News on Health & Science

Exercise ‘No Aid’ for Period Pain

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Exercise does not help to alleviate period pain, despite it being commonly recommended for women with monthly symptoms, say researchers.
A study of more than 650 university students reported in BJOG found 28% had moderate to severe period pain.

But Birmingham University researchers said they found no link with the amount of exercise the participants did.

GPs said women should be encouraged to do exercise regardless but drugs are available for those with period pain.

The study authors said beliefs about exercise being an effective treatment for bad period pain had persisted for years.

They carried out a questionnaire among 18 to 25-year-olds to find out what age they started their period, how often they had periods, what contraception they used, and whether they had children or had any conditions such as endometriosis or fibroids.

The students were also asked what type of exercise they did and how often as well as other general lifestyle questions.

Responses showed that 72% had no or very little period pain but 28% had moderate to severe pain with their monthly cycle.

After taking into account mood, ethnicity, weight, smoking, and use of the contraceptive pill, they found no link with how much exercise a woman did and whether she suffered from period pain, or how bad her pain was.

‘Anecdotal beliefs’:-

Researcher, Dr Amanda Daley concluded that more research was needed before women are told that exercise will reduce of alleviate period pain.

“Anecdotal beliefs that exercise is an effective treatment have prevailed for many years and while it might seem intuitively appealing to promote exercise as a treatment for menstrual disorders, the findings from this study, along with many others, would not support such a view.

“Of course there are many other important health reasons for encouraging women to be physically active and exercise performed in moderation is unlikely to be harmful.”

Royal College of GPs chairman Professor Steve Field said women with period pain should do what works for them and exercise might make them feel better in general.

“It is a common problem and people usually self-medicate.

“Some exercise is good for you of course but the main treatment for period pain is the contraceptive pill.

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Source: BBC News. Dec.12’09

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Contraception Myths

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A UK survey has revealed that myths about contraception may be widespread.

One in five women said they had heard of kitchen items, including bread, cling film and even chicken skin, being used as alternative barrier methods.

Others had heard food items such as kebabs, Coca-cola or crisps could be used as oral contraceptives.

The survey questioned 1,000 women aged 18 to 50 and was carried out by market research company Opinion Health, sponsored by Bayer Schering Pharma.

Contraceptive myths have been around for thousands of years.

Ancient methods have varied from crocodile dung and honey before sex, to sea sponges and beeswax after.

Perhaps the most intoxicating was alcohol made from stewed beaver’s testicles.

However, it seems that a variety of unsafe and unproven methods might still exist in modern Britain.

Dr Annie Evans, Women’s Health Specialist at the Bristol Sexual Health Centre, said: “It is not surprising, given that Britain continues to have the highest unintended pregnancy rate in Europe.”

Other myths surround the use of oral contraceptive pills. One in 10 of the women questioned believed that it always takes a number of years to regain fertility after discontinuation of the pill. Others believed that the pill could protect them against HIV.

Professor Steve Field, Chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, commented: “This is alarming but not surprising.

“I’ve had complications with patients over the years that have concerned me.

“The more we can put appropriate information to the public about the availability of different methods of contraception, about their advantages and disadvantages, the better.

“It is important that access to advice is made as easily as possible for all ages.”

*Chicken skin and cling film as barrier methods

*Kebabs, crisps and chocolate as oral contraceptives
The pill as protection against HIV
Source: Bayer Schering Pharma

Yopu may also click to see:-
>’We want real contraceptive choices’
>Survey shows contraception myths
>NHS in contraception switch call
>BBC Health – Contraception

Source: BBC NEWS:5th. Sept.2009

News on Health & Science

Testosterone Jab Best bet as Male Contraceptive

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Chinese researchers are on track to create an effective male contraceptive jab with none of the usual side-effects, a development that    would revolutionize family planning.

The testosterone injection works by temporarily halting sperm production by reducing levels of two regulatory brain chemicals. Previous attempts to develop an effective and convenient male contraceptive have encountered problems over reliability and side-effects, such as mood swings and a lowered sex drive. The study, which will appear in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, was backed by the World Health Organisation.
Researchers were able to achieve a 99% success rate by injecting men with testosterone in a trial that they claim is the largest so far conducted anywhere in the world.

The latest research, conducted at the National Research for Family Planning in Beijing, injected 1,045 healthy, fertile male patients aged between 20-45 years with a testosterone-based jab over a two-year period and found only 1% went on to father a child, the Independent newspaper reported on Tuesday. Their female partners were between 18 and 38 years of age and had normal reproductive function.

Males were injected monthly with 500 mg of a formulation of testosterone undecanoate (TU) in tea seed oil for 30 months. Results showed a cumulative contraceptive failure (pregnancy) rate of 1.1 per 100 men in the 24-month efficacy phase. No serious adverse events were reported and reproductive function returned to the normal fertile reference range in all but two participants, said a NRIFP release.

“For couples who cannot or prefer not to use only female-oriented contraception, options have been limited to vasectomy, condom and withdrawal,” said Yi-Qun Gu, the lead researcher. “Our study shows a male hormonal contraceptive regime may be a potential, novel and workable alternative,” he was quoted as saying by the British daily.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Health Quaries

Some Health Quaries & Answers

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Q: Whenever I take any antibiotics or painkillers I develop severe gastric irritation, with belching, burning and pain. Can I take antacids to prevent this?

A: Painkillers usually belong to the “aspirin” family, or are paracetamol or are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents). All of them can cause gastric irritation to varying degrees. The same is true of some antibiotics also. Using an antacid decreases the availability of the medication as many of them interact with the antacid in the stomach. Instead, you can add omeprazole, pantoprazole or ranitidine to the prescription. You can speak to your physician for specific advice and dosage schedules.

Try smiling :-

Q: At 50 years of age I find I have a sad and depressed look as I have bags on the cheek and my whole face sags. It affects my mood when I look in the mirror.


A: Sagging of the skin (jowls) occurs owing to the loss of subcutaneous elastic tissue with age. The skin is not held taut. Gravity then causes the cheeks to sag. You have to be very conscious of this.

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Instead of developing a grumpy expression, try smiling. This will pull up your cheek muscles and the skin overlying them.

You can also apply oil every morning and massage your cheeks upwards. This will give you slow improvement. If nothing works, and you are really mentally affected by this, several plastic surgery techniques are available. Alternatively, you can always try Botox.

Grandma’s bladder :-


Q: My 82-year-old grandmother suffers from recurrent urinary tract infections. Cultures of the urine repeatedly grow significant numbers of bacteria. The doctors advised an ultrasound (USG) and it indicated significant residual urine — around 190cc. What can we do?

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A: Residual urine means that her bladder is not emptying properly. Urine is left behind in significant amounts after she has passed urine. This occurs because of a weakness of the pelvic muscles as a result of previous childbirth, age and the loss of protective female hormones after menopause. Urine is a good culture medium for bacteria to gain a foothold and thrive. As long as this problem persists and urine remains in the bladder, infections will recur. You also need to check if she has any additional risk factors like diabetes.

Appropriate antibiotic treatment has to be given in the correct dosage for the recommended schedule for the infection to clear. Sometimes a small night dose of antibiotic has to be continued prophylactically for a few months. Ask your grandmother to lean backwards instead of forwards while passing urine. That will help to empty the bladder more. In addition, yoga or Keegle’s exercises can be done to strengthen the pelvic muscles.

Exercise, please:-

Q: I have been a naturopath and yoga teacher for 30 years. Many diseases, infirmities, injuries and the effects of ageing can be delayed or prevented by practising this scientific ancient exercise form. Recovery from illness is also faster. I find most of my patients very resistant to the idea of exercise. They have a thousand irrelevant excuses to put off to “tomorrow” a schedule to start being physically active. Needless to say, tomorrow never comes!

A: People are looking for a “quick fix ”, an instant solution or a miracle drug that’ll cure all their ailments with the least effort. Unfortunately the body has to be maintained and nurtured like any other piece of functioning ageing machinery.

Studies show that 60 minutes of aerobic activity and 10 minutes of stretching will go a long way in maintaining health. For those who cannot spare that amount of time at one stretch, it can be split into 10 or 20 minute segments. The eventual benefits are immeasurable.

On the pill for 15 years :-

Q: I am 45 years old and have been on an oral contraceptive pill (OCP) for 15 years. How will I know if I have reached menopause? After all, the pill produces withdrawal bleeding every month.

A: When you actually reach menopause there will be no withdrawal bleeding after the tablets are stopped. If this occurs for three months you have probably reached menopause. It is safer to continue the pills for a year more. If you stop the pill you should use some other form of contraception like condoms for a year.

Excruciating pain :-

Q: I was pregnant a year ago. On scan the baby was found to have Down’s syndrome. I underwent a termination of the pregnancy. Now I have lower abdominal pain all the time. Sometimes it is so severe that I have to double up. What can I do?

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A: Since this pain has appeared after the abortion, you could take an ultrasound of the pelvis and do a urine examination. This will help to determine if there is an infection or any other reason for the pain. Armed with these reports you could go to a gynaecologist for specific advice and treatment.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Health Quaries

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Q: I like to avoid breakfast as I feel it is unnecessary. I also think I am more likely to lose weight in this way.

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A: Many studies have shown that 40 minutes of exercise followed by a healthy breakfast is the best way to kickstart your day. It prevents “mid morning blues” and reduces the craving for food and hence the total consumption of calories during the day.

Dog bite bother

Q: I got bitten on the cheek by my neighbour’s dog. They say that they were unable to complete the schedule of immunising the dog.

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A: Dog bites are dangerous as they can transmit rabies. The safest course of action is to clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water and then leave it open. Take a single injection of tetanus toxoid and then proceed to take the anti-rabies injections as per schedule of the injection package. The newer vaccines are given in the arm. They are safe and produce fewer side effects than the older vaccine which was given around the umbilicus. The vaccine is freely available. You need not go to a government hospital for treatment as earlier.

Better safe than sorry

Q: I was told that only the semen contains disease causing organisms, and so using a condom just before ejaculation is enough to prevent diseases like AIDS.

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A: During sex the skin of the vagina is in close contact with that of the penis even before ejaculation. Small abrasions are enough to transmit infection. Be safe. Use a condom from the beginning of the intercourse. You have only one life. Why endanger yourself?


Q: My wife has just had a baby. How soon can we have intercourse? I don’t want another child before 3-4 years. Can we use the i-pill?

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A: Intercourse can be resumed six weeks after childbirth, provided the attending physician hasn’t advised otherwise. You need to use contraception even if your wife doesn’t begin menstruating after six weeks or if she is breast feeding. You can use condoms, or opt for the insertion of an IUCD (intrauterine contraceptive device), also called a “loop”, or take regular injections (every 12 weeks) of a long acting progesterone or take “progesterone only” pills daily. Combined (estrogen-progesterone) pills are not advisable for breast feeding mothers.

The i-pill is intended only for emergency contraception. It is not meant for use on a regular basis.

Rash riddle

Q: My one-year-old son developed rashes on both his cheeks. The doctor said it is allergy to cow milk. Although I’ve stopped giving him milk, the rash has not improved. How is that possible?

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A: What you are describing is eczema, an allergic skin reaction. You may have stopped giving him milk but he may be receiving milk indirectly in biscuits or pre-packaged ready to eat weaning cereals. This may perpetuate the problem.

Help, I’m fat

Q: I am 32 years old and weigh 97kg. I calculated my BMI and it is 37. I read recently that if the cholesterol values are high, it is not possible to lose weight no matter what you do. This is very discouraging.

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A: You do urgently need to lose weight and this cannot be achieved by diet alone. You need a sensible low fat 1,500-calorie diet and at least an hour of exercise. Brisk walking is probably sufficient. Consult your physician for your cholesterol values and appropriate treatment. Safe medications are now available to lower cholesterol and also to control appetite.

Twin trouble

Q: What are the chances of having twins? The number of twins seems to be increasing in general and I am worried.

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A: Twins occur in around 30 out of 1,000 pregnancies. The percentage may seem to be high. In fact, pregnancies after fertility medication or in vitro fertilisation (test tube babies) are more likely to be multiple.

Your chance of having twins is greater if there is a family history of twins.

The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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