Steps to good health, one at a time
We asked Jean Hailes specialist women’s health GP, Dr Lee Mey Wong, for her tips on how to get on track for healthy living.
We’re living longer thanks to the advances in medicine, better nutrition, healthcare, education, and economic wellbeing. But are we living more healthy lives? The statistics suggest not.
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Health checks – start the year right.
Having cheerfully waved goodbye to 2020, a year most of us would want to forget, we can finally turn our attention to a new beginning in 2021. The vaccine rollout is just weeks away and the despair we have felt for so many months has cautiously been replaced by hope. We are seizing the new day, rushing to embrace ambitious new year’s resolutions – running a marathon or quickly shedding the COVID kilos – but many, if not most of us, will fall short. However, there’s one resolution that’s both achievable and potentially lifesaving, not just for now but for the future. We can reset the new year by catching up on our health checks.
Heart health: movement and motivation
Many of us know that being physically active is one of the best ways to reduce our risk of heart disease. But how do you stay motivated and make physical activity a regular, and enjoyable, part of your life?
How to stay active when you have endo
Staying motivated to do regular physical activity can be a challenge. When you have a chronic and painful health condition, it can be even harder.
Helpful tips and tools for planning a pregnancy
Deciding that you’re ready to start trying for a baby can be an exciting time. There can be feelings of eagerness, anticipation, and often some nerves. Here we provide some tips and tools to help you plan and prepare for pregnancy in a positive, proactive way.
How hormones impact mental health
What’s the connection between hormones and mental health? How do our hormonal changes affect our emotional wellbeing? And what are some ways we can nurture positive mental health?
To answer all these questions and more, as part of Women’s Health Week, Jo Roberts of Jean Hailes recently spoke to Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Jayashri Kulkarni AM.
Time to talk about herpes
All things considered, we’ve come a long way. We’re getting better at discussing what were once delicate topics. For example, many women now freely and openly discuss menopause, while 50 years ago it was still often referred to in hushed tones as ‘the change’.
However, there is still some way to go in breaking down the stigma around a virus that’s so common, it affects one in eight people – genital herpes.
Pelvic pain in young women
Persistent pelvic pain, sometimes called chronic pelvic pain, is a common condition that affects around 15% of teenage girls and women worldwide. However, it is believed that early intervention can help to reduce the symptoms of persistent pelvic pain.
Physical activity – the way to better heart health
It’s fun, free and widely available. It’s also a “wonder medicine”, according to Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton, the director of active living at the Heart Foundation.
Is it tiredness? Or is it sleep apnoea?
Sleep apnoea is a common disorder. However, because its symptoms occur while you sleep, it can be easily overlooked, or mistaken for straight-up tiredness. So how do you know if you have it?
Human connection: how friendships help our mental health
Friendships aren’t just about having people to share experiences with. As psychologist Caroline Anderson explains, friendships are crucial to not only our mental, emotional and overall health, but fulfil an innate human need, too.
Five things you didn’t know about vaginas and vulvas
There’s a lot we don’t know about vulvas and vaginas – in fact many women don’t know the difference between the two. But these ‘female bits’ are fascinating body parts and can play big roles in not only your sexual health, but your general health too.
It's time to get #EndoWise
Endometriosis, also known as 'endo', is a condition that is more common than diabetes or breast cancer – affecting one in 10 women of reproductive age worldwide – yet many people don't know what it is.
What happens when you go for an STI check …
If you’re sexually active, getting checks for sexually transmissible infections – STIs – are an important part of looking after yourself. For some women, it can feel like an awkward task and can easily slide to the bottom of your to-do list. To help make the process a little easier, here we’ll delve into exactly what happens in an STI check, step by step, so you can go into it with information and confidence, knowing what happens next.
Skip the sickness: how to avoid food poisoning
Was it the reheated leftovers from three – or was it four or five – days ago? Or the sandwich you bought one day from that café you thought looked a bit dirty? Or maybe it was the salad that spent too long out of the fridge? Whatever the culprit, chances are you’ve been affected by food poisoning at some point in your life.
How to reward yourself (with no regrets)
Every now and then it’s important to take your foot off the pedal, take stock of your achievements – or even your progress towards them – and reward yourself.
Go on! Give yourself a treat. Go to the beach, see that movie, get that pedicure. Whoever thought that rewarding yourself could be good for you? Well actually, it is … if it’s done in a positive and nurturing way that’s right for you and your health.
Menopause in the new millennium
Menopause was once a life stage of secrecy and mystery – whispered ‘women’s-only’ business – but thanks to more research and greater awareness, today’s midlife women can have a different experience to those of previous generations.
The link between a common sleep disorder and heart disease
Sleep apnoea is a common sleep disorder. But did you know it can dramatically increase your risk of heart disease? Given that heart disease is the number-one killer of women in Australia, this is something you need to know about. Let’s start with the basics…
Breast health: what’s normal and what changes to look out for
Breasts come in all shapes and sizes. One may be larger than the other, a different shape to the other or you may have an inverted (pulled in) nipple or nipples.
Breasts can also change a great deal throughout life at different ages and life stages.
5 top foods to nourish your gut bacteria
Our digestive systems are the unsung workaholics of our bodies, toiling around the clock to break down and absorb nutrients from the food and fluids we consume.
Within this ongoing cycle, our large intestine – often referred to as our gut – is the office hero. Though perhaps we should say office heroes, because it is actually the populations of tiny organisms that live in our gut that keep us healthy.
Bladder health 101: tips to improve bladder control
We all have one. Yet the health of our bladder isn’t something many of us give much thought to – at least, not until something goes wrong with it!
It’s important to know how to take care of your bladder, and to get the right advice for your age and life stage. Throughout your life, your daily habits and practices can put you in a better position to avoid bladder leakage or loss of bladder control, also known as urinary incontinence.
How to have ‘the talk’ with your new partner
Picture this: you’re dating someone new after your long-term relationship ended. The dates are progressing well, but you’re yet to take it to the next level. You end up back at their place and things start heating up. You want to have sex, but suddenly your thoughts turn to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), safer sex and that you should really be using protection…
Natural therapies – are they safe?
Chances are you’ve taken a natural therapy in your lifetime. It could be a multivitamin from the supermarket, some vitamin C at the sign of an oncoming cold, a natural digestive aid from the health food store or some supplements you were prescribed by a naturopath. You might have swallowed them down without a second thought, but as with any decision when it comes to your health, it’s important to stop and ask: is this safe for me?...
Foolproof ways to move more
“Move more, sit less”. It’s a mantra we often hear, but how do we ensure we actually practise it? For many women, the motivation to exercise comes from wanting to lose weight, drop a dress size, get fit for summer, or feel more confident and comfortable in their own skin. However, it’s important to know that the benefits of exercise run much deeper than simple self-improvement...Read more
The delicate balance of ‘down there’
You may not realise it, but your vagina is home to huge populations of micro-organisms. Before you shriek in surprise or horror, know that these tiny organisms are actually vital for the health of your vagina and your health overall, and it’s important to get the balance right...Read more
The time of your life: your sexual journey
Whether you have a partner or not, whether you want a partner or not, whether you’re a younger, midlife or older woman – you’re on a sexual journey. Your sexual journey will likely evolve and change as your life changes, with peaks and troughs and perhaps everything in between...Read more
Reading food labels
Trying to understand food labels can be pretty daunting. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the information you see on packets, jars and cans in the supermarket. Thankfully, there are a few key pieces of information that can help you to quickly make healthy and informed choices...Read more