When Is a Good Time To Go for a Mammogram? Part 1

Part 1.

We all know that mammograms are an essential part of the early detection of breast cancer, but many of us still don’t get them as often as we should.

It is important for all women, especially over the age of 40, to know what a mammogram is, and when and how often they should have a scan.

A mammogram is simply an x-ray designed specifically to look for abnormalities in the breast. They show lumps and abnormalities that may not be detected by simply looking at or feeling the breast. While they often detect benign lumps as well, they are fairly reliable at detecting cancerous growths.

While most doctors agree that women should get mammograms regularly after a certain age, they tend to disagree on what that age is. You may think the earlier the better, but not only do early mammograms use time and money, they have a high rate of false positives that could lead to unneeded invasive procedures.

This false positive rate is higher the younger the patient. This not only wastes time and resources, but causes an immense amount of stress on the women who undergo these unneeded procedures.

Naturally, you should do breast self-exams every month.

Most doctors recommend you get your first mammogram between the age of 40 and 50, and then continue to get them every one to two years after that.

Almost all doctors recommend getting at least one mammogram before the age of 50. This is not necessarily to detect a problem, but to give the doctor something to compare later scans to. By being able to see changes in the breast, your doctor is better able to detect a problem early.

In particular, if you have a family history, you should get one done earlier, in your 30s.

The age of a first mammogram shouldn’t be the same for everyone though; there are a few factors that make getting them early more important. The first is family history.

Continued in Part 2.

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Health Concerns During Pregnancy Part 2

Part 2 of 2 parts.

Gush of liquid

This could mean you are in labor and that your water broke. However, if it isn’t close to the time of birth it can be something else. Call your doctor immediately and head for the emergency room.

 

Dehydration

While you are pregnant it is easy to become dehydrated, especially if you have morning sickness or just don’t drink your 8 glasses of water per day that are recommended. If you find yourself pale, with a dry mouth, or dizzy, you could be dehydrated and should be seen by a doctor. Dehydration can cause premature labor and/or distress on the pregnancy.

 

Painful urination

This could be caused by a urinary tract infection, also known as UTI. This can be easily treated with medication or by drinking lots of fluids and cranberry juice.

A urinary tract infection isn’t something to be embarrassed about. It is very common amongst pregnant women. The growing belly pushes against your ureters, the tubes from your bladder, and makes it harder for urine to flow through. Incomplete emptying of the bladder can lead to a persistent feeling of having to go. Imcomplete emptying can cause infection. If you have a foul odor when you urinate, or have a stinging or persistent sensation of having to go, you most like have a UTI.

Pregnancy can be worrying enough, without adding to your fears by being reluctant to talk to your doctor because you think you are being a nuisance. By all means read up and stay well-informed, but also stay in touch with your doctor.

Don’t stress over every little change in your body, but you know your own body well enough to be able to tell the difference between something that has become typical because you are pregnant, and something very unusual which need to be looked into further for a safe, healthy pregnancy.

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Morning Sickness During Pregnancy Part 1

Part 1 of 2 Parts.

Morning sickness can be one or the first signs that you’re pregnant.¬† Unfortunately, despite the name, this doesn’t always mean that you’ll get sick only in the morning. It can happen, morning, noon or night.

It will normally occur in the first trimester of your pregnancy, and end by the second. This isn’t the case in all pregnancies, though. Some women will continue with it until the very end of term.

Nausea can happen immediately, or you may get lucky and have no morning sickness at all. No one is certain what causes morning sickness. It is no doubt just one of the many changes in the body that happens during pregnancy.

Many women seem to get sick after taking the pre-natal vitamin, so try taking it later in the day. Your doctor may even advise you to take some other form of vitamin instead of the usual pre-natal ones. Always check first with your doctor before taking anything new or taking yourself off medication, even pre-natal vitamin.

There are a few ways to minimize the sickness, but they don’t work for everyone. Try keeping crackers on hand, most people prefer saltines. Try drinking some ginger ale to calm the stomach, especially flat ginger ale.

Dry cereal is another good thing to eat. Your stomach may just be a little bit hungry and trying to tell you, but you mistake it for nausea.

Remember to eat only small portions, that way you will not make the nausea and any vomiting worse than it has to be.

Resting and sleeping is another good way to avoid it; however, it can wake you up. Keep yourself hydrated. Not only can this make your sickness settle down a bit, but it can help you avoid becoming dehydrated, which would  require a trip to the emergency room to get intravenous fluids and antinausea medication.

 

Continued in Part 2.

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