Your annual well-woman examination from your OB-GYN is an assessment of your reproductive health as well as the condition of your genitourinary system (the reproductive system and the urinary organs), and for adult women under the age of 65, will routinely include a pelvic exam and Pap smear. Many women mistakenly think that a Pap smear checks for multiple sexually transmitted infections (STI), also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STD), but in reality, this is not the case. In fact, STI testing is not a standard part of an annual well-woman examination.
Over 11,000 American women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year. The average age at diagnosis is in the early forties, so a significant portion of cervical cancer patients is still in their child-bearing years. Additionally, since many women are now waiting well into their thirties before becoming pregnant, fertility preservation has become a major concern for many who are facing cervical cancer.
An ectopic pregnancy is any pregnancy where the fertilized egg attaches and begins to grow outside of the uterus or womb. In a normal pregnancy, a fertilized egg develops into a fetus in the lining of the uterus. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants elsewhere within the female reproductive system. Over 95% of the time, an ectopic pregnancy implants in the fallopian tubes, the tubes that run from the ovaries to the uterus. However, in rare cases, an ectopic pregnancy may occur in the cervix, intra-abdominal area, or another location.
Women from all walks of life can suffer from disruptive symptoms secondary to pelvic floor dysfunction. The pelvis encircles multiple vital structures in women, such as the uterus, bladder and rectum. The muscles that support these structures are known as the pelvic floor.
Endometriosis Awareness takes place across the globe during the month of March with a mission to raise awareness of the disease, which occurs in about one in ten women of reproductive age. It is most often diagnosed in women in their 30s and 40s. Endometriosis can impact a woman’s quality of life if mild to severe pain exists, and if left untreated, can lead to infertility. Because of its impact, it’s important to understand the facts around endometriosis so that you can benefit from early detection and treatment. Read More
This is the fifth in a series of five blogs about conditions that can be related to abnormal uterine bleeding.
Mild vs. serious menstrual cramp pain
Most women experience mild to moderate menstrual cramping on occasion. When it occurs, the medical term for it is usually “primary dysmenorrhea,” which means painful menstrual cramps caused only by normal menstruation and not by an underlying condition or disease. Symptoms of normal primary dysmenorrhea can include pain that:
- feels like mild to moderate cramps in your lower pelvis or back
- occurs a day or two before your period or during the first few days of your period
- is accompanied by mild nausea or diarrhea
- doesn’t interfere with your daily activities
- improves with one or two doses of ibuprofen
Primary dysmenorrhea is caused by the release of chemical compounds called prostaglandins in your uterus, and it often improves as you get older. Primary dysmenorrhea often responds well to prostaglandin-lowering treatments such as ibuprofen, magnesium and certain dietary changes. Read More
This is the third in a series of five blogs about common conditions that can cause abnormal uterine bleeding.
What 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
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.
Join me on Thursday, October 27 at 7:30 pm at Norwalk Hospital for a free educational seminar to discusss Minimally Invasive Surgery for the treatment of Pelvic Prolapse, Uterine Fibroids and Endometriosis. To register call 1-866-NHB-WELL.
In my last blog, I mentioned that da Vinci surgery provides precision that’s crucial when working in close proximity to delicate organs like the bladder. In addition, the camera technology provides a great deal of detail. If you’re facing the prospect of surgery and you think of the kind of surgery you’d prefer to have, hopefully words like detail and precision are ones that come to mind.
This combination of detail and precision makes da Vinci very well suited for a variety of surgery types and procedures, including several that I do regularly as part of my medical practice. For this blog I thought I’d talk about da Vinci surgery and hysterectomy. Read More