Dear Dr. Gott: Is it safe to douche with bleach mixed in water? My daughter got very upset when I told her I do this. They used to print on the label of Clorox that it could be used as a douche, but they don’t anymore. Also, what are genital warts? What causes them, and are they contagious?
Dear Reader: My gynecologist colleagues tell me that douching – especially with diluted bleach – is unnecessary. I am not aware that Clorox douching is associated with any significant health issue, but stop doing it.
Genital warts are caused by viruses, will usually spread if untreated and are contagious – that is, they can be spread by sexual relations.
A man with genital warts should be examined by a urologist and treated, and his sexual partners should be examined.
A woman with similar warts needs aggressive therapy and all of her sexual partners should be screened. I say “aggressive” therapy because untreated human papilloma virus infections are associated with cancer of the female reproductive tract.
To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report “Vaginal Infections and Disorders.” Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, P.O. Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.
Dear Dr. Gott: I started taking blood pressure medication in June of 1978 and have done so up until this year in June. They are listed as follows: hydrochlorothiazide and metoprolol.
My physician has discontinued the hydrochlorothiazide but continues to have me on a half-dose of the metoprolol in place of the original one dose previously taken.
My former physician back in 1978 who prescribed these medications stated that I would have to be on them for life.
I am currently having my blood pressure monitored every other day for the last few weeks, and it has steadily remained 130/71. Incidentally, I am 79 years of age, 5-foot-4 and 122 pounds.
However, Dr. Gott, I am naturally concerned and would value your opinion concerning these medications for my blood pressure.
From discussions with some of my friends and also a pharmacist, they are under the opinion that I should never have been taken off the medication.
Dear Reader: I agree. Medicine to lower blood pressure can be often lessened – or even discontinued – if a person’s blood pressure is consistently too low. Yours isn’t. A normal blood pressure (120 to 130/80 to 90) is the proper goal for all adults, treated or untreated. Continue your previous dosage of anti-hypertension drugs and regularly monitor the results.
sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.