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Urinary Tract Infections or UTIs are infections that occur when bacteria from outside enter the urinary tract. UTIs are more common among women than men, since bacteria can reach the urinary tract more easily in women because the vagina, rectal area and urethra are close. UTIs are not limited to the bladder as most people may believe; it can occur in any part of the urinary tract, i.e., the kidneys, ureters, and the urethra.
Girls experience a number of changes in their body when they hit puberty, of which, the changes in the breasts may be of most concern. It is important for an adolescent to understand what changes their breasts are undergoing and how to identify them correctly. Some of the changes in the breasts are also related to the menstrual cycle, contraceptive pills or other hormonal forms of contraception. Most of the breast conditions are usually not that harmful or non - cancerous, however it is essential for teenagers to be aware of proper breast health in order to able to detect any problems.
A healthy vagina has many beneficial bacteria. Yeast is a fungus that lives in the vagina in very small numbers. However, when it grows in large quantities it means that you are suffering from vaginal yeast infections. They are a common infection and usually not serious. However, they can bother you a lot. What is the cause of yeast infection in vagina? The most common bacteria present in our vagina is Lactobacillus acidophilus that helps keep other organisms like yeast in control. However, the growth of yeast called Candida albicans causes yeast infection in the inner part of the vagina, and is a threat to our hygiene and safety. This happens when due to some reason the balance of these organisms’ changes. It can be because of intake of antibiotics, pregnancy resulting in high estrogen levels or hormonal therapy, or health problems like diabetes, HIV infection, etc.
Cancer occurs when our body cells are not in control and they start growing in large numbers. Cancer can start in nearly any part of the body and can spread into different parts within a matter of months, leading to disastrous consequences. Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that arises from the cervix and has the tendency to spread to different genital organs. Cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens in the vagina. Most cervical cancer is due a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV), which also causes genital warts.
We all understand that the vagina is one of the most vital, as well as sensitive, parts of a woman’s body. But what most of us are unaware of, is the fact that our vagina is a self-cleansing organ. A healthy vagina is acidic in nature and naturally cleans itself as it contains rich quantities of beneficial bacteria, and we do not need to use all those products available in the market to keep it clean and hygienic. Any interference often causes imbalance in the normal condition(s), which can lead to irritation or infection in our vagina; these however are not harmful in the long run.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs are the infections which spread from person-to-person through sexual contact. This is one of those diseases which are metaphorically swept under the carpet, as it is taboo in our society to talk about sex. As sex or even talking about it is not encouraged, how can one talk about the diseases or infections spread through intercourse, especially in the case of women. Many people don’t even realize that they probably have an STD.
Let us accept the fact that sex is more than just the ability to procreate. It can also be a sheer means of pleasure or a means of connecting to your partner. However, sex is a subject that is largely only whispered reluctantly, left under wraps and never properly spoken about— even at the cost of health and safety. Sex is a mystery for most of the teenagers as they do not have any elder who is ready to come forward and shed some light on the subject of the body. Sex education is not a part of school curricula for the same reasons – a confusing mixture of embarrassment and awkwardness is evoked. This automatically means most of our knowledge about sex comes from unreliable sources like our friends, the Internet, some hideous magazine, porn etc.
For most women, the toughest part of their pregnancy is the first few months where you have to experience morning sickness. Morning sickness is a term used to describe the nausea and vomiting experienced by many women during pregnancy. The term is a misnomer as this doesn’t just happen in the morning but can happen during any time in the day. However, it varies from individual to individual. Usually, the first bouts of morning sickness develop after the first month of pregnancy i.e. when you miss your menstrual cycle and realize you are pregnant. Your hormonal levels rise during this period.
Menopause also called climacteric, is a stage when a women’s menstrual cycle stops. It is considered to officially occur when a woman misses her 12 consecutive menstrual cycles or periods, and usually takes place between 48-55 years of age. Reaching this age can be quite stressful for a lot of women, as hormonal imbalances are common and affect a woman’s physical as well as mental health. This period in a woman’s life is often marked by emotional instability in many cases. Because of the stigma that pervades women’s health, the emotional ramifications of menopause are also barely understood by families, and women are conditioned to not talk about it. This further worsens the state of isolation, anxiety and even depression in some cases.
Mastectomy is the medical procedure, which includes removal of the whole breast, or certain breast tissues. There are five different types of mastectomy: Simple or total mastectomy: This surgery involves removal of the entire breast. This process doesn’t involve removal of lymph nodes. However, sometimes if the lymph nodes are located within the breast tissues taken during surgery, they are removed. No muscles are removed from beneath the breast. Modified radical mastectomy: This surgery involves the removal of both breast tissue and lymph nodes. The entire breast is removed followed by Axillary lymph node dissection (levels I and II of underarm lymph nodes are removed). No muscles are removed from beneath the breast. Radical mastectomy: Surgery involves removal of the entire breast. Levels I, II, and III of the underarm lymph nodes are removed. The surgeon also removes the chest wall muscles under the breast Partial mastectomy: Partial mastectomy involves removal of the cancerous part of the breast tissue and some normal tissue around it. While lumpectomy is technically a form of partial mastectomy, more tissue is removed in partial mastectomy than in lumpectomy. Subcutaneous (nipple-sparing) mastectomy: During nipple-sparing mastectomy, all of the breast tissue is removed, but the nipple is left alone.
The vagina keeps itself clean in many ways. Glands in the vagina produce fluid that flows out daily to help get rid of dead cells and other potentially infectious discharge. The folds of the vagina also protect against infection, by sticking together to keep as much pollutants on the outside as possible. The skin of the vaginal folds also has glands that produce fluid, called sebum, for added protection against infection, and even for waterproofing. The vagina should not be washed with soap or any other disinfectants as the naturally self-sustaining properties can get washed away.
The concept of female virginity seems to be a very complicated topic,with plenty of misinformation surrounding the issue. The notions of chastity and honour surrounding a woman’s ‘virginity’ only makes matters worse. So here is an attempt to unravel the mystery behind the Hymen.