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

HDL levels

August 23, 2011 at 5:27pm

Recent blood work revealed that my HDL is low. My new primary care physician seemed unconcerned. What can I do to raise my HDL level? My long time physician recently retired and scheduled blood work for me every three months. My new primary care physician is scheduling only every six months or 12 months. I am 80-years-old and get fairly good reports although my triglycerides and cholesterol are slightly elevated. Should I be concerned about this?

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Accidentally Missed a Birth Control Pill?

August 23, 2011 at 5:19pm

I have been taking birth control for a few months now. I accidentally dropped one down the sink so I took the next day one instead. Then that week I started my period even though I was still on the blue pills. I was reading that if you forget to take them the right way to throw out the current pack and start a new one, but I am still bleeding (not as heavy) but still enough to have to wear a pad or tampon.

Is this still normal since it has only been 3 months since I started taking birth control again (I am 42)?

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Mediterranean Diet Can Help With Weight Loss in Women

August 23, 2011 at 5:16pm

I’ve been on the Atkins diet for about 3 months and have reached a plateau, how can I get past this stage and lose the remaining pounds?

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Urinary Tract Infections More Common in Menopausal Women

August 23, 2011 at 5:10pm

I thought I had a urinary tract infection about three weeks ago and went on an antibiotic (Cipro). I am not feeling better and was told to go on Macrobid. It helped for awhile, however, the pressure, slight burning and frequency to urinate has returned. I was given Premarin and have used this for four nights, but I’m still not feeling better.

I did see a Urologist and all of the cultures have been negative. Any thoughts?

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Chemo and hair loss

August 23, 2011 at 5:04pm

In 1989 I had breast cancer, my hair came out and never fully came back to it’s original fullness. As of now I wear wigs. Is there anything else that I could do as far as vitamins or diet are concerned? I had chemo, went through a period of menopause for a year, but, I had no other problems. I am healthy.

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Does Hormone Replacement Help With Weight Loss?

August 16, 2011 at 9:58pm

If I take Hormone Replacement Medication for my menopause symptoms, will I stop gaining weight?

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Pelvic exams after hysterectomy

August 16, 2011 at 3:17pm

I had a partial hysterectomy (still have my ovaries) and my G.P. told me I didn’t need pelvic exams. Several of my friends who have had the same procedure get pelvic exams. Should I have one?

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Hair Loss

August 16, 2011 at 3:14pm

I am losing hair. Do I need to start using Rograine or is it a temporary result of:

  • A new diet started in last month eating 2/3 fruits and vegetables for every 1/3 protein and grain
  • Dental work in last month - crown followed by root canal - many x-rays
  • Menopause - I stopped over 10 years ago.

What should I do?

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August 9, 2011 at 11:33am

My husband recently had a vasectomy. How do we know if the procedure worked?

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Unintentional weight loss

August 4, 2011 at 4:03pm

I am worried. I have weighed the exact same (from 209-216) for over 10 years. I am 5’10" and understand I am obese. The problem I have is I have dropped 4 dress sizes in the last two years, but lost no weight with out any improvement in the amount of exercise or a better diet. I am wearing clothes that I have had for ten years that are loose on me now that were tight on me. I do not understand what is going on. I have been told that as women age they expand around the hips and stomach but that is where my clothes are the most loose. No other part of my body seems bigger as nothing is tight now where it was not before. I am 35 years old and have never had kids. I just married and am looking to have a child in the next few years. I want to be healthy when we start to try. Any ideas on what I should ask my doctor about?

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