Posts for: September, 2022
A woman’s reproductive health requires special care, and that’s what an obstetrics and gynecology doctor does. These specialists, commonly known as OBGYN doctors, can help protect you from breast cancer, cervical cancer, and other serious conditions affecting the reproductive system.
One of the most important services your OBGYN provides is the annual wellness exam. This exam, performed every year, includes:
- An examination of your pelvic area
- An examination of your reproductive system
- A pap smear to check for signs of cervical cancer
- An examination of your breasts to check for lumps and early signs of breast cancer
Your OBGYN may recommend further testing, which can include:
- Blood tests and other lab work
- A mammogram or breast MRI
- An ultrasound or other imaging studies
A woman should have her first annual wellness visit when she begins menstruating, and these wellness visits should continue every year after that. Visits to the OBGYN may be more frequent if you are:
- Sexually active
- Going through menopause
- Experiencing signs or symptoms of disease
You should visit your OBGYN as soon as you can if you:
- Notice a gray, yellow, or green, discharge from your vagina
- Experience pelvic or abdominal cramping that doesn’t go away
- Feel a lump in one or both of your breasts
- Have breast tenderness that doesn’t go away
Your OBGYN doctor provides many more important services in addition to annual wellness exams. These are some of the other popular services your OBGYN provides:
- Birth control options
- Pregnancy counseling
- Prenatal care
- Birth and delivery
- Treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
If you are premenopausal or going through menopause, your OBGYN can help with that by providing relief from hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, thinning bones, skin, and hair, and night sweats. For menopause, your OBGYN may recommend:
- Medication to limit mood swings
- Medication to keep your bones strong
- Hormone replacement therapy to balance your hormone levels
- Lifestyle and exercise modification to help you maintain a healthy weight
Your OBGYN can do a lot to help you stay healthy, and it all begins with an annual wellness exam. Protect your health by calling your OBGYN today.
Do you double over in pain at the start of your period?
While cramps are a part of menstruation, what if we told you that going through bad cramps and pain isn’t normal? If you find yourself taking time off work because your cramps get so bad, or if you find that you’re unable to enjoy sex due to pain, these could be signs of endometriosis.
What Is Endometriosis?
This chronic condition causes endometrial tissue to develop outside the uterus, leading to pain, scarring, infertility and inflammation. About one in ten women of childbearing age will develop endometriosis. Unfortunately, many women experience debilitating menstrual or abdominal pain for years before seeking help from a qualified OBGYN. This means it can be years before someone gets a proper diagnosis.
What Are the Causes?
Unfortunately, doctors are entirely sure what causes endometriosis; however, some doctors believe that when tissue is shed during menstruation, it passes through the fallopian tube and into the abdomen, where it attaches to other reproductive organs and tissue. This is sometimes referred to as reverse or retrograde menstruation.
What Are the Symptoms?
Symptoms vary from person to person. Endometriosis may cause,
- Intense or severe menstrual cramps
- Painful sex
- Pain with bowel movements or urination
- Pelvic pain
How Is Endometriosis Treated?
It’s essential to turn to your OBGYN if you are experiencing symptoms of endometriosis, as untreated endometriosis can get worse over time and lead to infertility. Common treatment options for endometriosis may include,
- Hormone therapy: this most often includes oral contraception, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), and progestin or progesterone medication
- Pain medication: this may include over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or prescription-strength pain relievers
- Surgical treatments: If medication isn’t providing relief or your symptoms are severe, your OBGYN may recommend laparoscopic surgery to remove excess tissue and adhesions.
- Fertility treatment: If endometriosis has affected fertility and surgery has not improved your chances of getting pregnant, then your OBGYN may discuss other fertility treatment options, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
If you are dealing with painful periods, it may be time to sit down with your OBGYN to discuss your symptoms and determine if you might have endometriosis.