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Are Kegel exercises right for you?

Not all exercises require gym equipment. Kegel exercises target the pelvic floor muscles, which support the small intestine, rectum, uterus and bladder. These are the muscles that can contract to halt urinary flow. You can learn more about the anatomy of the pelvic floor muscles by watching this featured interview with an Ob/Gyn at Riverside Community Hospital. Any patient who suffers from urinary or fecal incontinence, or is at risk of it, can benefit from Kegel exercises.

Reasons to do Kegel exercises
Your Ob/Gyn might recommend that you start doing Kegel exercises if you have symptoms of stress urinary incontinence. This type refers to the involuntary leaking of urine when pressure is exerted on the bladder, such as by laughing, sneezing or coughing.

You may also benefit from Kegel exercises if you have urge incontinence, which is the sudden, overpowering urge to urinate. This urge is followed shortly by the loss of a significant volume of urine.

Patients with fecal incontinence, which is the involuntary passing of fecal matter, may also benefit from Kegel exercises.

Additionally, women who are pregnant or planning to be may do Kegel exercises to reduce the risk of incontinence after childbirth.

Steps to perform Kegel exercises
Kegel exercises are fairly easy to perform. First, identify your pelvic floor muscles by squeezing as if you were trying to halt the flow of urine. Do not contract any other muscles that are nearby.

Squeeze these muscles and hold it for five seconds. You can do this while standing or sitting. If you’re having trouble, it might be easier to lie down until you build up strength in these muscles.

Do this exercise every day, gradually working up to holding the contraction for 10 seconds at a time. Try not to hold your breath, and remember not to contract the muscles of your buttocks, thighs or abdomen.

Number of repetitions of Kegel exercises
Initially, try for four to five repetitions of contractions at a time. Work your way up to 10 repetitions. For best results, try to do three sets of 10 repetitions each day.

Sensitive, compassionate care that improves quality of life for our patients is our mission here at Riverside Community Hospital. Women throughout the Riverside area have long placed their trust in our Ob/Gyn services because of our commitment to healthcare excellence. Call our nurse referral line at (951) 788-3463.


Interpreting an abnormal pap smear

Cervical cancer can be deadly, but there’s a way to detect abnormalities before cancer develops. OB/GYNs recommend that women have routine pap smears, which allow doctors to detect abnormalities of the cells in the cervix. A negative pap smear result means that no abnormalities were found, while a positive result means that further testing might be needed. At Riverside Community Hospital, you’ll find the answers you need from our compassionate team of expert OB/GYNs.

Human papillomavirus
In most cases, an abnormal pap smear does not indicate the presence of cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus is the most common cause of abnormal test results. Women who test positive for HPV will receive personalized guidance from their doctors on what they can expect.

Squamous intraepithelial lesion
When this term appears on a lab report, it means that the cervical cells have the potential to be precancerous. Women can watch this featured video by an OB/GYN at Riverside Community Hospital. She explains how the abnormalities can be graded.

Low-grade abnormalities indicate that, even if cancer does develop, cancerous changes likely won’t be detected for years. High-grade abnormalities indicate that cancer might develop more quickly.

The grade of the abnormalities informs the doctor’s recommendations regarding monitoring and treatment.

Atypical glandular cells
The glandular cells are found at the opening of the cervix and inside the uterus. Atypical glandular cells warrant further testing, as it won’t be clear from the pap test results whether they might be cancerous or not.

Women with atypical glandular cells may be asked to have a colposcopy and biopsy. A colposcopy is a visual exam of the cervix performed with the help of a magnifying lens. A biopsy is the removal of a small sample of tissues for testing in a lab.

At Riverside Community Hospital, your health is our highest priority. Our OB/GYNs in Riverside deliver the superior care that you deserve because we genuinely care about your quality of life. Call (951) 788-3463 to request a referral to an OB/GYN.


Travel smarter with insect repellent

Traveling this summer? Remember to pack some insect repellent to protect your family from diseases—especially if you’re visiting a tropical location. If you’re heading overseas, visit your family physician at Riverside Community Hospital to ask about any vaccinations you may need. Your doctor can also give you current information regarding infectious diseases at your destination. With personalized medical guidance from your doctor—and plenty of bug spray—your family can enjoy a safe and healthy vacation.

Reduce your risk of bug bites
Aside from spraying insect repellent, you can reduce your risk of bug bites by covering up exposed skin. Wear clothes that have been pretreated with permethrin.

Book hotel rooms that feature air conditioning. This lets you keep the windows closed to keep the bugs out.

Choose an effective insect repellent
There are plenty of products to choose from. Your doctor will likely recommend an EPA-registered product that contains at least 20 percent DEET. These bug sprays guard against multiple types of insects, including mosquitoes and ticks.

Apply insect repellent properly
First, apply sunscreen and wait for it to dry. Then, apply the bug spray according to the instructions on the label. Avoid spraying bug spray on skin underneath clothing.

Be careful to avoid getting the repellent in your eyes or inhaled into your nose.

Follow bug spray safety precautions for children
Talk to your pediatrician about whether insect repellent is safe to use on your young child. Doctors generally advise against using any type of bug spray on an infant younger than two months. Children younger than three years should not wear bug sprays that contain OLE or PMD.

Instead, you can keep infants safe from bug bites by purchasing mosquito netting with an elastic edge. Secure this over your baby’s car seat or carrier.

To apply insect repellent safely to appropriately aged children, follow these precautions:

  • Apply insect repellent to your own hands
  • Use your hands to gently distribute the bug spray on your child
  • Never apply insect repellent to a child’s hands (risk of oral contact)

Riverside Community Hospital is known for our commitment to healthcare excellence. If you live in the Riverside area or you’re visiting our community this summer, you can count on our ER physicians and nurses to deliver prompt, courteous care. Call 911 for true medical emergencies or direct general questions to a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.


Is your teen up to date on immunizations?

In some ways, it’s harder to protect a child in adolescence than in early childhood. Teens typically have little regard for their own vulnerabilities, and they occasionally engage in high-risk behaviors. You might not be able to protect your teen from everything around the clock, but immunizations can help. Before your teenager goes back to school, head over to Riverside Community Hospital to make sure he or she has all the recommended vaccines.

Flu shot for teens
Doctors recommend annual flu shots for preteens and teens. The reason flu shots are given annually is that different strains of influenza circulate each year. Vaccine researchers identify the strains that are most likely to circulate widely for a given year, and then develop the injections to protect people from those strains.

Like other vaccines, flu shots are quite safe. It’s uncommon to experience side effects. When side effects do occur, they typically include temporary soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site.

HPV vaccine for teens
Millions of individuals contract human papillomavirus each year. This common virus is often harmless, but some strains of it can cause life-threatening cancers.

This generation of preteens and teens is fortunate to have access to HPV vaccines, which are recommended at ages 11 or 12. Administering HPV vaccines at a young age is necessary to protect children before they are exposed to the virus. HPV vaccines are given in a series, spaced out over a few months.

Meningococcal vaccine for teens
Meningococcal disease isn’t common, but it can be deadly. Meningitis and bloodstream infections are two examples of the deadly diseases that can be spread by the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria.

Doctors advise parents to get their kids the meningococcal vaccine by age 11 or 12. Another shot is necessary at age 16. A second type of vaccine—serogroup B meningococcal vaccine—may be given between ages 16 and 23.

Tdap vaccine for teens
When your child was younger, he or she should have gotten the DTaP vaccine to guard against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. The protection given by this vaccine wears off gradually over time. This is why your teen also needs the Tdap.

It’s recommended that preteens get the Tdap vaccine at age 11 or 12. Teens ages 13 through 18 should get the shot as soon as possible if they didn’t receive it yet.

Your child’s doctor at Riverside Community Hospital looks forward to discussing immunization records and recommendations. We are committed to providing superior, family-centered care because we put our patients first. Contact a registered nurse in Riverside at (951) 788-3463.


Foods that can help you stay hydrated in the California heat

Dehydration can develop more rapidly during the hot summer months, especially if you enjoy exercising outdoors. Certain groups of people, including seniors, young children and ill patients, are also at a higher risk of dehydration. Drinking plenty of water is the best way to stay hydrated, but you can complement your water intake by choosing healthy foods with high water content. If you have any concerns about your typical daily diet, a healthcare provider at Riverside Community Hospital will be happy to offer personalized, patient-friendly guidance.

Fruits

Fruit is an excellent choice for supporting hydration and overall nutrition. The types of fruit with the highest water content include the following:

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe

The following fruits contain slightly less water, but are still excellent choices.

  • Peaches
  • Pineapples
  • Oranges
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Plums
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Apricots

Whole fruit is nutritionally preferable compared to fruit juice and canned fruit. Enjoy whole fruit as is for a snack or dessert, or chop up several kinds for a delicious fruit salad.

Vegetables

Many Americans don’t eat enough veggies on a daily basis. By increasing your intake of veggies, you can keep your body hydrated and well-nourished. The following choices have high water content:

  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Eggplant

Beverages

If you find the taste of plain water a bit boring, it can be more challenging to meet your daily hydration needs. Try the following healthy beverages to complement your water intake:

  • Coconut water
  • Low-sugar yogurt smoothie
  • Milk
  • Decaf tea
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Juiced vegetables
  • Ice water with a squeeze of lemon or lime

Avoid alcohol, which is dehydrating, and soda, which provides empty calories.

Following these easy tips will help you prevent heat-related illnesses this summer, but just in case, compassionate emergency care is always available at Riverside Community Hospital. Our emergency care team is comprised of top specialists who live and work in the same Riverside communities as our patients. You can speak with a registered nurse by calling (951) 788-3463, but please direct medical emergencies to 911.


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