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Erica G. Howard, MSN, WHNP-BC's Articles

Who Should Get The HPV Vaccine? New Updates

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, affecting 79 million Americans. Most sexually active persons (80%, to be exact) will, at some point, be exposed to HPV.  You may already know that HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a sexually transmitted virus that often does not have any symptoms. The good news is that in the majority of cases, HPV goes away on its own without any intervention; however, the trouble is that when HPV does not resolve, it can cause certain health problems like genital warts, abnormal pap smears, and — if left untreated for years— certain types of cancers.  “How can I prevent HPV-related health problems?” you may ask… Read on for the 411!

To Perimenopause and Beyond!

“Can we check my hormone levels to see if I am menopausal?” Is a relatively common question asked of me during routine annual exams.  Because age-related hormonal shifts are normal, and symptoms present differently for different women, the answer is not always straightforward. For example, one woman might have fairly regular menstrual cycles with gradually lighter monthly periods until she no longer has them, while another might be affected by erratic, unpredictable, and heavy cycles until they subside. As with menstrual differences, vasomotor symptoms (think: hot flashes and night sweats) can vary widely as well. With a broadly ranging slew of information available on the internet these days, it can be difficult to determine what is “normal.” Here, I’ll discuss what’s normal, what’s not, and what might help ease this transition.

Skin Care Down There: Tips for Surviving the Summer

It’s the end of May in central North Carolina, which means it’s unofficially, officially summer. Summer in the south brings out all sorts of skin issues due to the hot and humid climate, accompanied by excess moisture and, well, certain discomforts that can occur “down there.” But don’t fret; we’re here to provide some helpful tips on how to prevent bikini line snafus, vaginal discomfort, and other summer skin conundrums in 2019!

What to Expect During Your IUD Insertion: A First Hand Account

So you’ve decided on an intrauterine device (IUD) for contraception- Congratulations! But… now what?  You’ve probably heard stories from friends, family members, or coworkers about their various experiences that have you wondering whether or not you made the right choice. As with most big decisions, especially when it comes to our health care, it can be totally normal to have some second thoughts or worries about what to expect. Like most people, you’ve probably even found yourself turning to “Dr. Google” for some answers, which may, or [more likely] may not, be helping the situation. 

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