Helping With This Natural Phase for Older Women Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life and marks the end of her reproductive years. While it brings significant hormonal changes, it doesn’t have to be a time of discomfort or distress. By incorporating specific vitamins and supplements into their daily routine, women can manage the uncomfortable symptoms that come with menopause. Read on as we discuss the 10 best vitamins and supplements that can support women during this transitional phase. 1. Calcium and Vitamin D During menopause, there is a natural decrease in estrogen levels. This can lead to bone loss and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium and vitamin D are crucial for maintaining good bone health. Calcium supports the formation and maintenance of strong bones, while vitamin D aids in calcium absorption. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy greens and fortified foods. Vitamin D can be obtained through sunlight exposure and fortified foods, but supplements may be necessary to meet the recommended daily intake. 2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for overall health, especially during menopause. They have been shown to reduce inflammation, support heart health and improve mood. Additionally, they can alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and joint pain. Fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon and sardines, is an excellent source of omega-3s. Fish oil supplements are available that can help ensure optimal intake of these fatty acids. 3. B Vitamins B vitamins, including B6, B9 (folate) and B12, are crucial in maintaining energy levels and supporting emotional well-being. They can help combat fatigue, mood swings and memory lapses commonly experienced during menopause. Foods rich in B vitamins include whole grains, legumes, leafy greens, eggs and fortified cereals. Taking a B-complex supplement is also a good way of ensuring adequate intake. 4. Magnesium Magnesium is an essential mineral that supports many biochemical reactions in the body. During menopause, magnesium can alleviate mood swings, reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. It has also been shown to aid in maintaining bone density and muscle function. Dietary sources of magnesium include nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains and leafy greens. Women who are concerned about a lack of magnesium in their diet can also take supplements to ensure optimal intake. 5. Black Cohosh This herbal supplement has been traditionally used to manage menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats and sleep disturbances. It is believed to mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. While research results are mixed, many women find relief while taking black cohosh. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any herbal supplement, as it may interact with certain medications or have side effects. [youmaylike] 6. Soy Isoflavones These plant compounds have a similar structure to estrogen. They are known as phytoestrogens and can help alleviate menopausal symptoms. Products such as tofu, soy milk and tempeh are rich sources of isoflavones, but there are also supplements available. 7. Vitamin E Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help alleviate menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes and vaginal dryness. It works by reducing oxidative stress in the body. Good dietary sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, spinach and broccoli. There are also supplements available if you are concerned about achieving adequate intake. 8. Probiotics Menopause can sometimes disrupt the balance of gut flora, leading to digestive issues and a weakened immune system. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support digestive health and immune function. They help to alleviate bloating, gas and constipation and are available in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. 9. Evening Primrose Oil Evening primrose oil is derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. These seeds are rich in gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which is an omega-6 fatty acid, and have been found to reduce hot flashes, improve skin elasticity and relieve breast pain associated with menopause. Evening primrose oil is available in capsule form and should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional. 10. Ginseng Ginseng, particularly the Panax ginseng variety, has been used in traditional medicine to alleviate menopausal symptoms. It may help reduce fatigue, improve cognitive function and enhance overall well-being. It is available as a supplement and should be used with caution as it can interact with certain medications and cause side effects in some individuals. Final Notes It's important to note that while vitamins and supplements can be beneficial during menopause, they should not replace a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. It's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Incorporating essential vitamins and supplements into their daily routines can provide much-needed support for women during menopause. By understanding their unique needs and consulting with healthcare professionals, women can navigate this transformative stage with greater comfort and vitality.
How Long Do STD Tests Take?
If you believe you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), you may be worried about your long-term health at the moment. There are various types of STDs. While some can be treated with medication, some common diseases, like herpes or HIV, are permanent and can affect your quality of life. If you believe you are at risk, testing is needed. So, how long do STD tests take and what do you need to know about them? Read on.
Depending on the STD and the moment from when the symptoms start appearing, testing your body for the strain can take several weeks after you have been exposed. If you have a curable STD, your doctor will get a re-test before beginning treatment.
But keep in mind, time is of the essence. STDs and STIs do not work as viral infections. Referring to the sexually transmitted part of the term, you can only get these infections and diseases from sexual contact with an already infected person.
If you suspect that the person you came into contact with was infected, you must get yourself tested as soon as possible.
What Are the Most Common STDs?
Several common STDs do display symptoms within the first few days or weeks. Unfortunately, given the nature of these diseases, it is also common for them not to show any symptoms at all. So, you might go months or even years without knowing you have an STD.
The National Coalition for Sexual Health lists various timelines for sexually active people. Whether you have been abstinent for a short period or even if you are in a long-term relationship, it is wise to get tested, especially if your doctor recommends it. There’s no need if you believe you have not exposed to any STDs.
However, if you have had multiple partners or are in an open relationship, or are polyamorous, this will increase your chances of developing symptoms for the following STDS:
Symptoms occur one to three weeks after exposure, though they can start later as well. Symptoms include:
- Pelvic pain in women (testicular pain in men)
- Pain when urinating
- Discharge from the penis or vagina
- Vaginal bleeding after sex or after menstruation
Symptoms occur in the first two weeks after exposure. Symptoms include:
- Yellow or green discharge from the penis or vagina
- Pain while urinating
Symptoms occur within the first six weeks or at the six-week mark. Symptoms may occur within four days if previously diagnosed. Symptoms include:
- Spotted red rashes
- Itching on and around the genital area (worse at night time)
Symptoms occur two to three weeks after exposure but can develop sooner. Symptoms include:
- Blotchy rashes
- Flu-like symptoms
- Painless ulcers or sores on the genitals
- Ulcers or sores may ooze syphilis bacteria
Symptoms may develop four to seven days after exposure. However, there is a greater chance you may not have any indications of the infection. Symptoms include:
- Severe itching around the genitals
- Tingling sensation around the genitals
- Pain while urinating
- Painful blisters on the genitals
Symptoms may develop three weeks later, but they may also take months or even years to develop. Symptoms include:
- Itchy growth around the genitals
- Small growths and bumps around the anus and genitals (growth will not be so obvious)
Symptoms may develop within two to six weeks. Symptoms include:
- Red rashes all over the body
- High fever, headaches, aching joints and muscles, sore throat, and other flu-like symptoms
Duration for STD Testing
To answer "how long do STD tests take?" it is good to know that each test is different, depending on the type of STD. Here's what to expect:
- Chlamydia: The type of tests used include blood, urine, or a swab test, and the re-test period will be three months.
- Gonorrhea: Testing includes blood, urine, or swab test. There’s a wait period of two weeks after a confirmed diagnosis and treatment to ensure negative results.
- Herpes: This is tested via a Pap smear for women; there’s no test for men. There is no re-test period.
- Syphilis: This is tested through a blood test with a re-test period of three months.
- HIV: This can be tested through a blood test, saliva sample, or nucleic acid test. There’s no re-test period.
Swab sample is typically taken from the throat, cervix, rectum, or vaginal canal
STDs, like genital warts, scabies, and genital herpes, require a physical examination before the doctor can make a diagnosis. Because of the obvious physical symptoms each STD causes, your doctor may inquire about your recent sexual history to estimate a timeline.
After making a diagnosis, your doctor will prescribe medication to control the severity of the STD symptoms.
A Note on Preventing STDs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using condoms, getting tested before initiating sex, and getting vaccinated to prevent STDs. They also recommend talking with your partner about safe sex and getting tested if either has been with multiple partners.
While it does seem like an uncomfortable conversation, talking about STDs and your past experiences ensures you and your partner are both safe during sex. If you need further education on STDs, the CDC also recommends talking with your healthcare provider to know all the details on keeping yourself safe.
While getting an STD may be disruptive to your lifestyle, it is not life-threatening, and now you know the answer to "how long do STD tests take?" You also know how to spot the signs and symptoms of STDs, and when you should seek a doctor's help.
Getting regularly tested and being safe can easily prevent STDs. So, educate yourself and be aware of the information regarding safe sex.
Your body is a temple, and you must do the best you can to protect it from anything that may cause it harm.