Posts for: May, 2018
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.