Posts for category: Gynecology
Menopause--every middle-aged woman experiences it. Some even look forward to it. Technically, menopause begins with several years of declining hormone production in a woman's body. When she has not had a period for a full year, she is considered post-menopausal.
The physicians at Women's Medical Center in Dothan, AL want all patients in their mid-years to be fully informed on the changes that come with menopause. So, they have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you with this significant time in your life--whether you are approaching it, are navigating it now, or are post-menopausal.
#1 When will my hot flashes stop? Commonly, hot flashes--or brief periods of sweating and feelings of increased temperature--occur before, during and even after menopause. While some women seek prescription treatments for the heat and sweating, many choose to wait for them to resolve--typically, within a year or 2 of getting that last menstrual period.
#2 Is weight gain inevitable after menopause? According to research done at the prestigious Mayo Clinic, a women's metabolism slows significantly in her post-menopausal years, resulting in weight gain, particular around the midsection. While many women struggle to maintain ideal weight during their 50's, obesity is not a natural consequence of "the change." Exercise and a healthy diet help keep off the extra pounds.
#3 Why is sex less comfortable than it used to be? With lower levels of progesterone and estrogen, the vaginal walls become thinner, dryer, and less flexible. A simple fix is the use of a personal lubricant, or if symptoms are severe, ask your Dothan, AL gynecologist about a prescription estrogen cream to thicken vaginal tissues.
#4 What can I do about my bone health? Ask your Dothan, AL gynecologist if a vitamin D and/or calcium supplements would benefit your bone density. Bone density tests are usually ordered around age 65 to pinpoint osteoporosis. Also, be sure to exercise regularly, and eat calcium-rich foods. Finally, stop smoking. The toxins in cigarette smoke contribute to heart disease, cancer and lung conditions such as COPD, and they also impact oral health and bone density. The physicians at Women's Medical Center partner with many of their patients as they undertake smoking cessation programs.
#5 I feel anxious. What can I do? Anxiety, depression and insomnia make menopause difficult for many women, particularly if they are too embarrassed to seek help. Simple lifestyle habits such as limiting caffeine and increasing aerobic exercise help even out moods and sleeplessness. With more severe symptoms, physicians may prescribe anti-depressants such as Paxil or Zoloft.
Live Well During and After Menopause
Drs. Young, Lazenby, Patel, Farmer, Scott and Gibson at Women's Medical Center desire to help each women through this important phase of her life. Be sure to schedule your regular check-up, and in between visits, contact the office with any questions or concerns you may have. Phone (334) 793-3900.
Whether you had a vaginal or C-section delivery, having a baby is hard work and the time postpartum time is one in which your body needs some extra love and care. Here are six ways your gynecologist at Women's Medical Center in Dothan recommends you care for yourself during the postpartum period.
1. Prepare for Postpartum Bleeding
Whether your periods were usually light or intense before baby, you can expect some heavy bleeding after baby arrives. Stock up on pads before delivery so you don't have to run to the store later. Some women swear by adult underwear to keep the bleeding contained.
2. Keep a Squirt Bottle By the Toilet
Urinating can be very painful right after birth, especially if you had any stitches or tearing. Keep a squirt bottle near the toilet so you can squeeze or pour warm water over the area while urinating. It will dilute the urine and help immensely until the process becomes comfortable again.
3. Rest as Much as Possible
While your infant likely won't be on any sort of predictable schedule at first, the good news is that infants tend to sleep a lot. Take advantage of this by napping, or at least resting, as often as you can.
4. Take Pain Medications as Needed
It is normal to feel pain for a while after baby is out. Thankfully, the pain can usually be managed fairly easily with medication. If an over-the-counter medication isn't helping, speak with your gynecologist at Women's Medical Center in Dothan to see if a prescription painkiller might be in order.
5. Speak with your Dothan Gynecologist About Your Birth Control Options
Your fertility will return before your first period does, and you never really know for sure when that will be. If you aren't planning to have more children in the near future, speak to your gynecologist about your birth control options before you think you will need them.
6. Schedule Your Six-Week Appointment
Hopefully after six weeks of rest and self-care, you will be feeling much better. You will still want to visit Women's Medical Center in Dothan to make sure, however. There, your gynecologist will give you a physical exam to make sure you are healing properly and discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
The postpartum period can and should be a wonderful time of healing and bonding with your baby. Use these six tips to make sure that it is!
Your Dothan, AL gynecologist answers the most common questions regarding getting a pap smear.
If you are a woman in her teen years or even early twenties then it’s time to start thinking about getting routine gynecological exams in Dothan, Al. To protect and maintain good reproductive health, you should see your gynecologist once a year for an exam and pap smear. If this is your first pap smear, find out more about the purpose of this procedure and why every woman should have one.
What is a pap smear?
A pap smear is a test that looks for the presence of precancerous and cancerous cervical cells. The goal of this test is to detect problems before they turn into cancer so they can be treated easily and effectively.
When should women start getting pap smears?
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend that women should start getting regular pap smears around 21 years old. Women should continue to get a pap smear every year during their annual gynecological exam. Even women who have received the HPV vaccine should still continue to get annual screenings.
What should I expect from my pap smear?
During the pelvic exam, your Dothan, Al gynecologist will collect some cells from the cervix to have analyzed. This part of the exam won’t take more than a minute. Some patients will experience some cramping after their pap smear; however, the cramps should be mild and feel no different from menstrual cramps.
What should I do prior to my pap smear?
We recommend that you schedule your pap smear when you don’t have your period, as this can sometimes affect the results. Furthermore, avoid using tampons, douching or having sex for two days prior to your pap smear.
What should I expect after my pap smear?
It takes a couple of weeks to get the results back regarding your pap smear. If your results are negative then you won’t have to worry about getting another pap smear until the following year.
If your test comes back positive, try not to panic. There are several reasons why you might have a positive result that are indicative of cancer. If your test comes back positive we will have you come back for a repeat test and examination and then discuss your results and treatment options once we make an accurate diagnosis.
If it’s time to schedule your annual exam or pap smear, then contact your Dothan, AL gynecologist at the Women’s Medical Center today and take charge of your reproductive health.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are rarely anyone's favorite topic of conversation. But it's important to know that STD testing is an essential element of health care for any sexually active person. Whether it's uncomfortable or not, ignoring STD testing could have long-lasting health consequences.
Why Get Tested?
In the United States, roughly half of all young adults will acquire a sexual transmitted disease, which makes STDs a very common occurrence. Often the infection has no signs or symptoms so you may have one without knowing it. Many times the only way to discover if you have an STD is to get tested for it. It's important to know if you have an STD even if you are not suffering symptoms because the consequences may be unseen for years. You could also be unknowingly passing the disease onto partners. When caught quickly, most STDs are highly curable.
Long Term Consequences of Untreated STDs
Without knowing if you have an STD, you cannot begin treatment. Even those STDs which are curable could have permanent consequences if left untreated for prolonged periods of time. For example, Chlamydia is a very common bacterial infection of the genitals that may not present symptoms. It is easily curable with antibiotics, but when left untreated it can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease resulting in potential infertility, long term pain, and in extreme cases can be fatal.
Gonorrhea is another STD that can be easily treated with antibiotics, but could cause infertility or even death when left untreated.
Many people avoid testing for fear of an HIV/AIDS diagnosis, but with today's advanced treatments, HIV/AIDS is no longer the death sentence it once was. When caught in the early stages, HIV-positive patients can lead normal, full lives.
If you have questions or concerns about your sexual health, the gynecologists of Womens Medical Center in Dothan offer full service STD testing and treatment. As with any disease, early diagnosis and treatment is the most effective cure. To ensure your reproductive and sexual health through STD testing, schedule a consultation your women's primary care provider today.
When should I make my first gynecologist appointment?
- Being sexually activity (or planning to be)
- Having a period for over a year that’s still irregular
- If you have periods that are over a week long, are extremely painful or are very heavy