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Are men 'sexually fluid'?
June 29th, 2012
01:37 PM ET

Are men 'sexually fluid'?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex weekly on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

In a new critically-acclaimed off-Broadway play, with a title too controversial for print, a gay man finds himself falling for a woman, which makes him - and his male partner - wonder whether he’s “really” gay after all.

Can a gay man who is sexually attracted to women still be gay? And what about straight men who get turned on by other men? Are men “sexually fluid”?

Female sexual fluidity - the capacity to move from romantic relationships with men to those with women, and vice versa - is well established, as I’ve previously discussed. Male sexual fluidity is less clear, yet it seems to be on the minds of many men and women. In fact, I’m often approached by women who are worried because they’ve caught their husbands or boyfriends looking at gay porn.
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Child birth like you've NEVER seen it
June 29th, 2012
11:40 AM ET

Child birth like you've NEVER seen it

Until we figure out how to strap a helmet cam on a fetus, this will be the best view any of us will ever have of what it's like inside a mom-to-be's body during child birth.

Aside, clearly, from our own paddle down the ol' birth canal.

The so-called "cinematic" MRI video provides a side view of a 24-year-old woman's womb during the last 25 seconds of her contractions. She was positioned on the open MRI during the final stages of her labor to record the wild, X-ray view of her baby being born. You can clearly make out its head, brain and body as well as the mother/very good sport's spine.

Doctors shut off the machine (and camera) right as the baby begins to emerge so that the loud noise of the MRI didn't damage its fragile ears.

Read the full story and see the video on HLNTV.com
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Filed under: Pregnancy

No surprise: Reactions to the Supreme Court's decision as expected
June 28th, 2012
07:27 PM ET

No surprise: Reactions to the Supreme Court's decision as expected

It didn't take long for the first reactions to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act to start trickling in. Here's a sampling of how some health organizations feel about the highest court upholding President Obama's controversial health care law:

The trade group that represents health insurance companies - American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) - says in their statement that "health plans will continue to focus on promoting affordability and peace of mind for their beneficiaries. The law expands coverage to millions of Americans, a goal health plans have long supported, but major provisions, such as the premium tax, will have the unintended consequences of raising costs."

But citing research by other sources, AHIP suggests that the health care law will also increase the cost of health care coverage, by way of premiums, forcing young Americans to buy artificially high premiums and affordable coverage will be less available.
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Study reveals risk factors for rare sleep disorder
June 27th, 2012
05:13 PM ET

Study reveals risk factors for rare sleep disorder

If someone you know kicks and punches you while they are sleeping, it may be because they have something called REM sleep behavior disorder or RBD, an extremely rare sleep disorder that affects an estimated 0.5% of adults worldwide. 

Now researchers say they have identified some of the risk factors that contribute to someone getting RBD, which they believe can be a precursor to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's. Over half of people with RBD develop a neurodegenerative disease, according to the American Academy of Neurology.

When people without this disorder are in REM sleep (the short period of time when you actually dream), their muscles are usually in a state of paralysis (atonia), according to the Cleveland Clinic.   But people with RBD move their  body or limbs while dreaming. and they could be acting out what they are dreaming. People with RBD are in danger of harming sleep partners as they act out.

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Fearing childbirth may prolong labor
June 27th, 2012
04:19 PM ET

Fearing childbirth may prolong labor

Dr. Stuart Fischbein chuckled when he read the title of the press release: "Women with a fear of childbirth endure a longer labor."

The release was promoting a study published this week in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Researchers at Akershus University Hospital in Norway found women who feared giving birth were in labor for 1 hour and 32 minutes longer, on average, than those who had no fear.

"I'm glad there's now evidence to say that," Fischbein said, "but it's obvious."

For those of us who aren't OB/GYNs, it may seem more like a cruel joke. Women who are afraid of the pain and the possible medical complications associated with giving birth have to suffer through it longer?
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June 27th, 2012
02:43 PM ET

FDA approves drug to treat some obese, overweight adults

Some people who suffer from chronic weight issues may soon get some help from a pill. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Wednesday approved Belviq, or lorcaserin hydrochloride, to be combined with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise, for treatment of chronic weight problems.

Specifically, the FDA says, it is approved for overweight or obese adults who have one or more medical conditions due to their weight, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.
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Today is National HIV Testing Day
June 27th, 2012
01:24 PM ET

Today is National HIV Testing Day

Almost 1.2 million Americans living in the United States are HIV positive,  but about 240,000 (or 1 in 5), don't know they are infected. That's because they have not been tested.

Today is the 18th National HIV Testing Day, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending everyone between the ages 13 and 64 get an AIDS test. 

The CDC says: "An HIV test is recommended once a year for people at increased risk - such as gay and bisexual men, injection drug users, or people with multiple sex partners. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months)."
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June 27th, 2012
11:45 AM ET

How becoming a patient can make you stronger

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week Roxanne Black talks about the social network she started for people dealing with a serious illness.

Those of us who face illness remember the before and after moments: The day the phone rang, or the doctor walked into your hospital room, and it was clear that life as you had known it was about to change. You discover that you have cancer or multiple sclerosis, or that your loved one has been diagnosed with a chronic disease.

You hang up the phone or walk out of the hospital feeling as if your world has been transformed.  It’s not simply fear that makes you so disoriented – it’s because you are in the midst of experiencing a true glimpse of the great preciousness and precariousness of life.

On a daily basis, we tend to be conditioned to live within a limited perception of our consciousness and power. Yet illness manages to help us find ourselves, to free ourselves. It is in the face of suffering that so many of us are thrown into the depths of ourselves and come up bearing treasures of strength, insight and courage we never knew were there.
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June 27th, 2012
10:00 AM ET

America's cleanest (and dirtiest!) beaches

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water, the Natural Resources Defense Council has released its annual beach quality report and it’s not pretty.

According to NRDC, a large number of U.S. seashores continue to suffer from storm water runoff and sewage pollution that can cause swimmers to become very ill.

The report, Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches, looks at 2011 data collected from test results taken at more than 3,000 beaches nationwide. It examines the pollution factors that affect these U.S. vacation spots and calls for public efforts to clean up.

The report found that last year the nation’s beach waters continued to be affected by serious contamination and pollutants from human and animal waste. As a result, America’s beaches had the third-highest number of closings or advisories in the report’s history, with the second-highest number occurring just the year before. Progress, according to the report, is not being made.
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Low carb, high protein diets linked to women's heart disease
June 27th, 2012
07:13 AM ET

Low carb, high protein diets linked to women's heart disease

Women who regularly cut back on carbohydrates and eat high amounts of protein are at increased risk of heart disease, concludes a study published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal.

To gauge the impact of the popular Atkins-style diets on women's hearts, researchers in Greece turned to a food survey completed by more than 43,000 women in Sweden. The women, who were between 30 and 49 years old, recorded the frequency and quantities of food they ate over six months in 1991 and 1992.

Using the survey, researchers calculated which women were eating the least amount of carbohydrates and the most amount of protein. The women were then followed for 15 years on average to see who became diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. The women's food habits were not tracked long-term but did provide researchers a snapshot in time.
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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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