Health Notes

How Clean is Your Vagina?

by Dr. Abby Lankhorst on February 20, 2015

It’s a great question with a complex answer. Many women don’t even think about it until it becomes an issue… but how exactly should you clean your vagina?

A certain celebrity recently posted on her website that steaming is the best way to clean the uterus. This is simply a bad idea. Steaming definitely won’t do anything to the uterus – and won’t clean your vagina, either. Even worse, it could actually cause an infection or even burns.

The real surprise here is the actual vagina does not need cleaning.  It’s truly all about “balance.” The vagina has an acidic environment with a host of healthy bacteria to maintain a low pH. This prevents abnormal bacteria from multiplying and causing issues.

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Heart Attacks: Are Women So Different?

by Katina Gordon on February 5, 2015

Womens Heart HealthAlthough many women may see cancer as their most serious health threat, there is another silent killer that women should put on their watch list.

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in American women over age 45. A majority of women between the ages of 40 and 60 have at least one risk factor for heart disease:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes and prediabetes
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being physically inactive
  • Having a family history of early heart disease
  • Having a history of preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Age (55 or older for women)

Knowing your risk is vital. From there, you can set goals and work with your Methodist Physicians Clinic primary care provider to reach them.

“It’s about recognizing what the normal risk factors are and then modifying the ones you can,” said Michael Peters, MD, a cardiologist at Methodist Physicians Clinic Heart Consultants. “When you recognize you might be at high risk, it should be a bigger incentive to live a healthier lifestyle. Making healthy lifestyle choices makes a huge difference.”

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How Pregnancy Feels

Thumbnail image for How Pregnancy Feels January 15, 2015

A lot of people feel very different in pregnancy – physically, emotionally and mentally. The most obvious of those changes is physical as both you and baby develop and grow. One of the most fun physical changes is when you start to feel baby move. Fetal movement is usually present very early in pregnancy and […]

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Menopausal? How to Fight the Dryness Down Below

Thumbnail image for Menopausal? How to Fight the Dryness Down Below January 1, 2015

“I’ve had women tell me their vagina feels like the Sahara Desert.” Dr. Kristen Hoffman, an OB/GYN at the Methodist Physicians Clinic Menopause clinic, doesn’t mince words when it comes to one of the more uncomfortable side effects of menopause. “As we grow older, our skin loses its elasticity,” said Dr. Hoffman. “The vagina does […]

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Five Gynecology Myths: Busted!

Thumbnail image for Five Gynecology Myths: Busted! December 18, 2014

One of the great advantages of the internet is the wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, 24 hours a day. However this advantage turns into a disadvantage when the information is incorrect. I have run across a few such misconceptions common in gynecologic practice and I’m setting out to bust those myths! Myth #1: “IUDs […]

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What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cysts

Thumbnail image for What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cysts December 4, 2014

It’s a very common diagnosis with a scary-sounding name: ovarian cysts. Every woman who ovulates has them, and most cause no symptoms or problems. “Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that occur quite frequently,” said Emily Lange, MD, an OB/GYN with Methodist Physicians Clinic Council Bluffs. “Each cyst represents a follicle of a potentially maturing egg […]

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Five Things You Should Tell Your Gynecologist

Thumbnail image for Five Things You Should Tell Your Gynecologist November 20, 2014

When coming to the office for an annual exam, many patients assume the doctor will take over and drive the conversation. But don’t let that prevent you from bringing up concerns or addressing recent changes in your health. There are many things you should also consider telling your doctor even if you aren’t all that […]

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When it Comes to Diabetes, Women Have It Worse

Thumbnail image for When it Comes to Diabetes, Women Have It Worse November 10, 2014

It’s a sad fact, but true. Diabetes is especially hard on women in a variety of ways. It’s a diagnosis that puts their overall health – and potentially their life – at risk. “The risk for heart attacks is greater for women with diabetes,” said Martha Nepper, a dietitian at the Methodist Center for Diabetes […]

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How Fast Should You Lose Your Baby Weight?

Thumbnail image for How Fast <i>Should</i> You Lose Your Baby Weight? October 23, 2014

For many moms, one of the biggest challenges after having baby is the effort to lose the weight put on during pregnancy. Not only is it a challenge to lose weight, but the pressure from quickly shrinking Hollywood role models can make it doubly frustrating. Expecting rapid weight loss after baby can be detrimental to […]

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9 Ways Moms Benefit from Breastfeeding

Thumbnail image for 9 Ways Moms Benefit from Breastfeeding October 9, 2014

There are countless articles about the importance of breastfeeding for baby. The nutrition and health benefits baby receives from mother’s milk makes breastfeeding the natural choice whenever possible. However, baby isn’t the only one who reaps rewards from breastfeeding. Mom also benefits from nursing her child after giving birth. “We think of the benefit of […]

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