Posts for: July, 2018
Regular pap smears, or pap tests, are an important part of women's preventive health care. A pap smear is a way to check for cancer of the cervix, the opening to a woman's womb. A pap smear can find cervical cancer early. If it's found at an early stage, it's easier to cure. Dr. J. Gabriel Guajardo is one of the finest gynecologists in Brownsville, TX. He offers the full range of women's health services. Read on to find out why pap smears are so important.
Why Should I Get Pap Smears?
Pap smear tests enable doctors to detect early precancerous changes in the tissue of the cervix and treat them before they become cancerous. Patients who have regular Pap tests are much less likely to develop cervical cancer than patients who don't have the test regularly, because they receive early treatment for precancerous conditions.
What is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is cancer that starts in the cervix. It is estimated that 4,170 deaths from the disease will occur this year. Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) play a role in causing most cervical cancer. Being overweight, early sexual contact, smoking, taking birth control pills, and multiple sexual partners increase the risk of cervical cancer.
How is The Pap Smear Done?
A pap smear is usually part of a pelvic exam. It will only take about one minute to perform a Pap smear during this overall exam. During the test, cells from your cervix are scraped away and examined under a microscope for abnormal growth. A Pap smear should not be painful. If you have pain during the test, you should tell her doctor.
When Should I Get a Pap Smear?
Doctors recommend a pap test beginning at age 21. If you've never had sex, you may have a low risk of cervical cancer, but you can still consider testing. If you've ever been sexually active, you need to have regular pap smears. It's important that you have regular pap smears even if you're well.
How Often Should I Get Pap Smears?
Most women should get yearly pap smear tests. Even if you are menopausal, you should continue to have pap smear tests. If you have a higher risk of cancer, you may need a pap smear test more often. Your Brownsville gynecologist can recommend what is best for you.
Don't take risks with your health. Arrange for a pap smear test today. Call our office at 956-350-4821 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Guajardo in Brownsville, TX. A pap smear can save your life!
Congratulations! You just found out you are going to have a baby. Now what? First and foremost, it is important that you and your unborn child get the proper care you both need over the next 9 months.
Your OBGYN will be an invaluable part of your medical team, as they will be able to not only provide you with a host of good advice for a healthy pregnancy, but also they can check for health issues in both you and your unborn child that could potentially cause further and more serious complications. Turning to an OBGYN regularly is vitally important for a healthy, complication-free pregnancy.
Of course, there are also some wonderful milestones to enjoy throughout the course of your pregnancy. Here are some things to look forward to before getting to meet the new addition to your family,
Baby’s First Ultrasound
Once you find out you’re pregnant, it’s important that you visit your OBGYN to confirm the pregnancy, determine your due date and to schedule your very first ultrasound. This first ultrasound can occur as early as between 6 weeks and 9 weeks and it allows your obstetrician to check your baby’s size and heart rate, while also checking the health of the placenta and umbilical cord. This is an exciting moment for parents, as they often get to hear their baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
The End of the First Trimester
We know that saying goodbye to the first trimester is high on most pregnant women’s lists. This is because most miscarriages occur during the first trimester. This is usually around the time that expectant mothers want to announce their pregnancy to family members and friends. Plus, if you were fighting terrible morning sickness during your first trimester you may be relieved to hear that a lot of these symptoms may lessen or go away completely once you reach the second trimester.
Feeling Your Baby Kick
Most expectant mothers can’t even describe how incredible it is to experience their baby kicking for the first time. Your baby’s kick may feel more like a flutter or tickle while other women may feel a nudging sensation. At some point, you may even see an indent of an arm or leg as your stomach expands and the baby grows.
Your Child’s Gender Reveal
While some parents don’t want to know whether they are having a boy or girl until that moment in the delivery room, some couples can’t wait to find out and share the news. In fact, gender reveal parties have become a popular trend today and once you find out whether you are having a little boy or girl you may just feel that exciting urge to start decorating the baby room.
Your Due Date
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for: your baby’s expected birth date. While most babies won’t show up right on schedule, you may be experiencing some warning signs that labor is soon on the way and you’ll soon get to welcome your baby into the world.
Usually around the time that women reach their late 40s or early 50s, they may notice changes occurring in their body. This is because the reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are no longer being produced within the body. This transitional phase is known as menopause and while some women may go through menopause without any symptoms or issues, some women deal with a variety of unpleasant and even severe symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and joint pain.
While hot flashes are the most common complaint when it comes to menopause symptoms, there are a variety of issues that women can experience including:
- Muscle/joint pain
- Irritability, depression, and anxiety
- Vaginal infections
- Loss of sex drive
- Sexual pain
- Vaginal dryness
- Urinary incontinence or leakage
- Night sweats
- Poor concentration and memory (“mental fog”)
If you are a middle-aged woman who hasn’t had a period in over one year and is dealing with these issues, you could be facing menopause. Of course, it’s important that you have an OBGYN that you can turn to if symptoms become too challenging to handle on your own. While a gynecologist can certainly recommend a variety of lifestyle modifications and simple ways to alleviate symptoms, sometimes more aggressive treatment is necessary.
Certain lifestyle modifications may include exercising regularly, getting enough sleep each night or avoiding alcohol to help with depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Your gynecologist can prescribe a lubricant to help with vaginal dryness and discomfort. Physical therapy or certain medical treatments may be prescribed to improve the function of the pelvic floor to reduce urinary leakage and incontinence.
Many menopausal women dealing with menopausal symptoms can experience relief through hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Since the body is no longer producing estrogen and progesterone, HRT will serve to restore those hormones back into the body to reduce common symptoms such as hot flashes. Furthermore, HRT has been shown to reduce bone loss caused by osteoporosis, which is common in women post-menopause. Plus, HRT is also known to reduce common symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness and pain.
There are a few different ways in which HRT can be administered. Estrogen can come in the form of a gel, cream, spray, patch, or pill. Of course, systemic estrogen has been proven to be the most effective way to target symptoms of menopause.
Women dealing with severe hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms, women who are prone to osteoporosis or fractures, and women who experience menopause before the age of 40 may want to consider getting hormone replacement therapy.