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Sexually Transmitted Infections And Diseases: What You Need To Know

Sexually Transmitted Infections And Diseases: What You Need To Know

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What are STIs and STDs?

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are usually acquired by sexual contact. The bacteria, viruses or parasites that cause sexually transmitted diseases may pass from person to person in blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids. However, these infections can be transmitted nonsexually as well. For instance, from mothers to their babies during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, blood transfusions or shared needles.

What is the difference between STIs and STDs?

It is the fundamental difference between an infection and disease. Most diseases start with infections. Infection occurs when the bacteria or virus first enters the body and multiplies, progressing it into a disease. Likewise, sexually transmitted diseases initially begin as sexually transmitted infections. 

There are more than 20 known types of STDs/STIs. In Sri Lanka, annual estimates of detected STI cases vary from approximately 60,000 to 200,000, of which government clinics report only 10-15%. About half of these are detected in people aged 15-24. Luckily, most STDs can be treated and cured.

What are the most common STIs/STDs in Sri Lanka?

  • Genital herpes
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU)
  • Syphilis
  • Genital warts
  • Chlamydia infection

What are the most common symptoms of STIs/STDs?

Why is it important to prevent STIs/STDs?

Most STDs can be cured or treated with medication. However, the consequences of ignoring it can include infertility, cervical cancer,  pregnancy complications, congenital disabilities, pelvic inflammatory disease and an increased risk of HIV transmission.

How can the transmission of STIs/STDs be prevented?

The only effective way to completely prevent the transmission of STIs/STDs is abstinence. However, for sexually active persons, consistent and correct use of condoms is highly effective in preventing such infections or diseases.

Questions to ask your doctor?

There has almost always been a stigma around any STD, and it usually trickles down to anyone diagnosed with it. People also feel ashamed that they are somehow damaged. It is important to remember that only a few STDs could be life-threatening. However, with proper treatment, most of it has minimal health impacts. You can have a good life despite having an STD. The majority of it is treatable, and some are even curable. Those STDs for which there is not yet a cure, such as HIV, can still be manageable if adequately taken care of.

Here are a few questions you could ask your doctor:

  1. Should I be checked for STIs?

  2. Can I get an STI by open-mouth kissing?

  3. What if I am pregnant?

  4. Can STIs/STDs cause other health problems in women/men?

  5. How can I prevent having STIs/STDs?

Suppose you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above or need any information on STIs and how to protect yourself or get tested. In that case, you can consult a Sexual Health specialist or an on-demand GP via the oDoc app.

Reference:

  1. What you need to know about sexually transmitted infections, MedicalNewsToday (2021)

  2. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), World Health Organisation (2019)

  3. What is a sexually transmitted infection?, FPA Sri Lanka (2017)

  4. Types of Sexually Transmitted Infections, Healthy children.org (2015)

  5. How to Reduce Shame and Stigma When You Have an STD, Everydayhealth.com (2019)

  6. How Can You Tell If You Have HIV? HIV.gov (2020)

  7. STD vs STI: Common Types, Symptoms, and Treatment, State Urgent Care (2019)

  8. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), NHS (2021)

  9. HIV/AIDS in Sri Lanka, The World Bank (2012)

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How well do you know your breasts?

How well do you know your breasts?

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It’s that time of year again: when your social media is flooded with pink ribbons, radio waves are abuzz with tips and fundraisers gain momentum. October is breast cancer awareness month. 

As of 2021, Breast cancer became the most common cancer globally by accounting for 12% of all new annual cancer cases worldwide, says the World Health Organization. In Sri Lanka, around 3000 new cases are identified each year and breast cancer is the most common tumour. Turns out, in very rare instances, men too can get it.

breast cancer

Despite being so common, breast cancer is also highly treatable if detected early. We break down the steps you can take to assess and lower your risk levels.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the breast of the cells. 

 

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

Generally, symptoms of breast cancer are linked to a palpable or visible change in the breast tissue. Some common symptoms includes:

what is breast cancer
breast self-exam

This means that breast self-exams are extremely important. Regular exams help you get familiar with the normal shape and texture of your breasts so that any anomalies can be quickly identified. 

How to perform a breast self-exam in five steps

  1. Stand directly in front of a mirror, place your arms on your hips and look at your breasts. 

Look for: 

  • Breasts that are usual shape, size, colour
  • Breasts that are evenly shaped without any distortion or swelling

    2. Raise your arms and look for the same changes

Look for: 

  • Any fluid (watery, milky or yellow fluid or blood) coming out of your nipples

3. Lie down on a flat surface. Use your right hand to feel your left breast and vice versa. Use the finger pads of your hand to apply a firm and smooth circular motion (size of a coin) to your breast. Keep the fingers close together. 

Cover the whole breast from side to side, up to the collarbones and into the armpit. 

Feel for: 

  • Any lumps or bumps within the breast.
  • Feel for the texture of the lumps or bumps.
  • Check if the lump or bumps are movable.

4. Feel your breasts in the same manner whilst you are standing or sitting. This is ideally done in the shower as the water and soap allow for a smoother movement.

What to do if you discover a lump or any visible changes

Do not panic. Not all breast lumps or bumps mean breast cancer. In fact, most turn out to be benign (non-cancerous). Non-cancerous breast lumps can be caused by hormonal changes, injuries or a benign condition. However, it is vital that all bumps are discussed with a medical professional. 

Don’t be shy, speak to a medical professional. Early detection does save lives. So if you have noticed a lump lasting for longer than one menstrual cycle, it’s important to speak to a family doctor or a GP. The doctor will most often refer you to an imaging test. Ultrasounds are often the only test used for women under 30 whilst ultrasound and mammograms are used for women over 30. 

Do ask questions. Here are a few you can ask your GP to help you gain clarity.

  • What tests are needed to find out if the lump is cancerous?
  • In addition to a physical exam of my breasts, will you check the lymph nodes in my armpits and neck?
  • Should I get a mammogram?
  • Will I need a biopsy?
  • What does a biopsy involve?
  • How long will it take to get the results?
  • If the tests are negative but the lump is still there, what are the next steps?
  • If the tests are clear and the lump goes away, how often should I follow up with you?

If unsatisfied with answers or level of care, do get a second opinion. 

How often should I perform a breast self-exam?

Do it every month around 7-10 days after your period starts. This is when your breasts are as tender or lumpy and make sure to examine them before  you start menstruating as well. Therefore, you can understand the natural changes. 

If you are no longer menstruating, do it at regular intervals every month.

In both instances, make sure to journal the changes with date

What are the risk factors?

Risk factors are aspects that make it more likely that someone could develop breast cancer, however, having one or a combination of these factors doesn’t mean you’ll get it. A healthy awareness of risk factors will allow you to take steps to mitigate the risk.

    • Gender: women are more likely than men to develop breast cancer
    • Age: incidence of breast cancer increases with age
    • Personal history of breast conditions or breast cancer: if you have developed breast cancer in one breast, there is a higher risk of developing it on the other.
    • Family history of breast cancer: if a close female relative has experienced breast cancer, there is an increased risk however in most diagnosed patients, there is no family history of breast cancer
    • Genetic predisposition: the most well-known gene mutations are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 and can be passed from parents to children. Though these genes can greatly increase the risk, it is not inevitable. 
    • Obesity
    • Alcohol intake
    • Postmenopausal hormonal therapy: whilst women are on hormone replacement medications, they have an increased risk. However, once they stop the medications, this risk declines. 
    • Beginning your period at an age younger than 12
    • Beginning your menopause at an older age
    • Having never been pregnant
    • Having your first child at an age older than 30

How can I reduce my risk of breast cancer?

Whilst there are no hard and fast rules on ensuring one doesn’t develop breast cancer, the following non-exhaustive list is to help you mitigate your risk:

  1. Regular self-exams
  2. Consuming alcohol in moderation 
  3. Exercising at least 30 minutes four times a week
  4. Maintaining a healthy weight 
  5. Consuming a healthy, balanced, sustainable diet
  6. Limiting postmenopausal hormone therapy 
  7. Limit exposure to radiation

When it comes to breast cancer, early detection does help save lives. 

Make sure to carry out your self-examination, consult your doctor regularly and live a healthy life. Ignorance is usually bliss, just not here.

In 2022, Breast Cancer Awareness month focuses on the disparity of resources to fight this disease across the globe. If you are looking to take the first step, we are here

If you’d like to speak with a GP or a family doctor to discuss your questions or concerns, our oDoc partner doctors are available. Download oDoc here to get started. 

Sources

  1. Breast Self-Exam, Breastcancer.org (2022)
  2. What Is Breast Cancer?, CDC (2022)
  3. Breast cancer, Mayo Clinic
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Cervical Cancer: What You Need To Know

Cervical Cancer: What You Need To Know

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Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix — the lower part of the womb that connects to the vagina. Ladies, here’s what you need to know. Gentlemen, don’t scroll past this, if you have women in your life that you care about, here’s what YOU need to know!

Even though this might not be a topic to casually slip into conversation with friends or family members, it is important to know the causes, symptoms, risk factors and preventative measures both men and women have to take when it comes to cervical cancer.

pap smear

What are the best ways to prevent cervical cancer?

  • Pap smears – One of the easiest ways to prevent cervical cancer is by getting screened regularly by your gynecologist who will conduct routine pap smears. Screening picks up precancerous cells, so they can be treated before they turn into cancer. If you are over the age of 25, It’s highly recommended to do annual check-ups with your gynecologist, where pap smears can be done every 5 years.
  • HPV vaccination – Currently, the HPV vaccine is given to children along with all their other jabs. For those of you who did not receive the HPV vaccine and if you’re under the age of 25, we recommend getting vaccinated, regardless of your gender and help prevent cervical cancer!
  • Limit the number of sexual partners you have.
  • Practice safe sex – Always use a condom or other barrier method when you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
  • Don’t smoke – Smoking is associated with a certain type of cervical cancer, called squamous cervical cell cancer.

Ladies, if you’re sexually active, it’s important to speak to a doctor about pap smears and the HPV vaccine. You don’t need to be nervous to broach the topic as these conversations only help you live your best, healthy life!

What causes cervical cancer?

Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing cervical cancers. There are about a 100 strains of HPV and only a few types cause cervical cancer. Being infected with a cancer-causing strain of HPV doesn’t mean you’ll get cervical cancer. Your immune system eliminates the vast majority of HPV infections, often within two years.


HPV is a very common infection. Read more about HPV in our blog here.

In a small percentage of people, however, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cervical cells to become cancer cells.

Symptoms of cervical cancer

The early stages of cervical cancer produces no signs or symptoms which makes it difficult for most women to know that they have the disease. When symptoms do appear, they’re easily mistaken for common conditions like menstrual periods and (UTIs).

Typical cervical cancer symptoms are:

  • Unusual bleeding, such as bleeding in between periods, after sex, or after menopause
  • Vaginal discharge that looks or smells different than usual
  • Pain in the pelvis
  • The need to urinate more often
  • Pain during urination

What factors increase the risk of getting cervical cancer?


HPV is the biggest risk for cervical cancer but other factors include:

  • Sex with many different partners, who themselves have many sexual partners can increase the chances of getting HPV.
  • Having other STIs — such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV/AIDS
  • Smoking
  • Early sexual activity – Having sex at a younger age can increase your risk of contracting HPV
  • Taking birth control pills
  • An unhealthy diet

How does a doctor diagnose cervical cancer?


A pap smear is a test doctors use to diagnose cervical cancer. To perform this test, your doctor collects a sample of cells from the surface of your cervix. These cells are then sent to a lab to be tested for precancerous or cancerous changes. Cells which contain HPV can remain in the body for a long time, which is why with regular pap smears every 3 years, doctors can detect precancerous cells and remove them in a painless procedure – preventing those cells from becoming cancerous.

Consult a gynecologist on the oDoc app today to find out more. 

References:

  • Cervical Cancer, Mayo Clinic (2021)
  • Everything You Need to Know About Cervical Cancer, Healthline (2019)
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Family planning? Know your available contraception methods

Family planning? Know your available contraception methods

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Almost all women who are sexually active would have Googled contraception methods. Figuring out which method of contraception is the best for you and your partner can be frustrating. It isn’t spoken about freely and it can be difficult to find out what methods are available to you.  Below we’ve collected all the important information you need to know. We have also explored the pros and cons of each contraceptive method to help you compare your options easily. 

So, here we go.

Firstly, what is contraception?

Contraception, also known as birth control, is the use of artificial methods and techniques to prevent pregnancy.

Birth control – the different types 

There are 5 general types of birth control methods and each works in a different way. Some are temporary and some are more permanent. Some prevent the sperm from meeting the egg whilst some prevent the egg from releasing. Either way, the goal of all the contraception methods is to prevent unwanted and unplanned pregnancies.

It is also important to note that birth control and contraception is not the same as prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI). Condoms are the only method that prevents the spread and transmission of STI’s so it is advised that you combine the use of condoms with other types of contraception. 

1. Short-acting hormonal contraception

Short-acting hormonal contraception methods adjust the hormone level in the woman’s body making pregnancy much less likely to happen. Some of the commonly used short-acting hormonal contraception methods are the daily use birth control pill and the hormonal injection. Both of these methods require a prescription from your doctor. 

The birth control pill 

There are 2 types of birth control pills available: the progestin-only pill and the combination pill (which contain both progestin and estrogen). 

The hormones released by the pill prevent the release of the egg, the thickening of the uterus and the cervical muscle making it harder for the sperm to enter the uterus. By taking the pill at the same time every day, you maintain a steady level of the hormones in your body, making it a very effective form of pregnancy prevention. 

With perfect use, it’s over 99% effective.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Highly effective if taken regularly 
  • Doesn’t interfere with sexual activity 
  • Helps with heavy and painful periods

Cons

  • Mood swings, headaches and other similar physical side effects 
  • Effectiveness is time-sensitive, you have to take it regularly at the same time every day for maximum effectiveness
  • Does not protect against STIs

The Hormonal Shot

The hormonal injection is administered by the doctor every 1 or 3 months to the woman. Like the birth control pill, this too prevents the release of the egg and thickens the cervical muscle making it difficult for the sperm to enter the uterus. 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Highly effective if taken regularly 
  • Doesn’t interfere with sexual activity 
  • Helps with heavy and painful periods

Cons

  • Mood swings, headaches and other similar physical side effects 
  • Once off the shot, it may take up to a year for your menstruation to return to normalcy
  • Does not protect against STIs 

2. Long-term contraception 

This is a good option if you want lasting contraception with little maintenance. Available options include an implant inserted into your arm or an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted into your uterus. These methods are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. They’ll work for 3–10 years, depending on the particular method you choose. 

Implant

The doctor will place 1 or 2 silicone rods under the skin in the arm of the woman. The rods will release the hormone, progestogen into your bloodstream that prevents the release of egg into your uterus. The hormone also thickens the cervical muscle thus stopping the sperm from entering the uterus. Further, It thins the muscle of your womb making implantation of the egg less likely. 

Pros

  • The most effective type of contraception 
  • Long-term, can be kept for 3-5 years
  • Does not affect sexual activity 
  • Not time sensitive 
  • A good option for women who can’t take oestrogen pills

Cons

  • Requires medical attention to insert and remove
  • Does not protect against STIs
  • May have side effects such as headaches and breast tenderness
  • Your periods may be irregular or stop

Intrauterine Device (IUD) 

The IUD is a T-shaped copper device which is inserted into your womb by your doctor. There are 2 kinds of IUD you can get implanted, the hormonal IUD or the non-hormonal version. 

The hormonal version releases the hormone progestin, which prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg. It also thins the uterine lining making implantation of the fertilised egg less likely and thickens the layer of mucus over the cervix to help block sperm from entering in the first place. 

The non-hormonal device releases copper ions which has similar effects to progestin. The ion immobilises the sperm making it difficult for them to swim to the egg. 

Pros

  • One of the most effective methods to prevent pregnancy 
  • Requires no effort from you 
  • Long term, can be kept in for 5-10 years
  • Does not affect sexual activity

Cons

  • Requires medical attention to insert and remove
  • Does not protect against STIs

3. Single use barrier contraception 

Male and female condoms, spermicides and cervical caps are all types of single use barrier contraceptives. As the name suggests, they act as a barrier between the sperm and the egg, preventing the sperm from fertilising the egg.

Condoms

Condoms are a sheath-shaped barrier device made of latex or polyurethane. The male condom is placed over the erect penis and when ejaculation occurs the semen is collected in the condom acting as a barrier preventing the sperm from entering the uterus. The female condom is inserted into the vagina preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. Condoms when used properly are the only form of contraception that effectively prevents pregnancy and STI transmissions. 

Pros

  • They are hormone-free
  • Protects against STIs
  • Has no effect with other medications 

Cons 

  • Interfere with sexual activity and pleasure 
  • Chances of tearing during sex 

Permanent contraception 

If you plan on never having kids you can opt for the permanent contraception methods of Tubal ligation (for women) or vasectomy (for men). They are both simple procedures and they’re almost 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. Recovery time from these procedures usually takes only a few days and have close to no impact on your sex drive and sexual functions. 

During a tubal ligation, both the fallopian tubes are blocked or cut off and during a vasectomy, surgery cuts are made in the vas deferens ( a tube that transports sperms) preventing the sperm from reaching the semen in the testes. Women will still continue to have their periods every month after tubal ligation and men after vasectomy,  will continue to release semen during ejaculation but it will not contain any sperm. 

Pros

  • Permanent contraception 
  • Does not affect sexual activity

Cons

  • Both surgeries are reversible but does not guaranty fertility 
  • Does not prevent STIs

Emergency contraception 

Emergency contraception can help you prevent pregnancy if you have unprotected sex or your birth control fails. There are 2 kinds of emergency contraception pills you can take in Sri Lanka. Please note that emergency pills should not be used as a substitute for contraception.  

Postinor-1 

Postinor One (morning after pill) is a single dose oral emergency contraceptive pill that should be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sexual intercourse. The sooner you take the pill, the higher the effectiveness. Postinor-1 has releases levonorgestrel which delays ovulation and in turn, reduces the chances of fertilisation occurring. Several studies claim that Postinor-1 has the potential to stop 85% of anticipated pregnancies. The tablet is safe to take and does not alter fertility. 

This pill does not have any abortive effect, so if you are already pregnant it will not impact it. 

Postinor-2 

Postinor-2 is a double dose pill. Both the tablets can be taken at once or separately with a 12-hour gap between each. It works the same as Postinor-1. 

It should be noted that the emergency pill will not cause abortion and should not be used as a contraceptive method.

Wondering what the best contraceptive method for you is?

Well, that depends on you and your goal. Speak to your partner and your doctor to decide on the most convenient and most suited method for you. Also, remember there is no 1 method that suits all. Feel free to experiment with each method till you find one that suits your liking. 

If you want more information or would like to speak to a Gynaecologist on the best form of contraception you do so via the oDoc app. 

Sources

  1. FPA Sri Lanka. (2017, January 6). Contraception | Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka. http://www.fpasrilanka.org/content/contraception
  2. Tesch, D. (2021, July 23). 5 types of birth control options: which is best for you? HealthPartners Blog. https://www.healthpartners.com/blog/how-to-figure-out-which-type-of-birth-control-is-right-for-you/
  3. WebMD. (2016, November 18). FDA Explains Pros, Cons of Permanent Birth Control. https://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/news/20161118/fda-explains-pros-cons-of-permanent-birth-control
  4. Vasectomy: Treatment & Information – Urology Care Foundation. (202–12-01). Urology Health. https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/v/vasectomy
  5. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Tubal Ligation. Retrieved August 3, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/tubal-ligation
  6. WHO. (2020, June 22). Family planning/contraception methods. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/family-planning-contraception
  7. NHS website. (2021, March 12). Contraceptive implant. Nhs.Uk. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/contraceptive-implant/
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How to relieve menstrual cramps

How to relieve menstrual cramps

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Ladies, is it that time of the month? Are we feeling subtle cramps in our stomach, lower back pain, maybe some strange mood swings? Maybe we have to make a trip to the supermarket and buy our monthly stock of pads and tampons. We get it! Your period is here, which means those uncomfortable, painful cramps are here too. We’re here to help ease the burden by giving you some ways you can relieve the pain and discomfort.

What are menstrual cramps?

Period cramps, or dysmenorrhea, refers to the discomfort women feel in their abdomen, lower back and thighs during their menses. Cramping can vary in intensity from woman to woman. Some may feel a slight discomfort and others may feel more severe pains that can affect certain aspects of their life.

What are menstrual cramps?

Period cramps, or dysmenorrhea, refers to the discomfort women feel in their abdomen, lower back and thighs during their menses. Cramping can vary in intensity from woman to woman. Some may feel a slight discomfort and others may feel more severe pains that can affect certain aspects of their life.

Why do period cramps happen in the first place?

During your period, the uterus contracts to help shed its lining. Hormone-like substances (prostaglandins) trigger the contractions which causes pain and inflammation. Higher levels of prostaglandins can lead to more severe menstrual cramps.

Symptoms of menstrual cramps may include:

  • Cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain radiating down the legs
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Headaches

Symptoms of menstrual cramps may include:

  • Cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain radiating down the legs
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Headaches

What can you do to relieve the pain from cramps during your menses?

For mild and temporary cramps, some home remedies can provide comfort and relief.
Here are a few things for you to try:

Applying heat to your lower abdomen and lower back can relieve pain. If you don’t have a heating pad or hot water bottle, take a warm bath or use a hot towel.

Applying heat to your lower abdomen and lower back can relieve pain. If you don’t have a heating pad or hot water bottle, take a warm bath or use a hot towel.

Applying heat to your lower abdomen and lower back can relieve pain. If you don’t have a heating pad or hot water bottle, take a warm bath or use a hot towel.

Avoid foods that cause bloating such as fatty foods, alcohol, carbonated drinks, caffeine or salty foods. Instead have some tea with ginger or mint, hot water with lemon or strawberries

Avoid foods that cause bloating such as fatty foods, alcohol, carbonated drinks, caffeine or salty foods. Instead have some tea with ginger or mint, hot water with lemon or strawberries

Avoid foods that cause bloating such as fatty foods, alcohol, carbonated drinks, caffeine or salty foods. Instead have some tea with ginger or mint, hot water with lemon or strawberries

Maintain a consistent diet of minimally processed foods, fiber and plants. Try having more papaya, brown rice, walnuts, almonds, broccoli, fish, leafy green vegetables and flax seeds.

Maintain a consistent diet of minimally processed foods, fiber and plants. Try having more papaya, brown rice, walnuts, almonds, broccoli, fish, leafy green vegetables and flax seeds.

Maintain a consistent diet of minimally processed foods, fiber and plants. Try having more papaya, brown rice, walnuts, almonds, broccoli, fish, leafy green vegetables and flax seeds.

Drink more warm or hot water and eat water-based foods to increase your hydration such as cucumber, watermelon, lettuce and celery.

Drink more warm or hot water and eat water-based foods to increase your hydration such as cucumber, watermelon, lettuce and celery.

Drink more warm or hot water and eat water-based foods to increase your hydration such as cucumber, watermelon, lettuce and celery.

Exercise! Although the last thing we want to do during our menses is work out, exercise releases endorphins which relieves some menstrual cramp pain.

Exercise! Although the last thing we want to do during our menses is work out, exercise releases endorphins which relieves some menstrual cramp pain.

Exercise! Although the last thing we want to do during our menses is work out, exercise releases endorphins which relieves some menstrual cramp pain.

When to see a doctor:

  • If period cramps disrupt your life in some way every month
  • Your symptoms get progressively worse and you are in intense pain every month
  • If you started having severe menstrual cramps after the age of 25

You can speak to a VOG doctor by consulting an Obstetrician or Gynecologist on the oDoc app. GPs and Family Physicians are also available to consult.

Download oDoc today on the App store or Play store.
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