All You Need to Know About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects 1 in 10 women. It is a disorder that is so common yet many women are not familiar with it.  PCOS consists of your ovaries becoming enlarged and containing cysts around your ovaries. These can cause an array of symptoms that range from woman to woman.

The biggest and most common symptom of PCOS is spaced out or no periods. Because of the deformity in the ovaries, your periods tend to lessen, becoming shorter and irregular. It is also the leading cause of infertility. A few other symptoms of PCOS are weight gain especially around your abdomen, hair growth on your face and body called heurism, a darker neck and joints than other women, and the loss of hair on your head. Some of the mental health symptoms can be anxiety and depression.

The reason why PCOS occurs is because of enlarged ovaries as well as a hormonal imbalance. When there is a hormonal imbalance in your body, with an increase in male hormones and an imbalance in female hormones, PCOS tends to occur.

Many people wonder about how to combat this condition. Currently, there is no cure or solution, it is a life long illness. However, there is a way to manage it. Many women that do have PCOS can lead pretty normal lives as long as they take care of themselves. Here are a couple of tips to avoid contracting PCOS: 

Maintain a healthy body weight

Maintaining a healthy body weight is extremely crucial when it comes to PCOS. You need to be at the optimal weight so your reproductive organs can work in the best possible way and provide the right environment for fertilization.

A healthy lifestyle

Even if you are of a healthy weight, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to managing PCOS. If you have too many sugary foods or drinks, too many complex carbs or fats, they will throw out the balance of your hormones causing problems such as PCOS.

How to Combat Infertility

Combating infertility can be one of the most difficult things a couple may have to do. However, that does not mean it’s impossible. It is possible with a little bit of help and support from those around us and doctors. 

Many women go through this pain and many of them win the battle, having multiple children. So if you feel as though you are in this battle, we believe you can easily come out successfully if you follow these few tips. 

  1. Stressed out

At times, because we are so worried or anxious about the whole procedure, the stress tends to throw our hormones out of balance. This can be a huge factor in promoting infertility. You need to relax and let your body be. You need to stay calm and collected, and trust your body to do its thing. If you over stress and overthink, it throws your hormones and neurotransmitters out of balance causing more issues. 

  1. Medication

Certain medications are made for the sole purpose of combating infertility. We suggest you go to a doctor, get a full checkup done, and take the prescribed medicines. Having those regularly will have a huge impact on your hormone levels and your reproductive organs, helping in fertilization. 

  1. Losing weight

Many women that face infertility tend to be overweight and obese. This can lead to infertility too. By bringing in omega-rich foods into their diets and cutting out carbs and sugar, it will help your body lose weight and come back to its original shape. This will help in creating the right environment for fertilization and combat infertility

  1. Exercise 

Exercise just like losing weight can help tone out your body. It is also an excellent way to release stress that these things can bring. So we suggest that including exercise within your routine would be excellent to combat infertility.


All You Need to Know About a Mammography Scan

A mammography scan, also known as a mammogram, is a specialized x-ray imaging of the breast that is used to detect and diagnose breast cancer and other breast abnormalities. Images are created of the inside of the breasts by exposing the breast tissue to a small number of ionizing radiations. There are currently three types of mammography screenings: digital mammography, breast tomosynthesis and computer-aided detection.

Digital Mammography:
In this type of mammography, with the use of electronics, mammographic pictures of the breasts are obtained. This process works like a camera and clear pictures are captured with exposure to low radiation. They can then be transferred into a computer for the examination by radiologists and can be retained for long term usage.

Computer-Aided Detection:
This type focuses on any unusual and irregular changes in the breasts. They produce images that highlight risky, abnormal areas of density, or masses which can give indication of cancer. The radiologists can then focus on these areas and assess the seriousness of the disease.

Breast Tomosynthesis:
This type is an advanced version of the digital mammography that produces a three-dimensional result. A large number of images are captured from various angles and gathered to make a three-dimensional image of the infected breast.
It is extremely important that all women aged 40 or older have a yearly mammography scan, as it plays a crucial role in the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer and other breast diseases. Any unusual alterations in the breast can be identified a year before the person can feel them.

Breast cancer can be detected by the use of mammography scans at an early stage when the chances of curing them are the highest.

How to give yourself a routine breast cancer check

It is recommended that all women aged 20 and over begin conducting monthly breast self-exams to identify and keep track of any changes in their breasts.

Establishing a regular self-exam schedule allows women to detect abnormalities including lumps, changes in skin texture, or discharge. Self-examination is important in order to detect and diagnose breast cancer at an early stage when it is the most curable.

Follow these steps to check yourself for breast cancer:

1. Stand undressed in front of a full-length miror. If your breasts are not of the same size, you don’t need to worry as this is common in many women. Check for any lumps, dimpling of the skin, or changes in the size and shape of the breasts. Check for any changes in your nipples.

2. Observe the outer parts of your breast after tightening your muscles below the breasts. You can do so by putting your hands on your hips and pressing down firmly.

3. Next, bend towards the mirror and further tighten your muscles by rolling your shoulders and elbows forward. Observe any changes to the breasts shape. Place your hands on the back of your head and press them forward. Then observe the shape.

4. Check for any fluid discharge through your nipples. You can do so by using your thumb and forefinger.

When in the shower:

  • Apply some soap and water on your hands and feel for any changes in your breasts.
  • Look for any thick or lumpy areas.
  • Check for lumps both above and below the collarbone.

When lying down: 

  • Lie down with a pillow underneath your right shoulder.
  • Place your left hand on the right breast and your right hand behind your head.
  • Then start moving your hand in a circular pattern around your breast to identify any thick areas or anything unusual.
  • Put your fingers on the nipples and press them inwards, they should move easily.

If you do find a lump or notice a new change in your breast tissue, you do not need to panic. Changes in the breasts do not always signal cancer; they may be the result of many other conditions. If you are still concerned, feel free to give Little Silver Mammography & HerSpace a call (732-741-9595) to discuss any questions that you may have and to schedule an appointment.

National Infertility Awareness Week

April 19th through April 25th is National Infertility Awareness Week, in which we unite millions of Americans in order to reduce the stigmas around infertility. The first step to breaking down barriers is education and during this month, we provide resources to educate and make a difference.

What Is Infertility?

Infertility, which affects 8 to 12 percent of couples in the United States, can be described as when a couple cannot conceive after having regular unprotected intercourse. Lastly, it’s important to remember that it can result from an issue with either partner or a combination of things.

Infertility Symptoms

The main symptom of infertility is an inability to get pregnant. Sometimes, a woman who is infertile may have an irregular period. In other cases, a man may experience irregularities in hair growth and sexual dysfunction. Most people do not need to consult a doctor unless they have been regularly trying to get pregnant for one year. Women should consider speaking to a doctor earlier if they:

  • Are over age 40
  • Are age 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for six months
  • Have painful periods
  • Have been diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis
  • Have had multiple miscarriages
  • Have undergone treatment for cancer
  • Have very painful periods

Men should consult a doctor sooner if they:

  • Have small testicles
  • Have low sperm count
  • Have a history of testicular, prostate, or sexual problems
  • Have others in your family with fertility problems
  • Have undergone treatment for cancer
  • Have other sperm problems

What Causes Infertility?

Infertility can be caused by a number of things. About one-third of the time, infertility can be traced to the woman and in another third, it can be traced to the man. Any damage related to cancer and treatments like radiation or chemotherapy can cause infertility.


Women can experience infertility due to ovulation disorders that affect the release of eggs from the ovaries. Uterine or cervical abnormalities like polyps in the uterus or the uterus shape can also cause infertility. Additionally, if a woman has experience fallopian tube blockage or damage, endometriosis, early menopause, or pelvic adhesions, they may be infertile.


For men, infertility can be caused by abnormal sperm production or function due to undescended testicles, genetic defects, or health problems or infections. Likewise, problems with the delivery of sperm due to sexual problems, genetic diseases, structural problems, or injury to the reproductive organs. Likewise, overexposure to radiation, cigarette smoke, alcohol and marijuana use, anabolic steroids, or taking medications to treat infections, depression, or high blood pressure.

Infertility Risk Factors

There are many risk factors to do with infertility. These include:

  • Age
  • Alcohol use
  • Being overweight or underweight
  • Lack of or frequent strenuous exercise
  • Tobacco use

Infertility Prevention

In order to prevent infertility, there are a number of steps that can be taken. Having regular intercourse several times around ovulation is key to increase one’s rate of pregnancy. Likewise, avoiding drug, tobacco, and alcohol use can reduce your risk of infertility. Lastly, avoiding weight extremes, exercising moderately, and limiting caffeine or medications that may impact fertility is key.

Infertility Treatment

With or without treatment, most couples will eventually conceive. However, many couples chose to treat fertility in a number of ways including medicine, surgery, artificial insemination, or assisted reproductive technology. Depending on your test results, how long you’ve been trying to get pregnant, partner preference, and the health and age of both partners, a doctor may recommend one treatment over another.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

In 2000, President Bill Clinton dedicated the month of March as National Colorectal Cancer Month. During this month, we rally together in order to provide support for patients, survivors, and advocates around the country. Wear blue! Hold a fundraiser! Educate! Don’t assume that everyone knows about colorectal cancer. It’s key to take this time to raise awareness about Colorectal Cancer to our communities.

Colorectal Cancer Overview

Colorectal Cancer is cancer that begins in the rectum or colon. It begins with polyps in either the rectum or the colon that can change to cancer over time. From there, it spreads, growing into blood or lymph vessels, traveling to lymph nodes, and attacking other more distant parts of the body.

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Symptoms of colorectal cancer include a persistent change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, persistent abdominal discomfort, weakness and fatigue, unexplained weight loss, or feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely. In the early stages of colon or rectum cancer, one may not experience these signs. As cancer grows, they vary and are largely dependant on the cancer’s size and location.

Risk Factors of Colorectal Cancer

There are many risk factors that contribute to colorectal cancer. These include:

  • Age – Those who are diagnosed are typically over age 50.
  • Race – African-Americans have a greater risk of colorectal cancer than people of other races.
  • Personal or family history of cancer or polyps.
  • A history of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s
  • A low fiber, high fat diet
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol consumption or cigarette smoking
  • Radiation therapy for cancers in the abdominal region
  • Colorectal Cancer Treatment & Prevention

    While you can’t completely prevent colorectal cancer, there are a variety of ways to reduce your risk including maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise, drinking in moderation, and quitting smoking.
    Treatment for colorectal cancer includes surgery in the early stages including removal of polyps, endoscopic resection, and laparoscopic surgery. At its midpoint stages, you might need a partial colectomy, creation of a way for waste to leave your body, or lymph node removal to treat colon or rectum cancer. In colorectal cancer’s most advanced state, treatment includes targeted drug therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and supportive care.

    The best way to maintain your health is to schedule appointments with your doctor. Right down your symptoms and any personal information including a list of your medications. Knowing is half the battle. Make sure that you are taking all of the steps necessary to get an early diagnosis as that is the key to protecting yourself.

    Understanding Endometriosis

    March is Endometriosis Awareness Month! During we seek to provide an understanding of endometriosis in order to allow for coping and support of those who suffer from this disorder.

    Understanding Endometriosis

    Endometriosis is a painful disorder that offers when endometrial tissue, which is tissue similar to that which lines the uterus, grows on the outside of the uterus. It involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining your pelvis and very rarely spreads beyond those organs, affecting more than 11% of American women between 15 and 44. Typically, this endometrial tissue thickens and breaks down as it does during the menstrual cycle, however, because it has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. Sometimes endometriosis may result in severe pain during menstrual cycles, cancer, and fertility problems.

    Symptoms of Endometriosis

    There are many symptoms that come along with endometriosis, though the main symptom is pelvic pain. Additionally, someone suffering from this disorder may experience:

    • Pain with intercourse
    • Painful periods
    • Pain during bowel movements and urination
    • Excessive bleeding
    • Fatigue
    • Constipation or diarrhea
    • Bloating
    • Nausea
    • Infertility
    • Spotting or bleeding between periods

    Endometriosis may be mistaken for pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, and irritable bowel syndrome. If you find that you’re exhibiting any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor as endometriosis can be difficult to manage. Early diagnosis is the key to managing your symptoms.

    Causes of Endometriosis

    The exact cause of endometriosis has not been determined. Still, there are a few possible explanations. Possible causes of menstruation include retrograde menstruation, embryonic cell transformation, endometrial cell transport, and immune system disorders. Likewise, surgical scar implantation and transformation of peritoneal cells are other explanations.

    Endometriosis Risk Factors

    There are several factors that increase your risk of endometriosis. Starting your period at an early age, going to menopause at an older age, never having given birth are a few. Simultaneously, experiencing reproductive tract abnormalities and having menstrual cycles less than 27 days and heavy periods that last for longer than 7 days are risk factors as well. Endometriosis is also heredity, so having a sister, mother, or aunt with endometriosis puts you at a higher risk.

    Endometriosis Treatment

    In order to be diagnosed with endometriosis, a doctor must perform a pelvic exam or ultrasound, a laparoscopy, or an MRI. Once you are diagnosed, there are several modes of treatment including pain medication, hormone therapy, conservative surgery, fertility treatment, or hysterectomy.

    To ease symptoms, warm baths, NSAIDs, and heating pads can treat discomfort!

    For more resources on how to understand endometriosis, visit

    Understanding Eating Disorders

    The national eating disorder awareness week is February 24 – March 1. During this week or always, we seek to educate and destigmatize eating disorders. Eating disorders require treatment and understanding eating disorders, knowing the signs and symptoms, is the first step to getting help. You are not alone. If you or someone you love is showing signs of an eating disorder, contact someone you trust and seek help.

    Anorexia Nervosa (Anorexia)

    Anorexia nervosa is the most well-known eating disorder that typically develops in adolescence or young adulthood. Generally, those with anorexia view themselves as being overweight despite their true size. They restrict their calories, avoid eating certain foods and monitor their weight to the point of obsession. Many people with anorexia are preoccupied with thoughts about food and experience difficulty eating in public.
    Often, those with anorexia compensate for food intake by way of various purging behaviors like vomiting, the use of diuretics, or excessive exercising. Over time, they experience the thinning of their bones, infertility, brittle hair and nails, and the growth of fine hair all over their bodies. In extreme cases, anorexia can cause heart or brain failure and death.
    Typical symptoms of anorexia include:

    • Being underweight
    • Restrictive eating habits
    • Intense fear of gaining weight coupled with behaviors to avoid gaining weight
    • Pursuit of thinness
    • A distorted body image
    • Bodyweight and shape as a heavy influence on self-esteem

    Bulimia Nervosa (Bulimia)

    Bulimia nervosa, like anorexia, developed in adolescence or early adulthood. Those with bulimia tend to experience moments of binging that continue until the person is painfully full. Once full, those with bulimia attempt to purge in order to compensate for consumed calories by way of forced vomiting, fasting, laxative and diuretic use, enemas, and excessive exercise.
    Unsurprisingly, those with bulimia may appear to be a normal weight, yet they find themselves with a fear of gaining weight despite this. Their self-esteem is largely influenced by their body shape and size and they experience both recurrent episodes of binging and purging. Those with bulimia experience a host of other health concerns including:

    • Inflamed / sore throat
    • Swollen salivary glands
    • Worn tooth enamel
    • Tooth decay
    • Acid reflux
    • Severe dehydration
    • Hormonal Disturbances
    • Irritation of the gut
    • Nutrient imbalance
    • Stroke or heart attack

    Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

    Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States and while it begins in early adolescence or adulthood, it can develop later on. Binge eating disorder is similar to bulimia in that those who suffer eat large amounts of food over short periods of time to the point of discomfort. However, they do not restrict calories or purge to compensate for these binges.
    Commonly, those who have binge eating disorder are overweight or obese. This means that they are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes among other serious medical conditions. Generally, those with binge eating disorder:

    • Eat despite not feeling hungry
    • Feel a lack of control during episodes of binging
    • Experience distress, shame, disgust, or guilt when thinking about binges

    Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

    Boddy dysmorphic disorder is often a symptom of many of the better-known eating disorders. It is categorized by an obsession with a perceived defect in one’s physical appearance or a concern with a slight blemish or quirk. Generally, those with body dysmorphia have unrealistic views of their body including their skin, hair, noses, eyes, teeth, chin, legs, lips, and height. Signs and symptoms of those with BDD include ritualistic behaviors like mirror checking, touching the area of insecurity, or covering the area of insecurity with clothing, makeup, and tattoos.
    Typically, those with BDD desire constant reassurance from others, spend time consumed by thoughts or behaviors related to their “defects, and seek to correct their “defects” with frequent visits to the dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. They may pick their skin, groom obsessively, or experience social anxiety.

    Avoidant / Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

    Avoidant / restrictive food intake disorder was formerly known as a selective eating disorder and develops during infancy or early childhood. Often, those disorder persists into adulthood and is equally common in both men and women. Much like anorexia, those with ARFID restrict the food that they consume. However, they do not experience a preoccupation with weight gain. Rather, they are disturbed by the sensations of eating foods with certain tastes, smells, colors, textures, or temperatures.
    Typically, those with ARFID do not eat enough calories or nutrients, which can lead to other severe health concerns. They may experience weight loss of poor development for their age and height due to their restrictive habits. Similarly, this lack of nutrients may mean they depend on supplements or tube feeding, and interfere directly with normal social functions like eating with others.


    Pica is an eating disorder that is categorized by eating things that are not traditionally considered food. Those with pica often crave items like:

    • Ice
    • Soil, pebbles, or dirt
    • Chalk
    • Paper
    • Hair
    • Wool or cloth
    • Laundry detergent or soap
    • Cornstarch

    Pica can occur in adults, children, and adolescents, but is often seen in children, pregnant women, and those with disabilities. Those with pica have an increased risk of poisoning, gut injuries, and nutrient deficiencies depending on what they are ingesting.

    Rumination Disorder

    Those who experience rumination disorder regurgitate food that has been previously chewed. Often it occurs voluntarily within thirty minutes of eating and develops during infancy, childhood, and adulthood. Typically, those with rumination disorder avoid eating in public and restrict the amount that they eat which causes them to lose weight or become severely underweight.

    Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)

    OSFED describes feeding or eating disorders that do not fall under the criteria for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, pica, or rumination disorder. Typically, the five disorders under OSFED are:

    • Atypical Anorexia Nervosa
    • Atypical Bulimia Nervosa
    • Binge Eating Disorder
    • Purging Disorder
    • Night Eating Syndrome

    5 Benefits of Mindfulness

    During the holiday season, our lives are rife with stressors. It’s crucial at this time that you find ways to reduce stress and maintain your physical and mental health. Mindfulness, which is described as the basic human ability to be fully present and aware without overreacting or becoming overwhelmed, is one such way. Here are 5 benefits of mindfulness.

    Mindfulness Can Improve Your Physical Health

    Did you know that mindfulness can improve your physical health? In fact, studies have shown that mindfulness can positively impact one’s health and increase one’s willingness to engage in healthy habits. These habits include: getting regular check-ups, being physically active, using seat belts, and avoiding nicotine and alcohol. Together, these behaviors can contribute to reducing your risk of many different ailments and diseases including certain cancers, heart disease, and stroke.

    Mindfulness Lowers Your Stress Levels

    Practicing mindfulness is known to decrease one’s stress levels. By decreasing your stress response, mindfulness allows you to reap the benefits of a stress-free life. When you reduce your stress levels, you see the benefits almost instantly. Higher brain function; lowered heart rate and anxiety levels; increased attention and focus; increased immune function — nixing stress can completely change your life in measurable ways.

    Mindfulness Can Improve Attention

    The very principles of mindfulness, focus, awareness, acceptance, and observation, are all proven to increase your attention. From paying attention to the present moment to observing and accepting, mindfulness can improve your cognitive behavior and brain function. Over time, mindfulness training can even sharpen your memory and improve your mental performance long term.

    Mindfulness Can Manage Chronic Pain

    Over 100 million Americans are dealing with some form of chronic pain, which is described as pain lasting longer than three to six months. In clinical trials, mindful meditation has been shown to reduce chronic pain by 57% and some in some cases, by 99%. This effective pain management technique can reduce the worry associated with the pain and simultaneously erase any such emotional or mental tension that contributes to feelings of discomfort.

    Mindfulness Can Improve Your Mental Health

    It’s long been held that mindfulness is effective as a supplemental treatment for depression and anxiety. It can boost your self-esteem and compassion, thus aiding in the improvement of your overall mental health. This is because the practitioner learns to step back from intense negative emotions and allow them to identify and accept rather than fight or ignore. A 2016 study even found that brief mindfulness training increases emotional regulation, which directly contributes to depressive symptoms.

    Consider trying mindfulness on your own! There are dozens of available apps to help you get started.

    Self-Care Tips for Women

    Self-care is now all the rage, and for good reason! Studies have shown that women who practice self-care activities like regular exercise, healthy, mindful eating, and sleeping sufficiently find more satisfaction in their work and personal lives. In instituting more self-care behaviors into your routine, it’s important to remember these things!

    Self-Care and Hard Work Can Coexist

    Self-care and hard work are not mutually exclusive. Making time for self-care does not mean that you are not working hard or that you are being lazy. In fact, it takes dedication and commitment to schedule time for yourself each and every day. And remember, self-care can happen at work too! Self-advocation, asking for support when you need it, time management, knowing when to say no… these are all valid modes of nurturing your soul and caring for yourself!

    Self-Care Does Not Have To Take A Lot Of Time

    Often, people nix the idea of practicing self-care because they believe that it will take too much time. That, however, is not the care. There are plenty of small, brief ways to be kind to yourself that you can include in your daily routine. Many modes of self-care can be done without so much as lifting a finger.

    Self-Care Is Not Earned

    Self-care is not transactional. It is not a treat or reward for hard work or doing things for others; it is a necessity. You deserve to be treated with kindness, compassion, and love – from others and from yourself.

    Self-Care Is More Than Just Leisure

    Self-care is more than just an activity. It’s more than doing nice things for yourself or participating in hobbies that you enjoy in your free time. It’s about changing your attitude and developing positive self-talk. It’s about not being hard on yourself after you make a mistake. Saying no and setting boundaries. Recognizing, accepting, and allowing yourself to feel emotion. Reminding yourself that your thoughts and feelings are valid. Self-care is doing what’s best for your whole being: mind, body, and spirit!

    Realize That Self-Care IS NOT Selfish

    Ultimately, the biggest thing to remember is that self-care is not selfish. Sometimes, it can be viewed as such, but that is not the case. Look at it this way: the people around you need you to take care of yourself. In fact, you’re a better friend, parent, and person when you’re kind to yourself. Prioritizing self-care is a way to ensure that you’re always at 100% for the people who rely on you and care about you!

    Self-care is key. Make sure to take some time to be kind to yourself, especially in the new year! What are some ways that you’re practicing self-care right now?