Pap Smear – After all it’s just a Test!!!

Dear friends & Readers as a Gynecologist we come across so many different questions and anxious doubts on an array of tests, diseases and medicine intakes. One Such question happens to be about Pap Smear and its importance in able to lead a healthy life. The following is a quick gist on Pap smear and questions related to it. Consult Now!

What is Pap smear all about?

Pap smear is a test used to detect abnormal or potentially abnormal cells from the uterine cervix.

Any advantages?

Pap smears, when performed routinely, have been a great help in the detection and treatment of areas of pre-cancerous cells, which help to prevent cervical cancer from developing. In addition, the test can help detect cervical cancer in the early stages, when it is most treatable. The Pap smear is also used to monitor any abnormalities or unusual findings. In many cases, these findings are part of the body’s repair process and often resolve themselves without any further treatment.

Who needs it? Do I qualify for a Test?

  • Women between the ages of 21 and 30 should have a Pap smear every 3 years.
  • Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should have both a Pap smear and an HPV test every 5 years (preferable); a Pap test alone every 3 years is also acceptable.
  • After age 65, no screening is necessary if women have had adequate prior screening and no history of cervical cancer.
  • Note – Adequate prior screening has been defined as 3 consecutive negative Pap smears or 2 consecutive negative HPV DNA tests within the last 10 years, with the most recent within the last 5 years.

 What happens on the Test Day?

The conventional method consists of sampling cells from the cervical area. The sample is obtained using a type of wooden “spatula,” cotton swab, or brush. Relatively new liquid-based methods are available that are modifications of the conventional Pap smear. The specimen is collected as noted above but is not placed directly onto a glass slide. Rather, it is put into a special liquid preservative. This cell suspension is processed onto a glass slide, stained, and examined.

Do I have to Prepare before the Test Date?

You may be instructed not to douche or tub bathes for 24 hours before the Pap smear is to be performed. You may also be asked to refrain from sexual intercourse for 24 to 48 hours before the test. Do not use any vaginal creams or foams for 48 hours prior to the exam and do not schedule the test during your menstrual period.

 What does the test result mean?

A “negative” Pap smear means the cells obtained appear normal or there is no identifiable infection. In some instances, the conventional Pap smear may be reported as “unsatisfactory” for evaluation. This may mean that cell collection was inadequate or that cells could not be clearly identified. A summary of other reported results follows.

  • Unsatisfactory: inadequate sampling or other interfering substance
  •  Benign: non-cancerous cells, but smear shows infection, irritation, or normal cell repair
  •  Atypical cells of uncertain significance: abnormal changes in the cells that cover most of the external part of the cervix (squamous cells-ASCUS) or in the cells that cover the lining of the uterus opening and canal (glandular cells—AGCUS) for which the cause is undetermined; an ASCUS test result is frequently followed up with DNA testing to identify the presence of a high-risk infection with HPV.
  •  Low-Grade changes: frequently due to infection with HPV, which in some instances can be a risk for cervical cancer; this test result may be followed up with DNA testing to identify the presence of a high-risk HPV infection.
  •  High-Grade changes: very atypical cells that may result in cancer
  •  Squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma: terms used to identify certain types of cancer; in these cases, cancer is evident and requires immediate attention.

What are the risk factors?

Increased risk is also associated with beginning sexual intercourse at an early age, having multiple sexual partners, infrequent Pap smears, cigarette smoking, a history of DES exposure, previous diagnosis of cervical cancer, compromised immune system from organ transplant or HIV, and the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes.

Why do I need a Regular Pap Smear?

Cervical cancer is a slow, progressive disease and may take years to advance beyond the cervix. Because of this fact, regular gynecological examinations are necessary to spot precancerous cells and allow removal of affected tissue. Regular exams can also detect cervical cancer early if it does develop. With early detection, cervical cancer is easier to treat. Left unchecked, however, it is almost always fatal.

They say a stitch in time saves nine!

Do the right thing. Ask questions, to be 100% sure that these tests can only help you survive a healthy life!

Be Healthy! Stay Fit!

Advertisements

Stay Energetic through the day

Most workdays I feel myself slow down and my mind starts wandering in the early afternoon. I often give in to the sleepy feeling and take a nap, but when I have lots to do I might go for a coffee instead, so I can keep working.

You’ve probably been in a similar situation yourself: lacking in energy and with plenty of work to do, we tend to guess at the most effective remedy to perk us up and keep up going.I wanted to see if research could help me make more informed decisions when trying to keep my energy levels high and I found some really useful information.

Put down the energy drink or whatever else you’re using to get yourself through your workouts and your day. Here are 8 natural – and healthy – ways to boost your energy level:

  1. Water as Fuel

It is important to ignite your energy first thing in the morning and to keep it aflame all day long. Make sure to consume at least 1 lt. of cold water upon rising. Throughout the day, try to drink at least 1 lt. of water. Even being one percent below your optimal fluid level results in noticeable fatigue.1

Make a habit of recording your water intake. Coffee, tea, soft or energy drinks do not count just because they contain water. Water is water. It is helpful to always keep a water source close-by. I like to fill my gallon jug and make sure it is empty by the end of the day. It is amazing how much water you can down just by sipping on it time to time, even while driving around.

If you sweat more one day than the others, then increase your intake. Another great rule of thumb is to carry a water bottle around with you at the gym and use that (yes, even on its own) as a great energy source as you lift and workout. How much and when depends on the session.

Extra Benefits: Kick off and keep up your metabolism, accelerate and aid digestion.

  1. Turn off the Lights

Make sure you are not staring at a bright computer screen, checking text messages, or in a bright room an hour or so before bedtime. Bright lights reduce melanin levels and fire up brain cells. Our circadian rhythm is strongly affected by light. This is why you are on a different sleep schedule than someone in Norway or even in California. We spend about one third of our lives asleep – or at least we should.

Shut off the lights and close the blinds at night. I find it useful to board up the windows. I’m serious. A simple wooden plank cut to fit does the trick and keeps all light out. Another is to leave the electronics charging in a different room to stop the temptation of looking at them in bed. The best time to sleep is between 10:00 pm and 2:00 am.

Extra Benefits: Get a full and rested REM sleep, better chances of getting seven to eight hours of sleep at night, wake up more rested, allows the body to recharge, and better concentration.

  1. Clean out the System

Spend some serious time looking into the food you are eating. Would you put low-grade gas in a BMW and expect it to perform well and over a long period of time? I hope not. Test for food allergies and eliminate them from your diet. Certain cleansing programs and elimination diets are beneficial to detox the system (just beware of withdrawals). Stick it out through undertaking one of these programs and you will teach your body how to fuel off of real and beneficial foods. You will be back in the game and full of energy in no time. Real foods (raw, green, super foods, clean foods, etc.) naturally fuel our energy systems. Fake or processed foods, food allergies, and sugar shut our systems right down.

In a three year study of 36 people with allergies, physiologist Paul S. Marshall found that 69% of his subjects reported feeling more irritable when their allergies flared up, 63% reported more fatigue, 41% said they had difficulty staying awake, and 31% reported feeling “sad.” So consider that certain foods to which you might be allergic can cause a tremendous amount of sluggishness. If you are allergic to gluten or certain sugars (yeast or barley), your body is spending more time trying to digest and eliminate them from your system than it is fueling your energy systems and your metabolism. An easy way to incorporate raw, organic vegetables is to throw them into your shakes. spinach are great additives, and they are even better with a scoop of peanut or almond butter in there.

Extra Benefits: Clearer skin, stronger nails and hair, better digestion, less headaches, fat loss, eliminate cravings for unhealthy foods, stop binge-eating, live longer and healthier.

  1. Keep the Engine Running

Move. No matter how tired or lethargic you might feel, get up and move. Run, bike, swim, and lift weights. It is important to keep the lymphatic system flowing, the heart rate up, the muscles moving, the blood flowing, and to eliminate the lactic acid build-up and other toxic waste with all of the above. There is probably no better way to do that than to sweat. Saunas are great as a supplement, but nothing compares to real movement. I highly doubt anyone has come home after a workout feeling worse about going than they did about staying home. Sore maybe, but that is a great feeling, too.

Extra Benefits: Lose fat, reduce or eliminate depression, increase endorphin, build muscle mass, sleep better, digest properly, breathe fresh air, and so many others.

  1. Don’t Run Out of Gas

Eat. Regularly! Make sure you are getting your healthy ratios of protein, fat, and carbohydrates with each meal. Do not starve yourself or allow your body to think it is starving. Eat every two to three hours to prevent the body (and mind) from crashing as they wear themselves out seeking energy sources they should be getting from food but cannot find. With irregular dieting and meals, blood sugar and energy levels swing around like crazy. Keep them level and keep the tank topped off.

Extra Benefits: Fuel metabolism, prevent late-night or late-meal binge-eating or simply eating too much too late, help meal planning, and reduce the urge to grab just anything to eat in desperate moments.

  1. Solar Power

Get out into the sun every day for thirty minutes at a time. The optimal hours to sunbathe are between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Expose as much skin as possible, front and back. Use no sunscreens, just bare your skin and soak up essential B12. It’s a natural (and free) energy source right in your backyard.

  1. Go Easy on Red Meat

We love our red meat, and we should. Protein, iron, magnesium, it’s all great stuff. Even better is grass-fed meat. But red meat is not as easy to digest as you might think, and it takes a great deal of energy to do so. I am not saying to eliminate it altogether, but cut back to eating it once or twice per week.

  1. Learn to Switch off

While riding the roller coaster. As we climbed to the top of the ride he would say, “Once you go up, you must come down!” I always thought that was funny at that age, but these days crashing midday isn’t funny at all. Artificial stimulants work in the same way. They are roller coaster rides. The highs are followed by valleys of deep lows. Energy drinks mess with the normal hormonal balance of the entire body and leave you down and out in no time. This ride will crash. Coconut oil (extra-virgin) and other natural energy-fixes such as raw foods are great and natural energy fixes.

Take Charge of your Health Now!!!!

Putting yourself last is by far the easiest thing to do: Cooking for the family, laundry needs folding; your assignments are on deadline; a family member needs help moving; and you just found out the latest sale by the nearest mall. Sounds familiar? Is it you?
As women, you may be accustomed to doing it all, but the price of perfection is prohibitive. When you’re so focused on taking care of others, who’s taking care of you? Today we focus on 10 important ways you can take control of your health.

We have constantly endorsed that women should be pro-active in taking care of their health by sticking a health check sheet on your fridge.

The Check List

  1. Schedule a Yearly Check-up

Your heart is in your hands. Each year on your birthday, schedule a checkup to have your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels checked, and ask your doctor to help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. Be sure to follow your healthcare professional’s recommendations, including taking prescribed medications as directed.

  1. Get Physical

Step, Walk or Jog in place for at least 15 minutes a day while watching your favourite TV shows. Increase your activity by five minutes each week until you’re getting a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week.

If exercise and diet do not get you to your goal, ask your doctor about adding medication.

  1. Drink More Water

Take a water bottle with you wherever you go. It’ll keep you hydrated and the bottle’s weight will strengthen your arms.

  1. Eat Healthy

Keep packages of unhealthy food hidden. Put raw veggies and fruits in front in the refrigerator and healthy snacks in the front of the pantry, so that’s what you see first. If you grab healthy foods for a minimum of 21 times, healthy choices will become a habit.

  1. Control Cholesterol

Eating foods high in saturated fat, Trans fat or cholesterol can lead to high blood cholesterol. To help keep your cholesterol levels down, eat foods low in saturated fat and Trans fat, such as lean chicken (roasted or baked, with skin removed), fruits and veggies, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and whole grains.

  1. Cut Down on Salt

To help lower high blood pressure, watch your salt intake. It may be disguised in food labels as sodium alginate, sodium sulphite, disodium phosphate, sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide, monosodium glutamate (MSG), or sodium citrate.

  1. Quit Smoking

Try this four-step way to kick your habit:

  • On Day 1, cut the number of cigarettes you smoke by half
  • On Day 3, cut the number of cigarettes you smoke in half again
  • And on Day 5, cut your smoking in half again
  • On your Quit Day… quit!
  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. To achieve steady, painless weight loss, take it easy. Each day, if you eat 200-300 calories less than you would normally consume, and exercise at least 30 minutes on most or all days of the week, you’ll get closer to your goal and be able to achieve weight loss that’s steady and painless.

  1. Stay Positive

If you get off your exercise schedule, have a cigarette, or eat a fattening meal, immediately get back on track toward re-establishing a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Give Yourself Credit

To maintain momentum with exercising, losing weight, or quitting smoking, keep track of your achievements and reward yourself by doing something you enjoy.

Urinary Incontinence (UI)

No pair of jeans or Indian Outfits looks good over a big, bulky pair of Adult Diapers. A fashion consideration aside, urinary incontinence is emotionally distressing. Not to mention that it is very inconvenient when your life revolves around peeing. Every outing spent constantly worrying about when you’ll have to pee next, where you’ll be able to pee, and how to keep from peeing on yourself in between finding the next place to pee. Consult a Uro-Gynecologist Now!!!

Urinary Incontinence (UI) is loss of bladder control. Symptoms can range from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting. It can happen to anyone, but it becomes more common with age. Women experience UI twice as often as men.

urinary incontinence

Most bladder control problems happen when muscles are too weak or too active. If the muscles that keep your bladder closed are weak, you may have accidents when you sneeze, laugh or lift a heavy object. This is stress incontinence. If bladder muscles become too active, you may feel a strong urge to go to the bathroom when you have little urine in your bladder. This is urge incontinence or overactive bladder. There are other causes of incontinence, such as prostate problems and nerve damage.

What You Need to Know About Female Urinary Incontinence

There are several types of incontinence, but the two primary types of incontinence that I’m talking about today are:

Stress incontinence — leakage happens with coughing, sneezing, exercising, laughing, lifting heavy things, and other movements that put pressure on the bladder. It is the most common type of incontinence.

Urge incontinence — this is sometimes called “overactive bladder.” Leakage usually happens after a strong, sudden urge to urinate. The sudden urge may occur when you don’t expect it, such as during sleep, after drinking water, or when you hear or touch running water.

If you are really unlucky, you get some combination of both called,

Mixed incontinence — two or more types of incontinence together, most often stress and urge incontinence.

What Are the Risk Factors for Urinary Incontinence?

The most common risk factors for incontinence include:

Being Female: Women experience stress incontinence twice as often as men. Men, on the other hand, are at greater risk for urge and overflow incontinence.

Advancing age: As we get older, our bladder and urinary sphincter muscles often weaken, which may result in frequent and unexpected urges to urinate. Even though incontinence is more common in older people, it is not considered a normal part of aging.

Excess body fat: Extra body fat increases the pressure on the bladder and can lead to urine leakage during exercise, or when coughing or even sneezing.

Other chronic diseases: Vascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions may increase the risk of urinary incontinence.

Smoking: A chronic smoker’s cough can trigger or aggravate stress incontinence by putting pressure on the urinary sphincter.

High-impact sports: While playing sports doesn’t cause incontinence, running, jumping and other activities that create sudden pressure on the bladder can lead to occasional episodes of incontinence during sport activities.

How Does Incontinence Progress?

Different forms of incontinence can appear at different stages of life. Incontinence may be a lifelong condition, it may appear gradually after menopause, or it may appear suddenly as a side effect of another condition or an after-effect of surgery. However, there are some common ways in which various types of incontinence progress.

Urge incontinence, or overactive bladder (OAB): This type of incontinence usually appears gradually in older individuals as the result of increasing overactivity of the bladder muscles that causes involuntary bladder contractions. OAB can worsen over time unless ameliorated with exercises and/or treated with drugs.

Stress incontinence: This is the most common form of incontinence in young women and the second most common in elderly women. Men also can develop stress incontinence later in life as their urinary sphincter weakens or if the urethra is weakened as an after-effect of surgery.

Overflow incontinence: This type of incontinence is rare in women but common in men as they age and the prostate gland enlarges, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Over time, the enlarging prostate obstructs the flow of urine in the urethra and results in urinary hesitancy or an intermittent urinary stream. The condition can worsen as the prostate continues to enlarge.

Functional incontinence: The problem of immobility or confusion that prevents a person from getting to the toilet in time often worsens over time as mobility decreases or dementia develops.

Gross total incontinence: This may be a lifelong problem if it is the result of a congenital anatomical defect or a spinal cord injury.

How Can I Manage My Incontinence?

The treatment of urinary incontinence varies depending on the cause of the bladder control problem. In most cases, a physician will try the simplest treatment approach before resorting to medications or surgery.

Bladder habit training: This is the first approach for treating most incontinence issues. The goal is to establish a regular urination schedule with set intervals between urinations. A doctor will usually recommend starting by urinating at one hour intervals and gradually increasing the intervals between urination over time.

Pelvic muscle exercises: Also called ”Kegel” exercises (named after the gynecologist, Dr. Arnold Kegel, who developed them), this exercise routine helps strengthen weak pelvic muscles and improve bladder control. The patient contracts the muscles used to keep in urine, holds the contraction for four to 10 seconds, then relaxes the muscles for the same amount of time. It may take weeks or months of regular pelvic exercise to show improvement. Another way to perform Kegel exercises is to interrupt the flow of urine for several seconds while urinating.

If you are a woman who suffers from any or all of the above, take heart and Meet your Gynec NOW!!

What to ask your doctor?

You have urinary incontinence. This means that you are not able to keep urine from leaking from your urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body from your bladder. Urinary incontinence may occur as you get older. It can also develop after a surgery or childbirth. You can do many things to help keep urinary incontinence from affecting your daily life.

Treatment depends on the type of problem you have and what best fits your lifestyle. It may include simple exercises, medicines, special devices or procedures prescribed by your doctor, or surgery.