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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:33 pm 
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Mods: I wasn't sure where to put this since there's no forum section for general health issues. If this should be under Contingency & Planning instead, please move it. :)

I thought we could use this thread as an ongoing archive on dealing with women's health issues for temporary SHTF scenarios, as well as full OEW/PAW situations where modern resources are no longer available. :) I've created the following categories, let me know if I've left something out:

1. Bladder Issues (urinating outside, UTIs, etc.)
2. Menstruation (fem hygiene products [FHP] and complications)
3. GYN Issues (BV, yeast, complications)
4. Sexual Health (STIs/STDs)
5. Birth Control (options)
6. Pregnancy (prenatal care, delivery, complications)
7. Menopause (natural remedies for symptoms)

Please share your tips and links on these subjects. :) Questions are also welcome.


To make this thread most useful for everyone below are some requested guidelines for posting:

1) PLEASE INCLUDE THE CATEGORY TITLE (listed above).
That'll make it easier for us to search and scan as the thread grows. See my posts below for examples.

2) PLEASE REFRAIN FROM RELIGION, POLITICS AND PERSONAL JUDGMENT
I realize that certain issues, such as birth control, can be charged for some people. However, I feel this thread will be most beneficial if it's kept objective without religious or political bias. This allows each individual to assess the information on his/her own terms, using or discarding as he/she sees fit.

3) PLEASE REFRAIN FROM INNUENDO, OFF-COLOR JOKES AND OAFING
Some of this stuff just gets downright funny, I know. I mean, bodies are funny. :) But I'd like people to feel comfortable and respected when sharing information in this thread, not self-conscious or baited.


DISLAIMER: This is not to disregard men's health issues, I just didn't think guys were going to want to wade through pages of talk about menstruation, yeast infections, UTIs, etc. ;) And since each gender has its own issues, I felt it'd be easier to have separate threads. You're welcome to start a Men's Health Issues thread.


EDIT: added Sexual Health category.
EDIT 9/14/09: added guidelines.

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Last edited by Y.T. on Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:28 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:34 pm 
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1. Bladder Issues
[excerpt from earlier post]

HOW TO PEE STANDING UP:

http://www.myvag.net/pee/standing/
http://www.backcountry.net/arch/at/9907/msg00398.html

Note: while this is helpful I don't find it a useful option in all cases. You need to place the fingers right up against your inner folds -- which means your hands have to be REALLY clean or you're going to risk infection. UTI, etc. are NOT what you want to deal with any day, let alone in a ZPAW situation. Since it's not always practical to clean your hands and the area I prefer to use a pee funnel.


LINKS TO VARIOUS KINDS OF PEE FUNNELS:

update: this article has an overview of many pee funnels, with pics and descriptions.

reusable:
http://www.freshette.com (2 pieces: plastic reservoir and tube. available at REI.com)
http://www.whizfreedomusa.com (2 pieces, looks like a longer Freshette)
http://www.go-girl.com (reservoir with a spout, all 1 piece)
http://www.travelmateinfo.com (1 piece: plastic short tube with spout. company appears to be out of biz.)
and the "Shenis": http://shenis.com/about.html (NSFW - needs no explanation) ;)

disposable:
http://www.pmateusa.com (disposable waxed paper funnel)
http://pee-zees.tripod.com (similar to P-Mate, but made of plastic)
http://www.urinelle.biz (disposable funnel, similar to P-mate but larger)

You can also make your own pee funnel in the PAW from cut up milk or water jugs, or coated paper.


WHY YOU NEED A PEE FUNNEL:

update: further discussion on page 8 of this thread.

1) The number one reason for using a pee funnel: you don't have to drop trou (thereby exposing your butt and crotch) to whiz.
    This is really important when it's freezing cold outside, when there may be irritants around such as poison ivy, or when you're in a populated area and safety or etiquette may be a factor.

2) You can remain standing while whizzing
    This means you can be more alert and ready to run while doing your business in an SHTF situation. it also means you don't whiz all over your shoes or pants. And it means you don't have to remove your pack to whiz.

3) You can whiz in the grossest of porto potties or small areas with minimal contact to the surfaces
    This means you avoid unsanitary conditions, which means avoiding illness or infection.

EDIT: fixed links, added new links

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Last edited by Y.T. on Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:50 am, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:36 pm 
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2. Menstruation

This post covers alternative products for both tampons (top) and disposable pads (bottom).

michelle had made a previous post on this: Alternative Menstrual Products IIRC there's some helpful info in there, but it also gets frequently derailed so weather through it.


ALTERNATIVES TO TAMPONS: MENSTRUAL CUPS
*note all companies sell to the US and most international locations. Even with the conversion rate and international shipping the non-US companies are still price competitive. Strangely, there aren't a lot of US companies that make these things, most are Canadian, British or Australian.

common menstrual cups companies and retailers:
http://www.thekeeper.com (US - latex Keeper and silicone Keeper MoonCup, not to be confused with the original UK Mooncup)
http://www.divacup.com (CAN - silicone)
http://www.mooncup.co.uk(UK - silicone)
http://www.lunapads.com (CAN, also sells cloth pads)
http://www.gladrags.com (US, also sells cloth pads)
http://manymoonsalternatives.com/category.php?cat_id=9 (CAN, also sells cloth pads)
Kaylan had a helpful post here with info on menstrual cup sources for those outside the US.

additional info:
Photo Comparison of Keeper, Divacup, UK Mooncup, Instead, Lunette (scroll down, resources also included)
Comparison and Rating of UK Mooncup, Divacup, Keeper, Keeper Mooncup, Lunette (also info on using cups)
Overview of Menstrual Cups and Divacup, Keeper and Keeper Mooncup
Huge Directory of Links About Menstrual Cups (care, comparison, use)

* I have some info direct from the individual companies regarding care. I'll post when I get time.

menstrual cups and UTIs:
From The Keeper site:
    Quote:
    2.) What about possible infections?
    Occasionally, some women find that The Keeper will aggravate a urinary tract infection (UTI). If you have any tendencies toward dehydration or UTI's, you might want to try drinking extra water during the time you will be using The Keeper, to help prevent this.
From the DivaCup site:
    Quote:
    Q. Is there an increased risk of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) when using The DivaCup?
    A. Menstrual cups are not associated with an increased risk of UTI.

    You may need to trim the stem a bit so that it is not protruding near to the urethra. Also, it is important to wash and rinse the cup and the stem thoroughly. It is best to use a mild pH balanced wash like The DivaWash, so that residue is not left on the cup. Residue may cause irritations.

menstrual cups and yeast infections:
From the DivaCup site:
    Quote:
    Q. Can I use The DivaCup while using vaginally-administered medication to clear up an infection?
    A.No, it is best to discontinue use until the infection has cleared up completely. Also, it is important to boil the cup if it was used at any time during the duration of the yeast infection. Submerge the cup in an open pan of boiling water (continuous rolling boil) for twenty (20) minutes. Do not leave the boiling pot unattended and use enough water so that the pan does not boil dry.

    Also, never use the cup at the same time topical medication is being used. The medication may compromise the silicone and ruin the cup. If this has happened, please replace the cup with a new one.

    There is no increased risk of yeast infections with the use of menstrual cups if they are cleaned properly.

difference between silicone and latex:
from The Keeper site:
    Quote:
    The Keeper is a natural gum rubber cup and The Keeper Mooncup is a medical grade silicone cup - both similar to the material that is used in baby bottle nipples... If you have latex allergies, we highly recommend The Keeper Mooncup.

    Although The Keeper is made from natural gum rubber (versus a synthetic polymer), it is still made of rubber, which is also called latex. To be conservative, don't use it if you are allergic to rubber or latex, or think you might be.

    The Keeper Mooncup is also a reusable menstrual cup we highly recommend. The Keeper Mooncup isn't made of latex, but of durable medical grade silicone and, like The Keeper, does not expose women to the hazards of bleaches, chemicals, rayon fiber absorption and chafing.
I recently found this great description of the difference between silicone and latex on another forum:
    Quote:
    The benefits of silicone over latex are many. Silicone is hypo-allergenic, and you can actually boil it to disinfect it. With latex, you use either hydrogen peroxide or tea-tree oil to clean, which either bleaches the cup (thus accelerating the breakdown of the material) or leaves an odor.

washing/care:
see Towanda's post below about washing latex menstrual cups.
There's also this info on washing your cup from The Keeper site:
    Quote:
    At the end of your cycle, thoroughly wash your Keeper in hot water with a mild antibacterial soap and rinse thoroughly. If you wish, you may "rinse" your Keeper in a mild solution of 1 part non-chlorine bleach or vinegar with 9 parts hot water. [note: it is unclear if this refers to just the latex cup or both cups.]
And this info from the DivaCup site (silicone cup):
    Quote:
    Washing the cup in mild soap and warm water provides sufficient cleansing. The best cleaning agent to use is The DivaWash. We have formulated it as a pH balanced wash that is best for the cup and you, because it does not leave residue.

    At the end of each cycle The DivaCup should be washed and rinsed as specified and then submerged in an open pan of boiling water (continuous rolling boil) for twenty (20) minutes. Do not leave the boiling pot unattended and use enough water so that the pan does not boil dry. Do not use vinegar, tea tree oil, scented soap, antibacterial soap, hydrogen peroxide, bleach or harsh chemicals as these may damage the silicone and ruin the cup.

    At the end of each cycle The DivaCup should be washed and rinsed as specified and then submerged in an open pan of boiling water (continuous rolling boil) for twenty (20) minutes. Do not leave the boiling pot unattended and use enough water so that the pan does not boil dry. Do not use vinegar, tea tree oil, scented soap, antibacterial soap, hydrogen peroxide, bleach or harsh chemicals as these may damage the silicone and ruin the cup.
    Quote:
    Q. Can I use vinegar, bleach or hydrogen peroxide to soak The DivaCup?
    A. Please do not use vinegar, bleach or hydrogen peroxide as these will damage the silicone. Follow the instructions in the FAQ “How do I clean The DivaCup?”.


ALTERNATIVES TO PADS

Kaylan had a helpful post here with info on cloth pantyliners and pads.
bebaker22 shared a link for making your own cloth pads: craftster.org topic

Here is some general info on cloth pads:
Why Use Cloth Pads?
Washing Cloth Pads
Cloth Pad Review (reviews many different brands)
Moon Pads?(info on using cloth pads and reviews of different brands)
What is PUL Fabric? (in many pad listings you'll see reference to "PUL", this explains what that is)

common places to purchase cloth pads and panty liners:
*note all companies sell to the US and most international locations. Even with the conversion rate and international shipping the non-US companies are still price competitive. Strangely, there aren't a lot of US companies that make these things, most are Canadian, British or Australian.

http://www.lunapads.com (CAN, also sells cups)
http://www.gladrags.com (US, also sells cups)
http://www.wemoon.com.au (AU)
http://manymoonsalternatives.com/category.php?cat_id=9 (CAN, also sells cups)
http://www.hagrag.com (US)
http://www.newmoonpads.com (US)

edits: periodic updates to links, info, etc.

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Last edited by Y.T. on Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:12 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:43 pm 
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3. GYN Issues

YEAST INFECTION

there were lots of tech issues with this post. please see the full repost below.

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Last edited by Y.T. on Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:59 pm 
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5. Birth Control

It think this is one of the trickiest things in a full PAW situation. Condoms have a pretty long shelf life (I think I've seen some up to 10 years), but I haven't found any natural alternatives. There are herbs such as pennyroyal that can be used to prevent conception or as abortives, but they can be dangerous if not used by someone with much knowledge and experience.

I've been thinking the best approach here would be to research pre-industrial era methods, methods used in less developed countries, and methods used in tribal cultures. Any info or links on this are welcome. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:24 pm 
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3. GYN Issues

YEAST INFECTION
edits: fixed some links, added 3 treatments

For short-term SHFT scenarios you can now buy OTC yeast infection tests, which incidentally can also help determine if you have BV (Bacterial Vaginosis) by default. I keep 1 yeast infection test and 1 OTC one-day ovule treatment in my FAK. Often doctors will have free samples of Diflucan (the end-all-yeast-infections single pill treatment). You may be able to convince your doctor to let you have one for your BOB. I plan to speak to my GYN about that myself.

For EOW/PAW there are 2 common natural remedies: plain yogurt and garlic. [
i](edit: tea tree oil and boric acid are also effective treatments, see below.)[/i]


TREATMENTS

1.) yogurt
If you have some natural resources you can make your own yogurt (google: making yogurt). The downside to this option is that yogurt needs to be refrigerated after it's made and a method for freezing the yogurt is needed for making yogurt suppositories.

There are 2 common methods. The first method is to hold on one of those plunger devices that come with OTC yeast infection creams. Fill the applicator tube with yogurt, insert it as you normally would. Several sites recommend using cold yogurt to help with itching.

The second method is to hold onto a "super"/heavy-flow size tampon applicator, the plastic ones work best because they can be reused. Fill the applicator barrel with yogurt, put your fingers on the open ends to keep the yogurt from spilling out, then wrap the applicator in something sterile to keep it clean and keep the yogurt inside the tube. Place this in the freezer. Once the yogurt has frozen insert the applicator and use it as you normally would.

If you don't have either of the above you could probably use something like a partially filled turkey baster or a medicine dropper (the huge eyedropper looking things used for children's medicine).

It is important that only plain, unflavored yogurt be used. Any flavorings or sugar will only worsen the yeast problem. The reports on how much yogurt to use and how long to continue treatment vary. Generally the amounts above are considered average, for 3-5 days of treatment.


2) garlic
Garlic is a natural anti-fungal. The universal and easiest method reported is to simply take a clove of garlic, peel it very carefully so as not to nick it, and insert it into the vagina. Many sites recommend running a string of dental floss through the center of the clove using a needle, then tying off the floss in a knot. This allows for easier removal.

Most reports state to insert the clove at night and remove it in the morning, doing this for 1-3 days. Some sites state to do this every 3-5 hours. While this is widely claimed to be very effective, it's also noted to make you smell strongly of garlic for several days. Given the circumstances you may not have an option.

ETA: I forgot about boric acid as a treatment. I forgot to add ways to prevent a yeast infection, since prevention is better than having to deal with treatment in a PAW. click the source names below for links to the source articles.


3) herbs: Genetian Violet
Gentian Violet has been suggested for treatment on several sites. If anyone has more info on this, please share it. :)


4) Tea Tree Oil
The essential oil tea tree oil, diluted and applied topically to the vaginal area, has shown some potential as a natural home remedy for yeast infection. A compound called terpinen-4-ol in tea tree oil appears to be responsible.

Unfortunately, there haven't been any clinical studies in humans showing that tea tree oil is effective or safe for yeast infection. Until we have more evidence, it should not be recommended. Tea tree oil must be diluted before applying it to the body. Full strength tea tree oil should never be applied to the vaginal area.



5) boric acid suppositories
Yes, as in the stuff that can be used to kill roaches. ;) It's a real, safe treatment. My GYN once prescribed this and had the capsules filled at a local compounding pharmacy. Boric Acid can be a cheap and simple solution if herbs and food products aren't available. Artful Dodger has also noted this method in their post below.

You simply fill size “0” or "00" gelatin capsules with powdered boric acid (many sites recommend 600 mg). Insert the capsule before bedtime, for 2-3 nights. I've read that vitamin E capsules can reduce any irritation.
Boric acid is a chemical substance with mild antiseptic and antifungal properties. A small Italian study examined the effectiveness of a topical treatment with boric acid compared to oral treamtment with the antifungal drug itraconazole (Sporanox) in 22 women with recurrent yeast infection. The topical boric acid was found to be as effective as itraconazole.

A large study looked at a single 150 milligram dose of the oral medication fluconazole (Diflucan) or boric acid vaginal suppositories (600 milligrams a day for 14 days) in 112 diabetic patients with recurrent vaginal yeast infection. At the end of the study, boric acid vaginal suppositories resulted in a higher cure rate (63.6%) compared to fluconazole (28.8%).

Boric acid is toxic and should never be taken internally (by mouth) or placed on cuts or open wounds. It shouldn't be used for a prolonged period of time, or in amounts greater than what's recommended. It should not be used by pregnant women or applied to the skin of infants or children. Side effects of the suppositories may include vaginal burning and irritation.



PREVENTION:

1. Always wear white cotton panties. Nylon and Lycra may trap air and create a breeding ground for yeast. Never wear panty hose alone -- always wear cotton panties underneath.
2. Never use petroleum-based lubricants for vaginal lubrication during sexual intercourse. Always use water-based lubricants when vaginal dryness is an issue.
3. Always wipe from front to back after a bowel movement to prevent the yeast which normally inhabits the intestinal tract from being transferred to the vaginal area.
4. Eating one cup of yogurt a day helps some women prevent the yeast infections that often follow antibiotic treatment; however, eating yogurt will not cure a yeast infection.
5. Don't use perfumed bath products or powders in the vaginal area, these can cause irritations which can lead to infection.
6. Don't use douches! Douches wash away the natural protective mucous of the vagina leaving the vagina more susceptible to yeast and other vaginal infections.

Preventing yeast infections is obviously more desirable than treating them.
Wearing loose clothing, cotton underwear (or at least underwear with a cotton crotch panel),
removing damp clothing soon after swimming or working out,
and carefully drying the vulvar area after bathing will all help prevent yeast infections.
Some advocate using a blow dryer on warm to briefly blow dry the vulva after bathing to insure adequate drying.

Others suggest using vaginal or oral yogurt, which is a controversial method of preventing yeast infections. However, there are articles in the medical literature that support eating 8 ounces a day of yogurt containing lactobacillus acidophilus, which may reduce the yeast infection recurrence rate by threefold. IF you choose to do this, however, please make sure the yogurt you buy specifically contains lactobacillus acidophilus, as many do not.

Some also advocate taking anti-fungal medications intravaginally or orally at specific intervals to prevent overgrowth of yeast. In some diabetic patients this is very helpful.

Risk factors for yeast infections include:
    * Recent antibiotic use, for example for a urinary tract infection.
    * Wearing tight clothes, particularly non-cotton underwear or pants.
    * Wearing moist clothing for extended periods, such as workout or swimwear.
    * Having diabetes.
    * Having leukemia or AIDS, both conditions that damage the immune system. Obesity.

It should also be noted that the use of antibiotics will frequently cause a yeast infection for some women. So if you're taking an antibiotic for one issue (such as a urinary tract infection or vaginal bacterial infection), you may want to double up on the yogurt to avoid a secondary issue of a yeast infection. This can be particularly problematic when taking an antibiotic for BV, since the symptoms are similar.

In addition, condoms can trigger yeast infections for some women. Some women have latex allergies, others are have a sensitivity to the spermicide used on some condoms (nonoxynol-9). If either is a problem for you packing non-latex or non-lubricated condoms in your BOB may be helpful.


more resources:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Boric-Acid-For-Yeast-Infection-Treatment&id=459731
https://www.msu.edu/~eisthen/yeast/causes.html
http://altmedicine.about.com/od/healthconditionsqtoz/a/yeast_infection.htm
http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/display_story.jsp?id=470&cat_id=38

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Last edited by Y.T. on Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:10 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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All I can add to this is Queen Victoria was proscribed Cannabis for her Menstrul Pains, and it is, according to reports, a very effective and useful Analgesic, with pain killing effect occouring at low dosage, and lasting for much longer than intoxication.

And in the old days, peoples used Primitive condoms, that were surprisingly effective. Tanned Sheep Intestine, sewn with waxed thread, and made water tight, Banaana Lead Wraps I've heard of, and waxed fabrics.

Oh, and women are a lot tougher than men for going through all this shit. I'm so glad I'm a bloke. The Garlic Treatment is one I'd not heard of before, but better a few days smelling like a frenchman than being infected.

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Bolding added for specific subjects.

Ad'lan, condoms made of anything other than latex are too porous to protect against disease. Germs are smaller than sperms. :)

Re latex menstrual cups: they can also be cleaned with soap and water and/or by soaking in 50/50 water and white vinegar. I suppose cider vinegar would also work, but might leave more odor. Menstrual products need not be sterile (tampons and commercial pads are not), but they do need to be clean. If you use a menstrual cup, it should be washed with some non-artificially-scented soap, or completely unscented soap and water at least once daily during your cycle. I use Dr Bronner's peppermint or tea tree soaps on mine, although lavender would also work because of its natural antiseptic properties.

Y.T., thanks for starting this thread. So far there has not been a comprehensive women's health thread, I don't think.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:53 pm 
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1. Bladder Issues

URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS (UTIs)

Fortunately many UTIs can be treated without prescriptions. I've always known about cranberry juice, but did some research to verify that actually cured the infection, not just alleviated the symptoms. Below are some details, click the source name for a link to each source article. I have not yet found a natural remedy for a urinary analgesic (those pills that make you pee bright orange) to replace something like the prescription Pyridium or the OTC Azo. Treating a moderate to severe UTI without a urinary analgesic can mean you won't be able to be as active during that time, particularly if you're doing a walking or biking bugout.

From my own experience, once you've reached the point where you're pissing blood and/or have difficulty walking or sitting you need prescription strength treatment, such as prescription antibiotics. Cranberry juice and supplements aren't going to cut it, plus you need some kind of urinary analgesic. Which is another reason that prevention and good health maintenance are very important in SHTF/PAW situations. If you are susceptible to frequent UTIs you may want to keep extra prescription meds in your FAK for SHTF scenarios.

first, what is UTI?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that begins in the urinary system. The urinary system includes that bladder, kidneys, ureters (the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder) and the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body).

An infection can be limited to the bladder, however, if the infection is not treated promptly, it can spread to the kidneys (called pyelonephritis), causing serious consequences.

Urinary tract infection is the second most common infection after respiratory infection. It is estimated that each year, 8 to 10 million people in the United States get a urinary tract infection, most of them women.

second, symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection
    * Frequent urge to urinate
    * Passing small quantities of urine
    * Burning, painful feeling when urinating
    * Urine may look cloudy, milky, or red

If any of the following symptoms are present, it may be a sign that the urinary tract infection has spread to the kidneys:

    * Constant pain or pressure in the abdomen, side, or low back
    * Fever
    * Nausea
    * Vomiting
    * Chills

Immediate treatment with antibiotics is necessary to prevent kidney damage and other serious consequences.

prevention
Prevention

The following measures can reduce the risk for bladder infections and other UTIs:

* Avoid products that may irritate the urethra (e.g., bubble bath, scented feminine products).
* Cleanse the genital area before sexual intercourse.
* Change soiled diapers in infants and toddlers promptly.
* Drink plenty of water to remove bacteria from the urinary tract.
* Do not routinely resist the urge to urinate.
* Take showers instead of baths.
* Urinate after sexual intercourse.
* Women and girls should wipe from front to back after voiding to prevent contaminating the urethra with bacteria from the anal area.


TREATMENTS

cranberry juice
This is good news for short term situations where retails products are still available. In longer term PAW situations you need to either hope for a farm or find some kind of substitute.
Cranberry juice, by far the most renowned natural remedy, has been clinically proven to have antibacterial properties that restrict bacteria from adhering to the urethral tissue or bladder. Cranberry or blueberry juices in their pure form or at the most sweetened by apple or grape juice can disinfect the urinary tract to a great extent.

Cranberry juice (Vaccinium macrocarpon or Vacinnium oxycoccus) has been used for more than a century as a home remedy to prevent and treat urinary tract infection.

Although it was previously thought that cranberry worked by making the urine more acid, more recent evidence suggests that constituents in cranberry called proanthocyanins prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. This is thought to allow urine to wash away the bacteria.

A study published in the Canadian Journal of Urology in 2002 compared pure cranberry juice, cranberry extract tablets, and a placebo in 150 women at high risk for infections. Both the juice and tablets both significantly reduced UTI. Of the two, the tablets were the most effective. The National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Health recently launched a $2.6 million dollar initiative for research into cranberries.

Cranberry juice should be unsweetened. Unsweetened juice can often be found in health food stores.


herbs
Uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is a herb that is used as a folk remedy for certain types of urinary tract infection. The active component, arbutin, appears to be broken down and then excreted in the kidneys, where it appears to have antiseptic properties.

Uva ursi contains significant amounts of compounds called tannins. Tannins are not believed to be absorbed from the intestines, however, liver damage has occured with people who have taken large doses of tannins. There have been no reports of uva ursi toxicity due to the tannins.

People with kidney or liver disease or pregnant or nursing women or children should not take uva ursi.

Side effects of uva ursi can include brown or green colored urine, nausea, ringing in the ears, or indigestion. Rarely, uva ursi has been associated with retinal damage, seizures, cyanosis, cancer, or even death when taken in large amounts for long periods of time.


supplements
Supplements are also reported to help with treatment:
A steady dose of calcium or magnesium citrate supplements proves to be a great help in bladder infection treatment. As infected urine that remains in the bladder during the night can cause irritation to the bladder, mineral supplements should be taken at bedtime for better effect.


water
it's important to continue drinking large quantities of water during the infection to help your body flush it out. This can be problematic if you're experiencing water rations or have limited water resources. Caffeine and nicotine should be avoided.

other resources
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/urinary-tract-infection/DS00286
http://www.urologychannel.com/uti/alternativetreatment.shtml
http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/21/208.cfm
http://www.natural-treatment-guide.com/uti/uti-intro.html

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Y.T. wrote:
5. Birth Control
It think this is one of the trickiest things in a full PAW situation. Condoms have a pretty long shelf life (I think I've seen some up to 10 years), but I haven't found any natural alternatives. There are herbs such as pennyroyal that can be used to prevent conception or as abortives, but they can be dangerous if not used by someone with much knowledge and experience.

I've been thinking the best approach here would be to research pre-industrial era methods, methods used in less developed countries, and methods used in tribal cultures. Any info or links on this are welcome. :)


Thanks for starting this topic. This is something that I would like to be more knowledgeable about in general.

I posted this in the "condom" topic, but thought I would include it here as well. A friend of mine swears by Toni Weschler's "Taking Charge of Your Fertility." Here's the TMI part: it involves taking a waking temperature, checking the texture/viscosity of vaginal discharge, and I think checking your cervix. (I could never figure out that part!) Anyway, I used it to get pregnant in 3 months while over 30 years of age. My friend has used it for several years to avoid or achieve pregnancy.


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5. Birth Control
6. Pregnancy


MoGrrrl wrote:
A friend of mine swears by Toni Weschler's "Taking Charge of Your Fertility." Here's the TMI part: it involves taking a waking temperature, checking the texture/viscosity of vaginal discharge, and I think checking your cervix.
:lol: everything in this thread is TMI. = It's impossible to talk about it otherwise. And I figure we all have our Big Girl/Big Boy pants on so we can handle it. ;) As the_alias said: "Zombie Squad: TMI since forever..."

Thanks for sharing the tip about the book. :) Here's the link for those interested in reading it. Apparently it comes with a CD-ROM to help determine fertility (or you can purchase the CD separately, it wasn't clear).

That method sounds a lot like the steps taken for the Rhythm Method to help determine ovulation so you're right, that info should be able to be used both for birth control and fertility. :) Which reminds me that having a small calendar in our BOB would be important. Often companies give away little credit card size plastic calendars with the whole year printed on them. That could be stored in a wallet or pocket to help track ovulation and menstrual cycles for either pregnancy prevention or conception.

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Great thread Y.T, thanks for starting it. When I have more time to add to it I will.

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http://www.giftsforprofessionals.com/92588814-x-086.html

I have one of these, can be quite useful, might that help, and be more durable, and more applicable for longer?

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3. GYN Issues

YEAST INFECTION

The most effective remedy I've found for recurrent yeast infections is boric acid. Boric acid can be bought cheaply at most pharmacies. If you have trouble locating it at large chains, check the neighborhood independent stores.

Most sources say to insert two 00 gelatine capsules each evening for one to two weeks. I've always stuck at one with good results.


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5. Birth Control

While an IUD would be difficuilt if not impossible to safely improvise once you find yourself wandering the PAW, celibate and surly, they can be installed in our current, zombie-free times.

Pros: If installed and adapted to before the zombie apocalypse, it provides a long-term, nearly idiot-proof method of birth control. If the pure copper (non-hormonal) option is taken, it's good for about 10 years.

Since it remains in the body, it is difficult if not impossible to leave it at home when bugging out.

Unlike pills, patches, or temporary inserts (rings, sponges, etc), it does not require the user to take regular and timely actions in a highstress situation (I suspect I'd forget to take my pill or swap a patch on time if I was fleeing zombies).

Cons: There is a risk in the first few months of spontaneous expulsion, and a small risk of perforating the uterus, which could be fatal without prompt and competent medical care. Eek.

Some women also experience debilitating cramps for part of their period for the first 3-6 months after installation. Not, "Oh, woe is me, get me a margarita and a midol" cramps, but crippling, breath-stealing, prescription pain-killer requiring cramps. This could make fleeing zombies, bugging out, or even basic tasks immensely difficult. I was closer to the margarita and midol end of the spectrum myself, but some of my friends who also went for the IUD route were at the seeking medical attention in the middle of the night end of the spectrum, so your mileage may vary.

Since it works by preventing implantation, people who believe life begins at conception may be uncomfortable with using them (and some gynecologists will not install them, due to moral qualms).


For what it's worth, I had one installed a few years ago, and found it well worth the initial hassle and discomfort. No need to refill prescriptions, no worries about improper use causing a failure to function, and if the zombies arrive next week, my partner and I will at least not have to add enforced celibacy to our list of woes. I figure it's kind of like LASIK - there are some risks associated, but odds are good for it working out to both improve current quality of life and reducing (however slightly) points of infrastructure dependence in event of a breakdown.


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Saigh wrote:
5. Birth Control

While an IUD would be difficuilt if not impossible to safely improvise once you find yourself wandering the PAW, celibate and surly, they can be installed in our current, zombie-free times.

Pros: If installed and adapted to before the zombie apocalypse, it provides a long-term, nearly idiot-proof method of birth control. If the pure copper (non-hormonal) option is taken, it's good for about 10 years.

Since it remains in the body, it is difficult if not impossible to leave it at home when bugging out.

Unlike pills, patches, or temporary inserts (rings, sponges, etc), it does not require the user to take regular and timely actions in a highstress situation (I suspect I'd forget to take my pill or swap a patch on time if I was fleeing zombies).

Cons: There is a risk in the first few months of spontaneous expulsion, and a small risk of perforating the uterus, which could be fatal without prompt and competent medical care. Eek.

Some women also experience debilitating cramps for part of their period for the first 3-6 months after installation. Not, "Oh, woe is me, get me a margarita and a midol" cramps, but crippling, breath-stealing, prescription pain-killer requiring cramps. This could make fleeing zombies, bugging out, or even basic tasks immensely difficult. I was closer to the margarita and midol end of the spectrum myself, but some of my friends who also went for the IUD route were at the seeking medical attention in the middle of the night end of the spectrum, so your mileage may vary.

Since it works by preventing implantation, people who believe life begins at conception may be uncomfortable with using them (and some gynecologists will not install them, due to moral qualms).


For what it's worth, I had one installed a few years ago, and found it well worth the initial hassle and discomfort. No need to refill prescriptions, no worries about improper use causing a failure to function, and if the zombies arrive next week, my partner and I will at least not have to add enforced celibacy to our list of woes. I figure it's kind of like LASIK - there are some risks associated, but odds are good for it working out to both improve current quality of life and reducing (however slightly) points of infrastructure dependence in event of a breakdown.


Doesn't it need to be replaced after so many years?
If the PAW happens you will be hard pressed to find someone with the skills, supplies, and a sterile place for the removal.
But, Im glad its working for you.

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They do need to be replaced to remain effective, but I don't think they're dangerous in and of themselves to leave in. However, if they remain in place when no longer effective as birth control, they could have dangerous or potentially fatal effects were a pregnancy to occur - induce a miscarriage, deform or kill a fetus (potentially deadly to the mother if the dead tissue is not expelled in a miscarriage). Barring phenononally bad timing on the part of the zombies however, it should still provide a few years grace period to come up with a different method of birth control, or locate a surviving RN with a speculum and the capacity to boil water.

So, it's not perfect, and you raise a good point about the failure/removal issue. On the other hand, I think being unencumbered with pregnancy or young will give me a better shot of surviving long enough to need to worry about it, and the idiot-proof nature of it's operation still makes it pretty darn near ideal for shorter term disasters (up to, say, 6 months) where I might not have the resources to refill prescriptions for birth control.

On a rather grim note, how many reliable methods of DIY birth control are there that do not require cooperation from the male partner? I suspect sexual predation is still going to occur in the PAW, and it would suck to make it through that only to find yourself bearing unwanted young in the wasteland.


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Birth control-Sit your gentleman down and calmly recite the info from these posts,by the time you get done he'll be siting there with a stupit look on his face,and if you dont distract him he'll stay like that for some time to come,thinking.I was unawear(is that how you spell that)of all the crap you ladies do and put up with,I tip my foil helmet to you all.

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Saigh wrote:
They do need to be replaced to remain effective, but I don't think they're dangerous in and of themselves to leave in. However, if they remain in place when no longer effective as birth control, they could have dangerous or potentially fatal effects were a pregnancy to occur - induce a miscarriage, deform or kill a fetus (potentially deadly to the mother if the dead tissue is not expelled in a miscarriage). Barring phenononally bad timing on the part of the zombies however, it should still provide a few years grace period to come up with a different method of birth control, or locate a surviving RN with a speculum and the capacity to boil water.

So, it's not perfect, and you raise a good point about the failure/removal issue. On the other hand, I think being unencumbered with pregnancy or young will give me a better shot of surviving long enough to need to worry about it, and the idiot-proof nature of it's operation still makes it pretty darn near ideal for shorter term disasters (up to, say, 6 months) where I might not have the resources to refill prescriptions for birth control.

On a rather grim note, how many reliable methods of DIY birth control are there that do not require cooperation from the male partner? I suspect sexual predation is still going to occur in the PAW, and it would suck to make it through that only to find yourself bearing unwanted young in the wasteland.


Im not familiar with the procedure, but it makes sense that it would be relatively easy.
Plus, now that i think of it. It may not be that odd if you run into a doctor, or a RN in the PAW. In another thread, it stated that there is 800,000 m.d.s in the united states. But, I dont plan everything with the thought that the world is gonna end. Im still gonna put money in my 401k. :D

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My wife's solution to the birth control issue was to get me fixed.

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phil_in_cs wrote:
My wife's solution to the birth control issue was to get me fixed.


My mom and dad both got fixed...I wonder why :lol:

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Saigh wrote:
5. Birth Control

While an IUD would be difficuilt if not impossible to safely improvise once you find yourself wandering the PAW, celibate and surly, they can be installed in our current, zombie-free times.

Thanks for sharing that info. I have been pondering the IUD as well. While I don't think it's viable for an EOW/PAW situation because it requires a doctor for insertion and maintenance, I think it's a worthwhile consideration for SHTF of the short or extended variety. :)

I've also been thinking about internal barrier methods like cervical caps and diaphragms for a similar reason. I believe both can be inserted and removed by the owner once an initial doctor's visit/fitting has been made. I've also heard of women using a menstrual cup in a similar manner as an internal barrier method of birth control, though such use has been purely anecdotal and I don't yet have research on the efficacy.

as a reminder, all of these are options for Birth Control only. They don't address Sexual Health. That seems to be even more of a challenge than BC issues. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:58 pm 
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4. Sexual Health
5. Birth Control

Saigh wrote:
On a rather grim note, how many reliable methods of DIY birth control are there that do not require cooperation from the male partner? I suspect sexual predation is still going to occur in the PAW, and it would suck to make it through that only to find yourself bearing unwanted young in the wasteland.

That's definitely a valid concern IMO. I don't know if the risks of sexual assault would be greater or lesser in a SHTF/PAW situation. I think it would really depend on the individual situations and would vary from region to region.

Some of the BC methods like IUD and diaphragms can be worn for extended periods of time or at least inserted several hours before intercourse. Those could offer some protection against pregnancy resulting from sexual assault. People using things like time-released birth control inserted under the skin would also be protected from pregancy during a short or extended SHTF situation (up to 5 years).

I think an even greater concern for me would be STDs from an assault. My belief is that someone who is willing to resort to sexual assault has probably done it more than once, and without much concern for the safety and health of the victim. Which means sex from assault carries a much higher risk of infection and illness than consensual sex.

Protection from sexual infection/illness as the result of assault is a dicey area. There has been at least one court case of a rape victim who convinced the attacker to wear a condom. Her actions were deemed self defense against pregnancy and disease since she had at that point determined the attack was inevitable and there was no realistic way for her to escape under the circumstances. The court ruled in her favor and the rapist was convicted. However that fine line between thoroughly attempting evasion and determining the inevitability of assault requiring you to move into health defense mode (condom) would no doubt be tricky to put it mildly. Then you'd still have to be very persuasive to have a condom used for your protection.

I'm reminded of the dentata from Snow Crash now. If we all had one of those... ;)

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Y.T. wrote:
I'm reminded of the dentata from Snow Crash now. If we all had one of those... ;)


I recall seeing someone talking about making those in South Africa a few years ago. (Rape is endemic there...) Razors inside rather than a sedative injection. I think it would be a great idea too.

ETA: S Africa 'rape trap' condemned

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