,” says Dr. Steiner. “It’s our job to get to know them.”

Baby’s Ability

Even though your baby can’t care for herself, what she is capable of at birth may surprise you. She’s born with 70 innate reflexes designed to help her thrive, some of which are truly remarkable. “Reflexes like the tonic neck reflex — in which your baby turns his head to one side, straightens one arm, and holds the other out — are critical to labor and delivery, helping your baby squirm around during the birth process, stimulating the uterus to keep contracting,” says Dr. Brazelton. In essence, he’s helping your labor progress.

Other reflexes are less subtle to a new parent. If left on his mother’s abdomen in a dim, quiet room after birth, a healthy newborn “will rest for about 30 minutes and will gaze at his mother’s face on and off,” reports Marshall Klaus, MD, who wrote the first textbook on neonatology and has coauthored a number of popular books for new parents, including Your Amazing Newborn (Perseus). Then he’ll begin smacking his lips and moving toward the breast completely unaided, using a powerful stepping reflex and bobbing his head up and down to gather momentum. Once at the breast, a newborn will open his mouth wide and place his lips on the areola, latching on all by himself for his first feeding. From that point on, these inborn responses will affect your newborn’s every move. The rooting reflex, for example, helps your baby seek nourishment. However, seemingly random, reflexive movements may be more intentional than we first thought. “When in a quiet, alert state, and in communication with a caregiver, some babies will reach out to try and touch something,” says Dr. Klaus.

Normal newborns at birth apparently have the underlying potential to reach for things, he explains, but their strong neck muscles are linked to their arms, so that a slight neck movement moves the arms as well. This connection protects the baby’s head from suddenly dropping forward or backward.

Baby’s Thinking

It depends upon how you define thought; of course, a newborn can’t share ideas. But some researchers believe that babies do put concepts together (albeit on a primitive level), evidenced by the fact that they remember and recognize their mother’s voice from birth, and express and respond to emotions before and immediately after birth. One could argue that memory and emotion are inextricably linked to thought. “A baby’s brain grows very differently depending on what sorts of experiences the baby has both in utero and after birth,” says Wendy Anne McCarty, PhD, the founding chair and faculty of the Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Program at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, in California. “During gestation, birth, and early infant stages, we learn intensely and are exquisitely sensitive to our environment and relationships. From the beginning of life, we’re building memories.” Other experts say that a baby’s brain is too undeveloped to do more than orchestrate vital body functions. One fact remains clear: Newborns learn every day and apply that knowledge to their growing repertoire of skills. So can a newborn really think? Watch your baby, and judge for yourself!

Yopu may find the following:-In the first three months, your baby will learn to raise his or her head, smile, kick, move both arms and legs, roll over and make babbling noises. You will also learn to distinguish your baby’s cries, which will help you determine what your baby wants from you. Baby may also learn to wake up less as his or her stomach grows bigger and takes more in at a feeding.

Dr. Klaus discovered that newborns instinctively reach out until about 3 weeks of age, when this ability apparently disappears until about 3 months of age. This coincides with the time it takes your baby to start learning how to integrate his senses and gain control over his muscles. This is a prime example of how your baby’s need to learn so much, so quickly, means he must set aside some tasks while focusing on other, more important ones, such as regulating his sleep-wake cycles and figuring out how to focus his brand-new eyes on all the new sights around him.

So why do all these useful survival instincts seem to disappear so early — some as early as the 2-month mark? A baby spends the first few months of his life reacting to the world around him. But once he starts to understand where he ends and the world begins, which is partly a matter of brainpower, and partly a matter of practice, some behaviors that were once reflexive become active, as gradually baby learns that he can make things happen on his own and affect his environment. And, says Dr. Brazelton, “Just watching a baby learn is enough to give you hope for the human race.”

Baby’s Senses and Sensibility:-
Touch:
Your newborn’s skin is his largest and most highly developed sensory organ. At birth, your baby can respond to variations in temperature, texture, pressure, and pain. Your newborn’s lips and hands have the largest number of touch receptors, which may account for why newborns enjoy sucking on their fingers.

Smell:
By the 28th week of pregnancy, your baby can use her nose. One piece of evidence: Newborns placed between a breast pad from their mother and one from another woman most often turn toward the one with the alluring Mom-smell.

Taste:
In your womb, your baby gets a sampling of flavors as he swallows amniotic fluid. Studies have shown that fetal swallowing increases with sweet tastes and decreases with bitter or sour tastes.

Hearing:
Although your baby’s middle ear is still somewhat immature at birth, as are the sound processing centers of his brain, your newborn can hear you and will prefer human speech over any other sounds, especially if the voice is yours.

Vision:
By the time you actually meet your baby, her eyes are capable of excellent vision; however, her brain is still too immature to distinguish between different shades of color. By the time your baby is 3 months old, she will want to look at the world around her. She’ll prefer bright colors or sharp contrasts, and her favorite thing to look at will be faces.

Resources:

http://www.parents.com/baby/care/newborn/your-baby-from-birth-to-3-months/?page=5
http://www.thebabydepartment.com/babycare/baby-development.aspx

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New Way to ‘Stop’ Premature Birth

A drug used to treat cancer can stop contractions and may prevent premature labour, researchers say.
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The Newcastle University team tested the drug Trichostatin A on tissue taken from 36 women undergoing a caesarean.

The researchers said the therapy worked by increasing the levels of a protein that controls muscle relaxation.

One expert said with rates of premature births rising – there are 50,000 a year in the UK – a new treatment was badly needed.

Preterm labour and birth continue to be the single biggest cause of death in infants in the developed world and around 1,500 babies die in the UK every year.

A number of drugs are used to try to stop early labour, but most have serious side effects.

Trichostatin A (TSA) is known to promote the death of cancer cells.

The researchers got permission to take samples of the muscles of women undergoing caesarean sections at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, the Cellular and Molecular Medicine journal reported.

Contractions
They exposed the muscle to TSA and measured the effects on both spontaneous contractions and those induced by the labour drug, oxytocin.

They found an average 46% reduction in contractions for the spontaneously contracting tissue and an average 54% reduction in the oxytocin induced contractions.

It has been previously shown that a protein kinase A (PKA) is involved in controlling the relaxation of the uterus during pregnancy.

The researchers showed that TSA increased the levels of a protein sub-unit of PKA.

Professor Nick Europe-Finner, who led the research, said: “We will not give this drug to a patient because it can damage as many as 10% of the genes in a cell.

“But it does show us that other more specific agents that act on the same enzymes but only one at a time are worth investigating.”

New treatment
Dr Yolande Harley, deputy director of research at Action Medical Research which funded the study, said: “This project has uncovered some of the molecular pathways that regulate uterine contractions and so could be linked to premature birth.

“It could have a role in preventing premature birth – finding a new treatment for early labour would be a major step forward.”

Professor Jane Norman, a spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG), said: “At the moment, it’s not possible to treat preterm labour effectively. We only have drugs that delay it by 24 hours or so – not enough to deliver the baby safely.

“One of the interesting things about this research is that they are using a new kind of drug – the drugs we are currently using have been around for a long time.

“And they are targeting pathways we have not known about before.

“When you consider that preterm birth rates are rising in all four countries of the UK a new more effective drug is badly needed.”

Source:BBC News:Oct.22 ’09

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Testing for Vaginitis (Yeast Infections, Trichomonas, and Gardnerella)

Posterior half of uterus and upper part of vag...

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What is the test?
Vaginitis is inflammation or an infection of the vagina; symptoms usually include itchiness or irritation, abnormal discharge, and an unpleasant odor. Diagnosing the cause of vaginitis involves a simple examination of the vaginal fluid under a microscope or sending the sample to a laboratory for a culture….CLICK & SEE

How do you prepare for the test?
Because douches or vaginal creams can make it hard for the doctor to interpret test results, don’t use these products before the test. No other preparation is necessary.


What happens when the test is performed?

You’ll have a pelvic examination. The doctor uses a cotton swab to collect a sample of the fluid that moistens the lining of the vagina. This swab is rubbed against two glass slides, and a small drop of fluid is placed on each slide to mix with the vaginal fluid. If your doctor is testing for infection with gonorrhea or chlamydia, he or she might use a second cotton swab to take a sample of mucus from the middle of the cervix.

Your doctor or a technician examines the slides under a microscope for signs of infection with yeast, a tiny parasite called Trichomonas, or a bacterium called Gardnerella (which causes an infection called bacterial vaginosis). If a second cotton swab was used, the doctor sends it to a laboratory for gonorrhea or chlamydia testing.

A pelvic examination assesses the health of your vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This exam may be done in conjunction with a diagnostic or screening test. You lie on your back on an examining table with your knees bent and your feet in footrests. The doctor or the doctor’s assistant asks you to spread your knees apart. The exam has two parts: a speculum examination and a bimanual examination. The speculum examination allows the doctor to see inside you, and the bimanual examination allows him or her to feel inside you.

During the first part of the examination, the doctor inserts a speculum, a device used to separate the walls of your vagina (normally the walls are touching each other) so that he or she can see inside. You will feel some pressure when the doctor inserts the speculum. As it is inserted, the doctor also shines a light inside you, and can see the walls of your vagina as well as the cervix-the outermost part of your uterus. If you have a vaginal infection, an abnormal discharge may be visible in the vagina. The doctor can take a sample of that discharge and study it under a microscope to diagnose what kind of infection you have.

In the center of the cervix is a channel called the cervical os that leads to the interior of your uterus. If there is bleeding in the uterus, bloody material may be seen coming out through the cervical os. If there is an infection in the uterus, pus can be seen coming out through the os. With certain infections, the outer surface of the cervix can appear irritated, or may have tiny areas of bleeding.

Even if everything looks normal, the doctor may do a routine screening test such as a Pap smear or a diagnostic test such as an endometrial biopsy or colposcopy. These techniques identify various diseases or conditions that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

During the bimanual examination, the doctor determines the size and shape of your uterus. He or she presses inside your vagina with one or two fingers while pressing on your lower abdomen with the other hand. In this way, the uterus is lifted up toward your abdominal wall, making it easier to feel between the two hands. The doctor can feel if the uterus is enlarged, or whether it is lumpy from fibroids (very common but benign growths on or in the wall of the uterus). The doctor also sometimes can feel the ovaries and any masses in the fallopian tubes (the tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries into the uterus). Sometimes he or she will insert another finger into your rectum, to better feel the area between the uterus and rectum. That finger can also feel for any lumps in the wall of the rectum, and can obtain a sample of stool to be tested for any sign of bleeding.

What risks are there from the test?
There are no risks from this test.

Must   you do anything special after the test is over?
No.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor can tell you what he or she saw under the microscope right away. Testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia usually requires a few days. Yeast infections are the most common type of vaginal infection, affecting three out of four women at one point or another in their lives.Although a number of over-the-counter medications are available to treat yeast infections, it is best to consult a doctor before treating yourself-especially if you have never had a yeast infection before.

Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/testing-for-vaginitis.shtml

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