asthma and lungsDon’t Let Asthma Control Your Life

Summertime for many means outdoor fun, such as pools and campfires. But for the 24 million Americans who have asthma, like me, things like chlorine and smoke can trigger dangerous asthma attacks.

I’ve suffered from asthma all my life. I always thought I was managing as best I could. I took the medicine the doctors told me to take. But I found that my asthma really controlled my life.

I always carried an inhaler in my pocket. I made sure it was by my bedside table, in case I woke up in the middle of the night with an asthma episode. Despite all that, I did end up in the emergency room quite a bit. I knew I needed to get my asthma under control. My doctor referred me to a study on managing your asthma and I am not exaggerating when I say it changed my life.

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Fatherhood, Fertility

andrologyTechniques to Enhance Men’s Fertility Treatments

Andrology is a branch of medicine that is concerned with diseases that are specific to males, in particular, the reproductive organs. Andrology focuses on androgen use and abuse, prostate diseases such as prostate cancer, sexual dysfunctions, and testicular disorders such as testicular cancer. Below are some of the ways andrology nurses track their patients’ fertility treatment.

Sperm DNA Fragmentation Analysis

Patients should know the following specific details about their treatment when going in for a semen analysis.  Immediately after collection, semen samples are microscopically assessed by a technician to ascertain their fertilization ability. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxy uridine triphosphate-nick end labeling or a fancy way of saying the “TUNEL assay” is a technique used to assess DNA damage. Basically this will determine whether a man’s DNA present in each of his sperm, is damaged or not.  This can make a big difference when trying to get pregnant. Using the TUNEL assay provides vital information on the damage levels of DNA present within a sample. Patients should know that this can be well tracked by a health information administrator who is certified to analyze and protect medical information. This helps nurses track the fertility of the sperm and can advise patients accordingly.

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Depression, Family Issues, Relationships

do this if you want love to lastThe One Thing You Must Do If You Want Love to Last

Love has been a complicated presence in my life from the very beginning. My parents had been trying, unsuccessfully, to have a baby for many years. My mother was finally able to get pregnant through a procedure of collecting and injecting my father’s sperm into her womb (a procedure that was “experimental” seventy-plus years ago). Being pregnant brought both joy and fear. I still remember stories about her walking, gingerly, down 5th Avenue in New York, afraid she might lose the baby.

When I was born, both my mother and father were overjoyed, but my mother was afraid something would happen to me and rarely let my father hold me. My father felt the pressure of being out of work and the shame at not being “the family bread-winner.” He became increasingly manic and depressed. When I was five years old, he took an overdose of sleeping pills and was committed to Camarillo State Mental Hospital, just north of Los Angeles.

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Fatherhood, Parenting

baby vocabularyTalk to Me, Baby

Dear Mr. Dad: My 13-month old says only two words: dada and mama. My best friend’s son is two months younger and she’s constantly bragging about how many words he knows. She’s got me worried that there’s something wrong with my baby. Do all kids start talking about the same age? Either way, what can I do to increase my baby’s vocabulary.

A: As with walking and most other developmental milestones, there’s no fixed time for a child to start talking, and what’s “normal” is a big, big range. Some start putting together words as early as nine months; others don’t have much to say until they’re two. The size of the vocabulary and the child’s age when those words start tumbling out of his mouth is no indication of intelligence (Albert Einstein supposedly was nearly silent until age four). There’s definitely a luck-of-the-draw component here, but here are a few things you can do at home that may speed things along.

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Fatherhood, Parenting

To Be (or Not to Be) a Dad: Ask the Doctor

Everything you ever wanted to ask your doctor—from conception to contraception.

Although Father’s Day is in June, men are becoming fathers all year long. In fact, almost half of American men are fathers.

Two-thirds of men first become dads in their 20s, although plenty of men father children sooner or later—into their 40s, 50s and beyond, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(And, in case you wondered, the oldest man to father a child was 92, according to Guinness World Records.)

Whether you want to be a dad, don’t want to be a dad or are unsure, Stanton Honig, MD, the director of Yale Medicine’s Male Reproductive Health and Sexual Medicine programs, has probably heard your questions before.

So we asked him to tell us what men need to know about becoming a dad (or not):

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