Posts for category: OBGYN Care
By Falmouth Women's Health
April 20, 2021
The postpartum period is defined as the first six weeks after delivery. During this time, new moms are dealing with everything from breastfeeding and changes in sleep to the ups and downs that come with the hormonal changes. You must have an OBGYN that you trust to provide you with regular postpartum care and to be a caring, knowledgeable medical professional that you can turn to when you’re feeling depressed, anxious, or just not 100 percent.
Tips for Adjusting to Motherhood
Every journey through motherhood is going to be different for every woman, so you want an OBGYN that understands your specific needs. Here are some ways to make the first six weeks a little easier for both you and your baby,
- They say to sleep when your baby sleeps, and if you have this opportunity it’s best to take it. While newborns sleep about 14-17 hours within a 24-hour period, they only sleep for about 2-3 hours at a time before needing to be fed.
- During this time, it’s important to turn to friends and family for help cooking meals or running errands, so you’re not exhausted and running on fumes. Remember, that you don’t have to do it all. Your focus is on healing and caring for your baby. The rest can wait.
- Eat a healthy diet that helps support and nurture your healing body. This includes eating proteins, whole grains, and vegetables. It’s also important that you are getting enough water and staying hydrated, which will help with breastfeeding.
- Your OBGYN will be able to tell you when it’s safe to exercise again. While this doesn’t necessarily mean jumping right back into CrossFit (unless you want to), find low-impact activities such as a brisk walk that can help you get out of the house and also provide energizing benefits.
What are the signs of postpartum depression?
Most women experience “baby blues” during the postpartum period. Between the massive changes in hormones to the lack of sleep, it’s very normal for new moms to experience mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and sadness; however, the baby blues are not the same as postpartum depression. These symptoms last longer than two weeks. Know the signs of postpartum depression,
- You’re experiencing crying spells, or you’re consumed by sadness or guilt
- You don’t have any interest in activities or things that once made you happy
- Changes in sleep patterns such as sleeping too little or sleeping too much
- You have thoughts of harming yourself or others
- You have trouble bonding with your baby
- You don’t want to eat
- You’re having panic attacks
If these symptoms last longer than two weeks or continue to get worse, you must talk with your OBGYN right away about postpartum depression.
We understand that the postpartum experience is different for every woman. That’s why an OBGYN can provide you with the nuanced care you need to help guide you through everything, from bodily changes to “baby blues." An OBGYN can be an asset to new mothers.
By Falmouth Women's Health
April 07, 2021
HPV stands for human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection that is found in nearly 79 million Americans at this very moment. About 80 percent of men and women who are sexually active will be infected with HPV at some point during their lifetime. While some people with HPV will never know they have it, other strains of HPV can lead to serious health complications including cervical cancer.
Is an HPV test the same as a pap smear?
No, these are two different tests. A pap smear looks for suspicious cellular changes in the cervix to spot precancerous and cancerous cells early. An HPV test, on the other hand, specifically looks for a current HPV infection but won’t be able to detect cervical cell changes. Women should turn to their OBGYN to get both a Pap smear and an HPV test.
How often should I get tested for HPV?
Even if you’ve been vaccinated for HPV or you’ve already gone through menopause, it’s still a good idea to get regular pap smears. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should get a pap smear every three years (if they’ve only had normal pap smear results in the past). Women who’ve had an abnormal pap smear may need to come in once a year. A pap smear should be performed regardless of whether or not you suspect that you might have HPV.
Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should get a pap smear every three years, an HPV test every five years, or both tests together every five years.
How is HPV treated?
Many strains of HPV are shed by the body over time so they don’t require treatment; however, other strains of HPV can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer. Cryosurgery or laser treatment may be used to remove abnormal cells from the cervix or genital warts.
Should I get vaccinated against HPV?
The CDC recommends that both men and women between the ages of 11 to 26 should get vaccinated for HPV, as this vaccine can protect against many of the strains that can lead to cervical cancer. Since the vaccine is only administered to people who’ve never had HPV before, it’s a good idea to talk with your OBGYN about getting your teen vaccinated before they become sexually active.
You must be getting regular pap smears and HPV tests from your OBGYN if you are sexually active. These screening tools are the most effective ways to detect this common STI. Call your OBGYN if it’s time to schedule your next pap smear or if you are interested in STI testing.
By Falmouth Women's Health
March 09, 2021
We understand the turmoil and grief that comes from a miscarriage. It’s important to know that you are not alone. Miscarriages are incredibly common. In fact, about 15-25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Recovering from a miscarriage both physically and mentally takes time, and your OBGYN can provide you with the tools, advice, and support you need to recover from this sudden loss.
Bleeding after Miscarriage
Whether you had to go through a D&C or you had a natural miscarriage, it is completely normal to bleed immediately after. The bleeding will be heavy for several hours, and it’s normal for it to contain tissue and clots. The bleeding will lighten and go away after 1-2 weeks. Only wear pads, not tampons, while bleeding.
Getting Your Period
It is normal for the first period after a miscarriage to be a little different than what you’re normally used to. Your period could be unusually heavy, or you may only experience spotting. It can take one cycle before your period returns to normal and it should be normal by the second cycle after your miscarriage. If you are still dealing with irregularities after your second cycle, you should talk with your OBGYN.
Most OBGYNs will give you the go-ahead to have sex again after about two weeks, but your OBGYN will need to have you come in for a follow-up to make sure that you’re not still bleeding. If you are, your doctor may ask you to wait a little longer.
Addressing Your Emotions
Your OBGYN has worked with many women who have experienced miscarriages, and they understand that what you are going through is traumatic and stressful. Some ways to support your emotional health during this time include,
- Spend more time with friends and family
- Ask for help and support when you need it
- Talk to other women who have also experienced miscarriages (there are support groups that can help)
- Talk to your OBGYN if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression (they can provide counseling referrals)
- Get adequate nutrition and maintain a healthy, nourishing diet
- Get regular exercise
- Turn to meditation or other outlets for stress relief
- Make sure you are getting good sleep every night
Many women who have experienced a miscarriage worry that they may experience another one, but it’s important to note that women who have had a miscarriage in the past are not at a higher risk for future miscarriages. Many women go on to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies after a miscarriage.
Remember that you do not have to go through the recovery process alone. Many women seek solace in their OBGYN after a miscarriage. When you are ready, they can also guide you through the steps of getting pregnant again and providing you with the support system and compassionate care you need.
By Falmouth Women's Health
January 28, 2021
A Google search will show you thousands upon thousands of women who are wondering whether bleeding is okay during pregnancy. We understand that bleeding can be scary, especially if you aren’t sure what’s causing it. Here’s what you should know about bleeding, including when to turn to an OBGYN.
Bleeding During Your First Trimester
Your body is going through a ton of changes, especially during the first trimester. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that as many as 30 percent of women experience some sort of spotting or light bleeding during early pregnancy. Some of the causes of light bleeding or spotting include,
Implantation bleeding: After about 6 to 12 days after conception, some women experience cramping and light spotting. This is known as implantation bleeding. While some women may assume that their period is coming (since implantation bleeding usually appears a few days before a woman’s period), implantation bleeding is very light and may cause pink or brown spotting that may only last a day or two.
Cervical polyps: These (often) benign polyps are common in women and can lead to inflammation and spots of bright red blood. You may not experience any other symptoms apart from light bleeding, but your OBGYN can diagnose polyps during a pelvic exam.
Pelvic exams, intercourse, or infection: Anything that may irritate the cervix may result in bleeding. This includes infections, intercourse, or a pelvic exam. If you notice some drops of bright red blood after intercourse or a pelvic exam, don’t worry. It will go away on its own.
Bleeding During Second and Third Trimester
While light bleeding is fairly normal during the first trimester, it’s less common and more likely to be a concern if there is bleeding in the second or third trimester. If you are bleeding during your second or third trimester it’s best to talk with your OBGYN as it could be a sign of,
- Placental abruption
- Problems with the cervix such as an infection
- Placenta previa
- Premature labor
Bleeding: When to be Concerned
Since bleeding could be a sign of a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or other serious problems, you must talk with your OBGYN about any bleeding you experience. You should call your doctor right away if,
- Your bleeding lasts more than 24 hours
- Bleeding is heavy or you pass blood clots or tissue
- Your bleeding is accompanied by abdominal pain, fevers, or chills
If you have any concerns about symptoms or issues during pregnancy, your OBGYN can provide you with the answers and care you need. Don’t ever hesitate to call your OBGYN if you are worried about bleeding or other problems. A simple phone call can determine whether you need to come in for an evaluation.
By Falmouth Women's Health
January 13, 2021
Tags: Bladder Infection
Having trouble going? It could be due to a bladder infection.
You’ve been running back and forth to the bathroom all day and you’ve noticed an increased urgency to pee, even after you’ve just gone. What gives? Well, if you notice burning or pain with urination you could very well be dealing with a bladder infection. Most people will experience a bladder infection at least once during their lifetime. If you are experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection you may want to call your OBGYN for a checkup.
What are the signs of a bladder infection?
Bladder infections are one of the most common urinary tract infections (UTIs). If you have a bladder infection you may experience,
- Strong-smelling urine
- Cloudy urine
- Increased urgency and frequency of urination
- Abdominal cramping
- Burning with urination
- Pain that lingers after urinating
If you are experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection you must see your OBGYN right away for treatment. Bladder infections will require prescription medication to treat the infection. If left untreated, bacteria from the bladder can spread to the kidneys, leading to intense back pain, chills, fever, and vomiting.
How is a bladder infection treated?
Your OBGYN will prescribe an oral antibiotic to kill the bacteria in the bladder. You may also receive medication to ease burning and pain with urination. You must be drinking plenty of fluids to flush out bacteria in the bladder.
You should see an improvement in your symptoms after 2 days of taking the antibiotics, but you mustn’t stop taking your medication once you start to feel better, as the infection can return.
Is there a way to prevent bladder infections?
There are certain lifestyle adjustments that you can make to prevent the development of a bladder infection. Some of these habits include,
- Drinking enough water every day
- Taking showers over a bath
- Not douching or using scented feminine products
- Wearing loose-fitting clothes
- Urinating immediately before and after intercourse
From bladder infections to birth control options, your OBGYN can be an invaluable source to turn to for treatment and care. If you are dealing with recurring bladder infections, you’ll definitely want to talk with your OBGYN to find out what could be causing your frequent infections.