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Notes on Women's Health
Notes on Women's Health

Category: Patient Education

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): What You Can Do for PMS Relief

Woman wanting PMS ReliefWe hear it all the time: “My husband doesn’t know who I am,” “I can’t stop yelling at the kids,” “I’m crying all the time,” and “After I get my period, everything’s better.” Almost every woman will experience PMS symptoms in her life. About 70% of women will suffer from headaches, mood swings, bloating and other problems that can affect their relationships and sense of wellbeing. And in about 20% of these women, the symptoms are severe enough to require medical treatment. So if you found your way to this blog in search of PMS relief, you’re not alone.

But what’s a woman to do during those difficult days every month? Read More

The Benefits of Da Vinci Hysterectomy Surgery for Patients

Woman smiling after Da Vinci hysterecetomy surgeryA hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, and this operation is an exceptionally common procedure with over half a million hysterectomies performed in the United States every year. Gynecologists employ the procedure to treat a range of both cancerous and benign conditions including tumors, uterine fibroids, and heavy or prolonged menstrual periods, also known as menorrhagia. Depending on the condition being treated, the patient’s age, and other factors, a hysterectomy may be performed along with a salpingo-oophorectomy – removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes. There are several options performing a hysterectomy procedure, one of which is a Da Vinci hysterectomy, which offers patients several distinct benefits. Read More

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

Child’s obesity linked to how much – or how little – mom gained during pregnancy

home_pregnancy (2)If you gain too much or too little weight while pregnant, a new study has found that your child has a greater risk of being overweight or obese. The study caught our attention since weight  – “How much or how little should I gain?” – is one of the first questions many of our patients ask us.

The researchers studied 4,145 women and their children, ages 2 to 5, all members of Kaiser Permanente health care plans in Northern California. The women participants were racially diverse and all had a normal body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy, which according to guidelines established by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) means they should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. Read More

Vaccines During Pregnancy: Are They Safe?

There’s been a lot of conflicting information lately about vaccines during pregnancy. And not surprisingly, we hear a lot of questions on this topic at our medical practice. The short answer to the “are vaccines safe” question is that certain vaccines are strongly recommended during pregnancy, and that the known benefits of these vaccines are generally believed to outweigh any potential concerns.

Here are a few of the more common questions we’ve heard, along with our answers.

What is a vaccine and how does it work?

Most vaccines are solutions that contain a weakened, killed or similar version of a virus or organism that causes a particular disease. Vaccines take advantage of the fact that immune systems can “remember” infectious organisms and viruses.

Read More

da Vinci Surgery In The News: How Safe Is It?

A few days ago, I saw a local newspaper article that described a botched robotic surgery from 2009. The article went on to claim that new surgical technologies such as the da Vinci® Surgical System are not always properly evaluated by physicians and hospitals in terms of their potential harm to patients. Perhaps most alarming, the article noted that there are questions about the experience and expertise of many of the surgeons who use the equipment.

I always encourage my patients to be fully informed about the advantages and potential risks of any procedure they’re considering. From my perspective, the recent media coverage provides an excellent opportunity to explain robotic surgery and review what you can do to help prevent the kind of complications mentioned in the article. Finally, at the end of this blog you’ll find a description of my practice and what my patients can expect if they choose robotic surgery.

Read More

Screening With Ultrasound Can Help Prevent Preterm Births

Increasing Frequency of Preterm Births

As a Connecticut ob/gyn for the past 20-plus years, I’ve seen a several trends develop. One of the most disappointing trends has been a widespread increase in the frequency of preterm births, or babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy. Preterm births are closely associated with developmental disabilities, other complications and infant mortality during the first year after birth. Preterm births in the United States have increased by an estimated 36% since 1981, partly due to the increased use of assisted reproductive technology. In the United States and Europe, approximately 1 million “preemies” are born every year.

Good News for Preventing Preterm Births

With all of this in mind, I was encouraged to see a recent article in the February 2012 American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG), which described a study that pooled the results of several independent tests around the world from the past few years — and found remarkably consistent results. The focus of the study was progesterone (a hormone involved in menstruation and pregnancy), and its relation to the cervix (the lower, narrow portion of the uterus where it joins with the top of the vagina). This ACOG article on preventing preterm births made several important points, including the following: Read More