Posted in Health, news, Social Media

Selfitis – Obsessive Selfie Disorder Defined

The average person performs more selfies in one day than going to the bathroom.  We witness people take pictures of themselves on trains, in lines at the DMV and while shopping at Wal-Mart, only to re-expose us to their obsession on social media.  We can’t escape people’s faces with peering eyes and face contortions no matter what we do as we are forced to feign care and interest in what their expression is telling us while they are ordering a Big Mac.

We’ve all predicted a “mental disorder” would eventually be named for this obsessive and narcissistic behavior that haunts us every screen shot and follows us with every scroll……and now it has.  Two psychiatrists, Janarthanan Balakrishnan from Thiagarajar School of Management in Madurai and Mark D Griffiths of UK’s Nottingham Trent University surveyed 400 students who attended management courses at two colleges in India and classified them as the following

Borderline

One who takes selfies 3 times a day but DOES NOT post on social media.  34% fell into this category.

Acute

One who takes selfies 3 times a day but DOES post on social media.  40.5% fell into this category.

Chronic

One who takes selfies more than 6 times a day while posting on social media, suffered by 25.5% of respondents.

In fact, after the respondents were asked about their selfie habits, many took selfies.

India is a hotbed of selfitis and tragically boasts the highest selfie death rate in the world (76 cases out of 127 world-wide).

Selfies offer numerous incentives in our current social culture.  These include:

  • Cementing the memory in time
  • Being included in social media feeds
  • Preventing the “out of sight, out of mind” concept when it comes to relationships
  • Competition
  • Attention seeking, by hundreds of people at once
  • Manipulation of facial features and weight depending on lighting, filters and poses.

Think about it, if we want to look attractive, and show the world, we have unlimited picture and editing power.

Indian Medical Association President, Dr. KK  Aggarwal, issued the following warning:

A lot of us have become slaves to devised that were really meant to free us and give us more time to experience life and be with people. Unless precautionary measures are taken at the earliest, this addiction can prove detrimental to one’s health in the longer term.

What precautionary measures can be taken?

When any obsession starts setting in, will power must be utilized and boundaries set. However, when this fails, friends and family members need to be recruited. Assign one person to be your “selfie police” who only allows you one selfie a day.  You and he/she can pick the selfie, dress it up, crop it, spending as much time as you need on this one selfie.  Posting will only be allowed once a day.  After exhaustively creating your one selfie, hopefully you realize the futility of your efforts, and maybe you’ll skip a day, and then two.

Remember, “less is more” and your friends will be more excited to see you or your pic if they weren’t supersaturated with you all day long on their social media feed.

Let me know how it works for you, since I’m not ready to detox yet…..

 

selfie.jpg

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, New Year's Eve, news, weather

Preventing Hypothermia this New Year’s Eve

Even those who live in desert states such as Nevada and Arizona run the risk of hypothermia this New Year’s Eve.

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The holidays flew by us way too quickly and left the wind chill in its wake.
Unfortunately with all the hustle and bustle this time of year, we tend to forget how dangerous the weather can be.  It would make sense to stay indoors, and for the most part we do….except for New Years.  All rules go out the door with this party.  The most exciting night of the year can sometimes be the coldest night of the year.  And the party ends up outside.  And do we don a ski mask, goggles, gloves, galoshes, thermal underwear, winter coat and ear muffs?  No. That would make the most unsexy New Year’s outfit. 
Throw some alcohol into the mix and this can be a deadly combination. The CDC estimates that 1300 deaths occur each year due to hypothermia.  So what is hypothermia?

What is hypothermia?

 Hypothermia is a dangerous drop in body temperature and can occur in minutes.   Human body temperature averages around 98.6 degrees F.  But hypothermia starts setting in at 95 degrees F with shivering, increase respiratory and heart rate, and even confusion.  We forget that glucose stores get used up quickly so hypoglycemia can ensue as well, making matters worse, especially in someone who is intoxicated.  Frostbite can occur as blood flow decreases to the tips of the ears, fingers, nose and toes. As hypothermia progresses,  the shivering and muscle contractions strengthen, skin and lips become pale, and confusion worsens. This can lead to severe hypothermia, eventually causing heart failure and/or respiratory failure, leading to a coma and if not reversed, death.

Hypothermia can mimic looking drunk

Someone who is hypothermic may slur their speech, stammer around and appear uncoordinated.  This sounds identical to your drunk buddy on New Year’s Eve.  Unfortunately, this can be deadly as many hypothermic partiers get written off as being drunk.
So if you suspect hypothermia, call for medical assistance.  Anyone you think is eliciting signs of hypothermia should be brought indoors, put in dry clothes, covered in warm blankets, and then wait for paramedics to arrive.  It’s important to try to warm the central parts of the body such as head, neck, chest, and groin,  but avoid direct electric blanket contact with the skin and active rubbing if the skin is showing signs of frostbite.

Why not use hot water to warm up a hypothermic individual?

Hot water will be too caustic and can cause burns. Remember, the body is shunting blood away from the ears, fingers, toes, hands and feet to warm the heart, brain and other vital organs.  The skin will be in a vulnerable state during hypothermia and frostbite and will burn the underperfused skin.

Alcohol increases the risk of hypothermia

We’re outside in the cold, not bundling up, dancing, sweating, becoming dehydrated. Add alcohol to the mix, and its deadly.  Here’s the scoop on alcohol toxicity.

Preventing hypothermia

When it comes to hypothermia, the best thing you can do is prevention.   It’s the biggest party of the year so prepare yourself by doing the following:
  • Wear multiple layers of clothing
  • Bring an extra pair of dry socks
  • Avoid getting wet (i.e. falling off a boat, getting splashed with champagne)
  • Change your clothes if you worked up a sweat dancing
  • Check with your medical provider if some of your medical conditions (i.e. hypothyroid) or medications (i.e. narcotics, and sedatives)  put you at risk for hypothermia
  • Avoid alcohol intoxication
  • Keep an eye on your more vulnerable buddies who include children, older individuals, and those with intellectual disabilities.
A Happy New Year should also be a Healthy New Year.  So be warm, dry, safe and have fun!!
smiley

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Christmas, Health, news

Christmas Tree Syndrome? How Your Tree Can Make You Sick

Among the various health issues that plague us during the festive holiday season; flu, colds, heart disease, hypothermia, pneumonia….we add one more to the list….Christmas Tree Syndrome.

Christmas Tree Syndrome occurs when one feels ill when they are in close proximity to their Christmas Tree.   True the average Christmas tree is a spruce or fir, which rarely should be allergenic, but researchers have found they still carry allergens such as pollen, picked up by nearby plants, and may house mold.

Researchers from State University in New York analyzed the bark and needles of multiple Christmas trees and found multiple cases of mold with their allergy producing spores. And since they are trees from the wild, they provide residence to thousands of critters…aphids, mites, bark beetles and even spiders.

Now we have been living with Christmas trees each season and harmoniously and symbiotically have lived with their crittery inhabitants without being attacked, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t free from symptoms.

Christmas Tree Syndrome includes any of the following symptoms:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Chest Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Rash
  • Watery Eyes
  • Nasal Itching
  • Scratchy Throat
  • Difficulty Sleeping

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Mold and pollen are notorious for being the biggest culprits in causing these types of respiratory symptoms, so the following has been suggested to reduce your risk of Christmas Tree Syndrome:

  • Hose down the tree and let it dry before bringing it back into the house
  • Utilize an air purifier in the same room as the tree
  • Avoid extended stays of the tree, i.e. put it up nearer to the holiday and take it down once Christmas ends
  • If currently suffering from allergies or asthma, or vulnerable to Christmas Tree Syndrome, delegate tree decorating to someone else in the family…maybe an in-law.
  • Consider having your gorgous Christmas tree outside the house.

 

outside tree

Dr. Daliah Show Tree, Magical Forest, Opportunity Village

 

Have a happy and healthy Christmas!!

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

Posted in Health, New Year's Eve, news, sex, Valentines

How to Give the Perfect First Kiss

A recent study looked at how men and women instinctively move their head to the right to engage in a kiss. However, despite cranial choreography, many people miss the mark when it comes to the perfect kiss.  So here’s what you need to know to make first base the most effective and successful one ever.

1. Begin by NOT Kissing

The first move to any successful kiss is to NOT kiss.  Rushing to the physical does not allow the recipient to mentally prepare. And with women, mental and emotional involvement helps the physical act of both kissing and sex, so allow us women to collect our thoughts and desires first before moving in.

2.  Make eye contact

Look into the eyes.  Make that connection, allowing the emotions to stir.  Kissing shouldn’t be just physical.  It needs to have an emotional connection and looking into her eyes solidifies a commitment, even if it’s just a few seconds, that you will follow through with whatever she wants.

3.  Slowly introduce the hands

Slowly brush your fingers along her check, or take your thumb and gently move it across her lower lip, where you want to aim your kiss.  You can look at her while you do this and slowly move in.

Do Masks Make People More or Less Attractive

4.  Gently hold the sides of her neck

The neck offers many erogenous zones and gently, whilst subtly, engaging them will result in her extending her neck back and bringing her head up to yours.

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5.  Lean in to her forehead and then stop

You can rest for a second on her forehead, or even lightly brush your nose against hers, but still DO NOT kiss.  The kiss, just like sex, has to appear to be second or third to your making an “emotional connection.”  If she thinks you need her…. you need this kiss, she’ll be more willing to oblige, and maybe jump into it before you need to initiate.

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6.  Have your lips open slightly

If she hasn’t already jumped in and started kissing you, now is the time to advance.  Go slowly and have your lips slightly open to welcome hers.  Aim for the lower lip and brush it with your lips initially.  Never begin with the tongue!!!! Thrusting your tongue in too soon will kill a kiss immediately.  Brush, press, kiss…..repeat.

How to Show Love (Without Being Uncomfortable or Awkward)

7.  Keep your hands above the waist and away from the chest

Remember this is your first kiss.  Butt and breast fondling has no place when it comes to your initial kiss.  Remember it’s about emotion and not sex.  You can touch her neck, shoulders, wrap your arms around her waist, touch her back, stroke her hair, but handle with care.

Gone With The Wind
Clark Gable (1901 – 1960) and Vivien Leigh (1913 – 1967) star in the MGM romantic drama ‘Gone with the Wind’, 1939. (Photo by Clarence Sinclair Bull/John Kobal Foundation/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The first kiss can be the one of the most amazing moments in any relationship. Savor it and celebrate it like the ceremonious event that it is.  Good luck, and oh…..use a breath mint first!!!

Great Gift!!

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician

@DrDaliah

Posted in Health, news

Sperm Could be Used to Help Treat Cervical Cancer

Scientists found a way to use sperm to deliver chemotherapy to cervical cancer cells.

Why not?  Sperm fight jungle-like conditions for days to crack an egg, thus proving to navigate a woman’s cervix and gynecological track pretty well.

Researchers from the Leibnitz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Germany used sperm armed with doxorubicin, a commonly used chemotherapy drug, to attack cervical cancer tumors in a lab.  87% of the cancer cells were killed within three days.  Then the team used tiny four-armed magnetic harnesses to transport the sperm to a tumor growth.  Upon abutment, the four arms opened allowing the doxorubicin-infused sperm to swim to the cancer cells and successfully kill them.

Tumors are made up of both cancerous and healthy cells, hence cancer cell-specific treatments are ideal to reduce healthy cells damage.

Wise-Woman-Approaches-Of-Cervical-Cancer

Moreover, direct delivery of the chemotherapeutic agent prevents it from being metabolized or diluted on its way to the organ needing treatment.

Why sperm?  A Sperm may have sensors that guide it to a woman’s cervix. For it to navigate the path it does to impregnate a female it must find the os, opening, of the cervix once it enters the vagina.  Transitional cells separating the endocervical cells from the ectocervical cells are a common place for cervical cancer, hence sperm may instinctively know how to find the transitional zone.  This makes them the perfect messenger.

These “spermbots” could revolutionize cervical cancer therapy and possibly target other gynecological diseases such as endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, and endometriosis.

 

 

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

Posted in Health, news, travel

How to Avoid Getting Sick When You Fly

Holiday season means it’s the travel season. And winter colds may be merrily jumping around an airplane you’re travelling in.  And not just viruses are lurking, deadly drug resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, have been found to colonize airplane surfaces.  So here’s a list of things you should consider to avoid getting sick when you fly this Christmas break:

 Open the air vent and aim it IN FRONT of your face

The air will help blow pathogens away from your respiratory tree.

 

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Don’t sit next to someone who appears sick

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the average passenger does not want to appear rude and will suck it up, literally.  If your flight has you sitting next to a passenger who is coughing up phlegm in your direction and no other seats are available, considering changing flights or cover your nose and mouth with a mask or sweater.

 

plane sick.jpg

Wash your hands and avoid touching your face

A recent study from Auburn university found deadly pathogens like E. coli and MRSA to survive for up to & DAYS on surfaces surrounding your airplane seat.  Tray tables, arm rests, bathroom doors, drinking fountain buttons and even the air vent button can house bacteria so wash your hands after touching any of these surfaces.

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Wipe down your surrounding areas

Antimicrobial wipes can help protect you against nasty bugs on any of the aforementioned surfaces.

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Avoid sitting in aisle seats, especially near the lavatory

People stand in line to use the bathroom and breathe and cough on you while you’re trying to enjoy your movie or nap.  The window seat may be safer.

aisle seat.jpg

Carry-on some of your prescriptions 

Make sure to have half of your medications in your suitcase and half with you in your carry-on in case the flight gets delayed or you lose one of your bags.

Use your own pillow when you sleep

Your body loves your own personal microbiome and airplane pillows may carry germs you don’t wish to keep.  Remember to bring an extra pillowcase so you can change it out before you use it again on the flight back.

Eat a balanced diet prior to travel, and every day for that matter  

Fruits, vegetables, protein, complex carbs and fiber help your immune system.  A strong immune system can help you fight some of the worst of pathogens.

Stay hydrated

We forget to drink water when we travel and moist mucous membranes in our noses and mouths are less likely to pick up bacteria and viruses than dry ones.

Be well rested prior to travel

Conversely, poor sleep will weaken your immune system.

 

Remember to reach out to your medical provider a few weeks before you travel in case he or she goes on vacation as well.  Any medications that need to be adjusted or refilled should be done prior to travel or you running out.

Safe travels!!!

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

 

 

Posted in food, Health

Christmas: What Your Pets Can or Cannot Eat

Above: Shakey-Boo taking advantage of distracted hosts

Christmas is coming and so are the in-laws.  So to avoid being outnumbered at the dinner table, we invite our pets.  But can pets eat table scrapings and leftovers from Christmas?

Let’s look at what they can and cannot eat.

Dogs

UZ.jpg

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can eat the following (in moderate amounts):

  • Turkey, Chicken, Beef (remove all bones so they don’t get swallowed and perforate the gut)
  • Ham
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bread (with no raisins)
  • Popcorn
  • Corn
  • Honey
  • Coconut

Avoid the following in dogs:

May be toxic; cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; kidney damage; pancreatitis due to high fat content, or intestinal obstruction

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Raw Dough
  • Avocado
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Ice cream
  • Almonds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol
  • Nutmeg
  • Mushrooms
  • Energy drinks
  • Fatty/fried foods and even the fat trimmings
  • Artificial Sweeteners such as Xylitol

And watch their portions. They will eat and eat and eat and won’t keep a tally on what grandma, nephew and the neighbors threw at him.

Cats

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Fluffy or Snappy (above) can eat – but again only in moderation:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Grains
  • Vegetables (though many stick their nose up at it)
  • Eggs
  • Butter

Avoid similar foods as with dogs due to toxicity and also (according to Vetsnow)

  • Alcohol
  • Raw fish and eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Coffee, tea and energy drinks

 

Fish

fish

Yes, some will bring Nemo to Christmas dinner.

It appears fish can eat many types of meat and vegetables, scrambled eggs and even cooked rice but be careful of toxins. fats and cooking oils.

Parakeet

parakeet

I don’t have any of these and if I did, I doubt I’d share my turkey with it.  But according to pethelpful.com, many fruits, vegetables, breads and nuts (chopped up without shell) can be eaten by birdie.

 

Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!!!

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news, sex

Those Needing Viagra Should Have Their Hearts Checked

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Has Again Been Linked to Heart Disease

For years, men have voiced frustration when their medical providers insisted on a cardiac workup prior to initiating an ED prescription.  Some thought it was because they’d have a heart attack during sex.  But it’s not.  Erectile dysfunction is a vascular issue, and if the vessels of the penis are compromised, how does one know his heart vessels aren’t as well?

Now in a recent study published in the Journal of Vascular Medicine, researchers found the same risk factors leading to erectile dysfunction are also culprits in heart disease.

Risk factors shared by both erectile dysfunction and heart disease include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Men over age 45
  • Physical inactivity
  • Stress
  • Obesity

 

Researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center, Florida International University and Baptist Health South Florida reviewed multiple studies and found a link between erectile dysfunction and compromised blood vessels whose endothelium (lining) demonstrated impaired vessel relaxation. This is necessary for both erections as well as blood flow to the heart and rest of the body.

Moreover carotid media-intima thickness, a marker of atherosclerosis, appeared to be correlated to erectile dysfunction as well.

This study reminds us that if one bodily function is impaired, other organs may be quietly suffering the same impairment.

I like to credit the pharmaceutical companies that created erectile dysfunction drugs with saving millions of men’s lives as:

  1. Men who would refuse to come into any doctor’s office now had an incentive to, resulting in a long-overdue check-up
  2. Those who saw providers who required an EKG or diabetic screening, and unknowingly suffered from a serious cardiac risk factor, could now be diagnosed.
  3. ED drugs allowed those men who couldn’t enjoy sex to now get some much-needed physical activity

The study authors stated, “Our study supports a more aggressive cardiovascular disease risk assessment and management for persons with erectile dysfunction, including young men who may otherwise be categorized as low risk due to their young ages.”

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

California Officially Warns the Public on Cell Phone Use Radiation Risks

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued guidelines on how to limit radiation from cell phone use which may cause cancer.

For years we’ve contemplated over cell phones causing cancer, specifically brain cancer.  Each year a study debunks this theory, but months later a report surfaces that reignite the debate.  And no matter how many studies disprove a cancer link, we worry because we are 24/7 glued to our phones, or the phones are glued to us.  Many of us don’t even own a landline anymore as we find it financially obtuse to pay monthly fees for a wall jack we don’t use.  We take our phones with us to school, work, the dinner table, and even the toilet.  If it wasn’t for the lack of water proofing, many of us would take our phones with us into the shower.  We are geographically closer to our phones than own children. Something’s got to bite us in the butt……

Earlier this year a Superior Court Judge in California ordered the state to release papers discussing the risk of long-term cell phone use.  According to sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com, “The documents were written by the state’s Environmental Health Investigations branch and are believed to contain cellphone radiation warnings and recommendations for public use.  But the state refused to hand them over when requested by a director at University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.”  Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D in turn sued the state saying this data should be public record and won. He’s been researching the subject and cited an increased brain cancer risk with cell phone use over 10 years.

Children are the most susceptible with their developing brains.  The following recommendations were recommended for both adults and children:

  • Keeping the phone away from the body
  • Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak
  • Reducing the use of cell phones to stream audio or video, or to download or upload large files
  • Keeping the phone away from the bed at night
  • Removing headsets when not on a call
  • Avoiding products that claim to block radio frequency energy. These products may actually increase your exposure.

What do cell phones emit?

Cell phones emit radio waves. These are a form of non-ionizing radiation that provides an energy source through radio frequency.  Ionizing radiation is emitted by xrays, cosmic rays, and radon, and have been linked to cancer as it is a high frequency, high energy form of electromagnetic radiation.  Non-ionizing radiation include radio waves, microwaves, visible light, UV light, infrared, and lasers.  Although UV radiation may cause skin cancer, the other sources are deemed less dangerous than their ionizing radiation counterparts.

Can cell phone use cause cancer?

One of the more recent studies unveiled in May of 2016 reported cell phone radiation caused brain tumors in mice.  Rats exposed to the radiofrequency radiation for 7-9 hours a day, seven days a week, were more prone to develop the malignant gliomas as well has tumors in the heart.  This study was not intended to be translated to human risk, but of course it made headlines and scared us silly.

Prior to this, in 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified cell phone use and other radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.

However, multiple studies have been done, as descriptively outlined by the National Cancer Institute, and are assuring us that there is no imminent danger by our daily use of cell phones.  The NCI also provides recommendations from the CDC, FDA, and FCC stating not enough evidence exists to establish a link between cell phones and cancer.

Can cell phone radiation injure our body’s cells?

Although arguments continue over cell phone radiation causing cancer, it has been proven that heat is given off.  Many people complain their ear gets hot after lengthy cell phone use and studies have yet to determine if cell  phone heat can cause oncogenic changes in cells.  They’ve studied if the radiation affects metabolic activity, and a team led by Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found visible brain activity changes on the side the cell phone was being used.  They recommended after this study keeping the cell phone away from the body and using a lower radiation emitting phone.

So now what?

We wait and see.  My suggestion is to not overdo it with our phones.  Use the speaker setting when practical so as to not consistently hug the phone to your skull.  Take breaks in between lengthy calls.  Text when appropriate to minimize exposure as well.

Or do what I do when I talk to my mother, hold the phone 3 feet away from my head.  I can still hear her…..just fine……

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news, sex

Male Virgins May Unknowingly Have STD’s

A common misconception is “Virgins are STD free.”  However, what many don’t realize is making it to first, second or third base can still transmit the deadliest of diseases.

A new study published in the Journal of Infectious Disease found cancer-causing strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) to be prevalent in many male virgins. Although these results were not a surprise as female virgins were found to acquire HPV through non-penetrating sexual contact, this was the first study to look at male virgins.

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston looked at 87 self-proclaimed virgins ranging in age from 18-70 living in the US, Mexico and Brazil and performed follow-up check-ups every 6 months between the years 2005 and 2009.  25% carried HPV with 20% having contracted the strains that cause cancer.  Once any of these men had full sexual intercourse, their risk of acquiring HPV jumped 28.7 % the first year and 45.5% within two years.

HPV can cause cancer of the cervix and vagina, but in men may cause cancer of the penis and in both men and women cause cancer of the throat, anus and rectum.  It may also cause genital warts.

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Genital Warts: Image from Urological Consultants of Florida

 

However most people infected with HPV are asymptomatic and in many, the virus may be self-limited, not causing any disease.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection but may not be the most reported.  Per the CDC, the prevalence of genital infection with any HPV type was 42.5% among United States adults aged 18–59 years during 2013–2014.

HPV can be contracted not only through penetrating sexual intercourse but also oral sex and “heavy petting.”  Many teens are at risk if they assume open-mouth kissing is STD-free.

Since HPV is acquired through unprotected sex, condom use is encouraged. For those naive as to its transmission, education and vaccination are paramount.  There are 3 vaccines for HPV currently approved by the FDA, GardasilGardasil 9, and Cervarix.  Vaccination is recommended for all boys and girls starting at the age of 11 up to age 26.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician