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Many Women Remain Unaware Of A Non-Surgical Treatment For Uterine Fibroids

[image:  iStockphoto]

Ladies imagine planning your daily events based around the timing of you menstrual cycle.

Some women suffering from uterine fibroids have a menstrual flow so heavy that it can impede their life.

“Everything must be planned around their menstrual, and it can be very draining physically (from the anemia of blood loss), as well as, mentally from the resulting stress this creates,” says Dr. John Lipman, Director of Interventional Radiology & Center For Image-Guided Medicine, Emory-Adventist Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia.  “This can imprison women such that their entire life is tied to the menstrual cycle. They may not work or even be able to leave the house for several days each month. Even if they can work, the frequent interruptions throughout the day often makes this time very unproductive,” he adds.

“Uterine fibroids are the most common non-cancerous tumors in women of childbearing age. Fibroids are made of muscle cells and other tissues that grow in and around the wall of the uterus, or womb. The cause of fibroids is unknown. Risk factors include being African-American or being overweight.”

According to The National Women’s Health Information Center – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, about 20 percent to 80 percent of women develop fibroids by the time they reach age 50.

Dr. Lipman writes: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

What To Do About Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome)

Knee-pain-running

My left knee hurts. When I put weight on it with my leg bent, like when I get out of the car, I feel a dull pain in my knee. My doctor and physical therapist have given me a diagnosis of patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as “runner’s knee” or patellar knee-tracking syndrome. Simply put, my kneecap doesn’t run smoothly up and down its track—a groove called the trochlea.

Anyone can get patellofemoral pain syndrome, but for some reason it is more common in women than men—especially in mid-life women who’ve been running for many years. The problem, say researchers who just published a study in the journal Gait and Posture, is that lots of “mature” women develop alignment problems with their knees. The researchers compared younger female runners to older female runners and found misalignment of the knee to be much more common in the older women. Some knees sagged inward, others bowed outward or were rotated.

When the alignment is off, the kneecap can’t smoothly follow its vertical track as the knee bends and extends. This causes wear and tear on the joint. That leads to overuse injuries like runner’s knee and, down the line, osteoarthritis, which can really put a cramp in a runner’s career.

My physical therapist recommended that I Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*

Egg Freezing – Not As Successful As You Might Think

NPR is running a typical media hype story on oocyte preservation (egg freezing), featuring the standard happy family photo with their “miracle” baby born after thawing and fertilizing a cryopreserved egg.

It’s a heartwarming story and a pretty photo, but far from a complete picture of what women need to know about this still experimental fertility preserving procedure. Nowhere does the article tell women the actual success rates of occyte cryo-preservation.

So before you run out to freeze your eggs, know this – the chance of having a pregnancy after egg freezing is less than a 50/50 shot – at most about 39%, according to the latest data.  That’s about the same odds you’d have if you just wait till 40 to try to get pregnant on your own. In addition, while somewhere between 1 and 2 thousand infants have been born using the technology, we do not yet have data on their long term outcomes. Read more »

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

Progesterone Gel Could Reduce The Risk Of Pre-Term Deliveries

Of the 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year, approximately 12.3 percent of them will be premature and 3.56 percent will occur before 34 weeks. Premature birth is one of the leading causes of severe handicaps and has an annual cost of approximately $26 billion dollars. Although risk factors for preterm labor have been identified, there is still no cure. As stated in a previous blog post, when the cervix becomes weak (a condition called cervical insufficiency), the patient is at risk for second trimester miscarriages and preterm labor. Also, if a patient has a previous history of premature birth then she needs her cervix measured in a future pregnancy.  If her cervix is short and measures between 16 mm and 25 mm before 23 weeks, she is at risk for premature labor and delivery. The recommended treatment for a short cervix is either progesterone suppositories or injections. A few months ago, there was profound controversy over an FDA approved injection that would cost approximately $1500.00 if purchased by the manufacturer, K-V Pharmaceuticals. Bending under political pressure, K-V reduced their price to $690.00.

The more options that are available for treatment of premature labor, the greater the chances are of achieving a full term baby. In the past two months, a new study has emerged which describes a progesterone gel that reduced birth rates before 33 weeks by 45 percent and improved newborn outcomes. This is a significant result. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*

Accepting Different Body Types, But Not Embracing Obesity

I just learned (yes, I’m a little late to the party) about the Body Shop anti-barbie controversy from a post on Facebook. The ad to the left has been banned from most countries, because it was believed to be in bad taste. For me, it raises some very interesting questions.

First of all, it’s been my experience that the media has been relentless in its portrayal of feminine beauty as being a dress size zero. This is an unattainable goal for most of us, and a very narrow view of what is truly attractive and physically healthy. I can’t imagine how many young girls feel deeply flawed when they compare themselves to Barbie et al. If unchecked, that self-doubt and insecurity can become a lifelong self-esteem issue or worse. Eating disorders are becoming more and more common, and carry with them the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

That being said, I’ve often had mixed feelings about the few “love your body as it is” campaigns* that have tried to push back against the rail-thin ideal. While we all have different body types, it’s still not healthy to be obese. Just as our favorite pets are born with different natural shapes (Chihuahuas, Whippets, Golden Retrievers, and Great Danes), we humans are different sizes too. But that doesn’t mean it’s “ok” to be excessively fat. Read more »

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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