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Norwalk, Connecticut: In India, Sex Education Struggles with Taboo Status

Manuel E. Livengood 3217 Asylum Avenue Norwalk, CT 06851

MUMBAI, India (WOMENSENEWS)—The Podar Institute of Education, a school where the student population ranges from 5 years old to 18, wanted to offer sex education. But administrators also wanted to make sure parents would allow their children to attend.

So they called the classes, now offered once or twice a year, “Good Touch, Bad Touch,” or “Know Your Body.” No mention of sex or sex education was made, an omission they thought would also make the trainers more comfortable.

“Sex is a taboo in India and the name ‘sex education’ can be misleading,” Swati Popat Vats, director of the Podar Institute of Education, told Women’s eNews in a recent phone interview. “It signifies different things to different people. The workshop or class is not about sex but about how to be more aware of one’s body. Both the students and the trainers feel uncomfortable in using the term. I believe it should be called ‘Body Intelligence Workshop,’ because that’s what it really is.”

Vats said that while the more exclusive private schools are more open to the term sex education, schools such as hers that serve children from less affluent backgrounds need to avoid the term.

Podar joins plenty of other schools in India that shy away from using a term that is embroiled in controversy. Just two years ago, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the country’s health minister, called for the ban of “so-called sex education.”

“It is a nightmare to conduct sex education workshops,” said 30-year old Suparna Ghosh, a counselor at a private school in New Delhi who conducts workshops for students who are about 10 years and older. “Some schools decide to conduct separate sessions for boys and girls. Students feel ill at ease and generally want the session to be over. Sometimes they come after the session to talk individually about their concerns or problems. I believe it will really help if we could just use a generic term. The students would be more receptive.”

Child Abuse Connection

Whatever you call the teaching of anatomy in the context of appropriate intimate human contact, people concerned about the thousands of cases of child sex abuse filed annually here think it could help.

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“We believe that sex education should start early,” said Manjeer Mukherjee, director of Arpan, a child rights advocacy group based in Mumbai. “This will not only provide knowledge and awareness within children to deal with different situations, but also create vocabulary to talk about these things. Moreover, parents and teachers need to become involved because the education imparted in these classes has to be reinforced by them,”

While it is important to start the conversation, it is equally important to break the taboo around sex, added Mukherjee, who spoke by phone. “It will help to have a non-threatening name for it. However, the parallel process to break the taboo around sex should continue.”

Parents also say they need help raising the topic of sex with their children, since they could be getting their basic impressions about sex through the Internet.

“I realized I had to talk to my 14-year-old son, when I discovered that he was accessing undesirable websites on Internet,” said one 40-year-old woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “My parents had never openly spoken to me about such matters, so I didn’t have any yardstick/reference point. We decided to attend one workshop just to know how to talk to our son. That workshop was simply called, ‘How to talk about sex to your child.’ Though broadly I am in favor of sex education, I wouldn’t be comfortable if my child was attending workshop with explicit terminology.”

Though sex education is compulsory in India, its implementation is patchy at best due to the resistance of private and public authorities responsible for implementing it.

“Sex education was made compulsory in the country a long time back but it failed to make an impact because of lack of trained teachers and also resistance of the institutes,” said Dr. Rajan Bhonsle, head of the department of sexual medicine at Mumbai’s KEM Hospital and GS Medical College.

Bhonsle, the co-author of “The Ultimate Book of Sex,” published in 2014 and now serving as manual in a number of sex education programs, spoke in a phone interview. He has also taught many sex education sessions in schools and now teaches others to conduct the sessions, most of which are not conducted by schools, but by a third party.


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Charlestown, Massachusetts: In pursuit of mental health’s holy grail

William A. Zimmerman 1941 Rockford Road Charlestown, MA 02129

Lunacy. Madness. Demonic possession. Black bile. Such archaic notions of mental illness have given way to clinical terms. Now we have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, social phobia, depression. But as scientific as they sound, each of these disorders, by medical definition, is nothing more than a cluster of symptoms with any number of potential causes.

A diagnosis such as major depressive disorder is about as telling as fever. All kinds of things can cause a fever: bacterial infection, meningitis, flu. Similarly, depression may be triggered by anything from hormonal imbalances to the activation of specific genes, or a history of child abuse. When a patient has a fever, a doctor will prescribe an appropriate treatment after trying to diagnose the cause. In most cases, however, psychiatrists have no surefire way of pinpointing the roots of a patient’s despair. Treating mental illness is a shot in the dark.

But what if doctors could order lab tests and scan patients for dozens of known causes of mental illness? What if they could offer a precise diagnosis – such as “chromosome 3p25-26 depression” – using a classification system largely based on the biological signatures of these disorders? Imagine if a doctor could give a patient this advice: “Go directly to brain stimulation treatments – do not try medications, do not go for psychotherapy. They won’t work for you.”

Psychiatry may be on the verge of such a breakthrough, one that could shake the foundations of the diagnostic system. A growing number of specialists, with a Canadian team at the forefront, are joining forces with researchers who study genetics, the hormonal, metabolic and immune systems, and how the brain works. They’re putting aside a century’s worth of theories, and delving into the biology of mental disorders on a scale never before seen. The aim is not just to broaden our understanding of mental illness, but to overhaul how we diagnose and treat it.

An overhaul can’t come soon enough. One in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness in their lifetime. Many will suffer for years, cycling through one ineffective treatment after another.

Julia Marriott, of Ancaster, Ont., knows how that feels. She had 15 years of psychotherapy and tried more than a dozen different antidepressants, but nothing gave any lasting relief. She chokes up when she talks about hiding her mental illness from her daughter, who was 8 when Ms. Marriott’s depression took hold.

Most nights, she says, “I would just go to bed and hope I didn’t wake in the morning.” In all, trial-and-error treatments consumed two decades of her life, says Ms. Marriott, now 66. “I’m not big on self-pity,” she adds. “But it was awful.”

Diagnostic models and a focus on symptoms

The ability to predict which treatments will help individual patients is the holy grail of psychiatry, but the quest has been challenged by the field’s silo mentality. For more than a century, psychiatry has ping-ponged between biological explanations and theories about the unconscious forces that drive our emotions and behaviours.

As early as the 1860s, some psychiatrists theorized that mental disorders were illnesses of the brain. But brain dissections were too crude to reveal consistent abnormalities linked to mental illness. Theories got far-fetched. In the 1940s, Austrian psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich became famous for his eureka moment that the mentally ill were deficient in “orgone energy.” The “cure” involved sitting in a closet-like “orgone energy accumulator.”

By comparison, Sigmund Freud’s psychodynamic approach was genius. Freud, a neurologist by training, was the first to propose concepts such as repression and denial. He theorized that any mental illness could be treated by resolving unconscious conflicts among the ego (the inner realist), the superego (the moralist) and the id (primal instinct). Decades after his death in 1939, Freud’s theories dominated the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Eventually, it was posited that Freud’s theories mainly helped the “worried well,” says Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, recent past president of the APA and author of the newly published Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry. In 1980, psychiatrists in charge of the DSM’s third edition rejected all unproven causes of mental illness. Instead, they drew from the latest clinical data to define and classify mental disorders based on symptoms alone – a practice that continues.

Since then, however, psychiatry has not kept pace with advances in other areas of medicine, according to Dr. Thomas Insel, head of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health. Unlike medical definitions of heart disease, lymphoma or AIDS, psychiatric diagnoses are based on a consensus about symptoms, “not any objective laboratory measure,” he wrote in a searing blog post in 2013. “Patients with mental disorders deserve better.”

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Recent studies have reinforced the idea that the diagnostic system falls short. In a study published in February, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine found consistent brain changes in thousands of mentally ill patients, whether diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, addiction or anxiety. All showed similar grey-matter losses in brain areas associated with high-level functions such as concentration and decision-making, noted the study, published in JAMA Psychiatry. In a 2013 study, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital detected shared genetic glitches in the mentally ill across diagnostic categories.

A steady stream of findings like these could leave psychiatry’s classification system in shambles. After all, if schizophrenia and bipolar disorder look the same in brain scans and molecular tests, are they, in fact, distinct illnesses? Could they be different manifestations of the same genetic condition, or subtypes of an as-yet-unnamed brain disorder? To find answers, psychiatrists need to look at the bewildering science of mental illness in new ways.

Dusting for depression’s fingerprints

Canada, it turns out, is leading the way, through a multiyear study called the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND). It brings together clinical psychiatrists, neuropsychiatrists, molecular scientists, neuroimaging specialists and experts in bio-informatics, who use computer algorithms to analyze complex data such as genetic code.

Part of the mission is to identify as-yet-unnamed subtypes of depression. But the ultimate goal is to shorten the path from diagnosis to the right treatment. “This is not just a study,” says Dr. Sagar Parikh, a University of Toronto psychiatrist who is working on CAN-BIND. “This is a program to transform depression treatment.”

CAN-BIND is following a model used in breast-cancer research. In the mid-1980s, researchers divided cancer patients into groups: those who got better with treatment and those who didn’t. Scientists analyzed thousands of biological traits to find markers that set patients apart, using computers to crunch the data.

In patients who got sicker, researchers found high levels of HER2, a protein that stimulates tumour growth. The finding led to new drugs to block the action of this protein. Since then, life expectancy for patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer has increased 30 per cent.

In much the same way, CAN-BIND is dividing patients with depression into two groups – responders and non-responders to a selected treatment. Depending on the study phase, patients receive antidepressants, or psychotherapy, or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (a non-invasive treatment that uses magnetic pulses to activate specific parts of the brain). Researchers are combing through patients’ biological and psychological makeup, acting on the hunch that different types of depression may respond to different treatments – and leave distinct fingerprints.

The CAN-BIND model is like a game of Clue, Dr. Parikh says. The “murderers,” “weapons” and “crime scenes” in Clue – three variables involved in solving the mystery – correspond to the study’s three research areas.

The first area involves a psychiatric evaluation that takes into account factors such as substance abuse, early childhood trauma and recent life stress; any of these may affect biological systems such as brain function. The next area uses brain imaging to find abnormalities. The third covers blood tests, which may detect proteins produced by specific genes, disruptions in metabolic or hormonal function, or signs of inflammation. (Some researchers believe that inflammation due to an overactive immune system may trigger mental illness.)

Results from the battery of tests are fed into software sophisticated enough to find patterns among thousands of patient variables. The idea is to uncover clues that can be used to predict whether a specific treatment will work for future patients. Hypothetically, Dr. Parikh says, “the best predictor of a treatment working might [prove to] be a combination of a sleep disturbance, together with an underactive part of the brain, combined with one protein that is off.”

Similar studies are under way in the United States, but CAN-BIND is the first to pull together this many variables in a collaborative effort of nearly a dozen universities and research centres. The same model can be adapted to study other mental illnesses, researchers say.

The “big data” approach is a radical departure from the usual hypothesis-driven studies, which typically focus on a single research question. Dr. Parikh acknowledges that CAN-BIND is a “fishing expedition.”

Dr. Lieberman, the former APA president, cautions against pinning too many hopes on studies like CAN-BIND. As with any fishing expedition, he points out, “you could end up not having caught anything.”

One woman’s victory

Despite great leaps in neuroscience and genetics, psychiatrists still don’t know why one-third of patients with depression – or half a million Canadians each year – don’t get better with standard treatments. Ms. Marriott fought depression with everything she had. After years of psychotherapy and antidepressants, she tried light therapy, vigorous exercise, mindfulness courses, fish oil – “anything that might work.” But she could not escape the crushing feeling that everything was “black, negative and pointless” – except during episodes of mild mania. Occasionally, she would get the sudden urge to redecorate: “I would give away a perfectly good couch and then buy another one.”

Ms. Marriott’s official diagnosis is “major depressive disorder with a hypo-mania component.” She grew up watching her mother, who had bipolar disorder, spend most days in bed. One wonders whether their shared genes had something to do with Ms. Marriott’s unsuccessful treatments. So far, there are no diagnostic tests to answer questions like this. Eventually, however, Ms. Marriott did find an effective treatment. In 2012, she became a patient in a study of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; each treatment lasts about three minutes and feels “just like a woodpecker is pounding on your upper forehead.”

Since her last round of brain stimulation in December, 2013, Ms. Marriott has been depression-free. She says she feels like her “pre-age-40 self” – interested in seeing friends and eager to travel to places like Mexico and Botswana. Once more, she is capable of feeling “excited, happy, touched and sad – all those normal emotions.” She emphasizes the sense of security she feels in knowing that, if she starts to relapse, she can go for another round of therapy. Getting the right treatment, she says, “has totally changed my life.”

Biology on the fritz or something more?

Early findings from the CAN-BIND study will be released later this year. In the meantime, preliminary results from a multicentre U.S. study suggest that brain imaging has the potential to predict whether a depressed patient will respond to a specific treatment. Patients underwent positron emission tomography (PET) scans, which use a radioactive sugar to create images of brain activity. Researchers found that depressed patients who responded to psychotherapy had sluggish activity in the insula, a brain region involved in emotion and self-awareness, unlike those who did well on antidepressants.

Brain imaging would be an expensive treatment-selection tool. But if new studies make a strong case that brain scans lead to more successful treatment, they may not be out of reach for average patients down the road, says Dr. Jeff Daskalakis, chief of the mood and anxiety department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

“It costs a lot of money to miss a diagnosis,” notes Dr. Daskalakis, who is working on the CAN-BIND study. In Canada, the cost of mental-health services combined with lost productivity and income due to untreated mental disorders is estimated at nearly $30-billion a year.

Still, researchers emphasize it could be years, if not decades, before brain imaging or blood tests become reliable, let alone practical, tools. And that’s assuming their studies net big fish.

For now, we are left with the same big questions that have baffled physicians and philosophers for centuries: Is mental illness simply a matter of biology on the fritz – a physiological problem that can be solved as soon as scientists crack the code? Or is the anguish of each patient also a unique expression of the sense of isolation and dread that may strike any of us at our core?

In mental illness, unlike other diseases, life events are refracted through our subjective perception in ways that can damage our mental and physical well-being. In his book, Dr. Lieberman uses himself as Exhibit A. After surviving a home invasion at gunpoint in his early 20s, his youthful mind chalked it up as “a thrilling adventure.” Years later, he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, after an air conditioner slipped out of his grasp and fell to the street below. For months, he was tormented by the thought that he could have caused someone’s death. He lost his appetite, had trouble sleeping, and played the incident “over and over in my mind like a video loop.” But he was the same person who had escaped from the home invasion without psychological scars. He explains, “You can have something that is purely experiential and yet it produces enduring symptoms.”

Even if scientists come up with blood tests to screen for mental illness, the lived experience of a mental disorder will remain highly personal. For these reasons, mental disorders, in turn, will remain “existential diseases” that require compassionate care as well as effective medical treatments, says Dr. Lieberman.

The new approach to studying mental illness may be compatible with this philosophy. The strength of a project like CAN-BIND, says Dr. Parikh, is that it integrates many specialties and ways of looking at the problem. “That’s the real beauty of it.” Researchers are no longer determined to prove that a single treatment will help every patient. Instead, he says, the question has become: “What is the best fit?”


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Milwaukie, Oregon: A Company Aims to Put Good Karma and Energy Close at Hand

Melvin F. Powell 4063 Heron Way Milwaukie, OR 97222

CRANSTON, R.I. — Do you want “limitless power, limitless good karma, and limitless wisdom”? Alex and Ani’s promotional material tells you to buy the Buddha Charm Bangle, available for $28. Do you want “divine direction and soulful enlightenment”? They recommend the Saint Anthony Charm Bangle, for the same price. For the union of masculine and feminine energy, Alex and Ani offers the Star of David Charm Bangle, at $24.

Last year, Alex and Ani, founded in 2004 by Carolyn Rafaelian and named for her two eldest daughters, sold $230 million worth of these amulets. Its bangles, necklaces, earrings and rings are available in 40 Alex and Ani stores in the United States, and in 1,500 other retail outlets around the world. According to a company spokesperson, the company moved over 18 million units “between 2012 and 2013.”

The growth of Alex and Ani poses a question: Is the company a capitalist success story, run by a single mom in the same midsize New England town where she grew up? Or is it a worldwide church, whose tokens of membership, worn on the wrist or around the neck, happen to generate booming sales?

This is the United States, so the answer must be both. Alex and Ani’s profits have increased fiftyfold since 2010. It is opening new stores all the time, and soon it will unveil a handbag line. But Ms. Rafaelian also believes, sincerely, in the supernatural power of what she sells.

At her company’s headquarters, I asked Ms. Rafaelian about the claim, in “Path of Life: Why I Wear My Alex and Ani,” a glossy book available for sale in all Alex and Ani stores, that “Alex and Ani creates products that capture energy.” What does that mean?

Ms. Rafaelian, 47, said she worked “with physicists all over the world” to imbue her products with energy. “We clean the metals,” she added, and “they hold vibration of pure energy, healing love.” Before they are sold in the store, “every product has been blessed by my priests, it has been blessed by my shaman friends, protected from radio frequency, from radioactivity.”

To learn more, Ms. Rafaelian suggested, I should speak with Marisa Morin, an animal therapist from Oregon and her principal design consultant.

“Carolyn and I work together in prayer and meditation to be inspired about what we feel inspired to create,” said Ms. Morin, a close friend for 20 years. When they decide on a design, Ms. Morin makes sure the proposed item can be ethically produced. “If the design is something new, like right now it’s handbags, we ask, ‘Is the leather tanned without toxic materials?’ You have no idea how hard it is to find that.”

Ms. Morin researches the design to see that it is faithful to the spiritual tradition it comes from. “I may make a phone call to three or four scholars on one piece of jewelry, to make sure this is the right design,” she said.

Every purchase comes with a black card detailing its spiritual charism. I bought my wife the Monkey Charm Bangle, and its card noted that “the ancient Mayans portrayed the monkey as an openhearted being that was ever in a state of creative and joyful wonder.” The bangle’s wearer is implored to embrace the charm’s “energy” to “stay socially conscious.”

Ms. Rafaelian, and her company’s website, are mostly careful not to state that a charm will make you a better person. The claim is more that the jewelry inspires you to put good energy out in the world. And if you put out good energy, good things will come back to you.

This New Age principle, often called the law of attraction, is a central teaching of best-selling gurus like Louise Hay and Rhonda Byrne, author of “The Secret.” This teaching does encourage people to do good, and Alex and Ani has a robust program of charitable giving. For example, nonprofits can use Alex and Ani stores for two-hour fund-raisers, during which time a percentage of all sales are donated to the charity. The company has given away $9.4 million since 2011, according to a spokesperson.

On the flip side, the law of attraction implies that people are responsible for the bad things that befall them: put out bad energy, get back bad energy. Ms. Rafaelian said she does not believe that people bring tragedy on themselves. But when I proposed the hypothetical case of, say, a woman who had been raped multiple times, her reply suggested that if the woman was not to blame, somehow her energy was.

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“That poor person may have to experience some horrific things until they learn something on such a subconscious level that they can elevate from that place, and they won’t have to deal with that experience again,” she said. “When these things happen over and over to the same people, they have to have their own space to remember their true beautiful self and say, ‘Physically and emotionally, this isn’t for me anymore.’ ”

According to John L. Modern, the author of “Secularism in Antebellum America,” Alex and Ani’s products stand in a thriving, and particularly American, tradition.

“It is not a coincidence you have this flowering of what they called ‘energy theology’ at same time the market revolution is happening,” Dr. Modern said. The belief that we are all connected by an invisible energy field offers a sense of mastery in the midst of uncertainty. So as people began to fear that their fates were dictated by corporations and governments in far-off cities, “this language of the occult, of spiritualism, mesmerism, animal magnetism, going on intensely from 1830 forward, was happening alongside capitalism.”

Thus, Dr. Modern said, “you have crystal stuff in the New Age in the 1970s, the red-string kabbalah stuff” — in which plain red strings are sold as Jewish bracelets, to ward off “the evil eye” — “and Wilhelm Reich and the ‘orgone accumulator’ in the 1950s, a box made out of aluminum and glass. This invention, he promised, would harness and focus the ‘orgone energy.’ ” Dr. Reich, a famous psychoanalyst, promised that if you got in the box, disabilities, and even cancer, could be cured.

Ms. Rafaelian’s promises for her jewelry are, for the most part, more modest. The ad copy for the Delta Delta Delta Charm Bangle ($32), honoring the sorority once mocked by “Saturday Night Live,” avers that women “keep the earthly balance that comes with consistently nurturing loved ones.” There’s no promise that the bangle will help a woman be a better sorority sister. But if the bangle even puts the wearer in mind of sisterhood, Ms. Rafaelian believes, that will have an effect.

“Thought is an energy source,” Ms. Rafaelian said. “Once you have a thought, it literally goes into this blueprint that is spread out, and this blueprint takes on a whole life of its own.”


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Hills, Minnesota: SA's second - and world's third - penis transplant recipient is one 'happy patient'

Roy C. Huffman 2584 Pineview Drive Hills, MN 56138

This is the third ever penis transplant conducted with the second one conducted in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The recipient‚ a 40 year old man‚ has been without a penis for 17 years after a botched traditional circumcision. His name is being kept anonymous for ethical reasons.

“He is certainly one of the happiest patients we have seen in our ward. He is doing remarkably well. There are no signs of rejection and all the reconnected structures seem to be healing well‚” said Professor Andre Van der Merwe‚ Head of the Division of Urology at Stellenbosch University s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The patient is expected to regain full use of his penis within six months of the transplant‚ said the release.

Medical tattooing will be used to correct the colour discrepancy between the recipient and the donor organ in six to eight months after the operation.

“Patients describe a penis transplant as ‘receiving a new life’. For these men the penis defines manhood and the loss of this organ causes tremendous emotional and psychological distress‚” said Dr Amir Zarrabi of the FMHS’s Division of Urology‚ who was a member of the transplant team. “I usually see cases of partial or total amputations in July and December – the period when traditional circumcisions are performed.”

The team consisted of Van der Merwe‚ Dr Alexander Zühlke‚ who heads the FMHS’ Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery‚ Prof Rafique Moosa‚ head of the FMHS’ Department of Medicine‚ Zarrabi and Dr Zamira Keyser of Tygerberg Hospital. They were assisted by transplant coordinators‚ anaesthetists‚ theatre nurses‚ a psychologist‚ an ethicist and other support staff.

The first ever penis transplant patient from December 2014 is using his penis as normal.

“The patient is doing extremely well‚ both physically and mentally”‚ says Van der Merwe. “He is living a normal life. His urinary and sexual functions have returned to normal‚ and he has virtually forgotten that he had a transplant."

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The transplant procedure is very complicated as nerves‚ blood‚ vessels and muscle from the donor organ have to be connected to the recipient.

“The diverse presentation of the blood vessels and nerves makes the operation very challenging and means each case is unique. All these structures need to be treated with the utmost delicacy and respect in order to be connected perfectly to ensure good circulation and function in the long term‚” said Zühlke.

Micro-surgery was used to connect small blood vessels and nerves.

It is thought that up 250 partial or complete penile amputations take place a year in South Africa due to botched traditional circumcisions. “At Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital we are committed to finding cost-effective solutions to help these men‚” says Van der Merwe. The procedure was part of a proof of concept study to develop a cost-effective penile transplant procedure that could be performed in a typical theatre setting in a South African public sector hospital‚ he said.

The costs of the second procedure was much less than the first.

The biggest challenge to rolling out this procedure is the shortage of organs. “I think the lack of penis transplants across the world since we performed the first one in 2014‚ is mostly due to a lack of donors. It might be easier to donate organs that you cannot see‚ like a kidney‚ than something like a hand or a penis‚” said Van der Merwe.

“We are extremely grateful to the donor’s family who so generously donated not only the penis‚ but also the kidneys‚ skin and corneas of their beloved son. Through this donation they are changing the lives of many patients.

The patient had counselling over two years to explain and ensure he understood the operation is not a tried and tested treatment‚ but is still an experimental procedure with many risks.


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Richmond, Virginia: Thermiva Vaginal Rejuvenation Cedar Rapids

Bradley E. Ott 4308 Eden Drive Richmond, VA 23228

ThermiVa is the nonsurgical solution to vaginal rejuvenation that women have been waiting for! This procedure uses radio frequency to apply heat to the vulvovaginal area, improving labial laxity with the possibility of treating both stress incontinence and vaginal dryness.

The primary benefit of this procedure is that there is no downtime whatsoever. Patients can leave the office and continue with their day following their ThermiVa treatment. Surgical options for vaginal reconstruction and tightening can take months for full healing and may cause discomfort for an extended amount of time. Now, women can take full control of their bodies with immediate results and satisfaction.

ThermiVa Restores: Atrophic Vaginitis

Vaginal inflammation (atrophic vaginitis) is caused by the thinning and shrinking of vaginal tissues and decreased lubrication, usually as a result of low estrogen production. Most commonly, this condition is caused by menopause, but also may be a result of breast-feeding or some birth control that may affect estrogen levels in the body. ThermiVa restores hormone production and vaginal lubrication, treating atrophic vaginitis and giving you back your normal vaginal function. This treatment may eliminate your need for additional medication, providing a natural way to restore your vaginal health.


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