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Health

Women's health issues and how to deal with them at home
OB/GYN offers advice on handling basics
 
Published Sunday, May 3, 2020 9:00 pm
by Brandpoint

STOCK PHOTO
Even under stay at home orders, women can care for common health issues at home if medical help isn't readily available.

Many doctors' offices are limiting their office hours for anything other than emergency care or diagnosing and treating people for COVID-19. This may leave women with lack of access to their doctors when experiencing non-urgent, but highly uncomfortable issues.


Lauren Streicher MD, OB/GYN at Northwestern University, encourages patients experiencing gynecologic issues during COVID restrictions to contact their health care provider. Many clinicians can connect by phone or video, give recommendations and call in prescriptions. However, if medical care for non-urgent issues is not readily available, she suggests women prepare to care for their common health issues at home.

"Even with mandates to 'shelter in place,' women can safely and effectively take care of many common health issues right at home," says Streicher. "But still, it is important to know when something does require immediate medical attention."

Streicher offers the following tips to help women prepare their own at-home feminine health toolkit to address common issues and help stay healthy:

Prescriptions: If possible, get a three-month supply of prescriptions such as birth control pills.

Safe sex: Stock up on condoms and keep emergency contraception on hand. In the U.S., there are two FDA-approved over-the-counter forms of emergency contraception, and the sooner you take emergency contraception, the more effectively it works.

UTI: If possible, have antibiotics on hand if you get a UTI. Additionally, studies show that if you increase your daily fluid intake of water to 2-3 liters on a regular basis, you can flush out bad bacteria. An oral vaginal probiotic like Pro-B may keep yeast and bacteria balanced every day by increasing vaginal lactobacilli and preventing the colonization of vaginal E.coli finding its way into the urinary tract.

Vaginal discharge and odor: Know how to determine if it is yeast or bacterial vaginosis so you know which product to use. For example, keep pH-balancing RepHresh Gel on hand for after sex and menstruation.

Pelvic floor PT: If you are going to stick to kegel exercises, make sure you are doing them correctly. Also, there are over-the-counter, at-home devices developed in conjunction with pelvic floor physical therapists that are FDA cleared for the treatment of both urinary and fecal incontinence.

Painful sex: Stock up on Replens Moisturizer to help eliminate vaginal dryness and painful sex, especially for women who are breastfeeding, in cancer treatment or in menopause. Additionally, remember to have a good silicone lube on hand to use for intercourse.

Vitamins: Stock up on vitamin D because it facilitates the absorption of calcium that can decrease bone loss and reduce your risk of breaking a bone. They are easy to take, especially gummy vitamins.

Pregnancy pain: This could be due to an ectopic pregnancy, which is potentially life-threatening and demands attention. Call your health care provider immediately.

For more up-to-date information on women's health issues, visit drstreicher.com.

Comments

Really helpful information. I was suffering badly from vaginal discharge and I must try using the pH balancing gel as mentioned in the post. I have just started with my kegel exercises as suggested by my physical therapist. My fitness trainer at the https://www.drgbalamurali.com/ recommended me to practice some simple stretches indoors.
Posted on May 27, 2020
 

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