Archive for the ‘Women’s Health’ Category

Sunday, November 25, 2012 @ 04:11 PM
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Pelvic Organ Prolapse is a medical condition where one or more of the pelvic organs drops (prolapses) from its normal place in the lower belly and pushes against the walls of the vagina.  This problem affects many women, particular women who are older. It happens when the muscles and ligaments that support the pelvic organs and hold them into place become weakened and stretched due to childbirth, surgeries or menopause. There are several different types of Pelvic Organ Prolapse including posterior prolapse, uterine prolapse and small bowel prolapse.  Treatment options will vary according to the type and severity of the condition.

To diagnose Pelvic Organ Prolapse, your physician will start with a physical exam of your pelvic organs.  This helps to determine the type and severity of the problem.  He or she will also conduct an oral review to get information about your symptoms, your medical history and your family history.  Diagnoses may also involve the use of a cotton swab test, a bladder function test, a pelvic floor strength test, an MRI, an Ultrasound or a Cystoscopy.

Once your condition has been properly diagnosed, there are a variety of treatments available for Pelvic Organ Prolapse.  For mild to moderate cases, treatment usually starts with non-surgical methods including medications and physical therapy.  If these methods are not effective in treating the problem, surgery may be required.  In severe cases, surgery may be performed without first attempting non-surgical treatments.

If left untreated, Pelvic Organ Prolapse can negatively affect your overall health and quality of life.  However, you do not have to continue to suffer.  If you are experiencing symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse, schedule an appointment with your Gynecologist today so he or she can confirm the diagnoses and prescribe the best treatment or treatments to suit your particular case.

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

 

Thursday, November 15, 2012 @ 02:11 PM
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If you are a woman in the United States, chances are you are very aware of your risk for breast cancer, cervical cancer, osteoporosis and other conditions affecting women’s health.  However, how aware are you of your risks for heart disease?  You may be surprised to learn that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the United States.  Each year, cardiovascular disease claims the lives of over 432,000 women in the United States, and more than 200,000 women in America die as a result of heart attacks every year.  Cardiovascular disease is often referred to as a “silent killer.”  That is because many people do not even know they have it until it is too late.

Now that we have gotten your attention, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  The first is to visit your doctor to get a complete physical, including labwork.  Checking your blood pressure is an important component of a physical and untreated high blood pressure increases the risk for cardiovascular disease.  High LDL cholesterol levels have also been linked to cardiovascular disease.  The doctor can test your cholesterol levels using a blood test.  Diabetes is also a risk factor for heart disease.  If you have diabetes, it is important to keep your blood sugar in check and to visit your doctor for regular check-ups.

In many cases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Diabetes Type II can be effectively treated with lifestyle modifications. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can keep these medical problems in check for many people.  Many patients are able to reduce or eliminate blood pressure medications and/or cholesterol medications by simply losing weight.  For others, blood pressure and cholesterol medications are still needed to maintain healthy levels.  Visit your doctor today to get more information about how you can decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease.

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

Friday, November 9, 2012 @ 09:11 PM
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If you are a woman over the age of forty and you are having trouble getting to sleep at night or staying asleep you are not alone.  Many women in their late thirties and early forties experience sleep problems due to declining hormone levels and other hormonal changes that are a natural part of the aging process.  This time of life is referred to as “Perimenopause” and is the time where your body is moving toward Menopause or the cessation of your menstrual cycle.  During this time of life, hot flashes, night sweats, health issues and the normal stresses of life can make it very difficult to get a good night’s rest.  According to sleep experts, making small lifestyle changes can help increase your chances of getting a full night of sleep.  Here are some suggestions:

•  sleep only at night, in your bed; do not nap during the day

•  avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine

•  go to bed around the same time every night

•  exercise daily, at least three hours before bedtime

•  establish a nighttime ritual such as drinking hot tea (decaffeinated) or taking a warm bath before bed

Getting enough sleep is an essential part of maintaining your immune system as well as your overall health.  Lack of sleep can leave you feeling irritable, edgy, exhausted and depressed.  If you have tried making lifestyle changes to improve your sleep and it is not working, it may be time to talk to your Gynecologist.  If hormonal changes are causing your sleep problems, he or she may recommend hormone replacement therapy or some other type of hormonal treatment.

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

 

 

Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 03:10 PM
posted by admin

There has been much debate in the medical community over calcium supplements as they relate to women’s health.  Many medical professionals believe that most women do not get an adequate daily intake of calcium from their diets and thus should take a daily calcium supplements.  Others feel that calcium supplements are not needed and may even be harmful if taken in high doses.

A recent study published in the Brittish Medical Journal (BMJ), found that women who supplemented their diets with modest amounts of calcium had a lower risk of Primary Hyperparathyroidism.  Primary Hyperparathyroidism is an endocrine disorder in which the parathyroid glands produce too much Parathyroid Hormone (PTH).  PTH is a hormone produced in the parathyroid glands in the neck which controls calcium, phosphate and Vitamin D levels within the blood and bones.

In this study, researchers tracked more than 58,000 women taking part in the long-running Harvard Nurses Health Study.  Every four years, the women were interviewed about their diets and their overall health.  Over the 27 years of the study, 277 women were diagnosed with Primary Hyperparathyroidism.  The study showed an inverse relationship between the women taking moderate calcium supplements and the diagnoses of Primary Hyperparathyroidism.

Symtoms of PTH include fatigue, depression, and kidney stones.  It can also lead to Osteoporosis. If you are concerned that you are not getting enough calcium in your diet, or if you are experiencing the symptoms of Primary Hyperparathyroidism, schedule an appointment with your physician today.  Your physician can test your blood levels and determine if you indeed do have this serious condition.  Your physician can also help evaluate your diet and make a recommendation based on your specific circumstances.

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

Thursday, October 25, 2012 @ 10:10 PM
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Fall is in the air.  You can feel a slight chill when walking the kids to the bus stop in the morning.  The leaves are falling from the trees and are even starting to change colors.  Everywhere you look, you see pumpkins, goblins and ghouls.  It must be October.  October brings football, lots of leaves and the promise of cooler weather.  It has also become an important time in the United States to promote breast cancer awareness and breast health.  For this reason, you may be seeing a lot of pink in addition to the orange and black for Halloween.

Breast Cancer is a serious disease affecting women both young and old in the United States.  Chances are, you know someone who has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  However, not all cases of breast cancer are alike.  There are certain categories of breast cancer and these categories help determine the course of treatment as well as the prognosis.

Different types of breast cancer can be separated into different groups according to the location in the breast where the cancer first occurs and whether or not it has spread to other tissues in the breast. Non-invasive breast cancer refers to cases where the cancer is found only in its original location in the breast and has not invaded or spread to other breast tissues.  Invasive breast cancer refers to cases where the cancer has spread to other tissues from its original location in the breast.  Obviously, the goal would be to find the cancer before it has had the opportunity to spread to other tissues.

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) is the most common type of breast cancer.  This type starts in the milk ducts but invades or spreads to the surrounding breast tissues.  According to the American Cancer Society, more than 180,000 women in the United States find out that they have invasive breast cancer each year.  Most of these cases are Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.

The best defense we have against IDC as well as other forms of breast cancer is early detection.  Regular breast self-examinations as well as breast examinations from a physician or other health care provider are an important component of early detection.  Mammograms are also an important tool in the early detection of breast cancer.

Talk to your doctor today about how you can decrease your chances of developing breast cancer and to make sure you are getting the care you need to help detect breast cancer in its earliest stages.  Happy October!

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

 

 

Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 01:10 PM
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How do you react to the expression, “you can never be too rich or too thin?”  For some women, this could not be truer.  For others, it is ridiculous.  A recent study conducted by researchers at Michigan State University suggests that your reaction to this statement may be partly genetic.

It is undeniable that a large percentage of American women are obsessed with their weight and being thin, even as the overweight and obesity rates in the U.S. continue to rise.  In the past, this has been largely blamed on unrealistic portrayals of the ideal female body on television, in movies, in magazines and in advertisements.  But why do some women react so differently to this exposure than others?  A study published online in the October 3rd edition of “The Journal of Eating Disorders”, suggests that it may be at least partially due to their genes.  In the study, the term “thin-ideal internalization” is used to measure the extent to which someone identifies with the ideal of thinness and attractiveness in our culture.  Someone with a high level of thin-ideal internalization longs to look like the super thin models and actresses they see in magazines, the movies and television.  Someone with a low level of thin-ideal internalization is less affected by the exposure to these types of images.

In this study, Michigan State Researchers used survey responses from a large study of twins in Michigan.  A total of 343 female twins ages 12 to 22 completed surveys answering questions about how strongly they wanted to look like the women they saw on television, in magazines and in advertisements.  The more they aspired to these looks, the higher their thin-ideal internalization.  The researchers then compared how the identical and fraternal twin pairs answered the questions.  They found that the more similar the genes, the more similar the answers.

Certainly this study is not conclusive.  A lot more research is needed to conclude that there is a genetic link and to isolate the gene or genes involved.  However, it does bring up some interesting points, particularly in the area of women’s body images and the propensity for eating disorders.  It is widely known today that many women are struggling with overweight and obesity. These problems cannot only be harmful to self-esteem but can also lead to dangerous complications such as Type II Diabetes and heart disease.  If you are currently unhappy with your weight, talk to your doctor today about positive lifestyle changes you can make to increase your health and improve your body image.

Posted on the Behalf of a Marietta OBGYN Practice.

 

Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 04:09 PM
posted by admin

October has been designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In honor of this important month, following are some important facts and figures from the American Cancer Society regarding breast cancer in the United States:

•  Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.

•  It is estimated that about 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2012.

•  It is estimated that about 63,300 new cases of carcinoma in situ (the earliest form of breast cancer) will be diagnosed in women in 2012.

•  It is estimated that about 39,510 women will die from breast cancer in 2012.

•  Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer.

•  At this time, there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

There are certain risk factors that make you more at risk for developing breast cancer.  Some risk factors can be modified through lifestyle changes while others cannot.  Some of the risk factors that cannot be modified include gender (females are much more at risk than males), Age (your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older), genetics (about 5% 5o 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary), and race (overall, white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than are African-American women, however, African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer). Some of the risk factors that can be modified  include alcohol use (women who have 2-5 drinks daily have about 1 1/2 times the risk of women who do not drink alcohol), and being overweight or obese.

Early detection is the best tool we have to combat breast cancer.  To get more information about your risks of developing breast cancer or to schedule a mammogram, talk to your Gynecologist today.

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

 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 @ 04:09 PM
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You have probably heard of HPV before but do you really know what it is?  HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus: the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).  There are over forty different types of HPV that can affect the genitals of males and females.  They can also affect the mouth and throat.

HPV is most often spread through genital contact.  It may also be passed on during oral sex.  One of the hardest things about preventing the spread of this common STI is the fact that most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems from it.  Many people with HPV are not aware that they have it, therefore, they unknowingly spread it to others through sexual contact.  In many cases, the body’s immune system will clear up the infection on its own within two years.  However, in the cases where the infection does not clear on its own, it can cause genital warts, cervical cancer and other less common types of cancers including cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus and oropharynx (back of the throat).

There are currently two vaccines available for preventing HPV in girls and women:  Cervarix and Gardasil.  Both are given in three shots.  It is currently recommended that girls between the ages of 11 and 12 receive one of the vaccines.  It is also recommended for girls age 13-26 who did not receive the shots when they were younger.

Gardasil can also be used to protect males against most genital warts and anal cancers.  It is recommended for 11 and 12 year-old boys and for males 13 through 26 years of age who did not get any of the shots when they were younger.

Being informed is one of the best ways to stop the spread of HPV.  To get more information about HPV and how to best protect yourself or your children, talk to one of the experienced professionals at Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.  

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

 

Friday, September 21, 2012 @ 08:09 PM
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You are about to go on a much-needed, tropical vacation with your husband.  Time for some much needed rest and recuperation and maybe even a little bit of romance.  With all of the kid’s school work and activities, you feel like you have barely had any time to actually talk to your husband lately.  Now that you have finished having children and your children are all in school, it is finally time for some one-on-one time with the man you married ten years ago.

You have packed your swimsuit, sunscreen, shorts, sundresses and sunglasses. You are ready to go.  Then you realize, you have started your period.  Another vacation ruined by menstrual bleeding and cramps.  It feels like you just had it.  Wait a minute….you did just have it, only two and a half weeks ago.  What is going on?  Once a month is bad enough but this is ridiculous!  Enough is enough!  It is time to talk to your Gynecologist about Hydrothermal Ablation.  A few of your friends have had this procedure and are happy with the result, but you are not really sure all that is involved…

Hydrothermal Ablation is a Gynecologic procedure used to treat women with irregular or excessive uterine (menstrual bleeding).  If you are finished with childbearing and are experiencing excessive or irregular uterine bleeding due to benign causes, you may be a good candidate for this minimally invasive procedure.

The procedure, which can be performed in your Gynecologist’s office under a local anesthetic, involves inserting a small probe into the uterus and flushing the uterine cavity with heated water to destroy most or all of the endometrium. There is little downtime or recovery time required.  Most women experience reduced menstrual bleeding.  In some women, menstrual bleeding is eliminated altogether.

You do not have to let irregular and/or excessive menstrual bleeding reduce your quality of life.  Talk to your Gynecologist today to see if you are a candidate for this life-changing procedure.

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

Thursday, September 6, 2012 @ 06:09 PM
posted by admin

Hydrothermal Ablation (HTA) is a minimally invasive gynecologic procedure used to treat women with excessive or irregular uterine bleeding. It involves inserting a small probe into the uterus and flushing the uterine cavity with heated water to destroy most or all of the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus).  No incision is needed.  It can be performed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia or as an in-office procedure using a local anesthetic.  Many advanced OGYN practices are now offering this service.  The doctors at Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. are specially trained to perform Hydrothermal Ablations and are fully staffed and equipped to perform this procedure in the comfort of their office in Marietta.

If you are experiencing excessive or irregular menstrual bleeding due to benign causes and are past childbearing age or finished with childbearing, you may be a good candidate for a Hydrothermal Ablation.  To find out for sure, schedule an appointment with one of the qualified Gynecologists at Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. He or she will discuss your specific symptoms and review your medical and family history to determine the cause of your irregular or excessive menstrual bleeding. He or she may also perform a pelvic examination and/or conduct other tests to rule out any serious problems including cancers.

After an HTA, most patients experience a significant reduction in irregular or excessive menstrual bleeding.  In some cases, the menstrual bleeding is stopped completely. If irregular or excessive uterine bleeding is negatively affecting your health and/or your quality of life, it is worth your while to talk to a doctor about a Hydrothermal Ablation. Call Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. today to get more information about this life-changing procedure and to find out if you are a candidate.

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