Archive for the ‘Women’s Health’ Category

Monday, May 13, 2013 @ 06:05 PM
posted by Dr. Carlos Alarcon

Osteoporosis (“porous bone”) is a condition in which the bones weaken and become more likely to fracture.    This serious health problem affects an estimated forty-four million people in the United States, sixty-eight percent of whom are women.  It also costs our health system millions in health care expenditures and lost productivity. It is most common among post-menopausal women and affects caucasian women at higher rates than Latino or African American women.  Women with a thin body frame, blonde hair and blue eyes are the most at risk for developing Osteoporosis.

Cigarette smoking was first linked to Osteoporosis over twenty years ago.  Since then, a direct link between smoking and decreased bone density has been established.  Additionally, studies have shown that the longer you smoke and the more cigarettes you consume, the greater your risk for fracture in old age.  And, smokers who fracture may take longer to heal than non-smokers and are at a higher risk for developing complications during the healing process.

Osteoporosis is often referred to as a silent disease because many women are not aware that they have it until it causes them to fracture. For this reason, if you are at risk for Osteoporosis, your OBGYN or other healthcare provider may recommend that you get a bone mineral density test (DEXA scan).  Depending on the results of your test, they may prescribe certain medications to slow the progression of the disease.

An increased risk for Osteoporosis is just one of the many good reasons to stop smoking. If you are a smoker, you are putting your bone health at risk.  There are a variety of resources and organizations that are available to help you stop smoking, for good!  Talk to your physician today about a safe and effective strategy for quitting smoking.

Posted on the Behalf of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.


Monday, May 6, 2013 @ 09:05 PM
posted by Dr. Carlos Alarcon

If you are currently looking for a method of contraception and have not considered an IUD (Intrauterine Device), you may want reconsider this highly effective form of birth control.  Here are five reasons why:

1.  Effectiveness – IUDs have been proven to be 99% effective in preventing pregnancy as compared to birth control pills which are only 95% effective in preventing pregnancy.

2.  Cost Effectiveness – An IUD can be used as a long-term method of contraception (up to five or ten years with certain brands).  If they are used for at least three years, they are more cost effective than birth control pills.

3.  Less Hassle – with an IUD, you just visit your doctor’s office to have it inserted and then forget about it.  No daily pills required as with birth control pills.

4.  Reduced menstrual bleeding- some brands of IUDs have been proven to reduce or eliminate menstrual bleeding in some women.

5.  Easily Reversible – if you decide you want to become pregnant,  just visit your doctor to have your IUD removed.  You can start trying to become pregnant as soon as that same day.

Despite all these advantages, IUDs continue to be underutilized.  Experts think that this may be due to a lack of awareness among many women about IUDs as well as misconceptions about their safety.  For this reason, experts are urging Gynecologists to be more proactive in educating their patients about this safe and effective form of birth control.

Two of the most popular brands of IUDs on the market today are Paragard® and Mirena®.  Each of these brands are highly effective in preventing pregnancy.  If you would like more information on IUDs or to find out if this method of contraception is right for you, visit your OBGYN today.

Posted on the Behalf of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 @ 04:04 PM
posted by Dr. Carlos Alarcon

An IUD (intrauterine device) is a plastic or copper-and-plastic device that is inserted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy.  An IUD is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and can remain in the uterus as birth control for up to five or ten years depending on the brand.  Paragard® and Mirena® are two of the most popular brands available on the market today.

A recent study showed than many women have misperceptions about IUDs and this leads to the underuse of this highly effective and safe form of birth control.  In the study, researched surveyed over 1,600 women between the ages of 18 and 50 who had visited one of four clinics in Pennsylvania.  Five percent of these women were currently using an IUD and 5.8% had used one in the past.  During the survey, only one in five of the women correctly stated that an IUD is more effective in preventing pregnancy than birth control pills (99% versus 95% effective).  Only 28% of of women in the study were aware of the fact that an IUD is more cost effective than birth control pills when used for more than three years.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 28% of women of reproductive ages are using birth control pills as contraception followed by other methods including sterilization.  Only approximately 5% of women of reproductive ages are using an IUD for birth control.  To combat the misperceptions and lack of information surrounding IUDs, the researchers urged clinicians to talk more about this safe and effective method of birth control with their patients.

Many OBGYN practices, are now offering both Mirena® and Paragard® IUDs to women of reproductive ages.  If you would like to get more information about these forms of birth control or to find out if you are a candidate, contact your OBGYN today.

Posted on the Behalf of a Marietta OBGYN practice.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 @ 02:04 AM
posted by Dr. Carlos Alarcon

Your thyroid is a small gland that is shaped like a butterfly and is located in your neck, right below your voice box.  It is responsible for regulating your body’s natural metabolic process.  Many women experience thyroid problems including overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). In fact, a woman faces as high as a one in five chance of developing thyroid problems during her lifetime.  That risk will increase with age and for those who have a family history of thyroid problems. Women who have recently had children are also more at risk for developing thyroid problems.

Hyperthyroidism is most common in women between the ages of twenty and forty.  The symptoms include weakness and fatigue, shaky hands, increase in rate of heartbeat, weight loss, more frequent and looser bowel movements, anxiety, irritability, eye irritation or problems, menstrual cycle changes, greater sensitivity to heat and increased perspiration and infertility.  The symptoms of hypothyroidism include sluggishness and fatigue, depression, greater sensitivity to cold, unexplained weight gain, dry hair and skin, constipation and menstrual irregularities.

Thyroid problems go undetected in many cases.  This is unfortunate as thyroid problems can be easily detected using a blood test called a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test.  If you are experiencing symptoms and think it may be due to a thyroid problem, schedule an appointment with your doctor today to get a TSH test.  Once your diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor can recommend the best treatment or treatments to get you back on the road to full health.

Posted on the Behalf of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.



Saturday, March 30, 2013 @ 05:03 PM
posted by Dr. Carlos Alarcon

A uterine fibroid is a muscular tumor that grows in the wall of the uterus (womb).  This type of tumor is almost always benign.  The medical term for a fibroid tumor is a “leiomyoma” or “myoma.”  A woman may have a single fibroid or multiple fibroids at an given time and they can widely range in size from the side of a seed to the size of a grapefruit.

A large percentage of women will develop one or more fibroid tumors by the age of fifty.  They are most common in women in their forties and early fifties.  Some women with fibroids experience no symptoms at all.  For others, fibroids can be very difficult and cause symptoms such as pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, frequent urination and rectal pressure.

The exact cause of uterine fibroids is not fully understood at this point.  However, researchers believe that a variety of factors including hormone levels and genes may play a role in the development of uterine fibroids.

If you have uterine fibroids but are not experiencing any symptoms, your physician may recommend that you simply monitor the growth of the fibroids.  If you have symptoms, your doctor may recommend medications to shrink the fibroids or surgery to remove them.  Fortunately, advances in medical technology have provided a minimally invasive method for removing uterine fibroids.  This method is much safer than abdominal surgery and requires a much shorter recovery period.

Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. in Marietta, Georgia is pleased to offer MyoSure® to the residents of North Georgia.  MyoSure® is a minimally invasive and highly effective of fibroid removal.  If you are experiencing symptoms and think that it may be due to uterine fibroids, please contact Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. to get more information about MyoSure® and to find out if this solution is right for you.

Posted on the Behalf of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.


Sunday, March 24, 2013 @ 09:03 PM
posted by Dr. Carlos Alarcon

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breastfeeding in the United States is on the rise.  In fact, their breastfeeding report card shows that rates of initiation of breastfeeding rose from 74.6% in 2008 to 76.9% in 2009 births.  The rates of breastfeeding at six months also increased from 44.3% in 2008 to 47.2% in 2009 births.  These numbers represent the largest increases we have seen in more than a decade.

Some experts believe that the Internet and the increased flow of information brought about by computers has helped to educate more people about the benefits of breastfeeding to both the mother and the child.  There are many benefits to breastfeeding that are well-known such as the protection it provides to newborn babies against illnesses, allergies, etc.  There are other benefits that are not as widely known such as the fact that breastfeeding may help to protect your child from obesity later in life.  Studies have also shown a connection between breastfeeding and cognitive development.  Breastfeeding also offers many benefits to the mother.  Many mothers who breastfeed report lower stress levels and lower incidences of post-partum depression.  Other studies have shown a link between breastfeeding and a lowered risk for ovarian and breast cancers.

The bottom line is that breastfeeding provides your baby with everything he or she needs to grow and develop during the first six months of their lives.  For this reason, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, although any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial.  However, the reality is that breastfeeding is more challenging for some mothers and their babies than others.  For this reason, hospitals and birthing centers offer lactation classes as well as lactation consultants that can help new mothers navigate the challenges of breastfeeding.  To find out about the educational materials and resources available to you, talk to your OBGYN today.

Posted on the Behalf of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013 @ 11:03 PM
posted by Dr. Carlos Alarcon

If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, it is vitally important that you eat a healthy diet that is rich in the vitamins, mineral and important nutrients that you and your baby will need during this very exciting time.  Getting an adequate amount of folic acid is especially important before and during pregnancy and can help to prevent neural tubal birth defects such as Spina Bifida.  Calcium is also very important and can help keep you from losing bone density during your pregnancy.  Your baby will also need calcium for developing bones.  Iron is important to both you and your unborn child and can help your blood to carry oxygen to your unborn child.

Even with the healthiest of diets, it is often hard to get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need during pregnancy.  That is why Obstetricians prescribe prenatal vitamins to all pregnant women.  There are many different types and brands of prenatal vitamins on the market.  Some are over-the-counter while others require a prescription.  A good prenatal vitamin should contain the following:

•  400 micrograms of folic acid

•  400 IU of Vitamin D

•  200 to 300 milligrams of calcium

•  70 milligrams of Vitamin C

•  3 milligrams of Thiamine

•  2 milligrams of Riboflavin

•  20 milligrams of Niacin

•  6 micrograms of Vitamin B12

•  10 milligrams of Vitamin E

•  15 milligrams of Zinc

•  17 milligrams of Iron

Before taking any type of prenatal vitamin or other medication or supplement during pregnancy, it important to first check with your health care provider.  Your OBGYN can determine which prenatal vitamins are best suited for your particular needs.  He or she may recommend more or less of certain vitamins and minerals based on your medical history and the individual circumstances surrounding your pregnancy.

Posted on the Behalf of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. 


Saturday, March 16, 2013 @ 07:03 PM
posted by Dr. Carlos Alarcon

A Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive gynecologic procedure that allows your doctor to look directly at your your female reproductive organs.  It can be used to diagnose problems that may not be detected during a physical examination or on X-rays or other tests. In some cases, Laparoscopy can even be used to treat gynecologic problems.  Since it is a minimally invasive procedure and involves only a tiny incision, it can be done as an outpatient procedure and most patients are able to return home that same day.

Laparoscopy has many uses and is an important tool when it comes to Gynecologic care.  For women with pelvic pain, Laparoscopy can be used to diagnose the cause of the pain.  If the pain is being caused by adhesions (scar tissue), Laparoscopy can be used to remove or cut apart the scar tissue.  Laparoscopy can also be used to detect Endometriosis, another common cause of pelvic pain in women.  In addition, Laparoscopy can be used to effective diagnose and is some cases treat cysts or tumors on the uterus or ovaries.

A Laparoscopy procedure involves inserting a Laparoscope into your abdomen through a very small incision in your lower abdomen.  There is a light and a video camera attached to the Laparoscope so that your doctor can visualize your reproductive organs.  If needed, other instruments can be attached to the Laparoscope to treat conditions such as adhesions or cysts.  This minimally invasive procedure is very safe and carries far fewer risks than traditional abdominal surgery.

Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. is pleased to offer Laparoscopy procedures to the residents of Marietta and the surrounding areas.  Using this advanced technology, our OBGYN practice is able to effectively diagnose a myriad of problems effective the reproductive systems of women.

Posted on the behalf of a Marietta OBGYN practice.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013 @ 06:03 PM
posted by Dr. Carlos Alarcon

Many women experience pelvic pain before or during their monthly menstrual cycles.  Most of us just brush this pain off as an expected symptom of menstruation.  However, other common causes of pelvic pain include Endometriosis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and Fibroids.  In some cases, pelvic pain may be a sign of a more serious medical problem such as Ovarian Cancer.  For this reason, it is important to let your Gynecologist know if you are experiencing persistent pelvic pain.

Endometriosis in one of the most common causes of pelvic pain.  In fact, it is estimated that approximately five million women in the United States are affected by this problem.  Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus (normally shed during the menstrual cycle), grows outside the womb.  This misplaced tissue can cause inflammation and pain.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is another common cause of pelvic pain in women.  PID is an infection that many women with Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhea or chlamydia get.  In addition to pelvic pain, PID may also produce other symptoms such as fever, vomiting and/or nausea.

Fibroids are another common cause of pelvic pain.  A fibroid is a benign mass of muscle tissue that can grow for years without producing any symptoms.  However, in some cases, fibroids can cause heavy, prolonged menstrual bleeding, intermittent spotting and painful intercourse.

If you are experiencing persistent or acute pelvic pain, the first step is to make an appointment to see your Gynecologist as soon as possible.  He or she will most likely perform a pelvic examination to try to determine the cause of your pain.  He or she may also want to run additional tests to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out more serious medical problems.

Posted on the Behalf of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. 


Friday, February 22, 2013 @ 06:02 PM
posted by Dr. Carlos Alarcon

Birth control pills are a highly effective form of birth control and have been used successfully by women throughout the world since the 1960s.  However, they are only effective if they are taken regularly.  For some women, this can be a problem.  For women who travel frequently into different time zones or who are just forgetful when it comes to taking pills, birth control pills may not be the best option.

Fortunately, today there are several different forms of effective birth control that are available for women who do not want the hassle of taking a pill everyday.  Your options will depend on whether or not you are finished with childbearing.

If you are finished with childbearing and/or are sure that you do not want to become pregnant in the future, you may want to consider a tubal ligation procedure or Essure®.  A tubal ligation is a surgical procedure where a woman’s fallopian tubes are severed and then are cauterized to prevent pregnancy.  Essure® is a non-surgical method of permanent birth control that works with your body to provide natural barriers to pregnancy.

If you are planning on becoming pregnant in the future or if you don’t know whether or not you may want to become pregnant in the future, you will want to choose a method of birth control that is not permanent.  This may include a diaphragm or an IUD (Intra Uterine Device).  There are a variety of diaphragms and IUDs on the market today that offer a reliable method of birth control that is temporary and reversible.

Your Gynecologist can help you determine the best method of birth control to meet your needs as well as your lifestyle.  If you would like to get more information about the available options for birth control, please schedule an appointment with a board-certified Gynecologist today.

Posted on the Behalf of Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.