The Gyn Down Dr Every Woman

The Gyn Project Podcast: Body Hair

I promise, one day these Podcast entries won’t come once every 6 months. I’ll get my rhythm in 2019. Subscribe, comment and follow me on IG, FB and iTunes. Thanks lovelies! #POPCORNHEALTH

Sincerely,

@dreverywoman

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Five Reasons To Not Buy A High Tech Baby Monitor

Technology is everywhere.

Phones are getting smarter. Computers are getting smarter. Even eye glasses are getting smarter.
But in the space of caring for growing babies, technology is not always a parent’s friend. Human nature says get the highest tech device that will keep my growing or newborn baby as safe as I can. This logic is flawed though and can actually lead to more harm. I’ll tell you why.

First, what kind of high tech monitors am I talking about?

This cease and desist on baby tech goes out to the following.
  1. Fetal heart dopplers for listening to the baby’s (fetus’s) heart rate while in the uterus.
  2. Infant heart rate and vitals monitors worn in cribs while the baby is sleeping.
  3. Pressure monitors that assess the breathing and movement of a baby.
Regarding the external monitors for newborns, I am ONLY speaking about term babies who have cooked in the uterus long enough and are NOT sent home with MEDICALLY ISSUED monitors. The babies who have physician recommended monitors are not the ones who I worry about overuse of baby-tech.

Technology is not always a parent’s friend.

Back in MY day (10 years ago), my husband and I had an audio-only monitor with one end in the baby’s room and 2 handheld monitors which we would leave in common areas of the house. When I would move from one area to another, I’d bring the audio monitor with me. I’m sure that when I was a baby, my parents just listened out for my cries. Or maybe they tied a tin can to a string in my room and held the other tin can in whatever adjacent room they were in, playing a version of infant telephone. I wouldn’t be surprised. The American Association of Pediatrics and the CDC provide the following recommendations to prevent SIDS and other scary and dangerous events in the early infant months:
  • Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep times—naps and at night.
  • Use a firm, flat sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Keep your baby’s sleep area (for example, a crib or bassinet) in the same room where you sleep until your baby is at least 6 months old, or ideally, until your baby is one year old.
  • Keep soft bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and soft toys out of your baby’s sleep area.
  • Do not cover your baby’s head or allow your baby to get too hot. Signs your baby may be getting too hot include sweating or his or her chest feels hot.
  • Do not smoke during pregnancy, and do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby. For help quitting, see How to Quit Smoking.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy.
  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Visit your baby’s health care provider for regular checkups. Your baby will receive important shots to prevent disease. Remember, vaccines do not increase risk. Evidence supports that infant scheduled vaccines DECREASE SIDS risk.
  • Offer your baby a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. If you are breastfeeding your baby, you may want to wait to use a pacifier until breastfeeding is well-established.

So what is the problem with having a high tech baby monitor?

It can only help keep baby safer, right? Wrong. From the Washington Post:
Parents might assume that a monitor that measures vital signs could prevent their baby from dying of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, but there’s no hard evidence for this. And studies from the 1980s and 1990s of hospital-grade heart-rate and breathing monitors prescribed for home use for babies thought to be at high risk for SIDS found that the monitors didn’t reduce babies’ risk of dying of SIDS. These older monitors were more cumbersome — not wireless like the commercial monitors available today — but they collected similar data, and some studies reported that their use increased parental stress and fatigue.
Pediatrician, Dr. Victoria Rodriquez, recommends:
“… not to bother with vital-signs monitors because they ‘don’t seem to prevent bad things from happening and can cause emotional distress for families.’”

Baby tech monitors may actually make infants LESS SAFE by offering false reassurance.

Also from the Washington Post:
Some pediatricians worry that home use of vital sign monitors might falsely reassure parents about SIDS, defined as a sudden death with unexplained cause during the first year of life, and other sleep-related deaths such as those caused by suffocation. “Parents may become complacent if they are using a monitor and figure that, since the monitor is on the baby, it’s okay to place the baby on her stomach to sleep or to otherwise not follow the safe sleep recommendations,” Rachel Moon, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, wrote in an email. She was the lead author of the AAP’s policy statement on safe sleep.
Pregnant woman
As an Obstetrician, the question I hear often is:
“Doc, should I buy a doppler to listen to the heart rate on my own?”
The answer is always the same. No. But why? For the same reason that newborn monitors are ill advised. If a woman can’t hear the heartbeat, which is not always easy to find, more stress and evaluation can ensue. Conversely, when the time comes in the pregnancy where kick counts are important, if a woman doesn’t get her kick counts, more evaluation may be necessary. More than just a few seconds of doppler monitoring, that is. A baby with a heartbeat can still be in distress.

In Summary,

More baby tech is not necessarily better, and in fact, it is likely worse. The irony is that many people buy these monitors to be more safe, when in fact they can absolutely cause more harm than good, both physically and emotionally for parents and baby. Enjoy your pregnancy and baby. Leave the non-medically-issued lack-of-supporting-evidence tech out of it. If you are worried, own your concern, ask questions, and find ways to manage anxiety. It’s okay to feel some level of worry about your baby. Welcome to parenthood.

How to help someone quit smoking AND vaping… and why you should keep trying.

Youth and young adult E-cigarette use increased more than 10-fold within the last decade. Harmless, right? I mean, they aren’t cigarettes. They are much safer, right?

WRONG.

I’m not trying to be killjoy, but this one needs a serious look. Especially since it is so popular with teens and young adults. This post will give you good reason and tactics to try to curb e-cigarette AND traditional cigarette use. I will also offer ways to encourage and support someone who embarks on the journey toward quitting.

Reason #1 to stop using vape pens:

Vaping pen increases the chances of starting traditional cigarette use over time.

From the surgeon general: 


Early e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction can harm brain development and increase the risk of young people smoking cigarettes.

2. The doses of nicotine are amplified with the use of vape pens


[A] study found that 63 percent of JUUL users did not know that the product always contains nicotine, even though all types of JUUL sold on the market, including mint, mango, creme brulee and cool cucumber flavors, have nicotine in them. In fact, a single JUUL cartridge is equal in nicotine content to an entire pack of cigarettes.

3. The contents of the various liquids are not standardized, so longterm safety is in question.

4. Masking feelings with dependence is as unhealthy as downing a double cheese burger, fries and a milkshake when your emotions are riding high. It may feel good in the moment, but unchecked, this practice will harm you.

5. Even if you are an adult, people are influenced by what they see. Whether you have 10,000 followers or 10 friends, you are an influencer. I take that responsibility seriously. If I stop smoking or vaping and that leads someone else to do the same, we all win.

So that friend, coworker or loved one has been saying no for years. So what? Studies show people do still quit, even after many MANY years or smoking.

Also, for those grandparents or parents who smoke and tell you that it is fine because the do it outside, remind them of this:

It’s not just about smoking near the baby or children. The sediment on your clothing can be harmful.

Asthma, allergies and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) are all more common in households of smokers even when direct smoke exposure is restricted. Clothing can be to blame. 

There are stages of quitting. Just because you want that person to quit doesn’t mean they are ready to do so. Asking them to quit, offering love and support throughout the process and reminding them of the benefits of quitting can help sometimes. Every cancer risk is higher with smoking. Life expectancy goes down with smoking. Skin ages faster as well.

What if that person does say that they are ready? How can you help?

Borrowing from Cancer.org,  here are some do’s and don’ts for friends and loved ones:

Do respect that the quitter is in charge. This is their lifestyle change and their challenge, not yours.

She may look cool, but she is about to lose something that means a lot to her when she quits.

Do ask the person whether they want you to ask regularly how they’re doing. Ask how they’re feeling – not just whether they’ve stayed quit.

Do let the person know that it’s OK to talk to you whenever they need to hear encouraging words.

Do help the quitter get what they need, such as hard candy to suck on, straws to chew on, and fresh veggies cut up and kept in the refrigerator.

Do spend time doing things with the quitter to keep their mind off smoking – go to the movies, take a walk to get past a craving (what many call a “nicotine fit”), or take a bike ride together.

Do try to see it from the smoker’s point of view – a smoker’s habit may feel like an old friend that’s always been there when times were tough. It’s hard to give that up.

Do make your home smoke free, meaning that no one can smoke in any part of the house.

Do remove all lighters and ash trays from your home. Remove anything that reminds them of smoking

Do wash clothes that smell like smoke. Clean carpets and drapes. Use air fresheners to help get rid of the tobacco smells – and don’t forget the car, too.

Do help the quitter with a few chores, some child care, cooking – whatever will help lighten the stress of quitting.

Do celebrate along the way. Quitting smoking is a BIG DEAL!

Don’t doubt the smoker’s ability to quit. Your faith in them reminds them they can do it.

Don’t judge, nag, preach, tease, or scold. This may make the smoker feel worse about him or herself. You don’t want your loved one to turn to a cigarette to soothe hurt feelings.

Don’t take the quitter’s grumpiness personally during their nicotine withdrawal. Tell them that you understand the symptoms are real and remind them that they won’t last forever. The symptoms usually get better in about 2 weeks.

Don’t offer advice. Just ask how you can help with the plan or program they are using.

If your ex-smoker “slips”

Don’t assume that they will start back smoking like before. A “slip” (taking a puff or smoking a cigarette or 2) is pretty common when a person is quitting.

Do remind the quitter how long they went without a cigarette before the slip.

Do help the quitter remember all the reasons they wanted to quit, and help them forget about the slip as soon as possible.

Do continue to offer support and encouragement. Remind them they’re still a “quitter” – NOT a smoker.

Don’t scold, tease, nag, blame, or make the quitter feel guilty. Be sure the quitter knows that you care about them whether or not they smoke.

If your quitter relapses

Don’t give up.

Research shows that most people try to quit smoking several times before they succeed. (It’s called a relapse when smokers go back to smoking like they were before they tried to quit.) If a relapse happens, think of it as practice for the next time. Don’t give up your efforts to encourage and support your loved one. If the person you care about fails to quit or starts smoking again:

Do praise them for trying to quit, and for whatever length of time (days, weeks, or months) of not smoking.

Do remind your loved one that they didn’t fail – they are learning how to quit – and you’re going to be there for them the next time and as many times as it takes.

Do encourage them to try again. Don’t say, “If you try again…” Say, “When you try again…” Studies show that most people who don’t succeed in quitting are ready to try again in the near future.

Do encourage them to learn from the attempt. Things a person learns from a failed attempt to quit may help them quit for good next time. It takes time and skills to learn to be a non-smoker.

Do say, “It’s normal to not succeed the first few times you try to quit. Most people understand this, and know that they have to try to quit again. You didn’t smoke for (length of time) this time. Now you know you can do that much. You can get even further next time.”

It’s a new year. Embrace a new you. Add value to someones life and don’t give up hope that they will one day quit. It’s not about being pushy or naggy either. It is about loving that person enough to remind them that there is a healthier way to live.

As always, thanks for reading and following The Gyneco-bLogic!

HIV Awareness with Dr. Reyna Gilmore- NYAD

My good friend Dr. Reyna Gilmore, also known as Not Your Average Doctor, has a radio show where she tackles important subjects and makes them interesting and engaging. This is my second opportunity to share my expertise on the show and we had a blast WHILE educating our audience.

Check it out and witness the birth of a movement- “Don’t quit your Vajay Job.” See how it started and have fun with us while we shed light on this sometimes taboo subject. You can also follow Dr. Reyna on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mentalhealthpsa/

ENJOY!

If You Suffer From Recurrent Irritation “Down There,” You NEED To Try THESE

There is no such thing as TMI in gynecology. If you are squeemish about talking about or SAYING the word VAGINA, we are going to handle that right now.

Vagina.

VAGINA.

VAGINA.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, many women see me because of recurrent vaginal irritation. I’m talking about itching, irritation, odor, and just overall heightened awareness of their vagina. Some women may have a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or urinary tract infections once in a blue moon.  Others may find themselves with irritating symptoms every month, every other month or more.

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Chill… it’s a plant 😉

How do I keep vaginal infections away?

For clarity, I am speaking about spontaneous vaginal infections, not sexually transmitted infections. There are many ways a person can prevent or decrease the risk of STIs. Check out THIS post about the types of sexually transmitted infections one can contract and how to avoid them. 

Unfortunately, yeast and BV aren’t as easy to prevent as STIs. Condoms won’t necessarily keep these random infections away. Some believe in a low sugar diet, probiotics, and dietary additions like yogurt. Boric acid is also a natural remedy that can be used to keep symptoms at bay when they creep up. But what else can you do to decrease the frequency of symptoms?

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Disclaimer: The following recommendation comes without scientific evidence. Most things you’ll see recommended from The Gyneco-bLogic are supported by studies and evidence. The recommendations in this post are anecdotal and based on years of experience, both personal and professional. Be assured that the recommendations are safe and will not cause harm.

This one goes out to my grandma Willie Mae.

The question I have for you is, do you sleep in underwear?

If you do, I would challenge you to spend some nights, if not every night, without panties on. Giving air an opportunity to circulate down there can definitely improve and decrease the frequency of irritation.  This recommendation is based on the fact that moisture and heat can allow more bacterial and fungal overgrowth.

The same theory is what makes you change out of sweaty clothing after exercise, to change moist pads or panty liners often, or to remove wet swimsuits quickly. At night, heat and moisture can also collect between the legs and increase infection risk.

What do you suggest I sleep in, Doc?

You can sleep in just pajamas, loose boxers, or hell, go crazy- Go COMMANDO. I personally am a huge fan of boxer shorts. Not boxer briefs, but light boxer shorts. They give the feeling of containment, catching any possible discharge while still allowing air to circulate. I also have children, so sleeping in the buff when any moment some little person may be in my room asking to go to the potty or reflecting on a bad dream gives me anxiety.

The boxers I personally use are these:

While the exact brand doesn’t matter, what I like about these are the short leg length, the loose fit and the thin material. If you click on the picture it’ll take you to Amazon and you’ll find that these are men’s boxers. Many of the women’s underwear in this category are more like fitted boy shorts. They are super cute, but don’t solve the aeration problem.

Click here or the images to be taken to the site that sells these items.

The boxers below are super cute and promising.

I found them on Amazon, too. They seem to be loose enough to give good air circulation. I haven’t tried them yet. If you try them, please message me or comment on social media. I’ll probably order them next time I’m feeling Primey, though.

These looked cool for the person who wants a basic white boxer, especially if you are specifically interested in sleeping.

Benefits of wearing boxers on a daily basis, or at least to sleep.

1. In general, you should expect less moisture build-up even during the day.

2. Panty lines through your clothes are basically not a thing.

3. Discharge volume seems less. This may be because discharge dries or doesn’t collect in such a concentrated area. If you are someone with a lot of discharge, maybe start with wearing boxers on the weekend to see if either discharge decreases or if it is at least contained within the boxers.

4. There are some theories that women with recurrent yeast can harbor yeast overgrowth in their underwear, even after washing. With boxers, since the fabric isn’t so closely associated with the vaginal area, the risk of reinfection should be less.

In summary, Grandma told me that “‘She’ needs to breathe.”

Women are often searching for natural remedies and prevention from infections. There are plenty of evidence-based do’s and don’ts. There are plenty of remedies and practices that don’t have scientific evidence based on study data but, are worth a try and won’t hurt. Consider this a part of that category.

And remember, I’m not just the president, I’m also a client. Lol.

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Because, well, she’s a boxer. Get it? #punlife

 

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We really appreciate your support.

 

Is The Pill Making You Crazy? Here’s how to find out…

If you are like me, and many women, you probably started birth control when you were an adolescent or young adult. The pill is commonly used to manage heavy or painful periods, especially the crazy ones that can go along with the beginning of women’s periods.

Simultaneously, adolescence brings about new emotions of its own.

I like to call them, the “bitchy years.” Actually, I don’t call them that, but you know what I mean. Teenagers can easily go from being super sweet and thoughtful to wanting nothing to do with their parents or guardians. Emotions are high. Feelings are on sleeves. It’s a tender time.

Fast-forward to one’s 20s. I know I was a proverbial book-worm during a large portion of my 20s. I was so laser focused on school, I don’t know if I really noticed a change in my emotions due to birth control.

I didn’t realize the effect birth control had on MY temperament until I came off of it.

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It really wasn’t until I came off of birth control in pursuit of pregnancy that I realized how unbothered I now was with little things that used to REALLY bother me. Critiques that used to get under my skin or little chores that I used to DESPISE were no longer that big of a deal. I had multiple revelation moments like this:

“Doc, don’t be mad. We made a mistake on your schedule. Can you see this patient even though she isn’t on the books?”

“Yeah, sure. No problem. Just put her in a room.”

*Thinking* Wow, these mis-schedule patients would have made me so irritated 3 months ago. Why am I so chill right now?

I still don’t think I REALLY put 2 and 2 together until I went back on the pill and found myself more irritable and tearful at things that I had become accustomed to not being bothered by. It became clear to ME that combined oral contraceptives (Estrogen and Progestin containing pills) and I do NOT get along.

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Ironically I have a lot of patients who say that birth control IMPROVES their mood.

I was just talking to a lady this week who said her anxiety and tearfulness is much BETTER when she is on birth control or when she is pregnant. She says it “evens her out.” She is not alone.

Personally, I am in a much better emotional place with my IUD. My progestin-containing IUD makes me feel how I feel OFF of birth control. Even though it still has a hormone in it, the amount is much less than what is in the pill. I know that I am different emotionally because I can still reflect on years of being annoyed by things that presently have me unbothered. Maturity has done some of that, but I KNOW my hormones are part of the change.

The take-home message is that we are all different.

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How we feel emotionally can be affected by our hormone status. Some ladies don’t report ANY mood changes from one birth control option to another or without birth control. Others will cope with day-to-day stresses very differently on the pill versus off.

Don’t be afraid to do your own self-assessment or to try different options. Just be safe and don’t leave your fertility un-controlled while you try to figure it out. Surprise pregnancies have their OWN VERY PROFOUND AFFECT on mood. IJS

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