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Many survivors of breast cancer report having decreased sexual desire and drive. There are often several possible causes of diminished sex drive in women and it is difficult to know for certain which ones contributes the most. There are no specific treatments for this problem, although a full evaluation for physical causes, such as vaginal dryness, early menopause, hormonal imbalance, or depression is usually recommended. Loss of a breast, depression, anxiety about cancer coming back, and effects of chemotherapy and hormonal treatments all may play a role. Testosterone is known to increase female sexual drive but a recent study shows that increasing testosterone levels by applying a testosterone cream does not increase sex drive of women who survived breast cancer, according to a study published in the May 2 Journal of the National Cancer Institute . Debra Barton, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and colleagues gave 150 women who survived breast cancer either a testosterone cream o...
It is time to retire the idea that depression is caused by a “chemical imbalance of the brain.” The chemical imbalance myth creates the false impression that our brains are some form of neurotransmitter porridge that can be rendered just right with squirts of serotonin and dopamine.
Thanks to at least two decades of research, we now have a number of good working models on what tends to go wrong in the brain during a depressive episode. A review article by Murali Rao and Julie Alderson in this month”s Current Psychiatry outlines four overlapping theories of depression. Let’s look at three of them:
Differences in neuron densities in various regions of the brain.
The effect of stress on neural growth and death.
Alterations in feedback pathways connecting the pre-frontal cortex to the limbic system.
The common denominator is what happens when the brain is exposed to chronic stress. Among other things, stress promotes the release of glucocorticoids. O...
It is a question that is often asked: Is my vaginal discharge normal or should I be worried that something is wrong? The answer is: It depends. Every woman experiences some vaginal discharge and usually, it signals a healthy vagina but there are times when you should talk with your doctor.
What is Normal Discharge?
The pH in your vagina is naturally acidic to help prevent infections. This acidity is caused by “good” bacteria created by your body. Your vagina produces secretions to help cleanse your vagina, much like the saliva in your mouth. The secretions are released every day cleaning out old cells. The secretions also help prevent infections and keep your vagina lubricated.
As the secretions flow out of your vagina, you may see some discharge. Normal discharge is clear or milky white. It can sometimes appear yellowish when dry on clothing. You may also see small white flecks or, depending on your menstrual cycle, it may be thin and stringy.
You should know
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