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Notes on Women's Health

Notes on Women's Health

4 Reasons to Get a Flu Shot If You’re Pregnant

Should I get a flu shot while pregnant?Annual flu shots are an easily-accessible and preventative measure for almost everyone. The flu is much more than simply a bad cold. Although both the common cold and the flu may cause upper respiratory symptoms, influenza can be serious and even fatal. As reported by CBS News, around 80,000 Americans died from the flu and related complications during the winter of 2017/2018. The flu leaves patients open to other life-threatening infections like pneumonia. It is especially crucial that high-risk groups be vaccinated against the flu every year. These groups include the elderly, young children, and pregnant women.

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Am I a Good Candidate for Gynecological da Vinci Surgery?

Am I a Good Candidate for Gynecological da Vinci Surgery?Years ago, patients who needed gynecological surgery only had a single option — an open procedure. In open procedures, the surgeon makes a large incision to carry out the operation resulting in the potential for greater postoperative pain, larger scars and longer recovery times. Today, laparoscopic surgery options have replaced that invasive procedure.

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Looking for an OB-GYN in Connecticut? Here are Six Considerations

OB-GYN in ConnecticutChoosing any healthcare provider is an important decision and one that requires some basic research. When searching for an OB-GYN in Connecticut, there are several factors to consider during your exploration that can impact your final selection, and ultimately, help you find the right fit for your long-term women’s healthcare needs. While you may also have priorities of your own in mind, these six considerations can help get you started on your search.

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The ARRIVE Clinical Trial: New evidence supports the safety of elective labor induction at 39 weeks

Pregnant woman counting down days until laborThe normal human gestation period is nine months or 40 weeks. Of course, real life is rarely textbook perfect, and most women do not go into spontaneous labor at exactly 40 weeks, 0 days of pregnancy. The majority of babies arrive a few days before or after this mark, and this mild unpunctuality is usually not a cause for concern.

As of 2009, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reported that almost one-quarter (22%) of all pregnant women in the United States underwent induction of labor. This figure had more than doubled since 1990. Of course, many women have inductions for medically-indicated reasons, but elective inductions are also popular for reasons of convenience or to choose their child’s birth date. Read More

What Determines a Pregnancy High-Risk and What Can You Expect?

Pregnant woman with husbandMany women are concerned about health risks during pregnancy that may affect both themselves and their child. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a high-risk pregnancy is “one that threatens the health or life of the mother or her fetus.” But what are these risk factors, and how do you know if your pregnancy is high-risk? And if your pregnancy is high-risk, how will your prenatal course differ from a “normal” pregnancy? We will answer these questions below and provide some general advice for women during a high-risk pregnancy.

What Makes a Pregnancy High-Risk?

There are hundreds of factors that could raise the risk of any pregnancy. These factors can be broadly separated into controllable and uncontrollable categories. Controllable risk factors include problems like smoking or other substance abuse, obesity and poor diet. Examples of uncontrollable risk factors are maternal age, family medical history, preexisting diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and infections such as HIV. Read More

The End of Essure as a Permanent Birth Control Option: What You Need to Know

Patient speaking with doctor about birth control and EssureA look back at Essure

It’s been almost 16 years since the Food and Drug Administration approved Essure in late 2002. Back then, Essure was created as an alternative to tubal ligation, a surgical procedure in which a woman’s “tubes are tied” — or, more accurately, clamped and sealed, resulting in sterilization and permanent birth control.

How does Essure work?

Essure implants consist of two tiny, implantable metal coils that are inserted into the fallopian tubes — a pair of tubes along which eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Once inside the fallopian tubes, Essure implants cause scar tissue to gradually form, eventually blocking the tubes and preventing fertilization of a woman’s eggs. While tubal ligation is considered major surgery that requires local, general or spinal anesthesia, Essure involves a simpler procedure that can be done in a doctor’s office, with less anesthesia required.

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6 Reasons a Cesarean (C-Section) May be Necessary

Baby feet with pink ribbonA Cesarean section, more commonly known as a C-section, is a method of delivery that involves making an incision through a woman’s lower abdomen and into her uterus to deliver the infant. C-sections are very common. In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 31.9% of all recorded US births in 2016 were by C-section. This figure means that roughly one in three deliveries occurred via C-section.

When a C-Section May be Medically Necessary

Worldwide C-sections have saved the lives and preserved the health of hundreds of thousands of babies and mothers when they are medically necessary. Following our instances where a c-section may be required: Read More

Aging, Fertility and a Woman’s Biological Clock

Pregnant woman on bed American women are having babies later in life. The last few decades have seen the average age at which women have their first child gradually rise, and this trend has been particularly notable since 2016. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, more women are first becoming mothers in their thirties rather than their twenties. This is the first time this phenomenon has been observed in American history. Furthermore, the only segment of the population to see an overall increase in birth rates since 2016 is women over 40.

A combination of factors is likely driving this shift in average maternal age. Now that women have access to a plethora of educational opportunities and occupations, many choose to firmly establish their careers before having children. Additionally, advances in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other fertility treatments mean that older women are now more likely to have successful pregnancies than in the past. So, is there still such a thing as the biological clock for women today? Read More

Over-the-Counter Medications During Pregnancy

over the counter medications during pregnancyAnything that a pregnant woman puts into her body has the potential to affect her baby. Diet, illicit substances, prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter (OTC) medications can all have a profound impact on the health and development of a baby. While your medical team should be aware of your pregnancy so that they do not prescribe potentially harmful medications, what about over the counter medications during pregnancy?

Pregnant women are susceptible to the same common medical issues as anyone else – colds, allergies, diarrhea, etc. Additionally, it is not uncommon for expectant mothers to encounter problems with a variety of minor complaints like heartburn, constipation and body aches. You need to know which non-prescription medications are safe for you and your baby.

You should always consult your prenatal care provider starting any medication or vitamins and supplements during pregnancy. In fact, many OB-GYN offices will provide you with a list of safe medications – just ask. That said, here are some general  guidelines for over the counter medications during pregnancy. Read More

Gestational Diabetes: Management and Prevention

gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a temporary form of diabetes mellitus, a disease where blood sugar levels rise higher than normal. Blood sugar is usually regulated by the hormone called insulin. However, in gestational diabetes, a woman’s body does not produce sufficient insulin to control blood sugar levels, and with high amounts of blood sugar can come short and long-term problems in both expectant mothers and their babies.

Unfortunately, cases of gestational diabetes are becoming more frequent, with approximately 2-5% of pregnant women developing it, which increases to 7-9% if there are additional risk factors. This increase is mainly due to the obesity epidemic in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about half of all women with gestational diabetes continue to suffer from diabetes mellitus after their pregnancy. Read More