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18 Reasons Why You’ve Got Cramps But No Period

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You’ve been seriously bloated, moody, and tired. You’ve got monster cramps, and your face is as simply as a 17-year-old boy’s. In other words, you’re suffering from all of the classic signs of your monthly flow—but your period is totally MIA.

First: Don’t freak. It turns out, there are tons of reasons you’ve got those tell-tale period symptoms, but no period.

“Hormonal changes related to ovulation can affect some of the same pathways in your brain that might be affected by other medical conditions, causing mood swings that feel similar to your period but aren’t related to ovulation or menses,” says Chailee Moss, M.D., an ob-gyn at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

What’s more, some physical abnormalities in your uterus and ovaries can also cause cramping that feels like PMS, she adds.

While skipping a period every now and then is usually nothing to worry about, if you have a fever, significant nausea or vomiting, or pain that you can’t control with simple OTC medications or that doesn’t improve within a week, check in with your doctor right away.

Otherwise, it’s time to see your doc if you skip more than three cycles in a row, suggests Chicago-based ob-gyn Jessica Shepherd, M.D.—here’s what might be going on down there.

1. Anovulation

Every once in a while, your body goes through all of the hormonal changes associated with PMS, but if you didn’t actually release an egg that month, you won’t actually get your period. Known as anovulation, it’s more common than one might think. “Ten to 18 percent of all regular cycles are anovulatory,” Shepherd adds. In case you’re wondering, yes, that stat can make getting pregnant tricky!

2. Pregnancy

If you’ve had unprotected sex in the last month, were a bit lax about taking your pill, or rely on the pullout method for birth control, it’s worth taking a pregnancy test. Many of the symptoms of early pregnancy, including breast tenderness, mood swings, fatigue, and cramping, are the same ones that you were already experiencing month to month before and during your period.

3. Thyroid conditions

Your thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, regulates many of your body’s functions, including your metabolism and menstrual cycles. If your thyroid gets out of whack, your cycles can become irregular, says Shepherd. The result: You may you go a long stretch without having your period while still experiencing period-like symptoms, says Moss.

Because your thyroid regulates your brain function, mood swings that you thought were PMS may be related to your neurologic function, she explains. And spotting or cramping may occur because the lining of your uterus has built up but hasn’t shed because you’re not ovulating.

Be sure to check in with your doctor if you’re experiencing other symptoms of a thyroid condition, including sudden unexplained weight loss or gain, shaking, heart palpitations, or significant fatigue.

4. Hormonal Birth Control

One very common side effect of hormonal IUDs is skipped periods. That’s because one of the ways the device prevents pregnancy is by thinning out the endometrial lining so there’s nothing to shed come that time of the month.

And, while they don’t typically nix your flow altogether, birth control pills can result in super-light flows or spotting. So you might feel period symptoms like breast tenderness even without a heavy, full-blown period, says Shepherd.

5. Stress

Stress is a surprisingly common reason for missing your period. “Stress increases your cortisol levels, which affects your hormone balance,” says Shepherd—including the hormones that regulate your ovaries and uterine lining.

Exams, deaths, and even breakups are all big-time stress-inducing events that can cause periods to go awry. But these life-changing biggies aren’t the only reasons you might be feeling the effects of stress.

“Some people don’t realize they’re so stressed, but once they talk about it they realize they are going through something,” says Shepherd. If you think stress is messing with your periods, talk to your doctor; therapy, exercise, yoga, and meditation can all help get your stress under control and your periods back on track.

6. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Frequent skipped periods can be caused by PCOS. “PCOS is a condition in which a patient has an excess of androgens, which are chemicals in the body that affect ovary function, hair growth, weight gain, and sensitivity to insulin,” says Moss.

UP TO 20 PERCENT OF WOMEN ARE AFFECTED BY PCOS.

PCOS can result in anovulatory cycles and irregular spotting. It commonly causes cysts to grow on the ovaries, which, if they rupture or cause the ovary to twist, can cause pelvic pain that feels a lot like period cramps.

Up to 20 percent of women worldwide are affected by PCOS, and it’s more common among women who are overweight or have a mom or sister with by the condition, Moss says. If you think you might be suffering from PCOS, check in with your doctor. While there is no cure, birth control and other medications can help keep symptoms under wraps and get your periods back on track.

7. Uterine Polyps
You might associate polyps with your colon, but the same small benign tumors can grow in your uterus. “It’s an overgrowth of lining of the uterus,” says Moss. Polyps in your uterus can cause cramping and period-like discomfort, even when you’re not on your period.

Because polyps can make it harder to get pregnant, and because there is a small risk they may develop into uterine cancer down the line, your doctor will likely want to remove them, most often with a relatively simple procedure known as a hysteroscopy. During a hysteroscopy, a doctor inserts a long tube up through the vagina and into the uterus. The doctor is able to use the scope to both see and cut out the polyps.

8. Ovarian Cysts

Every month, your ovaries make several cysts in preparation for ovulation, but only one cyst releases an egg. Although the others usually dissipate on their own by the time you get your period, sometimes one cyst or more sticks around.

Cysts can also occur if you have an anovulatory cycle (such as with PCOS). Ovarian cysts often cause no symptoms at all, although they can sometimes trigger period-like pain when you’re not on your period. So if you’re experiencing irregular cramping, talk with your doctor.

“Cysts in and of themselves aren’t usually a problem,” says Moss. “But if they get particularly large, they can cause the ovary to twist—a.k.a., an ovarian torsion—which is painful and requires an emergency procedure to save your ovary.”

9. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Cramping is a common symptom of PID, which is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries that typically occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from your vagina to your reproductive organs.

“Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are the typical culprits of this serious pelvic infection that can lead to pelvic pain and infertility,” says Sherry A. Ross, M.D., an ob-gyn and author of She-ology. “Make sure you’re getting regular STI checks between new sexual partners to ensure you are not a carrier of damaging STIs.”

10. Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)

One common symptom of a UTI is pelvic cramping, Ross says. “Other symptoms include frequency, urgency, and pain and burning with urination, as well as bleeding with urination.” If you think your cramps might be associated with a UTI, head to your ob-gyn or primary care physician ASAP; left untreated, a UTI could turn into life-threatening kidney infection.

11. Mittelschmerz

If you’ve got PMS-like cramping, bloating, and breast tenderness but no period, one reason may be that it’s not quite time for your period yet—but it’s coming.

German for “middle pain,” mittelschmerz happens about half-way through your menstrual cycle—around day 14 when you ovulate, says Nicole Scott, M.D., an ob-gyn at IU Health. It’s a totally normal experience—affecting about 20 percent of women—and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong, she says. Since it’s just your ovaries doing their thing, there’s not much you can do to prevent it and the symptoms should go away within a day or two but if it’s extremely painful or comes with any sign of infection, call your doc, she adds.

12. Exercising Too Much

Hitting the gym on the regular is one of the best things you can do to help deal with PMS, but working out too hard or too often can actually mess up your cycle and in some cases make you miss your period all together, Scott says.

All that physical stress, especially if you lose a lot of body fat, can make your period go AWOL and cause abnormal fluctuations in your hormone levels. These fluctuations can cause moodiness, irregular spotting, acne, and other PMS-like symptoms. If you miss your period for three cycles or more in a row, talk to your doctor.

13. Certain Sex Positions

It’s ironic that something so pleasurable can also lead to pain. “Experiencing cramping or pain after sex is completely normals,” says Ross.

The culprit? “Some sexual positions are known to be anatomically harder on the vagina and female organs including the uterus and ovaries,” she says. “For example, doggie style allows deeper penetration but can cause discomfort for many women, while missionary position tends to be easier and more comfortable for women.” Experiment with your partner to figure out which positions are best for your body.

14. Interstitial Cystitis

This painful bladder syndrome, which affects women more often than men, can also cause cramping in the lower abdominal area, Ross says.

Also known as “painful bladder syndrome,” other symptoms of interstitial cystitis are similar to a urinary tract infection, including pelvic pain, pain between the vagina and anus in women, pain during intercourse, and a continual strong urge to urinate. The exact causes of this condition aren’t known, but it may be associated with a defect in the protective lining (epithelium) of the bladder, an autoimmune reaction, infection, or allergy. It may also be hereditary.

15. A Miscarriage

Miscarriages are much more common than you might thing—every pregnant woman has a 25 percent chance of having a miscarriage, says Ross.

Signs of a miscarriage can include severe menstrual-like cramping. If you’re pregnant and are experiencing severe cramping, contact your doctor immediately.

16. Endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when tissue that typically grows inside of the uterus, grows outside of it—typically in the pelvic area, which can cause significant cramping, says Ross.

Pelvic pain associated with endometriosis differs from regular PMS pain in that it often shows up days or weeks earlier than typical PMS cramping, and may last for days even after your period is done (so, basically, you have very few pain-free days throughout your cycle). Endometriosis cramping also comes without those other PMS symptoms like mood swings.

17. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

“Lower abdominal cramping is a common complaint in women suffering from IBS,” Ross says.

The intestinal disorder is associated with recurring abdominal pain or discomfort along with altered bowel habits over a period of at least three months. These can include constipation, diarrhea, or the double whammy—both constipation and diarrhea, Ross says, which, yes, is totally possible.

18. Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is relatively rare, affecting only about 22,000 women a year in the U.S., but it’s one of the deadliest cancers for women, killing about 14,000 women a year. A big part of this is because it often shows no, or very subtle, symptoms, Scott says.

Missing your period isn’t the most common symptom of ovarian cancer—those are abdominal bloating, urinary problems, weight loss, and pain—but it is a possible symptom, according to the American Cancer Society. So if you’ve missed your period for three months or more or you have other concerning symptoms, call your doc STAT.

Source: Ghana Web

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Health & Fitness

Checkout 7 Health Benefits Of Eating Cucumber.

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Though commonly thought to be a vegetable, cucumber is actually a fruit.

It's high in beneficial nutrients, as well as certain plant compounds and antioxidants that may help treat and even prevent some conditions.

Also, cucumbers are low in calories and contain a good amount of water and soluble fiber, making them ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss.

This article takes a closer look at some of the top health benefits of eating cucumber.

  1. It's High in Nutrients
    Cucumbers are low in calories but high in many important vitamins and minerals.

One 11-ounce (300-gram) unpeeled, raw cucumber contains the following (1):

Calories: 45
Total fat: 0 grams
Carbs: 11 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Vitamin C: 14% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 62% of the RDI
Magnesium: 10% of the RDI
Potassium: 13% of the RDI
Manganese: 12% of the RDI
Although, the typical serving size is about one-third of a cucumber, so eating a standard portion would provide about one-third of the nutrients above.

Additionally, cucumbers have a high water content. In fact, cucumbers are made up of about 96% water (2).

To maximize their nutrient content, cucumbers should be eaten unpeeled. Peeling them reduces the amount of fiber, as well as certain vitamins and minerals (3).

SUMMARY:
Cucumbers are low in calories but high in water and several important vitamins and minerals. Eating cucumbers with the peel provides the maximum amount of nutrients.

2. It Contains Antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that block oxidation, a chemical reaction that forms highly reactive atoms with unpaired electrons known as free radicals.

The accumulation of these harmful free radicals can lead to several types of chronic illness (4).

In fact, oxidative stress caused by free radicals has been associated with cancer and heart, lung and autoimmune disease (4).

Fruits and vegetables, including cucumbers, are especially rich in beneficial antioxidants that may reduce the risk of these conditions.

One study measured the antioxidant power of cucumber by supplementing 30 older adults with cucumber powder.

At the end of the 30-day study, cucumber powder caused a significant increase in several markers of antioxidant activity and improved antioxidant status (5).

However, it's important to note that the cucumber powder used in this study likely contained a greater dose of antioxidants than you would consume in a typical serving of cucumber.

Another test-tube study investigated the antioxidant properties of cucumbers and found that they contain flavonoids and tannins, which are two groups of compounds that are especially effective at blocking harmful free radicals (6).

SUMMARY:
Cucumbers contain antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins, which prevent the accumulation of harmful free radicals and may reduce the risk of chronic disease.

3. It Promotes Hydration
Water is crucial to your body's function, playing numerous important roles (7).

It is involved in processes like temperature regulation and the transportation of waste products and nutrients (7).

In fact, proper hydration can affect everything from physical performance to metabolism (8, 9).

While you meet the majority of your fluid needs by drinking water or other liquids, some people may get as much as 40% of their total water intake from food (2).

Fruits and vegetables, in particular, can be a good source of water in your diet.

In one study, hydration status was assessed and diet records were collected for 442 children. They found that increased fruit and vegetable intake was associated with improvements in hydration status (10).

Because cucumbers are composed of about 96% water, they are especially effective at promoting hydration and can help you meet your daily fluid needs (2).

SUMMARY:
Cucumbers are composed of about 96% water, which may increase hydration and help you meet your daily fluid needs.

4. It May Aid in Weight Loss
Cucumbers could potentially help you lose weight in a few different ways.

First of all, they are low in calories.

Each one-cup (104-gram) serving contains just 16 calories, while an entire 11-ounce (300-gram) cucumber contains only 45 calories (1).

This means that you can eat plenty of cucumbers without packing on the extra calories that lead to weight gain.

Cucumbers can add freshness and flavor to salads, sandwiches and side dishes and may also be used as a replacement for higher calorie alternatives.

Furthermore, the high water content of cucumbers could aid in weight loss as well.

One analysis looked at 13 studies including 3,628 people and found that eating foods with high water and low calorie contents was associated with a significant decrease in body weight (11).

SUMMARY:
Cucumbers are low in calories, high in water and can be used as a low-calorie topping for many dishes. All of these may aid in weight loss.

5. It May Lower Blood Sugar
Several animal and test-tube studies have found that cucumbers may help reduce blood sugar levels and prevent some complications of diabetes.

One animal study examined the effects of various plants on blood sugar. Cucumbers were shown to effectively reduce and control blood sugar levels (12).

Another animal study induced diabetes in mice and then supplemented them with cucumber peel extract. Cucumber peel reversed most of the diabetes-associated changes and caused a decrease in blood sugar (13).

In addition, one test-tube study found that cucumbers may be effective at reducing oxidative stress and preventing diabetes-related complications (14).

However, the current evidence is limited to test-tube and animal studies. Further research is needed to determine how cucumbers may affect blood sugar in humans.

SUMMARY:
Test-tube and animal studies show that cucumber may help lower blood sugar and prevent diabetes-related complications, although additional research is needed.

6. It Could Promote Regularity
Eating cucumbers may help support regular bowel movements.

Dehydration is a major risk factor for constipation, as it can alter your water balance and make the passage of stool difficult (15).

Cucumbers are high in water and promote hydration. Staying hydrated can improve stool consistency, prevent constipation and help maintain regularity (16).

Moreover, cucumbers contain fiber, which helps regulate bowel movements.

In particular, pectin, the type of soluble fiber found in cucumbers, can help increase bowel movement frequency.

One study had 80 participants supplement with pectin. It found that pectin sped up the movement of the intestinal muscles, all while feeding the beneficial bacteria in the gut that improve digestive health (17).

SUMMARY:
Cucumbers contain a good amount of fiber and water, both of which may help prevent constipation and increase regularity.

7. Easy to Add to Your Diet
Mild with a distinctly crisp and refreshing flavor, cucumbers are commonly enjoyed fresh or pickled in everything from salads to sandwiches.

Cucumbers are also often eaten raw as a low-calorie snack or can be paired with hummus, olive oil, salt or salad dressing to add a bit more flavor.

With just a bit of creativity, cucumbers can be enjoyed in many ways.

Here are a few recipes to help incorporate cucumbers into your diet:

Baked Cucumber Chips
Quick Pickled Cucumbers
Thai Cucumber Salad
Strawberry, Lime, Cucumber and Mint-Infused Water
Cucumber and Mint Sorbet
Cucumber Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese

SUMMARY:
Cucumbers can be eaten fresh or pickled. They can be enjoyed as a low-calorie snack or used to add flavor in a variety of dishes.
The Bottom Line
Cucumbers are a refreshing, nutritious and incredibly versatile addition to any diet.

They are low in calories but contain many important vitamins and minerals, as well as a high water content.

Eating cucumbers may lead to many potential health benefits, including weight loss, balanced hydration, digestive regularity and lower blood sugar levels.

Source: Healthline.com

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Health & Fitness

Surprising Benefits Of Ginger.

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Ginger root has been used by cultures across the globe for thousands of years in everything from cooking, medicine, and even as an aphrodisiac. As it turns out, it’s also one of nature’s best beauty gifts.

Ginger contains around 40 antioxidant compounds that protect against aging. It improves the appearance of your skin by removing the toxins and stimulating the circulation, resulting in the delivery of more nutrients to the skin.

Treatment of dandruff
Ginger has antiseptic properties that can help in getting rid of dandruff. Mix two tablespoons of freshly grated ginger with three tablespoons of sesame or olive oil and a dash of lemon juice to the mixture. Massage your scalp with it and rinse it off in 15-30 minutes. Do this thrice a week to get a dandruff-free scalp.

Anti-ageing benefits
Ginger comes with 40 antioxidant compounds that protect against ageing. It improves the appearance of the skin by removing harmful toxins and stimulation circulation that ensures in delivering more nutrients to the skin. These antioxidants prevent damage from free radicals and helps in preserving the youthful appearance of the skin.

For radiant skin
You can use ginger for skin glowing.. Cover your face with freshly cut slices of ginger to give your skin an instant glow. Ginger works like a natural toner. It works hard to cleanse and purify, giving you gorgeous, radiant, toned skin.

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Smoking Cannabis Linked To Higher Sperm Counts In Surprising Study

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Despite the surprising findings, researchers say the results "need to be interpreted with caution".

Men who have smoked cannabis at some point in their life have "significantly higher" sperm counts than those who have never used the drug, according to new research.

Scientists found there was no significant difference in sperm concentrations between current and former smokers.

Dr Jorge Chavarro said the findings were unexpected - and highlight how little is known "about the reproductive health effects of marijuana, and in fact the health effects of marijuana in general".

However, the associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School also warned that the results "need to be interpreted with caution".

Feiby Nassan, the study's lead author, said the findings were contrary to what the team hypothesised.

She also explained they are "consistent with two different interpretations" - the first being that low levels of marijuana use could benefit sperm production.

"An equally plausible interpretation is that our findings could reflect the fact that men with higher testosterone levels are more likely to engage in risk-seeking behaviours, including smoking marijuana," Dr Nassan added.

The team's study has been published in the journal Human Reproduction.

Cannabis has now been legalised in a number of US states, amid a growing perception that the drug poses little risk to health.

The researchers expected that smoking cannabis would be associated with worse semen quality, as historical studies had suggested the drug has negative effects on reproductive health.

Many of the older studies had focused on animal models or had examined men with histories of drug abuse.

In the new research 1,143 semen samples were collected from 662 men between 2000 and 2017.

On average, the men were 36 years old, white and college educated - and of the participants, 55% reported having smoked marijuana at some point in their lives.

The researchers have cautioned that there are limitations to the findings, as some of the participants may have under-reported their cannabis use.

Source: Sky News

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Health & Fitness

Simple Homemade Exfoliating Face Scrubs

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A facial scrub is usually a cream-based product that contains little exfoliating pieces that when massaged across the skin help smooth the skin by physically lifting off dry, dead skin cells. Once a week, the skin needs a simple exfoliating face scrubs.

Exfoliating helps remove the dead skin cells and other remaining impurities. It also helps keep my complexion clear and my skin looking healthy. Here are some simple homemade scrubs to try.

  1. Sugar Face Scrub
    • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
    • 2 tbsp. sugar
    How to do it:
    Combine coconut oil and sugar in a small bowl, and stir to combine. Rub sugar face scrub into clean facial or neck skin, using gentle circular motions, for 60 seconds. Rinse dry with warm water.
  2. Lemon and Sugar Face Scrub
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 tbsp. organic honey
    • juice from 1/2 lemon
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    How to do it:
    Whisk together olive oil, honey, and lemon juice in a small bowl, until combined. Stir in sugar until fully combined. Gently rub into facial skin in circular motions, for about one minute. Rinse off skin with warm water.
  3. Facial Scrub for Dry Skin
    • 1/4 cup uncooked oats
    • 1/8 cup honey
    • 1/8 cup olive oil
    Oats, honey and olive oil make this a little different spin from the honey and oatmeal facial scrub. But it’s incredibly simple and great for skin that is aching for moisture.
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