Posts for category: OBGYN Treatments
Find ways to manage a hormone imbalance if this happens to you.
When we think about hormone imbalances, we often think of women. That’s because hormones can fluctuate periodically from puberty to post-menopause, and it’s important to recognize these hormonal imbalances so that you can get the treatment you need to feel your best. After all, hormonal imbalances can make us feel pretty darn miserable, and your OBGYN can help you figure out what hormones are impacted and ways to manage your symptoms.
Warning Signs of a Hormone Imbalance
Dealing with issues but not sure if it’s a hormonal imbalance? Common signs of a hormonal imbalance include,
- Chronic or severe fatigue
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
- Anxiety and depression
- Mood swings
- Thinning hair or hair loss
- Low sex drive
- Dry skin
- Brain fog
What Can Cause a Hormone Imbalance
There are many factors at play here. Some of the common causes of hormonal imbalances include,
- Gut problems
- Mold exposure
- Poor diet
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Chronic inflammation
Everyone’s body is different, and what causes a hormone imbalance in one person might not be for someone else, so it’s essential to find a doctor who understands your unique biochemistry and what could be triggering your imbalance. An OBGYN is typically the first doctor women talk to about hormone imbalances.
How are hormonal imbalances treated?
There is no quick fix for rebalancing hormones, so it’s important to find a doctor you trust to provide you with long-term strategies and treatment options to see and maintain your results. Hormone imbalances are often treated with,
Simple changes to your daily routine can make a world of difference for hormone rebalancing. These include,
- Regular exercise
- Eating a healthy, unprocessed diet
- Getting more (and better quality) sleep
- Find outlets to manage stress
- Avoid sugar and alcohol
This is a common way to treat certain hormonal imbalances or menopause symptoms. Hormone therapy differs depending on the symptoms you’re experiencing and why you’re experiencing them. Common types of hormone therapy include,
- Vaginal estrogen
- Estrogen therapy
- Hormonal birth control
- Testosterone supplementation or therapy
- Thyroid hormone therapy
- Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
If you are experiencing hot flashes, poor sleep, or unexplained fatigue, your hormones could be trying to tell you something. Your OBGYN can diagnose your hormone imbalance and provide you with a customized treatment plan to start feeling better, fast.
How is cervical dysplasia treated?
The best course of action for treating your cervical dysplasia will depend on the severity of your dysplasia. During a biopsy, your gynecologist will be able to analyze the cervical tissue to determine the level of cervical dysplasia. There are three cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) levels, with CIN I being mild, CIN II being moderate and CIN III being severe.
If you’ve been diagnosed with CIN I, it may clear up on its own without even needing treatment; however, you will still need to see your gynecologist about every six months for a Pap smear to detect further changes or to determine if the cells have gone away.
If you’ve been diagnosed with moderate to severe cervical dysplasia, treatment options include cryosurgery to freeze the abnormal cells, a loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) to burn away the cells, or a more traditional surgical approach that will remove the cervical cells with surgical tools or a laser. Since cervical dysplasia can return, you must be visiting your gynecologist regularly for screenings and checkups.
Is there a way to prevent cervical dysplasia?
One of the best ways for women to protect themselves against cervical dysplasia is to get the HPV vaccine. This vaccine has been approved to protect against several strains of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer. The vaccine is often administered around the age of 11 or 12, but anyone up to age 26 years should consider getting vaccinated. If you are over the age of 26, you should speak with your gynecologist to find out if getting the vaccine is right for you.
Since any woman can develop cervical cancer at any age you must be visiting your OBGYN regularly for routine checkups and screenings. Don’t put off these important annual women’s health checkups.
An overgrowth of Candida, a type of fungus, leads to a yeast infection. While there may be fungus present in the vagina at any point in time, often it’s not enough to cause symptoms; however, when there’s overgrowth this leads to an infection.
- Taking antibiotics
- A compromised immune system
- Hormonal imbalance
- Poor diet
The most common signs of a yeast infection include,
- A thick, white vaginal discharge
- Burning and swelling of the vagina
- Pain with urination or sex
While certainly uncomfortable, a yeast infection is easy to treat. In fact, many women find relief from going to their local pharmacy and picking up yeast infection medication (you can purchase these products over the counter). If you don’t experience relief from your symptoms about a week after treatment, then it’s time to call your OBGYN.
What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?
Some many injuries and conditions can weaken the muscles of the pelvis or even tear the tissue. Common causes of pelvic floor dysfunction include,
- Nerve damage
- Pregnancy and childbirth (the most common causes)
- Traumatic injury to the pelvic (e.g., bad fall; car accident)
- Pelvic surgery
If you are dealing with pelvic floor dysfunction you may experience these common symptoms,
- Painful urination
- An increased urge to urinate
- Urinary or stool leakage
- Pain in the pelvic floor including the rectum and genitals
- Pain with intercourse
- Lower back pain
- Muscle spasms in the pelvis
- Pelvic pressure
Just as someone might get physical therapy to restore function and strength into a shoulder injury or bad knee, your OBGYN may recommend that women who have pelvic floor dysfunction undergo pelvic floor physical therapy. These one-on-one physical therapy sessions are designed to help alleviate the symptoms of dysfunction while also training and re-strengthening weakened pelvic floor muscles.
Your OBGYN will first need to perform a physical exam to assess the muscle. This assessment will help us create a customized plan of action to alleviate your symptoms. Pelvic floor physical therapy may include,
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Coordination exercises
- Relaxation techniques
- Heat or ice therapy
- Electrical stimulation
Why am I experiencing painful sex?
There are several reasons why you may experience pain with intercourse. One of the more common ones is a lack of lubrication; however, painful sex could also be a sign of:
- An infection including yeast infections and infections of the cervix
- Vaginismus: A condition that causes muscle spasms of the vaginal wall
- Endometriosis: Where tissue similar to uterine tissue grows beyond the uterus
- Ovarian cysts and other ovarian conditions
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Causes severe inflammation of the deeper pelvic tissue
- Vulvodynia: A condition that causes chronic pain in the vulva and other external organs including the clitoris
However, when it seems like something more is at play then it’s time to consult an OBGYN. If vaginal dryness is the cause, we can recommend or provide special lubricants. Menopausal women who are experiencing vaginal dryness may need hormone replacement therapy or estrogen creams.
We will need to perform a physical exam to check for any tears, signs of STDs, inflamed tissue, or other signs of infection or certain vaginal conditions. Some conditions simply require medication (as is the case with yeast infections or PID); however, chronic conditions such as endometriosis will require special treatments, lifestyle changes, and long-term monitoring from an OBGYN.
Are you dealing with painful sex? If so, your OBGYN can provide you with the care you need to get this problem under control. It’s important to address this problem as soon as possible.