Health, Sex, STDs

you can get std even when wearing a condomCan I Get an STD Even When Wearing a Condom?

Many people mistakenly believe that using a condom completely protects from all sexually transmitted diseases, however, this is not the truth. It is still very possible to contract dangerous illnesses, even if a condom is used. Keep reading for some valuable information regarding the possibility of spreading a sexually transmitted disease while still using protection.

Condoms Are Not 100% Effective

It is a myth that condoms protect against disease 100% of the time. Even with correct use, condoms are only 95% effective in disease protection. With incorrect use, this drops to approximately 75%. The condom can break, causing the spread of disease. Also, it is important to make sure that the condom is not past its expiration date.

Another myth is that all condoms provide protection. This is not the case. Lambskin condoms are not approved for the prevention of STD’s, as bacteria can still spread through the condom. Make sure you are using condoms that are specifically manufactured to prevent the spread of disease.

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Fatherhood, Parenting

dads are very importantHey, Single Moms–Dads Are Important

Dear Mr. Dad: My best friend really wants to be a mother, but has given up on finding “Mr. Right,” and has decided to have and raise a baby on her own. I’ve been following your work for a long time and have been telling her how important it is for babies to have male influences in their life. She says that dads don’t contribute anything to kids’ development and that her baby will be fine without one. I know I’m right, but what can I do to convince her?

A: You are, indeed, absolutely right. But I’m continually amazed at how many people share your friend’s absurd belief that dads aren’t important. As we’ve talked about a lot in these columns, fathers influence their children’s life as early as pregnancy, if not before. In other words, a man’s behavior and choices affect the quality of his sperm, which, in turn, can influence his future child’s physical and mental health.

Unfortunately, the majority of research on attachment, bonding, and child development still focuses exclusively on mothers. But the slowly growing number of studies that include men have confirmed what I’ve been saying for two decades—and what most observant parents already know: Fathers influence their children just as much as mothers do—and in many cases, even more.

Let me give you just a few examples. The more actively involved dads are with their infants—doing basic baby care, feeding, changing diapers, bathing, dressing, and so on—the better they handle stressful situations, such as being left with a stranger.

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Others

psoriasisPsoriasis Doesn’t Have to Be a Life-Long Affliction

Toughest Psoriasis Cases Can Be Tamed by Yale Medicine’s Dermatologists.

Peter Amento avoided shorts and short sleeves for most of his life, no matter how warm the weather. When he did wear them, “People would comment: ‘What have you got? Poison ivy?’ That’s how bad my psoriasis would look,” says the 61-year-old husband and father of three from Hamden.

The skin disorder appeared when Amento was 15, and over the years he tried everything to make it go away. “I started with sunlamps, which was the way to go back then,” he says. “It didn’t do much.” He moved on to ointments, slathering them on the red patches on his arms, legs and torso, then covering the areas with plastic wrap to help the medication seep in. “They’d go away for a couple of weeks, then you’d have to repeat the whole process.”

Later, he would fly to Florida and sunbathe on the beach until his skin was crisp. “The sunburn killed me for a couple of days, but it got rid of the psoriasis for a month,” he says.

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Fatherhood

babies need to sleep on their backBack to Sleep is the Only Way for Infants

Dear Mr. Dad: Our baby boy was born just a month ago and, although we were told at the hospital to put him down to sleep on his back, my wife says that it’s safer for him on his tummy because it will keep him from choking. Who’s right? Please help.

A: You are. In their first year, babies should go to sleep on their back, period.

In 1994, after looking at a huge amount of research on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) that identified tummy sleeping as a major risk factor, the government (along with the American Academy of Pediatrics) launched the “Back to Sleep” campaign. The SIDS rate immediately dropped by more than 50%. I remember exactly when this happened, because my two older kids were born in 1990 and ’93 and I felt fortunate that they survived.

Sadly, your wife is far from alone in wanting to put your baby to sleep on his tummy. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found that while 77% of mothers “usually” put their babies on their back to sleep, only about 47% said that they “always” do. African-American moms and those who didn’t finish high school were the most likely to put their babies face down. I’m puzzled (okay, actually offended) that this study completely excluded fathers.

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Health

Closing the Gap on Cardiovascular Disease among African Americans

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading killer in the United States, and African Americans are excessively burdened by poor cardiovascular health.[i] [ii] [iii] Adding to this burden are barriers to high-quality and timely health care. As a result, CVD is often diagnosed too late, leading to a disproportionate number of African Americans suffering and dying from heart disease every year, compared to non-Hispanic whites. In addition, African Americans often live in communities where they lack access to affordable, healthy foods or safe places to be physically active. These challenges contribute to diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity—all of which are risk factors for CVD.

We can reduce deaths and hospitalizations for CVD by better understanding the causes of heart disease, making necessary lifestyle changes, getting preventive heart screenings, and knowing what treatment resources are available.

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