Posts for category: Women's Health Care
By Ob/Gyn of Houston
December 09, 2020
The NIH reports that 20-25 percent of women of reproductive age have fibroids, benign tumors that develop within the lining of the uterus. Some women have fibroids but don’t even realize it until they find out from their OBGYN during a routine pelvic exam; however, other women may deal with heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and sex with intercourse due to fibroids. Since fibroids can affect fertility, it is important that you talk with your OBGYN about the best ways to manage your fibroids.
Can fibroids become cancerous?
The majority of the time fibroids are completely benign. It is extremely rare that a fibroid will turn cancerous. Also, having fibroids will not increase your chances of developing uterine cancer or cancerous fibroids.
How are fibroids treated?
Since most women don’t experience symptoms, they won’t necessarily need treatment; however, women who do experience symptoms will want to discuss their options with a qualified OBGYN. Your OBGYN will be able to decide the best strategies for treating your fibroids based on your health, the symptoms you’re experiencing, whether you plan to become pregnant in the future, your age, and the size of the fibroids.
Mild symptoms may be managed with simple over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen. If you have heavy periods, your doctor may recommend iron supplements to prevent anemia. Some forms of birth control including an intrauterine device (IUD) can also help manage fibroid symptoms.
Another medication used to treat fibroids is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa). This medication can be administered in many different ways (e.g. inhaled, ingested, or injected) and is used to shrink large fibroids.
If you experience more severe fibroid symptoms, then your OBGYN may recommend surgery to have the fibroids removed. This procedure is known as a myomectomy.
Can I get pregnant if I have fibroids?
It can be more difficult for women with uterine fibroids to get pregnant, but it is still a possibility. Of course, women who become pregnant while they have fibroids may be more at risk for complications so it’s important that you have an obstetrician that will know how to best handle fibroids during your pregnancy. While there may be concerns, having fibroids does not put you in the high-risk pregnancy category.
Are you experiencing symptoms of fibroids? If so, it’s important to talk with your OBGYN about your symptoms and how to get them under control.
By Ob/Gyn of Houston
September 17, 2020
Tags: Pap Smear
Chances are good, especially if you are a woman over 21 years old, that you’ve heard or already undergone at least one Pap smear during your lifetime. Maybe you are wondering whether you should get a Pap smear. Perhaps you don’t even remember when your last test was. Our OBGYNs understand that when it comes to certain diagnostic procedures, particularly Pap smears, that you may have questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Pap tests,
What is the purpose of a Pap smear?
A Pap smear is the best tool at our disposal for being able to detect precancerous cells within the cervix. By catching these cells early, we can remove them before they turn into cervical cancer.
When should a woman get her first Pap smear?
Women should start getting regular Pap smears from their OBGYN once they reach 21 years old, or once they become sexually active. Women will continue to get Pap smears until 65 years old.
How often should women get tested?
Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should get tested every three years. Once you reach age 30 you should get tested every five years (often alongside an HPV test). Women who have had abnormal Pap results in the past may need to come more often for testing.
Will it hurt?
While getting a Pap smear may feel a bit weird or maybe even a little uncomfortable (especially the first time when you’re not sure exactly what to expect), it shouldn’t hurt. You may notice a slight pinch but that’s usually about it. While a traditional OBGYN screening will usually take up to 20 minutes to perform, the Pap smear itself usually takes just a couple of minutes.
How quickly will I get results back?
It’s typical to get your results within one week after your test, but your OBGYN will let you know when results will be available to you.
Do abnormal or inconclusive results mean that I have cervical cancer?
Not typically. An inconclusive test just means that the sample that we collected wasn’t useable. This can happen if you’ve been sexually active or used tampons with two days before your test. Your doctor will usually recommend repeating the test.
Abnormal results, while stressful, could be due to inflammation, infections, trichomoniasis, HPV or herpes. If your tests are abnormal your doctor will discuss further testing with you or provide you with proper medication if an infection is found.
If you still have questions about Pap smears, don’t hesitate to call your OBGYN. We are here to make sure that you fully understand any and all care you receive at our office.
By Ob/Gyn of Houston
September 03, 2020
When women reach their 40s and 50s their bodies begin transitioning into menopause. At this point, many women will experience hot flashes or other symptoms to alert them to these changes. While most menopause symptoms are manageable, sometimes they can still be severe or impact your emotional and mental wellbeing. This is why it’s so important to have an OBGYN that you can turn to for managing your symptoms and help you navigate this new transitional period in your life.
Have I Started Menopause?
Common symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Brain fog
- Trouble concentrating
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Decreased sex drive
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
If your symptoms are minor than you may choose just to ride out the occasional hot flash or night sweat; however, if these symptoms are affecting your quality of life then it’s time to speak with your OBGYN.
When it comes to managing menopause symptoms there are a variety of options. A lot will depend on the type of symptoms you are experiencing, how severe the symptoms are, and your current health. Lifestyle changes can go a long way to improving your symptoms. These changes may include:
- Eating a healthy, balanced, and whole diet that is free from processed or junk foods
- Getting regular exercise that includes weight-bearing exercises 2-3 times a week
- Finding ways to manage stress through deep breathing, meditation, etc.
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding alcohol
- Making sure you are getting enough calcium to support healthy, strong bones
If a woman’s symptoms are particularly severe your OBGYN may discuss the benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Hormone replacement therapy involves using a medication that mimics real hormones like estrogen to help balance out hormone levels and alleviate symptoms.
Women who are dealing with particularly intense and all-consuming hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness will often find incredible relief through hormone replacement therapy. Plus, hormone replacement therapy can also protect against osteoporosis, a condition that leads to bone weakness and fracturing.
If you are dealing with night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, and other symptoms associated with menopause, turn to an OBGYN to help you find ways to manage these symptoms effectively.
By Ob/Gyn of Houston
July 01, 2020
Tags: STD Test
The American Sexual Health Association reports that one in two sexually active Americans will contract an STD by the time they turn 25 years old. It’s crucial for people to understand the importance of getting an STD test, as well as understand how often they should get tested. If you are a sexually active woman who has never been tested before or has questions about STD testing your OB-GYN is the perfect person to talk to.
Here’s when you should get an STD test,
You are noticing symptoms
This might seem like the most obvious reason to get an STD test but it’s still important to acknowledge. If you notice any symptoms of an STD including any bumps or sores on the genitals, changes in discharge or other changes in your body then you should see your gynecologist as soon as possible to discuss your symptoms and to see if you should get tested.
You have a new partner
Before becoming sexually active with a new partner it’s a good idea to know both of your sexual health statuses. That’s why your OBGYN will always recommend getting an STD test before starting a new sexual relationship. There is nothing better than knowing that both you and your new partner are healthy and STD-free.
You aren’t practicing safe sex
While birth control pills can certainly protect against unwanted pregnancies, most forms of hormonal contraception will not protect against STDs. This is why you will still want to use a condom every time you have sex. If you aren’t practicing safe sex then you should get tested twice a year (or, at the very least, once a year).
You have multiple partners
If you or your partner have other sexual partners, it’s a good idea for both of you to get regular STD tests about every 3-6 months. There is a window period between getting the infection and when the results will appear on an STD test so it’s also important not to test too early. Here’s a great resource to show you when symptoms may appear and when to get tested for what STDs.
It’s a good rule of thumb to get tested at least once a year since many STDs do not produce any symptoms at all, so you could have an STD and not even know it. If you need to schedule an STD test, your OBGYN can often provide you with comprehensive testing right here in their very own office. This is a great option for many women because they have already established a rapport with their doctor and may feel more comfortable undergoing a more sensitive procedure such as an STD screening with a gynecologist they know and trust. Knowing your health status doesn’t just protect you, it also protects your partner.
By Ob/Gyn of Houston
June 01, 2020
Tags: USDA’s MyPlate
Congratulations on your little bundle of joy! Pregnancy is a new and exciting time. Your body goes through vast changes as your baby develops. It’s important to do everything possible to guarantee a healthy baby. This includes changing your diet! Many women aren’t sure what they should and shouldn’t eat during this time. Why not schedule an appointment with your local OBGYN and learn what’s best for you?
A Balanced Diet and You
You should start eating a balanced diet right away when you find out you are expecting. Most OBGYN’s even recommend starting before you’re even pregnant. What you eat directly affects the baby’s nutrition. Eating healthy foods keeps both of your bodies strong. It’s also a good idea to take a prenatal vitamin or multivitamin with folic acid every day.
Follow your OBGYN’s advice on the proper balance of dairy, proteins, vegetables, fruit, grains, and fats during your pregnancy. A great resource is the USDA’s “MyPlate.” This is the upgraded version of the food pyramid.
Healthy Weight Gain
Everyone is different when it comes to pregnancy. Your OBGYN will monitor your weight gain to make sure it’s within healthy levels. Typically, women gain 2-4 pounds during the first trimester and 3-4 each month during the second and third trimester.
Although you are eating for two, your calorie intake should only increase by about 300 or so. This amount varies between women, so talk to your doctor about an appropriate goal. It’s even more important in the first trimester because of morning sickness. Nausea can make it hard to keep food and fluids down.
Dangerous Foods During Pregnancy
You should avoid certain types of food throughout your pregnancy. These are dangerous for you and the baby. Avoid eating or drinking:
- Smoked seafood
- Hot dogs or deli meat
- Meat spreads
- Uncooked sprouts
- Unpasteurized milk or juice
- Fish that contain high levels of mercury
It’s also a good idea to reduce your intake of fat and cholesterol. You should also make sure you’re not drinking alcohol, smoking, or consuming high levels of caffeine.
Many women crave specific foods during their pregnancies. Just try to make sure what you’re eating ends up being healthy and providing nutrients to your body. If you end up craving junk food, try to limit how much you eat.