Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

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

Marla Ahlgrimm | The Disappearing Period

Marla AhlgrimmYour menstrual flow won’t always be the same month-to-month. However, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, a significantly lighter-than-normal cycle may indicate other health conditions. Here, the women’s health and hormone expert offers insight on reasons your period may lighten up without warning.

Q: Can a woman still have a period when she’s pregnant?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely. Although the vast majority of women stop bleeding, many experience lights or irregular spotting in the early days of pregnancy. Furthermore, an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage may be mistaken for a menstrual period.

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Marla Ahlgrimm on Hormone Imbalances

Marla AhlgrimmWomen listen up! Esteemed health and hormone expert Marla Ahlgrimm answers common questions relating to female hormone imbalance in this short Q&A.

Q: What causes hormone imbalance?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are a number of reasons a woman may experience a shift in her natural hormone levels. One of the most common, however, is poor dietary and exercise habits. Our bodies, including the organs that secrete hormones, need a specific balance of nutrition. Eating too little or too much of the wrong foods can wreak havoc on our insides. Likewise, over- or under-exercising can throw things out of whack.

Q:  Do women have male hormones and if so what is the purpose?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Both men and women share similar hormones, although in vastly different proportions. Testosterone, the most well-known male sex hormone, helps regulate physical functions including fertility and the release of moisture in mucous membranes. Women with deficient testosterone may notice a low libido, severe fatigue, irritability, hair loss, and waning muscle mass.

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Marla Ahlgrimm | Hysterectomy Q&A

Marla AhlgrimmA hysterectomy is the most extreme treatment for a number of reproductive diseases. Here, Marla Ahlgrimm explains what it is and when it’s used.

Q: What, exactly, is a hysterectomy?

Marla Ahlgrimm: This is a surgical procedure that removes the uterus. Typically, when a woman has a hysterectomy, her entire uterus is removed. Additionally, depending on the cause, the fallopian tubes and ovaries may also be removed. A woman who has had a hysterectomy is no longer able to become pregnant.

Q: What are some reason’s a doctor might suggest this radical action?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Usually, this is reserved only for extreme cases where a woman would suffer more with her uterus left intact. For example, recurrent uterine fibroids, which can trigger severe pain and heavy bleeding. A hysterectomy may also be performed to correct uterine prolapse, adenomyosis, or endometriosis. The latter of the two conditions result in uterine tissue growing where it doesn’t belong. Uterine, ovarian, or cervical cancer may also warrant a full hysterectomy.

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Marla Ahlgrimm Answers Your Embarrassing Questions About Menopause

Marla AhlgrimmLove it or hate it, all women experience the waning hormones associated with age. In this brief post, Marla Ahlgrimm, an HRT expert and retired health care specialist, answers questions no one wants speak (but everyone wants to ask) about menopause.

Q: Why does vaginal dryness occur during menopause?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Low estrogen is the culprit. Vaginal dryness causes discomfort and even embarrassing odor. You can combat this by using an OTC or prescription lubricant or cream. This is especially helpful when your condition interferes with your sex life. Hormone therapy and birth control may replace the lost estrogen and works well for many women.

Q: My periods are heavier now and seem to last forever. Why is this?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Hormones can trigger irregular menstrual cycles and menopause causes changes with our hormones. However, it is important to see your doctor if you begin bleeding more often than normal, the blood is a different color or consistency, or you do not bleed at all when expected. Not all missing cycles indicate that menopause is coming and other conditions may need immediate medical treatment.

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Iron Deficiency Anemia Q&A with Marla Ahlgrimm

Marla AhlgrimmWhile women are not exclusively susceptible to anemia, hormones seem to play a role in iron-deficiency anemia, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Here, the veteran women’s health entrepreneur and retired pharmacist explains what this condition is and how it’s caused.

Q: What is iron-deficiency anemia?

Marla Ahlgrimm: This is a form of anemia that is triggered when the body doesn’t get enough iron, which is essential for red blood cell function. Pregnancy is one of the main causes of iron-deficiency anemia since a developing fetus uses part of a woman’s iron stores.

Q: What are the symptoms?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Initially, there may be no indications that something is wrong. It takes time for the body to respond to iron deficiency. However, the most common symptoms include fatigue and weakness along with headaches and vertigo. These symptoms are also common during pregnancy, meaning many women don’t report them to their doctors. Later issues include irregular heartbeat, yellowing of the skin, and chest pain. Rarely, women may crave non-food items as the body desperately seeks a source of iron.

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Marla Ahlgrimm | The Pill Does More Than Prevent Pregnancy

Marla AhlgrimmBack in the 1960s when birth control became a mainstream pharmaceutical, women and men alike were hailing it as a miracle pill, says Marla Ahlgrimm. Reproductive freedom became a possibility and everyone was happy. Today, we give very little thought to contraceptives. But we should pay more attention. As it turns out, birth control does more than allow for unprotected sex.

Birth control, asserts Marla Ahlgrimm, is often prescribed to help women clear up acne. According to the retired pharmacist, synthetic estrogen can trigger the body to release SHBG, a protein that diminishes testosterone production. This is important for women with skin issues since testosterone increases sebum output, which in turn clogs pores and leads to a pimply complexion.

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Marla Ahlgrimm on Breast Reconstruction

Marla AhlgrimmFor women with breast cancer, having a mastectomy is both a blessing and a curse, says Marla Ahlgrimm. On one hand, the cancer is gone, on the other, so is one of a woman’s most defining features. However, thanks to modern medicine, there are options to reshape the breasts.

Breast reconstruction, according to Marla Ahlgrimm, is essentially the addition of breast implants and potentially re-created areolas. Women who have undergone a single mastectomy may elect reconstructive surgery on one or both breasts.

Breast implants are typically placed in two separate procedures. The first Marla Ahlgrimm explains, involves inserting a tissue expander underneath the remaining skin and chest muscles. The expander device is gradually filled with a saline solution over the course of eight to 26 weeks. Once the expander has reached its capacity and tissue healed, a permanent implant is inserted. Depending on the woman’s breast structure, a physician may elect to place the implant at the time of the mastectomy.

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