Do you know the right intimate hygiene practices? Did you know that dads can suffer from postnatal depression too? Or that turmeric can treat glaucoma? DW brings you this week's health news, all in one handy guide!
The right intimate hygiene
The personal care aisles in drugstores offer a variety of intimate hygiene products, especially for women. They include soaps, wet wipes for on-the-go, gels and many other products - the sort of things that promise cleanliness and hygiene for those particularly sensitive, intimate parts of our bodies.
But a recent study of more than 1,400 women, conducted by researchers in Canada, showed that using intimate hygiene products may increase the risk of vaginal and urinary tract infections.
So what's the best way to tend to your intimate parts? The answer is less is more. When washing intimate areas, you should always use water, irrespective of your biological sex. In women, shower gels and intimidate hygiene products can disturb the natural vaginal flora, which can cause bacterial or fungal infections.
When it comes to cleaning the penis, men should also stick to water and make sure to clean the area around and under the foreskin carefully under running water. People who experience a burning or itching sensation in their intimate areas should seek medical advice.
Postnatal depression – Dads suffer too
Postnatal depression can occur after the birth of a child. Until recently, doctors believed that only mothers could be affected. But now, a US study has shown that dads are nearly as likely to suffer from postnatal depression as new mothers.
More than 800 fathers were asked to answer ten questions that are designed to screen new mothers for postnatal depression. The results showed that 4.4 percent of dads suffered from postnatal depression, which is only slightly less than mothers (5.0 percent).
The researchers emphasize the importance of screening both parents for postnatal depression to prevent negative effects on the development of their children.
Turmeric for glaucoma
The yellow spice turmeric has recently been hailed for its various health benefits, from anti-inflammatory properties to improved brain function. Now, researchers in London have discovered that a derivative of turmeric could be used to treat early-stage glaucoma, which are eye conditions that affect more than 60 million people worldwide.
Curcumin, which is extracted from turmeric, can be delivered to the back of the eye using eye drops. Curcumin has been found to treat neurodegeneration in the eye and protect retinal cells from damage. Soon, the curcumin-based eye drops will be tested on humans.
Researchers are also looking into the use of curcumin to treat Alzheimer's disease. "As we live longer, diseases such as glaucoma and Alzheimer's are steadily increasing," said the study's lead author, professor Francesca Cordeiro. "We believe our findings could make a major contribution to helping the lives of people affected by these devastating diseases."