All Articles Tagged "health"

Are You Sure You’re Protected? Shocking Reasons Why Birth Control Fails

November 19th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Enjoy grapefruit juice? Like spending time in the sun? These are just some of the surprising factors that could be rendering your birth control methods ineffective.

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Your Weight

Did you know that the birth control pill isn’t as effective if you’re overweight?

Your risk of pregnancy while using birth control pills is 60% greater if your Mass Body Index (BMI) is at least 27.3 and 70% greater if it’s over 32.2.

Check your BMI here.

Ridiculously Easy Ways To Add Years To Your Life

November 7th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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What if we told you you could live longer by putting for almost no effort at all? Get ready to feel silly that you haven’t been doing these all along.

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Run For Five Minutes A Day

Just 300 seconds of jogging in place, right by your bed, can extend your life by as long as three years.

#Hungry: Diet Struggles We Can All Understand

October 23rd, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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From hunger pangs to cheat days, the diet struggle can be a little too real. But if it makes you feel any better, everyone on a diet is going through the struggle with you.

A photo posted by @polodaone1 on

You’re A Little Unreasonable

Better have a snack before you have a hostage situation on your hands.

Working It Out: That Time I Was Told Go To The Back Of A Zumba Class

October 22nd, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Working It Out is a new health/fitness column chronicling MadameNoire Deputy Editor Brande Victorian’s journey to drop the pounds and get healthy.

Working It Out: I Was Told Go To The Back Of Workout Class

Source: Shutterstock

When you begin a new workout regimen to lose weight — or even think about beginning one — there are lots of things you can become anxious about. Can I really do this? Do I have time to do this? Do I have the money for this? Are there going to be creepy men at the gym staring at me? Are the skinny chicks who do this on a regular going to judge me? The latter actually wasn’t even a concern of mine when I got back into a Zumba routine several months ago at a studio not far from my office. I live for Zumba because the moves are ones I can actually do for a whole hour, I love Latin music, and I work up a crazy sweat. Plus the classes tend to be full of women — 90% of which are rhythmically challenged yet still doing their thing and having fun — so it’s always felt like a no judgement zone. Until the one day I met #ThisBish.

I always like to get to classes early so I can save up my energy for the actual workout, rather than running to grab a spot before the instructor begins. And because I’m one of those people who likes to workout toward the middle, if not the back, of the class. At this point in my journey, I’m just not interested in seeing belly flat flap all around in those gigantic jazzercise mirrors. The particular day I met #ThisBish though, I’d been running late and once I got to the class there were only a couple of spots left — one of which was second row left, right in front of those dag on mirrors. Though not my preferred spot, I wasn’t going to not workout because of that so I popped a squat for two minutes and began stretching when a voice not far from me said “This is kinda hard. You might wanna go to the back of the class.”

In my naivety,  which I still can’t account for because once I come into contact with people on the streets of New York City I tend to be overcome with the worst of attitudes, I simply smiled and replied “Oh, I’m okay here,” low-key thinking the woman was being sympathetic to the packed class struggle and trying to point out free space. When she returned my comment with an annoyed expression on her face I was confused, and almost as soon as the instructor turned on “Suavemente,” the light bulb went off in my head and I realized she was suggesting I go to the back of the class because there’s no way I’d be able to keep up or keep from embarrassing myself in the front of the class. “This Bish!”

When I tell you I have never pushed myself in a class so hard before I am not lying. For one thing, I’ve taken a Zumba class at least 75-plus times in my life. This wasn’t my first Latin rodeo so I wasn’t worried about keeping up. But just to prove little Halle the Hater wrong over there, I made sure I went from zero to a hundred real quick (in my Drake voice) and cut my eyes at her every time there was a break in the song to make sure she knew I caught on to her hateration. I also decided when the class was over, and my heart rate returned to a normal level, I was going to give her a piece of my mind for trying to play me. But low and behold, little miss I-do-this left the class early and I never got a chance to redeem myself.

As someone who writes about other people’s business all the time, I can’t exactly say with a straight face: why are people so concerned with what other people do? But, being overweight is always one of those conditions that, for some reason, always tends to lend itself to public scrutiny and suggestiveness as the expense of said plus-size person’s mental state. If my weight is that much of a personal affront to you, why not encourage me to push harder from wherever I am (like my Crunch instructor last week who ironically asked me why I keep going to the back of the class) or congratulate me for trying to get my life together (OK maybe not because that would be awkward to me).

Anyway, I know when some folks see me all they see is a walking burden on the health care system, but until I show up at your door with a doctor’s bill and a laundry list of comorbidities — or unless I stand right in front of you in a kickboxing class and block your view from the mirror, please let me live! I have enough stuff going on on my journey to Snatchedville. Trust me, I’m working it out. Has this ever happened to you?

Gynecologists Continue To Use Surgery Tool That Potentially Spreads Cancer

September 29th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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laparoscopic power morcellation


In an April 2014 press release, the FDA announced that use of the gynecological tool laparoscopic power morcellation when removing the uterus or uterine fibroids spreads undetected cancer, and yet some gynecologists are still using this potentially life-threatening device. The FDA’s warning on the device which helps slice abdominal tissue into small sections that can be extracted, was clear:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration discouraged the use of laparoscopic power morcellation for the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) or uterine fibroids (myomectomy) in women because, based on an analysis of currently available data, it poses a risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue, notably uterine sarcomas, beyond the uterus.”

In lieu of the FDA’s announcement, many hospitals began to limit the tool’s usage and insurance companies stopped providing medical coverage for such procedures. Unfortunately, there are some gynecologists who are against the FDA’s finding and still use the tool, claiming the FDA’s revelation was exaggerated. One doctor, Jeffrey Thurston who was  interviewed by The Wall Street Journal , shared his thoughts on the FDA releasing this health information, saying rather boldly, “It is none of their business.” Dr. Thurston has practiced gynecology for three decades and said he has used the morcellator on 80 percent of the surgeries he has performed. Other gynecologists have continued using the tool as well but offered to inform patients of the risk in a consent form they must sign.

As the FDA and medical field continue to dispute whether or not morcellators are harmful during fibroid removal and hysterectomy surgeries, women have minimal alternatives., with the best defense being requesting cancer screenings before undergoing any abdominal procedures.

For more information on cancer and survivors’ experiences with the disease, read Madame Noire’s Survivor Series

Famous Women Who Battled Gynecological Cancers

September 16th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month and as you know we’ve been bringing you stories of women who’ve battled cervical, ovarian, and vaginal cancers through our ongoing Survivor Series.

Cervical cancer, once one of the most common causes of cancer death in American women, kills more than 4,000 women each year. Most cases occur in women between the ages of 35 and 55, but the good news is that when it’s caught early enough, cervical cancer is highly treatable. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women ages 35-74. An estimated 1 in 71 women will develop ovarian cancer during her lifetime. If the cancer is detected and treated in the earliest stages, the 5-year survival rate is over 90%, but because of ovarian cancer’s non-specific symptoms and lack of early detection tests, only 19% of all cases are found at this early stage.

If you or someone you know has been affected by a gynecologic cancer, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Here we share a list of famous women who battled gynecologic cancers.

Surgeons Find Sex Toy Lodged In Woman’s Vagina For Over 10 Years

July 28th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Ladies, don’t let your sex toys threaten your life. The New York Daily News is reporting that a Scottish woman had been suffering from severe weight loss, shakes, lethargy and mild incontinence when she checked herself in to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

It wasn’t long before doctors were able to tell her that her symptoms were all the result of a sex toy that had been lodged in her vagina for over ten years.

When the woman arrived at the hospital, doctors ran a series of tests and were shocked to find the five inch device that was resting against her bladder. The woman, 38, remembered that she’d used the toy during a drunken romp more than ten years ago.

Thankfully, surgeons were able to remove the toy because it had caused quite a bit of life threatening damage, including a blockage to her bladder that was forcing urine back into her kidneys. Once doctors had repaired the damage, the woman was later discharged from the hospital.

I know this is all hard to believe and digest. (I know I certainly had my doubts.) But this case was so bizarre, it was reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. And if that’s not enough for you, you can check out homegirl’s x-ray here. 

Y’all be careful out here.

15 Celebrities Who Have Sleeping Disorders

July 22nd, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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You’re not the only ones tossing and turning at night. If you have trouble sleeping then you have something in common with these celebrities who have sleeping disorders.

Celebrities Who Have Sleeping Disorders


Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston is one of America’s favorite “Friends” but did you know the Hollywood star suffers from sleepwalking? Known as somnambulism or “nighttime wandering,” one third of Americans have gone for a walk in their sleep at least once in a lifetime. Aniston spoke about the time she wandered out of the house back when she was married to Brad Pitt. “I sleepwalk. I set off our alarm once. I was outside. The alarm scared the **** out of me and I woke up, and I was out by the pool equipment in the back. I don’t know what I was doing. I heard this yelling because he’s terrified, he hears the alarm and I’m not there!”

Woman Sues Hospital After Syphilis Diagnosis Is Posted To Facebook

June 5th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Ohio woman sues hospital after syphilis diagnosis is posted to Facebook.

Source: Shutterstock

An Ohio mom recently filed a lawsuit againt the UC Medical Center after snapshots of her medical records were uploaded to Facebook, WLWT reports.

According to the woman’s attorney Mike Allen, the records included her diagnosis of maternal syphilis. The snapshots were shared in a group called “Team No Hoes.” A duo, who are reportedly employees at the hospital, are believed to be behind the leak.

“She was absolutely devastated. That is the most private of private medical information that was posted on Facebook and went out to a group on Facebook that had a huge dissemination,” Allen said. “For an employee of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to post that information on a social media device that millions of people have access to, it’s above and beyond the law and that’s why we feel that they’re responsible.”

“To have that kind of information in the public domain when it is clearly legally to be protected, that’s a problem and that’s a problem that UC’s responsible for,” Allen said.

The woman is suing the medical center, her ex-boyfriend Raphael Bradley, an unnamed hospital employee believed to be a nurse and an employee named Ryan Rawls. According to the lawsuit, Bradley convinced the employees to release the woman’s medical records, which is a violation of state and federal laws. A rep from UC Medical Center told reporters that they have not yet received a copy of the lawsuit, but will look into it once they do.

“We have not received a copy of the lawsuit but we will certainly investigate it and we cannot comment on pending litigation,” said UC Medical Center spokeswoman Diana Lara.

Allen adds that his client has been crippled by this entire experience.

“She doesn’t want to go out. She doesn’t want to talk to people. People who were formerly her friends have made fun of her for it. She’s chastised in the community and all of this could’ve been avoided if UC Med Center had proper protections in place,” Allen said.

The woman is requesting more than $25,000 in damages.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

7 Surprising Facts About Female Infertility

April 24th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Female Infertility

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From YourTango

Infertility is a sensitive issue that can leave many women feeling alone in their unfulfilled dreams of getting pregnant.

What they don’t know is that they are hardly alone. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, infertility affects 7.3 million women and their partners in the U.S. — that’s 12 percent of the reproductive-age population. And as scientists are beginning to discover, even the most seemingly insignificant things can add up to sabotage your baby-making efforts.

In fact, a new study says stress can double a woman’s risk of infertility and something as simple as a 20-minute walk can help her chances. Getting pregnant is never easy (and not always sexy), so to dispel the stigma of infertility (and help you get lucky between the sheets this month), here are some other things you didn’t know.

1. Being Too Fit Can Hurt Fertility (Just Ask Norwegians).
infertility fact
In all medical matters, physical fitness is king. You can’t be too overweight to conceive and you can’t be too underweight to conceive. So the fitter the better, right? Well, not exactly. According to researchers at the Norwegian University Of Science And Technology, 7 percent of all Norwegian women have fertility issues. They conducted a study involving 3,000 women and found that having an exhaustive workout regimen was decreasing their fertility.

2. Uh-Oh For Having A Blood Type O.
infertility fact
Scientists from Yale University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered that among female fertility patients in their 30s, those with type O were twice as likely as other blood types to have a hormone profile that made their ovaries seem older than their age.