Notes on Women's Health

Notes on Women's Health

An Overview of Your First Prenatal Visit

What to expect at the first prenatal appointment and Why it May Seem like a Marathon

first prenatal visit

On your mark, get set, go! With your obstetrician’s support, you’re on your way to the finish line where you will meet your new baby.  But what checkpoints, and potential roadblocks, does the road ahead hold for you? Once you leave the starting block, you and your obstetrician will navigate the road to motherhood together, starting with your first prenatal visit, which will feel more like a marathon rather than a sprint. At this first appointment, it will take more time than others because of the background information your doctor needs to discuss with you and the time you need to ask your questions.

At our office, we ask our patients to access the Athena Electronic Medical Record Portal available through our website two or three days before the first appointment, other providers may request the same information in different formats. This is an opportunity to have you carefully answer a series of questions that will help your obstetrician determine your due date and identify any potential risk factors.

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Causes of Abnormal Bleeding Around Menopause: Navigating the Changes

Mature woman sitting on bed with manopause cramping and abnormal bleedingMenopause is the time in a woman’s life when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. If you’ve gone through 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, it’s official: you’ve reached menopause. For about 40% of women, that’s all there is to it.

For the other 60% of women, the months or years leading up to menopause can bring a host of symptoms. Brought on by hormonal changes, the symptoms can include insomnia, fatigue, hot flashes, chest pain, cramping, moodiness, vaginal dryness, abdominal weight gain, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, a reduced sex drive, urinary incontinence, and abnormal uterine bleeding — that is, irregular or heavy bleeding. Or both. These changes can bring on confusion and anxiety, especially if you’re not expecting them at this point in your life. Read More

Body Changes During Pregnancy: 3 Common Changes You’ll See and When to Expect Them

Closeup photo of pregnant womanAnyone that has endured a pregnancy will tell you that there are an abundance of both emotional and physical changes that will evolve over the course of 9 months, some that are welcome and some that are not so welcome.

While many of these changes are inevitable, you can prepare now by understanding what the common changes include and when you can expect to experience them.

As you can imagine, we field a lot of questions from our pre-natal care patients, especially as they pertain to their bodies. The following topics are 3 of the most commonly discussed areas with our mothers-to-be regarding their outward appearance:

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Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding During Your Reproductive Years: What You Need to Know

Woman experiencing abnormal bleeding and crampsOne of the most common reasons that patients come to our medical office in Norwalk is because they have questions or concerns related to abnormal vaginal bleeding. This isn’t really a surprise: About a third of all outpatient visits to gynecologists in the United States are for heavy period bleeding, an unusually long period, or unusual bleeding between periods. But even though it’s common, irregular bleeding can be a major cause for concern, especially during pregnancy. And despite its possible effects on a woman’s lifestyle and health, irregular bleeding can be something that patients overlook, especially if the increase in bleeding has occurred gradually. Read More

Connecticut OBGYN Dr. John Garofalo is Awarded AlUM Ultrasound Practice Accreditation

AIUM ultrasound The Ultrasound Practice Accreditation Council of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) is pleased to announce that Dr. John Garofalo has been awarded ultrasound practice accreditation in the areas of Adjunct Competence in 3D (GYN); Gynecologic; Obstetric (First Trimester); Obstetric (Second Trimester); and Obstetric (Third Trimester).

Dr. Garofalo achieved this recognition by meeting rigorous voluntary guidelines set by the diagnostic ultrasound profession. All facets of the practice were assessed, including the training and qualifications of physicians and sonographers; ultrasound equipment maintenance; documentation; storage, and record-keeping practices; policies and procedures to protect patients and staff; quality assurance methods; and the thoroughness, technical quality and interpretation of the sonograms the practice performs. Read More

Finding the Right OBGYN – Important Considerations and Questions to Ask Potential Obstetricians

Finding an OBGYN finding OBGYN(obstetrician) to care for you and your baby is a huge decision to make as you start your journey towards parenthood, so it’s important to find the one that is right for you. If your gynecologist also practices obstetrics and you like your relationship, then it may be as simple as asking him or her to care for you during your pregnancy. But if you find yourself needing an obstetrician, you can start by asking one of your healthcare providers to make a recommendation, talk to other moms in your area, or go to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ website to find an CT obgyn in your area.

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Is Your Body Ready for Pregnancy? 5 Must-Do’s to Increase Your Chances of Conception

couple pre pregnancyMany factors come into play when deciding when it’s the right time to take the plunge into motherhood. Commonly women and their partners make the decision based on where they are in certain aspects of their life, such as family, financial and professional status, as well as the ticking of the woman’s biological clock. But just as important as these influencers, is the physical readiness of the woman’s pre-pregnancy body.

A healthy pregnancy starts long before a positive pregnancy test. If you’re planning to become pregnant here are 5 recommendations to increase your chances of successful conception and the healthiest possible pregnancy for you and your baby: 

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Low Libido in Women: What to Do When Your Sex Drive Fades

low libido in womenLow libido: a fact of life for many women

If you’re experiencing low libido, fear not … you’re not alone! In a recent U.S. study of more than 2,000 women between the ages of 30 and 70, more than a third had low sexual desire. It’s one of the most common concerns we hear from our patients. And it’s no wonder: As women navigate their middle years, they often find themselves deep into a long-term relationship, a career, raising teens, and taking care of aging relatives.

All of these situations can cause stress, which can have a negative effect on your sex life. And that’s just for starters. Read More

Making the Most of Your Surgery through ERA’s at Norwalk Hospital

obgyn surgery prep and recoveryWhen it comes to surgery, one of the most commonly asked questions we hear at our medical practice is “How long does the recovery period last?”

It’s a good question. Surgical recovery times can range from “faster than you think” to “much longer than you expected.” It’s important to have a good idea of how long your recovery will last so you can plan accordingly. No one wants a recovery period to unexpectedly interfere with work, vacations or other plans or obligations.

For many kinds of surgery, there’s a relatively new method that can help your surgical recovery go quickly and smoothly. It’s offered at our practice and at Norwalk Hospital, where we do a lot of our more advanced surgical procedures. This method, or “pathway,” is called Enhanced Recovery After Surgery, or ERAS.

What is Enhanced Recovery After Surgery?

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Weight Loss After Pregnancy: Staying Healthy as You Get Your Body Back

weight loss after pregnancyIt seems like you only need to go as far as the nearest supermarket checkout line to see photos of celebrity moms flaunting their amazing post-pregnancy figures – a few months or even weeks after giving birth. One week it’s Blake Lively, the next week it’s Mila Kunis, giving the impression that managing weight loss after pregnancy is a cinch.

But while speedy celebrity transformations are certainly impressive, are they healthy? What are the effects of rapid weight loss on the new mother – and, indirectly, the new child?

What are the best ways to manage weight loss after pregnancy? These are questions we hear regularly at our practice … and here are a few answers. Read More