What can lead to a high-risk pregnancy?
There is a wide range of factors that can determine whether a woman will be a high-risk pregnancy. Some of these factors include:
- Previous pregnancy complications (if you’ve been pregnant before and dealt with complications such as premature birth, then you are more likely to deal with complications with future pregnancies)
- Multiple births (if you are having twins, triplets, quadruplets or more, you are also more likely to go into preterm labor)
- Blood disorders (e.g. sickle cell disease)
- Lupus or other autoimmune disorders
- Advanced mature age (women who are age 35 or older)
- Diabetes (both type 1 and type 2)
- Thyroid disease
- Drinking alcohol
- Illicit drug use
What does this mean for my care?
Women need to keep in mind that just because they are a high-risk pregnancy does not mean that they will face complications or issues. Having an OBGYN by your side is paramount to keeping both you and baby healthy and making sure that if problems do arise that they are caught and treated early.
A woman who is a high-risk pregnancy will want to visit their OBGYN more often for prenatal checkups so that their doctor can closely monitor them for any changes. Remember, keeping up with your prenatal care appointments is one surefire way to keep both you and your baby safe and healthy.
If you are a high-risk pregnancy or are concerned about being a high-risk pregnancy, it’s important to discuss this with your OBGYN right away.
What is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome?
Thanks to advanced and ever-changing medical technology and fertility practices it’s now fairly uncommon to have OHSS occur in women who undergo IVF. OHSS causes the ovaries to swell and leak, sometimes causing significant abdominal pain. This is in response to taking these injectable medications, which stimulate several follicles to develop eggs. This results in higher levels of estradiol, which can cause the ovaries to leak fluid into the stomach. Women with OHSS may experience:
- Abdominal swelling
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
How is OHSS treated?
If your OBGYN believes that your symptoms are indicative of OHSS, a simple ultrasound can allow our team to be able to examine the ovaries to look for leaks or fluid in the abdomen. Sometimes blood testing is also performed. If OHSS is mild than rest, limited activity, and staying hydrated are all that’s needed. If there is significant fluid in the abdomen, the doctor may need to drain the fluid (particularly if it’s causing serious pain). Only in serious cases does OHSS require hospitalization.
If you are interested in learning more about IVF, or if you are having trouble conceiving, you may want to first talk with your OBGYN about your options and whether or not you should pursue fertility treatments. Your OBGYN will be able to answer all of your questions regarding family planning and getting pregnant.
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.
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
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
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.
It’s Time for Your Annual
This is the most common reason women visit the OBGYN. Most women should start visiting their gynecologist once a year for checkups starting at 21 years old. These exams typically involve a standard pelvic exam to check for any symptoms or potential issues that could affect the uterus, cervix, and other female reproductive organs. Your doctor will also perform a breast exam and a Pap smear, which detects suspicious and potentially cancerous cells in the cervix.
You Think You’re Pregnant
Whether you just got a positive pregnancy test or you’re experiencing symptoms of being pregnant, it’s important to confirm your pregnancy with your OBGYN. By confirming your pregnancy as soon as possible, your OBGYN can provide you with the treatment and care you need to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
You are Concerned about STDs
If you are concerned that you might have been exposed to an STD, this is another reason to make an immediate appointment with your OBGYN. If you notice any unusual vaginal discharge, sores, or other symptoms, give us a call. Of course, many STDs don’t cause symptoms, so it is possible to have an STD and not even know it. This is why it’s a good idea to get regular STD testing, even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms.
You Want to Know Your Birth Control Options
There are so many different birth control options these days that you may feel a bit overwhelmed by your choices. This is when an OBGYN can talk you through the different options, weigh the pros and cons, and help you determine the best one for you based on your health and lifestyle.
You are Experiencing Symptoms of an Infection
Itching, discharge, and burning with urination are all signs of an infection. Whether you think you are dealing with a urinary tract infection, bacterial infection, bladder issue, or yeast infection, your OBGYN will be able to diagnose and treat it quickly and easily.
Your Periods are Out of Whack
If you are dealing with painful, extremely heavy, or irregular periods, you will want to discuss these changes with your gynecologist as these could be signs of an underlying problem such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, or nutritional deficiencies.
An OBGYN specializes in offering comprehensive care for all women’s reproductive health issues and can provide everything from routine checkups and Pap smears to STD testing and family planning options. Call your OBGYN to schedule an appointment for you or your teenager today.
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