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Posts for category: OBGYN Care

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.
By Associates in Women's Health
December 23, 2021
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: Pap smear  
Pap SmearYour teen is quickly becoming a young woman, and you may be wondering more about how to keep her healthy and when she should start seeing an OBGYN. Perhaps you’re even unsure about how often you're supposed to visit your OBGYN for Pap smears and checkups. Here’s all the information you need to make an informed decision regarding women’s health.

What is a Pap smear?

A pap smear is a simple diagnostic test that involves collecting cells from the cervix to look for precancerous and cancerous cells. By keeping up with routine pap smears, an OBGYN can detect early and suspicious changes in cervical cells to provide early interventions to remove the cells before they turn cancerous. A pap smear is not the same thing as a pelvic exam.

Do I need a Pap smear?

If you are a woman then the answer is “yes”. Every woman will need to get regular Pap smears from an OBGYN, as this is the best tool for catching precancerous cells before they turn cancerous. So, just how often do you need a Pap smear? The most recent recommendation from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that,
  • Women between the ages of 21 to 29 should get one every three years
  • Women between the ages of 30 to 65 should get one (along with an HPV test) every five years
  • Women with weakened immune systems (or women with HIV), as well as women who’ve had precancerous cells in the past, may need to come in more often for Pap smears (this is something you’ll want to discuss with your gynecologist)
What does an abnormal Pap smear mean?

Getting abnormal results back doesn’t necessarily mean that you have cancer. Many women will deal with an abnormal Pap smear at some point and it won’t be due to cervical cancer. Other problems that can cause abnormal Pap results include:
  • STIs such as herpes (HSV-2), trichomoniasis, and the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • Recent sexual activity
If you do receive an abnormal Pap, your gynecologist will recommend getting another test performed to check those results. If results are still abnormal then further testing will be required to check for precancerous or cancerous cells.

Whether you need to schedule an appointment for you or your teen daughter, an OBGYN is going to be an invaluable part of your medical team, providing everything from support and advice to annual checkups and Pap smears. It’s important that everyone find a gynecologist that they trust.
By Associates in Women's Health
October 13, 2021
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: Induce Labor  
Natural Ways to Induce LaborAfter waiting months to meet your sweet new baby, the discomfort of the third trimester can be hard to handle. You will likely be swollen, exhausted, and sore––not to mention ready to snuggle your newborn! By the time a woman reaches full-term pregnancy (defined by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as 39 weeks pregnant), she may want to do some things on her own to naturally induce labor. The good news is that these methods are perfectly safe to do at home!
 
To encourage labor once you've hit full-term pregnancy, try the following:
  • Exercise: While no one is suggesting you run a marathon to get ready for birth, light to moderate exercise can help prepare your body. In some cases, it has been shown to encourage dilation and loosen a woman's hips. It is always best not to overdo it, though. It is important to save your energy for the actual labor!
  • Sex: Some women report that their sex drive is heightened during pregnancy, while others insist it is the furthest thing from their minds. Whichever side you fall on, sex does have some undeniable benefits, like bonding with your significant other, relaxation, and sometimes even softening the cervix. Nipple stimulation has also been shown to bring on contractions, but proceed with caution due to the rare chance that contractions can become severe and prolonged. 
  • Membrane Stripping: Some providers offer a simple in-office procedure known as membrane stripping. This occurs when the doctor inserts a finger and separates the thin membrane lining from the uterine wall. Research shows that spontaneous labor often follows in the days after the procedure, but not always.
Be sure to consult with your doctor before trying any of the above methods. Your provider will discuss options with you and help you decide on the best course of action to induce labor. Every pregnancy is unique, and ultimately, your baby will come when they are ready. We promise that whenever that happens, it will be worth the wait!
By Associates in Women's Health
August 09, 2021
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: PPH   Postpartum Hemorrhage  
Postpartum HemorrhagePostpartum hemorrhage occurs when there is severe and prolonged bleeding of 500ml or more that occurs within 24 hours after giving birth. This often occurs after the placenta has been delivered and it may be more common in women who’ve had a cesarean rather than vaginal birth. Of course, there are steps your OBGYN can take during the third stage of labor to reduce a woman’s risk for postpartum hemorrhage (PPH).

Signs of PPH

It’s important to recognize the signs of PPH so you can call your OBGYN or 911 to get immediate medical attention. Some signs of PPH include,
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding that won’t stop
  • A drop in blood pressure (a sign of shock)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pale and/or clammy skin
  • Pain or swelling around the vagina
PPH is a life-threatening condition, so you mustn’t ignore these signs after giving birth.

Risk Factors for PPH

While PPH can happen without warning, there are risk factors that can predispose women to develop PPH. If you’ve had PPH in the past, you are more likely to have it in the future. PPH is also more common among Hispanic and Asian women.

You may also be more likely to develop PPH if you have any of these health problems,
  • Uterine atony: When the muscles of the uterus don’t contract or tighten there is nothing to stop the bleeding
  • Uterine inversion: When the uterus turns inside out during childbirth
  • Ruptured uterus: When the uterus tears during delivery (this is rare)
Other conditions and factors that can increase your risk include,
  • Conditions that impact the placenta such as placenta increta or placenta previa
  • Undergoing a C-section
  • Undergoing general anesthesia (often for a C-section)
  • Medicines that induce labor such as Pitocin
  • Vaginal tearing during childbirth
  • Fast labor (less than six hours if this isn’t your first child) or augmented labor (more than 14 hours if this is your first baby)
  • Placental infections
  • Preeclampsia
  • Gestational hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Blood conditions
If you have questions or concerns about childbirth or delivery, know that your OBGYN is always here to answer any of your questions. Talk through the possibility of PPH with your obstetrician so you can discuss beforehand, the steps that are going to be taken to protect both you and your baby during labor and delivery.
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.


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