Ask the Nurse

Answers for your specific questions.

Wondering about your health? Confused by what you’ve read? Browse our Ask the Nurse answer archive to find answers to many women's health questions and concerns. All answers are from a Cleveland Clinic women's health nurse.

Ask the Nurse Archive

Vaginal Dryness and Painful Intercourse Treatment

April 27, 2014 at 7:56am

Are there any special products for vaginal dryness? I am 55 years old, going through menopause and experiencing vaginal dryness and painful intercourse.

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What Does a Burning Sensation in the Mouth Mean?

April 27, 2014 at 7:53am

For more than a week now, I have been experiencing a burning sensation on the innerside of my lips. There is a dark red area with what looks like tiny white spots. In addition, my tongue has a milky white coating.

I am not certain what is causing these symptoms, but tea, cola and other drink and food items cause further discomfort. Can you help, please?

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Dependent Edema: Swelling in Ankles and Legs

April 25, 2014 at 5:56am

I am a 60 years old female with Type 2 diabetes, and I take blood pressure medication as well as Synthroid, Crestor, Metformin, and Januvia. I’m developing swelling in both my ankles and lower legs. Most of the swelling is gone in the morning when I wake up.

I walk two miles a day and go to the YMCA 3-4 days a week for aerobic water exercise. Could you give me some ideas on what could be causing the swelling. Thank you very much!

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Treatment for Anxiety and Headaches

April 24, 2014 at 10:31am

I seem to have anxiety and headaches while at work. My physician said that it could be from stress.

I excercise 4-5 times a week to help with the anxiety. And I was placed on medications, but I could not take them because the itching side effect was terrible.

Is there anything else I can do to help with the anxiety since I cannot take the medications my physician suggested?

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Foods to Help Strengthen Bones

April 22, 2014 at 3:08pm

What are some food choices that can help strengthen my bones?

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Weight Gain and Hormone Therapy

April 18, 2014 at 5:50am

I feel like I continue to gain weight while on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). I’ve exercised five to six times a week since I was 18 years old. I also do cardio five days a week.

I went on bio-identical HRT three years ago and my body composition has changed in an awful way. I have gained roughly 10 pounds. Is it the hormones or would it have happened anyway? I get so down about it that I feel like I don’t want to go to the gym anymore because it’s a waste of my time.

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Hair Loss and Menopause

April 16, 2014 at 8:58am

My hair is falling out of my head. I have had bloodwork done, but no doctor seems concerned. I am in the beginning stages of menopause and have read that hair loss is normal.

What type of doctor should I see for potential hormone treatment? I really don’t want to wait until I am bald to get help!

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April 7, 2014 at 11:14am

I am a 43 year old woman with a 4 year old child delivered by c-section. In 2007, I had a myomectomy for uterine fibroids (in order to help with infertility) and an appendectomy in 1981. For the past year, I have had some terrible upper abdomen pain that only comes during the first 3 days of my period (however, not every month). It is a constant mild pain for those few days, but comes in very severe waves of pain after I eat anything, even water. I become nauseous and my stomach becomes very bloated and painful when even mildly touched. Curling into the fetal position is the only thing that has helped ease the pain.

My gynecologist did an ultrasound and found no cysts on my ovaries, but did find some new small fibroids and said my uterus was slightly larger than normal. She said all looked normal, though, and suggested I take ibuprofen during my period to help with pain. Do these things have to do with menopause approaching?

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Nasal Sprays and Blood Pressure

March 31, 2014 at 12:13pm

Is the sodium in nasal sprays enough to raise blood pressure if used daily to flush the nose?

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Long Periods

March 30, 2014 at 8:55am

I started on a hormone therapy pill back in September (Estradiol 1 mg). A month after starting the hormone therapy pill, I completely stopped having periods. I then got my period about 4-5 months later and it’s still going. It stops for a day or two and then starts right back. I recently quit taking the hormone pill, hoping to stop the bleeding. My period is now light, but still there.

Is it common to bleed like this?

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