Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

Sex And Your Defibrillator

Have a defibrillator and feel like getting frisky? For the first time that I can recall, there’s a very helpful article published in Circulation addresses the concerns of implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) patients and sexual activity. There’s all kinds of helpful tidbits, like this one:

A study of 1,774 patients who had experienced an acute myocardial infarction showed that sexual activity was a likely contributor in fewer than 1 percent of cases. In fact, regular physical exertion, such as that associated with sexual activity, was associated with a decreased risk of cardiac events in patients.

Now that’s helpful!

Recall that defibrillators are designed to detect rapid, potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. Most of the time, sexual activity does not lead to heart rates at a level that ICD’s would consider elevated during intercourse. (This, of course is patient specific). While your doctor can tell you the rate cut-off at which your ICD might possibly fire, watching your heart rate rise with a monitor during those moments might be a bit of a, shall we say, turn-off. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*

The Diaphragm Is Back, And It’s Latex-Free

DiaphragmAfter a prolonged hiatus, during which diaphragms became as scarce as Elaine’s treasured sponges, the Ortho All Flex diaphragm is back, and it’s now latex-free.

The over one-year (at least in my area) shortage happened as the manufacturer transitioned from the old latex to new silicone diaphragms, and suppliers everywhere began backordering this important barrier contraceptive. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog that Ate Manhattan*

Ask Yourself: Have You Had Sex?

You wouldn’t think that was a tough question – most doctors and therapists assessing risk in teenagers ask this simple question every day – but an accurate answer seems hard to get. A new study from the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University found no consensus among people 18- to 96 year-year-old when they were asked that question.

Thirty percent of the people did not consider oral sex, having sex. Twenty percent did not consider anal sex, having sex, and the winner – only 89% considered vaginal sex having sex if there was ejaculation. (Can I just say, hay carumba!)

This lack of consensus suggests that just asking the question “Have you had sex?” is pretty much a waste of time, unless you are very specific about the type of behavior you are asking about. In addition, if people do not consider these activities sexual, they are likely not worrying about the sexual risks associated with them. Be clear, be considered!

Photo credit: walknboston

This post, Ask Yourself: Have You Had Sex?, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »