You’ve probably seen CBD oil pop up everywhere. Obviously, the therapeutic qualities of CBD oil have paved the path to popularity for this distinct and powerful substance. This oil has a huge role in treating many of the health issues women face on a daily basis: mainly depression and anxiety, sleep problems, sexual issues, hormone imbalance, PMS, chronic pain, and fertility concerns.
How it works
The body has an internal system known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Its job is to create balance within the body, or homeostasis. There are receptors for the ECS throughout the body. The endocannabinoids maintain the functions of these systems where they are present. In other words, whenever something goes wrong in the body, it can be considered like an endocannabinoid system dysfunction. Thus the body needs cannabinoids to bind to those faulty receptors to bring them back into working order.
CBD oil does the job of restoring the ECS, giving the user all the advantages without any complicated side effects. It is made by extracting cannabidiol (CBD) from the cannabis plant. Afterward, it’s diluted with a carrier oil, usually coconut or hemp seed oil. Though a derivative of cannabis, CBD oil differs from marijuana because it lacks intoxicating levels of THC. Therefore, it does not give a positive in a drug test.
Top 5 ways CBD oil works for women
PMS: It has been shown to reduce pain from menstrual cramps, moderate moodiness, improve digestive function, regulate bloating and alleviate any tenderness in the breasts.
Menopause: Top complaints during menopause include sleeplessness, hot flashes, joint aches, and mood swings. Say goodbye to those all with CBD oil. Studies have found that it can reduce inflammation in the body and help kick all those pesky symptoms.
Anxiety and depression: CBD oil supports an even mood. It activates the serotonin inhibitors in the body and stabilizes cortisol levels. It can provide feel-good energy that allows you and your brain to be more resilient against stresses and triggers.
Weight loss and digestion: Research says that CBD oil helps lower insulin and prevents high cholesterol. Not only that, studies found that this supplement can help with digestive issues, like IBS. It helps moderate bowel movements and cuts back on bloating and constipation.
Sleep problems: Trouble sleeping stems from a range of problems, and CBD can help with most of them. Its relaxing properties comfort the mind and allow the restless to ease into sleep.
In short, when it comes to hormone wellness and integrative medicine for women, CBD oil is a surefire assistant. It helps women feel good mentally, emotionally and physically by tweaking the endocannabinoids associated with hormonal health. Significantly, it cuts inflammation and soothes pain. Speak to your practitioner about whether this remedy could help you, and find out about dosages and usage.
Quality is exceptionally important when it comes to CBD oil. There’s a lot on the market so if you want to purchase and begin using this potent supplement, you need to know what you’re buying. Speak to us about it and learn about CYTO CBD, the only medical grade CBD oil with clinical teams verifying its safety and quality down to the cellular level.
You may have heard a lot about “designer vaginas.” This is a casual term for a labiaplasty, a surgery that aligns the labia– the folds of the outer or inner vaginal lips– to correct any physical pain or aesthetic flaws. A labiaplasty is a simple procedure that could ease a great amount of vaginal discomfort.
What is vaginal discomfort?
At least 40 percent of women say they experience vaginal discomfort. However, even though so many women suffer from vaginal issues, it is not talked about openly. Vaginal discomfort can show up as itchiness, soreness, tenderness or irritation in the vaginal area, or perhaps pain during sex. A woman may feel a heaviness down there, or her labia twisting, sagging or tugging.
A woman may also be unhappy with the way her vagina looks on the outside. She may feel embarrassed during sex or refrain from wearing tight-fitting clothing or bikinis because she feels this kind of clothing exposes the parts of her body she is not happy with. All these feelings can lead to a lack of self-confidence or low sexual desire.
What causes vaginal discomfort?
After birth and menopause, the labia, the vaginal lips, can change shape, stretch and become longer. For some women, the labia can extend so much that they get twisted, sag or tug, causing discomfort and pain. Hormones can cause much laxity in the vaginal area. Additionally, any trauma or even poor alignment can create excess pressure in the region, causing vaginal pain or anatomical distortion. The causes are often unknown and complex. It’s crucial to bring symptoms to a doctor, who can advise you on the best options for care and treatment. Vaginal discomfort and pain are serious issues and very personal.
What is labiaplasty?
To help with vaginal discomfort, a doctor might suggest labiaplasty. The goal of labiaplasty is to reduce the length of the outer, inner or both labia. The surgery is a simple cosmetic procedure. The recovery is easy, though women are asked to refrain from physical activity for 4-6 weeks.
If you are suffering from vaginal discomfort or pain, labiaplasty could be the solution. Whether you’re looking for a cosmetic or functional remedy, it is a big step in boosting self-esteem, and feeling stronger and sexier.
Are you unhappy with how your personal areas look? Do you feel embarrassed during intimate moments? If you are unsatisfied with the appearance of your personal areas, Dr. Fink is one of Miami’s most experienced “designer vagina” surgeons. Using special technology allowing office-based procedures, we can save you money on these important cosmetic procedures while delivering the gold standard of care. Contact us for a consultation today.
Balanced hormones are crucial for good health and to prevent disease and accelerated aging.
They set the foundation for weight loss, our eating habits, aging, mood, libido and other fundamental aspects of life. Hormones can make us feel fantastic. But when they are out of balance, they can drag us down.
Bio-identical hormone therapy can help bring your hormones back into balance. If you feel that hormones are ruining your life, you are in the right place. We explore the effect imbalanced hormones can have on your health and discuss how bio-identical hormone replacement therapy could well be the answer you have been looking for.
How do you know when your hormones are astray?
Here are some common symptoms:
Mood swings, irritability, flashes of anger
Rapid weight loss
Inability to lose weight
Anxiety and depression
Low sex drive
Migraines or headaches
In other words, we know our hormones are balanced when we feel carefree, strong and confident.
What to do when you’re concerned
Women experience hormonal cycles throughout most of their lives, with puberty, the childbearing years and menopause as the biggest landmarks. Specifically, the menstrual cycle is a solid indicator of hormonal synergy, and as periods begin to fizzle away during perimenopause, women begin suffering from a host of unpleasant symptoms as they enter their 40s.
It’s good to know that some of these symptoms can be mitigated with some healthy lifestyle changes, like exercising moderately, limiting sugar and learning how to manage stress. Bring up any concerns with your doctor, even if they are uncomfortable. Speaking with your doctor about any other health conditions is crucial. Your physician can guide you best.
First, Your doctor will first take an inventory of your symptoms and concerns. Then, he or she will order blood tests to monitor your hormone levels. Your doctor will want to understand how your body is producing estrogen and progesterone, the two most important hormones in a woman’s body. Other essential hormones include testosterone, thyroid and insulin. With careful observation, your doctor will recommend a tailored treatment plan.
Often the best strategy to replenish the body with the proper hormone levels is to supplement with bio-identical hormones. This is an all-natural method that carefully nourishes the body with the right dosages of the needed hormones. The BioTE method uses pellets gently inserted into the body so the hormones are metabolized consistently and seamlessly as needed.
The benefits of BioTE:
Deliver the most accurate dose based on your unique body chemistry
The fun doesn’t stop! BioTE hormones are released consistently 24 hours per day, seven days per week
Careful monitoring by well-trained physicians and experts
Comprised of natural ingredients that the body re
cognizes and absorbs, without pesky side effects
Based on your medical history, your doctor will recommend the best comprehensive plan to get your health back on track
Hormones are the fuel for life. It’s vital to get them right. When it comes to your hormones, experience makes a difference. Our team at Miami Center of Excellence has extensive training and experience in providing bio-identical hormone pellets. Contact us today for a consultation!
The hormone-based oral contraceptive pill, known as “The Pill,” is used by nearly 16 percent of women between the ages of 15-44 in the United States. The Pill is used as a method of preventing pregnancy and can help resolve irregular menstruation, PMS, painful and/or heavy periods, and even acne.
The Pill works by preventing ovulation from happening. (No egg = nothing for sperm to fertilize = no pregnancy!) There are several different types of contraceptive pills on the market, but they all contain synthetic forms of estrogen, progesterone (progestin), or both. While all the different types of pills have the same common goal, some may be more effective than others. But one thing is the same — they all have potential side effects to be aware of.
When some people first start taking the pill, they experience mild nausea. Taking the pill with food, or right before bedtime may help alleviate nausea, but the symptoms usually subside after a short while. If your nausea is severe or has lasted longer than three months, talk to your doctor about switching.
While there are no clinical studies that have found a consistent link between birth control pills and weight fluctuation, the pill is known to cause fluid retention, especially around the hips and the breast. One review concluded that most studies found an average weight gain of 4.4lbs at the 6-12 month mark in those that start taking progestin-only pills. Studies of other birth control methods have shown the same weight gain, and some types of hormonal contraceptives have been linked to a decrease in lean body mass.
It’s not uncommon to have slight vaginal bleeding between periods. This will usually stop within three months of starting to take the pill. It’s important to know that while spotting, the pill is still effective so long as it has been taken correctly. If you experience five or more days of bleeding while on the active pills, or heavy bleeding for 3 or more days, speak with your doctor.
Change In Libido
With any change in hormones, there will be a change of libido. Unfortunately, with the birth control pill, the most common form is a decrease. While this usually resolves itself within three months, if it continues or becomes bothersome to you, your doctor may help you with an alternative solution.
There are cases where the birth control pill can actually increase libido. By reducing painful symptoms of menstrual cramping, PMS, or uterine fibroids, many women find that they are more interested in sex.
Headaches And Migraines
Pills with different hormones and doses may trigger different symptoms of headaches and migraines. Symptoms generally reduce over time, but if you’re finding you have severe headaches when you take the pill, especially if you were not prone to headaches before, talk to your doctor. A low-dose pill may help reduce the incidences of headaches.
While some women begin taking the pill to combat current mood swings, many studies suggest that oral contraceptives may cause an increase in the risk of depression or other emotional changes. If you experience sharp mood changes while on your current pill, a change may be in order.
And remember, if you feel like hurting yourself or others, call 911 immediately.
With proper pill use, it’s not unusual for your period to be light or to be missed altogether. This is more likely to happen if you are under stress, get sick, travel, and/or have thyroid or hormonal abnormalities.
If you do miss your period (or in some cases have a very light period), you may want to take a pregnancy test before starting the next pack. It’s not unusual for your period to be light
Do you have more questions or concerns about “The Pill?” Miami Center of Excellence is here to put your mind at ease? Our experienced staff of doctors and nurses will help put you on the course that’s right for you and your body. Make an appointment today online, or by phone at (305) 515-5425.
HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is the name for a group of over 100 types of viruses. There are more than 40 types of HPV that are passed on through sexual contact. Genital HPV is the most common, affecting around 9 million Americans in their mid-late 20’s. It is thought that 80% of women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lifetime.
How do you get HPV?
HPV is spread through:
Vaginal, oral, or anal sex. HPV can be spread even if there are no symptoms. This means you can get HPV from someone who has no signs or symptoms.
Genital touching. HPV can also be passed between women who have sex with women.
Childbirth from a woman to her baby
So, you’ve been diagnosed? What should you do now?
Take A Breath
HPV is the most common STI in the U.S. It is so prevalent that nearly all sexually active men and women will get it in their lives. In the majority of cases, your body will be able to fight off HPV on its own, causing the virus to go away in one-two years. But, that doesn’t mean it’s a non-issue. Once there is a diagnosis, it’s important to work with your doctor to stay on top of any immediate concerns and associated health risks.
Talk With Your Sexual Partners
Whenever you have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, have a discussion with any sexual partners you have had since your previous clean tests. Many times HPV has no symptoms, therefore a person may not even know they have HPV. Informing them of your diagnosis gives them the opportunity to get tested for themselves.
Keep Up With Your Appointments
There is no cure for the HPV virus itself yet, but there are treatments available for the health problems that HPV can cause. Some strains of HPV may lead to additional health problems, such as genital warts, and cervical or oral cancer. Warts will often show up as a bump or a grouping of bumps of various sizes and shapes in the genital region. Your health care provider can diagnose warts by looking at your genital area. Genital warts can be treated by your doctor with prescription medication.
Some forms of HPV can lead to cases of cervical cancer. Routine Pap smears and follow-ups with your gynecologist is the most important thing you can do to prevent cervical cancer. You may need to have what’s called a colposcopy, a simple procedure that uses a magnifying lens that looks for very small abnormalities on the cervix that can’t be easily seen.
It’s Never Too Late to Vaccinate
The best way to avoid contracting HPV is to get vaccinated before becoming sexually active. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says girls and boys between the ages of 11 and 12 should get the vaccine, though it is approved for anyone between 9 years and 26 years of age. (Recent research has also suggested that anyone over the age of 26 can benefit from the HPV vaccine, even after diagnosis, to prevent contracting other, possibly more dangerous, forms of HPV.)
How Does the HPV vaccine work?
The vaccine is given in multiple doses (shots) over 6 to 12 months. Children age 9 to 14 receive 2 doses. Those 15 or older receive 3 doses. It’s important to get all of the doses to make sure you are getting the most protection from HPV infection.
It’s important to remember that just because you’ve had an HPV diagnosis, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Regular treatments and continuing to practice safe sex will keep you and any future sexual partners healthy.
If you’re concerned about HPV, or would like more information on the HPV vaccine, Miami Center of Excellence is here to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information on the market. Call us at
I’m Throughout the course of your life, it’s perfectly normal for your hormone levels to shift. How do you think puberty or menopause happens? Not to mention pregnancy! But there are also some key times in life when your hormones may be out of whack when they should be steady and balanced. How do you know the difference? This week we’re discussing 5 common symptoms of hormonal imbalance, and what you can do to help bring your body back to neutral.
It is normal to lose a little bit of hair every day. It comes out when we brush our hair, wash our hair, if it’s a windy day, etc. But if you notice your hair growing increasingly thinner, larger portions coming out in the brush or around the drain, your main issue may be your hormones.
There are many hormonal issues that lead to hair loss, but the most common is an issue with your thyroid. If your thyroid is low-functioning, your hair will begin to thin out. You may also have drying skin, constipation, and other factors that contribute to a low-thyroid hormone. If this is the case, make an appointment with your doctor to have some routine blood work done to test your thyroid level. It could mean the difference between long and stringy or full and luxurious locks!
Getting hot flashes and night sweats before your mid-30’s? A lack of estrogen is almost certainly to blame. And while night sweats and hot flashes are very common for those going through perimenopause or menopause (and also women who have gone through chemotherapy or ovarian surgery), if you fall within the “too young for that” range (anytime before 35), it could mean your hormones are off.
Did you know that women are more prone to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) than men? Estrogens affect the microflora in your gut, as well as help your GI tract function. If your hormones aren’t where they should be, you may be feeling a lot of bowel discomfort, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, nausea in your premenstrual phase, and general abdominal discomfort.
There are many ways you might be having difficulty sleeping. But, if after you’ve cut out caffeine, and tried putting yourself on a reasonable sleep schedule and still see nothing but a ceiling fan and dark circles under your eyes, you may have a Melatonin deficiency.
Melatonin is released by the pineal gland in the brain. It is related to and greatly affected by the other hormones in your body. So while you may be able to temporarily fix the problem with a Melatonin supplement, it’s best to speak with your doctor to make sure it isn’t an imbalance in one of the other connected hormones.
Low Sex Drive and PMS
Both men and women have a regulated set of estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone. When the balance is off, it can affect the sex drive of both and can increase symptoms of PMS and cause irregular periods in women. When your periods are out of sorts (too long, too short, too heavy, etc.), it’s easier to see that your hormones need a little work. With a decrease in libido, it might not be so obvious. If you previously have had a relatively “normal” and satisfying sex life and are finding yourself not “in the mood” as often as before, speak with your doctor to have your sex hormones checked.
How to Get Your Hormones Where They Need To Be
Treatment for hormonal imbalances will vary depending on what’s causing them. Every woman will require a different treatment, but they could be any of the following:
Vaginal Estrogen – A cream or topical containing estrogen that is directly applied to the vaginal tissue.
Hormonal Birth Control – If you are not trying to get pregnant, birth control medications that contain varying levels of estrogen and progesterone can help regulate irregular periods and ease the symptoms of PMS.
Hormone Replacement Medications – With a choice of bioidentical or synthetic hormones, these are doctor prescribed medications that will add the missing hormones you may have.
Anti-androgen medications – Medications that block the predominately male-sex hormone androgen can help limit severe acne and excessive hair growth or loss.
If you think you may have a hormonal imbalance, give Miami Center of Excellence a call. We can set up the correct testing and course of treatment to get you feeling like yourself again.
Unwanted body hair is a modern dilemma that affects every person, especially women. The societal pressure for women to remove their body hair is an issue in and of itself. But, for those that choose to remove their unwanted hair, deciding how to do that can actually be more complicated than it seems. We break down the top three methods of hair removal so you see what works… and the answer may surprise you!
You would be hard pressed to find a woman who didn’t start her hair removal journey with shaving. Shaving with a traditional razor is considered the most classic, and easiest form of hair removal out there. But, it’s not without its flaws. So, what are some of the pros of shaving?
The Upsides to Shaving:
The process of shaving is super quick. Unwanted hair is removed within 10 minutes while taking a shower, or a quick touchup before work or a date.
Shaving is painless if done correctly. By using a barrier like shaving cream, traditional body wash, or a shaving oil, the removal process is easy on the nerves.
Razors come in all shapes, sizes, the number of blades, and price points, which makes it one of the more accessible options for those with differing skin types and budgets.
The Downsides to Shaving:
Razors can sometimes cause the hair follicle to change its growth direction, which can leave the hair trapped under the skin. This can cause ingrown hairs to happen. Ingrown hairs are more prevalent in places where hair is thick and/or coarse. One way to help avoid ingrown hairs is to exfoliate and moisturize the shaved area.
Those with extra sensitive skin may find the areas where they’ve shaved are easily irritated and can get something called “razor burn.” It appears like small red bumps and disappears within a few hours, but is uncomfortable. One way to help avoid razor burn is to moisturize as soon as you’ve finished shaving.
Shaving is a quick fix to hair removal and will only last up to a week, at maximum. Quick Tip: Hair sometimes grows faster during and right before your period.
Hot wax. Hard wax. Sugaring. There is no shortage of ways to wax off that unwanted body hair. Is it better or worse than shaving? You decide!
Why You Should Wax:
Waxing lasts MUCH longer than shaving. Estheticians will usually give a timeframe of 4-5 weeks between appointments. Hair will usually start to grow back anytime after 2.5-3 weeks.
Ingrown hairs will decrease rapidly with waxing over shaving.
Waxing can remove stubborn hairs from hard to reach places.
While it’s best to go to an esthetician to have your waxing done, many places such as nail and hair salons will also have waxing services available.
Why You Shouldn’t Wax:
It’s probably going to be painful. While the level of pain can vary from person to person, at the end of the day you are still ripping the hair from the follicle, and it’s hard to do that without a little wincing.
Some with more sensitive skin may find themselves having a reaction to the hot wax. Before you have an entire area done, especially in those super-sensitive regions, ask to have a small patch test done. Once that is done, wait 15 minutes to see how your skin handles the wax.
One of the great aspects of shaving in the shower is the privacy that comes with it. When going to a waxing center, some of your more private areas are very exposed, which can be awkward for some.
The cost of waxing can add up. Depending on the area and the frequency, waxing can take a small portion of your self-care budget. (For example, Brazilian waxes can range anywhere from $45-$70 per treatment.) You can save some money by waxing at-home, though the results may not be as good as using a professional.
Laser Hair Removal
Maybe you’re tired of shaving and waxing and are looking for a more permanent hair removal option. Lucky for you, laser hair removal is a popular, safe, and effective way to remove that hair and keep it away for good. But, it’s not for everybody. What should you know about laser hair removal?
Yes To Lasers:
Laser hair removal almost completely eliminates the need to shave or wax. With typically over 90% hair removal in 3-6 sessions, the need to shave or wax is non-existent for most people.
Laser treatment may sound scary-painful, but most women who have undergone the procedure report having very little to no pain. (This is described most commonly as a slight pinching or pricking feeling.)
(Possibly) No To Lasers:
Treatments may be costly, depending on how frequently you need to remove unwanted hair. Do the math. If paying for a laser treatment does not outweigh the cost of shaving/waxing for the rest of your life, then it could actually work in your favor.
Your hair may be too light. Even though lasers are getting better and more accurate, for those with extremely light hair, laser treatment may be a no-go.
It can be a long process. Though the procedures themselves are fairly quick, depending on the area, it usually takes multiple sessions with a general wait time of six weeks between treatments. But just like with cost, if you work that out over the course of your lifetime, it may actually be LESS time than with shaving or waxing.
How to Choose The Right Laser Hair Removal System?
At Miami Center of Excellence, we have the most innovative and distinctive laser hair removal system on the market today. The Cutera CoolGlide is made for all skin types and tones — light to dark, and even including our tanned patients. The Cutera CoolGlide uses a longer wavelength and an innovative cooling design to allow safe, effective, and permanent results.
The CoolGlide uses a handpiece that cools as it glides along your skin. It can remove hair from all parts of the body including the face, arms and legs, underarms, and back, and it is also approved to treat sensitive areas like the bikini line, nipples and areola, and chest. Some patients may experience a mild pinching or stinging sensation, which can be calmed by a local or topical anesthetic.
The CoolGlide system works by disabling the hair that is in the active growth phase at the time of the treatment. Since other hairs will be at the active growth phase at different times, additional treatments are usually necessary to disable all the hair follicles in any given area. Most areas will require 3-6 treatments, and long-term benefits depend on hair thickness, the area being treated, and your hair’s growth cycle.
Thinking of switching from shaving or waxing to a more permanent solution? Contact the medical professionals at Miami Center of Excellence to see if the Cutera CoolGlide system will work for you.
February is National Heart Month. Heart disease, often thought of to be a problem for men, is surprisingly the most common cause of death for women in the United States. All women are subject to heart disease, no matter the genetic disposition. Fortunately, you can take steps to understand the unique symptoms of heart disease in women and to begin to reduce your risk.
Women and Heart Disease
One of the challenges of heart disease in women is how the symptoms are presented. While the most common heart attack symptoms are some kind of pain or pressure in the chest, is it not always severe or even the main symptom. This especially rings true in women. It is also true that many women will have a heart attack without chest pain. Many of those symptoms can include:
Nausea and/or vomiting
Shortness of breath
Discomfort in the neck, jaw, shoulder, and/or upper back
Not only can these symptoms appear more subtle, but they also occur more often when women are resting, or even asleep, making it harder to notice.
Heart disease risk factors for women
There are many risk factors for heart disease like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity that affect both women and men. But there are some factors that play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women. For example:
Depression and Mental stress: Women’s hearts are affected by stress at a greater rate than men’s. Talk to your doctor if you are having the symptoms of depression.
Smoking: Smoking is a greater risk factor for heart disease in women than it is in men.
Diabetes: Women with diabetes are at greater risk of heart disease than are men with diabetes.
Menopause: Low levels of estrogen after menopause pose a significant risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease in the smaller blood vessels (coronary microvascular disease).
Pregnancy Complications: High blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy can increase women’s long-term risk of high blood pressure and diabetes and increase the risk of development of heart disease in the mothers.
Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy: Some chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapies, such as those used to treat breast cancer, may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Why Exercising Is So Important
The most important thing you can do for your heart is to keep it pumping — literally. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or some combination thereof. That translates to about 30 minutes a day, five days per week. (That’s only 1.5% of your entire week!)
Once you’ve accomplished this, aim for 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or about 60 minutes a day, five days a week. And try to include two strength training session two or more days/week for an extra kick.
Interval Training for The Win!
Combining short bursts of intense activity in between lighter more steady-state activity is the best way to get your heart working and keep it going long after the workout is complete. Interval training can also burn more calories than continuous exercise, and help you maintain a healthy weight — a key factor in preventing heart disease.
Heart Healthy Foods You’ll Actually Like To Eat
Forget what you think is boring about healthy eating. Having a diet rich in color and texture is an excellent way to fight off heart disease. Start by adding some of the following:
Berries: When summer comes around, enjoy a colorful bowl of fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. The more colorful, the better! In the offseason, grab a bag of flash-frozen berries for a delicious morning smoothie!
Avocados: Avo toast isn’t just for millennials. These heart-healthy monounsaturated fats have been linked to reduced levels of cholesterol.
Fatty Fish: It’s no secret that Omega-3 is where it’s at when it comes to heart health. Stick with salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines for a fatty acid rich meal
Dark Chocolate: One study showed those that ate chocolate 5x per week had a 57% lower risk of coronary heart disease than non-chocolate eaters. For the best results, stick with darker chocolates rich in antioxidants.
Garlic: A review of around 39 studies found garlic can reduce your “bad” LDL cholesterol by 9 mg/dL. This is thanks to the presence of a compound called allicin. So add an extra clove to your bolognese, for health reasons!
As a woman, keeping your heart healthy during phases in your life such as pregnancy and menopause is essential. Would you like a little more information on how to stay heart healthy? The professionals at Miami Center of Excellence are here to help you. Discuss your concerns with us at your next appointment, or schedule an appointment online, or over the phone at (305) 515-5425.
We hit the gym to work out our bodies and our minds. While you might notice your biceps getting bigger and your waist getting smaller, many women are forgetting about one of the most important muscle structures in their body — the pelvic floor.
Your pelvic floor muscles are located between the tailbone and the pubic bone within the pelvis, and support the bowel and bladder along with the uterus and vagina. The muscular bands encircle the urethra, vagina, and anus as they pass through the pelvic floor. When the pelvic floor muscles are contracted, the internal organs are lifted and the sphincters tighten the openings of the vagina, anus, and urethra. Relaxing the pelvic floor allows you to empty your bladder and your bowels. If those muscles are weakened, it’s difficult to support those organs and you may not be able to control your urine, feces, or gas. So, you can see why keeping your floor strong is very important. This week we discuss the causes, problems, and fixes associated with a weakening pelvic floor.
Why You May Have A Weak Pelvic Floor
Having a weak pelvic floor is common amongst women of all backgrounds. Some may have a genetic disposition to a weakened pelvis, but for most women, it’s a situational issue. So, what are some things that cause the weakening of your pelvic floor muscles?
Pregnancy and childbirth. Women who have had multiple births, births where forceps or ventouse were used, women who had severe perineal tearing, or have had babies over 8.5lbs (4kg).
Straining on the toilet. Those with chronic constipation often have pelvic floor weakness and/or prolapse of the organs into the vagina.
Chronic Cough. If you have an ongoing cough for any reason (asthma, chronic bronchitis, smoker’s cough, etc.) you have an increased risk of urinary incontinence and prolapse.
Heavy lifting. This can create pressure on your pelvic floor.
Age. Your pelvic floor muscles tend to get weaker as we get older.
Obesity. Being overweight increases the risk of leaking urine and may place greater strain on the pelvic floor.
Problems Associated With A Weak Pelvic Floor
Though there are contraptions and short-term fixes for those that suffer from a weakened pelvic floor, the overall problems that are associated with the condition increase over time without proper care. Some of those issues include:
Weakened bladder and bowel control
Higher risk of prolapse. (This can be felt as pulling, dropping, or a bulge in the vagina with an overall feeling of heaviness.)
Decreased sexual sensation
Longer postpartum recovery
Exercises To Keep You Strong
Prevention is the best way to keep a strong pelvic floor, but if you’re noticing any of the above symptoms, it’s best to start your exercises and do them consistently for the best results possible.
Stopping The Flow. This is the most common pelvic floor exercise. Even though it’s “technically” not an exercise, it’s the best way to determine the correct muscles to exercises. To do this, stop the flow of urine repeatedly while emptying your bladder. Over time it will be easier to identify your pelvic floor muscles.
Visualization. This exercise can be done sitting, lying down, or standing with legs about shoulder width apart.
Relax the muscles of your thighs, bottom, and tummy
Squeeze the muscles around the vagina and bottom. Try to “suck” them upwards inside the pelvis.
Hold for 3 seconds, release.
Repeat 10x/day. As you get stronger, increase the time spent squeezing and/or your daily repetitions.
Bridge. Strengthen your pelvic floor and give your booty a nice lift. How-to bridge:
Lying on your back, bending your knees with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Keep your arms to the side, palms up.
Contract your bottom and pelvic floor, lifting the butt several inches off the ground. Hold this position for 5-10 second.
Relax the bottom and pelvic floor and slowly lower yourself to the floor.
Repeat 10x and perform 2 additional sets.
Squat it out. Squats will give you a strong pelvic floor and work your core.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. (Any wider will work your butt, but leave the pelvic floor muscles lacking.)
Bend at the knees, back straight, bringing your bottom towards the floor. Go as low as you can while keeping your feet flat.
Tighten the bottom, pelvic floor and return to your standing position.
Repeat 10x and do 2 additional sets.
When You Need The Professionals
In some cases, your symptoms may not be caused by having a weak pelvic floor after all. If this is the case, contact your medical professional for a full evaluation and a specified course of treatment.
There are those time you may find that pelvic floor exercises aren’t enough. Enter Geneveve.
Geneveve is a clinically proven non-surgical procedure that renews vaginal tissue and responsiveness. Unlike other treatments on the market, Geneveve is only a single session. It’s a safe and comfortable 30-minute procedure that is performed in our office. It’s used to improve your intimate wellness and improve vaginal laxity.
This treatment takes place in the comfort of your doctor’s office in just one session. During the procedure, a treatment tip the size of your thumb is inserted just inside the vaginal opening. The tip is rotated as it cools the surface and heats the soft tissue beneath. During the procedure, there may be a warm or cooling sensation, but you should not experience pain. Your body begins generating natural resilient collagen and elastin as a result of the treatment. Women feel the results of increased nerve sensitivity and strong muscle contractions in about 30 days and the full effect in 90. The results can last up to 12 months or longer.
You are a good candidate for Geneveve if you are experiencing the following:
Pain during intercourse
Vaginal tears or thin walls
Need more advice about strengthening your pelvic floor, or want more information about Geneveve? The professionals at Miami Center of Excellence are here to guide you. Talk to us at your next appointment, or contact us to make one!
Every time you enter a new phase of pregnancy, you enter a new world of symptoms, aches, pains, and sometimes even pleasures! One of the most confusing symptoms of the later stages of pregnancy are the dreaded Braxton Hicks contractions. Named after the doctor who researched this false-labor phenomenon, these contractions may give you the “This is it” feeling, but in reality, won’t lead to much other than some temporary discomfort. Braxton Hicks contractions can be confusing for even second or third-time moms. This week we break down the difference between your false-labor pains and the real thing.
What Are Braxton Hicks Contractions?
Often called “practice contractions”, Braxton Hicks contractions are most commonly experienced during your third trimester but can start as early as your second trimester. During these contractions, the muscles of the uterus will tighten for about 30-60 seconds, and on the rare occasion for as long as a couple of minutes.
What Causes Braxton Hicks Contractions?
While these types of contractions will sometimes just happen, there are some triggers that may bring them on.
Dehydration is the number one cause of Braxton Hicks Contractions
If baby and or/mother have had a very active day
Having a full bladder or needing to have a bowel movement
Telling The Difference Between BH Contractions and the Real Thing
When people talk about Braxton Hicks contractions, they are often referred to as “false labor” pains. And while it’s true that they can prepare women for “the main event,” it may be a little confusing to tell the difference, especially later in your pregnancy.
Braxton Hicks vs. Real-Labor Contractions
Braxton Hicks Contractions
Infrequent and unpredictable timing
Constant and predictable
Irregular in intensity
Steadily increases in intensity as dilation and effacement occur
Rhythmic (Most contractions last roughly 60 seconds, or 90 seconds)
Uncomfortable and not necessarily painful
Can usually be relieved by small adjustments, and disappear completely
Contractions can’t be stopped until laboring is finished
Easing Your Symptoms
Just because Braxton Hicks contractions are a natural part of pregnancy doesn’t mean you want them to stick around any longer than they need to. So if you feel them starting, there are a few simple things you can do to find some relief.
Drink water. Like we said previously, dehydration is the number one cause of Braxton Hicks contractions. So even if you feel like you’re drowning already, have a glass of water when you first feel the symptoms come on.
Change your position. If you’ve been lying down or sitting for a while, sometimes adjusting or rolling to your other side will make baby move and relieve the contractions.
Take a warm bath. Try not to stay in for longer than 30 minutes.
Get moving. Walk around or do a bit or prenatal yoga.
Breathe. False labor is the body’s way of preparing for real labor, so go through your breathing exercises. It’s good practice for real labor, and will also reduce your stress level in the meantime.
As always, if you have concerns or think you might be going into actual labor, call your medical professional right away.
At Miami Center of Excellence, we are here to answer your pregnancy-related questions and give you peace of mind during the entire process. Give us a call at (305) 515-5425, or visit us online to make an appointment.