Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health


Marla Ahlgrimm Describes Common Infertility Treatments

Marla AhlgrimmIn the following brief post, retired pharmacist and women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm offers information on the most common infertility treatment medications.

Clomiphene citrate: According to Marla Ahlgrimm, clomiphene citrate, which is sold under the brand names Clomid and Serophene, are typically prescribed with a starting dosage of 50 mg each day. Over the course of three to six menstrual cycles, this medication is expected to increase the amount of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in a woman’s pituitary gland. Potential side effects include increased risk of multiple births and miscarriage. Hot flashes, headaches, and mood swings are also common.

Synthetic human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG): Sold under multiple brand names, hCG is given as an intramuscular injection and is used to trigger ovulation. Marla Ahlgrimm reports it is often a second step when prior medications to induce ovulation have failed. There are currently no known side effects of taking this medication by itself.

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Marla Ahlgrimm on Drug Safety for Women

Marla AhlgrimmMillions of women benefit from FDA-approved medications, says retired pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm. However, when these drugs are used incorrectly, they can be dangerous and even deadly. Here, Ahlgrimm opens up on a few questions you should ask your doctor before opening a new medicine.

Q: Should I talk to my doctor if I’m planning to become pregnant before starting a new prescription?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely. Although many drugs are safe for pregnant women, there are many that can cause issues including infertility, birth defects, and fetal death. Talk to your doctor about any potential issues or if you believe you’ve become pregnant while taking any medication.

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Retired Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm Looks at PMS Treatments

Marla AhlgrimmA retired pharmacist with over 40 years of experience in treating women’s health issues, Marla Ahlgrimm is intimately familiar with the pain and discomfort of premenstrual syndrome. Here, Ahlgrimm touches on a few of the most common pharmaceutical treatments for PMS.

Q: My doctor recently diagnosed me with PMDD and has prescribed an antidepressant. Why don’t I have to take it daily the entire month?

Marla Ahlgrimm: When antidepressants are prescribed for depression, they are taken every day. However, women with severe PMS and PMDD may not need medication during the time when their hormones are least active. It is common for doctors to prescribe antidepressants only to be taken the two weeks prior to menstruation, at which time symptoms typically subside on their own.

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Marla Ahlgrimm: Andropause

Marla AhlgrimmThe general consensus is that women are the only sex affected by age-related hormone shifts and swings. However, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, this simply isn’t true. The hormone replacement therapy expert explains that around 20% of the male population experiences a decline in hormones known as andropause.

Marla Ahlgrimm explains that andropause, like menopause, begins sometime after a man’s 50th birthday and presents with symptoms including decreased muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, and cognitive impairment. The effects of andropause may be countered with testosterone replacement, but this treatment is not without concern. Pushing higher levels of testosterone throughout the body may pose an elevated cardiovascular disease risk and will serve as fuel for any existing or undiagnosed prostate cancer.

Men with sleep apnea may be at a greater risk of complications as are those with existing blood disorders, says Marla Ahlgrimm.

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Marla Ahlgrimm: Top Health Care Benefits of Health Insurance Marketplace Policies

Marla AhlgrimmThe Affordable Care Act, which Marla Ahlgrimm explains was enacted under Pres. Barack Obama, made access to healthcare easier for millions of Americans. The open Healthcare Marketplace, as well as company-sponsored insurance coverage, now provide coverage for a number of essential health benefits. These include:

1. Ambulatory patient services. Marla Ahlgrimm defines ambulatory patient services as more intense outpatient care, such as a minor surgery, that does not require hospitalization.
2. Hospitalization
3. Maternity and newborn care. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, pregnancy is also included along with birth-control and breastfeeding coverage.
4. Behavioral, mental, and substance abuse disorder services including psychotherapy and counseling.
5. Habilitative and rehabilitative services to recover physical and mental skills lost due to chronic conditions or injury.
6. Laboratory services
7. Oral and vision care for pediatric enrollees.

Marla Ahlgrimm notes that some states require insurance providers to cover additional services not required through the general marketplace.

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Marla Ahlgrimm | Uterine Fibroids and Miscarriage

Marla AhlgrimmUterine fibroids are benign tumors – small clumps of tissue – inside the uterus. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, they are quite common with an estimated 20% to 50% of women experiencing known or unknown uterine fibroids at some point during adulthood.

Symptoms

Marla Ahlgrimm explains that most women will experience no major symptoms of uterine fibroids. However, heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and fertility are common. Less common but more difficult to overcome are recurrent miscarriages due to uterine fibroids.

Fibroids related to miscarriage

A 2000 health study found that uterine fibroids were to blame around 5% of the time for unexplained infertility or multiple miscarriages. Marla Ahlgrimm believes that the reason has less to do with the presence of fibroids and more to do with their size, shape, and location.

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Caregiver Stress | Marla Ahlgrimm

baby-164897_1280As women, we often become caregivers not only to ourselves and our children, but of aging parents, as well. However, as women’s health expert Marla Ahlgrimm explains, we cannot be effective caregivers if we don’t take the time to care for ourselves first.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, caregiver stress takes an emotional and physical toll on many women, who are expected to be available 24/7 to meet the needs of aging or disabled parents. The condition can take many forms but often starts with the feeling of being overwhelmed, isolated, or alone. Insomnia, weight gain, a weak immune system, and depression are all also common. Continue reading