Maintaining Gynecological Health – Part 2

chart
An example of “charting”

Ovulatory Spotting

Light bleeding may occur right around ovulation in some women. It is not only normal, but an indicator for fertility, a sign that tells where the woman is in her cycle. It results from a sudden drop in estrogen, just before ovulation.  It occurs more in long-cycles.

Anovulary Bleeding and Spotting

Once in a while an egg is not released.  It could be due to the estrogen not reaching the level for the egg to release. When this happens the drop in estrogen will cause light bleeding.

For women over 40, the cause is a decreased sensitivity to FSH and LH hormones. This would result in these women not ovulating.  The progesterone level is not able to sustain the lining and some spotting or bleeding may occur.

The way to know if actual ovulation did occur, is to chart the temperature. As a reminder: the temperature pattern is: low before ovulation, followed by the high temperature after.

Implantation Spotting

So when a woman notices spotting rather than bleeding a week after her temperature shifts she might want to consider a pregnancy test.  This may be an indication of “implantation spotting”, because as the egg burrows into the lining of the uterus, a bit of spotting may occur. If temperatures remain high for another 18 days or more, this is an indication that the corpus luteum is viable.

Breastfeeding Spotting

After the initial flow of birth has stopped, some women may have some bleeding about six weeks postpartum.  This is due to the withdrawal of hormones that were high during pregnancy.

Also there may be a fluctuation of hormones while breastfeeding because of the needs of the baby. The temporary imbalance of hormones may cause women who breastfeed a few anovulatory spotting.

Other times

  • After office procedures
  • While on the pill
  • Or during postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hokṡiyuhab Oti

Donna Duncan, CBE / HHP / CHt / Reiki Master
http://hoksiyuhaboti.com
rosebudcbe@gmail.com
402-389-2183

 

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Effects of Marijuana

marijuana

Marijuana: Effects on the Mother

Prolonged use may lead to apathy, lack of energy, lack of desire to work or be productive, diminished concentration, poor personal hygiene, preoccupation with marijuana – the amotivational syndrome

Effects on the fetus

Marijuana can easily cross into the placenta, and causes increased levels of carbon monoxide in the mother’s blood, reducing the level of oxygen to the fetus.

With more states legalizing the sale of Marijuana, there are more users. Those that smoke or exposure to the smoke from their significant others who smoke, Need to be aware of the effect on the unborn fetus.

Issues

One issue with Marijuana use, is that often it has other street drugs combined with the plant itself. Or additional THC is added to compound the effects. These two, and other contaminants can create the issues that will be discussed regarding the development of the fetus, and the later development of the fetus through early childhood.

There have been few definitive studies conducted on humans as to the effects of Marijuana on the fetus. “A new study in animals suggests that children who are exposed to marijuana in the womb may suffer from a variety of long-term problems even if they aren’t born with obvious birth defects.”

One of the components of Marijuana, that the researchers call WIN, has shown an effect in studies conducted on lab rats. Although, not causing birth defects, Marijuana does cause memory loss and inability to learn. “Researchers say they also found that WIN interfered with the release of a brain transmitter called glutamate, a key chemical associated with learning and memory processing.”

An Italian research team found that marijuana caused a disruption from “chemical and electrical processes in the brain during gestation (Bhattacharya)” in lab rats. The effects the study indicates, can be confounded by smoking, wealth, and urban living.

Even second-hand Marijuana smoke can affect the unborn fetus. It can cause your baby to be born premature, and have a lower birth weight, both are risks for the baby. Studies are few and far between, due to the risks involved on the fetus. “In the very few studies available, there appears to be an increase in the incidence of premature labor and low birthweight. In cases in which pot had been tainted with a stimulant (cocaine, for example), there was an increased risk for dangerously fast labors (less than three hours) and for placental abruption (separation of the placenta from the uterine wall)” states Dr. David Barrera.

Observation has shown that “…babies born to women who abused marijuana during their pregnancies display altered responses to visual stimuli, increased tremulousness (trembling or shaking), and a high-pitched cry — any of which may indicate neurological problems in development”. Later in the child’s development these children have a lack of problem-solving skills, and poor memory.

Based on a study conducted by University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, and colleagues in the Eunice K. Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, babies born to smokers of Marijuana are two times more likely to have stillborn babies.

REFERENCES:

Bhattacharya, Shaoni. Marijuana use in pregnancy damages kids’ learning. 25 March 2003 http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn3543-marijuana-use-in-pregnancy-damages-kids-learning.html#.VQWPAeGgZ-8

Hackethal, Veronica MD. Smoking Pot May Double Risk for Stillbirth. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/817503 Medscape Medical News. December 9, 2013

Herbert, Clare. I’m pregnant and my partner smokes weed. Will it affect our baby? http://www.babycentre.co.uk/x1043727/im-pregnant-and-my-partner-smokes-weed-will-it-affect-our-baby#ixzz3USuXGKAG November 2014

How could marijuana use affect your unborn baby? http://www.pregnancyandbaby.com/pregnancy/articles/937071/secondhand-toke-marijuana-pregnancy

A Good Question

[republished from December posting and updated]

c-section-delivery
Pixabay Free Photo

Mortality rates are rising in the United States.  It’s true especially for women of color [Birthing Mortality]. This has been steadily rising even as some states have lowered C-Section rates are starting to lower in some states [C-Section Rates MAP].

What needs to happen, in order to fix a broken system? Your probably wondering what I mean by a broken system. I am talking about the care of women, and especially birthing.

In a nation that has been considered “advanced” we are so far behind the eight-ball that it becomes shameful. Our C-Section rates were seriously through-the-roof, and although some improvement has been made, the United States is still higher than most “civilized” countries! The average being around 31%.

Along  with that outrageous number of c-Sections are the ever-climbing mortality rates of women in birth, predominately women of color. This is shameful in a country that is supposed to be “advanced”!

On top of both high c-Section rates, and high mortality rates for birthing, is the across-the-racial-board birth trauma. It should NEVER happen! But, we have nurses and doctors who force women into procedures, who intimidate and threaten.

The media (film and television) makes it seem that birth is both dangerous and extremely painful. When that consciousness is embedded in the psyche of women, and you have a medical field that relies on mechanical means to monitor births… the stage is set.

We have normalized bad birthing practices, and outdated concepts about birth.

That is without discussing the current political scenarios…

The next few blogs will address the history behind, and the current information about birthing in the United States. The outdated concepts surrounding birth practices need debunking. The normalization of bad birthing practices needs to have a light shown upon it, in order to make it STOP.

It is time to become educated,

Get angry,

and create a change!

Essential Dietary Minerals

Calcium

Requirement: 1,300 mg. for women 18 years and younger, 1,000 mg for women 19+ years.
Needed for: helps build bones for baby and helps maintain mother’s bones, teeth, may prevent pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, inhibits lead mobilization from the bones.
Sources: Lowfat milk products, soymilk, sardines, canned salmon (with bones), tofu, dark leafy green vegetables, dried beans and peas.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Chromium

Requirement: 50 to 200 mg.
Needed for: Regulation of blood sugar. Helps build proteins in baby’s developing tissues. Might aid in baby’s growth and reduce pregnancy-induced diabetes (gestational diabetes.
Sources: Whole grains, wheat germ, orange juice.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Copper

Requirement: 1.5 to 3.0 mg.
Needed for: normal pregnancy outcome, energy metabolism, connective tissue, and red blood cell formation.  Aids in development and maintenance of baby’s heart, arteries, and blood vessels; skeletal system and nervous system.
Sources: Chicken, fish, extra-lean meats, whole grains, nuts and seeds, soybeans, dark leafy green vegetables.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Fluoride

Requirement: 3.0 mg.
Needed for: For strengthening bones and teeth, reducing risk for cavities in mother and baby. It increases the bioavailability of calcium and helps to buffer acids present in the mouth.
Sources: Not found in nature, but is found in the body through combining with other constituents in the body. There are 3-12 mg. of fluorine per liter of untreated water.
Toxicity: Dental fluorosis, also called mottling of tooth enamel, is a developmental disturbance of dental enamel caused by excessive exposure to high concentrations of fluoride during tooth development.[i]

Iodine

Requirement: 175 mcg.
Needed for: Essential for thyroid gland function
Sources: iodized salt, seafood, and sea vegetables.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Iron

Requirement: 30 mg.
Needed for: prevention of Anemia, helps baby develop and gain weight, prevents premature delivery.
Sources: Extra-lean meats, fish, poultry, cooked dried beans, dark leafy green vegetables, raisons , prunes, whole grains.

Magnesium

Requirement: 350 mg. for women who are 19+ years, 400 mg. for women 18 years and younger.
Needed for:  Energy metabolism, blood-sugar regulation, helps normal muscle contraction and nerve transmission, maintains uterine relaxation during pregnancy and aids contractions during labor.
Sources: Low-fat milk, peanuts, bananas, wheat germ, whole grains, cooked dried beans and peas, dark leafy green vegetables, oysters.

Manganese

Requirement: 2.0 to 5.0 mg.
Needed for:  It is a component of several enzymes.
Sources: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, tea
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Molybdenum

Requirement: 75 to 250 mcg.
Needed for:  It is a component of several enzymes.
Sources: Whole grains, beans, milk.
Deficiency: jaundice, nausea, and fatigue, due to liver disfunction; headaches, tachypnea, tachycardia, vomiting, nausea and coma, due to sulfide toxicity (created by lack of Molydenum)[ii]; certain genetic disorders.
Toxicity: Liver damage, Kidney damage, weight loss

Selenium

Requirement: 65 mcg.
Needed for: Essential for growth, protects tissues in baby and mother from free-radical damage.
Sources: Whole grains, seafood, lean meat, low-fat milk products.

Potassium

Requirement: Pregnant women: 4,700 milligrams (mg) per day
Nursing moms: 5,100 mg per day.[iii] 
Needed for:  helps in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance, sending nerve pulses, helping muscles to contract, releasing energy from proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Sources: fruits and vegetables, red meat and chicken, fish, milk and yogurt, nuts, and soy.
Deficiency: weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, constipation, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Toxicity: rhabdomyolysis, insulin deficiency, metabolic acidosis or extensive tissue or red blood cell damage, and kidney failure.[iv]

Zinc

Requirement: 15 mg.
Needed for:  It is essential for conception, reduces the risk for spontaneous abortions, helps prevent birth defects, aids normal growth, helps development of bones, vision, and taste.
Sources: Extra-lean meats, turkey, cooked dried beans and peas, wheat germ, whole grains.
Deficiency: dry skin, hair loss, acne, spots on nails, poor wound healing, poor immunity.
Toxicity: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches[v]

[i] Dental fluorosis: http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/dental_fluorosis.htm#a2

[ii] http://voices.yahoo.com/molybdenum-deficiency-symptoms-causes-4735632.html

[iii] http://www.babycenter.com/0_potassium-in-your-pregnancy-diet_655.bc

[iv] http://www.livestrong.com/article/24690-symptoms-potassium-overdose/

[v] http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/

A Good Question

What needs to happen, in order to fix a broken system? Your probably wondering what I mean by a broken system. I am talking about the care of women, and especially birthing.

In a nation that has been considered “advanced” we are so far behind the eight-ball that it becomes shameful. Our c-Section rates were seriously through-the-roof, and although some improvement has been made, the United States is still higher than most “civilized” countries! The average being around 31%.

Along  with that outrageous number of c-Sections are the ever-climbing mortality rates of women in birth, predominately women of color. This is shameful in a country that is supposed to be “advanced”!

On top of both high c-Section rates, and high mortality rates for birthing, is the across-the-racial-board birth trauma. It should NEVER happen! But, we have nurses and doctors who force women into procedures, who intimidate and threaten.

The media (film and television) makes it seem that birth is both dangerous and extremely painful. When that consciousness is embedded in the psyche of women, and you have a medical field that relies on mechanical means to monitor births… the stage is set. We have normalized bad birthing practices, and outdated concepts about birth.

That is without discussing the current political scenarios.

The next few blogs will address the history behind, and the current information about birthing in the United States. The outdated concepts surrounding birth practices need debunking. The normalization of bad birthing practices needs to have a light shown upon it, in order to make it STOP.

It is time to become educated,

get angry,

and create a change!

NOTE: I am still doing research, the next two topics are valuable as well, and allows me time to get things done.

Also published at my sister site: Hoksiyuhab Oti

Anemia

blood-75302_1280
Normal Red Blood Cells

What is it?

Anemia is a condition of the blood in which there are less red blood cells (hemoglobin) than what would be considered normal. This would indicate a low amount of iron in the blood. The main function of the red blood cells is to carry oxygen to the lungs and body tissues and remove carbon dioxide. The symptoms of this condition reflect the lack of oxygen and build-up of carbon dioxide.

There are three classifications: excessive blood loss, excessive red blood cell destruction, and low red blood cell production. To identify which of the classifications, a series of labs are necessary. Just in the “excessive blood loss” classification are many causes, such as a slow-bleeding ulcer or excessive menstruation. Deficient production is the most common cause, but even it can have different causes. It could be due to iron deficiency, low B12, or lack of folic acid.

Symptoms

If the deficiency reaches appoint of concern, it has already become serious. The symptoms often do not get recognized.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Coldness of extremities
  • Pallor
  • Pale and brittle nails
  • Soreness in the mouth
  • Cessation of menstruation

Anemia often is the indication of an underlying health issue.  It should always be investigated, lab tests will assist in determination of the classification of deficiency and the treatment used. It is not recommended that you self-diagnose due to the problems that arise from iron supplementation when not necessary. Too much iron will damage the liver, heart, pancreas, and the activity of immune cells, it has been linked to cancer.

Recommendations 

Certain foods bolster the levels of iron in the blood.  These are: calves liver, Blackstrap molasses (at least one tablespoon twice a day), broccoli, egg yolks, asparagus, red raspberries, plums, prunes, purple grapes, bananas, kelp, whole grains, yams, and squash.

Oxalic Acid in certain foods will block or interfere with absorption of iron. The foods high in Oxalic Acid are almonds, cashews, chocolate, cocoa, rhubarb, soda, spinach, swiss chard, and most nuts and beans. Eliminate these foods or at the very least, limit their consumption.

Note: eating fish with vegetables high in iron will increase the absorption of iron. As does the elimination of sugar from the diet. When taking iron supplements, avoid taking calcium, vitamin E, zinc or antiacids…these will interfere with absorption.

The Following Herbs Are Also Helpful[1]

  • Alfalfa (as a tea)
  • Bilberry
  • Cherry
  • Dandelion
  • Mullein
  • Nettle (tea)
  • Red Raspberries

REFERENCES

James F.  Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.  Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 2nd Ed. (1997) Avery.

Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised 2nd Ed. (1998) Three Rivers.

[1] Other herbs that are not listed may helpful, but not recommended in pregnancy.

How to Maintain Your Gynecological Health

Women tend to leave all the charting of our gynecological health in the hands of our doctors, no one at all.  We can, and we should, and we need to keep our own records for ourselves, at home.

This would entail a few moments a day, at most, of inputting information. I will be creating a down-loadable blank chart you can use for this purpose.

Much of what we see in our charts at the doctor’s office, may seem to be a problem, only because we women do not understand or are not taught about normal feminine health. We can understand them better when we see what would be our “true” gynecological conditions.

These would be:

  • Vaginal infections
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Breast lumps
  • Endometriosis
  • PCOS[i]
  • Nabothian (cervical) cysts

“…charting enables a woman to understand her body in a practical way (Wescheler, 230)”. A woman who charts every day is so aware of what is normal for her own body, that she can actually assist her doctor in determining what is not normal based upon her symptoms. Keeping the chart of her menstruation cycle assists In well-being, and working with the doctor.

Normal Healthy Cervical Fluid VS. Real Vaginal Infections

We live in a culture that advertises douche and sprays for vaginal “discharge” giving women the idea that they are “dirty” all the time. Douching and sprays only act to confuse the identity of healthy cervical fluid and what would be a real infection.

Wescheler explains in her book, that doctors say you don’t need either. On a talk show she watched, she says that the doctor stated that the infections from these products were “…enough to send his children to college (Wescheler , 231)”. Then there is also the yeast infection products that women self-diagnose and take every month for a “recurring” problem.

But, using the chart, detection of an actual infection will be easier, and discovered earlier. You can get treatment before discomfort sets in.  Secretions mid-month are normal, but late in the month may indicate infection.

Symptoms of Vaginal Infections That Can Be Distinguished from Normal Cervical Fluid

Once you have routinely charted your normal cervical fluid, an infection can be distinguished by the unpleasant symptoms that set them apart from what is normal.  Vaginal infections can range from STIs (See: The Effects of Sexually Transmitted Infections on Pregnancy) to a variety of forms of Vaginitis and of course the generic “yeast infection”.

  • Abnormal discharge
  • Itching, stinging, swelling, and redness
  • Unpleasant odor
  • Blisters, warts, and chancre sores


Avoiding Infections

Besides the consequences of douching, you should not wear clothing that is damp or too tight, as these create an unhealthy vaginal environment. Also you should wear cotton underwear, or at least cotton crotch underwear as these allow your body to breathe.

Normal VS Abnormal Bleeding

Normal menstruation lasts about five days and usually will follow a pattern, here are two variations:

Light –>  heavy –> medium –> light –> very light
Heavy –> heavy –> medium –> medium –> light

Also, some women may spot (ordinarily brownish) or bleed at other times in their cycle besides actual menstruation. Spotting is one of the most misunderstood aspects of a woman’s cycle. A common mistake is to assume any type of bleeding episode is menstruation.  True menstruation occurs after ovulation, about 12 to 16 days after.  Any other type of bleeding is either anovulatory bleeding, what is considered normal spotting, or is symptomatic of a problem.

 

[i] Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Based upon: Weschler, Toni.  Taking Charge of Your Fertility.  Rev. (2006) William Morrow.