Sexual Health

  1. June 25, 2024

    Navigating Bacterial Vaginosis and Yeast Infections: A Guide for Practitioners

    Healthcare practitioners often encounter patients presenting with vaginal discomfort and discharge. Two common culprits behind these symptoms are bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections (candidiasis). Although these conditions share similar symptoms, their etiologies, treatments, and implications can vary significantly.

    Understanding bacterial vaginosis

    Bacterial vaginosis is an imbalance of the vaginal flora. It occurs when an overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria, including Gardnerella vaginalis, overwhelms the beneficial lactobacilli. BV is the most common vaginal infection in women of reproductive age.

    Clinical presentation

    • Thin, grayish-white, homogeneous vaginal discharge
    • Fishy odor, especially after intercourse
    • Vaginal itching or irritation (less common)
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  2. June 24, 2024

    How hormones affect the brain (and how to be smart about them)

    Hormone treatment — and hormonal birth control — can be life changing for women. But, as with any medication, sometimes there are side effects (especially with medications designed for everyone rather than custom-made).

    If you’re curious why “ovarian hormones” can affect mood, for example, a University of Michigan psychologist has the answer with a great explanation of how hormones like birth control affect so many other bodily functions, notably in the brain.

    “Estrogen and progesterone have broad effects on neurons and cellular processes that have nothing to do with reproduction,” she explains. In fact, “Estrogen and progesterone also regulate the stress response — the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction.”

    That’s why it’s so important to make sure

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  3. May 20, 2024

    Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Not Just a Guy Thing

    Would it surprise you to know that as far back as 4,000 years ago, intentional castration was used to create eunuchs and control sexual function? What if I told you the ancient Romans ingested animal testes to promote fertility and strength?

    It is apparent that ancient societies understood the effect of testicular function on energy, libido, sexual function, and masculinity. It wasn’t until 40 centuries later, in 1929, that testosterone was first isolated, and four years after that in 1935 that the first studies were published on the chemical synthesis of testosterone. This led to the introduction of testosterone injections and pellets for use in male patients for energy, strength, fertility, and erectile function — what we call testosterone deficiency today.

    Great news for the fellas, but probably not for the ladies, right? Not so fast! As

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  4. April 23, 2024

    The Atlantic: Menopause, estrogen, and women’s unused options

    Women have been dealing with menopause for a couple of hundred thousand years, and yet there’s still a bit of a stigma talking about it, the effects it can have on a woman’s body, and ways to help alleviate some of those negative issues.

    Worse, as this article in the Atlantic explains, many gynecologists will try to solve everything with estrogen (or, if they’re British, oestrogen). Since the 1960s it’s been the go-to magic bullet for women in and after menopause.

    Reality, though, is more complex — and we’ve learned a lot since the ’60s. Still, though, the lack of a “frank approach to sexuality” for both people born female and those who have transitioned there has kept many from realizing the benefits of other hormones. (Ironically, trans women often get better care when it comes to hormones.)

    The point of all this, and of the Atlantic article, is that it’s important for women to think beyond

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