Sara Lindberg

6 Early Symptoms of Breast Cancer That Are Easy to Miss

6 Early Symptoms of Breast Cancer That Are Easy to Miss

Dr. Gary says palpable lumps in young people with breasts are one of the more commonly missed or disregarded symptoms because they’re often mistaken for fibrocystic breast changes, the non-cancerous changes that give a breast a lumpy or ropelike texture, typically from hormonal changes that happen during a person’s period. This is extremely common, affecting approximately 50% of people who menstruate between the ages of 20 and 50, per the Cleveland Clinic.“This can make self and clinical exams challenging because you might think a new lump represents a cyst or normal change in the breast tissue,” Dr. Flanagan says. If an existing lump does not go away after your next period, get it checked out.3. Changes in breast shape and contourNaturally, your breast shape will change over time. After all, your breasts at 20 are not what you see at 50 (thanks, gravity!), especially if you’ve been pregnant or nursed a baby.That said, it’s time to talk to a doctor when those changes seem to have happened quickly and don’t seem to be associated with your menstrual cycle, significant weight gain or loss, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. For example, Dr. Gary says changes in the contour of the breast, such as dimpling, could be an early sign of breast cancer. Also key to note, per the American Cancer Society, is thickening or swelling of the breast, even if you do not feel a lump. Dr. Gary says these changes may become more apparent as cancers grow inside the tissues.4. Nipple changes or dischargeAnother early sign of breast cancer can include certain changes to your nipples, such as nipples that turn inward, pull to one side, dimple, or change direction, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Inflammation around the nipple, scaly skin, crusting, and itchiness or a burning sensation also warrant a convo with your doctor.Abnormal nipple discharge is another thing worth paying attention to. If you’ve been pregnant, you’re likely familiar with fluids dripping out of your nipples (hello, colostrum and breast milk). But discharge that is new and not obviously related to pregnancy, breastfeeding, or another medical reason is a potential cause for concern, especially if it is “abnormal,” meaning it’s bloody, leaking from only one nipple, or comes out on its own without any squeezing.5. Skin inflammation, discoloration, or swellingWhile not as common as other early breast cancer signs, new onset of breast discoloration, thickening of the breast skin, swelling that affects more than a third of the breast, or swollen lymph nodes near the underarm can be associated with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), a rare and “very” aggressive form of the disease that is often mistaken as an infection, per the National Cancer Institute. Dr. O’Neill says you may also notice a change in the texture of the breast under the skin.With IBC, the discoloration can appear pink, red, reddish-purple, or bruised, depending on your skin tone. This is important to note because inflammatory breast cancer is often just associated with “redness”—even though the disease disproportionately impacts Black people, who may not as easily notice discoloration compared to those who have lighter skin.2,36. Breast pain or heavinessAlthough most breast cancers do not cause pain, it is possible. Dr. Flanagan says feeling breast pain and heaviness are potential early symptoms—and often get overlooked or ignored. “Unilateral, new onset breast pain [in one specific spot] should be evaluated by a health care professional, and imaging should be completed to rule out breast cancer,” she says. If the pain is severe or persists, the American Cancer Society recommends getting it checked out. This type of pain is often associated with inflammatory breast cancer, which can also cause tenderness, aching, and heaviness in the breast, in addition to the inflammation, swelling, and thickening mentioned above.How to check your breasts for early signs of cancerKnowing the symptoms is just one part of the prevention puzzle. You should also examine your breasts frequently—and just be really aware of what “normal” looks and feels like for your own body. Here are some expert-backed tips to help you get started.Get up close and personal with your breasts.That “normal” we’re talking about has a name, Dr. Gary says: Think of it as “breast self-awareness.” It involves knowing the ins and outs of your breasts both before and during your period, a time when your hormones are in flux. It also means becoming familiar with asymmetry that might be normal for you, such as breast size differences or nipple placement. “I tell my patients their breasts are twins but seldom identical,” Dr. Gary says.

Is Food Poisoning Contagious? Here’s How It Actually Spreads

Is Food Poisoning Contagious? Here’s How It Actually Spreads

If you regularly take a chance on food—say, an iffy room-temperature burger—you’ve probably paid the price with food poisoning once or twice. And, if you’re firmly in the “risk it and eat the burger” camp, you’re not alone: About 48 million people in the U.S. have food poisoning each year, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK). Although the pathogens that cause food poisoning are best known for lurking in food left out too long, handled improperly, or contaminated during processing, you can also get this gut-wrenching illness from another person. So the answer to your burning question (Is food poisoning contagious?) is yes, the bugs that can cause food poisoning are contagious.While you can’t avoid all possible food poisoning scenarios, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. Because trust us, when we say gut-wrenching, we mean forceful bouts of vomiting, diarrhea, or both at the same time (a situation you want to avoid at all costs).What is food poisoning?Food poisoning and foodborne illness are often used interchangeably but, if we’re splitting hairs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) points out that foodborne illness technically can encompass allergens that are consumed and cause allergic reactions. On the other hand, food poisoning is a form of foodborne illness that occurs only when you consume specific toxins.The contamination process can happen at any point during processing or production. It can also happen at home if you’re not handling food correctly or if you eat uncooked or undercooked food. The biggest culprits of food poisoning seem to be infectious organisms (including parasites, fungi, viruses, and bacteria) or their toxins, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some common food culprits include raw fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood.Back to topIs food poisoning contagious?“Yes, food poisoning can be contagious,” Chantal Strachan, MD, an internist at ColumbiaDoctors and Columbia University Irving Medical Center, tells SELF. More specifically, she says, norovirus, a common cause of food poisoning, is very contagious. “You can become infected from eating contaminated foods and from exposure to bodily fluids (diarrhea or vomit) of an infected person, which is why these outbreaks can be common in densely populated areas like cruise ships or day cares,” Dr. Strachan says. She also says E. Coli and Salmonella are common bacterial causes, with Salmonella being very contagious (generally from fecal matter getting into your mouth). These are typically found in things like ground beef (particularly E.Coli), and contaminated egg yolks, milk, and poultry (looking at you, Salmonella).Back to topHow is food poisoning different from a stomach bug?Both food poisoning and the stomach bug, also called viral gastroenteritis, can wreak havoc on your G.I. system—with symptoms like stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fever—but there are some key differences worth noting. One is that a virus is responsible for the stomach flu (not actually influenza though, so it’s a bit confusing), while bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other toxins are responsible for the various types of food poisoning. Food poisoning symptoms can also vary in severity and may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to develop symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or drink, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The dreaded stomach bug wreaks havoc on your intestines, and in addition to the symptoms mentioned above may also include mild muscle aches. This bug tends to surface one to three days after you’re infected, according to the Mayo Clinic.Recovering from both a stomach bug and food poisoning often requires rest and hydration. Occasionally, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for certain kinds of bacterial food poisoning, especially if your symptoms are severe. For example, listeria may need treatment with intravenous antibiotics and hospitalization, according to the Mayo Clinic. Since the stomach bug is a virus, antibiotics will not help.Back to topHow long does each last?The stomach bug moves fast and furious, with symptoms generally appearing one to three days after infection and lasting for a day or two. However, some people get hit hard and may deal with symptoms for up to 14 days, per the Mayo Clinic.Food poisoning is generally short-lived, with symptoms surfacing within a few hours to several days and lasting only a day or two, depending on the cause of food poisoning. On occasion, some illnesses lead to hospitalization, especially in high-risk individuals like older adults, pregnant people, children under five years old, and people with weakened immune systems, according to the CDC.

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms Can Affect More Than Your Joints

Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms Can Affect More Than Your Joints

According to the Cleveland Clinic, it’s also possible to have overlapping types of psoriatic arthritis, potentially making this disease even more complicated.Back to topWhat does psoriatic arthritis pain feel like?“Often, people with psoriatic arthritis describe generalized feelings of achiness and fatigue before any overt swelling starts,” Rebecca Haberman, MD, a rheumatologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health, tells SELF.The next clue is joint pain or stiffness, swelling, and warmth. Nail changes, lower back pains, swollen fingers or toes, eye inflammation, and foot pain often follow after that.When it comes to the question of how painful psoriatic arthritis is, the answer is that it can vary. For some people it can be mild, and for others, severe. With psoriatic arthritis treatment, you may still experience flares-ups that alternate with periods of remission, according to the Mayo Clinic. As the disease advances, Dr. Haberman says they can see joint damage, which is often irreversible once it develops.Back to topWhere does psoriatic arthritis usually start?“In about 85% of people with psoriatic arthritis, skin psoriasis appears before any joint involvement,” says Dr. Haberman. However, she adds, when it comes to joints, there is no one joint or area where psoriatic arthritis typically starts. “This is different for every person, and a single joint or multiple joints may be involved even at the start,” she says.In addition to having possible joint swelling and pain, Dr. Haberman says people often describe feeling stiff, fatigued, or having more difficulty doing activities that they used to do on a daily basis. “Psoriatic arthritis can also present as back pain and stiffness if it affects the spine or areas of inflammation at the entheses, where ligaments and tendons insert onto the bone, such as the Achilles,” says Dr. Haberman.Back to topWhat organs does psoriatic arthritis affect?Yes, psoriatic arthritis can wreak havoc on your joints and skin, but it can also cause problems in other parts of your body. That’s because psoriatic arthritis causes systemic inflammation—from your eyes to your heart, says Dr. Askanase. It can involve the eyes with uveitis, the gut with inflammatory bowel disease, your heart with early cardiovascular disease, lung inflammation, and liver and kidney problems. “In other words, psoriatic arthritis can be a disease of the whole body,” she says.That said, while psoriatic can increase your risk for these other conditions, it doesn’t mean that you will get them. It’s a good idea to talk with your healthcare team about how to reduce any risk factors you might have, including getting your PsA under control and tweaking your treatment plan, if necessary. These things will help reduce your risk of complications.Back to topDoes psoriatic arthritis show up in blood work?While blood tests are an important factor in supporting a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, Dr. Haberman says they cannot alone diagnose psoriatic arthritis. “Psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed by history and physical exam, and often supported by imaging and blood work,” she says.People with psoriatic arthritis may have elevated levels of inflammation in their blood (such as elevated c-reactive protein or erythrocyte sedimentation rate). However, she says these are non-specific markers of inflammation, meaning that any cause of inflammation—not just psoriatic arthritis—can make them elevated.The only way to know for sure if you’re dealing with psoriatic arthritis is to talk with your doctor. They will go through the necessary steps to get a proper diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, starting on a treatment plan will help manage your symptoms and prevent joint damage, and hopefully get you back to feeling a bit more like yourself.

Here’s Why IUD Removal Is Usually Nothing Like Insertion

Here’s Why IUD Removal Is Usually Nothing Like Insertion

There’s no denying that an intrauterine device (IUD) is an excellent set-it-and-forget-it form of birth control for many people. But at some point, you might decide you’d like to try to get pregnant, try a different form of contraception, or—after years of hard work as your uterus’s personal bouncer—your IUD might simply reach its “pull-by” date. And when that happens, you’ll need to see your doctor (typically an ob-gyn) to have it removed.If the insertion process is something you’d like to forget (or you’ve aggressively blocked the memory from out of your psyche), you might think about your IUD removal with a little trepidation. However, chances are your IUD removal will hopefully be less painful than the insertion if that process was painful for you (still, it’s important to keep in mind that everybody’s experience is different!). Here, we go over why you might choose to have an IUD removed, when and how it should come out, and what to expect after the IUD removal process.How do IUDs work, again?An IUD is a small, T-shaped contraceptive device that sits in the uterus and is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), there are two types of IUDs: hormonal IUDs and the non-hormonal copper IUD. Hormonal IUDs release a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone, called progestin, to thicken cervical mucus, prevent ovulation in some people, and thin the lining of the uterus. All of this makes it very difficult for sperm to enter the uterus to even find an egg, let alone implant into the uterus lining. The non-hormonal IUD, on the other hand, releases copper ions, which are toxic to sperm, the Mayo Clinic explains.Back to topWhat are some reasons why you might want to remove an IUD?An IUD, regardless of the type you get, gives you excellent control over your reproductive future. Not only is it effective for years after insertion, but it typically requires basically zero upkeep on your part. However, despite the popularity of IUDs, some people are eager to get their IUD removed before it’s time. Fortunately, the IUD removal process is simple. All you need to do is make an appointment with your doctor for a quick procedure. With that in mind, here are some reasons why you might choose to remove an IUD early.PainMinor pain and cramping during the first few days after IUD placement are normal. But severe pelvic pain or pain and cramping that continues for weeks or even months requires a call to your doctor to determine why you’re having pain and possibly an appointment to remove the IUD. According to the ACOG, the main reasons people have pain beyond the initial one to two days include perforation (a rare instance when an IUD pierces the uterine wall), pelvic inflammatory disease (a bacterial infection of the reproductive organs), or the IUD has shifted or moved. One thing to note is that IUDs do not cause pelvic inflammatory disease, but if you have a sexually transmitted infection at the time of insertion, your risk for pelvic inflammatory disease slightly increases, according to a 2014 study published in the journal American Family Physician.1Menstrual bleedingHeavier periods are typically not a problem with hormonal IUDs, but people with a non-hormonal IUD sometimes tell a different story. For example, the copper IUD, manufactured under the brand name Paragard, is known to cause heavier, longer, and more painful periods for some people, at least for the first few months after insertion, per the ACOG. Some can manage the heavy flow just fine, but others may choose to have the copper IUD removed and replaced with a hormonal IUD, or use another form of birth control altogether.As we mentioned, hormonal IUDs are not typically known to cause heavy bleeding. In fact, many people experience minimal bleeding or may stop getting their period at all. That said, you may have breakthrough bleeding with a hormonal IUD. According to the ACOG, spotting and irregular bleeding is common in the first few months after hormonal IUD placement, but it generally gets better in two to six months.IUD slipped or movedWhile not super common, your IUD can slip or move in the weeks following insertion or even several months later. Your doctor should schedule a follow-up appointment a few weeks after insertion to check to make sure the IUD is still in place. But, if at any point you cannot feel your strings, make an appointment to see your doctor. They will be able to tell if the IUD is still in place or if it has shifted and needs to be removed. While rare, an IUD can actually come out without you knowing it, according to the ACOG.Wanting to change your IUDAt some point, you may decide you want to switch up your method of birth control, or perhaps your doctor is recommending a different one for health reasons. Or, you might just want to try a different brand or type of IUD. The good news is you have lots of options. For example, if you’re using a hormonal IUD and want to give the non-hormonal IUD a try, your doctor can remove your current IUD and insert the new one in the same visit.Wanting to try to get pregnantIf and when baby fever ever strikes, getting your IUD out is probably going to be a priority. Fortunately, the process is quick and easy, and fertility generally resumes shortly after removal, depending on your personal health history, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

3 People With Multiple Sclerosis Share How They Manage Their Spasticity

3 People With Multiple Sclerosis Share How They Manage Their Spasticity

Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis can, naturally, have an enormous impact on your life. You may need to make some lifestyle changes and try a few treatments to help manage the various symptoms, including spasticity. Spasticity is a common M.S. symptom, especially as the disease progresses.Spasticity can happen when the nerve pathways in the brain and spinal cord that govern muscle function become compromised in some way, which is typical of M.S. When this occurs, muscles contract involuntarily, often leading to abnormal tightness, spasms, and pain, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Because spasticity produces painful, uncontrollable spasms of extremities (especially the legs), performing daily tasks like walking or even standing can seem near impossible at times, especially during M.S. flares when symptoms get worse.While there is no cure for spasticity or M.S., a treatment plan tailored to your needs can decrease symptoms, improve mobility, and contribute to a better quality of life. Below, SELF spoke to three people with M.S. about how spasticity affects their lives and how they manage the symptoms.1. “I’ve had to become aware of triggers, individuals, and environments that create stressful situations.”Autumn Grant, 29, was diagnosed with M.S. in March 2020, two days after her business was hit by the Nashville tornado, and nearly four years after dealing with several bouts of illnesses. For Grant, M.S. spasticity makes her muscles become tight, experience contractions, and feel fatigued. In addition, she deals with painful joint stiffness and lower back pain. “The pain, fatigue, and spasticity are mentally draining and can become very frustrating,” Grant tells SELF. “All you want to do is get better, but you feel like you’re in a battle with your own body.”There are times when Grant feels so helpless she gets mad at her own body. During those instances, she has to remind herself that she didn’t choose this, but she can choose her outlook on life, along with how she approaches environmental and emotional triggers that make her M.S. symptoms such as spasticity worse. “I’ve had to become aware of emotional triggers, individuals, and environments that create stressful situations,” she explains. One example: “My body does not like the cold weather, and I tend to have more relapses, including worsening spasticity, in the winter months,” Grant says. However, in the summer months, she’s more active and believes that routine exercise, stretching, and movement help preserve her quality of life.To help with spasticity, Grant relies on medication, yoga poses, stretching, and taking Epsom salt baths to relax her muscles as well. She also has found that supplements like magnesium provide some relief for her symptoms. (Magnesium deficiency can bring about muscle cramps or spasms, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, and there has been some research into how magnesium supplementation may affect spasticity in people with conditions like M.S., but much more research is necessary.1) Grant also swears by an acupressure mat that provides massage and much needed-relief daily.

10 Stretching Apps Fitness Pros Swear By to Get in Some Quick Mobility Work

10 Stretching Apps Fitness Pros Swear By to Get in Some Quick Mobility Work

Available on iOS and Android; $14 per month2. Start StretchingIf you’re new to stretching and need some extra tips, easy-to-understand instructions, and detailed images, Start Stretching might just be the app for you. “I love this app,” Dani Schenone, yoga instructor, certified personal trainer, RYT-200, ACSM-CPT, tells SELF. Routines are short—many last only five minutes—which make it great for beginners who want an introduction to stretching. Plus, you can adjust the length of each stretch, allowing you to devote more time to a specific body part. “The stretches are quick and straight to the point,” she says.Available on iOS; free with optional $3 fee for certain upgrades.3. StretchItStretchIt has one of the most extensive databases out there of stretching videos for all fitness levels. In addition, the app gives users the ability to filter stretching routines based on theme, class length, and difficulty. You can also input flexibility goals—such as reducing back pain, doing splits, or just mastering a full-body stretch after an intense week—to help you determine your course of action, John Gardner, a NASM-certified personal trainer and the co-founder of Kickoff, a remote personal training platform, tells SELF. A personal trainer will then create a 30-day program for you tailored according to your flexibility goals. In addition, you’ll be able to track your results on the app to see your progression.Available on iOS and Android, starting at $13 per month4. Bend: Stretching & FlexibilityLibby Burton, certified yoga and pilates instructor, loves Bend for its ability to give stretching routines based on your goals around sleep, posture, or even time of the day, making it easy to add these stretching routines to your daily life. “I think this is a great app for those who are busy and work at a desk all day. If you only have a few minutes to add mobility training to your day, this app is for you,” she adds. For instance, you can take the “Wake Up” routine to start your mobility off strong, or the “Sleep” routine to help you unwind at the end of the day.Available on iOS; free to download with in-app purchases from $5 to $305. Alo MovesKate Lombardo, yoga director at YogaRenew Teacher Training in Hoboken, New Jersey, tells SELF that the Alo Moves app is an excellent choice for stretching and mobility work. Alo Moves offers options for restorative yoga and stretching, both of which are great ways to unwind from the day or recover from a workout. Oh, and speaking of workouts? Alo Moves is also a full-service workout app, containing thousands of fitness classes ranging from HIIT to core, as well as mindfulness and meditation offerings. Lombardo loves that you can filter by class length, so whether you have 15 minutes or want a longer class, you can find an option that fits.Available on iOS and Android; $20 per month6. PelotonPeloton might be best known for cycling workouts, but they also offer tons of other modalities, including strength workouts and, yep, stretching routines. Their flexibility and mobility work comes in ranges of intensity that can support beginners all the way up to advanced exercisers, Morgan Rees, a personal trainer at MorganReesFit, tells SELF. You can filter classes by time—from 5 minutes up to 20—level, instructor, and even type of music, making sure there’s always one that fits in your schedule. In addition, aside from stretching classes, Peloton also offers yoga classes for even more mobility work. These classes go up to 75 minutes, if you’re looking to devote a solid block of time to flexibility and mobility.

How to Choose the Best IUD for You

How to Choose the Best IUD for You

If you’re considering an intrauterine device or IUD, you’re in good company. IUDs, which are classified as long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), are one of the most commonly used and effective forms of birth control, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since you have several IUDs to choose from, you might be wondering: “Which IUD is right for me?”Currently, two IUD types are available: hormonal and non-hormonal. Both are known for their set-it-and-forget-it practicality, but they work differently to prevent pregnancy. Hormonal IUDs, including Kyleena, Skyla, Mirena, and Liletta, work by releasing the hormone levonorgestrel, a form of progestin. The only non-hormonal IUD option is the copper IUD, or Paragard, which prevents pregnancy by changing the environment in your uterus to make it toxic to sperm (more on this later).Although more options are always a good thing, especially when it comes to birth control, it can also be overwhelming. And you’ll probably want to do some extra research before making a decision. Thankfully, we’re here to help! Here’s what the experts say you should know and consider when choosing the best IUD for you.How do IUDs work?An IUD is a tiny, T-shaped piece of flexible plastic that is inserted into your uterus by a medical provider. We mentioned earlier that the hormonal IUDs—Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena, and Liletta—all work by releasing the hormone levonorgestrel, a form of progestin. Levonorgestrel works by thickening the cervical mucus, which blocks the sperm from meeting up with an egg.1 If a highly motivated sperm (we’re talking Tom Brady-level athleticism and ambition) does make it through, progestin also thins the lining of the uterus making implantation unlikely to occur. Paragard, the only non-hormonal IUD, has copper wire coiled around it. That copper produces an inflammatory response in the uterus that’s toxic to sperm, and interferes with its movement, making it nearly impossible to have a meet-and-greet with an egg, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).Back to topWhat’s the difference between hormonal vs. non-hormonal IUD?Hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs have a lot in common. For example, they both do an excellent job of preventing pregnancy. They’re both small, T-shaped devices inserted into your uterus, which, by the way, requires a procedure for placement and removal. And neither one protects against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).The differences, then, come from how each type prevents pregnancy (as we explained above), as well as their various side effects (which we’ll dig into below). The other key difference is how long you can leave the IUD in place. If you want long-lasting contraception, the copper IUD is approved for up to 10 years of use, with some doctors suggesting up to 12 years. In contrast, hormonal IUDs last for three to six years, depending on which one you choose.There are also a few non-contraceptive benefits to consider for each type. For the copper IUD, that includes a reduced risk of cervical cancer and the ability to use it as emergency contraception. For hormonal IUDs, the list is a bit longer. They can reduce heavy bleeding and anemia, eliminate painful periods, decrease endometriosis-related pain, and also reduce the risk for cervical cancer, uterine cancer, and pelvic inflammatory disease.Back to topWhich type of IUD is more effective in preventing pregnancy?IUDs, in general, are very effective in preventing pregnancy. That said, the levonorgestrel-based IUDs (Mirena, Skyla, Kyleena, and Liletta) are the most effective type on the market, Jen Lincoln, MD, an ob-gyn at the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center Family Maternity Center and medical board member at The Body Agency, tells SELF.“The hormonal IUD is 99.8% effective at preventing pregnancy, which is amazing; however, the copper IUD (Paragard) is a very close runner-up, coming in at 99.2% efficacy,” she says. While there is a slight drop in effectiveness, Dr. Lincoln says they are both fantastic forms of birth control,2 and she wouldn’t let that tiny statistical difference be the thing that makes or breaks your choice between the two.

What to Know Before Using Birth Control to Skip Your Period

What to Know Before Using Birth Control to Skip Your Period

If used this way, you may only experience a lighter period. But if you want to skip a period, you can keep your ring in at all times and swap it out for a new one every three to five weeks, skipping the “period week,” per Planned Parenthood. This can come with breakthrough bleeding, so make sure and talk with your doctor before trying this method.The patchLike the ring and the pill, the birth control patch (Xulane) delivers progestin and estrogen to your body to help prevent pregnancy. It’s a small, sticky square that you wear on your butt, upper outer arm, stomach, or back, the Mayo Clinic says, so you can absorb the hormones through your skin.To use this birth control method as directed, you apply a patch weekly for three weeks (21 days total) before discarding it and going patch-free for seven days—when you’ll get your period. After seven days, you place a new patch on your skin.For many people, the patch makes their periods lighter, regular, and easy to predict. But if you want to skip a period, simply remove the old patch after 21 days and replace it with a new one—no need to go patch-free for a week. One thing to remember about all of these birth control options, says Dr. Dweck, is that some people will continue to get a light bleed or spotting even with forms of contraception that are often associated with stopping regular periods.Back to topHow long does it take for birth control to stop your period?OK, so if some types of birth control can delay or prevent a visit from Aunt Flo, how long do you need to be on it before you see a change in your period? According to Dr. Walsh, most hormonal contraception methods take two to three months to work entirely in terms of bleeding modification. So, with that in mind, it’s important to plan and prepare if you want to use birth control to reduce, regulate, or delay menstrual bleeding.Back to topDoes starting on birth control during your period stop your flow immediately?One question experts get asked a lot is: “If I start birth control on my period, will it stop?” If taken correctly, there isn’t one birth control method that is guaranteed to stop your period at all, let alone immediately. There are some cases where birth control can stop heavy bleeding, though, Lucky Sekhon, MD, ob-gyn and endocrinologist at RMA of New York and assistant clinical professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF, but it must be done under the direction of a doctor.Back to topWill taking two birth control pills in one day stop your period?Taking more than the prescribed number of pills in one day is not going to stop your period right away. Depending on how many you take, it may cause you to feel sick, but it’s not going to magically make your period disappear.In fact, Dr. Dweck says there are instances in which taking two pills in one day is recommended to “catch up” for a missed pill. But whether or not it will eventually stop your period depends on your individual circumstances. “Some people will have irregular bleeding after taking two pills, while others will remain on schedule,” Dr. Dweck explains.Back to topHow long after stopping birth control will you get your period?OK, so you’re on birth control that has stopped your period, but now you’re ready to leave that contraceptive method behind. While the exact timeline of when your period will return depends on a variety of factors, the Mayo Clinic says menstrual periods generally resume within three months after stopping birth control pills. This is also true of other types of birth control, with the exception of the shot, which can take much longer—sometimes between six and 18 months, according to the Center for Young Women’s Health.

8 Tips From People With Psoriasis on How to Advocate for Yourself

8 Tips From People With Psoriasis on How to Advocate for Yourself

In these situations, seeking care through your primary care provider or a low-cost clinic in your area may be enough to get treatment started. Another option is finding a doctor or other health care provider through a telehealth platform. These virtual visits can help decrease barriers like living in an area with limited medical services or not having access to transportation. The promising news is teledermatology does seem to be making a difference, according to a 2021 study published in Current Dermatology Reports, particularly for people with Medicaid insurance, those living in urban or rural areas without access to many in-person health resources, and older people.3Tip #3: Familiarize yourself with your diagnosis.“I think it’s really important to keep a log of your symptoms between appointments, things you’re trying, and other ways your condition may be affecting your daily life,” Reena Ruparelia, who has lived with psoriasis for almost 30 years, tells SELF. This means when you see your doctor, they see you’re coming in prepared and ready to dive into what’s going on.Ruparelia, who shares her psoriasis story on Instagram, says when she was first diagnosed with the condition, she thought the doctor and dermatologist were supposed to tell her what to do, and it was up to her just to follow it. But as the years went on, she realized that it was essential to be a part of the conversation.“I think it’s easy to rely on someone else to tell us what to do, but when you’re living with a condition like psoriasis, where you feel like you have little or no control, paying attention and being an advocate for yourself can give you a feeling of empowerment and also help you get what you really need,” Ruparelia says.For Skiles, this meant understanding her psoriasis triggers, which included things like diet, stress levels, alcohol consumption, and more—all things her doctor wouldn’t necessarily have known about if she hadn’t done the legwork to figure it out.A good first step is to start a symptom journal and log anything that seems to affect your psoriasis—both positively and negatively. You can also use this journal to take notes about your psoriasis, including changes in symptoms, how treatment seems to be working, and if you’re noticing anything new. Bring this journal to your appointments and discuss it with your doctor. You can use your notes as a jumping-off point to talk about things like which symptoms are most bothersome and when your psoriasis seems to flare.A psoriasis journal can be as simple as an old-school pen and piece of paper, or you can download an app like Psoriasis Monitor or Imagine Skin Tracker for your smartphone or tablet.Tip #3: Be honest about your symptoms.Hiding how psoriasis impacts you isn’t going to serve anyone—you or your doctor. Bridges stresses the importance of letting your care team know how this condition impacts every part of you, including, school, work, dating, and even normal, daily tasks.

Here’s What the Different Migraine Stages Really Feel Like

Here’s What the Different Migraine Stages Really Feel Like

These are those early migraine symptoms we talked about previously, so if you do notice any of these, there’s a good chance that acting quickly by taking your medication as recommended by your doctor can save you some pain later.Back to topMigraine aura stageVisual warnings like seeing flashing or shimmering light, floating shapes or geometric patterns, or bright spots are critical signs that a migraine is charging in full speed ahead. The aura stage precedes approximately one-third of migraine attacks, but it can also occur during an episode, according to a 2018 review published in The Journal of Head and Face Pain.2 Visual disturbances are the primary features of aura,  however, but this stage can also cause a slew of other unpleasant symptoms, including motor, sensory, and speech changes. That can include weakness, numbness or a pins and needles sensation on one side of the body or face, trouble speaking, and slurred speech.Like the other migraine phases, aura may not occur with each migraine attack, says Dr. Savage-Edwards. But when it does, the symptoms usually evolve gradually, over at least five minutes, lasting up to 60 minutes. During this time, you may also notice blurry vision or partial vision loss via blind spots.Back to topMigraine attack stageIf migraine has a main event, this is it. “The attack phase is often the most debilitating stage due to the severe, throbbing pain you typically feel on one side of the head,” Sara Crystal, M.D., neurologist and medical director at Cove, tells SELF. While pain on one or both sides of the head causes the most disruption during the main attack, you might also experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, and smells. In general, symptoms can last several hours to several days.Back to topPostdrome migraine stage (migraine “hangover”)The postdrome phase—which is the last stage of migraine attacks—is both a welcome relief and a sharp reminder of the intense hold migraine can have on your life. Appropriately called the “migraine hangover” phase because of its striking similarities to a bad hangover, this final migraine stage can be just as debilitating as the headache phase.According to Dr. Savage-Edwards, the length of this migraine hangover stage varies, but, on average, it can last one to two days, and it occurs in about 80% of people who experience migraine. During this final phase, you may feel fatigued, depleted, foggy, or out of touch for a few days. Also, body aches, dizziness, and light sensitivity may occur.One thing to note: Dr. Crystal says some postdrome or “hangover” symptoms are similar to the side effects you may experience after taking certain migraine medications, such as triptans. If this becomes an ongoing issue, she recommends talking with your doctor or neurologist about some of the newer migraine medications and whether they may be a fit for you, since they’re less likely to cause these side effects.Back to topHow long does can a migraine last?Counting down the hours is often the only thing you feel in control of while waiting for a migraine to end. Although the exact time you’ll spend from the onset of symptoms until the end of the hangover phase may vary, Dr. Crystal says, on average, migraine attacks typically last between four and 72 hours when left untreated.

PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com