If you are sexually active, getting regular STI screenings is a crucial and proactive practice to adopt for both your health and the health of your future partners. It’s important to know if you have an STI so that the infection can be treated or managed before more serious health complications set in. While using condoms, being monogamous and avoiding risky behaviors can go a long way to keeping you healthy and safe from infection, it’s important that everyone who is sexually active continue to get screened, no matter their age.
When To Get Tested
It’s important to get routine screenings even if you feel fine and aren’t experiencing symptoms, as many people with STIs don’t ever experience symptoms. Even when symptoms do arise it’s easy to mistake them for less serious issues such as the common cold or flu virus. Did you know that some STIs present with a fever, sore throat and muscle aches? What might seem like the regular influenza virus could actually be an STI. Furthermore, it’s not that uncommon to be exposed to more than one STI at a time. So, you could have multiple infections and not know it.
While a lot of people feel nervous or even embarrassed to get STI screenings, having an OBGYN or medical doctor that you trust is the most important. Trust us; they’ve heard it all, so you should feel comfortable talking to your doctor about your sexual health. Being as honest as possible about your current or past sexual history is important to make sure you get the proper medical care.
Even though untreated STIs can lead to more serious health problems down the road, the good news is that many STIs can easily be treated if the infection is caught early enough. Even incurable STIs like hepatitis, herpes, and HIV can be managed through simple lifestyle changes and medications to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms and to improve your quality of life.
Even if you come in once a year for a wellness checkup or Pap smear, this doesn’t mean that you are getting screened for an STI. Of course, during your routine exam you can ask to also be screened for STIs. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, having an untreated STI can cause serious health risks for your unborn child.
It’s important that you get regular STI testing to ensure that you and your partners enjoy a safe and healthy lifestyle!
Whether you think you might be pregnant or you already took a home pregnancy test that came back positive, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN as soon as possible. Regular prenatal visits are the best way to monitor the health of both you and your baby while also tracking the development of the fetus. These visits are important for every pregnant woman, not just women who are dealing with health issues or a high-risk pregnancy.
During your first prenatal visit, which usually occurs after your eighth week of pregnancy, we will check your vitals (height, weight, blood pressure, etc.), and run blood and urine tests to test for current infections (including STDs) and to confirm your blood type (your blood type and the father’s blood type are important for the health of your child).
An ultrasound may also be performed to determine how far along you are in the pregnancy as well as your expected due date. A physical exam, including a pelvic exam, will be conducted. Your obstetrician will also take time to talk with you about your family history and your own detailed medical history.
It’s important to provide as much information as possible about any preexisting health conditions, surgeries and previous pregnancies you’ve had. This is also a great time to ask any questions you might have regarding diet, exercise, lifestyle or managing your pregnancy symptoms (e.g. morning sickness).
If all test results come back normal and you have a healthy pregnancy then you’ll only need to see your OBGYN every month for the first 28 weeks of your pregnancy. Once you reach 28 weeks you’ll come in twice a week until you are 36 weeks into your pregnancy. From 36 weeks until the birth of your baby you’ll have weekly checkups.
During these visits, your OBGYN may also run special tests to check for gestational diabetes and other conditions, depending on your family history and age. Genetic testing can also be performed to check the health of your child and to determine if there are any genetic disorders present.
It’s important that you find an obstetrician that you can trust to provide you with compassionate and thorough care and support throughout your pregnancy.
Getting older means overcoming many different obstacles as your life and your body change. But you must deal with one that is uniquely female: menopause and the symptoms that come with it. You know the symptoms commonly associated with menopause—hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness—but did you know that they are treatable and that menopause doesn’t have to be insurmountable?
If you have moderate to severe symptoms, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an effective treatment for hot flashes and can also help elevate vaginal dryness and mood issues. It has traditionally been administered with pills like birth control, but also like birth control it can now be taken through patches, creams, gels, and vaginal rings. If you have not had a hysterectomy, you could be prescribed estrogen and progesterone, called combination HRT. If you have had a hysterectomy, estrogen alone would be prescribed.
Not all women are candidates for HRT. Those who have breast or uterine cancer, blood clots, heart or liver disease, or have had a stroke would be better candidates for the following options.
Vaginal estrogen is a lower dose of estrogen that comes as a cream, tablet, or ring and is placed in the vagina to treat vaginal dryness if you don’t have hot flashes. Vaginal lubricants and moisturizers are non-prescription options to treat dryness as well. Lubricants can help decrease friction and ease intercourse, but be sure to only use water-soluble products designed for the vagina to avoid irritating tender tissue. Moisturizers can improve or maintain vaginal moisture if you have mild vaginal atrophy and can also keep your pH level low, ensuring a healthy vaginal environment. They can also be used regularly with longer-lasting effects than lubricants.
Prescription antidepressant medications are often used to treat mood problems, like depression, with relatively few side effects. They have also been used to treat hot flashes. However, if you are having mood issues, be sure to talk with your doctor to identify the cause and decide on the best treatment.
You’d be surprised how far simple lifestyle changes, like eating a healthy diet and regularly exercising, can go in minimizing menopause symptoms. Wearing light-weight pajamas, using layered bedding that can easily be removed, and using a fan in your bedroom can help with night sweats while keeping a regular sleep schedule and nighttime routine can make falling asleep and staying asleep easier.
The onset of menopause is a big change, and dealing with its symptoms can be daunting. But you don’t have to take on this new phase in your life alone. No matter if you are suffering severe symptoms or you just have some questions of what to expect as you get older, our office is here to help. Call to schedule your appointment today.
Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant soon? Regular visits to your obstetrician can help you and your baby stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. Dr. J. Gabriel Guajardo offers pregnancy care and gynecological services to women in the Brownsville, TX, area.
What does pregnancy care include?
Your OB/GYN provides a variety of services, testing, and treatments during your pregnancy, including:
- Prenatal Counseling: Prenatal counseling can help identify any issues that may affect your ability to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term. Counseling is recommended about six months before you plan to become pregnant.
- Periodic Office Visits: During your visits, your Brownsville OB/GYN will evaluate your health and recommend lifestyle and dietary changes that will help ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy. Visits will include an examination, weight checks, and blood pressure and urine tests. Blood pressure tests identify conditions that may affect your pregnancy, such as chronic hypertension or preeclampsia, while a urine test detects high blood sugar levels that can occur if you have gestational diabetes. Treating these diseases and conditions as soon as they are identified will help you and your baby remain healthy.
- Genetic Counseling: Genetic counseling may be recommended if there are any known genetic diseases in your family, you're over 35, you've had a child with a genetic defect, or you've had an abnormal result from a test.
- Ultrasounds: Ultrasounds are used to date your pregnancy and ensure that your baby is developing normally.
- Testing: Your OB/GYN may recommend blood or other tests throughout your pregnancy, including tests that can identify chromosomal abnormalities or defects, such as alpha-fetoprotein screening, amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. You'll also participate in a glucose challenge test, a screening that determines if you have gestational diabetes.
- Management of High-Risk Pregnancies: High-risk pregnancies require more frequent visits and closer supervision than other pregnancies. Your pregnancy may be considered high risk if you've had a pre-term delivery or recurrent miscarriages in the past, are carrying more than one baby, are 35 or older, or have placental problems, cervical insufficiency, high blood pressure, or pre-existing or gestational diabetes.
- Discussions About Labor and Delivery: During your last trimester, your doctor will provide information about what you can expect during labor and delivery and discuss your birth plan with you.
Pregnancy care is an important factor in a healthy pregnancy. If you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant, schedule an appointment with our Brownsville, TX, OB/GYN, Dr. Guajardo, at (956) 350-4821.
OBGYNS recommend that women come in for a postpartum visit approximately 6 weeks after giving birth. Unfortunately, medical reports state that the percentage of women that actually go to these appointments is staggeringly low. Of course, while a woman’s primary focus might be to care for their little one, it’s also important that women are getting the proper care they need to tackle their new role as a mother.
Any woman who has just given birth can tell you just how much pregnancy changes your body. Perhaps it changed it in ways you didn’t even imagine. So it goes without saying that those nine months of changes means that it’s going to take time for your body to bounce back to the way it was pre-baby. If you had a vaginal delivery it’s normal to experience vaginal discharge, urination problems, hemorrhoids, mood swings, hair loss, contractions, and vaginal soreness.
It’s important that you have an OBGYN that you trust to answer your questions and provide you with advice and help when you need it. An OBGYN can also be a wonderful source of emotional and mental support, which can be invaluable for a new mother.
One issue that’s often discussed during the postpartum phase is mood swings. Some women experience the “postpartum blues”, which only lasts a few weeks; however, postpartum depression is characterized by intense feelings of sadness and anxiety that can last up to one year. As you might imagine, postpartum depression can have a profound impact on a woman’s outlook and mood, making it particularly challenging when she has a new baby to take care of. An OBGYN can help provide you with the care you need and, if necessary, offer a referral for a mental health professional that can truly listen to your needs and help you on the road to healing.
Furthermore, if a mother has been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition like diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disorders, or mood disorders prior to pregnancy it’s also important that she has a follow-up visit with her gynecologist after the baby is born to ensure that she is still receiving ongoing maintenance and care for these long-term health problems to keep them in check.
It’s important that all women take postpartum care seriously to ensure that they continue to maintain good physical and mental health. Taking the time to care for yourself is important, even though you have a new baby to take care of. Ensuring that your health is in tip-top shape will allow you to spend more time with your beautiful family.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.