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9 early signs of pregnancy that are easy to miss

If youre trying to get pregnant, it can seem like eternity until you get a positive pregnancy test. To make it even more of a challenge, many of  the early signs of pregnancy can be mistaken for your menstrual period, a stomach bug or even stress.

Heres how to tell whether your symptoms are early signs of pregnancy or something else.

1. Increased vaginal discharge
If you notice an increase in vaginal discharge, you might think you have a vaginal yeast infection or, if your cycles are irregular, you might think youre ovulating.

But leucorrhea, a clear, odorless vaginal discharge that doesnt cause itching, is an early sign of pregnancy. Leucorrhea is a result of the increased blood supply to the vaginal and genital regions which increases vaginal fluid, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, a board-certified OB-GYN in Mt. Kisco, New York, and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V, told Fox News.

STI SIGNS: HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE NORMAL DOWN THERE

2. Spotting and cramping
Its easy to mistake spotting and cramping for the start of your period, but it can also mean youre pregnant. Often times when the embryo implants in the uterus, [women] can have some spotting or light bleeding that oftentimes [they] will mistake as a period, Dr. Kelly Kasper, a board-certified OB/GYN at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, told Fox News.

Although this implantation bleed is nothing to worry about, its always a good idea to put a call into your doctor if you have any of these symptoms to rule out miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when the embryo implants itself in the fallopian tube or in the abdomen. This condition affects between 1 and 2 percent of pregnancies, according to a 2014 article in the journal American Family Physician.

3. Fatigue
Its easy to blame feeling run down on clocking long hours in the office, a hard workout, lack of sleep or stress. Yet for some women fatigue, especially if its overwhelming, is the first sign that theyre pregnant.

4. Strong or brittle nails
Many women notice that their nails are stronger than ever, and although this is due in part to pregnancy hormones, taking prenatal vitamins before conceiving has a lot to do with it too. 

HOW TO GET PREGNANT IF YOU AREN’T GETTING YOUR PERIOD

5. Increased sense of smell
If you live for your cup of joe in the morning but all of a sudden the aroma makes you sick, you might want to take a pregnancy test. Sense of smell can become extraordinarily keen, and in fact, certain smells that people might have enjoyed in the past, they may find to be totally nauseating, Dweck said.  

6. Bloating and constipation
Its easy to blame bloating, gas or any change in bowel habits on a change in diet, a vacation or PMS. In the early weeks of pregnancy when progesterone starts to rise, however, everything can slow down. If youre craving carb-heavy fare and cant stomach vegetables, it can also affect your GI tract.

7. Frequent urination
An increase in both blood volume and the filtration rate of the kidneys will make it so that you need to urinate more frequently.

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8. Mood swings
Chalk it up to not sleeping well, PMS or stress, but irritability can mean youre in the early weeks of pregnancy.  

9. Breast soreness
If your breasts feel tender or your nipples are sore, its easy to think its your period but often the difference is the severity. Even your shirt touching your nipples could be noticeable, Dweck said.  

Julie Revelant is a health journalist and a consultant who provides content marketing and copywriting services for the healthcare industry. She’s also a mom of two. Learn more about Julie at revelantwriting.com.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/2017/06/16/9-early-signs-pregnancy-that-are-easy-to-miss.html

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How exercise can improve your sex life

In the new book Fitter Faster ($17, amazon.com), health journalist Robert J. Davis and celebrity trainer Brad Kolowich, Jr. share one more excellent reason to break a sweat.

Youve likely heard that regular exercise can reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis. But a growing body of research shows it may have another, more surprising effect: improving your sex life.

In men, regular exercise appears to be a natural Viagra. Its associated with a lower risk of erectile problems. In one study, sedentary middle-aged men assigned to participate in a vigorous exercise program for nine months reported more frequent sexual activity, improved sexual function and greater satisfaction. Those whose fitness levels increased most saw the biggest improvements in their sex lives.

Research in women has found that those who are physically active report greater sexual desire, arousal and satisfaction than women who are sedentary. In one unusual experiment, young women who did intense cycling for 20 minutes and watched an X-rated film showed greater physiological sexual arousal (as measured by a device that assesses vaginal blood flow) than subjects who did not exercise before seeing the film.

Increased blood flow helps explain why exercise leads to better sexual function in men as well. An enhanced self-image from exercise may play a role too. Men and women who exercise may be more likely to feel sexually desirable, which can lead to better sex.  So can greater strength, flexibility, and stamina that result from exercise.

In addition, physical activityespecially strength trainingcan increase levels of testosterone, which may boost sex drive in men and women. However, overtraining can have the opposite effect by lowering testosterone levels. Indeed, a recent study found that that men who do very vigorous exercise on a regular basis tend to have lower libidos. While this is a potential concern for elite athletes or others who push themselves to the max without adequate recovery, its not something that most of us need to worry about.

RELATED: 13 Truths About Sex Every Woman Must Learn Before Turning 30

As for the effect of sex on exercise, the conventional wisdom has long been that pre-competition sexual activity reduces aggression and strength. As Rocky Balboas trainer put it in the movie Rocky, women weaken legs.

But research has yielded little support for the belief.  One study, which involved former male athletes, measured grip strength the morning after theyd had sex with their wives and then repeated the test after the men had abstained for at least six days. There were no differences in test results. Similarly, another study in male athletes found that sexual activity didnt affect performance on a cycle stress test. However, subjects whod had sex two hours before the test had higher heart rates during post-exercise recovery.

Overall, the research suggests that sex before physical activity doesnt have negative effects as long as theres a lag of at least two hours and the sexual activity doesn’t also involve alcohol, drugs, or sleep loss. In fact, its possible that sex may even enhance athletic performance by helping people relax.

But much remains unknown, including whether women are affected differently than men. Its likely that the impact of sex on physical activity varies from person to person.

If youre wondering whether sex counts as exercise, it depends on the length and intensity of your lovemaking. A study of young adults found that sexual activity burned, on average, three or four calories per minute. (Men burned more than women.) The level of intensity was considered moderate, comparable to that of walking or doubles tennis.

For most people, however, sex doesn’t last as long as those other activities, which means it burns fewer calories overall. In the aforementioned study, when sexual activity was compared to a 30-minute, moderately intense workout on a treadmill, the treadmill burned about three times more calories. But sexual activity did come out ahead in one measure: Nearly 100% of participants rated it as more enjoyable.

Adapted from Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day (AMACOM) by Robert J. Davis with Brad Kolowich, Jr.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/2017/06/16/how-exercise-can-improve-your-sex-life.html

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This Virginia Democratic Primary Is A Crucial Test For The Partys Progressive Wing

WASHINGTON Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam squares off against progressive favorite Tom Perriello on Tuesday in the states highly competitive Democratic gubernatorial primary, where the left flank hopes national momentum will carry it to a win.

Thanks to Virginias status as one of two states with gubernatorial races this year (the other is New Jersey), the primary has attracted historic levels of attention and resources from Democrats eager to land a blow against President Donald Trump.

Northam, a 57-year-old pediatric neurologist, had locked up the support of virtually every major elected official in Virginia and was poised to cruise to the nomination until Perriello, a 42-year-old former diplomat and one-term congressman, announced his run in January.

Thanks to the endorsements of Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the countrys leading progressive politicians, and firm stances on several controversial issues, Perriello has excited the states younger and more liberal voters, erasing virtually all of Northams lead in the polls.

As a result, many progressives view the race as a crucial test of whether a more liberal candidate can prevail in a state where moderate Democrats have long ruled the roost.

This primary is really about what foot the Democratic Party in Virginia is going to lean on, said Quentin Kidd, a Virginia politics expert at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. Its leaned on the right foot for a decade and a half since Mark Warner evolved this model of a Democrat who can win statewide in Virginia. If Perriello wins it means it will lean slightly to the left foot.

Kidd uses the word lean, because he doesnt think the shift would be any more dramatic than a pivot to the left.

The Washington Post/Getty Images
Tom Perriello, left, shakes hands with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam at the start of their first head-to-head debate in Fairfax, Virginia on April 29.

Nowhere is the potential shift more significant, however, than in the state governments posture toward Dominion Energy, Virginias influential power monopoly.

Perriello has refused to accept contributions from Dominion and opposes construction of the Atlantic Coastal pipeline, which the company is planning to construct across the state. Northam has declined to take a comparable stance against the natural gas pipeline, favoring tight regulation instead.

In the end, approval of the pipeline is a matter for federal regulators, but Dominion clearly views Perriellos vocal opposition as a major threat. The company has mobilized tens of thousands of its employees, retirees and shareholders to campaign in the gubernatorial primaries, using thinly veiled language that makes clear they prefer Northam.

If Northam wins tomorrow, you wont hear much about Dominion any more, because Northam wouldnt make that an issue, Kidd predicted.

When Perriello got into the race, he immediately began to nationalize the contest, claiming he was inspired to run by Trumps election and pitching himself as a bulwark against the effects of the presidents policies for Virginia.

What people want to see right now is that willingness to stand up to Trump and limit those really unconscionable and unconstitutional moves and also have a positive vision, he told HuffPost in March.

Northam initially downplayed the national implications of the race, but soon started incorporating Trump, who he dubbed a narcissistic maniac, into his stump speeches.

Whatever you call him, were not letting him bring his hate into Virginia, Northam concludes in one of his television advertisements.

He has also gone toe to toe with Perriello on some of his bolder economic proposals, embracing the $15 minimum wage and putting forward his own free community college plan albeit one that, unlike his opponents, requires community service.

If Northam wins tomorrow, you wont hear much about Dominion any more, because Northam wouldnt make that an issue. Quentin Kidd, Christopher Newport University

For some progressive activist supporters of Perriello, however, his early involvement in the anti-Trump resistance won them over. Perriellos presence at Dulles Airport to protest Trumps first travel ban in January and participation in subsequent rallies against the executive order made an impression on Virginia Democratic National Committee member Yasmine Taeb, who is now a vocal supporter of his.

He has been very committed to running a grassroots, bottom-to-top campaign, said Taeb, who lobbies on civil liberties issues for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. He looks to us for guidance, not the other way around.

Taeb, like many of Perriellos most enthusiastic supporters, backed Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.

For several reasons though, Sanders insurgent challenge to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not an apt parallel for the Perriello-Northam matchup.

Perriello spent years ensconced in the Democratic Party firmament, including as head of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. And the bid of Sanders acolyte Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison(D-Minn.), to chair the Democratic National Committeewasactively combattedby former President Barack Obama and his aides. But Perriello has attracted the endorsements of more than 30 Obama White House veterans, including close the former presidents confidante Valerie Jarrett. (Northam appealed to former Attorney General Eric Holder to ask Obama not to intervene in the race himself, according to The New York Times.)

Perriello, a Charlottesville native, became a darling of national Democrats during his time in Congress in 2009-10 for voting enthusiastically for the stimulus package and the Affordable Care Act, in spite of his conservative district, which included a large swath of rural Southside Virginia.

Obama campaigned for him in his 2010 reelection bid, which Perriello has publicized heavily in his current campaign ads. That anger over the ACA ultimately cost Perriello his seat only improved his standing in the party.

The Washington Post/Getty Images
Northam greets supporters in Arlington, Virginia ahead of a candidate forum on May 2.

But Perriellos time in Congress was also marked by attempts to triangulate on hot-button social issues. He earned an A rating from the National Rifle Association during his 2010 reelection campaign and received a $6,000 donation from the influential group based in Fairfax, Virginia.

More troubling still for some progressives was Perriellos vote for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the ACA, which would have denied federal funding from the new law to any health insurance plans that cover abortions.

Perriello has since dubbed the NRA a nut-job extremist organization and embraced greater gun safety regulations.

He has also expressed regret for his vote for Stupak-Pitts, claiming he was honoring a promise to constituents to ensure the ACA complied with the Hyde Amendment, a law barring federal funding of abortions. Now the former congressman has embraced the complete abortion rights agenda and is proposing enshrining a womans right to an abortion in Virginias state constitution as a backstop against a Supreme Court ruling that overturns federal protections for the procedure.

It is really disturbing to see this play out in Virginia, where the candidate who is considered more progressive has a murky history on abortion rights and Bernie is saying it is an optional part of being progressive. Erin Matson

But some reproductive rights activists still do not trust Perriello, claiming he has yet to be tested by a vote on the matter since his change of heart. Revelations that in 2004, Periello, a practicing Catholic, co-founded Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, a social justice group that has compared abortion to torture and war have only heightened advocates suspicions. The Perriello campaign claims he has nonetheless always been pro-abortion rights.

Northam, by contrast, has a record of only ever supporting abortion rights, and played a key role in the fight to kill the trans-vaginal ultrasound bill as a state senator in 2012. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia cited Northams record in its statement endorsing him.

This is about trust. I know exactly who Ralph Northam is, and I know exactly what Northam will do as governor. He will not stick his fingers up in the air to see which way the political wind is blowing, said Erin Matson, a Virginia-based reproductive rights activist who supports Northam.

For Matson, the primary is a test of the Democratic Partys commitment to abortion rights at a time when top lawmakers ranging from Sanders to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have loudly proclaimed that Democrats who oppose abortion are welcome in the party.

It is really disturbing to see this play out in Virginia, where the candidate who is considered more progressive has a murky history on abortion rights and Bernie is saying it is an optional part of being progressive, Matson said.

The Washington Post/Getty Images
Tom Perriello greets supporters in Arlington, Virginia ahead of a candidate forum on May 2, 2017.

In a further twist of the races complicated narrative though, Northam has admitted to voting twice for former President George W. Bush, who appointed two anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court. In 2011, he also called health care a privilege. (He claims he was not following politics closely during the Bush years, and now considers health care a right.)

On other issues, like overturning Virginias status as a right-to-work state, which Perriello supports, but Northam has demurred on, the contrast between the two candidates is clearer.

One way or another, Perriellos chances of winning depend on expanding the electorate, since he enjoys the greatest advantages among young people, new voters and Democrats in Southside and Southwestern Virginia who have not voted regularly in primaries, according to Kidd of Christopher Newport University.

Northams support is concentrated in more reliable Democratic constituencies, including older Democrats and black voters, particularly in central and Southeast Virginia, Kidd added. The key battleground, he said, is in the Washington suburbs of Northern Virginia, where Perriello has been campaigning most heavily in the final weeks.

There was this pent up energy in the electorate for an alternative to Northam that Perriello tapped into. And that pent up energy has the capacity to surprise people, if the expanded electorate turns out, Kidd concluded. Thats the key.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tom-perriello-ralph-northam-progressive-test_us_593fa541e4b0e84514edf62e

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Doctor’s call to ‘equally protect’ boys with HPV vaccine – BBC News

Image copyright Kirsty Bonney
Image caption Kirsty Bonney says she believes the vaccine should be available to all adolescents

A mum-of-two is calling for boys to receive a vaccine currently only given to girls to protect against cancer.

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) jab is offered to teenage girls in the UK to protect against cervical cancer.

A health committee will meet later to review whether boys should also be given the jab, which can protect against throat and penile cancers.

Dr Kirsty Bonney from Devon paid privately for sons Zak, 13 and Finn, 11 to be immunised.

She made the decision after working on a chemotherapy unit where she looked after two young men with HPV-related throat cancers.

‘Fear of cancer’

She said she wants to see boys “equally protected” with the HPV vaccine rather than risk cancer in later life.

“I could never really understand why we weren’t vaccinating boys and then I discovered we could have it done privately.

“I’d be much happier knowing all the boys’ friends were equally protected.

“I wouldn’t want to be seeing one of their friends in my surgery in a few years time [with cancer] because they hadn’t been vaccinated.

“[The jab] is certainly not cheap [at 540 for both boys] but the cost of that compared to the thought of them getting a throat cancer puts it into perspective.”

Image copyright Dr_Microbe
Image caption Australia, USA, Italy and Canada are among the countries that recommend vaccinating girls and boys

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises UK health departments on immunisation and is considering extending the programme to include boys.

It said there was increasing evidence on links between HPV infection and other cancers.

It will discuss the matter at a meeting later and has asked Public Health England to look at the cost effectiveness of such a change.

Why should boys be vaccinated against HPV?

Image copyright Getty Images
  • About 15% of UK girls eligible for vaccination are currently not receiving both doses, a figure which is much higher in some areas
  • Men may have sex with women too old to have had the HPV vaccination
  • Men may have sex with women from other countries with no vaccination programme
  • Men who have sex with men are not protected by the girls’ programme
  • The cost of treating HPV-related diseases is high – the cost of treating anogenital warts alone in the UK is an estimated 58.44 million a year, while the additional cost of vaccinating boys has been estimated at about 20 million a year

Source: HPV Action

Gary Tanner from Somerset, was diagnosed with HPV-related throat cancer in 2013.

He has undergone chemotherapy, radiotherapy and had his voice box removed. The 64-year-old said vaccinating girls alone made no sense.

“I am still living with cancer and most certainly my wife and I are living with the fear of cancer. We know it has shortened my life expectancy.

“There are vaccines available to prevent to protect people against this. I think they should be used on all available members of the public.”

Different types of HPV

Image copyright Getty Images

Infection with HPV is the cause of almost all cervical cancers.

However there are more than 100 different types of HPV and infection with other types of the virus may cause:

  • genital warts
  • skin warts and verrucas
  • vaginal cancer or vulval cancer
  • anal cancer or cancer of the penis
  • some cancers of the head and neck
  • laryngeal papillomas (warts on the voice box or vocal cords)

Source: NHS

Campaign group HPV Action said it was “unfair that females should be expected to bear sole responsibility for tackling an infection that affects both sexes similarly”.

In a letter to the JCVI, it said “significant” numbers of men will have sex with unvaccinated women.

“While private vaccinations can protect individual boys, this is not a solution for the male population as a whole,” a spokesman added.

Public Health England’s head of immunisation Dr Mary Ramsay said boys are already protected, with around 85% of eligible girls fully immunised.

She said: “This helps to prevent the spread of the disease in girls and boys.”

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-40062677

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Josh Duggar Has Audacity To Claim Molestation Reports Caused ‘Emotional Injury’

The Duggar sisters breach-of-privacy suit has taken an even stranger turn now that Josh Duggar who admitted to molesting some of his sistersas a teen is seeking to join those same siblings in legal action over his molestation scandal.

Last month, Jill, Jessa, Jinger and Joy Duggar filed a federal lawsuit seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against In Touch magazine and Arkansas law enforcement over police documents released to the tabloid through a Freedom of Information Act request in 2015.

On Friday, Josh filed a motion asking to join the case, claiming that he has suffered severe emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation and economic harm both to his personal and professional reputations as result ofIn Touchs bombshell report that alleged he molested underage girls.

In their original lawsuit, the four Duggar sisters claim they were revictimized by the release of the documents that contained cosmetic redactions, which allowed them to be identified as their brothers victims.

Their lawsuit hinges on the assertion that, according to Arkansas law, information collected involving minors is not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The sisters claim that when they spoke to investigators as minors in 2006, they were told their statements would not be made public. Josh makes the same claims in his motion to intervene and cites the same law.

The City of Springdale, which the sisters are also suing, previously dismissed the allegationsin the lawsuit as without merit and false in a statement to the press. In Touch has yet to respond to the lawsuit, but its important to recognize that Joshs name was, in fact, redacted from the police report as required by law. In Touch even noted in the story:

(Note: Joshs name is redacted from the police report but In Touch has confirmed the passages that refer to him.)

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From left: Jessa Seewald, Joy Duggar, Jill Dillard, Jana Duggar, who is not part of the suit, and Jinger Vuolo.

Similarly, the police report appears to comply with state law by redacting the names of Joshs victims. In Touch did not identify the victims by name in its reports, and it was Jessa and Jill who identified themselves as two of Joshs five underage victims when they participated in an interview with Megyn Kelly on The Kelly File. With the filing of their lawsuit, Jinger and Joy confirmed they were victims, as well.The identity of the fifth victim remains unknown.

The sisters claim that by not redacting their parents names, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, In Touch clearly identified the sisters as victims. However, the Duggar parents names did not need to be redacted as they were not minors.

In his motion to join the suit, Josh also states that while his sisters have been forced to confront traumatic experiences and had the most private and painful aspects of their lived [sic] exposed, they received sympathy worldwide.

But, Josh goes on to say that theres just no sympathy for himwhos youngest victim was just 5 years old:

Not so with Movant, however, for which the confidential, highly sensitive, intensely personal and humiliating nature of the information contained in the released reports has subjected him to exposure only in an intensely negative light for actions he engaged in as an indiscrete youth and that will continue to haunt him and cause him financial and emotional injury for the rest of his life.

The fall out from In Touchs May 2015 report was swift.Josh admitted to molesting underage girls who were later confirmed to be his sisters. He subsequently resignedfrom his job asexecutive directorof Tony Perkins conservative and anti-gay group, Family Research Council Action, and TLCcanceled 19 Kids and Counting.(Josh was back in the headlines overa cheating scandal involving an Ashley Madison account and claims of sex addiction later on.)

The idea that an admitted child molester could complain about lack of sympathy is inherently ridiculous and a closer look at Joshs motion reveals his claims to be completely contradictory.

In one breath, without actually mentioning the assaults,he refers to his abuse of his sisters astraumatic experiences and the most private and painful aspects of their lives. He then turns around and attempts to brush off repeated acts of sexual abuse as actions he engaged in as an indiscrete youth. In fact, the words molestation and sexual assault do not appear in Joshs motion at all. There is not even a hint of personal responsibility for his actions in the entire motion.

Meanwhile, his sisters Jessa and Jill previously said they had forgiven Josh, but the language in their lawsuit says otherwise. In the suit, the sisters state they were sexually assaulted on several occasions by [their] brother, Josh Duggar. The words sexual abuse and sexual assault and molestation are free flowing throughout the suit. Its a far cry from how they previously characterized the incidents as mild, inappropriate touching when they were interviewed by Kelly.

Via the police report: [Jim Bob Duggar] said that [Josh] had told him that [he] had been touching [redacted] on the breast and vaginal areas while [they] were sleeping. Later in the report [Jim Bob] said there was another incident in March 2003. [Jim Bob] said that [Josh] was reading to [redacted] and [she] was sitting on [his] lap, [Josh] had touched [redacteds] breasts and vaginal area…sometime during this timeframe [Josh] had been standing in the laundry room and [Josh] had put [his] hand under [redacteds] dress.

Josh is not represented by the same attorneys as his four sisters and it is unclear how they feel about him seeking to join the suit. HuffPost has reached out to lawyers for the Duggar sisters and will update this post accordingly.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/josh-duggar-has-the-audacity-to-claim-molestation-reports-caused-emotional-injury_us_5935fdb8e4b0cfcda917101e

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How your body changes when you turn 30

Aging is an inevitable process, but there are some bodily changes that you might not know about as you say goodbye to your 20s.

Turning 30 opens the door to prolonged hangovers and a slump in metabolism and yes, youll even get gray hairs down there.

Weight gain
Shifting weight wont be as easy as it was in your 20s, and you might notice a loss in muscle tone as your metabolism begins to slow.

This is more noticeable in women than in men and is often as a result of pregnancy when the body struggles to bounce back as easily.

Stress at work can also cause weight gain, as a reactionary release of hormones can encourage you to store weight around your middle, nutrition and weight loss expert Jane Michell told MailOnline.

WHY WE GAIN WEIGHT WITH AGE AND HOW TO TURN BACK YOUR BODY CLOCK

But its not all bad studies have shown people today tend to gain less weight in your 30s than they had in previous decades.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that the average person typically puts on 1 to 2 pounds a year from early adulthood through middle age, according to the Washington Post.

Sex drive
Women might think their libido declines as they get older, but experts say its actually the opposite.

Researchers found that women ages 27 to 45 had more sexual thoughts, fantasies, and sex in general compared to those in their early 20s or women going through menopause.

The study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, suggests women may have an increased sex drive due to a decline in fertility.

9 FOODS THAT CAN HELP BOOST YOUR LIBIDO NATURALLY

For men, testosterone levels decrease after 30, which can in some cases lead to a declining libido.

It happens at a rate of about 1 percent a year, and by age 70, the decrease can approach 50 percent, according to Livestrong.

Changes in this hormone also have an impact on increased body fat, hair loss, mood swings and erectile dysfunction.

Gray hair
Were all well aware that we could see the odd gray hair here and there at some point in life but what about in the pubic region?

Dr Jessica Shepherd, assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, said its just like finding a grey hair on your head.

HAVING GRAY HAIR MAY INCREASE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE

I hear this complaint in the office,”she told the Huffington Post. This is one we can laugh off together and say, its fine.

For some people, grayness isn’t the only worrisome change that comes in their 30s hair loss can also be a problem. 

Fertility
Fertility starts to drop off from the age of 30, and the chance of conceiving around this age is about 20 percent per month.

From about age 32, a womans chances of conceiving decrease gradually but significantly, and by 35 the decline speeds up.

After that, the proportion of women who experience infertility, miscarriage or a problem with their baby increases.

SEE A MODEL’S AMAZING JOURNEY FROM BEING PREGNANT TO GETTING A 6-PACK

Its not just an issue for women the quality of a mans sperm can decrease with age, leading older couples to have issues getting pregnant.

Theres also an increased risk of not conceiving at all.

The volume of a mans semen and sperm motility (the ability of sperm to move toward an egg) decrease continually between ages 20 and 80, according to YourFertility.org.au.

Periods
Women can expect changes in their menstrual cycles from their mid 30s as oestrogen and progesterone levels dip.

They might become shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, or start earlier or later than usual.

Dr Shepherd told the HP some women can experience perimenopause the transitional phase before menopause, as early as their late 30s.

Some menstruation changes are natural, but she advises seeing a doctor if you are concerned as it could signal something more serious.

Bladder weakness
Trouble with a little light bladder leakage could become a problem as you reach your 30s especially for women who have had children.

Shepherd explained this is because vaginal labor can sometimes damage the muscles and nerves that control urination.

Urinary incontinence affects around 25 percent to 45 percent of women, so if this happens to you, dont be embarrassed to see a doctor.

To help fix incontinence, your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend doing pelvic floor muscle exercises to tighten your bladder and improve control.

First published on The Sun

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/2017/05/26/how-your-body-changes-when-turn-30.html

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Idaho school turmoil over sex survey

When Brandy Sobotka-Ramos enrolled her 11-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter in their local charter school, she did not expect it would oblige her to talk to her children about anal sex.

But thats what she and a number of other parents in the small community of Jerome, Idaho have been facing since last month.

Elementary school-age children enrolled at Heritage Academy were given a survey — designed for adults called the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) survey.

It was created by a physician in 1985 as a means of determining childhood trauma in adults and consists of 10 questions such as, Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way or try to actually have oral, anal, or vaginal sex with you? Another question is, Did you often feel that your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it? And then this one: Was a household member depressed or mentally ill or did a household member attempt suicide?

Heritage did not seek parental consent before distributing the survey.

My children were required to complete this in class and were told it was not optional, but anonymous unless they chose to include their names, Sobotka-Ramos told Fox News. I never dreamed I would be explaining anal and oral to my babies.

She said she went back to the Heritage Academy and obtained a copy of the ACE questionnaire only after one of her kids climbed into the car and started telling her about it. Sobotka-Ramos is just one of several parents, grandparents and community members deeply upset and determined that the school administrator who issued the survey, licensed counselor Christine Ivie, be held accountable.

If the Heritage Academy School board will not do its job and respect its stakeholders, we will also hold them responsible, Sobotka-Ramos said. We will do whatever is necessary to protect our children and the future children.

The Idaho Public Charter Schools Commission told Fox News that while they are aware of the matter, it is one more appropriately addressed by the school board. The board, however, did not respond to a request for comment but did issue a statement on its Facebook page thanking parents for their concerns and urging them to reach out to Ivie to schedule an appointment to discuss it further. 

Apparently, thats not going to cut it for many Heritage parents. Over the past few weeks more than 100 locals have come together in their own private Facebook group, Call to Action: Heritage Academy, to express anger and “seek justice.” Members claim that the survey caused a great deal of stress for students, and that some are enduring deeper levels of trauma due to the re-surfacing of past events. 

This has definitely impacted our town. Parents feel betrayed and are very hurt,” Sara Bateman, mother to a 11-year-old son, whom she has since pulled from the school, said. “Many of us are looking to take legal action and I have personally been in contact with many state and local officials.”

Bateman says she is one of several parents who have removed their children from classes and that other parents will keep their child enrolled only until the end of this school year.

Sandy Ricketts, the grandmother of nine- and 11-year-old students, called the survey an invasion of our childrens innocence. Mystie Bremer said she was furious that her 11-year-old grandson was subjected to vile language.”

Despite the parental anger, enrollments actually increased last month, Ivie said. 

Heritage Academy, which opened in 2011 and now has about 175 students, is a unique public charter school in Idaho. It seeks to meet the academic needs of the children in rural Idaho in what is deemed a diverse, high-risk population with very high poverty levels.  

Parents say they collected copies of the ACE survey in its original form — either from their children or by going to the school personally. However, Ivie told Fox News that questions were modified for students to be age appropriate. She noted, for example, that the question about sexual fondling was re-written to read, Has an adult or teenager touched where your swimming suit covers and made you uncomfortable?

According to Ivie, the paraphrased survey was given (or read) to younger students. She said middle-school students received the regular adult version because many middle schools have a significant number of students dealing with the items on the survey. 

Ivie also emphasized that the ACE survey is used widely by pediatricians, social work supervisors, county prosecutors and national education organizations. She apologized that the anonymous assessment caused anyone any anxiety, stressing that it was not aimed at targeting parents but merely to help them develop the most useful programs in the school amid budgetary restrictions. 

It is used to identify stress factors in a school or community. It is designed to help us understand the challenges the children are dealing with and find resources that will empower the parents and children to be successful, she said. 

Ivie maintained that “a lot of good” has come out of the survey, including encouraging struggling parents to seek help. She also emphasized her deep care for the community and the children, and the difficulties she and other educators face in trying to address such serious but often swept undercover issues. Her hope now is that students are discussing those survey items with a trusted adult and concerns can be addressed. 

And while many parents remain aghast, several have also supported Ivie, insisting that she and the staff are warm and loving and care about the welfare of each and every child, and that if she were to leave Heritage it would be a great loss to the children and their quality of education at that school.

Jeff Pierson said he was a “a bit concerned about the survey at first, but I spoke at length with Dr. Ivie, reviewed what my son was given, did some research and I think the test has value.” added Jeff Pierson. “I am a strong advocate for parental notification regarding issues such as I am a strong advocate for parental notification regarding issues such as these and I believe that aspect of the test could have been handled better. But I understand why the survey was given, and in the end I trust Dr. Ivie with the care of my child.” 

Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/03/07/idaho-school-turmoil-over-sex-survey.html

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Americans Are Having Less Sex Than They Used To

American adults of every age group are having less sex than they were a generation ago, suggests a study published Tuesday in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Specifically,Americans born in the 1980s and 1990s are having less sex than those born in the 1960s and 1970s had at the same age despite their reputation for relying on dating apps to set up sexual encounters and preferring hookup culture to traditional courtship.

The study, which included data from 26,000 adults, compared sexual activity among Americans in the late 1990s to the early 2010s. It found that adults had sex an average nine fewer times per year in the early 2010s than in the early 2000s.

The decline in sex was even steeper for Americans who were married or living together. Co-habitating adults had sex an average 16 fewer times per year in the early 2010s than in the early 2000s.

We ended up identifying two major reasons for the decline, said study author Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University and author of the book Generation Me.Fewer people have steady partners [and] the people who do have steady partners are having sex less often.

Alissa Scheller/The Huffington Post
Alissa Scheller/The Huffington Post

This matters, partly because Americans sexual habits can lend insight into how happy or satisfied they are with their lives in a more general sense. (The sexual sweet spot for maximum happiness: Sex once per week for people who are married or in relationships.) And happy marriages come with health perks, including the so-called marriage advantage of having a decreased risk for heart attacks and cancer.

Here are three hypotheses for what might be causing the drop off in sexual frequency among Americans:

1. Somethings up with millennials

Millennials arent just having less sex.Theyre also marrying later. The average age for a first marriage was 27 for women and 29 for men in 2011, according to Pew. Statistically speaking, thats an ideal age because couples who marry in their early 20s have a higher divorce risk than slightly older couples. (Still, the window is narrow, since the divorce rate starts to creep up again for couples in their mid-30s.)

In fact, 15 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds hadnt had any sexual partners since they were 18, compared with 6 percent of those born in the 1960s, according to a different study Twenge published last year in Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Indeed, the number of 18- to 29-year-olds who are living with a partner has remained steady over the past decade, while the number of 18- to 29-year-olds who were married fell from 29 percent in 2004 to 16 percent in 2014, according to Gallup. The bottom line: Fewer young adults are in committed relationships, which could be contributing to the decline in sex frequency for that age cohort.

Since 1989, researchers have collected data on sexual habits via the General Social Survey (Twenge used this database for her new study). This has included the question:About how often did you have sex during the last 12 months? Because the survey does not define what having sex is, its left up to the interpretation of the respondent, meaning different generations could define sexual activity differently (oral sex vs. penile-vaginal intercourse, for example). Twenge said she doesnt think people included masturbation in their responses.

Twenge used a statistical analysis that took age and time period into account:

Alissa Scheller/The Huffington Post

Because the sexual frequency data was self-reported, theres also the possibility that respondents could misremember, overestimate or underestimate their sexual activity. But researchers think that respondents miscalculations tend to balance each other out.

Another possible limitation: Modern Americans might be more forthcoming about their sexual activity.

If youre going to make any argument for how the bias in response would change over time, I would expect it be people being more open to say they had more sex, Twenge said. If thats the case, this decline is actually bigger than what we found.

2. The Great Recession may be partly to blame

Theres some evidence to suggest that sex frequency can be a be a proxy for happiness, meaning its a trend public health and policy experts should consider examining.

Sexual frequency among married and unmarried adults plummeted around 2008, indicating the people could change their sex lives depending on the current events of the time.

You could say, maybe thats the Great Recession, but it doesnt come back up, Twenge said.If it was just the Recession, it would come back up.

Still, Americans havent uniformly experienced recovery since the recession has ended, and not everyone has recovered psychologically and emotionally from the 2008 fallout.

We have a time when people in theory should be happy and satisfied with their lives, based on some social indicators, Twenge said. The unemployment rate is very low. The crime rate is very low. Those are two things that tend to covary a lot with peoples happiness.

Of course, if the current political climate is any indication, lowcrime and unemploymentrates dont necessarily lead to a happy populace.

People dont feel comfortable committing to someone during hardships. Eric Klinenberg

Theres also the possibility that a hangover from the Great Recession, while not directly contributing to libido, could affect sex rates by taking a toll on marriage.

When theres rough economic times, marriage rates go down, Eric Klinenberg, co-author of Aziz Ansaris book Modern Romance: An Investigation, told The Washington Post.People dont feel comfortable committing to someone during hardships.

3. Your smartphone probably isnt helping your sex life

Another change since 2008 is the ubiquitous presence of smartphones. Adults ages 19 to 31 who frequently used social media were more likely to feel socially isolated than their peers who used social media less often, according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

If you think about the way people spend their time, thats what had the biggest effect on peoples lives, Twenge said. Smartphones. Social media. All of those things.

Nearly 20 percent of young adult smartphone users between the ages of 18 and 34, and about 10 percent of older adults,reported using their smartphones during sex, according to a 2013 Harris Interactive poll on behalf of the startup Jumio. The same poll found that 12 percent of people thought their smartphone got in the way of their relationship.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/americans-are-having-less-sex-than-they-used-to_us_58bef197e4b0e6e6ccb53624?praoeykfc7nzh0k9&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

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Lesbians ‘told they did not need cervical screening’ – BBC News

Image copyright Science Photo Library

Women who have sex with women are often wrongly told they do not need a cervical screening test, say LGBT groups.

This results in half of all eligible lesbian and bisexual women never having had a smear test, they said.

The human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes most cervical cancers, can be transmitted through lesbian sex.

Cervical cancer charities say all women, no matter their orientation, should have regular cervical screening.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups say women regularly face barriers to accessing healthcare and can have poor experiences when they do.

For example, in a survey of lesbian, bisexual and other women who have sex with women, 36% said a doctor or nurse had assumed they were heterosexual.

The National LGBT Partnership says women also suffer in other ways – they are more likely to report a long-term mental health problem and more likely to binge drink than heterosexual women.

‘Blanket statements’

Joanna, 30, was told that she did not require a cervical screen test because she was a lesbian.

Although she was eventually tested, Joanna says: “I just felt she [the doctor] needed to be more knowledgeable on the subject.”

Diane, also 30, said she received inaccurate information about whether or not she could benefit from cervical screenings.

She said: “My GP didn’t advise me of my risk level, she just made a number of blanket statements.”

But HPV is passed on through body fluids, like other sexually transmitted infections.

This means that oral sex, transferring vaginal fluids on hands and fingers, or sharing sex toys can all be ways of being exposed to HPV.

Jo’s Trust, the cervical cancer charity, says all women, regardless of their sexual orientation, should have regular cervical screening.

“As HPV can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact in the genital area, gay women are equally at risk of contracting HPV and experiencing abnormal cervical changes and, thus, should always attend when invited for cervical screening.”

In a study of attitudes to cervical screening among gay and bisexual women in the north-west of England, carried out by the University of Salford in 2011, 37% of women questioned said they had been told they did not require a cervical screening test because of their sexual orientation.

What is cervical screening?

It is a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix, not a test for cancer.

Around one in 20 women’s tests show some abnormal changes. Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells may go back to normal on their own.

However, in some cases, the abnormal cells need to be removed so they cannot become cancerous.

All women who are registered with a GP in the UK are invited for cervical screening:

  • Aged 25 to 49 – every three years
  • Aged 50 to 64 – every five years
  • Over 65 – only women who haven’t been screened since age 50 or those who have recently had abnormal tests

Who gets cervical cancer?

It is possible for women of all ages to develop cervical cancer, although the condition mainly affects sexually active women aged 30 to 45.

The condition is much rarer in women under 25.

There are about 3,000 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed each year in the UK.

Do lesbian and bisexual women need cervical screening?

Yes – women should always be offered screening whether they are gay, straight or bisexual.

Sometimes, lesbian women have been advised by health workers that they do not need screening because they do not have sex with men.

But only women who have never had sex at all (with either men or women) may be advised that screening is not necessary.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39230807

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What’s that on your hoo-ha? 5 vaginal conditions you need to know about

Lets be honest for a hot second, okay? Having a vagina aint easy. It calls for a whole lot more upkeep than another sexual organ (cough, penis, cough), and unfortunately some of the well-intentioned efforts we put into making it look goodwaxing, shaving, and cleaning with scented soaps and powdersonly end up aggravating it and causing significant irritation, rashes, or a god-awful itch. 

Now for the good news: If you notice any of these symptoms appearing where you least expected them, there likely isnt any reason to freak out, says Sherry Ross, M.D., ob-gyn. And while its always best to have something out of the norm checked out by a doc, she says its likely NBD and not something you need to lose a night of sleep over. 

Its likely: A Bartholins cyst

Also known as Bartholinitis, this common condition occurs when the glands on either side of the vaginal opening become blocked, causing the fluid they usually secrete to go back up inside the gland. Its often characterized by a small bump near the vaginal opening thats tender and painful to the touch but is completely harmless when treated, says Kameelah Phillips, M.D., an ob-gyn in New York City. They can be managed with a warm compress, soaking in a tub filled with just a few inches of warm water, or by taking over-the-counter pain medication and giving it time to heal. That said, if you experience extreme pain, trouble walking or urinating, or fever and chills, see your doc as she may need to drain the cyst (with the help of some anesthesia for you). 

Its likely: Syringoma

These tiny, harmless bumps occur when sweat ducts are blocked. Theyre much smaller than a Bartholins cyst, and on top of appearing on your vagina, they can crop up on your face (mostly around the eyes), underarms, chest, and belly-button region. Syringoma is characterized by benign, flesh-colored pimples that are usually not tender to the touch, says Phillips. Sometimes there are multiple lesions, or they can grow larger than youre comfortable with, but resist trying to remove or pop them yourself. It can cause damage to the surrounding skin. Either let them heal on their own (and make sure you change out of sweaty clothes immediately after a workout), or talk to your doctor about having them removed. Phillips says the course of action usually involves electrosurgery or a laser, but the results might not be successful and you could end up with scars.

RELATED: 5 WAYS YOUR UNDERWEAR MIGHT BE WRECKING YOUR WORKOUTS

Its likely: Ingrown hair 

If you shave, get waxed, or groom your downstairs region, you probably come face-to-face with an ingrown hair or a two on the reg. These hair bumps happen when the cut pubic hair curls back underneath the skins surface and continues to grow, possibly causing a bump, inflammation, or pus in the area, explains Phillips. Common irritants may also be to blame, including (deep breath here): fragrant soaps, bubble bath liquids, bath salts, talcum powder, detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets, sanitary wipes and pads, warming gels and scented lubricants, nylon underwear or bathing suits, rubber products such as diaphragms and condoms, saliva or semen, feminine hygiene sprays, and tampons.

Clearly, there are unsuspecting feminine rituals that can irritate areas of the vagina every day. But that doesnt mean you should quit your grooming routine. If you use a razor, laser, or wax your pubic hair, make sure the skin is always kept clean before and after removing the hair, says Ross. Loofah the skin after to help prevent acne and ingrown hairs during the regrowth process. 

Its likely: Vaginal boils 

Boils sound scary, we know, but theres no need to panic: Most often caused by your choice of grooming method, be it shaving or waxing, boils in your vaginal region are usually caused by a dull razor, as ingrown hairs or infected hair follicles that arent taken care of can lead to the pus-filled blisters. Any tool you use on your body daily needs to be cleaned at least weekly, as the bathroom can be a reservoir for bacteria, says Ross. So make sure you change your razor regularly and give the vaginal skin a protective, soapy coating before shaving. 

If you come down with an area of raised bumps or a boil, dont try to squeeze or pop it yourselfthat can make the pain and inflammation worse, and makes it more likely the infection will spread, says Ross. Instead, use a warm compress to relieve discomfort, wear loose pants and underwear so youre not restricting the area, and give it time to heal. If it persists after two weeks, is wider than two or three fingertips, or you develop a fever, visit your ob-gyn. She may prescribe antibiotics and, if necessary, lance and drain the boil to help get rid of the infection. (Get the secret to banishing belly bulge from WH readers who’ve done it with Take It All Off! Keep It All Off!)

Its likely: A benign mole 

Thankfully, Phillips says vaginal cancer of any kind is rare, so if you notice any mole-like marking on or inside of your lady parts, its probably harmless. Benign moles often appear as dark or lighter patches on the skin or raised moles similar to those found on other parts of the body, she says. Theyre almost always benign or related to a medical condition and may or may not be itchy or raised. Usually theyre discovered when taking a shower or shaving, by a partner during sex, or by your doctor during a pelvic exam. But if youre worried, dont hesitate to bring it up (better safe than sorry). And if the spot is multi-colored, itchy, raised, or increasing in size, have it evaluated ASAP so you know exactly whats going onand hopefully gain some peace of mind. 

This article originally appeared on WomensHealthMag.com.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/2017/03/16/whats-that-on-your-hoo-ha-5-vaginal-conditions-need-to-know-about.html