women

Vaginitis

Vaginitis covers a lot of conditions that cause annoying vaginal symptoms, such as itching, burning, irritation and abnormal discharge. The most common causes of vaginitis are bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis and trichomoniasis. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common of the conditions and is discussed below.

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). It’s estimated that more than 15% of all pregnant women have bacterial vaginosis (BV) during pregnancy. It is the most common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age. Some experts believe it may be caused by douching and sexual intercourse. It is also more common in women who have an IUD.

BV is caused by an imbalance or overgrowth of several types of bacteria that exist in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis can cause problems for pregnant women.

It may be difficult to diagnose BV because bacteria can also be found in healthy individuals. Nearly half of the women infected have no symptoms. For those who do, they may experience symptoms similar to those of a yeast infection, including itching, a vaginal odor that is “fishy,” painful urination and a gray-white vaginal discharge.

Your healthcare provider can detect the problem by testing vaginal discharge for BV-causing bacteria. Antibiotics are used to treat the problem. Seven days of metronidazole (Flagyl) is the treatment of choice.

If left untreated, BV can cause you problems. If you have BV, be sure it is treated.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia affects between 3 and 6 million Americans every year; 80% are women. It causes muscles all over the body to ache, burn and twitch. If you suffer from it, you probably ache all over, especially in the arms, lower back, shoulders and neck. You may also feel tingling in the fingers and toes. Severe fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, abdominal pain and gastrointestinal problems may also be present. Some sufferers experience anxiety and depression.

The problem usually begins during early adulthood or middle age and causes chronic pain and other symptoms. Symptoms can come and go throughout a person’s life. Although fibromyalgia is believed to be genetic, it may lie dormant until triggered by a trauma, such as childbirth.

Fibromyalgia can be hard to diagnose, and a person may suffer for a long time before finding help. It is more common if a person also suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease or lactose intolerance.

Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy. We don’t know a lot about fibromyalgia during pregnancy. We do know fibromyalgia won’t harm your baby. Pregnancy can be a time of high stress, and physical and emotional stress are known triggers for fibromyalgia.

During pregnancy, your body produces many hormones, which may affect your disease. Studies have found some women experience more severe symptoms during pregnancy. The third trimester may be the worst, and symptoms may last as long as 3 months after birth.

Other researchers believe pregnancy helps lessen fibromyalgia symptoms. Some women have said they felt better during pregnancy. This may be the result of the production of the hormone relaxin. Relaxin supplements have been found to help ease symptoms in many women with fibromyalgia. During pregnancy, the amount of relaxin in a woman’s body increases up to 10 times!

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, bring it up at your first prenatal visit. At this time, there is no cure, and treatment is limited. The FDA has approved the drug Lyrica to help manage pain. Antidepressants and pain suppressants may also be used to treat symptoms. Discuss the use of any of these medicines with your healthcare provider. To help ease pain, acetaminophen is safe to use during pregnancy.

Exercise may offer relief. Some types of exercise to consider include yoga, exercising in the water, Pilates and stretching. Massage therapy may also help—look for a massage therapist with experience treating fibromyalgia pain who can safely perform massage on a pregnant woman.

It may help to apply moist heat to the affected area twice a day. A warm shower or bath is a good way to apply moist heat.

8. Exercise for Week 21

Like the Kegel exercise, you can do this exercise just about anywhere. Standing or sitting, take a deep breath. While exhaling, tighten your tummy muscles as though you were zipping up a pair of tight jeans. Repeat 6 or 8 times. Strengthens tummy muscles.

Do this second exercise after you’ve been sitting a long time, such as at your desk or in a car or on a plane, or when you have to stand for long periods. When you’re forced to stand in one place for a long time, step forward slightly with one foot. Place all your weight on that foot for a few minutes. Do the same with the other foot. Alternate the leg you begin with each time. Stretches leg muscles.

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