Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

I’ve been struggling for some time now trying to get pregnant. And my friends are aware of that.

Lucky are those women [like bhem] wherein conceiving can be as easy as tossing out their contraception – whether they’re working on their first baby or their fourth. But for others [like me], reaching the goal of fertilization becomes a nightly chore, a mad mating dance that revolves around ovulation kits, specific sexual positions, and more commonly, a series of fertility tests to help pinpoint possible problems.

I’ve had several Transvaginal Ultrasounds done. I’ve had 5 or 6 cycles of clomiphene citrate already and recently, I’ve had my HSSG performed. I wasn’t able to provide you enough information about HSSG in my post two days ago because I just can’t find enough information about it. I’m going to give you some facts about HSG instead. HSG is somewhat similar to HSSG.

What is HSG?

HSG is an X-ray of the uterus and tubes performed in a radiology suite in order to diagnose a blockage of one or both tubes that may prevent the union of the sperm and egg [fertilization]. A special iodine-containing dye is injected through your cervix. It flows into the uterine cavity and through the tubes. If the tubes are unblocked, the dye will spill out of the tubes into the pelvis.

X-ray pictures will be taken during the procedure to give a permanent record of the condition of the tubes and the uterine cavity. The actual progress of the dye flowing through the tubes can be followed on a fluoroscopy TV monitor. X-ray pictures are available in a few minutes and can be examined by the radiologist, the gynecologist, and the patient. It is optimally performed within the first 12 days after the beginning of a normal menstrual period.

This procedure also gives a picture outline of the uterine cavity and may help in detecting abnormalities of the uterus that may cause infertility, repeated miscarriages, or abnormal vaginal bleeding. Occasionally, this procedure is ordered to diagnose causes of pelvic pain which originate inside the uterus. HSG is sometimes done a few months after the tubal surgery in order to give information about tubal patency.


To undergo an HSG, the patient first lies flat on an X-ray table. A vaginal speculum is then inserted (much like the speculum insertion during a Pap smear). The cervix is grasped with a holding instrument, and a small probe is inserted into the cervical canal. After injection of the liquid dye, the uterus may respond by having cramp-like contractions. Such cramps sometimes cause spasms in the tube.

Most patients do well when taking an 800 mg Motrin (ibuprofen) tablet 1 hour prior to the procedure. If you cannot take Motrin, or have excessive anxiety, your physician may prescribe other medications such as narcotics and/or sedatives [my OB prescribed Buscopan and Ponstan SF]. It is important that you do not drive a car during the 12 hours following the use of narcotics or anxiolytics. It is also important that a responsible adult accompany you to provide transportation and observation following the procedure, no matter which medications you have taken prior to the procedure.

What are the Complications and Side Effects of a Hysterosalpingogram?

A small percentage of patients may develop infection of the lining of the uterus, tubes or pelvis following this procedure. This is more common when the tubes have been damaged previously by infection or other causes. Infection in the tubes could lead to infertility, but the risk of infection is low (commonly estimated at 1%). If your HSG shows blockage of the tubes, you may be issued an antibiotic prescription to help prevent subsequent infection.

Allergic reactions are possible after injection of the iodine-based dye. During the procedure, a small amount of X-ray irradiation will be directed into the pelvic area and ovaries. The possibility of injury to an unfertilized or recently fertilized egg exists. Although the risk of causing a miscarriage or a malformed infant is not documented, the precise risk is unknown.

The potential risks of this procedure must be balanced against the information to be gained in evaluating the cause of the infertility.

What are the Alternatives to Hysterosalpingography?

The information gained from an HSG can also be obtained by laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. Information about the uterine cavity may also be gained by a saline contrast ultrasound.

Should I use Contraception during the Cycle I have my HSG?

The risks of abnormalities or problems related to the HSG are exceedingly rare. There is some evidence in the medical literature that conceptions rates may be greater in the cycles immediately following an HSG. You should consult your physician if you feel you may be pregnant.

After Having a Hysterosalpingogram:

1. There will be slight vaginal bleeding and/or discharge for a few days after the procedure. If bleeding increases or persists more than a few days, call your physician.
2. There may be moderate pain or cramping for several hours after the procedure. If the pain increases or persists overnight, call your physician.
3. Fever (temperature> 100.5 degrees F) with persistent pain may indicate the possibility of early infection. These symptoms should be reported to your physician or to the Emergency Room immediately.
4. Douching, vaginal intercourse, or use of tampons should be delayed until 48 hours after the procedure.
5. If you have any problems after the procedure, you should tell your physician.

Source: California IVF

Read Full Post »

I’ve read chie’s blog (bhem’s friend) post about cigarettes…i’m not a cigarette addict…but I smoke occasionally…ahm so, I decided to make a blog entry about cigarettes, the health effects of cigarettes, and most importantly, tips to help you quit cigarette smoking…

Over 40,000 careful studies have proven that smoking causes disease and death. Every medical and health agency agrees. Every year, more deaths are caused by smoking-related diseases compared to AIDS, drug abuse, car accidents and murder combined.

Take a look at the facts about cigarette smoking and your lungs.

Cigarette Smoking: The Facts

· Cancer is the second leading cause of death and was among the first diseases causually linked to smoking.

· Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and almost 80% of lung cancer deaths in women. The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 23 times higher among men who smoke cigarettes, and about 13 times higher among women who smoke cigarettes compared with never smokers.

· Smoking causes cancers of the bladder, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx (voice box), esophagus, cervix, kidney, lung, pancreas, and stomach, and causes acute myeloid leukemia.

Women and Smoking: The Facts

* Lung cancer has now surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women.

* Current female smokers aged 35 and older are more than 10 times as likely to die from emphysema or chronic bronchitis than nonsmoking females.

* Americans are starting to smoke at a younger age, especially young girls.

* Pregnant smokers have higher rates of miscarriage, stillbirths and babies who are born too soon. More of their babies die soon after birth from crib death than newborns of nonsmoking mothers.

* As more women start to smoke, their death rates from smoking-related lung diseases are fast approaching male smoking rates.

Men and Smoking: The Facts

* Cigarette smoking is the #1 cause of cancer death in men.

* Current male smokers over age 35 are almost 10 times more likely to die of lung disease and 22 times more likely to die from lung cancer than nonsmoking males.

Tips to Help You Stop Smoking

· Make a list of your reasons for quitting and say them often.

· Set a quit date and tell everyone you are going to quit.

· Keep a supply of healthy snacks handy.

· Increase your exercise. Walk more.

· Make specific plans for what you’ll do when the urge hits. For example, take a deep breath, get up and walk around, call a friend for help, keep your hands busy. Remember the urge passes in just a few minutes whether you smoke or not.

· Remove all cigarettes, ashtrays, matches and lighters from your home, workplace and car.

Read Full Post »

because “beer” has been our constant buddy whenever me and my friends go out, today, I will blog about the pros and cons of drinking beer…

Sometimes even referred to as “liquid bread”, beer is one of the oldest and one of most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. Brewer’s yeast, one of the beer’s main components, is known to be a rich source of nutrients and this means that beer may have some health benefits.

So, does this mean beer is a healthy drink? Checkout the pros and cons of beer drinking and come to a decision after.

Pros of Drinking Beer:

Ø Source of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids. Beer is rich in many vitamins of the B group and in such minerals as magnesium. Barley and hops used in the production of beer are rich in flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant effects.

Ø Don’t just believe us:

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has completed an extensive review of current scientific knowledge about the health effects of moderate alcohol consumption. It found that the lowest death rate from all causes occurs at the level of one to two drinks per day. That is, moderate drinkers have the greatest longevity.

Ø Aid against Coronary heart disease (CHD). There is a quite strong evidence that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption has cardio-protective properties. Many research studies demonstrate a lower coronary heart disease incidence among moderate beer drinkers. These moderate drinkers are at lower risk of CHD-related mortality than both heavy drinkers and abstainers. The vitamin B6 in beer also seems to prevent the alcohol-induced rise in blood homocysteine, a probable heart disease risk factor.

Ø Cholesterol. Moderate alcohol intake affects many processes in the body, one of which is the significant increase in HDL cholesterol – the good cholesterol. There is supporting evidence for beer’s cardio-protective effect and for its help in altering the ratio of beneficial HDL cholesterol to the LDL cholesterol.

Ø Kidney stones. Beer consumption may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. Finnish researches found that there was a 40% lower risk of kidney stones in beer drinkers.

Ø X-Rays radioprotection. Japan researchers found that beer helps reduce chromosomal damage from radiation exposure.

Cons of Drinking Beer.

Ø “Beer belly”. Heavy beer drinking may promote abdominal obesity in men, so called “beer belly”. Drinking beer in moderation will not cause obesity.

Ø Heartburn. Beer contains powerful stimulants of gastric acid secretion and may provoke gastroesophageal reflux and cause heartburn.

Ø “Alcohol consumption can increase the relaxation of the LES – the natural valve that keeps stomach acid in the stomach and out of the esophagus – allowing acid to reflux”

Ø Blood pressure. Daily beer consumption (approximately 40 g of alcohol) may increase blood pressure.

Ø Intoxication / Impairment. Even low amounts of alcohol can adversely effects attention and motor skills. In fact, many serious accidents are alcohol related. This obviously includes motor vehicles but can also include falling of your chair, down the stairs, out windows, etc.

Ø This can also include “Beer Muscles” which can make the drinker believe they can physically take on any person in the room. Often times, the drinker is sadly mistaken and winds up sprawled on the floor with severe injuries.

Ø Dehydration. Only 10% of what you drink is removed through urine and your liver needs water to get rid of the remaining 90%. To do so, the liver is forced to divert water from other organs including the brain, which causes the throbbing headaches. Drinking a glass of water in between beers will help.

Ø Hangover. Most of us know the pounding head, cotton mouth feeling attributed to a night of heavy drinking. For those that don’t, here is a very good and thorough explanation. For those that don’t heed this warning, here this is how you can get rid of your hangover

As you will notice, most of these only apply to heavy beer guzzlers. A heavy drinker is considered to be someone that has 2 or more drinks per day.

so, im a heavy drinker huh?!

Read Full Post »