My Blog

By Associates in Women's Health
July 26, 2021
Tags: Menopause   Osteoporosis  
OsteoporosisMenopause occurs when a woman no longer has her period for a full year. While menopause can occur in a woman’s 40s, these days the average age is 51 for women in the US. With the drop in estrogen production that occurs with menopause, many women experience hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, and other unpleasant symptoms. Of course, another concern that OBGYNs have for menopausal women is the onset of osteoporosis, a condition that causes a weakening of the bones.

Osteoporosis can happen to anyone

You don’t have to have a family history of bone disease to be impacted by osteoporosis. While a family history of bone disease can certainly put you more at risk, we also see many otherwise healthy women develop osteoporosis during their perimenopausal and menopausal years.

Other risk factors for osteoporosis include:
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
Menopause increases your risk for osteoporosis

While not all menopausal women will develop osteoporosis, one in two postmenopausal women will have osteoporosis. This is because estrogen protects the bones, and as estrogen production drops this also increases the chances for osteoporosis. It’s also important that women during this stage of life are getting enough calcium to keep their bones healthy.

If you aren’t sure that you are incorporating enough calcium into your diet, it’s important to talk with your OBGYN about whether or not to supplement. The body also needs enough vitamin D to absorb calcium, and with the number of Americans with vitamin D deficiency and suboptimal levels, it’s also important that you have your vitamin D levels checked regularly to make sure you are getting enough.

There are preventive measures you can take now

Most women assume that once they have osteoporosis there is nothing they can really do to prevent permanent damage. This is simply not true! Ways of strengthening and supporting good bone health include:
  • Getting regular exercise that includes weight-resistance training
  • Eating a healthy diet that includes enough calcium and vitamin D, as well as protein, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin K
  • Quitting smoking, if you are currently a smoker
  • Limiting alcohol consumption or avoiding it altogether
If you are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis, you’ll want to talk with your OBGYN about the possible benefits of medications that can help to either prevent or manage osteoporosis.

If you are experiencing symptoms of menopause, you must have an OBGYN that you can turn to for care, support, and answers during this time. An OBGYN can also provide you with the right treatment options to help prevent and manage osteoporosis.
By Associates in Women's Health
July 13, 2021
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: Maternal Age  
Maternal AgeIn the US, more and more women are deciding to have children later in life. Of course, as women wait until their mid-to-late 30s or even 40s to have children some certain risks and complications are more likely to occur during pregnancy. Women who become pregnant at or over the age of 35 years old are considered advanced maternal age (or a geriatric pregnancy). In these pregnancies, your OBGYN may deem you high risk, as certain issues are more likely to occur in older pregnant women over the age of 35.

Okay, so you just turned 35 years old. Should you be concerned about getting pregnant?

Well, not necessarily. It isn’t like everything changes overnight. OBGYNs have been providing care to pregnant women of all ages so they know that when it comes to assessing risk everyone’s needs are different. Just because a woman is 35 years old doesn’t necessarily mean that she will face challenges during pregnancy.

A lot of it has to do with her genetics, medical history, and current health. Women in their 30s and 40s who are in great health may not ever face complications or problems, but it’s still important to recognize these risks ahead of time so that you and your OBGYN can find ways to prevent them from happening.

Your Health is Key to Conception (and a Healthy Pregnancy)

Your health is going to play one of the biggest factors in conceiving after age 35; however, it is important to note that the number of eggs your body produces does decrease with age. The decline occurs in the early 30s with a more serious decline after 37 years old. So, does this mean that you won’t be able to conceive naturally?

Not necessarily. Some women can still easily become pregnant in their early 40s; however, if you’ve been trying to conceive for several months and you’re having trouble, it may be time to talk with your OBGYN.

Possible Complications in Advanced Maternal Age

Women who get pregnant after 35 years old are more at risk for developing certain complications such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. Pregnant women over 35 years old are also more likely to face ectopic pregnancies, Down syndrome and other genetic disorders, stillbirth, and preeclampsia.

It’s important to speak with your OBGYN if you are trying to conceive, as certain tests can be performed to check for chromosomal and genetic abnormalities. You may also need to come in more regularly for checkups throughout your pregnancy.

If you are thinking about becoming pregnant and you are over the age of 35, it’s a good idea to speak with your OBGYN to find out if there are certain things you can do before becoming pregnant to keep you healthy and less likely to face complications. Your OBGYN is going to be an integral part of the care you receive both before, during, and after your pregnancy.
By Associates in Women's Health
June 24, 2021
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: Vaginal Agenesis  
Vaginal AgenesisVaginal agenesis is a rare congenital condition that impacts the development of a baby’s reproductive system. As a result, a baby girl may be born without certain reproductive organs or a vagina. While this condition may be diagnosed after your child is born, often this condition isn’t recognized until puberty. While young women with this condition will still go through puberty, they will not have a period and the majority will not be able to get pregnant. An OBGYN may be the first person to diagnose this condition and they will become a valuable part of you or your daughter’s treatment plan.
 
What causes vaginal agenesis?

While the genetic cause is still unknown, research has found that 90 percent of children with Mayer-von Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser’s Syndrome (MRKH) also have vaginal agenesis. This congenital disorder may vary from child to child. Some young girls may not have a vagina or uterus while other girls may have part of a uterus but no vagina.

We understand that this can be distressing for both the patient and their family. Despite this genetic abnormality, the patient is still considered female. Of course, this can be confusing and a lot to process, which is why an OBGYN can be a great doctor and specialist to turn to for help, support, and care during this time.

While most patients with vaginal agenesis will not be able to carry a child, if they do have a uterus then they can become pregnant when they choose to have a family. This is something that your OBGYN can discuss once the patient becomes an adult.
 
Are there treatment options for vaginal agenesis?

Additional testing may need to be performed by your gynecologist before deciding which type of treatments are best for the patient. In most cases, treatment won’t be necessary until the late teens or 20s.
Two of the most common treatment options for vaginal agenesis include,
 
Self-dilation: Instead of turning to surgery to create a vagina, this device can be placed inside the vagina for hours a day to help stretch the skin and create a vagina.

Surgery: If patients don’t see results with self-dilation then surgery is often the next step. There are a variety of techniques that can be used during a vaginoplasty, and your gynecologist will fully discuss them with you, so you decide together on the ideal surgical technique to provide the optimal results.
 
Your OBGYN will take an active role in providing you and your teen with any needed care, treatment, and support. Your gynecologist can address your concerns, answer your questions and be an advocate for your health.
By Associates in Women's Health
June 14, 2021
Tags: Amenorrhea  
AmenorrheaWhile everything from stress to overexercising could lead you to skip a period, if you begin missing multiple periods you may be wondering what’s going on. Could you be dealing with amenorrhea? Primary amenorrhea occurs if a teen girl hasn’t gotten her period by age 15. Secondary amenorrhea occurs in women who have missed three periods in a row despite having had their period regularly in the past. If you have missed several periods in a row, it’s important to talk with your OBGYN to find out what might be affecting your cycle.
 
What causes amenorrhea?

Pregnancy is one of the most common reasons a woman stops getting her period; however, it’s certainly not the only reason. Some of the reasons why a woman may suddenly stop having periods include,
  • Low body weight
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Stress
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Eating disorders
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Certain chronic health problems such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Certain medications (e.g. birth control)
If a young woman has not had her period by the age of 15 it’s important to bring her to the OBGYN for an evaluation. The same applies if you don’t have a period for three months. By talking with your OBGYN and going through your medical history, they can determine whether an underlying health issue could be the cause. They will also ask you a variety of questions about your health, diet, and lifestyle. Imaging tests and blood work may be necessary to check hormone levels and to detect PCOS.

Your gynecologist can treat conditions such as PCOS and primary ovarian insufficiency through hormone therapy and lifestyle changes; however, if your condition is due to thyroid problems or other health issues, your gynecologist may recommend seeing a specialist or your primary doctor to treat these conditions.
 
Can you still get pregnant?

You may be surprised to discover that women can still get pregnant even if they aren’t having regular periods. This is why it’s important to talk with your OBGYN about birth control options if you are sexually active and are not planning to become pregnant.
 
Your OBGYN is going to be your go-to for all sexual health concerns. No matter whether you are dealing with missed periods, heavy periods, or you want to talk birth control, your OBGYN is going to be the doctor you’ll turn to for care, treatment, and answers.
By Associates in Women's Health
May 26, 2021
Category: OBGYN
Tags: Birth Control  
Birth ControlBirth control isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to family planning. What is considered ideal birth control for one woman won’t be the ideal option for another. This is why it’s important to talk with your OBGYN to discuss your lifestyle and your healthcare needs to find out which option is best for you. An OBGYN can help you determine the birth control that is going to be most effective and convenient for your life. Ready to find out about birth control?

Here are some questions to ask yourself before considering birth control options,

What is most important to you when it comes to birth control?

This might seem like a rather broad question, so let’s get a little more specific. Some women are looking for a low or no hormone birth control that boasts fewer side effects while other women want a birth control option that can also help them get clearer skin. It’s important to talk with your OBGYN about what’s most important to you so that they can provide you with the best options for your specific needs.

Do you want to have a family and how soon?

If you are looking for a birth control option now but are thinking of having a baby in the next year, then this could help us determine which birth control option is best. Women who want to wait several years before starting a family, or who don’t want a family, may benefit from long-term birth control solutions such as intrauterine devices, which can remain in the uterus anywhere from three to ten years. Women who are looking to prevent pregnancy for only up to a year or two may benefit from more short-term options such as the pill or patch.

Will you remember your birth control?

Some women know that they won’t take the pill at the same time every day, so they want an easier option. If you think you’ll forget, or simply don’t want to deal with the daily reminders, then options such as the patch, ring, injection, or IUD can provide peace of mind knowing you are protected without having to take a pill every single day. For other women, taking a pill every day is no big deal. This is something to keep in mind.

Are you concerned about side effects?

Hormonal birth control does come with possible side effects, as compared to non-hormonal birth control (e.g. condoms; diaphragms; certain types of IUDs). Women who’ve tried hormonal birth control in the past and have dealt with mood swings and other issues may want to consider non-hormonal or low-hormone options. This is definitely something to discuss with your gynecologist.

It’s important to have the facts when it comes to birth control. There is a lot of information out there that can be daunting (not to mention that there is also a lot of misinformation out there). If in doubt, schedule a consultation with your OBGYN to help make the decision-making process easier.




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