In This Issue
5 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Skin Cancer
How to Exercise Safely in the Heat
How Sleeping Wrong Can Hurt You
7 Reasons to Switch Your Birth Control
Avoiding a Yeast Infection During Summertime

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5 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Skin Cancercancer 
woman applying suntan lotion
It will never happen to me. That's what we all like to think-until one of our loved ones is diagnosed, or the doctor gives us a call.  Skin cancer affects a whopping one in five Americans, but the good news is that it's highly preventable. A few simple lifestyle changes can mean a world of difference for your health, so take a few minutes to read these tips and pass them on to your loved ones. You just might save a life! 

1.  Stick to the shade.

The sun's UV rays are strongest between 10am and 4pm, so be especially careful about sun exposure during those hours. This cute and clever Melanoma Bracelet will change color in the sun to let you know if you're in harm's way.    


2.. Cover up. Call it an excuse to buy that cute new hat you saw while window shopping the other day, or an opportunity to try out a fun maxi dress. Either way, you'll be stylish and safe.

3. Lay it on thick. You can work that bikini at the beach, but don't forget to wear your sunscreen, too! In fact, you should be wearing SPF 30 or higher every day - whether you're sunbathing or just walking to the office.

4.  Know your skin. Your skin is an organ just like your heart or your liver, and you need to take good care of it. Spend a few minutes every month scanning your own moles and freckles to see if any have changed in size, shape or color. Be proactive at the doctor's office, too; schedule a full body screening with the dermatologist at least once a year.

5.  No tanning beds. Seriously. It's not worth it. Just four visits to the tanning a bed a year can increase your risk of melanoma by 11%!

Remember -- you are beautiful as you are. Tanned, freckled, smooth or wrinkled-your skin is unique, just like you, and it's worth taking care of.    


Source:  Natural Holistic Health

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Heat has to factor into your summer exercise plans if you expect to do any shaping up outdoors. Heat has a big impact on you while you exercise, and it's important to listen and respond to your body's cues before you wind up with a case of heat stroke.


Because your body is mostly water, dehydration impacts every aspect of your physiology.  When you're working out on a really hot day, the amount of water you lose can be double the amount you'd lose on a normal day. Not only does that water loss increase your body's internal temperature, which puts you at risk for getting overheated, it also reduces the amount of energy that's fed to your cells, which means your muscles aren't getting the energy they need.


Don't stop exercising outside this summer just because it's hotter than normal. An outdoor run, bike ride, or romp in a pool or lake can be more convenient and less expensive than hitting the gym. And being in nature is a natural mood elevator, even if it is 100 degrees and getting hotter by the minute. What's key is staying hydrated and being smart about your workouts.


Here are some tips for staying healthy and still enjoying the great, if steamy, outdoors:


1.  Weigh yourself before and after your workouts. 

The key to staying hydrated is to match your fluid intake with your sweat loss. The best way to do that is to weigh yourself before and after your workout and see how much water is lost. One pound of weight difference means you lost about 16 ounces of water. 


2.  Hydrate before your workout, and avoid the sprinklers. 

Running through a sprinkler or biking past a gushing hydrant may feel good, but it doesn't really cool you off. Getting fluid inside you is what helps with thermal regulation. Drinking water while you exercise is essential, but it's even better to hydrate before you start because it increases your body's ability to maintain a proper temperature and can help your heart maintain a steady pace so you won't feel like you're exerting more effort than you really are.  


3. Watch your heart rate

High temperatures and humidity can send your heart rate soaring. Many of us try to run, walk or cycle at the same pace we normally do, sometimes pushing ourselves even when we're clearly struggling. Wear a heart rate monitor and check your heart rate regularly. If it's very high, you know to back off, cut your workout short or move it indoors.


4. The sweat factor

If you stop sweating, that's a major warning sign that your body can't regulate your temperature and you should stop your workout and head indoors.   


5. Look for signs of heat exhaustion.  Besides the sweat factor, stop your workout and get indoors if you feel nausea, fatigue, dizziness or so hot that your head might catch on fire. Treating yourself right away (with fluids, a cold shower, an air conditioned room, etc.) can help you avoid heat stroke, which is much more serious and usually requires emergency treatment.


Source: ABC News   

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June 2015 

Have a Happy and Healthy Summer!


From family members to close friends, everyone knows someone whose life has been touched by cancer. On Sunday, June 7, 2015, hundreds of communities throughout the world will observe the 28th annual National Cancer Survivors Day. Communities will host events on this day to honor cancer survivors and show that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful, fulfilling, and even inspiring.


With the official arrival of summer, it's the perfect time to remind you about the importance of being safe in the sun. Skin cancer is a growing epidemic. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. In fact, there are more than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed and 2.2 million people treated in the U.S. each year.   What's worse is that while many of us know to use sunscreen, most only apply 25-50 percent of the recommended amount needed. Please take a moment to be sun-wise and read 5 Ways to Protect Against Skin Cancer.


Summer brings with it many things we all enjoy - warmer weather, vacations, pool and beach time. But it also is the season when more women see their doctors regarding yeast infections. And yes, some of your favorite summer activities - such as swimming - are to blame. Here are some tips on Avoiding a Yeast Infection during Summertime and what to do if you think you may have one.


Deciding on a birth control option is a personal choice. Women often base this decision on effectiveness, lifestyle factors, religious preferences, ease or convenience of use, side effects, and cost. You may find yourself feeling unhappy with your current method, which is now causing you to wonder, is it time for a change? Feeling satisfied with your birth control option is important: You will be more likely to use it, and use it consistently, if your contraceptive method fits into your lifestyle and you feel comfortable with it. Here are 7 Reasons to Switch Your Birth Control that may have you making a change.


Worried about logging enough shut-eye? There may be more serious concerns when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. Sleep apnea has traditionally-and erroneously-been seen as a "men's disorder." The truth is obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder among women. And a new study indicates that the frequency of sleep apnea among women may be higher than we previously believed. Find out more by reading How Sleeping Wrong Can Hurt You.


With the mercury on the rise, exercising in the heat can prove difficult. When temperatures increase and humidity becomes unbearable, staying active can often seem impossible and poses a serious threat if precautions aren't taken. Check out How to Safely Exercise in the Heat so you can become educated on how to listen and respond to your body's cues before you wind up with a case of heat stroke.


Lastly, we want to thank Cryo-Cell for their generous donation of a Kindle Fire Tablet, which was recently awarded to a lucky e-newsletter recipient last month.  


With warm regards,


The Practitioners and Staff of Lawrence OB/GYN 

How Sleeping Wrong Can Hurt Yousleeping  
A recent Swedish study monitoring 400 sleeping women ages 20-70 suggests that up to 50% of women have sleep apnea: they stop breathing for more than 10 seconds at least 5 times an hour while they sleep.

When a person, male or female, suffers from obstructive sleep apnea-the type examined in the study-they breathe normally during the day, but when they fall asleep at night, their throat collapses, so they stop breathing adequately and don't get enough oxygen. This disruption in breathing can last for 10-60 seconds, and it can happen as many as 80 times per hour!  


At best, the sleeping disorder can result in poor sleep quality, headaches, and daytime fatigue, but at worst, it can kill you by increasing your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. In fact, a 2008 study published in the journal Sleep found that people with severe sleep apnea were three times as likely to die of any cause compared to those without the disease.

So how do you know if you have it? Most people come to her clinic for a screening because their bed mate notices their abnormal nighttime breathing patterns. And while some sufferers also seek treatment because they feel tired and lethargic throughout the day, it can be tough to determine whether you have sleep apnea if you sleep alone.  


Here are some risk factors that can help clue you in:


  • Excess weight: In the Swedish study, sleep apnea occurred in 84 percent of obese participants, with 20 percent suffering from severe cases of the disease. The reason? Excess fatty tissue around your neck can block your airway, making obesity a clear risk factor for the disorder. (And to make matters worse, sleep apnea can also lead to further weight gain: it can contribute to daytime fatigue, which may make sufferers more likely to overeat and avoid exercise.)
  • Persistent high blood pressure: The researchers also found a strong relationship between high blood pressure and sleep apnea-a whopping 80 percent of participants with hypertension had the sleep disorder. Other studies have confirmed this correlation, and inadequate breathing is to blame. The drop in oxygen levels that occurs seems to cause some change in the regulation of the blood vessels. If a person has high blood pressure that isn't responding to traditional interventions like diet modification and medication, sleep apnea could be the culprit.
  • Age: The study found that sleep apnea also occurred more frequently in older participants-a finding that's consistent with previous research. In women specifically, the disorder is more likely to show up after menopause, a correlation that experts believe is related to hormonal fluctuations.
  • Throat obstruction: Regardless of age and body weight, people who have a large neck, small throat, big tongue, nasal or sinus condition, or any other factor that contributes to an obstructed airway are biologically predisposed to develop sleep apnea.

3 Ways to Sleep Safer:


1. Maintain a healthy body weight. Losing weight can improve-and sometimes even eliminate-sleep apnea. In fact, research has shown than even a modest 10-percent drop in body weight may significantly reduce the severity of the disease.


2. Sleep on your side. Thanks to gravity, laying on your side can open up your throat while you sleep, reducing the severity of sleep apnea.  


3. See a specialist. If you think you might have sleep apnea, you should make an appointment with a sleep doctor for a screening. Aside from lifestyle changes, a variety of medical interventions are available to help treat the disease, including specialty sleep masks and surgeries. Anyone with high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes should automatically be tested for the sleeping disorder.


Source: Women's Health Magazine 

7 Reasons to Switch Your Birth Controlbirthcontrol

Birth control is really a beautiful thing, but finding the right option is usually a case of trial and error. Still, it's worth it to find the right one so that you're fully protected. Half of the pregnancies that occur in the United States are an oops moment-they're unplanned.  And in half of those unplanned pregnancies, the women say they were using a method of contraception! The problem is, if you're not happy with your birth control and not taking it properly, you pretty much defeat the purpose.


So to make sure you and your method are a match made in birth control heaven, watch out for these signs that you might want to switch things up:  


1. No Amount of Alarms Can Help You Remember a Daily Pill
If you look at many studies of birth control usage, women tend to forget an average of four pills a month. Forgetting one and taking it a little late isn't a big deal, but if you forget more than that in a row, you have a high failure rate and should find a better method. Talk to your doctor about contraception you don't have to think about every day, like the IUD, the ring, or the patch.


2. You Have Annoying Breakthrough Bleeding
Breakthrough bleeding can happen when you start a new method, but it usually goes away. If it persists, your doctor can put you on a pill with a higher dose of hormones. Even though breakthrough bleeding can seem scary, it really isn't a big deal. This can also happen if you're on a longer cycle pill like Seasonale, which women sometimes take to make their periods go away completely. They're totally safe to take, but you can sometimes experience breakthrough bleeding in the process. If these mid-month surprises are bothering you, see if another method might work better.


3. You're Dealing with Serious Mood Swings
Mood swings can be a common issue when dealing with hormonal birth control, and that could be due to the amount of progestin present. The important thing to remember is that all birth controls have very different progestin components. Certain kinds of progestin affect women's emotions differently. Your gynecologist can suggest options with different hormone levels to fend off any irritability or mood changes that may be stemming from your pill.


4. You're Beyond Bloated

All pills have estrogen, which makes you retain fluid. That can lead to uncomfortable bloating. In those cases, try pills like Yaz or Yasmin, because the kind of progestin in them actually acts similar to a diuretic. 


5. Your Libido is M.I.A.
This is a biggie. Birth control pills suppress ovulation, but the problem is they also stop the ovaries from making the sex hormone testosterone like they normally do. While this doesn't always translate to a dampened libido, it may for some women. If that's the case, talk to your doctor about switching to a method with more progestin (which can mimic testosterone) or a non-hormonal method altogether, like the copper IUD.


6. Your Skin Looks Like a Teenager's (and NOT in a Good Way)
Almost all birth control helps with acne because it blocks ovulation and testosterone, which can improve your skin. But sometimes acne can still persist even if you're on a type that made a friend's skin all glowy. If you're dealing with acne even after letting your body get used to the Pill, ask your doctor if there's another option with more progestin, which might help clear it up.


7. You Have Horrible Migraines with Vision Changes
If you're taking birth control pills and get migraines, make sure to tell your doctor-especially if they're accompanied by aura (vision changes with a migraine). Research shows that women taking birth control who get migraines (particularly migraines with aura) have a higher risk of blood clots and stroke. So if you're suffering from these headaches, talk to your doctor about which method may be better for you. In this case, a non-hormonal method like the copper IUD or condoms may be a safer bet.


Source: Women's Health Magazine


Avoiding a Yeast Infection During Summertimeswimming 

Usually, healthy bacteria in the body fight against candida bacteria, keeping them from growing out of control. However, a shift can sometimes occur, allowing the candida to overpower the healthy bacteria, and multiply rapidly, causing infection. This is often caused by a change in hormones or the taking of antibiotics, though chlorinated swimming water can contribute to the condition as well, as it can hinder good bacteria and allow candida to grow.


You cannot pass a yeast infection to other swimmers. Yeast infections are not contagious. While you can stimulate the overgrowth of yeast in your partner through sexual contact, you cannot pass an infection, according to Planned Parenthood.



When swimming with a yeast infection, keep your vaginal area dry when you're through with your swim. Hanging around in a wet bathing suit can stimulate the growth of yeast, exacerbating your infection. Avoid putting another suit on, if possible, because yeast thrives in synthetic fabrics. A loose-fitting dress and cotton panties helps keep your vaginal area dry and inhibit the yeast infection.



The vaginal environment is delicate. Anything that changes the pH balance of your vagina can be the source of a yeast infection. The chlorine in pools creates a harsh environment to which you expose yourself if you're a regular swimmer. If you are experiencing some discomfort and fear a yeast infection is coming on, consider whether swimming is prudent.

Swimming is often recommended for pregnant women because it's easy on the joints and helps manage swelling of the lower extremities. It's also a common time to struggle with yeast infections because of fluctuating hormones. However, if you're pregnant and swimming as a means of keep fit, talk with your doctor before treating a yeast infection. Don't reach for a regular over-the-counter treatment without consulting your obstetrician.


Tips for Prevention

* Keep your immune system up (this is as simple as taking some extra vitamins or drinking a glass of orange juice every morning)

* Wear loose-fitting clothing and underwear that has a cotton crotch
* Don't sit around in a wet bathing suit or clothing
* Urinate frequently (try not to "hold it") and always after sexual intercourse
* Stay away from douches and vaginal sprays
* Don't use scented tampons or other perfumed products on or in the vagina

If you have symptoms of a vaginal infection such as pain, burning during urination, itching and abnormal discharge:

* Call your doctor, even if you think you may have a simple yeast infection
* Drink plenty of fluids
* Begin treatment as soon as possible


Waiting too long to see a doctor or not properly treating an infection can result in even worse infections that can send you to the hospital and impact fertility, so it is absolutely necessary to treat your symptoms as soon as they appear. And the quicker you clear up any infections, the quicker you can get back in the pool and enjoy your summer.


Sources: Livestrong; EmpowHER 





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