NN
Nicole Negron
about 2 months ago

At-home Testing that Won’t Break the Bank

health and wellness
women
"High-deductible plans are really the epitome of the access-to-care problem. People don't have the liquid cash to meet their deductible, so you see delays in care or even avoiding treatment altogether." -Dr. Veena Shankaran, ...
"High-deductible plans are really the epitome of the access-to-care problem. People don't have the liquid cash to meet their deductible, so you see delays in care or even avoiding treatment altogether." -Dr. Veena Shankaran, Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
 
Raise your hand if you’re coming up on your yearly visit to your GYN’s office to check if your HPV is still present? Maybe you're about to embark on a sexual relationship with a new partner and you want to be uber responsible and get checked, but you want to avoid answering uncomfortable questions from your doctor about your sexual history.

Or perhaps  you suspect something’s up with your hormones and want to get a hormone panel but realize it can cost anywhere between $800 and $1,500 dollars, and you have a $3,000 deductible to meet. 

There are many barriers preventing women from taking care of their health needs. Thankfully, there’s incredible innovation taking place in women’s health care that is making it easier for women to engage in their health and save money! 

At-home testing

Home testing can come with incredible financial advantages. Some tests such as Eve Kit’s HPV testing cost $89. NURX Full Control STI Kit, tests for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and Hepatitis C and Urine test, throat swab, rectal swab, blood spot card, and costs $75 with insurance or $220 out of pocket. 

One of my favorite self-monitoring tools that I highly recommend for my clients, is  Modern Fertility . Since I often work with clients that struggle with their menstrual cycles, this test helps provide a baseline for where they are. Modern fertility tests for, estradiol, thyroid TSH, testosterone and more, and cost only $159. 

Discuss with you doc

With health care costs predicted to continue rising, I encourage women to be empowered and knowledgeable about what’s going on in their bodies, and take their health into their own hands. However, as you embark on the world of self testing, be sure to partner with a doctor who’s trained in the intricacies of your needs. 

Manipulating your test results should not be a project you do with Google. It’s critical to team up with a doctor or a functional practitioner, such as myself, to help make sense of your home-test results and lead you in the right direction. 

Save money on tests, partner on plan

The moral of the story is, don’t turn your body into a DIY project. Google is great but when interpreting results such as cortisol--which measures your adrenal performance and stress--make sure to partner with a specialist before you start going down the road of panic or creating a treatment plan by yourself that is above your paygrade (binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t make you an expert). 

Testing is a critical step in understanding your reproductive, sexual and general health. This is a perfect starting point for those who want to take a first step in assessing their own health status before turning to more expensive alternatives.


NN
Nicole Negron
3 months ago

A Modern Woman’s Guide to Birth Control

health and wellness
women
I am a firm believer that every woman should have the right as well as the ability to access birth control should she deem it necessary. However, it’s still difficult to access comprehensive information about what women are putting into their bodies.

In my clinical practice, women are increasingly inquisitive about the possibility of coming off birth control. Som...
I am a firm believer that every woman should have the right as well as the ability to access birth control should she deem it necessary. However, it’s still difficult to access comprehensive information about what women are putting into their bodies.

In my clinical practice, women are increasingly inquisitive about the possibility of coming off birth control. Some of the most common occurances that drive women to considering coming off synthetic birth control are low sex drive, painful sex, weight changes, yeast infections, gut issues, and depression. This leads them to ask, What’s the best form of birth control for me?

There are gaps in our understanding of menstruation, and there are even bigger gaps in understanding birth control, and its long-term effects. Given our current political climate on women reproductive rights, women need to be aware of alternative options that are available to them to better care for their mental, and physical health. Self-knowledge is the path to body literacy.

Let’s explore my top three recommendations for natural birth control options in 2019.

Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM)
Although you're probably giving this an eye role, give me a second to explain. Where men are fertile every single day of the month, women are fertile only six days per menstrual cycle.

To avoid pregnancy, you can determine your five fertile days before ovulation by using progressive tools, such as Ava Fertility Bracelet, an FDA registered device that measures five physiological markers during the menstrual cycle, and identifies your fertile window in real time. It has 89 percent effectiveness.

You can also use Daysy (99.4 percent effective), which has an integrated thermometer that enables a precise measurement effectiveness. Daysy determines fertile and infertile phases of the female cycle and can be used for family planning.

During your most fertile days, you can avoid vaginal intercourse or use a barrier method for those five days leading up to ovulation. It’s pretty simple. FAM is a method I personally have been practicing for over 15 years.

Diaphragm (barrier method)
Caya is made of silicone rather than the latex of the old-style diaphragms and does not need to be fitted by your doctor. It is 88% effective. It works by physically blocking sperm from entering the uterus combined with an eco-friendly spermicide that kills sperm.

You can purchase Caya directly online or by prescription from your local pharmacist.

Copper IUD
The copper IUD is a wonderful option as it does not suppress ovulation or change your natural hormones. The copper IUD prevents pregnancy by impairing sperm motility. It is 99.2 percent effective.

There was one study that  found higher blood levels of copper in the IUD users, which impacted mood and other aspects of women’s health along with zinc deficiency.

Side note on ovulation: Ovulation is necessary for good feminine health. Ovulation is how you make progesterone, which is a natural valium for the brain during the week or two before menstruation. Ovulation is also responsible for mood, good metabolism and bones and necessary for an easy period.

If you're on the Hormonal Birth Control
There are long-term side effects of being on the birth control pill, including increased nutrient deficiency such as vitamins B2, B12, B6, zinc and folate. If you plan on starting a family in the future, stop taking the pill, and start taking a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin at least six months before trying to conceiving.

If you’re interested in learning more about your current form of birth control and what form of birth control is right for you. sign up for a free consultation to explore more options with Nicole Negron.
 
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Because every woman deserves to be financially confident