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Tackling The Scourge of Cancer; A Plea

The scourge of cancer continues to spread across our world beyond the boundaries of age race and color. In spite of our knowledge of can...

The Burden of Infertility; What you need to know

...with a baby or without, you are valuable, you are whole and you matter...



Recent data available shows that nearly 50 million couples worldwide experience infertility and nearly 50 percent of gynecology outpatient consultations in countries all over the world are infertility related.

Many homes continue to experience the agony of childlessness and the accompanying turbulence that comes with infertility in some parts of the world. While some couples enjoy the privilege of becoming parents, the same is not the case for many who continue to hope they will one day experience the joy of parenthood.




Infertility is defined as the inability to achieve a clinical pregnancy despite having frequent, regular (up to 3 to 4 times in a week) unprotected sex for at least a year. The inability to become pregnant or the inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth is considered, primary infertility. On the other hand, the inability to become pregnant or the inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth following either a previous pregnancy or a previous ability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth, is classified as secondary infertility. 

Infertility may be due to a single cause in either partner, or a combination of factors that may prevent a pregnancy from occurring or continuing. Fortunately, there are many safe and effective therapies for overcoming infertility. These treatments significantly improve the chances of becoming pregnant.

As the burden continues to stare many couples in the face, seeking early counselling, towards a diagnoses of the problem is very important for couples and treatment is often available.

The methods within infertility treatment have improved immensely over the last 2 decades even though there remains an inequitable degree of access and varying affordability to treatment modalities such as assisted reproductive techniques (in vitro fertilization) in many developing countries. This is a huge reproductive health concern.

Causes of infertility can more or less be divided into 3 equal parts. A female part, a male part and a third unexplained part.

Common causes in men include;
Abnormal Semen due to a medical condition, infection, hormonal imbalance, or ejaculation disorders, medications which can reduce sperm count, Mumps, radiation exposure and even mental stress.

Common causes in women include  ovulation disorders/hormonal imbalance, anatomic problems which affect the uterus or fallopian tubes, other medical conditions and medications. Advancing age, excessive exercise, sexually transmitted infections (STIs),smoking, alcohol consumption and mental stress  are also risk factors in women

The main sign of infertility is the inability of a couple to get pregnant. There may be no other obvious symptoms.

In some cases, an infertile woman may have irregular or absent menstrual periods. An infertile man may have signs of hormonal problems, such as changes in hair growth, sexual function, reduced sexual desire, or problems with ejaculation. He may also have small testicles or a swelling in the scrotum.

When should you consider seeing a doctor



In general, you may consider seeing a doctor about infertility if you and your partner have been trying regularly to conceive for at least one year.




You may consider being seen earlier if you're a woman and:

  • You're age 35 to 40 and have been trying to conceive for six months or longer 
  • You're over age 40 
  • You menstruate irregularly or not at all 
  • You have known fertility problems 
  • You've been diagnosed with endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease 
  • You've had more than one miscarriage 
  • You've had prior cancer treatment 

If you're a man, you may wish to be evaluated sooner if you have:
  • A low sperm count or other problems with sperm 
  • Swelling in the scrotum (see 'varicocele' below) 
  • You have had a previous vasectomy 
  • Undergone prior scrotal or inguinal surgery 
  • Small testicles or problems with sexual function or desire 
  • Had prior cancer cancer treatment 
  • Desire to know your fertility status. 




Nurses Week: The Angels called Nurses

The trained nurse has become one of the great blessings of humanity taking a place beside the Physician and the the Priest...- William Osler

National Nurses week in the United States , May 6th-12th

Thriving in one of the hardest professions in the world, being in the front line on a daily basis attending to patients' issues with care, patience, a nurturing smile (in the midst of toughness) and trusting demeanor is more than enough reason to celebrate nurses, not just in the U.S but globally.



The ridiculous assumption that nursing is just an alternative for those who found it too hard to be doctors has become an incentive for nurses to show how much of a difference the skill set of nurses make in the care of patients. Nursing can truly be considered the backbone of the healthcare system.

"What will I do without nurses?"

Those were often my words as a medical student and intern! Yes I argued with nurses on a number of occasions, but I learnt a  whole lot from nurses over the years..from the surgical theatre to the bedside..Nurses impacted my training and those of my colleagues in no small way. How can I forget the generous "heads up" on my clinical exam days by those motherly nurses, or the regular guidance during my obstetric rotations from the vastly experienced nurses...to mention a few.

When you're a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.

Nurses are gifted in forming bonds with patients. Without a prescription, they dispense compassion, a sense of care and trust. How many times have doctors had to return to the patient's bedside to ask more questions or elicit signs because of something the patient felt comfortable enough to share with his/her  nurse.   


Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God's spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts." - Florence Nightingale

Truly an art, and why not, if nurses have to cope with working with the sometimes "not so humble" physicians or try to decipher the "pseudo-calligraphic" handwritings in the doctors' notes on a daily basis. To be bound by paperwork, short on sleep and energy and yet still manage a smile of reassurance to that worried patient is an art.

Nurses are great at dishing out constructive criticism that actually encourages the patients to be keen on doing the right thing. Of course they only take so much crap from "troublesome" patients before they "nicely" put them in line. Angels all the way!

Someone said a nurse is ;
just another word to describe a person strong enough to tolerate anything and soft enough to understand anyone." Being a nurse is definitely a position of responsibility that is bound to come with frustration and invariably fulfilment for those who love what they do.

You’re going to be there when a lot of people are born, and when a lot of people die. In most every culture, such moments are regarded as sacred and private, made special by a divine presence. No one on Earth would be welcomed, but you’re personally invited. What an honor that is. – Thom Dick

This and every aspect of dealing with humans in their most fragile moments is truly a privilege that doctors and nurses share.

As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou, author, poet, and civil rights activist

Finally, the next time you find yourself around a nurse , remember to let them know how much you appreciate what they do and how they manage to do what they do in spite of all the challenges they face on the job daily and nightly! And if you are a Nurse reading this...Thank you for all you do!

Happy Nurses Week!!!

E.Coli infection linked to romaine lettuce claims one life

Sadly, on Wednesday May 2nd , the CDC reported that one person has died in California from the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region in the United States.This is the first known fatality from the outbreak.

The CDC also reported 23 additional cases of illness from 10 states, bringing the total number of cases 121 since March. Kentucky, Massachussets and Utah are the new states with reported cases.

There are concerns that the strain of E.Coli identified is particularly virulent and and associated with more complications and hospitalizations.


World Asthma Day 2018: Chronic but Manageable

Never too early, never too late, it's always the right time to address airway disease.


Tuesday, May 1st 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the World Asthma Day. The  World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world.




Medic-ALL joins the rest of the world in this effort towards raising awareness on a manageable chronic disease and support people with asthma and organizations dedicated to providing education to ensure improved quality of  lives for everyone living with asthma

Resources

https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/world_asthma_day.htm

Read MORE HERE

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