HR Pharma News

Making a Prostate Exam as Comfortable as Possible: Caring For Your Patients

In honor of November being prostate cancer awareness month, today’s post is dedicated to discussing prostate exams and how medical professionals can help make them as comfortable as possible. This is in an effort to help promote as many men as possible to have their prostates checked to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer or to identify it in the earlier stages. Before we dive right into the performance of the prostate exam, let’s review a few prostate cancer statistics to highlight the importance of the exam.

Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men (behind skin cancer) and the second leading cause of cancer death in men (behind lung cancer). This year, more than 176,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and nearly 32,000 lives will be claimed by it, making it the fifth deadliest cancer in the United States. 1 in 9 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, 60% of which are over the age of 60. Prostate cancer originates in the prostate — the walnut-shaped gland that produces seminal fluid. Many men either do not have symptoms or ignore the symptoms that may include frequency, urgency, or difficulty urinating. A digital prostate exam and/or a blood test can be used to screen for prostate cancer. Unlike many other diagnostic screening procedures, there are no current guidelines on the regularity of prostate screenings.

Let’s be honest, a prostate exam is not something that most men look forward to. In fact, some men are so anxious about the discomfort they pose that they forgo them altogether. In the battle against invasive cancers, healthcare practitioners should be mindful of patient comfort that may contribute to the enhancement of screening and revelation of symptoms for timely diagnosis. There are several things the healthcare practitioner can do to help improve patient comfort during a prostate exam.

1. Explain everything.

Men understand that the prostate exam will include the digital stimulation of their rectum to assess their prostate. However, you should explain the procedure in a medically professional way, answering all questions and paying close attention to the patient’s reactions. Assure them that you will wear gloves, use liberal amounts of lubricant and that it will be very quick. Explain the importance of the procedure and exactly what you are assessing for. During the procedure, continue to explain what you are doing, as you are doing it. Remind them to breathe and let them know as soon as you are done.

2. Be gentle and quick.

A prostate exam, when performed correctly, should take less than 10 to 15 seconds and should involve minimal probing. One finger inserted no further than the second knuckle should suffice, and force should never be applied when resistance is met. Remind your patient that, although it may be difficult, if they are able to relax their sphincter, the prostate exam will be much quicker and much more comfortable. If you are meeting resistance or find abnormalities, explain that to your patient right away, do not simply continue the exam and leave them uncomfortably wondering why it is taking longer than anticipated.

3. Use lube liberally.

Rectal exams are not the time to be conservative with lubricants. The more medical lubricant you use, the smoother the exam will be and the less tissue damage you will cause. Both of these features will greatly ease patient discomfort and promote the willingness for future rechecks. Be mindful to not use so much lubricant, however, that it creates a mess or discomfort from anal leakage after the exam.

The lubricant you use should be water-based to avoid staining and help with easy patient clean up after the exam. Although sterility is not required in a prostate exam, using a bacteriostatic medical lubricant may be preferable. Be sure to use a latex-free lubricant with nitrile gloves to reduce the risk of allergic reaction and glove compromise. Try HR Lubricating Jelly for a medical lubricant that is all of the above!

4. Respect their dignity.

There is no reason for your patient to be completely naked for the prostate exam, so you should allow them to retain as much clothing as they are comfortable with that allows you the ability to perform the exam. If the exam room has a curtain, draw it, even if the door is also closed. Ensure you eliminate disruptions and ensure patient privacy is maintained. If a male patient is uncomfortable with a female practitioner, be sure he has access to a provider of his preferred gender. Either the patient or the medical professional may request a chaperone to be present during the exam, but be sure to explain this before inviting someone else into the room.

5. Leave the room after completion.

Immediately following the prostate exam, leave the room to allow the patient to clean up and redress. If you have further business to discuss, return after a few minutes. Allowing the patient to clean and redress will minimize vulnerability and promote honest discussion. Allowing your patient to have a minute alone to collect themselves will improve their comfort and increase the chances that they will return for the next recommended recheck.

HR Lubricating Jelly has been the go-to medical lubricant for medical professionals for almost 85 years. It offers premium viscosity in a water-soluble formula. To make your job easier and your patients more comfortable, trust the number one brand in medical lubricants. Visit our online medical supply shop to order your stock today.

A Guide to Women’s Reproductive Health Management in an Effort to Reduce Cervical Cancer

In the realm of cancer and cancer treatment, the good news is that the rates of cervical cancer are down in the United States, however, the rates in developing nations is still staggeringly high. While this is not good news for those in developing nations, yet, the good news is that the tactics and efforts employed in the United States have proven to be effective at reducing the rate of cervical cancer as well as the morbidity of those diagnosed. Join us in today’s post as we offer an overview of cervical cancer and the efforts used to reduce cases and deaths caused by cervical cancer around the world.

Cervical cancer is cancer that affects the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina — of women. The problem with cervical cancer is that you can not see it without an exam and many women have no symptoms in the early stages. Once a woman begins experiencing symptoms, cancer has already reached late stages and may have metastasized to other parts of the body. Historically, cervical cancer was one of the leading causes of death for women of childbearing age and was the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women.

In the 1950s, the implementation of the Papanicolaou (Pap) smear helped reduce the incidence and morbidity rates decline by more than 74%. Cervical cancer can often be detected in its precancerous stages in routine Pap smears. In the United States, and other developed countries, the Pap smear has been standard preventative practice and successful at diagnosing at treating cervical concerns before they become dangerous.

The bad news is that around the world, more than a million women are living with cervical cancer. 85% of these cases could have been prevented with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, Pap smear, and access to medical care. More than 300,000 women will die this year from cervical cancer, which is known to be one of the most preventable and treatable cancers.

There are a number of factors that contribute to a successful women’s reproductive health management plan, including fertility and infertility care, prenatal and postpartum care, contraceptives, vaccinations, breast cancer screening, hormone control, diet and exercise education, chronic disease management, and general women’s health management. These topics can (and are) the topics for entire textbooks and field of study. Today, we will focus specifically on the guidance, recommendation, and importance of routine vaginal exams and Pap smears in the reduction of cervical cancer.

Reducing Cervical Cancer Risk With Routine Screening

In 2018, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force released a final publication with findings and recommendations for cervical cancer screening. New recommendations are to screen women who have a cervix every three years beginning at age 21 to 29, unless otherwise warranted, and every five years for women aged
0 to 65.

For many women, the change in recommendations is noticeable, whereas previous recommendations were to receive a Pap smear every other year once she reaches coitarche (engagement in sexual intercourse). The change comes as a result of HPV vaccination, which prevents more than 83% of cervical cancers. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for screening and treatment for women in nations without access to reliable healthcare, treatment, or follow-up options gives priority to women between the ages of 30 and 45, with recommendations to vaccinate as many women and girls as possible with the HPV vaccine.

What HR Pharmaceuticals is Doing to Help

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we develop medical lubricants that are trusted by practitioners around the world for more than 85 years. Our HR Lubricating Jelly has been the preferred medical lubricant in gynecological practices for use during vaginal exams and Pap smears. Our limited-ingredient, water-based formula has a low allergy rate and does not affect cytology samples collected. For the patient, the high-viscosity and superior lubricating qualities make the exams more comfortable and reduce trauma to vaginal tissue caused by speculum insertion. Our single-use or multi-use packaging makes performing exams in any setting possible. Because our lubricants are non-spermicidal, they are safe to use during fertility treatments as well.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we believe that every person has the right to live a cancer-free life and we are doing our part to help make cancer screenings more reliable and accessible for patients around the globe. For all of your lubricating jelly needs, visit our online supply shop.

A Review of the Trends of Colorectal Cancer

In our last post, we discussed rectal health and how you can take care of your gut to help prevent colorectal cancer. In today’s post, we are going to discuss why this is so important and review the trends of colorectal cancer.

Colorectal Cancer

Before we jump right into the changing trends in colorectal cancer, let’s first discuss a little about colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is, as its name implies, cancer that develops in the colon or the rectum. Colorectal cancer often begins as polyps in the bowel — adenoma. Colorectal cancer affects men and women almost evenly, as well as all ethnic groups and socioeconomic status. Colorectal cancer is more common as people age, being most common in those over 50, but is not exclusive to the elderly. While colorectal cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States, it remains the 2nd deadliest.

Colorectal cancer tends to be more deadly than other types of cancers because the symptoms are less subtle, so the cancer is not often detected as early and by the time it is diagnosed, it has often metastasized (spread) to other areas of the body. 2018 statistics suggest that approximately 66% of those diagnosed with colorectal cancer survive beyond five years after diagnosis.

Armed with some general background information about colorectal cancer, let’s get back to the matter at hand — reviewing the current trends of colorectal cancer and what we can do to decrease the rates.

Food and Beverage Causes

It is not clear to researchers, yet, what causes colorectal cancer. There does not seem to be a clear genetic link, but there does some to be a strong correlation between diet and colorectal cancer incidence. Being overweight or obese, with low physical activity rates seems to put people at a disproportionate risk of developing colorectal cancer. Smoking and consuming alcohol are also contributing factors. Other diet items that place one at an increased risk of colorectal cancer include:

  • Red meat including beef, pork, lamb, and liver
  • Processed meats including hot dogs, bacon, and lunchmeat
  • Fried and propane grilled foods expose one to chemicals that increase cancer risks
  • Diets low in fiber
  • Diets high in fat
  • Preserved foods
  • Foods containing pesticides and/or herbicides

The good news is, there are foods you can consume that help reduce your risk of colorectal cancer that include:

  • Vegetables
  • Good quality fats such as olive oil, fish oil, avocado, and nuts
  • High-fiber foods
  • Fruit
  • High-quality carbohydrates
  • Vitamin C
  • Coffee (even decaf)

Staying hydrated, consuming plenty of fiber, and maintaining a healthy weight are important to overall gut health and reducing your risk of colorectal cancer.

Enhanced Awareness and Diagnosis

One of the biggest, and best, contributors to the rise of colorectal cancer diagnosis is increased awareness and the diagnosis of colorectal cancer. For instance. In 2008, there were 148,810 instances of newly diagnosed colorectal cancer cases, and in 2019, it is estimated there will be about 141,000. While this number is decreasing slightly, the surprising news is that the rates for people under the age of 50 are on the rise. Additionally, colorectal cancer continues to cling to its ranking of number two on the list of deadliest cancers, with survival rates increasing by less than 2% in the last decade.

When we look at the hard numbers, it is encouraging to know that while the diagnosis rates for patients 50 and older have stayed steady, the survival rates have improved. On the other side of the coin, however, in patients under 50, diagnosis rates have also not changed much, but survival rates have declined. It is estimated that nearly 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could have been prevented with routine screening. With statistics like these, it may beg the question of how is this encouraging news? These numbers prove, without a doubt, that screening and early detection have reduced morbidity rates. Standard screening begins at age 50 with routine colonoscopies. For those diagnosed under the age of 50, nearly 60% of deaths could have been prevented had screening been conducted to catch the disease before it had progressed and metastasized.

Early diagnosis is the key to positive outcomes with any cancer. Because, as we discussed earlier, the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer in the early stages can be subtle, or embarrassing, most people delay evaluation and treatment. Access to reliable healthcare and medical insurance has helped to encourage more patients to have routine preventative screenings conducted, which is saving tens-of-thousands of lives. Programs including the Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) and Screen For Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign have helped implement awareness education and screening nationwide.

Some statistics to ponder include:

  • 1 in 20 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. However,
  • 1 in 3 people are not up to date on recommended colorectal cancer screenings

Elongated Mortality Rates

As with any disease that is more likely to occur as we age, colorectal cancer rates will likely continue to remain relatively stable as long as the average lifespan increases. This is not to say that if we live long enough that each of us will develop cancer, but it does mean that with the average increase in age and the advancement in medical technology and treatment, while many diseases are treated and deaths prevented, it allows for other diseases to manifest. The long-term goal is to prevent what we can and treat what we can identify.

What Can Be Done to Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk and Diagnosis?

With a better understanding of what colorectal cancer is and the things that contribute to its diagnosis, we can now begin the discussion of what can be done to reduce the rate of colorectal cancer risk and diagnosis.

Prevention

The best medical treatment for any disease is prevention. We previously discussed the food and beverages that put people at an increased risk, so being aware of what you are consuming on an individual level, and avoiding the foods that increase your risk is a good start. As a society, demanding access to healthier food and beverages that reduce the risk of cancer is another movement that should be a priority.

As an individual, you can help bring awareness to people to help others understand the real threat posed by colorectal cancer and encourage others to schedule their screenings — and be sure to do so yourself. Education, awareness, and screening are vital to reducing the impact of cancer in general. Since you cannot asses yourself for colorectal cancer at home, it is important to have an honest discussion about your risk factors with your primary health provider and conduct screenings regularly.

Understanding your family history is another important piece of information. While there has not been a strong genetic link found, more than 25% of those who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer have a family member who was also diagnosed. This may be attributed to a hereditary link, but is more likely an element of environmental exposure.

Addressing medical concerns is an important element in preventing colorectal cancer, but also to your overall health and wellbeing. Chron’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), diabetes, and obesity are other medical conditions that contribute to the development of colorectal cancer. Effectively managing these diseases can help reduce your cancer risk.

Diagnosis and Treatment

As we have discussed, early diagnosis and effective treatment are the keys to reducing risk and improving mortality rates related to colorectal cancer. Begin by recognizing symptoms and being honest with your primary health provider about concerns. Common symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

  • Change in bowel habits
  • Blood in stool
  • Stomach pain or cramping
  • Unexplained weight loss

Regular screening for colorectal cancer should begin at 50 years of age, or sooner if you or a close relative has a history of colorectal cancer or rectal polyps; you have a history of Chron’s disease, IBS, or another cancer; or you have symptoms of colorectal cancer. Screening can be completed with a fecal test, colonoscopy, or medical imaging tests.

Early diagnosis can help treatment be more effective and reduce the incidence of metastasis. In stages 0-2, the cancer is well-contained, isolated, and much easier to manage. Once the rectum or colon has been perforated by cancer, it is much more likely to metastasize to other parts of the body and is much harder to isolate and treat. Colorectal cancer is treated with ablation, radiation, chemotherapy, and surgical removal of portions of the bowel. Diagnosis and treatment should not be delayed.

How HR Pharmaceuticals is Helping

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we are passionate about the health of people and being pioneers in the medical community. For more than 85 years, we have made medical products that providers across the world have trusted to use during procedures. Our HR Lubricating Jelly is a water-based lubricating jelly that is used to perform rectal exams and colonoscopies in clinics and hospitals across the world. Our viscous, water-based lubricant helps to make invasive rectal procedures more comfortable and reduces trauma to the bowel during the exams. This makes the procedure safer and more comfortable for the patient and quicker for the medical professional conducting it. We use ingredients that do not influence test results, making it a reliable product to use in all laboratory and sample collection settings. We believe that making superior products help to encourage more people to engage in screenings to help reduce the morbidity rates of one of the deadliest cancers. We also believe in using our newsroom as a platform for educating people and raise awareness to help the fight against colorectal cancer.

For all of your medical lubricant needs, visit our online supply shop today. For more information about colorectal cancer, visit these online resources:

Colorectal Cancer Alliance: https://www.ccalliance.org/
Fight Colorectal Cancer: https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/
American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/index.htm
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/cancer/detection/colorectalcancer/en/

A Guide to Rectal Health

In recent years, colorectal cancers have begun getting the attention they deserve. Cancer is the second leading cause of death (behind heart disease) in the United States. Another runner up, colorectal cancer is the second most fatal cancer (behind lung and bronchial cancer). With smoking rates dropping and no recent change in rectal health discussions, many are fearful that these two will one day swap positions on the top of the “deadliest cancers” list. Colorectal cancer and other disorders are frequently ignored until it is much too late. Generally speaking, the normal population is not comfortable talking about their gut or butt health or discussing changes and concerns with anyone. In today’s post, we want to help shed some insight on how you can better care for your rectum and help prevent or identify problems before they become fatal.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we create medical lubricants that make rectal exams more comfortable and limit the effects on cytology specimens. Making rectal exams more comfortable enhances the chances that patients will participate in them regularly and can decrease the incidence of stage 3 or 4 cancers. Our HR Lubricating Jelly is water-soluble so it won’t leave unsightly stains, nor will it interfere with natural gut flora.

Tips For Taking Care of Your Rectum

Maintain Proper Nutrition

What goes in, must come out. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the high fat content of the typical American diet is linked to higher rates of colorectal cancer. Trans fats, grease, salts, and nitrates have all been linked to causes of colorectal cancer. Processed or preserved foods also serve to preserve your intestines, causing damage to your gut lining. Fiber plays a big role in colon health and should be consumed liberally. Eat plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Reduce the amount of processed and preserved foods. Maintain optimal hydration to keep cells happy and waste moving.

Be Mindful of What Goes In

Regardless of the route, you should be mindful of what is going into your body. In regards to the rectal cavity, there are additional considerations that should be taken before inserting anything. The anus, unlike any other cavity, is incredibly sensitive and full of natural flora and bacteria. The nature of rectal tissues is meant to keep feces from coming out until you are ready. For this reason, the sphincters are very tight and the walls are not smooth like other cavities. When anything is to be inserted into the anus, there are a few steps that should be taken.

Ensure cleanliness.

If you are considering keistering your life savings, don’t. Money and other publically handled items are incredibly dirty and will introduce unwelcome bacteria into your digestive system. For suppositories or medication, ensure the medication comes directly from packaging into the anus. If you participate in anal sex, ensure that your partner showers beforehand (and afterward) or ensure that any adult toys are thoroughly cleaned after every use and again directly before being used again. This prevents any bacteria that may have grown on the toys from entering your body.

Lubricate liberally.

Don’t skimp on the lube! The only time you may want to take it easy on lubricating anything being inserted into the rectal cavity is when you are placing tablets and this is to ensure maximum absorption. Anything else — fingers, scopes, speculums, rectal tubes, phallus, or adult toys — should be lubricated well with water-based lubricating jelly. Not only will proper lubrication make insertion more comfortable, but it will reduce tissue damage and tearing. Shearing of the rectal cavity can cause a variety of infections. Additionally, tears will cause scar tissue to build up, making your sphincters less effective and peristalsis slower. The takeaway? Lube liberally.

Modify Your Habits

There are many day to day habits that can influence your rectal health in different ways. While doing any of these things every once in a while may not cause problems, developing poor habits can cause major issues in the long run.

Don’t wax or bleach.

Waxing and bleaching your anus causes damage to the tissues. Leaving your rectum in its natural state is your best bet to avoid problems. And, if you insist on engaging in these beauty procedures, use them sparingly.

Don’t rest on the toilet.

The toilet should not be a place to read the news or scroll through your phone. Take only as long as it takes to complete your business and then get up. The toilet bowl works like a gravity sink. Combined with the relaxation of your sphincter or pressure from straining can cause hemorrhoids.

Wash with water and soap.

There is no need to use any special products to clean your rectum, or any cavity for that matter. Use warm water and soap only. Avoid using antimicrobial or scented soaps and definitely no scrubbing!

Avoid straining.

Sometimes straining is unavoidable. However, when you have a normal bowel movement, you should be able to simply relax and allow gravity to assist. Straining can cause hemorrhoids to develop and break blood vessels in your colon.

Get Routine Screenings

Don’t skip on routine screenings because you are embarrassed or are concerned it will be uncomfortable. Techniques have advanced to improve patient comfort and providers are well aware of the discomfort that rectal exams and colonoscopies cause and do everything they can to reduce discomfort and protect your dignity.

The type of routine screening you get will vary depending on your risk of colorectal cancer, including inherited and lifestyle risks. Generally, everyone should begin colorectal cancer screening at age 50 and those at an increased risk should begin screening by age 45 or the age an immediate family member was diagnosed, whichever is earlier. Testing may consist of a simple fecal test every year at your physical or may include rectal exams. Rectal exams to test for rectal disorders and cancer include flexible sigmoidoscopy, CT colonography, or a colonoscopy. You can discuss the options and which is suggested for you with your provider.

When It’s Time to Investigate Your Symptoms

Colorectal cancers are somewhat preventable and are relatively easy to treat if caught early. Don’t ignore changes in bowel habits and speak honestly with your provider.

Abnormal symptoms that should be investigated:

There are several symptoms that may indicate gut or rectal disorders or colorectal cancers. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t ignore them. Contact your provider to have them checked out right away. When caught early, benign or malignant polyps can be removed fairly easily. If left untreated, colorectal cancers can quickly metastasize to other areas and organs. Symptoms you should seek medical attention for include:

  • Unexplained changes in bowel habits.
  • Unexplained or reoccurring diarrhea or constipation.
  • Feeling that you have not completely emptied your colon after having a bowel movement.
  • Black, tarry, or coffee-ground bowel-movements.
  • Bleeding from the rectum.
  • A constant feeling of “fullness” despite eating or bowel habits.
  • Sudden change in energy levels.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Unexplained abdominal pain or bloating.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we are determined to help improve patient comfort and increase screenings to promote the health and safety of all people. For all of your anal lubricant needs, trust the industry’s most trusted medical lubricant — HR Lubricating Jelly. Our formula is water-based and bacteriostatic for optimal viscosity and safety. Browse our entire product line online today.

 

The Effect of Lubricant on Cytology Specimens

In the medical community, evidence guides practice and new research is conducted all the time to test theories and challenge current best practice to pave the way for tomorrow’s best practice. The art of medicine and science is ever-evolving and researchers dedicate themselves to testing theories and proving methods. For decades, medical lubricating jelly was used to make invasive procedures more comfortable. In the late 1990s, however, this practice was challenged and many practitioners discontinued the practice of lubing speculums prior to insertion out of concern that the lubricant may affect the integrity of cytology specimens. In today’s post, we will review some of the literature to determine if these beliefs were founded and establish best practice methods.

Medical lubricant is used to make invasive medical procedures more comfortable for patients. For procedures like cervical exams and Papanicolaou (Pap) smears, water-soluble medical lubricants have been preferred over oil-based lubricants to reduce the wear and tear on plastic speculums and, more importantly, to reduce the effects on cytology specimens.

While this has been an accepted practice for the better part of a century without incident, it wasn’t until the 1990s when research was conducted to test the hypothesis that water-based lubricating jellies had little effect on lab specimens. One study used a sample population across five different clinics In a random, double-blind trial that lasted six months, water-based lubricant or plain water was used as lube during Pap smears. The results were an astonishing dead tie. Both the water and the water-based lubricant caused negative effects in less than 1.4% of the samples tested.

In another, similar, study performed the following decade, more than 5,500 samples were tested. With the use of water-based gel lubricants, the cytology error rates caused by unsatisfactory samples was a mere 1.1% as opposed to the 1.5% of samples solicited using plain water as a lubricant. The difference in the results is not statistically significant enough to draw conclusions or make the claim that using a water-based lubricant yields better results than using water, but it is significant enough to confidently state that it does not negatively affect samples or pose a threat to the integrity of Pap smear procedures.

With these results in mind, it would be irresponsible to remove medical lubricant from the procedure. Not only does medical lubricant make invasive vaginal procedures like a Pap smear more comfortable for the patient, making them more likely to follow-up on routine preventative appointments, but it also reduces vaginal tearing, shearing, or tissue damage caused by friction of the speculum. Additionally, water-soluble medical lubricants including HR Lubricating Jelly offer not only premium viscosity that directly translates to patient comfort and safety, but also include bacteriostatic properties that reduce the risk of infection caused by invasive procedures.

HR Lubricating Jelly is paraben and glycol-free and doesn’t contain additives that cause sensitivities to patients or damage to instruments. HR Lubricating Jelly has been the go-to medical lubricant for gynecologists and obstetricians for more than 80 years, and for good reason. If you perform vaginal exams or Pap smears in your clinic, be sure to keep your storage rooms fully stocked with the lubricant that makes your job easier and your patients’ visit more comfortable. Browse our entire collection online today.

For more information and to review the results of more similar studies, visit these online resources.

Lubrication of The Vaginal Introitus and Speculum Does Not Affect Papanicolaou Smears

Association of Speculum Lubrication with Pain and Papanicolaou Test Accuracy 

Effect of Lubricating Gel on Patient Comfort During Vaginal Speculum Examination: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Testimonial Review HR Lubricating Jelly®

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we have been creating products that are the mark of quality and assurance in the medical community for more than 80 years. We’ve reported in previous posts all about the benefits of our products and why we create our products the way we do. We know how great our products are for the patients who use them, but we aren’t convinced that’s enough to give you the confidence you need to purchase our product. In today’s post, we are going to review some of the things our customers are saying about our HR Lubricating Jelly®.

HR Lubricating Jelly is available for purchase by the public as well as prescribed by physicians around the world for patient’s home use. The testimonials featured in today’s post come from a variety of sources, including patients and medical professional

“Thanks so much for the samples of HR Lubricating Jelly; two of four HDR vaginal brachy therapy radiation treatments are done. No problem with HR Lubricating Jelly, I’m so glad I contacted you; radiation is hard enough but to add burning and discomfort that continues long afterward because of the cheap lubricant the hospital uses would have been torture.
I finished treatment at the end of July and I carry HR Lubricating Jelly to all my gynecological appointments and always recommend it to all who tell me they are having a problem; recovery is very slow but I do feel I am making progress. PET scan was clear; so far so good! Hope your company is doing well. You make a superior product.”
M. Langford

We are so glad that we can provide products that provide comfort to you in such a difficult time. We are pleased to hear that our products fair you better than other available medical lubricants. We are disappointed that you have to carry your own lubricating jelly to your appointments, but we couldn’t think of a better one to carry that HR Lubricating Jelly.

“I would like to share with you our HR® Lubricating Jelly One Shot™ Sachet success story. I have been in the field of Colon Hydrotherapy for over 30 years and the manufacturer of Clearwater Colon Hydrotherapy units and speculums. Our disposable speculum kit consists of one speculum, obturator, tubing and a sterile lubricant packet; occasionally we will upgrade and improve our products for added customer satisfaction, when we changed to the HR® Lubricating Jelly One Shot™ Sachet, the feedback from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive. Thanks again for a great product.” M. Baker

We are so glad to hear that our product can help improve patient satisfaction with your product and procedures. We are always pleased to hear about when our products are featured in kits or bundles and can help make procedures more comfortable while protecting the instruments that are used. Thank you for the positive feedback and we hope to continue our symbiotic relationship.

“I am writing to describe my experience with HR Lubricating Jelly. I have utilized the product for multiple uses in the field of obstetrics intermittently over a fifteen-year period. These uses include assisting with patient examinations as well as unique applications for enhancement of sonographic imaging. In all uses to date, I have not had a adverse event related to use of the product. I have not had a patient complain of burning or discomfort after examination attributable to its use. No other safety concerns have been observed during this observation period.” J. O’Brien, MD

Thank you for the positive feedback. It is experiences like this that are the reason we create the products that we do. HR Lubricating Jelly has been trusted by gynecologists and obstetricians for decades, and we are glad to hear there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight for that.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we engineer medical lubricants that are safe for use in almost any setting and on almost any patient. All of our products are water-based, kosher, paraben-free, and bacteriostatic. When you use a lubricating jelly with HR branding, you can rest assured that you and your patients are using a product you can trust. To stock your shelves with a quality lubricating jelly, visit us online today!

A Guide to Bladder Health

There are books, podcasts, blogs, and magazines dedicated to helping people improve their lives by focusing on the function of a certain organ or body part — your brain, heart, and reproductive organs — but one commonly overlooked organ you should pay attention to is your bladder! That’s right, that small, seemingly insignificant organ that serves as a collection point for liquid waste. Not many people take notice of their bladder until something is wrong with it — pain due to infection, urgency, frequency, and leaking. Join us in today’s post as we discuss bladder health tips.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we engineer the best medical lubricants with your bladder health in mind. Our HR Lubricating Jelly has been the trusted brand for medical professionals to use during invasive exams and Foley placement procedures for more than 80 years. It is the go-to lubricant for medical professionals and self-cath patients around the world.

Your Practical Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Bladder

While you cannot prevent everything bladder-related, there is a certain level of prevention and maintenance you can engage in to help keep your bladder in peak condition. In your 20s, 30s, and even 40s, this may seem like just another thing to add to the list of things to concern yourself with, you will be grateful in your senior years that you took the steps to properly care for your bladder. Additionally, the measures you take to support your bladder health have a positive impact on your overall health and wellbeing. So, they aren’t really extra steps at all.

Drink plenty of water.

You’ve heard it a thousand times and you are likely to hear it a thousand more over your lifetime. DRINK WATER. Water is the lifeforce that keeps the world flowing. There are different schools of thought regarding how much is enough water, where some sources suggest drinking eight 8-oz. glasses of water each day, while others recommend a formula based on your body weight. We won’t suggest a certain amount, but rather encourage you to monitor hydration and drink plenty of free water as opposed to juices, colas, teas, and coffee. Water helps to keep your body hydrated and performing optimally, down to the cellular level. And, where your bladder and kidneys are concerned, plenty of water helps to dilute waste and easily remove sediments that would otherwise build up, causing uncomfortable conditions including kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Another tip that you are likely to hear over and over again to prevent a variety of health conditions. Where bladder health is concerned, a higher body mass index (BMI) leaves less room for your bladder to properly expand and completely empty. Allowing your bladder the space it needs to function as it should help to support its health. Additionally, the food and beverage choices that result in higher BMI are not usually those that support healthy organ function in general. Be sure to eat plenty of high-fiber foods and drink water as opposed to sugary alternatives.

Just go!

The next series of tips all have to do with using the bathroom. This seems obvious when we discuss bladder health, but all too often, the inconvenience of going — on a drive, during an important meeting, while trying to sleep — prevents people from doing what is natural. Your body is sending signals telling you that you need to relieve yourself and so many people ignore these signals. Some helpful tips to proper urination include:

  • Go when you need to
  • Go every 3 to 4 hours
  • Take the time to empty your bladder completely
  • Relax — this may mean no hovering!
  • Wipe from front to back

It may seem silly to pay attention to how you pee and concentrating on doing it properly, but if you are constantly holding your urine until you can’t and then only taking the time to void what provides relief, you are denying your bladder the opportunity to completely empty or relax. Over time, this can lead to urinary tract infection, bladder leaking, and increased frequency and urgency.

Void after sex.

It is not rude to use the restroom after you finish having intercourse. You and your partner should take turns and both urinate after completion. Urine helps to clean your urethra of any semen left behind, shared body fluids, sweat, and bacteria that may try to find its way up to your urethra into your bladder.

Wear bladder-friendly clothing.

Don’t worry, bladder-friendly clothing is not what it may sound like, there is nothing special or different, and no one will be able to tell you are dressing to support your urinary health. Cotton underwear allows for air movement that prevents bacteria growth and helps keep the area around your urethra dry. Satin and nylon underwear, while comfortable, does not help keep your nether regions dry and bacteria-free. Wearing loose clothing helps for the same reasons helps to support bladder health. Tight jeans or jogging pants don’t allow your urethra to dry out properly and causes compression that can damage your urethra.

Only use bladder-friendly products.

There are industries full of products manufacturing self-care, hygiene, and family-planning products that are more for presentation than health. Be cognizant of your soaps, lotions, personal lubricants, bubble bath, and other products that are used near your urethra. If you have to perform any self-care treatments or have procedures performed on your urethral area, ensure that they are sterile, bacteriostatic, and water-based to prevent infection or damage to your urethra or bladder.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we manufacture medical lubricants with the highest care to maintain sterility and only use the best, safest ingredients. Our HR Lubricating Jelly is safe for personal use and as a medical lubricant for catheter insertion. Our water-based and paraben-free formula won’t compromise the integrity of silicone catheters or your urethral wall. Additionally, the water-based property makes it perfect for comfort, performance, and safety for use as a personal lubricant. For the sake of your bladder health, browse our entire product line today.

Managing Incontinence and Reducing Infection

Incontinence poses a significant problem in infection control. Whether in the healthcare setting or managed at home, incontinence contributes to infection in a variety of ways. Regardless of how incontinence is managed, the utmost care must be taken to prevent different infections. Join us in today’s post as we discuss some things to consider in managing incontinence to reduce infection.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we make products with the health and safety of end-users — both incontinent patients and their caretakers alike — into consideration. Each of our products is sterile and bacteriostatic to help prevent and reduce infection. Regardless of how you manage incontinence, choose products that have a positive impact.

Reducing Skin Breakdown

One of the biggest concerns regarding incontinence-related infection is skin breakdown and sores. Our skin is the biggest organ and offers the greatest protection against microbes in the environment. Even a slight compromise in skin integrity by the acid in urine or bowel can leave the person susceptible to sores that can be incredibly difficult to heal because of the constant exposure to more urine and feces. Additionally, human waste carries millions of bacteria, that in the gut and toilet are harmless, but in an open flesh wound can cause serious complications.

To help prevent skin breakdown in the incontinent, pads, briefs, and other continence management supplies should be changed regularly and barrier cream applied to protect the skin. In addition to keeping the skin clean and dry, pressure should be offloaded regularly in the physically impaired to help reduce skin breakdown and pressure ulcers.

Foley Catheters

Foley catheters, whether used to self-cath, intermittently, or as a long-term solution, provide effective protection from the complications of soiled underwear, but present their own infection control challenges. Skin can break down around the catheter tubing or where they tubing rests, including on the thigh, meatus, or urethral opening. Great care must be taken to prevent pressure sores and the tubing should be cleaned regularly to prevent urine from touching skin around the tubing and from bacteria using the tubing as a port of entry into the bladder.

To help prevent or reduce infection, HR Lubricating Jelly is a sterile, bacteriostatic lubricant that can be used, along with sterile technique, to help prevent bacteria to be introduced into the urinary tract while placing a Foley catheter. And, to make things better, HR Lubricating Jelly is water-based, so you don’t have to worry about it compromising the integrity of the silicone tubing.

Reduce Waste Exposure

Another important component of infection control regarding incontinence is the exposure to human waste by caretakers, the incontinent, or passersby. For instance, those who are incontinent and not using means of waste collection — pad, brief, chair liners, or Foley catheters — run the risk of accidentally leaving waste residue wherever they sit. When waste is produced, the bacteria that exists is generally harmless, however, very quickly microbes flourish on the nutrients it provides.

Improper hand hygiene by any person exposed to human waste can potentially spread the waste on any surface they touch. Preventing the spread of infection includes the practice of proper hand hygiene before and after incontinence management care, proper disposal of incontinence products, and disinfection of all surfaces with approved cleaners.

If you manage incontinence for yourself, patients, or family members, keep the HR Pharmaceutical line of medical lubricants in mind. HR Lubricating Jelly is trusted by medical professionals around the world. Our products are available in multi-use tubes or single-use foil packets for convenience and sterility. Browse our entire product line online today.

10 Nursing Supplies You Cannot Operate Without!

Nurses, once they leave report, are on the floor, working hard their entire shift. In and out of each room, with hardly a moment to spare to use the restroom, they are charged with keeping themselves armed and prepared for any situation they may encounter — roving caretakers. While most facilities provide mobile workstations, this does little for the nurse who is not at their cart the moment they need something. Follow along in today’s post as we discuss the 10 nursing supplies that no nurse can make it through a shift without.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we are proud to manufacture quality medical products that support the staff that cares for patients. We use quality ingredients in all of our products to ensure that each experience with our products is as safe as it is comfortable. HR Lubricating Jelly is paraben- and latex-free, and is water soluble for premium viscosity. When you want to keep your cart fully stocked with products you can trust, turn to HR Lubricating Jelly.

Chapstick

Chapstick is the only personal item on our list today. What may seem trivial when you begin reading this list, becomes critical halfway through a 12-hour shift when you have been too busy to drink as much as you should. Applying chapstick is a tiny self-care action that can make the difference between struggling through your shift and comfortably making it to end-of-shift report. Pick one that is moisturizing without becoming tacky and can keep you feeling fresh while allowing you to keep your best face forward.

Penlight

A penlight comes in handy for a few different procedures, mainly assessing pupils, but also for peeking into ears, nose, and throat, when there is no otoscope within arms’ reach. You can also use your penlight to better observe things in less-than-ideal lighting where there is no overhead spotlight available or turning on the room light would open a can of worms you aren’t prepared to wrangle.

Multicolored pens

It is wise to have at least two colors of ink pens on you, ideally a few more. These come in handy when keeping your thorough shift notes. Use black to write the facts, blue to write what you did, red to write what needs to be done, and highlight any significant facts. You can carry several different pens or a multi-tip pen.

Stethoscope

Hopefully, this one is all too obvious. Any good medical professional has a stethoscope at the ready to complete a thorough assessment. Use it to listen to hearts, lungs, and stomachs. There is no standard that prescribes you to drape it around your neck, which can actually get heavy and rub uncomfortably over a long shift, not to mention swing in your patient’s face if you are bending over. You can use specially created hip holders or it fits perfectly in side cargo scrub pockets.

Medical tape

Medical tape is a must-have for most medical professionals to carry at all times. There are so many tubes, lines, tabs, and dressings to keep gently secured to a patient’s skin. There are so many forms of medical tape, and for the most part, what you keep on your person comes down to a simple matter of personal preference. Commonly carried medical tape types include paper tape, clear surgical tape, or dupore tape. What you carry will depend on what is readily available at your facility and your own personal preference.

Shears

Shears, while made to cut clothing off in an emergency situation, come in handy in a variety of settings. Over the course of your shift, you may use them to cut off bandages, shorten tape strands, or open packages. It is wise to clean them after every use to prevent your shears from harboring dangerous bacteria. Shears are curved with a lip and without a pointed tip to prevent accidental poking or stabbing when it is being carried in pockets.

Band-aids

Band-aids are one of the most basic medical tools and have a place in even the most acute inpatient settings. You may use a band-aid to cover your own papercut, apply pressure on a fresh IV line removal site, or hand one over to a patient’s family member or passerby. In the eyes of the community, as a nurse, you are essentially a medical Boy Scout, and should always be prepared.

Alcohol swabs

Alcohol swabs are arguably one of the most useful medical supplies a nurse can have access to. You will use so many throughout your shift, you may want to ensure that you have access to an entire box of them. You will use them to prepare an arm for a blood draw, to clean off medication vials and ports, and for cleaning random areas of concern, like your shears.

Gauze

Gauze 2×2 pads are useful in a variety of settings including putting pressure on needle pokes or removing tape residue off of skin. Clean gauze pads can be used to create a temporary bandage in a pinch. Having easy access to larger gauze pads can be used to cover larger areas. They may be saturated with sterile water or saline to clean wounds.

Medical lubricant

Medical lubricant is a rather useful medical supply that makes the nurse’s job easier and the patient’s role in uncomfortable procedures a little safer and more tolerable. A nurse’s role is full of all sorts of tasks that make lubricant necessary. Lubricating jelly can be used to check a prostate, insert a suppository, or perform a check for cervical dilation.

A nurse’s shift is packed full of tasks and assessments that keep you busy from the moment you clock in until well after you leave the facility. When you miss meals and bathroom breaks to take the best care of your patients, you need quality medical products you can count on. HR Pharmaceuticals’ HR Lubricating Jelly is a quality medical lubricant you can trust and is available in a wide variety of sizes and packaging. Stock your medical supply closet when you browse our entire collection today.

5 Things That Affect the Effectiveness of Your Exam Gloves

Regular exam gloves exist for the sole purpose of providing a barrier between your hands and whatever you are touching. It is important to remember that standard exam gloves in the box are clean, but still require some degree of hand hygiene to protect your patients. In any setting where exam gloves are used, there are a number of things that can affect how well your gloves work that you should be aware of. Join us in today’s post as we discuss some of the common things that affect how effective your exam gloves are and what you can do to improve their efficiency, for the sake of you and your patients.

It is important to note that although we will refer to gloves in this article as exam gloves, everything discussed here applies to both sterile and non-sterile gloves as well as latex, vinyl, and nitrile gloves.

Hand Hygiene

Wearing gloves is much more like a bright visual cue that it is an effective barrier to preventing the transmission of disease. Exam gloves are effective at keeping body fluids and other contaminants off of the hands of the wearer, but when they are pulled out of a multi-pack box, handled, and then put on hands, they can be less clean for the person being touched than their own cell phone. To help reduce what the person being touched is exposed to on the exam glove, it is important to follow some simple hand and glove hygiene tips.

  • Wash hands prior to wearing — gloves are not a trade-off to clean hands.
  • Minimize handling of gloves.
    • Take them from the box and put them on
  • Protect the box that the gloves come in.
    • Do not combine boxes of gloves,
    • Do not put gloves back in a box if they fall out
  • Be mindful of what you touch.
    • Do not touch your face or hair.
    • Change gloves between touching objects and patient.
    • Change gloves between removing dressings and applying new ones.
    • Do not handle your cell phone or computer with gloves on.
    • Change gloves after touching common items — door handles, buttons, or carts.
  • Gloves are not your hands.
    • Do not wash your gloves.
    • Do not reuse exam gloves.

Exam gloves are meant to provide a barrier of protection for both you and the patient you are touching. Being mindful of what you touch can help improve the effectiveness of the gloves.

Cleaning Products

A variety of cleaning products can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your gloves. Cleaning products, whether meant to clean surfaces or skin, tend to be corrosive. Cleaning products contain chemicals that kill bacteria and other microbes but can also compromise the integrity of the already thin material of exam gloves. Bleach, rubbing alcohol, Cavicide, and other common medical cleaning products can all break down gloves. Exam gloves are used when handling these products to help prevent the skin of the user’s hand being damaged, but you should be mindful to change exam gloves both between cleaning products used and after using a cleaning product.

Glove Ingredients

The gloves themselves can cause a difference in effectiveness. There are different claims as to whether nitrile, vinyl, natural latex, or latex are best for use, but as a whole, the medical industry has reduced the use of latex overall. Regardless of what type of gloves you have in your facility, the materials that are used to create them can significantly impact the efficiency of the gloves. Fillers that some exam glove manufacturing companies use can reduce the efficiency of the exam gloves by more than 50%. Before you don your gloves, check them for quality, and then check again after putting them on. Check for rips, tears, and holes — even the smallest one will widen with wear.

Time and Friction

Nitrile exam gloves are not meant for long-term use. Continued use can degrade and develop holes as time passes. This is due to the stretching of the fibers and exposure to the environment as well as the sweat and oils on your hands. One study suggests that 12 minutes of use reduces the efficiency of exam gloves by nearly 35%.

Most people understand that time and exposure compromise the efficiency of their gloves and opt to wear two pairs, layered. However, this is very dangerous and the friction between the two pairs of gloves can actually cause both of the gloves to break even quicker. The solution is to wear a single pair of gloves and change them more frequently.

Oil-Based Lubricants

Oil-based lubricants break down latex and rubber by making the cells of the material swell or become brittle. This is not a guarantee that the material of your exam gloves will be completely compromised, but with use and/ or friction, there is a much greater chance of breakdown. While many exam gloves used in the medial industry are now latex-free, they still contain rubber. Water-based lubricants are a safe alternative to any other lubricant of choice. HR Lubricating Jelly is a medical lubricant that is safe for use in a variety of situations that involve exam gloves because it is safe for both the exam gloves as well as the patient.

At HR Pharmaceuticals, we make products that are safe for patients and medical professionals alike. Our HR Lubricating Jelly will not compromise the integrity of exam gloves, which helps keep everyone involved safer. Our medical lubricant is pH balanced and water-soluble, so you can rest assured it is not degrading the materials on your exam gloves. Additionally, it is bacteriostatic, meaning it won’t aid in the transmission of microbes. For a medical lubricant that you can count on, trust HR Lubricating Jelly.

Kryptronic Internet Software Solutions