Hair Loss in Women

Dear Dr. Eva, I am a 36-year-old woman. For the last several years I’ve had ongoing hair loss. My hair is thinning all over my scalp. It’s not male-pattern-like baldness on the crown or the front hairline receding. My other hair areas like eyebrows and pubic area haven’t changed. Since I first noticed this, I’ve been very gentle with my hair. I don’t dye it, don’t treat it with any kind of chemicals, don’t even use hairdryers. I keep it fairly short, just down to my shoulders. But the hair loss has continued and now has gotten to the point […]

Transitioning as a Couple Sex change affects a partner, too

Dear Dr. Eva, My partner of several years is transitioning (female to male) and started hormones a few months ago. I am trying to be understanding, but it seems like such a self-centered process! It’s like being in a threesome: him, me, and “The Transition.” Sometimes it feels like he is so involved with The Transition that I could drop out of the threesome and he might not even miss me. He wants privacy, even secrecy as much as possible. He doesn’t want anyone to know he is transitioning – although everyone will eventually have to know when he changes […]

Summer Travel Health Risks From malaria to measles to Montezuma’s Revenge, be prepared!

Planning an international vacation this summer? Here is key information you can use to stay healthy and safe before, during, and after your vacation. Before you go – Most travel agencies and agents will give you information about health risks at your destination, but it’s up to you to make sure you get any vaccines or medicines you need before you go. If you need travel vaccines or medicines, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to get them at least six weeks before you leave. This is to allow the vaccines enough time to become effective. If you will […]

When is it Okay Not to Use a Condom?

Can viruses pass through condoms? Dear Dr. Eva, I heard that HIV and other viruses can get through pores in latex condoms because viruses are so much smaller than sperm. Is that true? Wondering Dear Wondering, No, it isn’t true. Latex is a continuous solid surface. It has no pores – that’s what makes it so effective. Multiple scientific studies have shown that the HIV virus cannot pass through latex condoms. The condom is 100 percent effective unless it tears. When a condom is worn, infections can only be passed if the condom breaks, tears, or slips off. Tearing and […]

Questions about Testosterone

Dear Dr. Eva, I am a 20-year-old trans man. I’ve been on testosterone for close to three years. I’ve developed a lot of facial and body hair, but my voice hasn’t changed much. How long do you have to be on testosterone before you get a significant voice change? Still High-pitched Dear High-pitched, Many trans guys do not experience significant voice change from testosterone. Any voice change a person does get will be complete in the first 18 months on testosterone. However, there are things you can do to make your speech sound masculine without having a lower-pitched voice. For […]

Magnet Therapy, Copper Bracelets, and TB Testing

Dear Dr. Eva, What do you think about magnet therapy? It is supposed to improve blood flow by attracting the iron in blood. Does it really work? Also, do copper bracelets work for arthritis? Metal Fan Dear Metal Fan, Magnets can’t change blood flow by attracting iron, because all the iron in blood is bound up in hemoglobin molecules. The hemoglobin structure neutralizes the magnetic charge in the iron and because of that, the iron doesn’t respond to magnets. There is also no reason to think that magnets are effective by some other method. Research on magnets has found that, […]

Conversion Therapy

Dear Dr. Eva, Why should gay conversion therapy be banned? What if someone wants to change? Why should treatment be denied just because it is currently out of fashion or considered politically incorrect? Not Ex-Gay Yet Dear NEGY, I agree with you that all effective treatments that are not harmful should be made available to anyone who wants them. Just to be clear, “conversion therapy,” also called “reparative therapy,” is a discredited type of mental health therapy in which the therapist, and sometimes the patient, tries to change the patient’s sexual orientation from lesbian, gay, or bisexual to straight (heterosexual). […]

Memory Problems in a Grieving Friend

  Dear Dr. Eva, My best friend lost his lover of many years last September. Since then I’ve noticed he has become increasingly forgetful. What are the early signs of dementia? And what can I do to help my friend? MC Dear MC, Although physical problems should be considered, memory loss in a person who is grieving is most often a sign of depression, not of mental deterioration (dementia) like Alzheimer’s disease. Memory loss as the main feature of depression is common enough that there is a specific term for it, “pseudo-dementia.” Depression is not always seen as sadness or […]

Mold-Related Illness

  Dear Dr. Eva, We finally decided to get a couple of bedrooms painted. They had wallpaper, and when it was stripped off we saw big patches of black and red mold. Looked like it must have been growing for years, and it smelled musty. The painters say they can use anti-mold paint, but will that be enough? One of my kids has asthma, and I wonder if this could be the cause of it. Moldy Home Dear Moldy, A mold investigation can be as deep as you are willing to go. The most important thing to know is that […]

Is Throat Gonorrhea Real?

Dear Dr. Eva, A friend says that he was treated for gonorrhea in the throat and was told he didn’t need a follow-up test to make sure it was gone. Does this make sense? Is there such a thing as gonorrhea in the throat? And if a person has an STD, don’t they always need to a follow-up test to make sure it’s gone? Dubious Dear Dubious, Yes, there definitely is such a thing as gonorrhea infection of the throat. Throat gonorrhea is picked up when a person gives oral sex to a man who has gonorrhea of the penis. […]