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Q. What with all the side effects I had during chemotherapy, I really wasn’t in the mood for sex very often. And now that I’m done with chemo, I’m finding I’m still not in the mood… and even when I am, it’s painful! What’s going on? A. Well, for once those powerful chemo drugs aren’t the primary cause of these new aggravating side effects: loss of sexual desire, and painful intercourse. Instead, the villain is your body’s lack of hormone production, brought on by menopause, brought on by, yes, those chemo drugs. Most pre-menopausal women go into what’s called chemical menopause or instant menopause during chemotherapy. And if you were going through menopause when you started chemo, the drugs will only increase your symptoms. This chemically induced menopause, unlike the long, gradual process most women go through naturally, is intense. The drugs immediately diminish your ovaries’ and adrenal glands’ production of es...
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.
Electrolytes are minerals that are normally in your body. Each one carries a very tiny electrical charge. Electrolytes are in your blood, urine, and other body fluids. Having the right balance of electrolytes helps your body keep fluids at proper levels. Sodium, potassium, chloride, and calcium are all electrolytes. You get electrolytes from the foods you eat and the fluids you drink, and you lose electrolytes when you sweat.
The symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance can include:
Chemotherapy can cause your electrolyte levels to become too low or too high. Changes to the amount of water in your body because of side effects such as vomiting or diarrhea also can cause an electrolyte imbalance.
Managing an electrolyte imbalance
If you think you may have an electrolyte imbalance, talk to your doctor. Your electrolyte levels can be checked with a blood or urine test. If you do have an imbalance your doctor may advise you to eat foods rich in that electrol...
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