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Black men are speaking out about the silent stigma of infertility

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Jordan Moss

Jared Wright (36) from New York remembers perfectly the moment he received the news that modified his life. He remembers the doctor coming in, taking off his hat and saying, “I’m sorry, you’ve been diagnosed with non-obstructive azoospermia.” Recalling it, Wright says, “I felt like someone had died.”

Infertility is diagnosed when conception doesn’t occur after a yr or more of unprotected intercourse. The cause is normally poor semen quality – azoospermia. This manifests as a low sperm count, little or no sperm in the ejaculate, or the inability of the sperm to maneuver easily to fertilize the egg. Blockages may also prevent sperm from being delivered. “If you’ve had a really bad testicular infection, it can cause scarring on the tubes that carry sperm from the testicle to the ejaculate,” says Ronald Anglade, M.D., an Atlanta urologist. Age may be a vital factor.

A 2013 report titled “Infertility and Impaired Fertility in the United States,” which followed men from 2006 to 2010, found that about 9 percent of men of childbearing age in the United States experience infertility, and one-third of infertile couples experience difficulty is is attributable to the masculine side. Black men have the highest infertility rate at 13.2 percent, with Hispanic and Asian men having an infertility rate of 12.8 percent and white men having an infertility rate of 11 percent. Only 1 percent of men in search of infertility treatment were black.

When it involves the ability to procreate, some Black men imagine it’s tied to their identity. “We live in a society with a very narrow conceptualization of masculinity and masculinity,” says Darren D. Moore, Ph.D., LMFT, clinical professor and associate director of clinical training and supervision in the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program at the Family Institute, Northwestern University . “Especially in the Black community, a man is someone who can generate income and have children. A person’s ability to produce is related to his perceived power. Therefore, if he has fertility problems, he is often ridiculed and sometimes his masculinity is questioned.”

Solving the stigma problem

This way of considering about the nature of masculinity is so pervasive that partners are often mechanically blamed when the inability to conceive occurs. Brandon Johnson of Virginia, 43, now a black infertility therapist, recalls that because of this assumption, his wife was offered egg donation. The desire to guard her and take away the stigma of infertility prompted him to openly talk about the diagnosis he received at the age of 32. “At the time, I thought I wasn’t a man anymore,” Johnson admits.

For family physician Carl E. Lambert Jr. from Chicago, his own infertility diagnosis was a “come to Jesus moment.” Lambert, 38, and his wife didn’t get pregnant after nearly a yr of trying, and he was initially reluctant to undergo an evaluation. “There was a bit of denial there,” he says. “And I think for a lot of guys that might be their first reaction.” When he finally got to the doctor, he found out he had a low sperm count.

The diagnosis of infertility evokes great emotions. “We go through stages of grief and loss because you lose a valuable part of yourself,” Johnson explains. He says it is important for men to permit themselves to work through the anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance related to grief, understanding that they’ll move backwards and forwards through these processes.

Black men are speaking out about the silent stigma of infertility
Jordan Moss

Help is offered

“If you’re having trouble having a baby after a year or two of trying, don’t try for five, six and seven years without evaluation,” says Anglade. After the initial semen evaluation, the urologist will inform you about the available options. If sperm count is low, clomid and/or HCG could also be prescribed to extend testosterone and sperm production. If sperm are present in semen or require collection from the testicles, intrauterine insemination (IUI) could also be the first advice. If this does not work, your doctor may recommend in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Lambert was evaluated a yr after failing to conceive together with his wife. The couple was finally in a position to welcome a baby due to in vitro fertilization. Without help, they’d a second child. Wright underwent surgery for scrotal varicose veins to correct his condition. He has since tried to gather sperm for rounds of IVF, but up to now no transfer has been successful. He and his wife plan to proceed trying with the remaining healthy embryos.

Although assisted reproductive treatment may be very expensive, Wright credits his medical insurance plan as a New York State worker with having the ability to afford it. However, he still pays between $200 and $250 for a semen evaluation. As of May 2023, 21 states have adopted latest fertility insurance laws and 13 have introduced fertility preservation laws for medically induced fertility. Resolve, the national fertility association, is a preferred resource for information about medical insurance options and other support services.

Black men are speaking out about the silent stigma of infertility
Jordan Moss

Going forward

“I had to consider whether it was more important to have a child come out of my loins or to be a father, and more than anything, I wanted to be a father,” Johnson says. “So we started looking for different ways to have children.” After quite a few failed IUI attempts, Johnson and his wife adopted a baby.

Trying against all odds to make your parental dreams come true, he recommends contacting yourself again. This includes finding a hobby that sparks joy or releases pent-up pain. “Anger builds tension that accumulates in the body,” he says. “Physical activity will help release them.”

Anglade agrees that consistent exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including being drug-free, is very important for men who are able to have children. “You want to stay active; You don’t want to be obese – maintain a good weight,” he says. “Smoking is a big risk factor for infertility, so don’t use nicotine or marijuana.”

The most significant thing, in line with Moore, is for men to have the opportunity to teach themselves and others. “We need safe spaces to learn about infertility and to process our personal experiences,” she says. “We also need support as we deconstruct our identity, trying to reconstruct it in a way that does not allow fertility status to determine one’s masculinity.” Johnson agrees that is key – he now not lets his diagnosis influence how he sees himself. “As a person, you are more than just your infertility,” she says. “Your infertility is a part of you, but it doesn’t have to depress you.”

This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Health and Wellness

After the surgery, I was given opioids to take at home. What do I need to know?

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Opioids are sometimes prescribed after discharge from the hospital after surgery to help relieve pain at home.

These strong painkillers may cause unwanted unintended effects or harm, reminiscent of constipation, drowsiness, or the risk of addiction.

However, you may take steps to minimize this harm and use opioids more safely after recovering from surgery.

What varieties of opioids are the most typical?

The mostly prescribed Post-operative opioids in Australia include oxycodone (brand names include Endone, OxyNorm) and tapentadol (Palexia).

In fact, about half latest oxycodone prescriptions in Australia, according to a recent hospital visit.

Most often, patients will receive immediate-release opioids for pain relief. These are fast-acting drugs and are used to treat short-term pain.

Because they work quickly, their dose could be easily adjusted to your current pain level. Your doctor gives you instructions on how to adjust your dose depending in your pain level.

Then there are slow-release opioids, that are specifically formulated to release your dose slowly over about half to a full day. They could also be marked on the carton as ‘prolonged release’, ‘controlled release’ or ‘prolonged release’.

Slow-release preparations are mainly used for chronic or long-term pain. Thanks to the slow-release form, the medicine doesn’t have to be taken as often. However, it takes longer to achieve effect compared to an immediate-release drug, so it is just not commonly used after surgery.

Controlling pain after surgery is necessary. This will assist you to rise up and move faster and get better faster. Moving early after surgery prevents muscle atrophy and harm related to immobility, reminiscent of pressure sores and blood clots.

Everyone’s pain level and pain medication needs are different. Pain levels also decrease as the surgical wound heals, so you might need to take less medication as you get better.

But there’s also risk

As mentioned above, unintended effects of opioids include constipation and feeling drowsy or nauseous. Drowsiness may additionally increase the risk of falling.

Opioids prescribed for pain relief at home after surgery are often prescribed for short-term use.

But to one in ten Australians proceed to take them up to 4 months after surgery. One study found that individuals didn’t understand how to safely stop taking opioids.

This long-term use of opioids can lead to addiction and overdose. It may additionally reduce the effectiveness of the medicine. This happens because the body gets used to the opioid and wishes more of it to get the same effect.

Addiction and unintended effects are also more common slow-release opioids than immediate-release opioids. This is because people normally take slow-release opioids for a very long time.

There are also concerns about “residual” opioids. One study found that 40% of participants were prescribed them greater than twice the amount they needed.

This leads to unused opioids remaining at home could be dangerous the person and his or her family. Storing leftover opioids at home increases the risk of taking an excessive amount of, sharing it inappropriately with others, and taking it without medical supervision.

Don’t keep leftover opioids in your medicine cabinet. Take them to the pharmacy for secure disposal.
Photo by Archer/Shutterstock

How to minimize risk

Before using opioids, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about using over-the-counter pain relievers reminiscent of acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory medicines reminiscent of ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen, Brufen) or diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren, Fenac).

These could be quite effective in controlling pain and can reduce the need for opioids. They can often be used as a substitute of opioids, but in some cases a mixture of each is mandatory.

Other pain management techniques include physical therapy, exercise, heat or ice packs. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to discuss which techniques will profit you most.

However, for those who do need opioids, there are a couple of ways to ensure that you might be using them safely and effectively: :

  • ask about immediate release as a substitute of slow-release opioids to reduce the risk of unintended effects

  • you must not drink alcohol or take sleeping pills while taking opioids. This may increase drowsiness and lead to decreased alertness and slower respiration

  • as you might be at greater risk of falls, remove trip hazards from your private home and ensure that you may safely get off the sofa or bed and go to the bathroom or kitchen

  • Before you begin using opioids, make a plan together with your doctor or pharmacist about how and when to stop using them. Opioids after surgery are best taken at the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time.

Woman holding a hot water bottle (pink cover) on her stomach.
A heat pack may help relieve pain so that you need to use less painkillers.
New Africa/Shutterstock

If you might be concerned about unintended effects

If you might be concerned about the unintended effects of using opioids, talk to your pharmacist or doctor. Side effects include:

  • constipation – Your pharmacist will give you the chance to offer you lifestyle advice and recommend laxatives

  • drowsiness – do not drive or operate heavy machinery. If you are attempting to not sleep during the day but still go to sleep, the dose could also be too high and you must contact your doctor

  • weakness and slow respiration – this may occasionally be an indication of a more serious side effect, reminiscent of respiratory depression, which requires medical attention. Contact your doctor immediately.

If you might be having trouble withdrawing from opioids

If you could have difficulty coming off opioids, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can suggest alternative methods of relieving your pain and offer you advice on progressively reducing your dose.

Withdrawal symptoms reminiscent of agitation, anxiety and insomnia may occur, but your doctor and pharmacist can assist you to manage them.

What about leftover opioids?

When you stop using opioids, take any leftovers to your local pharmacy for secure and free disposal.

Do not share opioids with others and keep them away from others in your household who do not need them, because opioids could cause unintended harm if not used under medical supervision. This may include accidental ingestion by children.


This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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Health and Wellness

The best tunnel look from Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals

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NBA

Last night, the Boston Celtics won the 2024 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks on their home court. However, in matters of style, there have been several other winners before the match. The core members of the Celtics decided to decorate comfortably slightly than flashily as they’d done previously. For example, Jayson Tatum appeared in a tunnel look consisting of a chic striped sweater and slim pants. The moment was a bit laid back, nevertheless it was a sanitized tackle streetwear.

Jaylen Brown, the 2024 Finals MVP, wore an all-black outfit: His outfit consisted of a black t-shirt and one other long-sleeved version underneath. He paired these pieces with elegant tailored trousers and leather shoes.

An additional look I liked was PJ Washington of the Dallas Mavericks. He wore a striped shirt and crisp dark blue jeans. This tunnel kit was an elevated version of the game day uniform.

Before the game, Tim Hardaway of the Dallas Mavericks wore a yellow sweater with a white T-shirt underneath and dark brown pants. His teammate Kyrie Irving wore an identical cream long-sleeved ensemble that stood out.

Check out the best tunnel looks from Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals below.

This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Health and Wellness

Do you suffer from mental illness? Why some people say yes even if they haven’t been diagnosed

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Mental illnesses akin to depression and anxiety disorders have gotten more common, especially amongst people young people. The demand for treatments is increasing, and some of them can be found on prescription psychiatric drugs They climbed up.

These rising trends within the prevalence of mental illness are accompanied by a rise in public interest in mental illness. Mental health messages saturate traditional and social media. Organizations and governments are increasingly urgent in developing awareness-raising, prevention and treatment initiatives.

The culture’s growing interest in mental health has obvious advantages. It increases awareness, reduces stigma and promotes help-seeking.

However, this will involve costs. Critics are nervous social media mental illnesses breed in these places and that extraordinary unhappiness becomes pathologized by the overuse of diagnostic concepts and “therapy says“.

British psychologist Lucy Foulkes argues that trends in attention growth and adoption are related. Her “prevalence inflation hypothesis” suggests that growing awareness of mental illness may lead some people to be misdiagnosed when they experience relatively mild or transient problems.

Foulkes’ hypothesis suggests that some people have too broad conceptions of mental illness. Our research confirms this view. In a brand new study we show that lately, the concepts of mental illnesses have broadened – we call this phenomenon “concept creep“- and that people are different when it comes to their concept of mental illness.

Why do people self-diagnose mental illnesses?

In our recent one testwe examined whether people with a broad understanding of mental illness are in actual fact more prone to self-diagnose.

We defined self-diagnosis as an individual’s belief that she or he has a disease, whether or not she or he received a diagnosis from a specialist. We assessed people as having a “broad understanding of mental illness” if they considered a wide selection of experiences and behaviors to be disorders, including relatively mild conditions.

We asked a nationally representative sample of 474 American adults whether they believed they had a mental disorder and whether they had received a diagnosis from a health care skilled. We also asked about other possible aspects and demographics.

Mental illness was common in our sample: 42% said they self-diagnosed it, and most of them received it from a health care skilled.

People with greater knowledge about mental health and fewer stigmatizing attitudes were more prone to report a diagnosis.
Mental Health America/Pexels

It is due to this fact not surprising that the strongest predictor of reporting a diagnosis was experiencing relatively severe stress.

The second most vital factor, after distress, was the broad concept of mental illness. When anxiety levels were the identical, people with broad concepts were significantly more prone to report a current diagnosis.

The chart below illustrates this effect. It divides the sample by levels of distress and shows the share of people at each level who report a current diagnosis. People with broad conceptions of mental illness (the best fourth of the sample) are represented by the dark blue line. People with a narrow definition of mental illness (lowest fourth of the sample) are marked with a light-weight blue line. People with broad views were way more prone to report mental illness, especially when their distress was relatively high.

The percentage of participants with a broad (dark blue) or narrow (light blue) conceptualization of mental illness who self-diagnosed various levels of distress.
Provided by the authors

People with greater mental health knowledge and fewer stigmatizing attitudes were also more prone to report a diagnosis.

Our study results in two further interesting conclusions. People who self-diagnosed but didn’t receive an expert diagnosis tended to have a broader understanding of the disease than those that diagnosed it.

Additionally, younger and politically progressive people were more prone to report the diagnosis, which is consistent with some opinions previous researchand held broader conceptions of mental illness. Their tendency to carry more expansive concepts partially explained their higher diagnosis rates.

Why does this matter?

Our findings support the view that expansive conceptions of mental illness encourage self-diagnosis and should thus increase the apparent incidence of mental sick health. People who’ve a lower threshold for outlining distress as a disorder usually tend to discover as having a mental illness.

Our findings do indirectly show that people with broad concepts overdiagnose and people with narrow concepts underdiagnose. They also don’t prove that having broad concepts of self-diagnosis or leads to a rise in mental illness. Nevertheless, the findings raise serious concerns.

First, they suggest that increasing awareness of mental health can come for a price. In addition to increasing knowledge about mental health, this will increase the likelihood that people mistakenly recognize their problems as pathologies.

Incorrect self-diagnosis could have opposed consequences. Diagnostic labels could be identity-defining and self-limiting when people begin to imagine that their problems are everlasting. difficult to manage facets of who they are.

The woman is crying
Some people may misidentify their problems as mental illness.
Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Second, unfounded self-diagnosis can lead people experiencing relatively mild levels of hysteria to hunt help that’s unnecessary, inappropriate, and ineffective. Last Australian research found that people with relatively mild distress who received psychotherapy were more prone to worsen than to get well.

Third, these effects could also be particularly problematic for young people. They are most prone to broad conceptions of mental illness, partially because social media consumptionand comparatively often experience poor mental health. Time will tell whether expansive conceptions of illness play a job within the mental health crisis amongst young people.

Continuous cultural changes favor increasingly expansive definitions of mental illness. These changes will likely have mixed blessings. By normalizing mental illness, they may help remove its stigma. However, pathologizing some types of on a regular basis suffering could have an unintended downside.

As we grapple with the mental health crisis, it’s critical that we discover ways to boost awareness of mental sick health without inadvertently increasing it.

This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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