Does Period Sex Raise Your Risk of Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue that normally lines only the inside of your uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of it—around the ovaries, bowel and other areas in your pelvis. It can cause seriously painful periods as well as a host of other frustrating symptoms.

Can having sex while on my period cause endometriosis?

Nope, feel free to have at it any time of the month. Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue that normally lines only the inside of your uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of it—around the ovaries, bowel and other areas in your pelvis. The tissue grows thicker throughout your menstrual cycle, then breaks down and bleeds, just as it would inside your uterus. But because the blood and tissue have nowhere to go, that leads to (often intense) pain, irritation and eventually scar tissue.

RELATED: Top 10 Myths About Safe Sex and Sexual Health

While the exact cause of endometriosis is still unclear, there’s no evidence that period sex increases your risk. (In fact, one study linked sex during menses to a decreased risk.) The myth may stem from traditional Chinese medicine theories that having sex during your period disturbs the natural downward flow of menstrual blood, pushing it back into the uterus.

Western medicine has a term for a real phenomenon that sounds similar but isn’t caused by sex, nor is it the likely trigger of endometriosis: retrograde menstruation. Many experts think that all women experience some menstrual backup from time to time, usually without ill effects, but that women who develop endometriosis may have a hormonal or immune system problem that allows the tissue to become implanted.

Health‘s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine and co-founder of Tula Skincare.

RELATED: 6 Things You Should Know About Having Sex During Your Period

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National Railway Museum masterplan revealed

£50m redevelopment part of York Central development
Simon Stephens, 17.01.2018

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5 Signs Your Relationship Might Not Last, According to Experts 

Most relationships start off dreamy. You can’t keep your hands off each other. You want to spend every second together. As time goes on, though, those crazy-in-love vibes can begin to wear off. After a nasty argument or the realization that you don’t see eye to eye on a lot of topics, you may even wonder whether you two are really meant to be.

The good news is, it’s normal to question if your relationship has legs, especially when conflict creeps into your bond. “Conflict is not necessarily a sign that your relationship is headed for a breakup,” says Tammy Nelson, PhD, sex and relationship therapist and author of The New Monogamy. That said, there actually are some red flags that might signal you won’t stay in love long-term. Here, experts reveal five signs your relationship might not last.

RELATED: 4 Things You Should Never Do After a Breakup (And 1 You Always Should)

You fight dirty

It’s natural for couples to argue; any therapist will confirm that. But how you quarrel with your SO matters more, and it can actually provide insight into whether or not the relationship has what it takes.

“When arguments turn destructive and unhealthy, meaning you are quick to blame, shame, criticize, withdraw, or name call, it is not a good sign for the relationship,” says Rachel Needle, PsyD, a Palm Beach, Florida–based psychologist. Sure, fights can get heated on occasion; we all lose our cool. But in general, if partners are unable to calmly open up about what’s bothering them and hear out each other’s perspective, it’s likely they’ll have trouble working through relationship issues down the line. 

WATCH THE VIDEO: 5 Health Benefits of Sex

You never have sex

“Yes, sex comes and goes, and you might find yourselves in a dry spell every now and then,” says Nelson. But a lacking sex life could also signal that one of you is not as invested in the relationship, she adds, or you don’t have the chemistry to keep things going. Since it can be tough to determine whether your dry spell is due to the usual suspects (think: stress, exhaustion, busy schedules) or something more serious, it’s always best to bring it up.

“Ask your partner directly,” suggests Nelson. “Don’t do it when you’re lying in bed wondering why they haven’t made a move, though.” Instead, if you’re watching TV and a sexy scene triggers you to wonder why you aren’t getting it on like the characters in the show are, hit pause and ask, “Hey, how come we don’t do that?” Having an honest conversation about why you’re not having sex can shed light on whether the situation is fixable—or your bond has fizzled.

RELATED: Don’t Get Engaged Before Having These 5 Conversations With Your Partner

You have different plans for the future

It may sound obvious, but wanting different things out of life will mess with your happily ever after. “If you have different ideas of what you want for your future, especially on important issues such as children, finances, religion, lifestyle, and where you want to live, and you cannot get on the same page, this might mean your relationship won’t last forever,” confirms Needle. 

You’re tempted to stray

Ever suddenly find yourself checking your ex’s Facebook profile more frequently or toying with the idea of downloading a dating app? “Searching behavior could indicate a healthy sexual appetite but it could also be a sign that you are ready for a relationship outside of your current one,” says Nelson. If that’s the case, consider talking to a therapist to determine how to end the relationship with intention and kindness—rather than letting your partner discover that you’re thinking about straying or already have done so.

RELATED: 9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Committing to a New Relationship

You’re not feeling it (literally)

Sometimes our bodies know a relationship is over before our minds do, says Nelson. “Are you turned off by the way your partner smells, or the feel of their touch? Do you recoil when they put their hands on you? Do you avoid their kiss? These are all signs it could be the beginning of the end.”

Feeling like you need space could also just be a signal that you’re angry or frustrated with your SO. If so, tell him or her what you’re going through no matter how difficult it is. Says Nelson, “Intimacy means sharing your feelings, even the bad ones.”

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Smoking During Pregnancy Seems to Alter Fetal DNA, Study Finds

THURSDAY, March 31, 2016 (HealthDay News) — When a pregnant woman smokes, the fetus’ DNA is altered in ways also seen in adult smokers, researchers say.

The researchers were also able to pinpoint new development-related genes that were affected by a mother-to-be’s smoking.

The findings may help improve understanding about the connection between smoking during pregnancy and children’s health problems, the study authors said.

For the study, researchers collected blood samples from newborns, mainly from the umbilical cord. Compared to babies of nonsmokers, those born to regular smokers had over 6,000 spots where DNA was chemically modified.

About half of those locations could be linked to specific genes, including those involved in lung and nervous system development, birth defects such as cleft lip and palate, and smoking-related cancers.

The investigators also found that many of these DNA changes were still present in older children whose mothers had smoked during pregnancy.

The study was published March 31 in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Smaller studies have found links between smoking during pregnancy and chemical changes in fetal DNA, the authors of the new study noted. But this large study, which included over 6,000 mothers and their children, improved the researchers’ ability to detect patterns.

“I find it kind of amazing when we see these epigenetic signals in newborns, from in utero exposure, lighting up the same genes as an adult’s own cigarette smoking. There’s a lot of overlap,” study co-senior author Stephanie London said in a journal news release. She is an epidemiologist and physician at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

“This is a blood-borne exposure to smoking — the fetus isn’t breathing it, but many of the same things are going to be passing through the placenta,” London explained.

More information

The March of Dimes has more about smoking during pregnancy.


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Job cuts planned at National Trust for Scotland

Up to 79 front line workers could be affected by reorganisation
Rob Picheta, 17.01.2018

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I’m the Worst Dancer, but I’ll Never Quit Taking Dance Fitness Classes—Here’s Why

I’m 23 and hopeless on the dance floor—but that’s where I’m happiest.

I’ve never been good at dancing, but for some reason I’ve always felt drawn to it. In elementary school, I would make up mini dance routines and perform them for myself in my bedroom mirror. In middle school, in an attempt to gain some semblance of rhythm, I asked my dance-adept cheerleader friend to teach me how to body roll. During college, I would beg my friends to go out with me—yes, drinking would be involved, but mainly, I just wanted to dance the night away.

RELATED: Try the Dance Cardio Workout That Inspired Zumba

Now, at 23 and with a full-time job, spending late nights dancing at a club isn’t always doable. But I’ve discovered something else that’s kept my passion for the dance floor alive: dance fitness classes.

It started with Zumba, which I discovered during a summer internship. I remember hitting the studio after work and being surrounded by all types of women—young, old, thin, thick—but still feeling self-conscious. I’d never danced in a space that wasn’t secluded or where the lights were in full effect, where everyone could see me and my flailing body.

Still, when the music started, I followed the instructors as best as I could—which, for the record, wasn’t very well. The music was upbeat and so were the teachers and students, and even though I missed so many beats, I felt happier after that class than I had all summer. By then, I didn’t care if I messed up and the entire class saw my misstep because the joy the movements brought me was so much greater than any feelings of embarrassment or reservation.

RELATED: How to Be More Confident in the Weight Room, Dance Class, and More

While I’ve always been drawn to these workouts and how positive they make me feel, I could never understand why I walked out of the studio or gym feeling so radiant. So I reached out to exercise physiologist Tom Holland, who had a more scientific understanding of the allure of dancing. “The full-body movement and neuromuscular connection is so unique,” he told me. “You don’t get that from CrossFit or strength training, where the movements are static.” 

Dancing can also build self-esteem. “You add in music that is fun and you’re learning and you go, ‘Wow I can do this!’ when you get it right,” says Holland. “It’s not super complicated but complicated enough to feel rewarding.” It’s true: My first couple of Zumba classes felt awkward at best. But as time went by, I started to nail certain movements, and it felt so much more empowering than setting a personal record in the weight room. It’s hard to compare the mind-body connection of a high-powered dance class with any other workout out there.

I’ll never forget the recent Monday night hip-hop dance class I took with my similarly dance-challenged friend Nora. We felt like fish out of water, surrounded by some amazing dancers. But the instructor was kind and enthusiastic, breaking down the moves and trying his best to teach us how to Milly Rock (emphasis on trying).

RELATED: 6 Dance Cardio Workout Videos That Will Get You Out of Your Exercise Rut

When our 60-minute class was over, Nora and I were dripping with sweat and out of breath. Our instructor wrapped things up by thanking us for coming out and left us with this: “Dance is always there for you. If you have a good day, you want to come dance to celebrate. If you have a bad day, you want to dance to forget about it and move forward.”

That’s why I’ll keep taking dance classes, even though I’m so horrible sometimes, I stumble over my own feet. Dance can ground you in your own experiences, but it can also inspire you to take the next steps in life and live more joyfully—and you don’t have to be a famous choreographer or ballerina to feel that effect.

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DHS’ Threat to Prosecute Officials of Sanctuary Cities Is Unconstitutional

The Constitution guarantees that state and local governments can opt out of the federal deportation system.

In testimony before Congress yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed that her agency is seeking the prosecution of state and local officials in jurisdictions that limit their entanglement with federal immigration enforcement.

Even in the context of the Trump administration’s frequent disregard for the Constitution, Nielsen’s threat to prosecute mayors, legislators, and police chiefs over policy disagreements is shocking. There is no basis in federal law to prosecute government officials who decide, with and on behalf of their constituents, that their communities are better served by opting out of participation in the federal deportation system. And that kind of prosecution would be an assault on the principles at the core of our constitutional system.

Nielsen’s threat may or may not be empty. Either way, it is unacceptable.

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We are now nearly one year into the Trump administration’s seemingly endless attempts to threaten, cajole, and coerce local governments into abandoning what is commonly referred to as “sanctuary” policies. There are hundreds of such jurisdictions that, in a variety of ways, have decided not to entangle themselves in the federal government’s deportation program. Those communities have decided it’s not worth the financial burden or legal risk or harm to public safety and community trust — or all of the above.

Unhappy with those decisions, the administration has tried a laundry list of tactics over the last year to intimidate localities into giving up. Its attempts to take away federal funding, for example, have been met with defeat after defeat after defeat in the courts. And its attempt to publicly embarrass localities into changing their policies with a weekly report had to be suspended when Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s rampant errors came to light and law enforcement rightly balked at this form of bullying.

The most recent broadside in this campaign is the administration’s decision to float the possibility of criminal prosecutions. In an interview earlier this month, Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said he had asked the Justice Department to look into charging local officials with violating a federal statute for “harboring” noncitizens. Yesterday, Secretary Nielsen doubled down, confirming that her agency had sought such prosecutions. And, like Homan, she made clear that the threat of prosecution was being used as a political cudgel.

These threats are lawless and baseless. Local officials commit no crime when they and their communities decide not to participate in deportations. They do not, as Homan wrongly claimed, harbor anyone from deportation by simply opting out. ICE can arrest people on its own — and in fact Congress gives the agency billions of taxpayer dollars each year to do just that.

But local police are under no obligation to use their time and resources to help with arrest, detention, and deportation. Local jails need not allow ICE agents to roam their facilities, conduct interrogations, and make arrests without a judicial warrant. And government officials need not share home addresses of local residents to make it easier for ICE to carry out its mass deportation campaign. The point of sanctuary policies is non-participation, meaning that if ICE wants to arrest and deport people it must do the work itself. There is nothing at all criminal about that, and it is irresponsible to suggest otherwise.

In fact, state and local governments’ ability to opt out of the federal deportation system is constitutionally guaranteed. The framers of the Constitution recognized that distributing authority — including between the federal government and the states — protects against the accumulation and abuse of power by a tyrant or group of tyrants. As the Supreme Court has explained, this principle prevents the federal government from requiring state and local officers to become de facto federal agents. Therefore, even if the administration’s imaginary crime of declining to help ICE deport people actually existed, it would be struck down as unconstitutional.

Of course, these threats may be empty, like the now-disavowed threats to strip “sanctuary” cities of all their federal funding. But, regardless, the idea of these prosecutions is insidious. At bottom, the administration’s complaint is that localities are adopting policies with which it disagrees. This idea of locking up elected officials for their political speech, beliefs, and votes is contrary to the First Amendment and the democratic principles on which our country was founded. Even the suggestion is dangerous and reprehensible.

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Push Through Any Workout with These Trainer Mantras

It all comes down to mental toughness and a few motivating mantras.

This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com

We’ve all been there: You’re at the end of a workout class when the instructor says you have another set of burpees to do. Your muscles and your mind want to scream “no” as soon as the words come out of her mouth. You can’t possibly push through another cardio set…except you can. And you should.

Even some of the toughest trainers — ones who barrel through sprints and hoist heavy weights like they’re lighter than shaker bottles — play this mind game. And it all comes down to mental toughness and a few motivating mantras. So next time you’re up against a round of squat jumps or your last 50 meters of a 5K, channel these mental tricks from our top fitness pros. The only question you’ll have left to ask yourself: Can you handle the ego boost you’ll feel at the finish?

RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

13 Mantras Top Trainers Use to Boost Their Mental Toughness

1. “How we do anything is how we do everything.”

“The way we practice is the way we perform, so in moments of fatigue it’s a great reminder that even now — especially now — I need to give my best. The mantra motivates me to give 100 percent even when I’m tired or don’t feel like it. And these are the moments that help form my habits and shape my mentality as an athlete.”

—Milan Costich founder of PREVAIL boxing

2. “Do more than expected.”

“My main mental focus while training and pushing through my last rep always circles back to what was embedded in me as a professional athlete. The importance of finishing is something I’ve carried with me not just in training but in life. I constantly remind myself of what I’ve accomplished simply by doing a little more than expected. Holding myself to that standard doesn’t change with how I train myself. Chasing greatness in all things is a mentality for me… a way of life. What you achieve is dictated by how you respond when you’re being challenged the most.”

—Curtis Williams, owner of Training C.A.M.P. and former NFL player

RELATED: Meditation Meets HIIT in New Mindful Fitness Approach

3. “Think of how good you’ll feel.”

“Sometimes when I struggle with motivation, whether it’s finishing a workout or even just getting to the gym in the first place, I try and tell myself, ‘Just think of how good you’ll feel when you’re done.’ Remembering the feeling of finishing a workout strong or pushing myself to do more than I thought I could always gets me through and keeps me coming back time and time again!”

—Nora Minno, trainer on Daily Burn 365

4. “Let’s go!”

“Some days are just a struggle! But that doesn’t mean I give up; it means I have to get creative. The mind is the most creative and powerful muscle so I can either let the blues take over or I can shift my attitude and make it happen. My mantra ‘let’s go!’ is so simple but it really pumps me up. I also dance it out. I do just a little movement, side to side, shake out my hands and take a deep breath — all while repeating ‘let’s go!’”

Astrid Swan, celebrity trainer

RELATED: 9 Ways to Find Workout Motivation (Every Damn Day)

5. “Gratitude and competition.”

“On days where I want to stop the workout, I’ll think about how grateful I am to have a strong, healthy body, and how lucky I am that I get to choose the gift of exercise. It’s not a punishment. On the other hand, I am very motivated by competition. So on days when I take class, I’ll take a mental note of who I think is a better athlete than me, and he/she will be my mental competition. It makes me work harder and it also makes it more fun for me.”

Ashley Borden, celebrity trainer

6. “I’ve got this.”

“I repeat this passionately — and with conviction. I also take a moment before a truly challenging moment, set or interval, and visualize the experience as clearly and authentically as possible. For example, seeing myself perform each rep of a set and vividly imagining what it will feel like, especially the last couple reps. I see and feel the struggle and myself successful in overcoming it. I actually feel my nervous system start working. I think that feeling is so important. Then during the movement, I focus all attention and energy on the muscles working and imagining them bursting with power. I also make sure to be fully in it until the very last second — like, bar back in the rack — before shifting my focus.”

—Gregg Cook, trainer on Daily Burn 365

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Woman Slams People Who Say She’s Too Heavy for Her Boyfriend: ‘Love Comes in All Shapes and Sizes’

Woman Slams People Who Say She’s Too Heavy for Her Boyfriend: ‘Love Comes in All Shapes and Sizes’ – HealthSearchSearchCloseDownDownDownDownDownDown

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This 94-Year-Old Marathon Runner is the Workout Inspiration You’ve Been Waiting For

Harriette Thompson is a record-breaking marathoner who motivates us all to rise to the challenge.

Today is Global Running Day, when the world celebrates the challenges and benefits of pounding the pavement (or hitting the trails or treadmill).

If you need some inspiration to lace up those running shoes and get a jog in before the day is over, look no further than Harriette Thompson—who at the age of 94 became the oldest woman to run a half marathon.

Thompson, a former concert pianist who took up running in her 70s, had a few things working against her when she lined up at the starting point of San Diego’s Rock ‘N Roll Marathon this past Sunday. Because she was recovering from an operation on her leg, she didn’t have ample time to train, she told NBC News. And she’s also a two-time cancer survivor.

RELATED: 7 Tips for Running Your First Race

Yet decked out in purple leggings and pink lipstick, she still managed to complete the half marathon in an impressive 3 hours, 42 minutes, and 56 seconds. “At age 94, I feel like I did when I was 16, but I can’t move as fast,” she told the Washington Post. “Overall, I feel fine.”

As though her half marathon achievement isn’t incredible enough, in 2015 she did the full 26.2 miles in San Diego in 7 hours, 24 minutes, and 36 seconds, becoming the oldest person to complete a marathon. Oh, and she uses her runs to raise serious bucks; she raised in total more than $100,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. So far this year, she’s at the $15,000 mark, according to the Post.

You don’t need to be a runner to be motivated by Thompson’s achievements. Next time you’re trying to talk yourself into making it to the gym or not blowing off that extra mile or lap, let this feisty nonagenarian be your fitspo.

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