HEALTH

Study: Condoms may help prevent vaginal infection

BY Michael Johnsen

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — A study conducted by Beijing Friendship Hospital published Tuesday found that condoms may help prevent vaginal infection.

The study examined 164 married women, ages 18 to 45, all in good health. Seventy-two of them were using condoms for birth control. The women using condoms were found to have higher levels of beneficial bacteria or lactobacillus, which is thought to block harmful bacteria from causing odor and infection.

This study provides evidence of the correlation between intercourse and vaginal infection. “The findings are no surprise to OB/Gyns who have long understood that elevated pH increases the risk of infection," stated Michael Krychman, executive director Southern California Center for Sexual Health. "Semen has a high pH, so vaginal pH is elevated following unprotected intercourse. Wearing a condom can certainly prevent semen from being introduced into the vagina and elevating vaginal pH. That’s good news for couples who are using condoms to prevent possible HIV transmission or pregnancy, as they can also prevent infections like BV.”

Condoms might not be the answer for healthy couples in an exclusive relationship, where STD prevention is not needed and alternative forms of birth control are being used. Condom usage solely for the purpose of preventing elevated pH may be unrealistic as some couples may find that condoms hinder spontaneity and pleasure. Krychman pointed out that other options are available for couples in this situation. An over-the-counter product called RepHresh Gel has been clinically shown to maintain healthy vaginal pH. It can be used either before or after intercourse and lasts for 3 days, so spontaneity is not an issue.

“A vaginal pH of 3.5–4.5 indicates that there is a perfect amount of good bacteria (lactobacilli), and no overgrowth of the bad bacteria that can cause odor, irritation and many times, infection,” Krychman said. “Intercourse is just one way that pH can become unbalanced. The high pH of blood during menstruation can also cause elevated pH, as well as normal hormone fluctuations and some hygiene products. While condom use is an excellent solution for elevated pH due to intercourse, women should be aware that non-prescription products are readily accessible, enabling women of any age to control their pH and avoid infection.”

 

 

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DenTek to launch DenTek Adult Benzocaine solution

BY Michael Johnsen

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — DenTek will be launching a new DenTek Adult Benzocaine solution in March, the company announced last week. 

DenTek Adult Benzocaine is a maximum strength instant pain reliever that features an applicator to apply the active effortlessly with no mess. The disposable applicators guarantee precise and sanitary application every time, the company stated. 

A package of 50 disposable treatments retails for a suggested $6.99 at mass market retailers. 

 

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Study: Daily aspirin use may reduce risk of ovarian cancer by 20%

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Women who take aspirin daily may reduce their risk of ovarian cancer by 20%, according to a study by scientists at the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. 

The study was published Feb. 6 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Previous studies have suggested that the anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin and non-aspirin NSAIDs, may reduce cancer risk overall. However, studies examining whether use of these agents may influence ovarian cancer risk have been largely inconclusive. This is the largest study to date to assess the relationship between these drugs and ovarian cancer risk. 

Britton Trabert and Nicolas Wentzensen of NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, and their colleagues, analyzed data pooled from 12 large epidemiological studies to investigate whether women who used aspirin, non-aspirin NSAIDs or acetaminophen have a lower risk of ovarian cancer. These 12 studies (nine from the United States) were part of the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. The scientists evaluated the benefit of these drugs in nearly 8,000 women with ovarian cancer and close to 12,000 women who did not have the disease.

Among study participants who reported whether or not they used aspirin regularly: 18% used aspirin, 24% used non-aspirin NSAIDs and 16% used acetaminophen. The researchers determined that participants who reported daily aspirin use had a 20% lower risk of ovarian cancer than those who used aspirin less than once per week. For non-aspirin NSAIDs, which include a wide variety of drugs, the picture was less clear: The scientists observed a 10% lower ovarian cancer risk among women who used NSAIDs at least once per week compared with those who used NSAIDs less frequently. However, this finding did not fall in a range that was significant statistically. 

In contrast to the findings for aspirin and NSAIDs, use of acetaminophen, which is not an anti-inflammatory agent, was not associated with reduced ovarian cancer risk.

This study adds to a growing list of malignancies, such as colorectal and other cancers, that appear to be potentially preventable by aspirin usage. “Our study suggests that aspirin regimens, proven to protect against heart attack, may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer as well. However intriguing our results are, they should not influence current clinical practice. Additional studies are needed to explore the delicate balance of risk-benefit for this potential chemopreventive agent, as well as studies to identify the mechanism by which aspirin may reduce ovarian cancer risk,” Trabert said.

Adverse side effects of daily aspirin use include upper gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke. Therefore, a daily aspirin regimen should only be undertaken with a doctor’s approval, the scientists cautioned.

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