Puzzling Vaginal Discharge

Dear Dr. Eva, I have not had anything in my vagina bigger than a finger since I was 20, and I’m 50 now. Obviously, I don’t want to go through a pelvic exam as they are extremely painful for me. I am having problems with vaginal discharge. I assumed it was yeast since I only have sex with women, and very rarely at that, so I wouldn’t have a sexually transmitted disease. Is there a way to find out what it is and get it taken care of without having a speculum exam? AJ   Dear AJ, First, keep in […]

What’s wrong with dietary supplements for male sexual enhancement?

Beginning March 24, 2021, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) began to issue a series of recall notices for “nutritional supplements for male sexual enhancement.” As of April 5, recalls have been published for 14 different brands. The brands recalled so far are listed in the box below. It is very likely that more, similar products will be recalled in the days ahead. All of these products are advertised as “natural.” According to their labels, many contain imaginary ingredients like “horny goat weed.” All the recalled products contain undeclared ingredients including one or more of three prescription medications: the erection medicines […]

COVID Testing and Long COVID

Dear Dr. Eva, I was sick for 3 weeks. It seemed like COVID. I had a bad cough, was short of breath, was totally exhausted and my sense of taste and smell were less than normal (but didn’t disappear completely). I had five COVID tests and they all came up negative. My doctor says she thinks I probably did have COVID. Is it possible to have COVID and keep testing negative for it? Been Pretty Sick   Dear BPS, Testing for COVID is very finicky and time-sensitive. There are three main kinds of COVID tests: antigen tests, DNA tests, and […]

New COVID-19 Variants

What are the new strains of COVID-19? New strains, known as variants, of COVID-19 virus seem to be springing up everywhere. Information about variants is increasing and changing every day. The information in this column is based on the best available research at the time it was written (March 9). One of first variants detected was the Kent, or London, variant, now named B.1.1. (The letter/number names are based on the location of mutations in the virus.) This variant is extremely contagious but does not seem to be more deadly than the original COVID-19. There is a Brazilian variant, called […]

Newsflash: Covid vaccine does not affect fertility. Also, it does not contain microchips.

You may have heard some strange things about Covid vaccine. Do you think it might contain microchips? Did you hear that it could keep women from getting pregnant?  These are surprisingly common fears. Although they may seem silly to some of us, these ideas, or myths, are keeping quite a few people from getting vaccinated. These myths started with misunderstandings, which became rumors, then spread through the Internet. Perhaps the strangest fear is the idea that “Bill Gates is putting microchips into Covid vaccine.” This idea first appeared after Bill Gates, founder of the huge software company;op- Microsoft, said in […]

Don’t want COVID vaccine?

Let’s start with a few facts. Covid-19 is a dangerous new illness. Despite this, half the people who are infected with Covid have such minor symptoms they don’t know they are infected. Others become extremely ill, mainly with pneumonia, sometimes with strokes or heart attacks, kidney failure or blood clots.  People are 30 times more likely to die of Covid than from influenza (the flu.)  In many states, there are now few hospital beds available because so many people are hospitalized with Covid. The current death rate in the United States from Covid is more than 3000 people a day. […]

Why and how you must vote – even if you don’t love the choices

“No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.”  Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black; majority opinion in Wesberry v. Sanders, (1964) IF YOU HAVE NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE: It’s not too late. Do it now! See the website below.  HOW TO VOTE: Go to  https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/how-to-vote/ or search for “Washington Post how to vote” to get a complete, state-specific guide to voting, including […]

What do ‘asexual’ and ‘genderfluid’ mean?

Dear Dr. Eva, ​As one long-time member and observer of the GLBT community to another, I’d like to know how you understand the terms “genderfluid” and “agender.”  The term “genderqueer” has been  around a few years now, and my understanding is that it means something like, ‘engaging in behavior typically associated with the gender opposite to the one you were assigned, but not necessarily identifying with the opposite gender.’  I’m less sure what ‘genderfluid’ means. I realize it has nothing to do with genital fluids. And what is ‘agender’- the same as asexual, or something else? ​​Old Timer Dear Old […]

Flu Season 2020-2021: When Covid Meets Flu

Are there any changes to flu vaccine recommendations because of Covid? Is it more dangerous to get the flu vaccine during the Covid pandemic? Flu vaccine prevents or decreases the severity of influenza, which is a viral infection that mainly affects the lungs. Influenza, or “flu,” is a dangerous illness. It causes severe fatigue (“feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck”), headache, sore throat, dry cough, stuffy nose, and body aches. The flu can cause pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of medical conditions like heart failure, emphysema, asthma, and diabetes.            The word “flu” is often wrongly used to describe other […]

Dry Eyes Have Many Causes

Dear Dr. Eva, I am having awful problems with dry eyes.  My eyes feel really dry all the time and sometimes they hurt. It’s been going on for months. I thought it might be allergies, but allergy pills didn’t help. I’ve tried different kinds of eyedrops, and they didn’t help much. I don’t have medical insurance. Can you suggest something? Dry Eye   Dear Dry, There are two major causes for dry eyes. The eyes make several different kinds of fluid that work together to keep the surface of the eyes moist.  When there is not enough of any of […]