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By Associates in Women's Health
May 13, 2022
Category: Pregnancy Care

To maintain a healthy pregnancy it’s important to turn to an obstetrician for routine care

If you’ve just taken a pregnancy test and it’s come back positive you may have so many thoughts running through your head. Of course one of the first things you should be thinking about is visiting an OBGYN for your first prenatal visit. Your first prenatal appointment should take place between the sixth and eighth week of your pregnancy. If you think you’re pregnant it’s a good idea to call your OBGYN as soon as possible for an appointment.

What to Expect from Your First Prenatal Visit

If you just received a positive home pregnancy test, or if you’re experiencing pregnancy symptoms and a missed period, it’s a good time to call your OBGYN to set up your first appointment. The first visit with your OBGYN will be used to confirm the pregnancy and to check to make sure you are in the best health possible. We will go through your medical history to determine if there are any pregnancy risk factors we need to be aware of, as well as determine your due date. The first prenatal appointment is always a bit longer than other pregnancy checkups, so plan your schedule accordingly.

Expect your OBGYN to perform certain tests and exams throughout your checkups including,

  • Physical exam
  • Pelvic exam
  • Blood tests
  • Genetic testing
  • Urinalysis

We know that the first visit can feel a bit stressful, but we are here to make it as easy as possible for you by preparing you for what to expect. You will need to keep up with routine pregnancy care visits with your OBGYN to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

How Often Should I Come in for Prenatal Care?

If you are between 4-28 weeks you will want to come in at least once a month. If you are between 28-36 weeks you’ll want to increase your visits to every 2 weeks, and once you reach the 36-week of your pregnancy, you’ll want to come in once a week. We will talk to you more about your prenatal schedule when you come in for your first checkup.

As soon as you suspect or find out that you’re pregnant, the first call you should make is to your OBGYN. These prenatal visits are important for all expectant mothers, even women who are otherwise healthy. These visits ensure that both you and your unborn baby stay healthy.

By Associates in Women's Health
March 25, 2022
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: Latex Allergy   Condoms  
Latex Allergy and CondomsLatex allergies are surprisingly common. If you suspect that you could be allergic to latex, it’s important to not only recognize the warning signs of an allergy but to also consult your OBGYN to discuss other options. From condoms to disposable gloves, there are many everyday and frequently used products that could cause irritation and other issues if you are allergic. Here’s what you should know about latex allergies,

What is latex?

Latex is a rubbery material that is found in the bark of a rubber tree. Even though latex might seem man-made it is actually made from nature. Since latex is derived from trees, this also increases the risk for an allergy.

What products contain latex?

Latex is found in quite a few household items including,
  • Gloves
  • Condoms
  • Balloons
  • Rubber bands
What are the signs of a latex allergy?

If you have a latex allergy you may be likely to develop symptoms that impact the nose, throat, ears, stomach, and skin. If you have an allergy to latex and you use latex condoms, you may notice itching, redness, or a rash in the vaginal region. Those with more severe latex allergies may also experience,
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Scratchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
It’s important to recognize warning signs of a severe latex allergy, also known as anaphylaxis, which can be dangerous and life-threatening if not promptly treated. Signs of anaphylaxis include trouble breathing, swelling, hives, wheezing, fainting, dizziness, weak pulse, and a drop in blood pressure.

How is a latex allergy treated?

Since there is no cure for latex allergy, the best thing you can do is avoid anything that contains latex including condoms. There are many non-latex condoms on the market these days but if you aren’t sure which ones are safe, simply ask your gynecologist.

However, if you do accidentally use a latex condom your gynecologist may recommend taking an antihistamine or corticosteroids or carrying an EpiPen in case of a severe latex allergy. If you are experiencing a reaction to a latex condom you may also want to relax in a sitz bath or apply hydrocortisone cream to the area to ease discomfort.

If this is your first time experiencing vaginal redness, swelling, or a rash it’s important to have these symptoms properly evaluated by a gynecologist to determine if it’s an allergy and to rule out STIs or other problems.

Even with a latex allergy, there are a variety of safe sex options that do not involve latex condoms. If you have questions about how to practice safe sex with a latex allergy your OBGYN can provide you with all the information you need to make smart choices for you and your partner.
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.




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