My Blog
By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
February 21, 2020
Category: OBGYN
Tags: Menopause  

The Office on Women’s Health states that, on average, menopause starts at age 52. All throughout menopause, your progesterone and estrogen levels will fluctuate while your ovaries struggle to maintain your normal production of hormones. It’s this fluctuation that causes the most common menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep issues, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, and bone loss. Here at the office of gynecologist Dr. J. Gabriel Guajardo in Brownsville, TX, we can help you figure out the most suitable treatments for managing these menopause symptoms. These treatments can include a combination of the following.

Hot Flashes

Certain plant-derived hormones or phytoestrogens, found commonly in soy-based food items, could partially reverse some hormonal changes resulting from menopause. Other supplements that contain phytoestrogens include wild yam, black cohosh, licorice, dong quai, and red clover. However, it’s immensely vital to note that these supplements could interfere with certain medications so you need to speak with your gynecologist in Brownsville, TX, before taking any of these supplements.

Regular exercise, at least 20 minutes three times weekly, could likewise relieve hot flashes by reducing the amount of LH or luteinizing hormone and FSH or follicle-stimulating hormone. It’s also best to avoid triggers such as alcohol, spicy foods, and hot beverages. You should also drink plenty of water and dress in layers that you could easily take off when you become too hot.

Vaginal Dryness

This could greatly affect your sex life. You can try OTC lubricants like KY Jelly before having intercourse or Replens that should be applied daily. You can likewise talk to your doctor about vaginal estrogen rings and vaginal estrogen creams that provide low estrogen doses inside the vagina.

Mood Shifts

Hormonal changes could significantly impact your mood. You could try exercising every day, doing yoga, practicing meditation, avoiding alcohol, restricting your caffeine intake, and eating more veggies and fruits to help boost your mood and overall health. If these strategies fail, you might need therapy and medication.

Urinary Incontinence

Doing Kegel exercises could help make your pelvic floor muscles stronger and improve control over your urethra. You should also limit your consumption of spicy foods and caffeinated or alcoholic drinks to avoid over-stimulating your bladder. Ask your gynecologist about prescription meds for urinary incontinence as well.

A Very Crucial Note on Hormone Replacement Therapy

HRT or hormone replacement therapy basically involves medications that contain female hormones. They work by replacing hormones that your body will stop producing following menopause and are extremely effective are relieving practically all menopause symptoms. However, these meds should only be taken under the care of your gynecologist.

Need Relief from Your Menopause Symptoms?

Visit the office of Dr. J. Gabriel Guajardo, here at Brownsville, TX, or dial (956) 350-4821 to arrange an appointment with your gynecologist.

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
February 12, 2020
Category: OBGYN
Tags: IUD  

More women in the US than ever before have an IUD, or intrauterine device. IUDs have become a popular birth control method for women because of its “set it and forget it” approach. If you’ve been hearing your girlfriend talking about how much they love their IUD it may have you thinking whether or not this is the right option for you. An OBGYN can answer all of your questions and help you make an informed decision about your family planning needs.

Here’s what you should know about getting an IUD and what to expect when you want it removed,

There are different kinds of IUDs

Your gynecologist will discuss the different options during your consultation. There are a variety of different hormonal (progestin-releasing) IUDs on the market; however, if you experience negative effects from hormonal birth control then non-hormonal birth control such as the Paragard (copper) IUD may be the best option for you.

This copper IUD will prevent pregnancy as soon as it’s placed and it can last up to 10 years. The average lifespan of a hormonal IUD is 3-5 years.

The IUD placement procedure is fast

To get an IUD your gynecologist will place a speculum into the vagina where they will then insert the IUD into the opening of your cervix where it will remain in the uterus. The simple procedure is performed right in your gynecologist’s office and it only takes a couple of minutes to place. You may be instructed to take an over-the-counter pain reliever prior to reduce cramping and a local numbing medication may also be applied to the cervix prior to the insertion.

Every woman will respond differently to getting an IUD. Some women may be able to return to work the very same day while others may need to take some time off. It’s best to err on the side of caution and maybe take the day off work so you can manage any symptoms you may have and just take it easy.

The IUD can be removed anytime

If you decide you do want to get pregnant or you no longer need birth control then you will want to discuss this with your gynecologist. The IUD removal process is simple and involves pulling the thread of the device so it collapses and slides right out. It’s important that you don’t try and remove the IUD on your own; it should always be removed by a qualified medical professional.

Have questions about getting an IUD? Want to find out whether this is the best birth control method for you? Then schedule an appointment with your gynecologist today.

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
January 31, 2020
Category: OBGYN
Tags: Genetic Testing  

Finding out you’re pregnant is one of the most exciting moments for soon-to-be-parents. Throughout the course of your pregnancy you will want to have an OBGYN that you trust to guide you through the process and to provide you with the care and treatment you need to ensure a healthy pregnancy for both you and the baby. You will most likely be offered prenatal genetic testing during the first or second trimester of your pregnancy. If so, it’s important to understand more about genetic testing and why it’s done.

What is prenatal genetic testing?

These genetic tests are conducted during pregnancy to screen for certain birth defects and other fetal conditions. It is recommended that all pregnant women go through certain prenatal genetic testing, regardless of age or other risk factors. Of course, your obstetrician may recommend additional genetic testing if there are certain risk factors present.

What are the different kinds of prenatal genetic tests?

Here are the prenatal genetic tests that your OBGYN may offer or recommend:

First Trimester Screening

This screening involves both an ultrasound and blood test to check for certain birth defects including trisomy 18 (Edward’s syndrome), trisomy 13, neural tube defects and Down syndrome (trisomy 21). Even though these abnormalities increase with the mother’s age, it’s recommended that every pregnant women get this testing. This is usually the first set of prenatal genetic testing you’ll receive after you find out you’re pregnant.

Chorionic Villus Sampling

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) is a prenatal test that detects genetic disorders, birth defects and other problems that may occur early on in the pregnancy. This procedure is usually performed within the first 10-12 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy at your OBGYN’s office. This testing can be performed as either a transabdominal CVS or transcervical CVS.

Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis allows your obstetrician to collect amniotic fluid, which can provide important insight into the health of your baby. Amniocentesis can check for fetal infections, can test your baby’s lungs, and check for genetic disorders such as Down syndrome. If amniocentesis is being performed for strictly genetic purposes then this is often performed between 15 to 20 weeks.

There are many reasons a woman or couple may choose to get genetic amniocentesis including advanced maternal age, positive results on other prenatal screenings or unusual ultrasound findings.

Cystic Fibrosis Carrier Screening

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common and dangerous genetic disorders. Since cystic fibrosis is inherited a simple blood test can be performed to see if you are a carrier for CF. Testing positive on the carrier test does not necessarily mean that you will have a child with CF.

AFP + Screening

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a blood test that checks the levels of AFP (a protein produced by the baby’s liver) for signs of a birth defect, Down syndrome or neural tube defects. This test is usually offered between 15 and 20 weeks and is most often recommended in pregnant women over 35, as well as women with diabetes.

Your OBGYN is here to make sure that all of your questions and concerns about you and your baby’s health are addressed during your pregnancy, so if you have any questions about genetic testing your doctor would be happy to sit down with you and discuss these testing options.

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
January 15, 2020
Category: OBGYN
Tags: Mammogram   Breast Exams  

Every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the US, making breast cancer one of the most common cancers to affect American women. Your OBGYN believes in the importance of self-breast exams and getting regular checkups, which not only can detect issues early on but also could end up saving your life. Furthermore, by performing regular self-breast exams you get to understand how your breasts should look and feel so that you know right away when something feels amiss.

First and foremost, you should get used to performing a breast exam on yourself once a month. The best time to perform these exams is a few days after your period ends so your breasts will be less sore and swollen. Most breasts will feel lumpy; this should not be a cause for concern (this is completely normal).

If you notice a new lump or you notice any changes in the texture or shape of your breast then you should also make an appointment with your doctor. You should also seek medical attention if you notice soreness, redness, swelling, or dimpling of the skin. Once a year during your annual women’s checkup, your gynecologist will also perform a simple, noninvasive breast exam.

Women between the ages of 45 and 54 should also be getting a routine mammogram once a year along with their annual gynecological visit. Women over 55 years old should still get mammograms but may only need to get one once every other year. Those at an increased risk for developing breast cancer may need to visit their doctor before age 45 and more often for screenings.

Along with performing a breast examination your annual wellness checkup with an OBGYN is extremely important and shouldn’t be missed. While most women associate this annual gynecological exam with Pap smears, the visit involves so much more for your health. From adolescence until older adulthood, all women should visit their gynecologist for an annual examination to help prevent problems and detect issues early on when they are easily treatable.

During your annual checkup a gynecologist can:

  • Screen for and help prevent sexually transmitted infections
  • Detect and treat vaginal infections
  • Determine the cause of pelvic pain and irregular bleeding
  • Treat menstrual problems
  • Discuss birth control options
  • Determine breast changes

Many women will experience problems at some point during their lifetime, whether it’s a simple urinary tract infection, unexplained abdominal pain, or breast cancer. When problems arise it’s important that you have a gynecologist that you trust to provide you with the compassionate, understanding and delicate care you need. If it’s been more than a year since your annual OBGYN checkup, call your gynecologist today.

By J. Gabriel Guajardo, M.D.
December 23, 2019
Category: OBGYN
Tags: STD Screening  

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that are transmitted through sexual contact. There are more than 20 types of STDs, including Syphilis, Trichomoniasis, HPV, HIV/AIDS, Gonorrhea, Genital herpes, and Chlamydia. Dr. J. Gabriel Guajardo in Brownsville, TX offers STD testing to his patients. Here's everything you need to know about screening for STDs.

What Are the Symptoms of STDs?

Many STDs have symptoms, but some don’t, so they can go unnoticed for a long time. For instance, it can years for HIV symptoms to show up. There are some common symptoms of STDs, like bad-smelling discharge, a burning sensation when you urinate, and itching. If you’re noticing any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away.

How Often Do I Need to Be Screened for STDs?

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are over 20 million new cases of STIs in America, every year. You should be screened for STDs at least once a year if you are sexually active and have had more than one sex partner since your last clinic visit. Men who have sex with men, who have anonymous or multiple sex partners should be screened for STDs every 3-6 months.

Why is Screening Important for Pregnant Women?

Screening for STDs is very important for women who are pregnant, because many STDs can be passed onto the baby during pregnancy or delivery. During their early prenatal visit, with the help of their doctor, pregnant women should be screened for these infections, including syphilis and HIV. Some of these STDs can be cured with treatment, but not all of them.

How Do Medical Professionals Test for STDs?

You may receive testing for STDs at your doctor’s office. Your healthcare provider will help you figure out which STD tests you need. STD screening may include a blood test, physical exam, cheek swab, and urine test. Your healthcare provider may be able to tell right away if you're infected. But some tests take a few weeks to come back from a lab.

You have the power to manage your health. If you're looking for a gynecologist in Brownsville, call Dr. J. Gabriel Guajardo at 956-350-4821 today to schedule a consultation in Brownsville, TX. Getting screened for STDS is a great start to taking control of your health.





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