Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make When Grooming

Every man has those days when they realize their grooming is not working. As you walk past the glass window by the store, you see your own reflection and feel your faults. Unfortunately, it’s time for you to learn how to groom better. Your hair is not growing faster. Your not the young man you uses to be. The girlfriend tells you its ok. You feel better about it. But, friends at the bar say you look bad. Now, you shouldn’t care about the opinions of others. However, if your hair looks bad, there is really nothing you can argue about. Go back to the mirror and do something about it man. Buy the best men’s grooming kit while your at it. I have listed mistakes most men make in the mirror. View the mistakes and learn how to do better.

best men’s grooming kit

Covering Up Your Baldness

I hate to see men pretend their not bald. They take a piece of hair on the side and brush it over. Thinking that will keep them looking young in the public eye. Admirably, that does not make people think you look young. In truth, people see you as a idiot who thinks they shouldn’t cut their hair off. The baldness and the big patches on the top of head should tell you its time to cut your hair completely off. I am also talking about the sides too. Your not on some medieval cast where its ok. This is real life and you got to be happy with cutting your hair.

Hair is not suppose to look the same way forever. It’s quite normal to change up the hair style every so often. So, get a pair of electric hair clippers and shave that head with no guards. Don’t worry nobody with real man dignity would say something. The baldness is something you wear with pride and to look good for all events. Nobody really hates people who have bald heads. It’s just a little joke that comes and go.

On the other hand, if you find your self with a unbalanced edge line that looks bald, you should use the best men’s grooming kit to balance the hair line. Buy a set of hair clippers to add to the groom kit. Clippers are good for fixing mistakes the barber makes or you make when shaving with a razor. When doing, you need to take your time. Take your time trying to get your hairline in a square formation. The square does not have to be perfect and the edges do not have to be extra sharp. Make sure it is balanced in a square formation and your good for the month. You will need to cut your hair at least once a month, so make sure you take care of those clippers. You won’t know what your doing right away. But, you will become better and develop better hairline edging skills as time passes. Remember, to take your time when edging your hair and use hair clippers. You could use a razor but its easy to mess it up.

Not Taking Care of Your Feet

Grooming kits have toenail cutters and try using them. Toenails need to be cut man. I am talking about 2 times a month. Especially, when you go to the beach to work on your tan. Those toe nails with sandals can look pretty messed up. Pull out those nail clippers and get the working on feet. Cut every nail too. Don’t be lazy and forget the pinky. Cut every toe to the upper. You know what I mean hopefully. Women will notice a change in your feet when they see you walking. That will be something you can use to your advantage.

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Do Beard Supplements Really Work?

Beard supplements are medications people say work on beards. Helps your bead look fuller and grow longer. In truth, they only work for some people. Due to, people being born with different skin types and coming from different families. I’m not going to lie to you like all the other men. Tell you things to make you feel special. Notably, growing a beard is possible when consuming a beard pill that can make your beard problems go away. However, it is going go to take time and you must be willing to put in the time. Use the best supplement and vitamin for beard growth available today. View what I got to say below to hear more.

What Vitamins Help Beards Grow

Vitamins can help the beard grow evenly. Beard won’t come in full overnight. It may take weeks or even months. In any event, be prepared to set aside 6 months while you are using the best supplement for beard growth. Consumes vitamins A, C, D, E, and B6 to promote more hair growth. Vitamins can be found at your local store. You can buy them over the counter so there’s no need to spend money to see a doctor. By all means, call a doctor if you need more evidence in what vitamin I mention for beard growth. I am not a professional doctor. Just a professional researcher and tester for men.

Vitamins help you out with blood circulation that you need to help facial hair grow. The more you consume the more hair you are likely to grow on face and head. Bring in as many vitamins as you can. Eat food, take medication, smell oils, and whatever method you can use to obtain those vitamins. Do this every day for the next 6 months. Surely, you can get spots to fill in more.

Argan Oil Can Stimulate Some Dormant Hair On Face

Beard oil is one of many oils that helps your beard grow well. Feels weird when you apply it to the face. But, you get results that will make you take many steps back. In time, see your face feel transform. Obtain more cat hairs and feel very soft facial hair. I don’t know about you. But, I prefer having soft facial hair on my face. Ladies pay more attention to me you know. They like seeing a man with soft hair. Really turns them on in my own opinion. Apply the oil and get the results.

Nonetheless, viking always had a descent beard. Want to know why? They secretly used oils and groom tools to make their beards appear the way that they do. Many people assume viking were men who just grew beards. Falsely, they are wrong and so is the media news. They didn’t start off thinking all they needed was to let their beard grow. Men applied to their beards daily. Took them days to grow a beard. Learn from them and never forget it takes washing beard to get them to grow.

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Things You Should Have to Fight Depression

Maybe you need a few things to fight your depression. Many people become depressed and most don’t know why their depressed. Doctors say its because they have a malfunction in the brain. Something is unbalanced and their thinking is way off. Maybe you need to do something different today. That could be the reason you feel so depressed. Indeed, there is something making you depressed that you need to change. Depression is something we have to deal with, and we have to find a way to make it go away. Whatever the causes, depression is everywhere and we got to be prepared. I have a list of things you can do to make your depression go away. It might not fully go away, but it will go away by a large percentage you will notice.

Things You Should Have to Fight Depression

Smell Some Essential Oils

Essential oils serve many medical purposes. They reduce anxiety building up inside of you. You feel like you are going to lose your mind. They will make you feel more calm and make you think you are not alone. To add, the oils reduce cold fever on a winter nights. They can make you feel healthy for nights when you run out of cold medicine. Mood can enhance to give you a better perspective of life. There times when you need a better perspective of life to see the good side of it. Buy some essential oils and sniff them. You will see the difference in months. Buy the best essential oils for postpartum depression to get better performance.

Sometimes, enhance products like oils is just the stuff you need. You are mentally strong by yourself. However, your mind is not capable of doing things that require other people or drugs. There are times when your mind needs a complete reset. Its something only drugs, music, or someone else can do for you. Your mind is not smart enough to change behavior on its on sometimes. You must be aware of this. To put in other words, you can’t always make yourself happy when you feel sad. Use best essential oils for post modem depression to get a better change in brain behavior. It might be the change you need for your life.

Go Have Sex

Having sex is the old fashion way of getting rid of depression. This not something you have to do for love. You can just have sex with someone you want to do it with. You are an adult now and that means you can choose to do this at any time. Sex gets rid of depression by changing your brain patterns and helping you align your mind with happy thoughts. You might come up with better ideas as a result of having sex. There is one thing to take note however, the sex effect will not work if you have sex too many times. I recommend you only do it 2 times a week. Having sex too many times will not make you feel better. All drugs and body pleasures must be done in spaced times to have good effect.

Listen to Different Genre of Music

If none of these options worked for you before, try listening to a different music genre to get rid of depression. You are used to listening to one music genre. Change the genre to something you are not use to. The feeling and thoughts you have now will be altered. It will happen slowly over the next couple days. The feelings you will have the next day will be able to fight depression. Your thoughts will be upgraded and you will learn how to be better and think better. Thinking wrongly, is the main problem of depression is it not? Change the music genre and see your brain in a different light. But, make sure you don’t do negative things being said. It is just music for you to enjoy and learn from.

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Gynecology & General Health

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
While estrogen levels will decrease during menopause, the truth is, estrogen levels do not fall
appreciably until after a woman’s last period. In fact, far more women suffer from the effects of
“estrogen dominance” during the transition—that is, they have too much estrogen relative to
progesterone. Some women even experience a
 significant excess in estrogen production to
compensate for the impaired ovulation that occurs in later peri-menopause.  And some women can
suffer from the symptoms of estrogen dominance for 10 to 15 years, beginning as early as age 35.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
The symptoms listed below, as well as many others, often arise when estrogen over-stimulates
both the brain and body. All of these symptoms are exacerbated by stress of all kinds. Many women
in their thirties and early forties find that they experience moderate to severe symptoms of estrogen
dominance as they approach peri-menopause.

Decreased sex drive
Irregular or otherwise abnormal menstrual periods
Bloating (water retention)
Breast swelling and tenderness
Fibrocystic breasts
Headaches (especially pre-menstrually)
Mood swings (most often irritability and depression)
Weight and/or fat gain (particularly around the abdomen and hips)
Cold hands and feet (a symptom of thyroid dysfunction)
Hair loss
Thyroid dysfunction
Sluggish metabolism
Foggy thinking, memory loss
Fatigue
Trouble sleeping/insomnia
PMS symptoms
Food cravings

Estrogen dominance has also been linked to allergies, autoimmune disorders, breast cancer, uterine cancer, infertility, ovarian cysts, and increased blood clotting, and is also associated with
acceleration of the aging process.

WHAT CAUSES THIS
When a woman’s menstrual cycle is normal, estrogen is the dominant hormone for the first two
weeks leading up to ovulation. Estrogen is balanced by progesterone during the last two weeks. As
a woman enters perimenopause and begins to experience anovulatory cycles (that is, cycles where
no ovulation occurs), estrogen can often go unopposed, causing symptoms. Skipping ovulation is,
however, only one potential factor in estrogen dominance. In industrialized countries such as the
United States, there can be many other causes, including:

Excess body fat (greater than 28%)
Too much stress, resulting in excess amounts of cortisol, insulin, and norepinephrine,
which can lead to adrenal exhaustion and can also adversely affect overall hormonal
balance
A low-fiber diet with excess refined carbohydrates and deficient in nutrients and high quality
fats
Impaired immune function
Environmental agents

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT ESTROGEN DOMINANCE:
1.  Take a high potency multivitamin/mineral combination.
2.  Follow a hormone-balancing diet: Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, adequate protein, and 
moderate amounts of healthy fat. Remember to get enough fiber. Estrogen is
excreted by the bowel; if stool remains in the bowel, estrogen is reabsorbed.
Cruciferous vegetables are particularly important, including: cabbage, brussels
sprouts, kale, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, arugula, canola, radish,
wasabi.
3. Use transdermal 2% bioidentical progesterone cream (one brand name to consider
is Progest): Many of the symptoms of estrogen dominance can be relieved with
natural, bioidentical progesterone, available over the counter in a 2% cream (one-
quarter teaspoon contains ~20 mg progesterone). Use one-quarter to one-half
teaspoon 2% progesterone cream on skin (e.g., face, breasts, abdomen, hands) daily
for two to three weeks prior to onset of period. If periods are irregular, use 2%
progesterone daily, or from the full moon to the dark of the moon. (That way you’ll be
teaming up with the cycle of the Earth itself — the same cycle that governs the tides
and the flow of fluids on the planet.) If progesterone cream is inadequate, prescription
strength bioidentical pill is also available.  I recommend starting with 100 mg tablet
nightly.
4.  Lose excess body fat and get regular exercise—especially strength training.
5.  Block excess estrogen with phyto-hormones from flax, soy, and other sources: Soy
helps regulate estrogen, so if you have too much estrogen relative to progesterone,
soy will act as an estrogen blocker at the tissue level.
6.  Increase estrogen metabolism by taking a natural supplement: Di-indol-methane
(DIM).  This supplement is an extract from cruciferous vegetables.  DIM increases the
breakdown of estrogen in the liver, increasing the elimination of the excess estrogen
from the system.
7.  Detoxify your liver: Traditional Chinese Medicine explains that menopausal
symptoms are caused by blocked liver and kidney chi. This makes sense. The liver
acts as a filter, helping us screen out the harmful effects of toxins from our
environment and the products we put in our bodies. When the liver has to work hard
to eliminate toxins such as alcohol, drugs, caffeine, or environmental agents, the liver’
s capacity to cleanse the blood of estrogen is compromised.
8.  Decrease stress: Learn how to say no to excessive demands on your time.
Remember, peri-menopause is a time to reinvent yourself. This means investing time
and energy in yourself, not everyone else.
LEARN MORE | RECOMMENDED READING OR RESOURCES
•        The Wisdom of Menopause, by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Chapter 4, “This Can’t Be
Menopause, Can It? The Physical Foundation of the Change”
•        The Wisdom of Menopause, by Christiane Northrup, M.D., Chapter 7, “The Menopausal Food
Plan: A Program to Balance Your Hormones and Prevent Middle-Age Spread”

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Sexual Pain

Vulvodynia, simply put, is chronic vulvar pain without an identifiable cause. The location, constancy
and severity of the pain vary among sufferers. Some women experience pain in only one area of the
vulva, while others experience pain in multiple areas. The most commonly reported symptom is
burning, but women’s descriptions of the pain vary. One woman reported her pain felt like “acid
being poured on my skin,” while another described it as “constant knife-like pain.”

Vulvodynia is defined as sensations of burning, rawness, stinging, stabbing, tearing, aching, or
irritation that have been present for at least six months, and are not caused by any specific cause –
no infection, skin disease, or specific nerve abnormality. Although there is no cure for vulvodynia,
most women respond well to therapy and symptoms can be controlled. Treatment is slow, and
often several different therapies have to be tried. Occasionally, vulvodynia simply goes away.

Vulvodynia most likely is caused by a combination of nerve abnormality (neuritis, neuralgia), pelvic
floor muscle weakness and irritability, irritation from previous treatments and overwashing, and
anxiety/depression. Several kinds of nerve abnormalities probably produce vulvodynia, but there is
little research investigating this. Some patients have more nerve endings in the skin than other
women, perhaps making the area more sensitive than normal. Another form of nerve pain called
“reflex sympathetic dystrophy” or “regional complex pain syndrome”. In this kind of discomfort, pain
signals from an injury (and the injury may be minor, such as a severe yeast infection, or major,
such as surgery) continues after the cause of the injury resolves. Another form of nerve pain occurs
when the pudenal nerve is injured, as may occur with childbirth or surgery. A pinched nerve from a
bad disc in the back may be responsible in some patients. Also, many patients may have
vulvodynia as a result of the brain’s interpretation of nerve impulses, so that normally painless
experiences are perceived as painful (sexual activity, tight clothing). These women often have other
pain syndromes, such as headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia,
temporomandibular joint syndrome, etc. Vulvodynia caused by all of these forms of nerve
abnormality have three features in common: First, the physical examination is usually normal
except for some patients who may have some redness, swelling, or thinning of the skin. Second,
there is no easy, specific test to prove these diagnoses. Third, medications for neuropathic pain,
such as amitriptyline and desipramine and attention to the pelvic floor muscles generally improve
vulvar burning and irritation in most people.

Most skin diseases and infections of the vagina and vulva produce itching rather than burning and
pain with sexual activity. However, infection can be eliminated as a cause of vulvar burning and pain
by a negative culture (or burning that continues after successful elimination of the infection). And,
skin disease is visible to the examiner. Redness and a feeling of swelling are common in
vulvodynia and do not signify skin disease or infection. Occasionally, skin disease in the vagina
(desquamative inflammatory vaginitis and lichen planus) can be sneaky causes of burning, but an
examination of vaginal fluid that appears normal under the microscope eliminates these diseases
as possibilities.

Vulvodynia is not associated with cancer, sexually transmitted disease, or any kind of infection that
is passed back and forth between sexual partners. There is no relationship of vulvodynia to AIDS.
Vulvodynia does not affect fertility or the ability to carry a pregnancy to term and have a normal
delivery. Vulvodynia is not an early sign of any disease that affects overall health. There is no good
evidence that vulvodynia is a psychosomatic disease, but it is well known that vulvodynia causes
tremendous emotional stress, and stress worsens the symptoms of any disease. Also, the anxiety
and depression that longstanding genital pain produces, the psychological injury to a woman’s self
esteem and her sexual identity, and the damage to the relationship with a sexual partner can be
devastating.
The management of vulvodynia addresses the several different causes of vulvodynia, so treatment
involves several different therapies at the same time.
First, you should stop all things that may be irritating the skin. Avoid soap, panty liners, creams for
infections, any medications with benzocaine or diphenhydramine to numb the skin, and most
commercial vaginal lubricants (KY Jelly).
Second, lidocaine jelly 2% is a mild and safe numbing jelly which can be used both any time you
are burning, and for 15-20 minutes before sexual activity.
Third, there are medications for neuropathic pain. These include medications that were originally
developed for depression, but have been found to have specific benefits for neuropathic pain.
These are amitriptyline (Elavil), desipramine, venlafaxine (Effexor), and duloxetine (Cymbalta).
Other well known antidepressants including fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), bupropion
(Wellbutrin), (citalopram) Celexa, etc, are useful antidepressants, but have no independent effects
on pain. Medications developed for seizures are sometimes useful as well. Those most often used
are gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica).
Fourth, most women benefit from therapy to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. This can be done with
physical therapy or with a fairly well-studied (but not widely available) regimen of home exercises
with the use of surface electromyography as a biofeedback tool.
Fifth, there are a number of topical therapies used in some women, depending upon many factors
including the location of pain, age, and response to other treatments. These include the regular
nighttime use of lidocaine ointment 5%, estrogen, nitroglycerin, and amitriptyline/baclofen
combination ointment.
Sixth, a few clinicians have used more experimental treatments, including Botox (botulinum toxin),
acupuncture, and hypnosis. A low oxalate diet with calcium citrate with meals is occasionally used.
Seventh, women with pain absolutely localized to the opening of the vagina (vestibulodynia, or
vestibulitis, subset of vulvodynia) can be treated with surgery.
Eighth, BUT NOT LAST, is counseling and sex therapy. Even though the cause of vulvodynia is not
psychological, the psychological repercussions can be devastating. Most women experience
feelings of depression, anger, anxiety, guilt, loss of self esteem, loss of libido and loss of feelings
of femininity and sexuality. Their partners are often experiencing many of the same emotions. As
women avoid sexual intimacy, many avoid other kinds of physical contact because of fear that
touching of any kind might progress to painful or unwanted sexual activity. Soon, loss of intimacy,
both physical and emotional, occurs. Because pain with intercourse, and sometimes a complete
inability to have intercourse, is a very private and intimate matter that can be difficult to discuss,
women generally do not discuss this with other family and friends. Also, the pain sometimes
interferes with choice of clothing, diet, and activities such as exercise, sitting for long periods, etc,
impacting all areas of life.
Recovery from vulvodynia requires not only the medical treatments above, but also attention to your
– and your partner’s – psychological health is crucial.
Additional information and regular newsletters can be obtained from joining the National
Vulvodynia Association.

Vestibulodynia, AKA vestibulitis or vulvar vestibulitis, is form of vulvodynia limited to the vestibule.  
The vestibule is the tissue at the opening of the vagina inside the labia minora distal to the
hymenal ring of the vaginal vault.  The pain can be either provoked or unprovoked.  A survey in a
community settings in the United Kingdom shows a prevalence of 2.8-9.3%. The erythema
localized to the orifices of the vestibular glands in the absence of an infective, inflammatory, or
neoplastic cause.  The burning nature of the pain is typical of dysaesthesia, and many patients go
on to develop more persistent and generalized vulvar pain that would be compatible with
dysaesthetic vulvodynia, a condition classically found in older women. The pain of vulvar vestibulitis
should be distinguished from vulvar pruritus, which has different causes.
The cause of the condition is unknown, attempts to identify an infective cause have been
unsuccessful, and no characteristic histological findings are known.  The subtlety of the physical
findings may lead some clinicians to say that “there is nothing wrong” and attribute the symptoms
to a psychosomatic disorder.
Vulvar vestibulitis is poorly recognized by primary care doctors and some gynecologists, and this
may lead to patients repeatedly seeking a diagnosis from a variety of clinicians over a long period
of time.  A common misdiagnosis is recurrent thrush. Such patients will explain that they have tried
all the currently available preparations against candidiasis, without relief of symptoms. Once the
condition is recognized, the patient is best referred to a specialist vulvar clinic. Since the cause of
the condition is poorly understood, management is largely pragmatic and several models of care
exist. The evidence base for treatment remains poor, but a number of studies are underway.
Establishing the diagnosis and offering the patients a sympathetic ear is an important first step.
Patients are reassured by the fact that the condition is not psychosomatic in origin and that anxiety,
low mood, and reduced pleasurable sensations with sexual arousal are common byproducts of
chronic pain that has become associated with sex. No consistent evidence exists to date to show
that women with vulvar vestibulitis have an increased background rate of psychological disorders.
However, the chronicity and severity of the symptoms often leads to secondary effects on
psychological wellbeing and self esteem. This may lead to secondary sexual dysfunction in the
patient or her partner, which in turn can exacerbate psychological distress, emotional
disequilibrium, low self esteem, and reduced sexual and social functioning.  All of these can
become maintaining factors in the condition.
Advice about vulvar hygiene practices is required, and patients should be advised to avoid soaps,
shower gels, and similar products, and to wash with aqueous cream or emulsifying ointment.
Topical local anaesthetics such as lidocaine ointment are often helpful. Topical steroid ointments
and creams, estrogen creams, and topical ketoconazole have been used in some centres, and
anecdotal data support their use in some patients. A popular treatment in the United States and
Canada is the use of a diet low in oxalates. This was described in a single case report,8 but, in the
absence of better evidence, it may perhaps be offered to some patients who prefer a non-
medicalized approach to treatment.  Many patients turn to complementary therapies.
Glazer et al have proposed that the condition is caused by a dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles
and have published impressive results for a biofeedback technique.  Many patients do have pelvic
floor dysfunction, but in some cases this seems to be secondary to the pain. Low dose
amitriptyline is the treatment of choice for dysaesthetic vulvodynia and may be useful in some
patients, particularly when the pain is not restricted to attempted vaginal penetration (e.g. sitting,
wearing tight clothing, walking).
In North America, vestibulectomy, a procedure that involves excision of all or part of the vestibule,
has been a popular treatment. Bergeron et al have reviewed 20 published case series and note
that impressive results have been obtained, but the lack of controlled studies or long term follow up
throws considerable doubt on the validity of the conclusions. In the United Kingdom, this procedure
is rarely used.
Whatever therapeutic approach is adopted, the psychological, interpersonal, sexual, and social
consequences of the condition need to be assessed. Every clinician managing patients with the
condition should have access to a psychologist or psychotherapist with experience of managing
sexual dysfunctions in individuals and couples. Many patients find that support from other patients
may be helpful. In the United States, the 
National Vulvodynia Association (www.nva.com) provides a
useful handbook for patients as does the UK Vulval Pain Society (www.vul-pain.dircon.co.uk) in the
United Kingdom.

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Sex Orgasm

Even today masturbation is still one of the most uncomfortable topics for women. Generally
speaking, women have been socialized to believe our sexual needs and desires are less our own
needs and desires a seat at the table. Because of cultural taboos, many women feel that the urge
to masturbate is somehow wrong, or they feel guilt or shame. There is enormous potential for
healing through honoring our sexuality, expressing it, and experiencing it with joy.
What’s the
 best way for women to have an orgasm through masturbation (AKA self-
stimulation)
?  If you don’t know exactly what it is you like or what it takes for you to reach orgasm,
it’s a good idea to practice.  For some people the very idea of stimulating themselves can seem
worrying, or unappealing, or shameful. It’s a good idea if women can rid themselves of these
feelings.
Masturbation is a great way to lessen tension in your body. It’s a very safe way to have an orgasm.
And it’s probably the best way to learn about how your body likes to be loved.  But masturbation, like
most things, takes practice. And the only way to learn about your own sexual response is to try it.
If you have never tried masturbation, or you want to do it in such a way that will be more pleasurable
and satisfying then it has been in the past, then you might need to plan how and when to do it,
rather than leave it to chance.
For a start, you need to ensure that you’re going to have adequate time to yourself and that you
won’t be interrupted.

  • Begin by taking a shower, or a long, luxurious, scented bath. Soap your body all over and
    enjoy touching your breasts and your genitals in particular.
  • Dry yourself carefully, then rub your favorite lotion all over your body. Keep touching your
    body everywhere – it might be a good idea to stand in front of a mirror while you do it. This is
    your body – a body capable of giving you great pleasure – so enjoy looking at it and getting
    used to the sight and feel of it.
  • At this point, as long as you know that you’re in no danger of being disturbed, move to your
    bedroom. Make sure that it is warm and comfortable. Put on some relaxing music if you like.
    And just enjoy yourself.
  • Lie down on your bed and use a mirror to look at your private and intimate places. Gently
    spread your labia: you may want to use a spot of lubrication There are very nice modern
    ones that increase the sensuousness of the occasion – such as Wet, Liquid Silk and Pjur.
    But if you don’t have any lubrication, then use vaginal secretion.
  • Try to tighten and relax the muscles at the base of the pelvis.
  • If you find it difficult to know whether you’re doing this successfully, try inserting a couple of
    fingers inside your vagina. That way, you’ll be able to feel whether you’re tightening and
    relaxing the muscles or not. Many women much prefer masturbation if they can feel some
    bulk in the vagina at the same time as they stimulate the clitoris – so touching yourself
    internally might feel very good indeed.
  • If you now tighten and relax the muscles in rapid succession you will feel contractions of the
    kind that many women experience when having an orgasm.
  • You might also notice a warm sensation in your abdomen. Try touching yourself all over
    your body, including the breasts and your genitals where you will quickly find the most
    sensitive spots. In particular, experiment near the opening of the vagina and clitoris and
    stimulate yourself in whatever way feels best. So long as you do not rush, and you are
    keeping relaxed, then your own fingers will automatically do the right thing and will move
    with the right amount of speed and intensity for you.
  • Try to familiarize yourself with exactly how touching yourself makes you feel. Ignore
    everything around you. Just think about what is going on inside you, or fantasize about
    making love with someone you care for, or with a celebrity, or in some beautiful and
    romantic place.
  • While you touch yourself, you might like to look at something that turns you on – pictures,
    perhaps, a film; even a sexy book. Interestingly men and women differ somewhat is what
    they find arousing. Most men like graphic pictures of sexy women or of people having sex.
    Women are frequently much more turned on by words – so an erotic novel can often
    increase a woman’s pleasure.
  • If your sexual tension rises, keep going. If you have never previously masturbated to
    orgasm, you might suddenly feel tired and want to stop. Or you may be nervous about the
    build up of excitement in your body. Don’t worry about this. Just take your time. And if you
    don’t want to go on right now, then that’s fine. You can always try again another day.
    Eventually, the pleasant feelings will build up and you’ll be comfortable with this and
    increasingly excited and you won’t want to stop. When that happens, you will almost
    certainly suddenly experience a huge rush of ecstatic feeling and you will bring yourself to
    orgasm.
  • For some women it is not enough to just use their fingers – they like to use sex aids as well.
    A vibrator may be useful, or you could try stimulating yourself with the hand spray when you
    are in the shower. Use your fingers at the same time.
  • If they follow the guidelines above, almost everyone should be able to learn to masturbate
    and have an orgasm. But remember, these are only guidelines. Experiment, and you may
    well find a better way to turn yourself on.

Like other sexual activity, masturbation can be improved by varying how you do it.  This is
particularly true for women who are between relationships and for whom masturbation is the sole
sexual activity at that period in their lives. Most women find that their fingers do the trick wonderfully
– as they instinctively match their speed or weight to our requirements. But a vibrator can help
someone who finds it hard to get to orgasm and can also be useful as a change from digital
masturbation.
When it comes to vibrators, don’t necessarily assume that something that is a market-leader is
necessarily going to be the best thing for you. It might not be. We all have different likes and
dislikes. Buying vibrators and other sex aids including lubrication and erotic literature is now much
easier for women than it was in the past as there are a number of online sex shops for women that
are a pleasure to ‘shop’ in.

It is universally known that the male orgasm plays a key reproductive role, important for the
continuation of the human race. However, the scientific and evolutionary role of the female orgasm
is still the subject of much debate.  The differentiation of gender is determined during fetal
development in and around the fourth week post conception.  The Y chromosome contains the
gene SRY (Sex-determining region of the Y chromosome) that makes a fetus male. This gene
Both XX and XY fetuses also have another gene, DAX — 1. This gene is suppressed in male fetal
female reproductive organs. After six weeks post conception, there is the beginning of a clear
differentiation of gonads.
During this week of development, the male fetus develops the Wolffian ducts that suppresses the
female Mullerian ducts and causes them to regress.  The Mullerian ducts form the uterus, oviducts
and the inner part of the vagina.  Simultaneously, the external genitalia begin to develop from a
region known as the cloaca, which forms in both sexes a urethral fold, genital swelling and genital
tubercule.  The difference is that the genital tubercule in males will elongate to form the penis. In
females, it becomes the much shorter clitoris. As a result, the same tissue that composes the
penis also composes the clitoris. In total, there are about 8000 nerve endings in the clitoris. This
makes the clitoris one of the primary sources of sexual pleasure in females.
Today, there are two principal types of female orgasms: orgasms from clitoral stimulation, and
orgasms from G Spot stimulation. The clitoris is an obvious example because of the sensitivity of
the area due to its densely packed nerves. The G spot is reportedly said to be located along the top
of the vagina approximately 2 to 3 inches from the opening. However, according to two notable
sexologists, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, their findings do not fully support full sexual
stimulation within the vagina.  (It is now known that only 19% of women every experience a vaginal
orgasm throughout their lifetime.)  The findings of the Masters and Johnson’s studies published
some fifty years ago emphasized the importance of sexual pleasure around the clitoris.
Still, for years, the G Spot continued to be an area of discussion for sexologists and society alike.
The G spot is named after the German sexologist Ernst Grafenberg who discovered it in the 1950s.
He proposed that women have a sensitive spot in the vagina three to five centimeters from the
opening that is said to be sexually pleasing for women when stimulated.  However, only a small
percentage of women claim to orgasm from the G Spot only.
For centuries, patriarchal societies were determined to keep female sexuality under wraps. Frigidity
was a “disorder” of women but was also held as a societal expectation of the “good” woman.  Until
recently, many men were convinced that only their gender was capable of sexual pleasure.
Historically,  the sexual double standards have made it very difficult for women to be open about
their ideas of sexuality.
Today,considerable thought has been given to finding a practical function for the female orgasm.
Current debates give various theories on the evolutionary and re-productive purpose of the clitoris.
In the 1980s, notable scientist Stephen Jay Gould published an essay in 
Natural History that
sparked an intense debate about the evolutionary role of female orgasm. Gould postulated that the
strong vaginal muscle contractions aided in guiding semen closer to the cervix, giving the female
orgasm a functional purpose to aid in procreative efforts. In response, others argued that female
orgasm is primarily recreational based upon research of primates from other scientists. Although
both theories may be correct to some degree, there is still no concrete explanation for the female
orgasm.
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Masturbate

Even today masturbation is still one of the most uncomfortable topics for women. Generally
important than those of our male partners. It is in our physical and emotional best interest to give
our own needs and desires a seat at the table. Because of cultural taboos, many women feel that
the urge to masturbate is somehow wrong, or they feel guilt or shame. There is enormous potential
for healing through honoring our sexuality, expressing it, and experiencing it with joy.
The reality is that women who “self-cultivate” their sexuality experience a wide range of 
health
benefits
, and here are just a few:

  • Masturbation helps prevent cervical infections and helps relieve urinary tract infections.
    While it is general knowledge that regular masturbation can reduce the risk of prostate
    cancer in men, studies are showing that female masturbation can also provide protection
    against cervical infections because when women masturbate, the orgasm “tents” or opens
    the cervix.  In her book Sex: A Natural History, Joann Ellison Rodgers describes how the
    process of tenting stretches and pulls the mucous within the cervix, allowing for a rise in
    acidity in the cervical fluid. This increases “friendly” bacteria and allows more fluid to move
    from the cervix into the vagina. When“old” fluid moves from the tented cervix, it not only
    lubricates the vagina, but also flushes out unfriendly organisms that can cause infections.
  • Masturbation is associated with improved cardiovascular health and lower risk of type-2
    diabetes. In a number of studies, women who experienced more orgasms, and overall
    greater frequency and satisfaction with sex — whether with a partner or not — were shown
    to have greater resistance to coronary heart disease (CHD) and type-2 diabetes.
  • Masturbation can help work against insomnia naturally, through hormonal and tension
    release. Many women masturbate as a means to wind down after a hectic day or to fall
    asleep at night, but they often don’t know that there’s a hormonal reason why it works.
    Dopamine, or the “feel-good” hormone, is on the rise during the anticipation of a sexual
    climax. After the climax, the calming hormones oxytocin and endorphins are released,
    making us feel the warm afterglow that helps us sleep.
  • Orgasm increases pelvic floor strength. There are so many benefits to having a healthy
    pelvic floor. In the “plateau” stage of orgasm, the pelvic floor gets a real workout. The clitoris
    surges with increased blood pressure. Muscle tone, heart rate, and respirations increase.
    The uterus “lifts” off the pelvic floor, increasing pelvic muscle tension. This strengthens the
    entire region, as well as your sexual satisfaction.

Psychological and emotional benefits of masturbation are plenty, too.  Women most often cite
fatigue as the reason for a decrease in, or loss of, libido. Most tired women do not care a bit about
sex. Appropriately so, as a tired body is focused on taking care of itself. The second most common
reason women say they have decreased interest in sex is their dissatisfaction with their
appearance. Given the often unrealistic yet prevailing standards of American beauty, it is
challenging for many women to feel attractive. Masturbation is one way to honor our sexuality
conveniently and privately and start feeling fulfilled onto ourself.
Because we are in control of our bodies when we masturbate, we can learn a lot about who we are.
We can cultivate positive feelings about our miraculous bodies, giving us confidence from the
inside out and the potential to heal any past negative sexual experiences.
These are all good reasons to reconsider our views on masturbation, but there are also several
other reasons why masturbation can help us feel more confident and connected:

  • Improves our mood. Masturbation helps relieve depressive emotions. As we become
    aroused, the hormone levels of dopamine and epinephrine soar in our bodies. Both of
    these hormones are mood-boosters. Many studies show that women who report personal
    satisfaction with their sex lives live a better quality of life overall.
  • Relieves stress. In her book For Yourself, noted sex therapist Lonnie Barbach explains that
    the stress resulting from avoiding sex can create the kind of body imbalances we
    mentioned earlier. She writes that masturbation can help relieve emotional stress by taking
    time for ourselves, amidst the demands of home, family, and work.
  • Strengthens our relationship with ourselves. When we know, love, and nurture ourselves on
    emotional and physical levels, we gain confidence and grow through self-awareness. Being
    able to recognize, articulate, and experience what brings pleasure is a powerful step toward
    fulfillment.
  • Strengthens sexual relationship with partner. Many couples have different sexual drives and
    needs. Masturbation is one way to meet personal needs not met by a partner. It can be
    shared with a partner. Witnessing a partner masturbate can teach us what methods our
    partners use so we can learn what they enjoy. It can also open the lines of communication
    between partners who otherwise might be assuming that the “routine” is still working.

What’s the best way for women to have an orgasm through self-stimulation?  If you don’t know
exactly what it is you like or what it takes for you to reach orgasm, it’s a good idea to practice.  For
some people the very idea of stimulating themselves can seem worrying, or unappealing, or
shameful. It’s a good idea if women can rid themselves of these feelings.
Masturbation is a great way to lessen tension in your body. It’s a very safe way to have an orgasm.
And it’s probably the best way to learn about how your body likes to be loved.  But masturbation, like
most things, takes practice. And the only way to learn about your own sexual response is to try it.
If you have never tried masturbation, or you want to do it in such a way that will be more pleasurable
and satisfying then it has been in the past, then you might need to plan how and when to do it,
rather than leave it to chance.
For a start, you need to ensure that you’re going to have adequate time to yourself and that you
won’t be interrupted.

  • Begin by taking a shower, or a long, luxurious, scented bath. Soap your body all over and
    enjoy touching your breasts and your genitals in particular.
  • Dry yourself carefully, then rub your favorite lotion all over your body. Keep touching your
    body everywhere – it might be a good idea to stand in front of a mirror while you do it. This is
    your body – a body capable of giving you great pleasure – so enjoy looking at it and getting
    used to the sight and feel of it.
  • At this point, as long as you know that you’re in no danger of being disturbed, move to your
    bedroom. Make sure that it is warm and comfortable. Put on some relaxing music if you like.
    And just enjoy yourself.
  • Lie down on your bed and use a mirror to look at your private and intimate places. Gently
    spread your labia: you may want to use a spot of lubrication There are very nice modern
    ones that increase the sensuousness of the occasion – such as Wet, Liquid Silk and Pjur.
    But if you don’t have any lubrication, then use vaginal secretion.
  • Try to tighten and relax the muscles at the base of the pelvis.
  • If you find it difficult to know whether you’re doing this successfully, try inserting a couple of
    fingers inside your vagina. That way, you’ll be able to feel whether you’re tightening and
    relaxing the muscles or not. Many women much prefer masturbation if they can feel some
    bulk in the vagina at the same time as they stimulate the clitoris – so touching yourself
    internally might feel very good indeed.
  • If you now tighten and relax the muscles in rapid succession you will feel contractions of the
    kind that many women experience when having an orgasm.
  • You might also notice a warm sensation in your abdomen. Try touching yourself all over
    your body, including the breasts and your genitals where you will quickly find the most
    sensitive spots. In particular, experiment near the opening of the vagina and clitoris and
    stimulate yourself in whatever way feels best. So long as you do not rush, and you are
    keeping relaxed, then your own fingers will automatically do the right thing and will move
    with the right amount of speed and intensity for you.
  • Try to familiarize yourself with exactly how touching yourself makes you feel. Ignore
    everything around you. Just think about what is going on inside you, or fantasize about
    making love with someone you care for, or with a celebrity, or in some beautiful and
    romantic place.
  • While you touch yourself, you might like to look at something that turns you on – pictures,
    perhaps, a film; even a sexy book. Interestingly men and women differ somewhat is what
    they find arousing. Most men like graphic pictures of sexy women or of people having sex.
    Women are frequently much more turned on by words – so an erotic novel can often
    increase a woman’s pleasure.
  • If your sexual tension rises, keep going. If you have never previously masturbated to
    orgasm, you might suddenly feel tired and want to stop. Or you may be nervous about the
    build up of excitement in your body. Don’t worry about this. Just take your time. And if you
    don’t want to go on right now, then that’s fine. You can always try again another day.
    Eventually, the pleasant feelings will build up and you’ll be comfortable with this and
    increasingly excited and you won’t want to stop. When that happens, you will almost
    certainly suddenly experience a huge rush of ecstatic feeling and you will bring yourself to
    orgasm.
  • For some women it is not enough to just use their fingers – they like to use sex aids as well.
    A vibrator may be useful, or you could try stimulating yourself with the hand spray when you
    are in the shower. Use your fingers at the same time.
  • If they follow the guidelines above, almost everyone should be able to learn to masturbate
    and have an orgasm. But remember, these are only guidelines. Experiment, and you may
    well find a better way to turn yourself on.

Like other sexual activity, masturbation can be improved by varying how you do it.  This is
particularly true for women who are between relationships and for whom masturbation is the sole
sexual activity at that period in their lives. Most women find that their fingers do the trick wonderfully
– as they instinctively match their speed or weight to our requirements. But a vibrator can help
someone who finds it hard to get to orgasm and can also be useful as a change from digital
masturbation.
When it comes to vibrators, don’t necessarily assume that something that is a market-leader is
necessarily going to be the best thing for you. It might not be. We all have different likes and
dislikes. And do remember that not all vibrators now look like lurid penises. Some are quite
different nowadays. Those which work on a suction principle can be very effective. And there are
others that have been designed by women sex therapists that have quite unconventional shapes. .
Buying vibrators and other sex aids including lubrication and erotic literature is now much easier for
women than it was in the past as there are a number of online sex shops for women that are a
pleasure to ‘shop’ in.

Posted in SexualHealth | Leave a comment

MINDFULNESS & MEDITATION

The Emotional Life of Your Brain by Richard Davidson, PhD and Sharon Begley

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD

Coming to Our Senses by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD

Awakening Intuition: Using Your Mind-Body Network for Insight and Healing by Mona Lisa Schulz, MD, PhD

Self-Comparison Kristin Neff, PhD

The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression by Henry Emmons, MD and Rachel Kranz

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD

The Mindful Way Through Depression by Mark Williams, PhD, John Teasdale, PhD, Zindel Segal, PhD and Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD

The Mindful Way Through Anxiety by Susan Orsillo, PhD, Lizabeth Roemer, PhD and Zindel Segal, PhD

The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life by Deepak Chopra, MD

Mindsight by Daniel Siegel, MD

Eat What You Love by Michelle May, MD

Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d by Candace B Pert, PhD and Nancy Marriott

Peaceful Mind by John R McQuaid, PhD and Paula Carmona, RN, MSN

The Power of Mindful Learning by Ellen J Langer, PhD

The Art of Meditation (CD) by Daniel Goleman, PhD

The Mind’s Own Physician by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD and Richard Davidson, PhD

Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley

Destructive Emotions by Daniel Goleman, PhD

Healing Emotions by Daniel Goleman, PhD

Posted in Wellness | Leave a comment

Menopausal Health

Menopausal women and their doctors are reporting good results with
bioidentical hormones, but use of these plant-based substances is
unregulated, leaving some experts worried.
Amy Dodd understands some people see her as a guinea pig—in fact, she uses that term
herself. The hormones that Dodd, 57, has taken for about a year to fight hot flashes and
falling energy levels aren’t backed by comprehensive or long-term safety studies. While
doctors who prescribe them say small studies and patient evidence suggest they’re no riskier
than standard synthetic hormone replacement therapy—and perhaps less so—others aren’t
convinced they’re the right answer for women dealing with symptoms of menopause and aging.
But Dodd—along with her older sister and several of her friends—have embraced the
medications, known as compounded bioidentical hormones. They and their doctors believe the
plant-based hormones, mixed by pharmacists to mimic the natural hormones that are in a
woman’s body before menopause, are a reliable addition to the list of treatment options for
women who are suffering through menopause.
“My quality of life is just so good right now that I don’t think about it,” says Dodd, who lives in
Chesapeake. “I have had tremendous results. I feel better overall, I’m not as foggy and I have
more stamina and energy. The hot flashes, which I’d had every day, went away.” Asked how
long she’d stay on bioidenticals, Dodd responds: “I will take them as long as my doctor
recommends it. I feel very confident with her guiding me because she is really monitoring me.
She has spent a lot of time with me right from the beginning and has tailored this treatment to
me.”
Bioidentical hormones recently have grabbed headlines thanks to attention from celebrity
fitness guru Suzanne Somers, a strong proponent, and Oprah Winfrey. Local women and
doctors who use and prescribe the pills, gels and creams say they’ve had remarkable results
with the products, which aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
But many in the medical community are wary of that growing popularity, worrying about the
lack of quality control and standardization of ingredients and doses, which the FDA requires
for medications it approves. The American Medical Association recently stressed that there is
no credible evidence that bioidenticals are safer than traditional estrogen and progesterone
treatments. The group also is concerned about for-profit businesses making unproven claims
and possibly selling unsafe products.
Compounded bioidenticals—which are different from hormones that are approved by the
FDA—rely on an individual pharmacist’s work, rather than on set guidelines for production as
based on rigorous clinical trials, says Dr. David Archer, a professor of obstetrics and
gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk and a past president of the North
American Menopause Society.

pharmacist

“I’m not knocking the compounding pharmacists,” says Archer, also director of EVMS’ Clinical
Research Center. “I’m just saying that there is a greater variability involved that has never
been tested or assessed.” Patients also shouldn’t believe there are no risks of serious
problems with bioidenticals, just as there are with synthetic hormones, Archer adds. Those
dangers include a higher risk of stroke and blood clots. “The implication that if you get
something ‘tailor-made’ for you and ‘exactly like your body makes,’ then you’ll have no side
effects—that really is not accurate,” he says.
Doctors who prescribe bioidenticals say women are getting significant relief and, in their
experience, not dealing with side effects. In some cases, patients feel so much better that they
can wean off antidepressants prescribed for post-menopausal mood swings. Some of the
doctors are so confident about the treatment that they take compounded hormones
themselves.
“I can’t tell you how many women have walked through my door and just said, ‘Thank you,’”
says Dr. Linda Long, a gynecologist and co-owner of Synergy, an integrative medical center in
Chesapeake that specializes in bioidentical hormones. “Maybe 20 years from now we’ll realize
this was not the right thing to do, and [today] we have conversations with every patient about
the possible risks. But I have people telling me they have a new life. I see women who are no
longer willing to put up with these problems and suffer in silence.”
Menopause and hormone replacement therapy
Due to falling levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone leading up to and after
menopause, women can suffer from problems that include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia,
vaginal dryness, loss of libido, concentration problems and increased anxiety and irritability.
“These are huge quality-of-life issues,” says Dr. Jennifer Krup, a physician and co-owner of
the RejuvinAge center in Virginia Beach.
The majority of women who look into hormone replacement therapy, also known as HRT, are
40 and older. For many years, doctors prescribed the medicines Premarin or Prempro, both
synthetic hormones, without worry and often with good results. Premarin is a mixture of
estrogens made from the urine of pregnant horses, while Prempro is a combination of horse
estrogens and synthetic progesterone. Doctors believed that the drugs, in addition to easing
menopausal symptoms, also helped protect women against heart disease, osteoporosis,
dementia and skin wrinkling.
“My goal is to educate women about the difference between the
treatments, but it’s really about what the woman wants,” says Dr.
Paykel.”
The picture changed in 2002 with the release of data from a large federal study called the
Women’s Health Initiative. It showed that the common combination of estrogen and
progesterone in HRT actually didn’t guard against heart disease and in fact raised the risk of
breast cancer, stroke and blood clots. Later research indicated HRT patients who develop
certain types of cancer are more likely to die than cancer patients not on the therapy.
Alarmed, about 85 percent of women on treatment stopped it within a month.

Synthetic hormones have hardly disappeared. For some patients, the symptoms of
menopause are so debilitating that HRT seems well worth the risk. And depending on an
individual woman’s medical history, that risk actually can be very low (or may not apply at all,
since most women now taking HRT use hormones in different combinations and for shorter
lengths of time than in the past). Doctors today do follow one general guideline: Use the lowest
dose of medication for the shortest possible period.
Many doctors also encourage women to try lifestyle changes before considering any form of
HRT. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, limiting sweets and exercising regularly can make
an enormous difference, says Dr. Jacquelyn Paykel, an OB/GYN with WomanCare of
Williamsburg. Paykel has all of her patients keep detailed food diaries, for example. “I believe
we’ve got to take a multi-faceted approach to wellness in women,” she says.
The rise of bioidentical hormones
Over the past decade or so, an alternative—bioidentical hormones—began spreading through
Europe and the West Coast of the United States. The medications have the same molecular
structure as hormones produced by a woman’s body before the hormonal fluctuations leading
to menopause.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved some bioidentical-based therapies, including
estradiol products (estrogen) and Prometrium (progesterone). Most of Dr. Paykel’s patients
are on those pills rather than compounded products, largely because insurance generally
covers them. She follows the lowest-dose-possible approach but overall prefers them to
Premarin and Prempro: “Why wouldn’t you? You’re replacing something that was already in
your body.”
Pharmacies also can blend bioidenticals based on prescriptions written to match an individual
patient’s exact hormonal needs. Doctors determine those with regular blood work and by
taking a woman’s age and medical history into account. Dosages aren’t limited; a woman who
needs more progesterone to sleep better, for example, may be prescribed a higher dose of
that hormone than a woman suffering hot flashes due to a lack of estrogen.

“Each treatment is as unique as the person,” Dr. Long notes. “It’s never cookie-cutter.
Compliance is really high because they know it’s making them feel better. These are ladies
who are suffering, whose relationships are suffering, and this is improving their lives. It’s hard
to argue with those results.” The main side effects she has seen are water retention, bloating,
breast tenderness and acne. Those usually resolve in four to six weeks after her team has
determined ideal dosages, Long says.
Small studies from Europe show the hormones don’t appear to carry the same risk as older
forms of HRT, Long says. So do doctors’ experiences on the West Coast, where bioidenticals
have been in use for more than 10 years, Krup adds. Still, patients who choose the therapy
should be sure the pharmacy they use is accredited through the Pharmacy Compounding
Accreditation Board, a national nonprofit that has set safety standards (compounding
pharmacies also are regulated by states). “If I hear someone has placed an Internet order, I
cringe,” Krup says. Patients also should be prepared to pay out of pocket for much or all of
what can be a pricey treatment—an average of about $150 a month, according to Krup’s office.
The American Medical Association adds that women should be wary of anyone who promotes
bioidenticals as weight loss or “anti-aging” pills. Local doctors generally avoid the “anti-aging”
term altogether. But, they add, many patients do feel younger—and even look younger—once
they’re more rested, have energy to exercise and don’t feel as stressed. “So then the question
becomes: what does ‘anti-aging’ mean?” Dr. Krup asks.
Making a choice
With so many complex options, how does a woman know what to do? Dr. Paykel simply likes
the idea that there are more treatment choices—and that menopausal symptoms, once
frequently swept under the rug, are getting more attention. “My goal is to educate women
about the difference between the treatments, but it’s really about what the woman wants,” she
says. “Knowledge is power.”
Dr. Krup, who is on bioidenticals herself and has about 350 patients on them at any given
time, says finding the best treatment takes research and sometimes a see-how-it-goes
approach. “I don’t like the term ‘better,’” she says. “I like, ‘More helpful for some people.’ If you’
re on traditional medical treatment and feel fabulous, why change? But if not, we offer an
alternative that for me and many of my patients has worked wonders.”
As for safety research, all doctors do wish there was more. They argue that there isn’t
because pharmaceutical companies don’t sell compounded bioidenticals, can’t patent them
and thus have no financial incentives to fund large-scale studies. Krup recognizes they’re not
a “risk-free treatment”—nothing is, she says—but she believes they are “generally less of a
risk, because you’re not putting foreign substances into your body. I just have no scientific
proof.”
For Madelyn Reass of Norfolk, the “proof” is the simple fact that she feels much better on her
current regimen of bioidenticals. Reass, 62, started going into menopause in her early 40s.
She tried standard HRT but gained weight and felt sluggish and bloated. In recent years, since
starting bioidenticals, she has dropped 50 pounds and seen her energy skyrocket (she has
combined the therapy with regular exercise and a diet low in unhealthy carbohydrates.). She
has had no noticeable side effects.
“You could speak to 100 different doctors and get 100 different opinions,” says Reass. “I’ve
learned in my life that I have to do my own research and make up my own mind about what’s
best for me. I think all women should know what their options are. It may not be for you, but it
may be just what you’re looking for.”
Into the future
Large-scale testing of compounding bioidenticals is unlikely to come anytime soon due to the
cost of funding a clinical trial, Dr. Archer believes. “I just don’t see anyone going out of their
way to do one,” he says. “Unless there is scientific data, the medical community can’t really
judge this.” For women who want treatment for menopausal symptoms, he generally would
recommend an FDA-approved estrogen; he also suggests trying deep breathing at the start of
a hot flash, wearing loose clothing and avoiding triggers such as alcohol and caffeine.
Acupuncture and herbs also have worked for some people, although study results have been
mixed. “There are so many factors involved with individual patients,” Dr. Archer says.
Dr. Krup believes bioidenticals will spread and gradually gain greater acceptance. “It will take
time, but I really do foresee it coming,” she says. Dr. Paykel predicts an overall greater
emphasis on body-mind-spirit health that includes bioidenticals. And Dr. Long thinks Oprah
Winfrey and Suzanne Somers “struck a real chord” that won’t soon fade away because the
boomer population isn’t willing to suffer symptoms in silence.
In the meantime, many women aren’t waiting for an official verdict. Amy Dodd’s sister, 65-year-
old Susan Goode of Chesapeake, started on bioidenticals in March after consulting Dr. Linda
Long. Goode had been on standard HRT for at least 15 years in the past—she went through
abrupt menopause at age 49—before the Women’s Health Initiative data scared her off.
Now each night, she applies an estrogen gel and testosterone cream and takes a
progesterone pill prescribed by Dr. Long. Goode’s goals are to feel better overall, protect her
bone strength and increase her libido. She already has noticed a difference with the latter.
“That’s a huge thing for women, although it’s a topic that’s in the closet,” she says. “You want
to feel that same drive as when you were younger.”
Her regular doctor, Goode says, is OK with the approach. “I’m not sure he thinks it’s better
than what he’d do, but he respects me being on it as long as I feel well,” she says. The lack of
long-term safety studies doesn’t bother her. “I’m not afraid of this,” she states.
Neither is Amy Dodd. “I have a lot of confidence in my doctor,” she says, “and I have a lot of
confidence in what I am doing for myself.”
Krup recognizes bioidenticals are not a “risk-free” treatment—nothing
is, she says—but she believes they are “generally less of a risk, because
you’re not putting foreign substances into your body.

10 MENOPAUSE MYTHS DEBUNKED
Menopause is a disease.
No, it’s a natural, universal part of life.
During menopause, the body stops producing hormones.
The ovaries stop releasing eggs, not hormones. Production of estrogen and progesterone
slows, but it doesn’t stop.
As a woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels decline, 
so does her interest in sex.
Women of all ages can experience low libido for a variety of reasons, but sex during and after
menopause can be just as, if not more, satisfying and fulfilling as it was before. Many
menopausal women experience vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse, but these
symptoms can often be treated successfully.
Menopause sets in by age 50.
In 2006, the average age for female menopause to begin was 51 or 52, but some women
experience it as young as 40 (and in some rare cases even earlier).
It’s a signal that the end of life is fast approaching.
Today the average female life expectancy in the U.S. is nearly 81 years, making menopause
more a sign of mid-life than old age.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is needed to help 
prevent osteoporosis and
other diseases.
According to the Mayo Clinic, hormone therapy can be a short-term solution to quell the not-so-
pretty symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, sleep problems and vaginal dryness, but
it should not be used long-term due to recent data that suggests it could increase a woman’s
risk for blood clots, heart disease, cancer, stroke and dementia.
All women experience uncomfortable symptoms during menopause.
It’s estimated that as many as 15 percent of menopausal women experience only one
symptom: loss of menstruation.
Menopause affects only women.
Sorry, Charlie. Andropause, known as “male menopause,” is marked by fluctuating hormones
and decreased sex drive.
When you lose your menses, you lose your mind.
While changes in hormones can affect concentration, forgetfulness is more a sign of aging or
stress than menopause.
Menopause is brief; it only lasts a few months or a year.
While menopause is officially reached after 12 months without menstruation, the process can
take several years.

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LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO ASSIST WITH MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS

Simple changes in lifestyle and diet can help control menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. Avoid hot flash
triggers like spicy foods, hot beverages, caffeine, and alcohol. Dress in layers so that clothes can be removed
when a hot flash occurs. For vaginal dryness, moisturizers (such as Rephresh and Replens), and non-estrogen
lubricants, such as Sliquid, Liquid Silk and Good Clean Love are available.
Heart Health Recommendations
When women reach menopause, they are at increased risk for heart disease. A heart-healthy diet and other
lifestyle changes are important ways to control cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Heart-health recommendations include:

Quit smoking. If a woman smokes, she should quit. Smoking is linked to a decline in estrogen levels.
Women who smoke reach menopause about 2 years earlier than nonsmokers. Smoking doubles a woman’s
odds of developing heart disease and is a major risk factor for osteoporosis.
Balance calorie intake and physical activity to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight. (Controlling
weight, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly are essential companions of any diet program. Try to get
at least 30 minutes, and preferably 60 – 90 minutes, of daily exercise.)
Consume a diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits that are deeply
colored (spinach, carrots, peaches, berries) are especially recommended as they have the highest
micronutrient content.
Choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods. These include fruits, vegetables, and legumes (beans). Good
whole grain choices include whole wheat, oats/oatmeal, rye, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet,
and quinoa.
Eat fish, especially oily fish, at least twice a week (about 8 ounces/week). Oily fish such as salmon,
mackerel, and sardines are rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Consumption of these fatty acids is linked to a reduced risk of sudden death
and death from coronary artery disease. Women with heart disease may also consider taking a daily dietary
supplement of 850 – 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA.
Limit daily intake of saturated fat (found mostly in animal products) to less than 7% of total calories,
trans fat (found in hydrogenated fats, commercially baked products, and many fast foods) to less than 1%
of total calories, and cholesterol (found in eggs, dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish) to less than
300 mg per day. Choose lean meats and vegetable alternatives (such as soy). Select fat-free and low-fat
dairy products. Grill, bake, or broil fish, meat, and skinless poultry.
Use only a little salt in your foods. Reducing salt can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart
disease and heart failure.  However, table salt should be iodized.  We are now seeing many patients with
iodine deficiency due to the trendy use of sea salt instead of iodized salt in our cooking.
Cut down on beverages and foods that contain added sugars (corn syrups, sucrose, glucose,
fructose, maltrose, dextrose, concentrated fruit juice, honey).
If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends
limiting alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day for women.
The AHA does not recommend antioxidant supplements (such as vitamin E, C, or beta carotene) or
folic acid supplements for prevention of heart disease.
For women ages 55 to 79 years who have never had a heart attack or stroke, but are at risk of heart
disease, a daily low dose (75 – 81 mg) of aspirin may be helpful for primary prevention.

Calcium and Vitamin D
A combination of calcium and vitamin D is important for helping to prevent the bone loss associated with
menopause.

Calcium. Women should consume low-fat dairy products or calcium-enriched orange juice to get enough
calcium  in their diet. Calcium supplements may be another option for some women. For calcium
supplements, calcium citrate (Citracal) is better absorbed than calcium carbonate (Tums, Os-Cal) and other
types of calcium compounds. Between dietary and supplement intake, women should not exceed 1200 mg
calcium per day.  Recent data indicate that calcium intake in excess of 1200 mg daily increases the risk of
cardiac related deaths.  

       There are differing views on the use of calcium and vitamin D. Some doctors recommend that women
over age 60 should take calcium and vitamin D for bone health. Other doctors feel that due to the risks of
kidney stones, supplements are beneficial only for women (especially those over age 70) who do not get
enough calcium in their diets. Ask your doctor whether you should take calcium supplements.

Vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract
and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones. Vitamin D is manufactured in the
skin using energy from the ultraviolet rays in sunlight. It can also be obtained from dietary supplements. As
a person ages, vitamin D levels usually decline. Levels also fall during winter months and when people
have inadequate sunlight.  

       Women should discuss with their providers the appropriate amount of Vitamin D supplementation.
The maximum dose currently recommended is 4000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily.  The recommended daily intake
of vitamin D is 600 IU a day after age 50. Drinking milk fortified with vitamin D and sunlight exposure supply
most people’s need for vitamin D. (One cup of whole milk provides about 100 IU of vitamin D.) Oily fish
(sardines especially, as well as salmon, fresh tuna, and mackerel) are also important dietary sources of
vitamin D. Wild salmon has a much higher vitamin D content than farmed salmon.

Alcohol

Effect on the Heart. One drink a day in women who are not at risk for alcohol abuse may be beneficial for
the heart. Red wine in particular contains a substance called resveratrol, which is classified as a
phytoestrogen and has estrogen-like effects.
Effect on Bones. Alcohol has different effects on bones, depending on how much is consumed. Three or
more drinks per day are considered a risk factor for brittle bones and osteoporosis.
Effect on Breast Cancer . Women who drink have an increased risk for breast cancer, but the risk
associated with mild-to-moderate drinking is small.

Controlling Weight Gain
Many women need to increase physical activity and reduce caloric intake before and after menopause. Weight
gain is common during these years, and it can be sudden and distressing, particularly when habitual exercise and
eating patterns are no longer effective in controlling weight. Gaining weight around the abdomen (the so-called
apple shape) is a specific risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and many other health problems.

Exercise
For protection against all aging diseases, women should pursue a lifestyle that includes a balanced aerobic and
weight resistance exercise program appropriate to their age and medical conditions. Brisk walking, stair climbing,
hiking, dancing, and tai chi are all helpful. Several studies report that exercise can help control hot flashes. A
healthy diet plus regular, consistent exercise can also help ward off the weight gain associated with menopause.
Weight-bearing exercises are specifically helpful for protecting against bone loss.
Women should get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day (for weight loss, 60 – 90 minutes is preferred).
While more exercise is better, any amount of exercise is helpful.
Alternative Therapies
There are many unproven methods for relieving menopausal symptoms, some more effective than others.
Acupuncture, meditation, and relaxation techniques are all harmless ways to reduce the stress of menopause.
Some women report great benefit from these practices, but there is no scientific proof of effectiveness.
Acupuncture, hypnosis, and biofeedback are all alternative ways to control pain. Acupuncture involves the
insertion of tiny sterile needles, slightly thicker than a human hair, at specific points on the body.

Herbs and Supplements
Women often try herbal or so-called natural remedies to treat menopausal symptoms. There have been
numerous studies conducted on various herbal products and other complementary and alternative therapies.
These studies have found varying effects.  Some herbs and supplements can have adverse side effects.

Phytoestrogens and Isoflavones . Many studies have researched plant estrogens (phytoestrogens), which are
generally categorized as isoflavones (found in soy and red clover) and lignans (found in whole wheat and
flaxseed). No evidence to date indicates that phytoestrogen foods or supplements provide any benefit for hot
flashes, night sweats, or other menopausal symptoms. They also do not appear to help lower cholesterol or
prevent heart disease.
Nevertheless, soy is a healthy food choice. Soy is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, omega-3 fatty
acids, and provides essential protein. Soy proteins have more vitamins and minerals than meat or dairy proteins.
They also contain polyunsaturated fats, which are healthier than the saturated fat found in meat. The best
sources of soy protein are soy food products (tofu, soy milk, soybeans), not supplements.
Soy isoflavones contain genistein and daidzein, which are estrogen-like compounds. Some studies have
suggested that high intakes of soy may increase the risk of estrogen-responsive cancers such as breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women with breast cancer eat only moderate amounts of soy
food and avoid taking dietary supplements that contain high amounts of isoflavones.

Other Herbs and Supplements. The following herbs and dietary supplements are sometimes used for
menopausal symptoms and have certain risks:

Black cohosh ( Cimicifuga racemosa ), also known as squaw root, is the herbal remedy most studied for
menopausal symptoms. Although it contains a plant estrogen, this substance does not act like an estrogen
in the human body. Studies have shown mixed results in preventing hot flashes. High-quality studies have
found that black cohosh works no better than placebo for treating hot flashes and night sweats. Headaches
and gastrointestinal problems are common side effects. This herb has been associated with liver toxicity.
Dong quai ( Angelica sinensis ) does not appear helpful for hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms. Do
not use dong quai with blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin, because it may cause bleeding
complications.
Ginseng ( Panax ginseng ) may help menopausal symptoms of depression and sleep problems, but it has
no effect on hot flashes.
Kava ( Piper methysticum ) may relieve anxiety but it does not help hot flashes. This herb is considered
unsafe if used in large quantities, due to several reports of liver failure and death, especially in people with
liver disease.
Wild yam ( Dioscorea villosa ) is an herb sometimes used for menstrual problems as well as menopausal
symptoms. It contains a plant progesterone. However, like black cohosh, there is no evidence that the
human body can convert this substance into a hormone. Patients should be aware that some commercial
herbal wild yam products contain prescription progesterones. (For more information on progesterones, see
Hormone Replacement Therapy in Medications section.)
Evening primrose oil has not been shown to be superior to placebo. It may increase the risk for seizures
when taken with certain types of drugs associated with seizures.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a weak male hormone secreted by the adrenal gland. It is available as
a dietary supplement. DHEA has no benefit for hot flashes and may increase the risk of breast cancer.

Warning:  Generally, manufacturers of herbal remedies and dietary supplements do not need approval from the
Food and Drug Administration to sell their products. Just like with drugs, herbs and supplements can affect the
body’s chemistry, and therefore have the potential to produce side effects that may be harmful. There have been
a number of reported cases of serious and even lethal side effects from herbal products. Patients should check
with their doctors before using any herbal remedies or dietary supplements.

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