Posts made in May, 2015

Jumping Into The Fire: What You Can Expect From Participating In A Hot Flash Research Study

Despite all of the progress made in understanding female biology and physiology, so very little is known or understood about hot flashes. Doctors know that it has something to do with mid-life changes and menopause, but they do not know or understand much more than that. More clinical research is necessary, and if you are going through menopause and choose to participate, here is what you can expect.

The Purpose of Clinical Studies on Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are a part of menopause. What doctors and researchers want to know is why women experience hot flashes at all, and why women get them more frequently with the onset of menopause. The assumption is that the reduction of female hormones responsible for a woman’s fertility cycle indirectly affects her blood pressure. The increase in lipids and cholesterol in the female blood stream after menopause forces the heart to work harder to circulate blood, which in turn, theoretically, is the cause for hot flashes. However, it does not explain why hot flashes are seemingly random, which is another factor under research.

Additionally, some women experience hot flashes all their lives. Why some women experience them all the time and for most of their adult lives is also a research topic. If you experience either type of hot flash, researchers would like you to join their studies.

Inducing Hot Flashes During Certain Studies

Doctors and researchers are aware of the fact that hot flashes can be triggered. Caffeine and tobacco restrict blood vessels. After the caffeine or tobacco exits your system, the blood vessels relax, allowing a rush of blood through that in turn causes a hot flash. It is important to understand how these vices work on your body, as researchers may create a control group where hot flashes are induced. Information is then gathered from both groups to determine if hot flashes are strictly biological in origin or if they occur because of women’s daily habits, addictions, or environments.

Testing Medications That May Reduce the Occurrence of Hot Flashes

Another aspect of studying hot flashes via volunteers is studying how new medications can reduce or eliminate the severity of hot flashes. If your hot flashes are so frequent and so unbearable, this might be just the study for which to volunteer. You could get some momentary relief if you are part of the hot flash research study test group or you may think you experience relief as part of the placebo group. Either way, doctors and researchers can get a clearer picture of how and how often hot flashes occur and how to control them.

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Birthing Center Basics For Expectant Mothers

Not every expectant mother wants to give birth in the clinical and impersonal environment of a large hospital. Many women prefer to deliver in more natural surroundings that are similar to the warm and personalized environment of their home. Fortunately, a good alternative to hospitals already exists: birthing centers. This article takes a closer look at the issues surrounding having your baby at one of these facilities.

Less Restrictive Policies

Birthing centers usually have policies that are focused on giving you as much comfort and freedom as possible. They offer women rooms that are generally more personalized and larger than the typical hospital room. Also, these facilities, unlike hospitals, tend to avoid policies that might restrict the number of visitors you may have in the room. In contrast to the average hospital, you will be able to move about freely at all times and wear whatever clothing you like as well.

Natural Pain Relief

Birthing centers focus on natural pain relief methods, which many pregnant women prefer. The pain management is overseen by a trained health care professional, who specializes in obstetrics, such as a midwife or obstetric nurse. These alternative techniques include such therapies as massage and breathing exercises, among others. One compelling advantage that natural methods have over narcotics is that they are less likely to have any negative side effects.

Water Birth

Some women feel that water births, where the baby is delivered in a shallow pool of water, are a better alternative to traditional deliveries.  Some research supports this idea and some obstetricians and midwives belief that water births reduce the amount of stress on the  mother, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Responding to this demand, many birthing centers have equipped their facilities with special tubs to accommodate water births. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone is a good candidate for a water birth, so consult your physician on this matter.

Home Sooner

Compared to hospitals, birthing centers generally require shorter stays. This allows you and your baby to return home as soon as possible. Because of the shorter stay at the facility, your total cost is usually lower than a hospital birth as well.

Birthing centers are a unique alternative to the traditional hospital birth. Women who want to deliver their babies in a less austere setting may find this option very attractive. For more information about this interesting topic, seek the advice of your health care professional. (For more information on obstetrics, you can contact George L Stankevych MD)

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