Monthly Archives: February 2019

Skills Every Girl Should Know By 13

Skills Every Girl Should Know By 13

Skills Every Girl Should Know By 13

Puberty entails a host of physical and psychological changes. By the time most girls reach the age of 13, they are at one of the most pivotal phases of their personal development physically, mentally, and socially. Parents should take time during this important developmental stage to ensure their daughters know a few key skills for navigating the world as adults, especially when it comes to having self-respect and acquiring and maintaining an individual sense of self-worth.

Seven Skills Every Daughter Should Know

For many teenage girls, self-love can feel like a foreign concept. Constant bombardment from mass media telling girls how to look, act, and feel can create preconceived notions of womanhood that become increasingly difficult to break with age. Cultivating self-esteem is challenging for countless young people, but girls tend to experience social pressures that influence self-esteem more acutely than boys of the same age. Women should help their daughters learn a few key skills to help them flourish as adults.

Learning To Respect And Express Feelings

Repressed or mismanaged emotions can create significant challenges later in life. Young women often struggle with acknowledging and expressing certain feelings, and it is essential for parents to encourage respect and expression of the full spectrum of human emotions, not just the positive ones. Everyone encounters negative influences and tragedy in some form, and learning to process negative feelings is an essential part of cultivating a healthy adulthood.

Understand And Practice Self-Compassion

7 Skills To Teach Your Daughter By age 13For many 13-year-old girls, self-respect may seem like a difficult concept to fully grasp let alone put into practice. There is tremendous social pressure on young girls to please others, often at the expense of one’s own time, resources, and energy. Girls who learn to focus on pleasing others at their own expense often experience difficulties with self-care later in life. A life that revolves solely around making others happy is neither tenable nor healthy in the long run.

Self-compassion and self-respect are skills that require nurturing until an individual can put them into daily practice. Self-respect does not only apply to practicing self-care and valuing one’s own place in the world, but also refusing to accept disrespect from others. Girls who learn self-compassion early have a better chance of avoiding exploitative or abusive relationships.

Develop A Positive Body Image

Media portrays female beauty in some troublesome ways, and regardless of personal interpretations of the influence of media on adolescents, the media young girls consume ultimately shapes their worldviews. Parents can help their daughters overcome this by teaching them about their bodies and encouraging self-love from a young age. Girls often struggle with questions about sexuality and female health during puberty, and parents are in the best position to help them develop a strong personal body image and self-respect.

There is no “correct” way to look, despite what the media may portray that indicates otherwise. Parents should help their daughters recognize that it is okay for a girl to be different and perfectly acceptable to fall outside the realm of normalized beauty standards as long as she lives an authentic life and realizes that she is capable of anything as long as she is willing to do the necessary work.

Learn From Friendships

Parents should help their daughters recognize that their friendships should be models for what healthy relationships look like in the future. Young girls often develop strong friendships in the puberty years, and parents should help them understand ideas like conflict resolution, honest communication, and learning how to assert themselves in difficult situations. For female adolescents, self-empowerment is best learned through personal relationships and learning how to tell the difference between positive influences and negative ones.

Understand Feminine Health

Puberty entails a host of physical changes, and this can be a confusing and alienating time for girls around 13. Parents should make it a point to ensure their daughters know to ask questions and speak freely about the changes they experience, what they mean, and how to manage them effectively. Women generally undergo more regular medical screenings than men and at younger ages, and parents should do their best to prepare their daughters for the feminine health issues they will inevitably encounter.

Learn The Power Of Saying No

Consent is a crucial subject all parents need to discuss with their daughters. Practicing self-compassion extends to far more than ensuring time and energy to oneself; it also means knowing how to handle potentially dangerous situations. Puberty and adolescence generally involves most youths’ first sexual experiences, first romances, and the blossoming of friendships that can last for years or even a lifetime. Learning how to say no is a crucial skill for any young woman, and parents can start teaching their daughters the power of “no” at a very young age.

Practice Self-Care With Daily Habits

The habits young people learn in their formative years shape their daily lives for years to come. Those habits become difficult to break, so cultivating healthy ones as early as possible leads to the best results. Parents should take time to teach their daughters how to respect food, how to exercise appropriately, and how to practice self-care at a fundamental level with proper daily nutrition, adequate rest, and consistent exercise.

Putting These Lessons Into Practice

These skills will not only help young women cultivate self-respect and navigate difficult social situations but also empower young girls at one of the most important times of their lives. By age 13, a young girl has already shaped a great deal of her worldview and self-image, and the changes that come with puberty may be difficult but they also present a tremendous opportunity to lay the groundwork for a life of high self-esteem, healthy daily habits, and stronger, healthier personal relationships.

Six Signs You Need To Find A New Gynecologist

Six Signs You Need To Find A New Gynecologist

Gynecology is a very personal aspect of human health, and women often find it challenging to find gynecologists who make them feel comfortable and confident in the care they receive. If you do not feel at ease with your gynecologist, it is generally best to trust your instincts and do further research to ensure your doctor is providing the level of care you expect. While you always have the option of a second opinion, some issues are clear indications you should see a new gynecologist. All women should know the following six red flags that should warn anyone away from a gynecologist for good.

Warning Signs Of A Bad Gynecologist

Your gynecologist’s job is to perform required screenings based on age and individual health factors, inspect for visual signs of gynecological issues, and address patient symptoms and concerns with detailed and accurate advice. If your gynecologist indicates any signs of the following six red flags, start looking for a new one as soon as possible.


 

Failure To Stay Up To Date With WHO And CDC Guidance On Birth Control

Your gynecologist should be up-to-date on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). These organizations consistently collate medical data and conduct research into new treatments and diagnostic methods and form the primary consensus for the standard of care in most medical situations.

For example, if your doctor prescribed any form of estrogen containing birth control but did not ask if you had any migraine symptoms, this would be a clear sign he or she has not kept up with the latest WHO and CDC guidelines. Migraines with aura, or migraines that cause visual or auditory interruptions and tingling in the face and head, are a serious contraindication for these medications. Estrogen with birth control may increase the risk of stroke in women who experience migraines with aura.


 

Inaccurate Assessments Of Symptoms

Physicians use a differential diagnostic process to diagnose a patient’s symptoms. First, the doctor checks the patient’s vital signs and compares them to his or her reported symptoms. For example, a patient complaining of headaches may also have high blood pressure, indicating one diagnosis while normal blood pressure would preclude that diagnosis.

If a gynecologist diagnoses pelvic pain as a symptom of pelvic organ prolapse, this is a clear sign of an inappropriate or inaccurate diagnostic process. Pelvic pain is not a symptom of pelvic organ prolapse; this condition causes a noticeable bulge and a sensation that something is exiting the vagina, but no pain. The doctor may not fully understand pelvic organ prolapse as a condition or know how to properly diagnose pelvic pains; a patient should consider either case a serious red flag.


 

Inappropriate Recommendations For Surgery

A hasty recommendation for surgery can give any patient cause for alarm; except in cases of severe medical emergency, a doctor will generally want to observe the patient for some period of time and conduct further diagnostics before recommending surgery. If, for example, a gynecologist were to book incontinence surgery without asking the patient for a bladder diary, this could lead to the patient undergoing a needless surgery. The diary is an important diagnostic step because it can help a physician determine whether surgery will help the patient with her incontinence; skipping this step or any other vital step of the diagnostic process before booking surgery is both negligent and dangerous.


 

Failure To Address Pain During Intercourse As A Symptom

Dyspareunia, or pain during intercourse, is a serious symptom that requires investigation. Sex should not hurt, and any type of pain during intercourse could be a sign of a very serious gynecological issue. If your gynecologist dismisses your concerns about sex during intercourse or makes no attempt to investigate the possible cause, start looking for a new doctor as soon as possible.

Misdiagnosis can lead to a patient’s actual medical condition worsening. If a woman experiences painful intercourse and her gynecologist fails to address this symptom, whatever is causing it could potentially escalate to a life-threatening degree. The doctor may prescribe a treatment that could cause other adverse symptoms if he or she does not take time to accurately diagnose the cause. In either case, mishandling of patient symptoms is a major red flag for any type of healthcare.


 

Failure To Recognize Potentially Dangerous Prescription Interactions

A good doctor must account for all aspects of a patient’s medical condition, including preexisting conditions and prescriptions intended to treat those conditions. Without proper review of the patient’s medical records, the gynecologist may mistakenly prescribe a medication that has fatally dangerous interactions with another prescription. For example, if the doctor prescribes fluconazole for a yeast infection to a patient who already takes a statin drug for high blood pressure, the patient may die. This interaction can cause rhabdomyolysis and the doctor should advise the patient to stop taking the statin drug during the course of fluconazole treatment.

If your gynecologist mentions any treatment or advice that conflicts with your medical history, bring the discrepancy up as soon as possible. If the doctor was unaware of your prior history, take this as an indication he or she has not thoroughly reviewed your medical records.


 

Improper Diagnostic Methods

Women report many symptoms to their gynecologists and every symptom requires attention. Those symptoms also require appropriate diagnosis. If your gynecologist claims your pelvic pain is due to uterine fibroids, this is a clear sign of improper diagnosis. Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of the uterine muscles that can cause acute pain once they start to lose their blood supply and degenerate, but this is detectable with imaging procedures. Fibroids commonly cause irregular and/or heavy bleeding, but rarely pain.

These are just a few ways to determine if your gynecologist is truly right for you. Ultimately, trust your instincts if anything feels wrong about a gynecologist’s treatment or if you find yourself experiencing consistent gynecological issues.

Signs, Symptoms, And Treatments Of Uterine Fibroids

Signs, Symptoms, And Treatments Of Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are one of the most common gynecological conditions seen in America and a leading cause of uterine surgery for premenopausal women. Roughly 70%* of Caucasian women will experience uterine fibroids, and the rate is higher for African-American women who generally report stronger symptoms at younger ages. Uterine fibroids may be asymptomatic for some women and severely problematic for others. Uterine fibroid removal procedures are also the second most common surgical procedure after Caesarean section operations among premenopausal women.

What Are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are growths that appear in and on the uterus. These benign tumors grow in the muscle tissue of the uterine walls and rarely indicate cancer. The exact cause of uterine fibroids remains unknown, and these growths may eventually become quite large and cause intense symptoms. Other women may develop uterine fibroids and never notice any adverse symptoms. Other common names for uterine fibroids include leiomyomas, myomas, uterine myomas, and fibromas.

Types Of Uterine Fibroids

The size and location of uterine fibroids are the major contributing factors in the severity of negative symptoms. Gynecologists generally divide uterine fibroids into four categories:

  • Intramural fibroids, the most commonly diagnosed type that manifest within the walls of the uterus. These fibroids may eventually grow and distort the shape of the womb.
  • Subserosal fibroids, which form on the outer walls or serosa of the uterus. These fibroids can eventually cause the uterus to appear larger on one side.
  • Predunculated fibroids, which are subserosal fibroids that develop long stems that support the bodies of the tumors.
  • Submucosal fibroids, the least common type of fibroids found in the myometrium or middle muscle layer of the uterus.

Any of these types of uterine fibroids may cause adverse symptoms of varying degrees or no symptoms at all. Although there is no clearly defined cause of uterine fibroids, women can refer to several indicators to determine their level of risk of yet undetected uterine fibroids. However, uterine fibroids requiring treatment cause adverse symptoms that most women would report to their gynecologists as soon as symptoms appear.

Indicators Of Uterine Fibroid Risk

Although there is no firmly defined cause of uterine fibroids, medical researchers point to various possible causes and contributing factors that all women should know.

  • The ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone, two vital hormones for proper reproductive cycles. These hormones regenerate the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle, potentially stimulating uterine fibroid growth.
  • Genetics may also predispose a woman to developing uterine fibroids. If your mother, grandmother, or other female relatives experienced uterine fibroids in the past, you could as well.
  • Pregnancy causes an increase in estrogen and progesterone production to maintain the uterine lining. This may lead to uterine fibroids growing rapidly during a pregnancy.
  • Medical research points to obesity as a possible contributing factor to uterine fibroids.
  • African-American women generally face a higher risk of developing uterine fibroids, and women over 30 in general face the greatest risk.

Discuss any concerns about your risk factors or medical history with your gynecologist, but remember that uterine fibroids may not require treatment or removal at all unless they cause severe adverse symptoms.

Are Uterine Fibroids Cancerous?

While there is a risk of a uterine fibroid turning cancerous, it is a very small chance. Only about one of every 1,000 uterine fibroid cases involves leiomyosarcoma, or a cancerous fibroid. ** Women should know that having uterine fibroids does not increase the risk of developing cancerous fibroids, nor do they increase the risk of developing other types of uterine cancers.

Common Symptoms

Many women have uterine fibroids and may not even know it because their conditions are asymptomatic. When they do report symptoms, the number, size, and location of their fibroids generally inform the severity of their symptoms. Some of the most commonly reported uterine fibroid symptoms include:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Pelvic pain or feelings of intense pressure
  • Menstrual periods lasting longer than one week
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Pain in the legs and lower back
  • In rare cases, acute pain as fibroids lose blood supply and begin to die

Any woman who experiences these or other adverse symptoms should report them to her gynecologist as soon as possible.

Fibroids may not interfere with pregnancy in some cases, but in others they can cause infertility or even loss of pregnancy. Submucosal fibroids generally carry the greatest risk of interfering with pregnancy, but any type of fibroids may lead to fetal growth restriction, placental abruption, or preterm delivery.

When To See A Doctor

Women who experience sudden changes in menstrual cycles, experience excessively heavy, painful or prolonged periods, or periods lasting more than one week should seek medical care as soon as possible. Other worrisome symptoms that require immediate treatment include blood spotting between periods, pelvic pain that does not go away, and difficulty emptying the bladder. Any onset of sudden, sharp pain should also be cause to see a gynecologist as soon as possible.

Treating Uterine Fibroids

Lifestyle changes and holistic therapies may help ease the symptoms of uterine fibroids and prevent flare-ups in the future. Yoga, massage, and meditation can have positive effects, and dietary changes that include foods rich in flavonoids can boost overall nutrition and reduce the negative impact of fibroids. Other common treatments include medications, contraceptive devices, and surgery. Hormone medications can restore appropriate levels of estrogen and progesterone in the bloodstream and limit the blood flow to uterine fibroids. Anti-inflammatory painkillers and some forms of birth control may also ease symptoms.

Uterine Fibroids

When a uterine fibroid diagnosis requires surgery, it is usually due to a very large fibroid or a cluster of many fibroids. Although there are minimally invasive procedures to help remove fibroids, they may grow back after surgery. If fibroids reach severe levels or grow too large, the woman may require a hysterectomy. Speak with your gynecologist as soon as possible if you believe you are experiencing adverse symptoms from uterine fibroids.