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By Associates in Women's Health
March 10, 2022
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: Ectopic Pregnancy  
Ectopic PregnanciesIn a healthy pregnancy, the egg is fertilized within a woman’s uterus; however, when the egg is fertilized outside the uterus (most often the fallopian tube) this is known as an ectopic pregnancy. Since an ectopic pregnancy can cause serious complications it’s important that you not only recognize the warning signs of an ectopic pregnancy but that you seek immediate medical attention. If you have concerns about the symptoms you are experiencing during the early stages of your pregnancy, always turn to your OBGYN as soon as possible.

What causes an ectopic pregnancy?

Many women who’ve experienced ectopic pregnancies never had any risk factors; however, certain factors could increase the risk for an ectopic pregnancy. These include,
  • Endometriosis
  • A sexually transmitted disease
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Past abdominal or pelvic surgeries
  • Getting pregnant with an IUD in
  • Past fertility treatment
  • Previous ectopic pregnancies
What are the signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy?

Early symptoms and signs of an ectopic pregnancy are typically minor such as light abdominal pain or minimal vaginal bleeding; however, as the egg develops this can cause the fallopian tube to rupture. As blood leaks out this can result in sudden and severe abdominal and shoulder pain. Life-threatening symptoms include fainting, lightheadedness, and shock. If you are experiencing severe pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, shoulder pain, or lightheadedness it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention.

What are my treatment options?

The recommended course of action to treat an ectopic pregnancy will depend on how far along you are in the pregnancy as well as the symptoms you are experiencing. If detected early, most women receive an injectable medication that stops the cells from multiplying and dissolves the cells that are present. A blood test will then be performed to check HCG levels.

Laparoscopic surgery may be necessary to remove the ectopic pregnancy so the fallopian tube can heal. If there is extensive damage to the tube or the tube has ruptured then the tube may also need to be removed.

Light vaginal bleeding and stomach cramping are also normal parts of early pregnancy, so if you have any questions or concerns about the symptoms you are experiencing during your first trimester, your OBGYN is the ideal doctor to get answers to all of your questions and to provide you with specialized care.
By Associates in Women's Health
February 24, 2022
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: Birth Control  
Birth ControlWhen it comes to discussing family planning options, most women turn to their OBGYNs first. Women who do not want to get pregnant, or women who may wish to wait until later in life to have children, often consider birth control. There are a variety of birth control options on the market, and factors such as lifestyle and budget play a role as to which birth control option is ideal for you. Of course, the million-dollar question is, “Can I still get pregnant while on birth control?”

Effectiveness of Birth Control

When used correctly, birth control pills are 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy; however, improper use of birth control pills can certainly decrease its efficacy. It’s important that you know exactly how to take birth control to protect against pregnancy. Here are some tips to protect yourself from getting pregnant while on “the pill”.

Don’t Miss a Dose

For birth control pills to be effective you must take them every day. So, what happens if you miss a day? Well, your hormone levels won’t remain consistent, which can increase your chances of getting pregnant. Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to take the pill. If you find that you keep forgetting to take your pill, you may want to talk to your gynecologist about other birth control options such as the patch, injection, or intrauterine devices (IUD) that you can “set and forget”.

Take the Dose at the Same Time

It’s also important that you are taking the pill at the same time every day to maintain proper hormone levels. This means taking the pill within a 3-hour window. If you miss that 3-hour window, you should use backup birth control such as condoms for the next two days. Setting an alarm on your phone can also ensure that you take the pill at the same time every day and that you also don’t miss a dose.

Certain Medications and Supplements May Interfere with Birth Control

Some medications can make birth control less effective and it’s important to know this to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Certain medications that can decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills include,
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-fungal medications
  • Epilepsy medications
  • Certain anti-viral medications
Make sure to talk to your OBGYN about your current medications, vitamins, and supplements to make sure that nothing interferes with the effectiveness. Even supplements and certain herbal treatments such as St. John’s Wort can decrease the effectiveness of birth control.

If you are interested in your family planning options and would like to talk to a qualified medical professional about which type of birth control is right for you, call your OBGYN today to schedule a consultation.
By Associates in Women's Health
February 02, 2022
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: Painful sex  
Causes of Pain During SexPain during sex is a common issue for women. While many women don’t feel comfortable discussing this problem, it’s important that you bring it up with an OBGYN. After all, pain with intercourse can be caused by a variety of different factors, some of which could be underlying diseases and conditions that require immediate treatment. Are you experiencing pain during sex? If so, it could be caused by:
  • Not enough lubrication
  • Vaginismus
  • A vaginal infection such as a yeast infection
  • Problems or infections of the cervix
  • Uterine fibroids (can cause deep pain)
  • Endometriosis
  • Menopause
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Vagina or vulva injuries
  • Vulvodynia
Sometimes emotional factors such as depression, anxiety, or a history of sexual abuse may play a role in sexual pain. It’s important to be open about the symptoms you are experiencing and any emotional factors that might be involved. This will give your OBGYN insight into better ways to treat your pain.

When to See an OBGYN

If you are experiencing pain with sex it’s important that you speak with your OBGYN right away. You should call if you also notice,
  • Changes in vaginal discharge
  • Itching
  • Soreness
  • Lesions
Treating Pain with Sex

The cause of your pain will dictate which treatment options will be most effective. If lack of lubrication is the cause, your OBGYN may recommend using a lubricant. If hormones are playing a role, which can be the cause for menopausal women, hormonal therapy can help to better balance hormones to improve vaginal dryness.

If an allergy is to blame, your OBGYN may recommend avoiding certain products that could be irritating the area. If an underlying disease or condition is causing pain, your OBGYN will discuss different ways to treat these issues whether through medications or surgery. If emotional factors are playing a part, your OBGYN may refer you to a therapist or psychologist who can help you work through anxiety, depression, or other emotional issues you’re experiencing.

If you find yourself dealing with persistent pain with intercourse, your OBGYN can help figure out what’s going on and provide you with the answers you need to make sex enjoyable again. You don’t have to deal with this problem alone.
By Associates in Women's Health
January 26, 2022
Category: Pregnancy Care
Prenatal AppointmentsYou just found out you’re pregnant. Congratulations! This is certainly an exciting moment. Now that you’re pregnant you’re probably focusing on all the ways that you and your unborn child can stay healthy throughout your pregnancy and delivery. One of the most important things you can do is to visit an OBGYN for regular prenatal checkups. These appointments will help your doctor monitor the baby’s growth and development while also making sure that you stay healthy.

What is a prenatal appointment?

Prenatal visits are routine checkups that you’ll have with your OBGYN throughout the course of your pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, you will see your OBGYN more regularly until you’re coming in every week for checkups (this occurs in the last few weeks of pregnancy). These checkups are important for both you and your child. The first prenatal visit should occur around the 8-week mark.

You’ll visit your OBGYN every month for the first 28 weeks, then every two weeks from the 28th to the 36th week, then weekly from the 36th week to the 40th week. We provide screenings, preventive care, and advice to pregnant women to help them maintain healthy pregnancies.

Why are prenatal appointments important?

Here are some of the reasons why pregnant women should never skip out on their prenatal appointments:
  • Your OBGYN can dispense helpful advice to help maintain good health throughout your pregnancy, whether it’s advice on what you can eat (and what foods to avoid) and how to incorporate safe but effective exercises into your routine.
  • These checkups also allow moms a chance to learn more about the pregnancy, delivery, and childbirth process, asking any questions they might have and having their concerns addressed by a medical professional.
  • Your OBGYN can determine certain risk factors such as advanced maternal age and determine if there are additional steps you need to take or testing you should undergo to keep you and your unborn child safe.
  • Your OBGYN can also spot certain health problems in the mother such as gestational diabetes and provide immediate treatment to prevent complications.
  • During these checkups, your OBGYN can also spot developmental problems in the fetus early on and provide the appropriate interventions.
While you are pregnant, an OBGYN is going to be an incredible asset and tool for making sure that you have a healthy, safe pregnancy. If you just got a positive pregnancy test, call your OBGYN to schedule your first prenatal visit.
By Associates in Women's Health
January 12, 2022
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: HPV Vaccine  
HPV VaccineThe human papillomavirus (HPV), is a very common sexually transmitted disease that most people will have at some point during their lifetime. While there are certain strains that the body will naturally shed without complications, there are certain forms of HPV that can increase a woman’s risk for cervical cancer. This is why it’s important to consider getting the HPV vaccine from a gynecologist.

Who should get the HPV vaccine?

Most gynecologists will recommend that preteens get the HPV vaccine around 11-12 years old; however, children as young as nine years old can get vaccinated. The vaccine is for teens and young adults between the ages of nine and 26 years old.

How is the HPV vaccine administered?

There are several doses that you will need to be fully vaccinated against certain strains of HPV. If getting the vaccine at 11-12 years old or before their 15th birthday, only two doses are needed. The first dose will be administered then. The second dose will be administered 6-12 months apart. If your teenager decides to get the vaccine between the ages of 15 to 26 years old, they will require three doses.

While the HPV vaccine is not recommended for adults over 26 years old, you may want to speak with your OBGYN about your risk factors to determine if you could still benefit from getting vaccinated. In some instances, the HPV vaccine may actually benefit you later in life.

When should someone not get the HPV vaccine?

If you are currently pregnant, you have an allergy to any of the ingredients in the HPV vaccine or you have a yeast allergy, then you should not get the HPV vaccine. Otherwise, this vaccine is safe for all children and teens.

How effective is the HPV vaccine?

There are three different types of HPV vaccines that have been approved by the FDA and they all protect against the nine HPV types that can cause cervical cancer. Studies have found that the efficacy of the vaccine can last up to 12 years or, possibly, longer. There are also significantly fewer women and teenage girls presenting with HPV since the vaccines were first approved in 2006.

Are you interested in learning more about the HPV vaccine? Want to talk with a gynecologist about whether the vaccine is right for you or your teenager? If so, call a gynecologist today to schedule a consultation.




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