Monday, November 26, 2018

HVP, a Common STD with a New Vaccine | Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla Ahlgrimm
Medicine has come a long way since Marla Ahlgrimm began her career in women’s health back in the 1970s. PMS is now an accepted medical condition, women have access to breast cancer screenings at any time, and there are new vaccinations to help prevent common diseases. Here, Ahlgrimm touches on one of the newest additions to women’s sexual health, the HPV vaccine.

Q: What is HPV?

Marla Ahlgrimm: HPV, or human papillomavirus, is not one but a collection of 150 (or more) viral infections. It is a sexually transmitted disease that is so commonplace that virtually all sexually active people will have an infection at some point in their lives.

Q: Is it dangerous?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While many HPV infections are benign, there are forms of the virus that can cause noticeable issues. Genital warts is one example. Thankfully, the dozen or so viral infections that cause genital warts are low-risk. Higher risk strains can cause cancer but are are less common. HPV can be detected during a PAP exam.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Marla Ahlgrimm: The Mentor That Never Knew Her Impact

Marla Ahlgrimm
Marla Ahlgrimm says that there were many women who inspired her throughout her career. None, however, made such an impact as a British physician named Katharina Dalton.

Katharina Dalton, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, is the mother of modern women’s medicine. Dalton, who was one of the first women to obtain a medical degree from the Royal Free Hospital in London, “discovered” PMS at the most unlikely time in her life: when she was pregnant. At the time, Dalton was 32-years-old and had been suffering with migraine headaches for more than a decade. Halfway through her pregnancy, she realized the headaches had disappeared.

Marla Ahlgrimm explains that Dalton, in cooperation with an endocrinologist named Dr. Greene, concluded that progesterone deficiency was the cause of her recurrent pain. Progesterone levels are elevated during pregnancy. Together, the two physicians were published numerous times in British medical journals. They coined the phrase “premenstrual syndrome” in 1953.

Dr. Dalton dedicated her entire career to treating women with hormone issues surrounding their menstrual cycle. In conflict with popular opinion – and her mostly male coworkers and colleagues – Dr. Dalton asserted that women’s cyclic symptoms were not simply psychological. At the time, explains Marla Ahlgrimm, male physicians tended to diagnose women with “hysteria” when presenting with these recurrent symptoms, which include epilepsy, asthma, migraines, depression, fatigue, and irritability.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Marla Ahlgrimm: Winter Sun Remains Dangerous to Skin

Marla Ahlgrimm
Winter has a way of sneaking up on us and so do the dangers that come along with UV exposure, says author and women’s health advocate Marla Ahlgrimm. Keep reading as Ahlgrimm sheds light on the issues of winter UV exposure.

Q: How does snow affect a person’s exposure to ultraviolet radiation?

Marla Ahlgrimm: All it takes is one look at a winter wonderland to see how much brighter things look with fresh snow. Snow, which is primarily made up of tiny ice crystals, can reflect back up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays. This essentially doubles your exposure to UV radiation.