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Notes on Women's Health

Notes on Women's Health

Connecticut OBGYN Dr. John Garofalo is Appointed Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine

Connecticut OBGYN ProfessorThe University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine is pleased to announce that Faculty Affairs has appointed Connecticut OBGYN Dr. John Garofalo Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The University’s Office of Faculty Affairs assists and supports the faculty of the Robert Larner M.D. College of Medicine in their clinical, teaching, research, and administrative roles on the UVM Medical Center campus, as well as our teaching faculty throughout Vermont and New York, and at affiliate clinical teaching sites at Norwalk and Danbury Hospitals in Connecticut, Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, and St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Read More

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Symptoms and When to be Concerned

This is the third in a series of five blogs about common conditions that can cause abnormal uterine bleeding.

pelvic inflammatory disease symptomsWhat is pelvic inflammatory disease?

Infections are never pleasant. They can cause pain, fever, chills, dizziness, fatigue and other symptoms. But when infections occur in your reproductive organs, they can be especially difficult. When your reproductive organs are subjected to bacteria from by a sexually transmitted disease, inflammation can occur. When it does, this condition is called pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID. If left untreated, pelvic inflammatory disease can interfere with your ability to have children: It’s the leading cause of preventable infertility in women. It’s also a rising concern at our practice, because we’ve seen higher-than-usual incidence of chlamydia, which is one of many sexually transmitted diseases that can lead to PID if untreated. Nationwide, the rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, which are the three most commonly reported sexually transmitted diseases in the United States, have reached record levels in recent years. And because many women are used to periodic pain or are too embarrassed to act, PID can be undiagnosed and untreated, which can lead to additional complications, such as internal scarring, ongoing pain, miscarriages and difficulty getting pregnant, so it’s imperative to understand pelvic inflammatory disease symptoms. Read More

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy (especially this summer)

foods to avoid during pregnancyWith the onset of summer and July 4th just around the corner, so are the poolside lunches, beach picnics and barbeques that offer many of our favorite summertime staples – hotdogs, clambakes, potato salad, club sandwiches – just to name a few. For pregnant women, these events can provide an easy way to get the extra nutrition and calories needed to help ensure the health of you and your baby, but the foods you may want to eat may also be on the list of foods to avoid during pregnancy. Keep in mind, just as important as what you’re eating is what you’re not eating as you head into summer.

The Danger of Listeriosis

Listeriosis is a type of food-borne illness caused by bacteria and pregnant women are 20 times more likely to get listeriosis than the general population. While it may only cause mild, flu-like illness in a pregnant woman, the results to your baby can be life-threatening, so it’s best to avoid foods that are known to carry the bacteria. Read More

Uterine Fibroids: Your Questions Answered

This is the second in a series of five blogs about common conditions that can cause abnormal uterine bleeding.

uterine-fibroids-woman-painUterine Fibroids: A common condition

Of every 10 women who come into our practice, seven of them will have uterine fibroids at some point in their lives. Uterine fibroids are that common. But despite their frequency, many women have questions about fibroids, especially when the condition affects quality of life or causes health issues. Here are answers to some of the fibroid questions we’re asked most often at our practice. Read More

Coping with Endometriosis

what is endometriosis - woman in pain

This is the first in a series of five blogs about common conditions that can cause abnormal uterine bleeding.

Many of our patients experience mild pain and cramping during their menstruation. But what about the patients who are forced to endure severe pain and discomfort, causing them to miss school and work on a monthly basis?

For many of these women, endometriosis is the cause.

The good news is that we are able to offer medical treatments and fertility-sparing surgical options that can alleviate endometriosis pain for most patients.

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Abnormal Bleeding After Menopause: When to be Concerned

Woman on bed complaining of menopause bleeding & cramping You’ve made it through menopause. You’re done with the mood swings and the hot flushes, the fatigue and the cramping. And now, after decades of dealing with regular and irregular uterine bleeding, you’re settling into the latest phase of your body’s development, hopefully with a minimum of fuss. So what does it mean if you start bleeding again? Read More

Pregnancy Week by Week: What to Expect at Your Prenatal Appointments Weeks 10-16

Your Pregnancy Weeks 10-16

pregnancy weeks 10-16Throughout the course of your pregnancy, you will see your doctor about 14 times, assuming all tests are reassuring that your baby is developing just fine. After your first prenatal visit and until week 28 you should plan to see the doctor once a month. Understanding what to expect with your pregnancy week-by-week will help you calm any fears you may have and make the best possible preparations. Here’s what you can expect during your pregnancy weeks 10-16:

Prenatal Appointments: Weeks 10 – 12

Your 2nd prenatal appointment occurs between your 10th and 12th week of pregnancy. Starting now, you’ll realize that almost every prenatal appointment starts with a nurse taking your weight and blood pressure and with a urine sample. The urine test looks for bacteria and high levels of sugar and protein in your system, which could indicate diabetes, urinary tract infection, kidney disease, or preeclampsia (high blood pressure). Preeclampsia typically occurs later in pregnancy if it occurs at all.
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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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