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Posts for category: Women's Health

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
January 16, 2019
Category: Women's Health
Tags: Bladder Infection  

Bladder infections have a way of making themselves known. You may be making multiple trips to the bathroom, feeling like you constantly have to go again. But once you’re in there, you may feel burning or stinging every time you pee. That’s the most distinct sign of a bladder infection.

What is a bladder infection?

A bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection or UTI. This is an infection anywhere in the urinary tract, like the bladder, kidneys, or urethra. Usually, bladder infections are acute, which means that they occur suddenly. They can sometimes be chronic, which means that they recur over a long term.

Bladder infections are caused by bacteria that enter through the urethra and move into the bladder. Normally, the body can remove the bacteria by flushing them out during urination. However, bacteria can sometimes attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly. Infections can occur when bacteria from the stool get onto the skin and enter the urethra. This is common with women since the urethra is short and the outer opening isn’t far from the anus.

Symptoms of Bladder Infections

The symptoms of a bladder infection may vary between people, depending on the severity of the infection. Some common symptoms include:

  • Pain or burning while urinating
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Cramping in the lower abdomen or lower back

Treating and Preventing Bladder Infections

Bladder infections are treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the bladder infection. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help relieve the symptoms associated with the bladder infection.

There are many things that you can do in order to prevent bladder infections, such as:

  • Drink six to eight glasses of water daily
  • Drink cranberry juice daily
  • Urinate as soon as you feel the need, don’t hold it
  • Take showers instead of baths
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes
  • Avoid using a diaphragm or spermicide

See Your Doctor Today

Don’t live with the pain of a bladder infection any longer. Call your doctor today to schedule an appointment or ask any questions about bladder infections!

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
November 16, 2018
Category: Women's Health
Tags: Endometriosis   Pain  

Managing endometriosis

Endometriosis is a gynecological condition affecting millions of American women of child-bearing years. An extreme overgrowth of the lining of the uterus (endometrium), this painful and persistent malady leaves some women infertile, in pain and even debilitated from the symptoms. Are you one of them? A visit with your OB/GYN doctor will uncover the reasons and treatments for your endometriosis.

Symptoms of endometriosis

The most frequent symptom is severe cramping before, during and after menstruation. Periods may be unusually long in duration or very short. Lower back pain and migraine headaches occur through out the monthly cycle, and many women report difficulty with bowel movements and a feeling of "heaviness"in the lower abdomen.

Some sufferers of endometriosis experience weight gain and unfortunately...infertility. Endometriosis can block the fallopian tubes and interior of the uterus so sperm cannot reach and fertilize eggs. Endometrial tissue often appears in odd areas such as on the ovaries or the bowel.

Who gets endometriosis?

The Office on Women's Health reports that a full 11 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 suffer with endometriosis. The condition appears to run in families, and it is common among women who have never had children. Autoimmune conditions such as allergies, MS and Lupus often co-exist with endometriosis.

Finding and treating endometriosis

Reporting your symptoms of endometriosis to your obstetrician/gynecologist is critical to diagnosis and treatment. He or she will perform a pelvic examination and may do ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging.

Treatment options vary, but frankly, surgery usually is not a first choice. Medical management with hormones and pain medications is preferable. Your OB/GYN will want to monitor your symptoms and treatment plan closely to help you manage this often-frustrating condition.

In addition, many women experience significant symptom relief if they:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Deep breathe through periods of abdominal or lower back pain.
  • Manage stress levels and the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the bloodstream.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits, and reduce gluten and refined sugars which produce inflammatory reactions in the abdomen.
It's possible
 
You can live well with endometriosis. Thoughtfully record your symptoms, and then, go see your OB/GYN physician. Together, you can work through this difficult condition and optimize your comfort, fertility and overall wellness.
By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
May 15, 2018
Category: Women's Health
Tags: OBGYN   Menopause  

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?

Hormone Therapy

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.

Non-hormonal Therapy

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.

Lifestyle Changes

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.

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
May 09, 2018
Category: Women's Health
Tags: Pregnancy  

Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant soon? Regular visits to your obstetrician can help you and your baby stay healthy pregnancy carethroughout 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.

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
February 16, 2018
Category: Women's Health
Tags: OBGYN   Vaginal Odors  

This might be an embarrassing conversation to start but it’s one that every woman faces at some point during her lifetime. While this might not be a topic you’ll wantVaginal Odors, OBGYN to bring up with your girlfriends, if you are experiencing this issue it’s always a good idea to turn to your OBGYN for more information. After all, this change in vaginal odor could be trying to tell you that there is an issue. Here are some reasons why you might be experiencing this problem and what you should do about it.

An Infection

This is often the most obvious reason why a woman faces unpleasant vaginal odor. There are several different kinds of infections that could be to blame. One common infection is bacterial vaginosis, which may also cause burning during urination and a grayish-white discharge. In most cases, this condition is treated with antibiotics.

Of course, trichomoniasis (a parasitic STD) or a yeast infection could also be to blame. Some yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal medications, but trichomoniasis will require a round of antibiotics. To play it safe, visit your gynecologist right away if you noticing any of these symptoms.

Your Hormones

It goes without saying that your hormones fluctuate throughout the month and you may find that you experience a change in vaginal odor in that small window after ovulation but before your period. During the start of menopause, women may also notice an unpleasant watery discharge, which is often the result of reduced levels of estrogen. In this case, a gynecologist may prescribe a vaginal cream that contains estrogen, which can help reduce or even eliminate this unpleasant symptom.

If you are a woman in her mid-40s or older and noticing changes in vaginal odor, you could be going through menopause. Turn to your OBGYN to get all of your questions addressed about the symptoms you may be having as you approach menopause.

Sweat

Just as sweating anywhere else can bring about an unpleasant change in body odor, sweating down below can also cause vaginal odor. Athletes, wearing tight clothing or being overweight can also increase your chances of developing a sweat-related vaginal odor. If this is something that happens to you, make sure to wear more breathable fabrics (e.g. cotton), change wet workout clothes immediately or lose the excess weight (if necessary).

If your vaginal odor is accompanied by symptoms such as itching, burning, redness, pain, discharge or sores, you need to visit a gynecologist right away for treatment.