One of the really fun things about being a "media doc" is that I get to learn and comment about newsworthy medical innovations, research and discoveries. 2015 has been incredibly busy and I appeared in over 200 articles, TV and radio segments.
I was interviewed by More, Prevention, Health, Cosmo, Oprah.com The Huff Post andThe New York Times. I had a great time being Dirty Sexy Funny with Jenny McCarthy in addition to appearing on shows such as Good Morning America, ABC Nightly News, Fox and Friends, (playing the part of the token liberal Democrat) and of course frequently hanging out with my buddy Steve Harvey.
In 2015 I commented on what's new in the world of menopause, itchy vaginas, and if your tampon can kill you. You name it; I have been asked to provide an opinion, comment or explanation. I weighed in on Sex after 40, sex after cancer, sex after diabetes and sex after pretty much every other medical condition . (OK, that's what I get for writing Sex Rx-Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever)
I did too many interviews to count about the FDA approval of flibanserin, AKA the"little pink pill". My favorite segment, hands down, was my CNN appearance with Richard Quest.
A major media highlight for me, of course, was when Prevention Magazine did a feature article that portrayed me as a super hero!
Not all of the medical items I am asked to speak to are generated from the medical or scientific literature. In fact, more often than not when I get a call from a TV show or magazine, it is to comment on something that is medical advice from a celebrity. Hence, my list of the top three"Who Knew?" medical" breakthrough's in 2015:
Eating Placenta is Good For You
This actually all started a few years ago when January Jones recommended eating dehydrated placenta capsules to prevent post partum exhaustion. Her rationale for this practice was“we're the only mammals who don't ingest our own placentas."
I thought the whole eating placenta thing was adequately debunked and done with until Kim Kardashian, (who is a celebrity for what talent?) publically recommended this practice stating that placenta capsules prevent post partum depression and help with weight loss in addition to keeping skin youthful and hair shiny.
FYI Kim, yes placenta is loaded with nutrients and hormones. Yes, animals eat their placenta. (They also sever the umbilical cord with their teeth but that doesn't mean humans should as well). But when animals eat their placenta they don’t encapsulate it or dehydrate it, a process which destroys all the nutrients and hormones.
Women Should Wear a Corset to"Train" Your Waist
I know I shouldn't keep picking on Kim Kardashian, but it's hard not to. Sadly, it appears more women get medical advice from Kim Kardashian than from a doctor. Just saying.
In addition to advising women to eat their placentas, "Dr. Kim” also instructs women to wear a tight corset to "train their waist" to get back in shape after pregnancy so they can look as fabulous as she does. While it probably doesn't do any harm other than being massively uncomfortable, it doesn't do anybody any good. Unless of course you are one of the entrepreneurs making millions off of this stupidity.
Steaming Your Vagina has Health Benefits
The top 2015 women's medical health influencer, hands down, goes to Gwyneth Paltrow who encouraged all women to steam their vaginas. I was asked to do no less than 10 interviews on that topic including a segment on The Steve Harvey Show
In case you missed this cutting edge scientific breakthrough, I'll review.
Essentially women sit on a mini throne while steam infused with mugwort swirls around the vaginal opening to enter and permeate the uterine walls. It’s a practice that’s been utilized in Korea for hundreds of years and according to Ms. Paltrow, balances hormones, "cleans" the uterus and helps keep skin looking young and healthy.
My first thought when I heard about this was, "People really do that?" and "What's mugwort steam and why would someone want to put it on their vagina?"
In case you need to be talked out of heading to your nearest spa and plunking down $50 to have your vagina steamed, keep in mind that you can potentially do a lot of harm to sensitive tissues not to mention you don't want to have to explain to your doctor why you have blisters on your vulva. That aside, what is obvious to the 99% of the population that does not steam their vaginas, is that there is NO BENEFIT. It does NOT "clean out the bad bacteria", (the vagina is self cleaning) permeate the uterine wall (phew!) or balance your hormones. So steam the wrinkles out of your clothes and the soil out of your carpet, but for god’s sake, do not steam your vagina.
So here's to a happy, healthy and steam free 2016