Pregnancy is one of the most common reasons a woman stops getting her period; however, it’s certainly not the only reason. Some of the reasons why a woman may suddenly stop having periods include,
- Low body weight
- Sudden weight loss
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Eating disorders
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Certain chronic health problems such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Certain medications (e.g. birth control)
Your gynecologist can treat conditions such as PCOS and primary ovarian insufficiency through hormone therapy and lifestyle changes; however, if your condition is due to thyroid problems or other health issues, your gynecologist may recommend seeing a specialist or your primary doctor to treat these conditions.
You may be surprised to discover that women can still get pregnant even if they aren’t having regular periods. This is why it’s important to talk with your OBGYN about birth control options if you are sexually active and are not planning to become pregnant.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before considering birth control options,
What is most important to you when it comes to birth control?
This might seem like a rather broad question, so let’s get a little more specific. Some women are looking for a low or no hormone birth control that boasts fewer side effects while other women want a birth control option that can also help them get clearer skin. It’s important to talk with your OBGYN about what’s most important to you so that they can provide you with the best options for your specific needs.
Do you want to have a family and how soon?
If you are looking for a birth control option now but are thinking of having a baby in the next year, then this could help us determine which birth control option is best. Women who want to wait several years before starting a family, or who don’t want a family, may benefit from long-term birth control solutions such as intrauterine devices, which can remain in the uterus anywhere from three to ten years. Women who are looking to prevent pregnancy for only up to a year or two may benefit from more short-term options such as the pill or patch.
Will you remember your birth control?
Some women know that they won’t take the pill at the same time every day, so they want an easier option. If you think you’ll forget, or simply don’t want to deal with the daily reminders, then options such as the patch, ring, injection, or IUD can provide peace of mind knowing you are protected without having to take a pill every single day. For other women, taking a pill every day is no big deal. This is something to keep in mind.
Are you concerned about side effects?
Hormonal birth control does come with possible side effects, as compared to non-hormonal birth control (e.g. condoms; diaphragms; certain types of IUDs). Women who’ve tried hormonal birth control in the past and have dealt with mood swings and other issues may want to consider non-hormonal or low-hormone options. This is definitely something to discuss with your gynecologist.
It’s important to have the facts when it comes to birth control. There is a lot of information out there that can be daunting (not to mention that there is also a lot of misinformation out there). If in doubt, schedule a consultation with your OBGYN to help make the decision-making process easier.
Yeah, this isn’t going to be the highlight for most women during their pregnancy but it’s certainly a milestone that you won’t forget. These waves of nausea typically occur around the sixth week and, despite the name, can pop up any time of the day or night. The good news is that the queasy stomach and vomiting should go away by about 14 weeks. Talk with your OBGYN if you’re dealing with severe morning sickness or morning sickness that lasts past the first trimester.
Whether you suspect that you might be pregnant, or you have already gotten a positive pregnancy test, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your OBGYN as soon as possible. The first prenatal visit will usually occur around your sixth week. The first appointment will involve a variety of tests, including blood and urine testing and a Pap smear. You may also get to see your baby for the first time with an ultrasound, depending on how far along you are. This is an unforgettable moment for parents-to-be.
We know just how important it is to get beyond the three-month mark! Since most miscarriages happen during the first trimester, making it to the second trimester can be a triumph. Not to mention the fact that this is also the time many couples start to share the good news. From social media announcements to telling family and friends in person, this can be an exciting time for couples.
Feeling your baby kick for the first time can send your heart into a flutter. It will probably be one of the weirdest and most wonderful sensations ever. You may even see an arm or leg sticking out as the baby continues to move around and grow.
While your OBGYN probably gave you an expected due date during your first visit, don’t hold on to that due date too much. Most women don’t have their babies right on that date. While it’s fun to countdown, remember that you may have to wait a week or two more before your baby makes its appearance.
You are about to meet your child, so it’s natural to feel a flutter of excitement and nerves as you prepare for childbirth and delivery. At this point, you and your doctor will have made a birth plan to discuss how you ideally want your delivery to go and how to manage your pain. Congratulations, momma; you did it!
Every journey through motherhood is going to be different for every woman, so you want an OBGYN that understands your specific needs. Here are some ways to make the first six weeks a little easier for both you and your baby,
- They say to sleep when your baby sleeps, and if you have this opportunity it’s best to take it. While newborns sleep about 14-17 hours within a 24-hour period, they only sleep for about 2-3 hours at a time before needing to be fed.
- During this time, it’s important to turn to friends and family for help cooking meals or running errands, so you’re not exhausted and running on fumes. Remember, that you don’t have to do it all. Your focus is on healing and caring for your baby. The rest can wait.
- Eat a healthy diet that helps support and nurture your healing body. This includes eating proteins, whole grains, and vegetables. It’s also important that you are getting enough water and staying hydrated, which will help with breastfeeding.
- Your OBGYN will be able to tell you when it’s safe to exercise again. While this doesn’t necessarily mean jumping right back into CrossFit (unless you want to), find low-impact activities such as a brisk walk that can help you get out of the house and also provide energizing benefits.
Most women experience “baby blues” during the postpartum period. Between the massive changes in hormones to the lack of sleep, it’s very normal for new moms to experience mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and sadness; however, the baby blues are not the same as postpartum depression. These symptoms last longer than two weeks. Know the signs of postpartum depression,
- You’re experiencing crying spells, or you’re consumed by sadness or guilt
- You don’t have any interest in activities or things that once made you happy
- Changes in sleep patterns such as sleeping too little or sleeping too much
- You have thoughts of harming yourself or others
- You have trouble bonding with your baby
- You don’t want to eat
- You’re having panic attacks
No, these are two different tests. A pap smear looks for suspicious cellular changes in the cervix to spot precancerous and cancerous cells early. An HPV test, on the other hand, specifically looks for a current HPV infection but won’t be able to detect cervical cell changes. Women should turn to their OBGYN to get both a Pap smear and an HPV test.
Even if you’ve been vaccinated for HPV or you’ve already gone through menopause, it’s still a good idea to get regular pap smears. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should get a pap smear every three years (if they’ve only had normal pap smear results in the past). Women who’ve had an abnormal pap smear may need to come in once a year. A pap smear should be performed regardless of whether or not you suspect that you might have HPV.
Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should get a pap smear every three years, an HPV test every five years, or both tests together every five years.
Many strains of HPV are shed by the body over time so they don’t require treatment; however, other strains of HPV can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer. Cryosurgery or laser treatment may be used to remove abnormal cells from the cervix or genital warts.
The CDC recommends that both men and women between the ages of 11 to 26 should get vaccinated for HPV, as this vaccine can protect against many of the strains that can lead to cervical cancer. Since the vaccine is only administered to people who’ve never had HPV before, it’s a good idea to talk with your OBGYN about getting your teen vaccinated before they become sexually active.
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