What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
As women approach menopause, their bodies begin to produce fewer of the hormones essential for optimal body function, health, and wellbeing. The hormonal decreases associated with menopause lead to a variety of physical and emotional symptoms ranging from a loss of libido and mood changes to physical symptoms including vaginal atrophy and weight gain. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy provides substitute hormones that are designed to match the individual patient exactly, providing a balance to the natural decrease in hormone levels. Bioidentical hormones are considered much safer than traditional hormone therapy. The difference is that traditional hormone therapy is mass produced for general consumption while the bioidentical hormones are made specifically for an individual patient.
What Type of Hormone Replacement Is Available?
The doctors at Centennial OBGYN offer bioidentical hormone replacement to provide the safest treatment that mimics the hormones produced by an individual patient. BHRT uses hormones manufactured to be identical to those in the patient’s body, improving the outcome for the patient. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is provided in pill, pellet, or gel form which. No matter how it is administered, the treatment releases small amounts of hormones to replenish the diminished hormone levels in the patient. A slow release system helps maintain a more consistent hormone level than traditional hormone replacement therapy provided in shots, patches, or pills.
Is Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Safe?
Yes. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN perform thorough testing on each individual patient before starting treatment. During treatment, they closely monitor their patients who have bioidentical hormone treatment with regular saliva and blood testing to ensure that the dosage remains correct to allow the patient to enjoy optimal health and wellbeing. These hormones behave harmoniously in the body, relieving the physiological stresses created by hormone deficiency. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN maintain close relationships with their patients so they are able to monitor their health and notice any changes immediately. These relationships also foster a high level of trust so that patients are comfortable discussing the intimate changes their bodies go through at this time of life.
What is a Hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus through surgical means. It has been historically indicated when the uterus is cancerous, contains fibroids, causes bleeding, is prolapsed or has moved from its usual position, or otherwise causes severe health concerns for the woman. While this procedure has been traditionally invasive and required a long recovery time, new advancements in medical technology allow for a woman to enjoy less invasive procedures to accomplish a successful surgery. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN are up to date with the most medically advanced surgical procedures including robotic laparoscopic surgery to ensure that the patient is able to receive the highest degree of care.
What is Laparoscopic Surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique performed with specially designed instruments through small incisions in the body. A laparoscope is a narrow tube with a video camera connected to the end. When inserted through a small incision, the camera sends a live video stream to a monitor so the doctor is able to see inside of the body and able to monitor any procedures needed. The entire procedure is performed inside the body without the risks associated with traditional open surgery. As the patient recovers, there is typically less pain, discomfort, scarring, and a quicker return to normal daily activities. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN strive to take the patient from a place of surgical necessity to return them to functioning with the least pain and discomfort possible.
What Should I Expect Following the Laparoscopic Hysterectomy?
While each woman’s recovery will look different, there are common recovery patterns that can be generally expected. A woman may usually return to work after a week of at-home recovery. Follow-up visits with the doctor will allow the woman to track her recovery as well as determine what additional activities she may engage in. Sometimes the ovaries will be removed as well as the uterus, and menopause will begin. The woman may wish to start hormonal replacement therapy to reduce the symptoms of menopause.
What Is Sterilization?
Sterilization is the process of ending a woman’s ability to bear children. Historically, tubal ligation, which is often referred to as “having your tubes tied,” was the most common form of female sterilization. With modern advances in medical technology, there are a variety of less invasive options available such as uterine ablation. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN will discuss all of the options available and your specific condition and needs to advise on the best sterilization process for you.
What Is Tubal Ligation?
Tubal ligation is a procedure where the fallopian tubes are blocked by severing, burning, or removing parts of the tubes. The procedure is typically performed through a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure although if necessary it can also be performed in a traditional surgery. This option effectively stops eggs from reaching the uterus for fertilization.
What Is Uterine Ablation?
Uterine ablation is a procedure that uses heat energy to destroy the uterine lining, which is also called the endometrium. The heat energy is applied using a variety of methods including lasers, radiofrequency, balloons filled with heated saline, electricity, or microwaves. Uterine ablation is typically performed by inserting the instruments through the vagina and cervix to reach the uterus and is an outpatient procedure. The procedure usually takes about 45 minutes with a local or spinal anesthetic. After an ablation treatment, the lining of the uterus heals by scarring which reduces or stops uterine bleeding and making it unlikely for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterine wall.
What Is a Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery?
A minimally invasive surgery involves a doctor performing a procedure through the smallest opening in the skin to reduce recovery time. It is often performed with the assistance of narrow instruments and a tiny camera, called a laparoscope, to perform the procedure through small slits of skin. In laparoscopic surgery, small cuts are made around the navel to access the ovaries, cervix, and uterus. While the patient is under general anesthesia during the procedure, the recovery process is far less severe than those who received traditional abdominal surgery. Dr. Bailey and Dr. Welborne at Centennial OBGYN are skilled in the most advanced surgery techniques including the use of the daVinci robotic surgery system and are able to provide effective treatment for surgical candidates.
What Is a Robotic Laparoscopic Hysterectomy?
In the past, women who required a hysterectomy would undergo a full abdominal incision in order for the surgeon to access the uterus to be extracted. This procedure would be quite painful and require a lot of aftercare and healing. As technology has developed, medical providers are not able to offer robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy. Using a computer, and the daVinci robotic technology, doctors are able to have an additional level of surgical control in order to provide precise incisions in which the body can more readily recover from. At Centennial OBGYN, Dr. Bailey and Dr. Welborne are experienced in the use of the robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy to ensure that their patients receive state of the art surgical care.
What is Robotic Laparoscopic Myomectomy?
When a woman requires uterine fibroids to be removed, minimally invasive surgery is preferred. The daVinci robotic surgery system and a live video feed, surgeons are able to remove these fibroids with the least invasion possible. While not all surgery is welcome of wanted, reducing the level of invasion to the patient often ensures the easiest and quickest recovery as well as reduced risk of scarring and infection. As technology continues to develop, the doctors at Centennial OBGYN will continue to work to provide women with the most effective and least pain causing interventions possible.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in or on the uterus. Fibroids are usually benign but cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms ranging from abnormal bleeding to infertility. Fibroids range in size from as small as a pea or expand to the size of a grapefruit, and in rare cases even larger. Fibroids can grow on the uterine walls or inside the uterine wall tissue.
What Symptoms Are Associated With Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms that often interfere with a woman’s day to day activities. Heavy painful periods, defined by the need to change a tampon or sanitary towel on an hourly basis for more than a couple of consecutive hours, are the most common symptom associated with uterine fibroids. The heavy bleeding caused by fibroids is often accompanied by severe cramping that prevents the patient from participating in normal daily activities. Other symptoms associated with fibroids include swelling of the abdomen, pressure in the stomach area, and frequent urination. In some cases, uterine fibroids can lead to fertility problems such as high-risk pregnancies, increased chances of needing a cesarean delivery, as well as difficulties conceiving naturally.
How Are Fibroids Treated?
The doctors at Centennial OBGYN provide a variety of treatment options for fibroids. Myomectomies are surgical procedures to remove the fibroids from the uterus, which are performed in a traditional open surgery or with a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure. During a myomectomy, the doctor accesses the uterus and removes the fibroids. Ablation therapy is another minimally invasive procedure, which heats and burns out the fibroids. These minimally invasive treatments are all relatively quick outpatient procedures that allow the patient to return home on the same day. Historically, a hysterectomy was used to treat and prevent fibroid by removing the entire uterus. While this procedure is effective at removing and preventing fibroids, it also ends the patient’s ability to bear children. While many other treatment options have proven to be just as effective, hysterectomies are only used in very severe cases.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a medical condition where uterine lining tissue grows in areas outside the uterus, including the ovaries, the outer uterine wall, the fallopian tubes or even the intestines. In some very rare cases, the tissue may even develop outside the abdominal area. Endometrial growths vary in size and often fluctuate with natural hormonal cycles and resulting in an array of symptoms. Endometriosis usually develops and peaks during childbearing years, with growths usually shrinking or subsiding during menopause. In rare cases, some women can continue to experience symptoms even after they have entered menopause and periods have ended.
What Are the Symptoms of Endometriosis?
The two most common symptoms of endometriosis are severe cramping during menstruation and chronic pelvic pain. Other common symptoms include lower back pain before or during a period, pain during intercourse, abnormal or heavy vaginal bleeding, pain during bowel movements, and vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse. Endometriosis can interfere with a woman’s ability to become pregnant.
How Is Endometriosis Treated?
Each woman has a unique experience with endometriosis and the doctors at Centennial OBGYN customize treatment to address the condition as well as the symptoms of endometriosis for each individual patient. Some patients get temporary pain relief from prescription or over the counter medication. However, most patients eventually opt for a long-term solution like hormone therapy. There are a number of different hormone regimens that can help with symptoms by inhibiting new endometrial tissue growth which relieves symptoms. In some severe situations, surgery may be the best solution to resolve the condition. Laparoscopic procedures including hysterectomies are the most common surgical procedures. In most cases, a laparoscopic surgery will be performed to remove the growths, as this preserves the patient’s fertility. Some patients may need additional laparoscopic surgery if the endometrial growths return, but many women remain healthy and symptom-free as hormone therapy can typically control and even stop new endometriosis growths.
What Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition where cysts to develop on the ovaries leading to hormonal imbalances. PCOS causes abnormal periods and fertility issues in addition to a variety of other troubling symptoms. The ovarian cysts that develop with PCOS are benign, but lead to other symptoms associated with the hormonal imbalance and can make it difficult to become pregnant. The causes of PCOS are not fully understood, although genetics are a common factor.
What Are the Symptoms of PCOS?
PCOS causes a variety of symptoms that can range in severity. The symptoms of PCOS are often ignored or attributed to another condition. The most common symptoms of PCOS include:
- Extra hair on the face and body
- Fertility issues
- Irregular or absent periods
- Heavy bleeding during periods
- High blood pressure
- Thinning hair on the scalp
- Weight gain and trouble losing weight
How is PCOS Treated?
Diagnosis is the first step in treating PCOS. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN will ask you questions about your health, symptoms, and menstrual cycle. They will also perform a physical exam to check for the physical symptoms of PCOS like high blood pressure, extra body hair, or being overweight. They will also order blood work to measure your hormone levels and other metrics that could rule out other conditions like thyroiditis, which can cause similar symptoms. In some cases, the doctor may order an ultrasound to see if cysts are forming on the ovaries. Once your doctor is able to accurately diagnose PCOS, she will recommend a course of treatment to alleviate your symptoms and heal your body. While hormone treatment with birth control pills or bio-identical hormones can help to restore hormonal balance to your body, you will also be recommended to exercise regularly and to lose any excess weight. Regular, moderate exercise is shown to help restore balance to the body and stimulate functionality. Even taking a brisk 30-minute walk each day can provide some improvement. Being overweight can also contribute to hormonal imbalances and even losing 10 pounds can help restore hormonal balance and regulate your menstrual cycle.
What Is Infertility?
When a person is infertile is mean he or she has difficulty or is unable to conceive a child. This reproductive problem affects both women and men and the diagnosis is generally given to couples who have attempted to become pregnant for 12 months with no success. Women over the age of 35 are diagnosed as infertile after 6 months of attempting to become pregnant without conception. For women, an ovulation disorder is usually to blame. Problems such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), uterine fibroids, and egg generation can also cause female infertility. It is important to remember that fertility issues affect both men and women. Several factors can affect fertility including:
- Healthy egg and sperm production
- Adequate embryo quality
- Clogged fallopian tubes
- The sperm’s capability to fertilize the ovum
- Capability of the fertilized egg to attach to the uterine wall
What Happens During an Infertility Consultation?
You and your partner should be prepared to have a frank discussion about your health, lifestyle, and attempts to get pregnant. The doctor will want to collect information like key medical details for both would-be parents. You may want to prepare and bring a list of any medications, vitamins, supplements or herbs being taken. Generally, if a woman under the age of 35 has not conceived within a year of having regular, unprotected sex, she and her partner should seek advice. Women over 35 should only try for six months before seeking advice. The doctor may order further tests to diagnose the cause of the fertility issue to help guide the best course of treatment.
What Types of Fertility Treatments Are Available?
Fertility treatments support conception. Treatment may involve monitoring a woman’s fertility cycle and injecting sperm directly into the uterus during her most fertile time (intrauterine insemination). Another well-known treatment is in vitro fertilization, also referred to as IVF. The procedure is complex and takes place outside of the womb and is used when other fertility treatments have not been successful. IVF is a multi-step process where eggs are harvested and inseminated outside of the womb before being placed in the uterus during the most hospitable time during a woman’s cycle. Additional embryos are frozen for future use if the treatment is not successful.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is the series of changes that occur in a woman’s body after it stops producing monthly reproductive eggs. In addition, a woman will experience moderate to severe hormonal adjustment which can cause a variety of emotional and somatic symptoms. While each woman is different, common symptoms include anxiety, irritability, mood swings, hot flashes, reduced libido, and sleep disruption. While menopause is something that most women go through, it is better that they do not have to go at it alone. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN understand that this period of time can be emotionally traumatic on a woman and can provide insight into how this can be managed and approached to reduce discomfort.
What Treatments Minimize the Symptoms of Menopause?
Since each woman experiences menopause differently, their needs during menopause are often unique. Bio-identical hormone therapy is utilized to reduce the severity of the symptoms that menopause is causing in the body. Women can benefit from hormonal therapy by receiving supplementary hormones to replace those no longer being naturally produced by the body. Lifestyle changes may need to be made as certain activities or foods can trigger symptoms of menopause. Alternative medical interventions may be prescribed such as medication, relaxation, or talk therapy. As women go through this change in their life, the doctors at Centennial OBGYN are available to provide support and interventions to reduce the severity of what is being experienced.
How Does Hormone Therapy Work?
When menopause begins, hormone activity in the body may fluctuate to an extreme degree. While this fluctuation will eventually decrease, the period of time that the woman experiences these fluctuations can be quite uncomfortable. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy provides the woman with hormones that mitigate symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN are available to make this necessary transition for every woman as smooth and painless as possible and provide regular monitoring services to ensure that each patient maintains the appropriate hormonal balance for optimal wellbeing.
What Is a High-Risk Pregnancy?
If a mother or baby have an increased chance of developing a health problem, the pregnancy is considered high risk. While high risk might sound intimidating, it is just a way for your doctor to make sure that you have the attention you need throughout your pregnancy to protect your health and the health and development of your baby. Some of the conditions that cause high-risk pregnancies include:
- High blood pressure or diabetes (either pre-existing or developing during pregnancy)
- Being overweight or obese
- Alcohol or drug use
- Being over the age of 35
- History of miscarriage or difficult pregnancy
- Being pregnant with more than one baby
How Is Care Different for High-Risk Pregnancies?
Women with high-risk pregnancies will see their OBGYN more often throughout the pregnancy and will have more frequent ultrasounds to monitor fetal development. You will also have more frequent blood work and blood pressure checks as well as urine tests to check for preeclampsia and urinary tract infections. If you are over the age of 35, you may have more genetic tests to check the health of your baby as the risk of a genetic disorder increases with the mother’s age.
If I Have a High-Risk Pregnancy, What Can I Do to Protect My Baby?
The most important thing you can do is to attend all of your prenatal visits so that your obstetrician can closely monitor your health, the health of your baby, and the baby’s development. You should follow a healthy diet and take any vitamins or supplements recommended by your doctor to support your health and the development of your baby. Avoid using tobacco products and alcohol. If you have questions about your pregnancy or if you notice a change in your health and wellbeing, contact your obstetrician right away.
What Is Prenatal Care?
While gynecology covers women’s reproductive health over a lifetime, prenatal care and obstetrics are the specialized care and treatment of pregnant women and their developing babies. Prenatal care helps to keep you and your baby healthy. Prenatal care reduces the risk of low birth weights and complications during gestation and delivery. Prenatal care helps the doctor to recognize and diagnose any issues as early as possible and provide treatment to ensure the health of you and your baby. During your prenatal visits, you will be able to ask questions about your health, the changes you are experiencing, and the development of your baby.
What Happens During Prenatal Exams?
A prenatal evaluation includes several health checks such as blood work, monitoring weight and blood pressure, and collecting urine samples. These visits also include regular ultrasounds which allow the doctor, and the patient, to see the developing baby while in utero. Ultrasounds allow the doctor to measure the baby and make sure it is developing at the right pace. The obstetrician will also provide expectant mothers with advice on what to expect during the few weeks until the next appointment. The practitioners at Centennial OBGYN encourage relationship building during these visits because the better the patient and doctor know each other the better able they are to make choices and decisions for the benefit of both the mother’s health and the health of the developing baby. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN are always willing to answer questions, explain the bodily changes experienced, and to provide information about the developing baby.
How Often Do Women Need to Attend Prenatal Care Visits?
Most women are advised to see their prenatal care specialist every month for the first 28, then every other for the next 8 weeks, and then once a week until the baby is born. Women at higher risk for pregnancy complications are advised to see their obstetrician more often to monitor the health and development of the baby.
What Is Family Planning?
Family planning helps women and couples to manage and protect their reproductive and sexual health. Family planning helps women to control when they become pregnancy and how many children to have. Family planning services include contraception options and fertility treatment to help patients create and grow their families when they are ready. These services help women to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases while maintaining reproductive health and wellbeing.
What Kind of Birth Control Should I Use?
The doctors at Centennial OBGYN can provide advice on the different types of contraception and which option will best suit your individual needs. Essentially, the best birth control option is the one that fits in best with your lifestyle and your needs. Factors that could affect your decision about the best birth control for you include your sensitivity to hormones, allergies to latex, your plans for getting pregnant in the future, your ability to remember to take a pill at the same time every day, and if protection from sexually transmitted diseases is also a concern. Many women are opting for long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) options, such as IUDs and implants. LARC options are becoming increasingly popular because they are effective and convenient as there is no need to remember to take a pill or other interruptions to the protection they provide.
When Should I Be Concerned About Fertility?
A woman’s fertility is a very personal situation. However, the general guidelines advise that women under the age of 35 who have been trying to conceive naturally for a year with no success, or for 6 months if over the age of 35, should seek fertility assessment and potentially treatment. It is important to remember that infertility does not just affect women and that both the male and female partners trying to have a child should be tested for fertility issues. Women’s fertility issues can affect the egg, the fallopian tubes or uterus, or the ability for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterine wall.
What Is Abnormal Bleeding or Heavy Bleeding?
Normal menstruation causes a woman to lose around two ounces of blood during her regular period. This can cause mild to moderate discomfort and most women know what to expect each month. Deviations from this normal expectation can be alarming. If a period pain causes disruption in daily activities of living such as work, school, or childcare, women should contact their doctor. In addition, menstrual bleeding that soaks through more than one tampon or pad an hour for multiple hours should contact their doctor. Finally, while blood clots are somewhat common, any clots ranging larger than the size of a quarter should be addressed.
When Should I Contact a Doctor About Abnormal Bleeding?
If heavy bleeding causes disruption in a woman’s life, she should seek out medical help from her medical provider. While cramping is somewhat expected during menstruation, this typically only lasts one to three days. Severe cramping or cramping that lasts far longer than normally expected may indicate a more complex complication that requires medical attention. Additionally, any bleeding during pregnancy should immediately be addressed by a medical provider. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN are skilled in diagnosing the cause of and treating abnormal bleeding as well as guiding women to better reproductive health and functioning. Their skilled team allows women to enjoy reproductive health provided exclusively by female doctors.
How Is Abnormal Bleeding Treated?
Abnormal bleeding can be caused by a variety of health conditions including cysts, polycystic ovary syndrome, fibroids, blood clots, and other health concerns. Multiple tests are indicated to test for these and any other conditions not listed above. These tests include hysteroscopy, hydroablation, and various other surgeries. When a condition does not call for surgery, various pills may be prescribed including pain relievers and birth control pills. The female doctors at Centennial OBGYN are able to offer a full suite of services for all women. Contact them today for access to a high degree of skill, knowledge, and empathy to the medical needs of a woman.
What Is a Pap Smear?
Pap smears are medical exams in which a doctor scrapes a group of cells off of the uterus, cervix, and vagina. This is a test to ensure that the cells extracted do not have any abnormalities or cancerous conditions. This exam typically is included in the annual wellness exam that many women undertake with their OBGYN. Some patients, especially those who are young or have not had a pelvic exam in the past may feel uncomfortable receiving a pap smear. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN understand that this process may be uncomfortable and are able to provide a safe and comfortable environment in which women can obtain their necessary medical care.
Why Do I Need a Pap Smear?
A pap smear is necessary to ensure that a woman’s reproductive health is functioning as expected. In addition to a pap smear, women are often also tested for The Human Papillomavirus or HPV. HPV is a family of viruses that is quite common and can cause some forms of cervical cancer. Since most sexually active adults have some form of HPV, it is crucial to detect and deter any cancerous growths that can arise from lack of examination. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN are highly skilled at detecting HPV or cancerous cells in a woman and treating these conditions.
How Are Abnormal Results Treated?
After the results of the pap smear are reported and the woman’s exam is complete, doctors will provide care for any abnormal results. This care can be as simple as a medical prescription for irritation or inflammation. If a more rigorous examination is required, a doctor may order a biopsy to determine the extent of the cancer spread. With early detection, medical interventions typically can be relatively easy and minimally invasive. If later stage cancer is discovered, patients may require full surgery to remove the affected organ to halt the spread of cancer. While this can be scary, the doctors at Centennial OBGYN are available to ensure that each woman receives the best care possible to return her to full health.
Why Should I Have Regular Cancer Screenings?
Most forms of cancer cause no symptoms in their early stages. Also in most cases, cancer is more easily treated in its earliest stages. This means that the only way to diagnose cancer in its early and more easily treated stages is to have regular screenings. Women are able to have the simple tests to check for cervical and breast cancer during their annual well-woman visits. This is also a great opportunity for a woman to discuss any changes in her health and wellbeing with her doctor, which could reveal symptoms that indicate cancer or other medical condition that needs to be treated.
What Are the Tests for Cervical Cancer?
A Pap smear is the best test to identify and diagnose cervical cancer or precancerous growths. Women should begin to have Pap smears when they become sexually active or at the age of 21, whichever comes first. However, if a woman is at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer, she should have more frequent Pap smears to monitor her health. Women with a personal or family history of cervical cancer or abnormal cells, those with HIV, organ transplants, or exposure to certain drugs are often considered high risk. When you speak to your gynecologist, be frank and honest about your health history and follow your doctor’s advice on how often to have a Pap smear to protect and preserve your health.
What Are the Screenings for Breast Cancer?
Women are recommended to perform at-home breast exams following their periods each month to manually feel for any lumps or abnormalities. Also, during their annual well-woman checkups, their health care provider will perform a manual breast exam. Typically, from the ages of 45-55 women should have annual mammograms. After the age of 55, most women can reduce their mammograms to every other year. If you have a personal or family history of breast cancer, you should start having mammograms earlier and continue with annual, or even more frequent screenings, to protect your health.
Why Would an Adolescent Need a Gynecologist?
During puberty, a young woman goes through many physical changes that can be alarming and disorienting. While mothers are often a good resource about what to expect when a teen begins to menstruate, sometimes complications can arise that the average mother does not have the knowledge to handle. The female staff of doctors at Centennial OBGYN understands this dilemma and can provide expert education to the proper health practices needed for a woman to develop normally. In addition, sexual activity is a topic that many parents do not feel comfortable talking to their children about. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN are able to offer this education and make recommendations to when an adolescent should begin pap smears, STI tests, and monitor for pelvic inflammatory disease.
Are Adolescent Gynecology Appointments the Same as Those for Adults?
When a young woman visits her doctor at Centennial OBGYN, similar baseline measurements are taken to ensure that the woman is developing normally. Weight, blood pressure, and pelvic exams are common for all wellness visits. Starting at the age of 21 or if an adolescent is sexually active, pap smears may also be indicated. If an adolescent is uncomfortable, a parent, family member, or even a friend can accompany them into the exam room for emotional support. The female staff at Centennial OBGYN is highly capable of providing a safe and nurturing environment for those who are uneasy or uncomfortable during this part of their physical wellness.
What Kinds of Questions Can Young Patients Ask?
It can be quite intimidating for a young adolescent to enter an exam room for the first time. The female doctors at Centennial OBGYN are aware of this and want to provide the most inviting and safe environment possible for patients to feel at ease. Any questions asked by adolescents will be answered in a respectful and educational way. Patients can ask questions about sexual health concerns, hormonal questions, emotional difficulties, sexual activity, STI’s and even speak about events that they do not feel comfortable talking about to their parents.
What Happens During a Well Woman Exam?
A well-woman exam is an annual physical that specifically reviews the health issues experienced by women in addition to general checkup review for all adults. During a well-woman exam, the doctor will ask questions about your health and wellbeing monitor your vital signs such as blood pressure, weight, heart rate, and respiratory activity. Additionally, this is an opportunity to have a pelvic exam, pap smear, and breast exam. Your annual well-woman visit also provides you with an opportunity to discuss any changes in your health and wellbeing with your trusted doctor and to ask any questions you might have. Women’s bodies go through many changes and it is normal to have questions about those changes such as how to deal with the symptoms of menopause like vaginal dryness.
Why Does a Woman Need an Annual Checkup?
An annual well-woman visit is an opportunity to check in with your health, talk to a medical professional about any concerns, and develop a relationship with your healthcare provider, and make sure you are up to date on any preventive health screenings. Regular exams and screenings can enable a doctor to make early diagnoses of any conditions or illnesses that allow for quick and efficient treatment. While in most cases there are no serious medical conditions, a positive relationship with a medical provider can provide peace of mind and create an additional layer of support for the woman and her health.
What Causes Vaginal Dryness?
A common complaint among older women is vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness is a common side effect of the hormonal changes of menopause. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN can provide advice and treatment for vaginal dryness and other symptoms associated with menopause. Some women may benefit from simply adding a water-based lubricant to their sex lives. However, other women may benefit more from bio-identical hormone therapy to replace the hormones lost during menopause. Bio-identical hormone therapy can stimulate the body into producing natural moisture and lubrication in the vaginal cavity which can preserve the patient’s sex life and her emotional and physical wellbeing.
What Is Gynecology?
Gynecology is a medical specialty focused on the treatment of women and their reproductive system. When doctors train to specialize in gynecology, they also specialize in obstetrics which is the care of pregnant women. This is why you will often see doctors identify themselves as OBGYNs. During training, gynecologists gain specialist knowledge in:
- Female general health including hormones, reproductive organs and issues, breasts, and sexual function
- Preconception health and wellbeing
- Care during pregnancy and labor
- Postpartum care
- Cancer screening
What Services Does a Gynecologist Provide?
A gynecologist provides diagnosis, treatment, and care for issues specific to women and their reproductive systems. This includes regular well-woman checkups, Pap smears, breast exams, and STD testing and treatment. Gynecologists also treat medical conditions affecting the reproductive organs such as uterine fibroids, polyps, cysts, polycystic ovary syndrome, vaginal atrophy and dryness, and prolapse. When a woman wants to become pregnant or is pregnant, the gynecologist can provide regular monitoring of the woman’s health and the development of the baby throughout pregnancy. Your gynecologist can provide birth control advice, fertility advice, and with specialized training, surgical treatment for some medical conditions. Many gynecologists train in minimally invasive surgeries to treat fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome, cysts, polyps, and more.
How Should I Choose a Gynecologist?
You should make sure that your gynecologist is licensed and credentialed to practice medicine and gynecology. If you have a specific condition, you may want to find a gynecologist who has experience in treating your needs. Most importantly, you want to find a gynecologist who you trust and like. You will have many frank and intimate conversations with this doctor and it is important that you feel comfortable and confident in your relationship with the healthcare provider. The doctors at Centennial OBGYN are extremely knowledgeable and provide compassionate, attentive care to their patients. If you are looking for a trusted gynecologist, make an appointment at Centennial OBGYN.
What Is Obstetrics? How Is It Different From Gynecology?
Obstetrics is a medical specialty that specifically relates to the care and treatment of pregnant women, while gynecology covers women’s general and reproductive health. Obstetricians often also specialize in gynecology (and vice versa) and provide care to women throughout their lives. Some of the services needed by pregnant women which are provided by obstetricians include:
- * Answering any questions about pregnancy, fetal development, and labor and delivery
- * Monitoring the health of the mother and developing baby during routine visits
- * Helping patients with common pregnancy complaints including heartburn, leg and back pain, and morning sickness
How Often Do I Need to See an Obstetrician While I’m Pregnant?
Most women to see their doctor every 4 weeks for the first 28 weeks, then biweekly until week 36, and then once a week until the baby is born. Women who have high-risk pregnancies are seen more often. High-risk pregnancies are classified as when the health of the mother or baby is compromised and could result in higher risks during gestation or delivery. These visits enable the doctor to monitor the health of the mother and the development of the baby. The frequency of visits allows the doctor to make sure that everything is developing as expected and the opportunity to diagnose any potential issues as early as possible.
What Happens During Visits to the Obstetrician?
Your obstetrician will perform several routine health checks and tests, including blood work, obtaining weight and blood pressure, and collection of urine samples. As the pregnancy progress, your doctor monitors the growth and development of your baby with ultrasounds and check the heart rate of the fetus. Once the exam is complete, expectant mothers will receive guidance on what to expect during the few weeks until their next appointment, and they’ll have an opportunity to ask questions about their health and pregnancy. Prenatal checkups will take place throughout the entire course of the pregnancy, up to delivery. Your obstetrician provides essential guidance and advice throughout pregnancy to help you remain as healthy as possible to support your pregnancy and prepare for motherhood.