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Toxic Shock Syndrome

 

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare but serious medical condition caused by toxins produced by a bacterial infection.

Although toxic shock syndrome has been linked to tampon use in menstruating women, this condition can affect men, children, and people of all ages due to different reasons.
Infection usually occurs when bacteria enters the body through an opening in the skin. For instance, bacteria can enter through a cut, sore, or other wound.
Risk factors for this condition include a recent skin burn, skin infection, or surgery, recent childbirth, also the use of a diaphragm or vaginal sponge to prevent pregnancy.
Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome can vary from person to person. In most cases, symptoms appear suddenly. Common signs of this condition include:

a sudden fever
low blood pressure
headache
muscle aches
confusion
diarrhea
nausea
vomiting
rash
redness of eyes, mouth, and throat
seizures

You might attribute symptoms of toxic shock syndrome to another medical condition, such as the flu. However, if you experience the above symptoms after using tampons or after a surgery or skin injury, contact your doctor immediately.

Your doctor may make a diagnosis of toxic shock syndrome based on a physical examination and your symptoms. He may also check your blood and urine for bacteria, and assess your liver and kidney functions. They may also take swabs of cells from your cervix, vagina, and throat to be analyzed for the bacteria that cause toxic shock syndrome.

Toxic shock syndrome is a medical emergency. Some people have to stay in the intensive care unit for several days. Your doctor will most likely prescribe an intravenous (IV) antibiotics to help you fight the bacterial infection.
Other treatment methods for toxic shock syndrome vary depending on the cause. For example, if a vaginal sponge or tampon triggered toxic shock, your doctor may need to remove this foreign object from your body. If an open wound or surgical wound caused your toxic shock syndrome, the doctor will drain pus or blood from the wound to help clear up any infection.

You will also receive medications to stabilize blood pressure, boost your body’ immune system, and IV fluids to fight dehydration.
If left untreated, Toxic Shock Syndrome can lead to:

liver failure
kidney failure
heart failure
Shock
Death

Certain precautions can reduce your risk of developing toxic shock syndrome. For example:

changing your tampon/sanitary napkin every four to eight hours
washing your hands frequently to remove any bacteria
keeping cuts and surgical incisions clean and changing dressings often

Remember: if you notice any of the early warning signs of TSS on yourself or a family member who’s had a wound, infection, surgery, or her period recently, please contact your doctor or drive to the emergency room immediately- to save their lives.

Wishing you all the best.

Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a condition where there is involuntary tightness of the vagina during attempted intercourse. The tightness is actually caused by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles surrounding the vagina. The woman does not directly control or ‘will’ the tightness to occur; it is an involuntary pelvic response. She may not even have any awareness that the muscle response is causing the tightness or penetration problem.
In some cases vaginismus tightness may begin to cause burning, pain, or stinging during intercourse. In other cases, penetration may be difficult or completely impossible. Vaginismus is the main cause of unconsummated relationships. The tightness can be so restrictive that the opening to the vagina is ‘closed off’ altogether and the man is unable to insert his penis. The pain of vaginismus ends when the sexual attempt stops, and usually intercourse must be halted due to pain or discomfort.
Types of vaginismus
When a woman has never at any time been able to have pain-free intercourse due to this muscle spasm; her condition is known as primary vaginismus. Some women with primary vaginismus are unable to wear tampons and/or complete pelvic exams. Many couples are unable to consummate their relationship due to primary vaginismus.
Vaginismus can also develop later in life, even after many years of pleasurable intercourse. This type of condition, known as secondary vaginismus, is usually precipitated by a medical condition, traumatic event, childbirth, surgery, or life-change (menopause).
Vaginismus is a common cause of ongoing sexual pain and is also the primary female cause of sexless (unconsummated) marriages. Sexual pain can affect women in all stages of life; even women who have had years of comfortable sex. While temporarily experiencing discomfort during sexual intercourse is not unusual, ongoing problems should be diagnosed and treated.

Examples of Vaginismus – In the vaginismus condition, as the man approaches the woman, her PC muscle group involuntarily tightens the vaginal entrance making intercourse painfully impossible or penetration may be successful but may result in burning, discomfort, and pain.
So, is this problem t reatable?
Vaginismus is highly treatable and a full recovery from vaginismus is the normal outcome of treatment. Successful vaginismus treatment does not require drugs, surgery, hypnosis, nor any other complex invasive technique. Following a straight-forward program, pain-free and pleasurable intercourse is attainable for most couples.

Here’s a summary of how the treatment works in 4 steps:

Step 1 – Understanding Sexual Anatomy and Vaginismus Women often lack complete information about their body’s sexual anatomy, function, and the causes of sex pain. Confusion regarding problems with inner vaginal areas and vaginal muscles frequently lead to misdiagnosis and frustration. That’s why it’s very important to start solving the vaginismus problem with anatomy and physiology education. Step 2 – Sexual History Review & Treatment StrategiesEmotional reviews help detail any negative events, feelings, or memories that may collectively contribute to involuntary pelvic responses. Topics also include blocked or hidden memories and how to move forward when there have been traumatic events in a woman’s past. In some conservative communities the problem might be more common due to the fact that raising girls with the belief that sex is a taboo will make it more difficult for them to enjoy sexuality after marriage. Step 3 – Vaginal Tightness & The Role Of Pelvic Floor Muscles Learning how to identify, selectively control, exercise and retrain the pelvic muscles to reduce pain and alleviate penetration tightness and difficulties is an important step in vaginismus treatment. Step 4– Graduated Vaginal Insertions When used properly, vaginal dilators are effective tools to further help eliminate pelvic tightness due to vaginismus. Graduated vaginal insertion exercises allow women to comfortably transition to the stage where they are ready for intercourse without pain or discomfort. // The final step toward overcoming vaginismus includes penis entry with movement and freedom from any pain or tightness.
Have patience. Do not rush it. The treatment might take weeks or months but it will eventually help you get a normal sexual life. Use relaxation techniques. Focus on breathing deeply in and out. Listen to music and think of happy things. Keep remembering that sexuality is beautiful and fulfilling and a pure expression of love.
All the best to you.

Bartholin Gland Cyst

When I was a teenager, I had very little information about my body. My mother was too shy to open up and talk to me about my sexual develeopment. There was no Internet, and no books available to answer my questions.
One morning I was washing my body, them I usddently stumbled upon a very strange pea sized swelling right at the opening of my vagina. I was 14 or so. I was mortified. I was scared to tell my mother. I spent days trying to figure out what I’d done wrong, or thinking maybe I had cancer!

It turned out to be a Brtholon cyst.
What are the Bartholin glands?
The Bartholin glands are two small organs under the skin in a woman’s genital area. They are on either side of the folds of skin (labia) that surround the vagina and urethra. Most of the time, you can’t feel or see the Bartholin glands.
The Bartholin glands make a small amount of fluid that moistens the outer genital area, or vulva. This fluid comes out of two tiny tubes next to the opening of the vagina. These tubes are called Bartholin ducts.
What are Bartholin gland cysts?
If a Bartholin duct gets blocked, fluid builds up in the gland. The blocked gland is called a Bartholin gland cyst. These cysts can range in size from a pea to a large marble. If the Bartholin gland or duct gets infected, it’s called a Bartholin gland abscess.
Bartholin gland cysts are often small and painless. Some go away without treatment. But if you have symptoms, you might want treatment. If the cyst is infected, you will need treatment.
What causes a Bartholin gland cyst?
Things like an infection, thick mucus, or swelling can block a Bartholin gland duct and cause a cyst.
Infected Bartholin cysts are sometimes caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But they can also happen when you don’t have sex.
What are the symptoms?
You may not have any symptoms if the Bartholin gland cyst is small. But a large cyst or an infected cyst (abscess) can cause symptoms.
Symptoms of a cyst that is not infected include:
A painless lump in the vulva area.
Redness or swelling in the vulva area.
Discomfort when you walk, sit, or have sex.
Symptoms of an infected cyst include:
Pain that gets worse and makes it hard to walk, sit, or move around.
Fever and chills.
Swelling in the vulva area.
Drainage from the cyst.
How are Bartholin gland cysts diagnosed?
You may find a Bartholin gland cyst on your own. Unless it is causing symptoms, you may not know you have one.
An abscess is diagnosed based on signs of infection, such as fever or swelling, and pain in the vulva area.
In some cases, especially if you are older, your doctor may remove the cyst to make sure that it isn’t cancer or another problem.
How are they treated?
Some Bartholin gland cysts go away without treatment. You can take a nonprescription pain medicine to relieve pain. To help healing, soak the area in a shallow, warm bath, or a sitz bath.
A sitz bath is one in which the hips and buttocks are put in water. It is usually used to promote healing and symptom relief around the bottom, such as for hemorrhoids, or genitals, such as for pain following childbirth.
There are different types of sitz baths to choose from, many of which can be purchased at medical supply stores. A common type is a basin that fits on a toilet seat and is filled with water.

Don’t have sex while a Bartholin cyst is healing.
If the cyst is infected, it may break open and start to heal on its own after 3 to 4 days. But if the cyst is painful, your doctor may drain it. You may also need to take antibiotics to treat the infection.
To keep the cyst from closing and filling up again, your doctor may put a small drainage tube with a small balloon at one end inside the cyst. The balloon is inflated inside the cyst to keep the cyst open. After the gland has healed, the tube and balloon are removed.
For severe cysts that keep coming back, you may have surgery to remove the Bartholin gland and duct.
There is a procedure called marsu-pia-lization in which a pouch is created by making a cut over the cyst and stitching the sides together. This allows the cyst to drain.
Don’t be scared of your bartholin gland.
All the best.