Category Archives: Infectious Disease

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Pubic Lice (Crabs)

Unfortunately, there’s no pleasant way around this topic. I hope the topic doesn’t make you crabby.

public lice_01

There is a story of legend in the medical community regarding the trends to start waxing or shaving pubic hair. It involves crabs (pubic lice). Back in the 1920s, when the clear preference for appearance involved a full “bush,” this was often accompanied with the frequent presence of pubic lice, particularly in the brothels of Las Vegas. Women took to shaving in an effort to relieve themselves from the presence of the lice. However, the newly shaved appearance apparently wasn’t good for business; as a result, these women began wearing pubic toupees.

So why am I telling this story? The toupees were made of beaver hair. That’s the origin of that terminology, in case you didn’t know… On to common questions about pubic lice.

 pubic-lice-hair

What are pubic lice? Pubic lice (aka crabs) a parasitic insects found in the genital and pubic areas of humans.

 pubiclicevsheadlice

Where are pubic lice found? By definition, pubic lice are predominantly found in the genital and pubic areas in one’s hair. However, pubic lice have also been found in other areas of the body with coarse hair, such as the armpits, beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, legs and mustache. In fact, pubic lice on the eyebrows or eyelashes of children are regarded as a prompt to search for sexual abuse. It also is of note that lice on the scalp are head lice, which is a different consideration than pubic lice.

Whom do pubic lice infect? Anyone and everyone seem to be affected. Pubic lice are seen all over the world across all races, classes and ethnicities. Pubic lice are not seen in animals. Pubic lice are most commonly seen in adults, are considered to be a sexually transmitted disease (infection, aka STD or STI) and should prompt a search for other STDs. There have been occasional cases spread through contact with articles such as bed linens, clothing or towels, but this is extremely rare. Lice can’t live away from the warmth of a human body very long, and their feet don’t allow for walking on or attaching to smooth surfaces, so they generally are limited to staying on their hosts.

Can I get public lice by sitting on a toilet? This commonly expressed concern is quite overstated. As noted, lice can’t live away from the warmth of a human body very long, and their feet don’t allow for walking on or attaching to smooth surfaces, so they generally are limited to staying on their hosts.

 pubicLice

What do pubic lice look like? Pubic lice have three forms: the egg (also called a nit), the nymph, and the adult.

  • Nit: Nits are lice eggs. When seen, they are usually found firmly attached to the hair shaft. They are oval and usually yellow to white. Pubic nits hatch in about 6–10 days.
  • Nymph: The nymph is a young, immature louse that just hatched from the nit. Pubic lice nymphs take about 2–3 weeks after hatching to mature into adults capable of reproducing. To live, a nymph must feed on blood.
  • Adult: The adult pubic louse resembles a miniature crab. Pubic lice have six legs; their two front legs are very large and look like the pincher claws of a crab. Pubic lice are tan to grayish-white in color. Females are usually larger than males. In case you’re thinking that doesn’t matter to those infected, it should because females lay eggs, continuing the cycle that causes human discomfort. To live, lice must feed on blood. If the louse falls off a person, it dies within 1–2 days. 

What are the signs and symptoms of pubic lice? The symptoms of pubic lice infestation include genital itching, visible lice eggs (nits) or visible crawling lice.

Pubic-lice

How is a pubic lice infestation diagnosed? The diagnosis of pubic lice is simply made by visualizing a louse or nit (egg) in the pubic hair or elsewhere. It is more common to need a magnifying glass to identify lice or eggs.

How are pubic lice treated? We will go into the treatment of pubic lice in some detail in an additional Straight, No Chaser. It’s too important to simply give a quick answer on this.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Genital/Urinary, Infectious Disease, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Straight, No Chaser: What To Do If You Suspect a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)

It’s been a long and productive sex week here at Straight, No Chaser. We’ve run the gamut of common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other genital conditions, and links to many are included within this post. However, many of you have rightfully asked a simple question: “What happens if and when I contract a STI?” This and the next post will look at three scenarios around contracting, managing and living with a STIs.

 STD1 tellapartner

What you should do immediately if you suspect you or your partner has a sexually transmitted infection

  • You first job is to stop the denial. STIs don’t go away on their own. Well, actually herpes does, but it’s more accurate to say it goes into hiding, waiting to return another day. At the first suggestion of any abnormality (e.g. vaginal/penile discharge, the presence of bumps, a rash, warts or ulcers, itching or burning when you urinate, or abnormal smells, etc.), get evaluated. This clearly is an example of it’s better to have it (an evaluation) and not need it than to need it and not have it. STIs cause consequences, including PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), birth defects and any increased incidence of cancer. HPV even causes cancer, and without vaccination, virtually 100% of the sexually active population will obtain it at some point in life.

STD1 women-infertile

  • You must get all your sexual partners evaluated and treated. Ping pong is not just a sport. You getting treated without all of your partners doing so as well is pointless. Even your asymptomatic partners can be carriers of the disease. Sorry folks, but guys are much more likely not to have symptoms even if infected. Don’t let that fact change the reality of who needs to be told and treated (or who could have caused the infection). Not telling your female partners about STIs can have devastating consequences.

std1 hiv

  • You should make a commitment to wearing condoms. Either get over the subjective difference in how sexual intercourse feels with and without condoms, or get more creative to adjust for the difference. The issues are common things happen commonly, and the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If you have had a STI, you’re more likely to have others in the future. It’s more likely to be in your social network, and you may be the one who is a carrier (of herpes, for example). Given that STIs “hang out” together like a gang (meaning the same individuals infected with one STI are the ones most likely to have others), you want to avoid contract some of the incurable STIs, such as herpes, HIV or HPV.

 std1 testing

What we will do if you suspect you have a STI

  • When you come to your physician’s office or the emergency room with the possibility that a STI exists, or you know you’ve been exposed to one, you will be treated. This is not a situation in which we wait to treat some of the more common conditions, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. Because of the community, dealing with STIs is more of a “treat now, ask questions later” situation. Besides, many individuals are carriers without the presences of symptoms (particularly those with herpes). I must restate: this is neither the time to be bashful or in denial. If it’s syphilis that’s in question, say so. If you have sufficient symptoms, your medical team will figure it out, but it’s better for you if you already know what the likely culprit is.
  • You should not be offended by the questions you will be asked. Physicians are in the treatment business, not the judging business. Expect to have frank conversations about your sexual habits and preferences, with and without your partner(s) present.

std1 hpv-vaccine

  • If a definitive diagnosis is made for certain conditions (e.g. gonorrheachlamydiasyphilis or PID), you will be treated prior to leaving the emergency room unless you have allergies preventing the use of certain medicines. There are two particular considerations for you after you’ve been treated for a curable STI in an office or ER setting, both regarding your resuming sexual activity. First, if cultures were drawn, you should wait to begin sex until after these results have returned. The cultures will clarify exactly which diseases you have and which antibiotics work against them. Normally this would have been an issue, but antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea is a real thing. Additionally, you should wait to begin sex until all of your current partners have also been treated and cleared. You can and will become reinfected from all STIs on more than one occasion.

The final post in this series discusses managing the presence of an incurable sexually transmitted infection.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Geriatrics/Elderly Care, Health Prevention, Infectious Disease, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Straight, No Chaser: Cervical Cancer – The Sexually Transmitted Cancer

cervical-cancer-awareness

Let’s put this take home message up front: here’s a pretty good demonstration of the value of vaccines. I hope that each of you resolves to get any children you care for vaccinated before they become sexually active.

I want to thank my friend and colleague, Dr. Julius Ellis, noted Ob/Gyn physician for contributing to this post. Let’s start this with two simple statements:

  • Cervical cancer has basically been shown to be caused by an infection.
  • There soon will be no reason that anyone has to have cervical cancer.

female reproductive system

As a reminder, the cervix is the lower and narrow end of the uterus that connects the vagina to the upper part of the uterus (i.e. the womb). Cervical cancer used to be the leading cause of cancer death for women in the US.

In 2018, it is estimated that:

  • 13,240 women in the United States will be diagnosed with cervical cancer.
  • 4,170 women in the United States will die from cervical cancer.

Fortunately, over the last 40 years, the number of cases of cervical cancer and the number of deaths from cervical cancer have decreased significantly, largely due to Pap tests. The even better news is the opportunity exists to virtually eradicate the disease. Cervical cancer is highly preventable because screening tests and a vaccine to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are available. When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival and good quality of life.

HPV oral

Yes, cervical cancer is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and the most common STI is now known to be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Some of you will recognize HPV as a cause of genital warts. This means if you ever develop warts, go get checked immediately (another good reason to do this is because genital syphilis may also present as warts). Even more importantly, certain HPV strains have been shown to cause virtually all cervical and anal cancers. HPV also causes some cancers of the vagina, penis, and oropharynx (a certain part of the throat—and yes, this is what Michael Douglas was referencing about having obtained throat cancer by performing oral sex).

Early on, cervical cancer may not cause signs and symptoms, but advanced cervical cancer may cause bleeding or discharge from the vagina, either of which may be persistent or abnormal from similar episodes you’ve had in the past. If you have any of these signs, see your physician for an evaluation of this and other possible causes of these symptoms.

Am I at risk for HPV? How do you get this?

HPV STD

Everyone having sex or who has ever had sex is at risk for HPV. In fact, nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex, but also through oral sex and genital-to-genital contact without intercourse. HPV can be passed on between straight and same-sex partners even if and when the infected person has no signs or symptoms. It’s important to know there’s a big difference between obtaining the HPV virus and obtaining cancer from having the HPV virus.

If I get genital warts, will I get cancer?

HPV genital warts

Not necessarily, but the possibility is high enough that you need to get treated. Most HPV infections actually resolve on their own. It’s the ones that linger that pose particular concern.

If I do have warts, what increases my risks for these cancers?

hpv risks

Smoking, a weakened immune system, having had many children (for increased risk of cervical cancer), long-term oral contraceptive use (for increased risk of cervical cancer), and poor oral hygiene (for increased risk of oropharyngeal cancer) all increase the risk for developing cancer after a HPV infection.

How do I get this and how do I prevent it?

HPV

The most reliable way to prevent infection with HPV is abstinence, avoiding any skin-to-skin oral, anal, or genital contact with another. If you are sexually active, a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner is the strategy most likely to prevent HPV infection. However, because of the lack of symptoms, it’s hard to know whether a partner is currently infected with HPV. Use of condoms reduces the transmission of HPV between partners, although areas not covered by a condom can still be infected.

HPV vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two HPV vaccines, branded as Gardasil (for the prevention of cervical, anal, vulvar, and vaginal cancer, precancerous lesions, and genital warts in these areas) and Cervarix (for the prevention of cervical cancer and precancerous cervical lesions caused by HPV). Both vaccines are highly effective, but neither has been approved for prevention of penile or oropharyngeal cancer. And yes, it’s safe and effective as young as age 9, although the Center for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends vaccination between ages 11–14. You must contact your physician for additional details on these important medications.

How do I treat HPV infections?

There’s no treatment for HPV itself, but the problems HPV causes can be treated. We’ll address the two major ones:

  • Genital warts may be treated topically by you or a healthcare provider. If not treated, they may multiply, go away, or stay the same.
  • Cervical cancer may be treated by your gynecologist, but be warned: Prevention is best, and early detection gives you the best chance for the best outcomes. Continue those annual exams.

There will soon come a time when all boys and girls are receiving vaccinations at around ages 11–12, and cervical cancer (in particular) will become a rare entity. That only happens if you get your family immunized. The science is in. There’s no good reasons left to wait.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Health Prevention, Hematology & Oncology/Blood Disorders/Cancer, Infectious Disease, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Straight, No Chaser: Toxic Shock Syndrome

toxicShock1

Straight, No Chaser has addressed Staphylococcus (aka Staph) infections on several occasions; in fact, Staph is the microorganism that is responsible for all those MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staph Aureus) infections that the general public holds in such fear. Toxic shock syndrome is also primarily caused by Staph. The early take home message is you just don’t want to get this infection, and you would really do well to learn and practice preventive measures to avoid Staph infections. You may not have known it, but part of your big talks with your children about hygiene (e.g. feminine hygiene and keeping objects out of your body) occur with this in mind.

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a very serious disease combining fever, shock and dysfunction of several bodily organ systems. There was a time when TSS was a much bigger deal, back when extra absorbent tampon usage was very high. Tampon usage has declined as the dominant cause of TSS, but TSS cases are still around and are every bit as dangerous. The toxic part of the name refers to Staph (or in a similar syndrome, an organism called Streptococcus) releasing a toxin that travels through the body causing havoc. Picture a microorganism releasing a series of hand grenades into your blood stream, and you’ll get the picture.

Having an infection is not enough to develop toxic shock syndrome; not everyone with a Staph infection develops TSS. Here are risks for developing the disease.

 toxicshocksyndrome6

  • Burns
  • Menstruation
  • Presence of foreign bodies or packings (e.g. “lost” tampons, surgical tissues or any other objects in your body parts, nasal packings used to treat nosebleeds)
  • Recent childbirth
  • Staph infection
  • Surgery
  • Tampon use (especially if you leave one in for a long time)
  • Wound infection after surgery

 toxicshockhands

There’s not a lot of guesswork with a patient with toxic shock syndrome. The other meaning of toxic in the name is patients are very ill. By the time they come in for treatment, they tend to be confused with a low blood pressure. They may exhibit nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. High fever, chills, muscles, headaches and a violent-appearing rash resembling sunburn are to be expected. Untreated, the toxins can cause seizures and failure of multiple organ systems of the body.

Treatment of toxic shock syndrome is complicated and critical, addressing a critically ill patient in shock, preserving the body’s organ systems, treating an infection, removing any foreign objects found and draining any infections (such as a surgical wound). Patients with toxic shock syndrome often find themselves in intensive care units, and the mortality rate (those who die) approaches 50%.

Your best bet in avoiding toxic shock syndrome is practicing good hygiene and avoiding the use of highly absorbent tampons. If you do use tampons, change them frequently (as directed); it’s just not a good idea to leave them in for extra periods of time trying to be frugal. Similarly the presence of any other cloth material retained anywhere inside of you (e.g. objects broken off in the ear, certain types of vaginal or anal instrumentation) is to be avoided. If you ever receive a nasal packing for a nosebleed, you should be placed on antibiotics at the same time. Be diligent after surgery, looking for any signs of fever or infection at the surgical site. Get significant burns treated.

This is something you should think about. Your simple steps of prevention really can be life-saving. I welcome your questions.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Infectious Disease, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Straight, No Chaser: About Cold Sores and Herpes

Some of you are consumed with fear. Maybe for some it’s stricken with guilt. In any event this topic is simply another example of not being adequately armed with the knowledge you need. I know exactly what you fear about the topic, so let’s clarify things for you. Let’s discuss cold sores, aka fever blisters. Since this can be bad news, I’ll answer 13 questions you either have or should have about cold sores. You’re welcome to ask more if you have any.

colsore

1. What are cold sores?

Cold sores are those painful little blisters you get on or near your lips. You may have single blisters or a small grouping of them.

katieholmescoldsore

2. What causes cold sores?

Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex viruses (HSV). Yes. Herpes. Let’s focus on this, and get it straight for you. There are two types of herpes viruses: HSV-1 and HSV-2.

  • HSV-1 is the usual cause of oral herpes (cold sores).
  • HSV-2 is the usual cause of genital herpes.

Yes, HSV-2 can cause cold sores and HSV-1 can cause genital herpes.

Let me repeat that. Both forms of HSV can cause oral and genital herpes, although that is not usually the case.

Kim Kardashian Returns From The Middle East Make-Up Free With Cold Sores

3. Why do I get cold sores?

Cold sores are transmitted from contact. That usually means kissing, but it could mean oral sex, mouth-finger-mouth contact, shared razors or utensils.

cold-sores-stages

4. Are there other symptoms I should expect to get with the cold sores?

There are two considerations here:

  • The cold sores themselves pass through stages, including tingling and itching, followed by blistering, followed by oozing and crusting.
  • Additional symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches, a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in your neck.

5. How long do cold sores tend to last?

Even without symptomatic treatment, cold sores are likely to resolve within two weeks.

6. Can I get genital herpes from oral sex?

Yes. Consider using a dental dam or abstaining if you’re uncertain about your partner’s safety.

7. Is there a cure for cold sores?

No, but symptomatic treatment is available.

Cold-Sore triggers

8. What makes cold sores recur?

Some form of physical or psychological stress may prompt recurrences. Such stressors may include extreme fatigue, fever or infection, menstruation, mental stress and sun exposure.

Additional risk factors for recurrences and complications include severe burns, eczema, cancer chemotherapy, chemotherapy (i.e., anti-rejection drugs) for organ transplants and HIV/AIDS.

9. Can I have problems elsewhere on my body related to cold sores?

Herpes simplex viruses may also create symptoms on the brain, eyes, fingers, liver, lungs and across the skin, particularly in those with weakened immune systems.

rihanna-cold-sore

10. How can I tell if my partner has this?

You should assume that to be the case. Approximately 90% of adults across the world test positive for herpes simplex virus, which is not the same as saying everyone is in the midst of an active infection. Even still, the virus can be transmitted even when no blisters are present.  The presence of a cold sore is suggestive of at least the presence of an active HSV-1 infection.

11. What can I do at home to reduce my risk?

  • Avoid skin contact with those displaying the blisters of cold sore.
  • If you have cold sores, limit touching other parts of your body, and wash your hand frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid sharing items, particular those that involve the lips, such as lip balm and utensils.

 12. Are there over-the-counter medications and remedies available to help against cold sores?

Docosanol is an over-the-counter cream approved by the Food and Drug Administration for cold sore treatment. It may shorten the duration of symptoms by a day. Other remedies that have shown mixed results in the research include lemon balm, drying agents that include alcohol, lysine stress reduction and simple application of ice or cold water to the blistered area.

coldsoreJT

13. When should I seek medical assistance for cold sores?

The presence of prolonged (e.g., more than two weeks), especially painful or unusually frequent cold sores or the presence of blistering that occurs in other parts of the body are prompts for seeing your physician. The presence of cold sores, if you have a weakened immune system, is another prompt that should not be ignored.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under Genital/Urinary, Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat, Infectious Disease, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Questions About Herpes

If you’re in a room, look around. Look to your left, then to your right. Look behind and in front of you. Then look deep inside yourself. Statistically, one of the people you’ve just viewed has genital herpes. Different studies suggest between 16-25% of people between ages 14-49 are infected.

Questions You Want Answered Regarding Genital Herpes

STD1herpes

1. How common is it? That’s actually a question with two answers. One of five or six individuals have herpes (well over 50 million Americans if you’re keeping count), but it’s estimated that just short of 800,000 new cases occur every year.

2. How do you get it? Herpes is transmitted sexually (genital, oral and/or anal contact) via someone already infected.

3. Can you really get it from a cold sore? Possibly and theoretically yes, but usually not. The Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-1) is usually found in oral blisters (i.e. ‘cold sores’ or ‘fever blisters’), and its family member HSV-2 is usually found on or near the genitalia, but both can be found in either. Although the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that “Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection,” many (if not most) emergency physicians have diagnosed herpes based on transmission from oral as well as genital sex.

4. What are the symptoms? Most have no symptoms or symptoms that may be mistaken for the flu (fever, body aches and swollen and tender lymph nodes). The prototypical symptoms are a cluster of blisters (around your genitalia, mouth, fingers or rectum) or painful ulcers.

5. Does it really stay around forever? Yes. Fortunately, the frequency and severity of outbreaks decrease as you age (assuming your immunity is good). If you are immunocompromised, HSV infections can be devastating.

6. If I catch chickenpox or shingles, does that mean I’ll have genital herpes? No. There are many different herpes viruses. HSV-2 is the virus that causes genital herpes. Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles. Varicella zoster does not cause genital herpes.

7. Is it true you can catch herpes in the eye? Yes. Wash your hands. Or else…

Herpes Simplex KeratitisHerpeticWhitlow

8. What was that last picture? That wasn’t just an eye, there was also a finger! Well, how did it get it from the genitals to the eye (Please don’t answer in the comments section…)? That’s called herpetic whitlow. Notice the common theme of grouped clusters of small blisters (vesicles) again. Regarding that eye infection (herpes keratitis), it can cause blindness.

9. Is it true that women get it more often? Some estimates suggest that 25% of American women and 20% of men have genital herpes. Transmission from males to females is easier than from females to males, but guys, I wouldn’t take any chances.

10. What about the babies? 80-90% of general herpes infections to newborns are transmitted during childbirth as the newborn passes through the birth canal. C-section is recommended for all women in labor with active symptoms or lesions of herpes.

11. How do you treat this anyway? Antiviral medications are used at first sign of outbreaks. These medications don’t cure you of herpes, but they do shorten the frequency and severity of outbreaks. Plus, you’ve got to let your sexual partner know about this. It’s criminal not to.

Overall, my best advice to you is prevention, knowledge about your status, recognition of symptoms and prompt treatment. It is very important to emphasize that many people live quite normal lives with herpes. That still doesn’t mean you should be cavalier or irresponsible about it.

I welcome your questions or comments.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under Genital/Urinary, Infectious Disease, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Straight, No Chaser: Sexual Assault (Rape) and What To Do If You’re a Victim

Sexualviolence

In this series on sexual assault (aka sexual violence, rape), I’m going to lean on best practices largely provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service. This topic is sensitive enough that nothing needs to be interpreted as subjective.

  • This Straight, No Chaser will address the definition and scope of sexual assault, including actions to take if you’re a victim of sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss concrete physical and mental consequences of sexual assault and steps you can take to lower your risk of sexual assault.
  • Another post will discuss signs of sexual assault in children.

The scope of sexual assault is so vast that it’s surprising more isn’t being done to prevent it. Can you imagine the fervor we’d have if 20% of the population had cancer?

  • Nearly 20% (1 in 5) women have been victims of sexual violence at some time in their lives. The rate for men in 1 in 71.
  • It is estimated that 20-25% of college women in the U.S. have experience a rape or rape attempt while in college.
  • When surveyed, 8% of high school students report having been forced to have sex.

These self-reported numbers are generally accepted as underestimates. The stigma, shame, fear of repercussions and unlikelihood of successful prosecution deter many victims of sexual violence from reporting abuse.

 Sexualassaultdef

Is sexual assault as simple as you know it when you see it (figuratively)? Sexual assault and abuse are any sexual activities that you do not agree to, including …

  • Any inappropriate touching of another’s sexual organs
  • Vaginal, anal, or oral penetration and intercourse regardless of “no” or without expressed consent
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Child molestation

The scope of sexual assault also includes any inappropriate verbalizations or viewing of another person– basically anything that engages another to participate in unwanted sexual contact or attention. The following are included:

  • Voyeurism (someone unknowingly viewing your private sexual acts)
  • Exhibitionism (someone exposes him/herself to you in public)
  • Incest (sexual contact between family members)
  • Sexual harassment

 sexual_assaulthelp

If you are the victim of sexual assault, there are important steps to take immediately:

  • First, get away from the attacker to a safe place as fast as you can.
  • Next, call 911 or the police or go to the emergency room where the staff can call the police and/or arrange for you to file a police report should you so desire.
  • Call a friend or family member you trust.
  • Call a crisis center or a hotline to talk with a counselor if you are experiencing feelings of fear, shame or guilt, all of which are normal after an assault. Emergency room staff will also be able to connect you to a local rape crisis center.
  • Although the urge will be overwhelming to do so, do not wash, comb, or clean any part of your body. Do not change clothes, touch or change anything at the site where the assault occurred. The entirety of your current state is needed evidence, and the emergency room or other hospital staff will need to collect evidence. The evidence obtained from you using a rape kit will include fibers, hairs, saliva, semen, or clothing that the attacker may have left behind.
  • Go to your nearest emergency room as soon as possible. You will need to be examined, treated for any injuries and screened for possible sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and/or pregnancy.

Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Help is available but only if you ask. Here is information on services available to you.

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224 (TDD)
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)

You will also have access to many local resources through your emergency room or police department. The important point is to get to safety and to help.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under Genital/Urinary, Infectious Disease, Public Health, Trauma