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By Bay Area OB/GYN
April 07, 2021
Category: OB/GYN Care
Tags: HPV   Human Papillomavirus  
HPVHPV stands for human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection that is found in nearly 79 million Americans at this very moment. About 80 percent of men and women who are sexually active will be infected with HPV at some point during their lifetime. While some people with HPV will never know they have it, other strains of HPV can lead to serious health complications including cervical cancer.
 
Is an HPV test the same as a pap smear?

No, these are two different tests. A pap smear looks for suspicious cellular changes in the cervix to spot precancerous and cancerous cells early. An HPV test, on the other hand, specifically looks for a current HPV infection but won’t be able to detect cervical cell changes. Women should turn to their OBGYN to get both a Pap smear and an HPV test.
 
How often should I get tested for HPV?

Even if you’ve been vaccinated for HPV or you’ve already gone through menopause, it’s still a good idea to get regular pap smears. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should get a pap smear every three years (if they’ve only had normal pap smear results in the past). Women who’ve had an abnormal pap smear may need to come in once a year. A pap smear should be performed regardless of whether or not you suspect that you might have HPV.

Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should get a pap smear every three years, an HPV test every five years, or both tests together every five years.
 
How is HPV treated?

Many strains of HPV are shed by the body over time so they don’t require treatment; however, other strains of HPV can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer. Cryosurgery or laser treatment may be used to remove abnormal cells from the cervix or genital warts.
 
Should I get vaccinated against HPV?

The CDC recommends that both men and women between the ages of 11 to 26 should get vaccinated for HPV, as this vaccine can protect against many of the strains that can lead to cervical cancer. Since the vaccine is only administered to people who’ve never had HPV before, it’s a good idea to talk with your OBGYN about getting your teen vaccinated before they become sexually active.
 
You must be getting regular pap smears and HPV tests from your OBGYN if you are sexually active. These screening tools are the most effective ways to detect this common STI. Call your OBGYN if it’s time to schedule your next pap smear or if you are interested in STI testing.
By Bay Area OB/GYN
March 19, 2021
Category: OB/GYN Treatments
Tags: Yeast Infection  
Yeast InfectionYeast infections are one of life’s unpleasant issues. Most women will experience at least one yeast infection during their lifetime. The discharge, itching, burning, and vaginal rash can leave any gal feeling more than a little uncomfortable. However, because a yeast infection shares symptoms with some STIs it’s always a good idea to make a trip to see your OBGYN if you are sexually active. Here’s what to know about treating yeast infections and when to turn to a doctor.
 
Why do yeast infections happen?

An overgrowth of Candida, a type of fungus, leads to a yeast infection. While there may be fungus present in the vagina at any point in time, often it’s not enough to cause symptoms; however, when there’s overgrowth this leads to an infection.
 
Certain factors can increase your risk for yeast infections,
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking antibiotics
  • Diabetes
  • A compromised immune system
  • Stress
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Poor diet
What are the signs?

The most common signs of a yeast infection include,
  • A thick, white vaginal discharge
  • Burning and swelling of the vagina
  • Itching
  • Soreness
  • Pain with urination or sex
How do I treat a yeast infection?

While certainly uncomfortable, a yeast infection is easy to treat. In fact, many women find relief from going to their local pharmacy and picking up yeast infection medication (you can purchase these products over the counter). If you don’t experience relief from your symptoms about a week after treatment, then it’s time to call your OBGYN.
 
If you’ve had a yeast infection before and you recognize the symptoms then over-the-counter treatments should be fine; however, if this is your first time dealing with a yeast infection you should turn to your doctor to find out if that’s exactly what it is. If you’re dealing with severe symptoms or if you are dealing with recurring infections (infections that happen at least four times a year) you should turn to your OBGYN.
 
Your OBGYN can do everything from prescribing yeast infection medication to providing STI screenings and HPV vaccines. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a yeast infection, turn to your OBGYN today for the treatment you need.
By Bay Area OB/GYN
March 09, 2021
Category: OB/GYN Care
Tags: Miscarriage  
MiscarriageWe understand the turmoil and grief that comes from a miscarriage. It’s important to know that you are not alone. Miscarriages are incredibly common. In fact, about 15-25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Recovering from a miscarriage both physically and mentally takes time, and your OBGYN can provide you with the tools, advice, and support you need to recover from this sudden loss.

Bleeding after Miscarriage

Whether you had to go through a D&C or you had a natural miscarriage, it is completely normal to bleed immediately after. The bleeding will be heavy for several hours, and it’s normal for it to contain tissue and clots. The bleeding will lighten and go away after 1-2 weeks. Only wear pads, not tampons, while bleeding.

Getting Your Period

It is normal for the first period after a miscarriage to be a little different than what you’re normally used to. Your period could be unusually heavy, or you may only experience spotting. It can take one cycle before your period returns to normal and it should be normal by the second cycle after your miscarriage. If you are still dealing with irregularities after your second cycle, you should talk with your OBGYN.

Having Sex

Most OBGYNs will give you the go-ahead to have sex again after about two weeks, but your OBGYN will need to have you come in for a follow-up to make sure that you’re not still bleeding. If you are, your doctor may ask you to wait a little longer.

Addressing Your Emotions

Your OBGYN has worked with many women who have experienced miscarriages, and they understand that what you are going through is traumatic and stressful. Some ways to support your emotional health during this time include,
  • Spend more time with friends and family
  • Ask for help and support when you need it
  • Talk to other women who have also experienced miscarriages (there are support groups that can help)
  • Talk to your OBGYN if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression (they can provide counseling referrals)
  • Get adequate nutrition and maintain a healthy, nourishing diet
  • Get regular exercise
  • Turn to meditation or other outlets for stress relief
  • Make sure you are getting good sleep every night
Many women who have experienced a miscarriage worry that they may experience another one, but it’s important to note that women who have had a miscarriage in the past are not at a higher risk for future miscarriages. Many women go on to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies after a miscarriage.

Remember that you do not have to go through the recovery process alone. Many women seek solace in their OBGYN after a miscarriage. When you are ready, they can also guide you through the steps of getting pregnant again and providing you with the support system and compassionate care you need.
By Bay Area OB/GYN
February 22, 2021
Tags: Ovarian Cysts  
What Are Ovarian CystsIf you are a woman, then chances are fairly good that you’ve had an ovarian cyst before. Maybe even several already; however, it’s also just as likely that you didn’t even know it. It’s common for cysts, or fluid-filled sacs, to develop in or on the ovaries. This is a very common condition for women during their reproductive years, and it’s typically not anything to worry about. From the office of your OBGYN, here’s what you should know about ovarian cysts.
 
What are the signs and symptoms of an ovarian cyst?

Many ovarian cysts are too small to cause symptoms; however, if the cyst is large you may notice:
  • Bloating or abdominal swelling
  • Abdominal pain or pressure, typically on the side where the cyst is
  • The pain may be dull and may come and go
Ruptured cysts can cause more severe pain. While ovarian cysts may cause pain with intercourse, abnormal vaginal bleeding, or pelvic pain, these symptoms are less common. If you are dealing with abdominal pain or swelling that has you concerned, schedule an appointment with your OBGYN.
 
What causes ovarian cysts?

Several factors can predispose certain women to ovarian cysts. These factors include:
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormonal issues
  • Pelvic infections
  • Endometriosis
When should I see my OBGYN?

It’s always a good idea to see your OBGYN as soon as possible if you are experiencing intense or severe abdominal pain, especially if it’s accompanied by a fever. Severe abdominal pain requires immediate medical attention.
 
How are ovarian cysts treated?

An ovarian cyst will typically go away on its own without treatment; however, the size of the cyst and the symptoms you are experiencing may determine whether or not you should have surgery to remove the cyst. Your doctor will continue to monitor the cyst through regular ultrasounds every few weeks or months to see if the cyst has gone away. Recurring or very large cysts often require surgery.
 
If you are dealing with abdominal pain or swelling that isn’t going away or is getting worse, it’s always a safe bet to call your OBGYN right away to schedule an immediate appointment.
The Benefits of Pelvic Floor Physical TherapyThe pelvic floor consists of muscles and connective tissue that provide support to the organs of the pelvis. The pelvic floor is important for everything from bladder and bowel control to sexual arousal. Unfortunately, many women will deal with pelvic floor dysfunction or pain at some point during their lifetime. If you are dealing with this problem, you may want to talk with your OBGYN about the benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy.

What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?

Some many injuries and conditions can weaken the muscles of the pelvis or even tear the tissue. Common causes of pelvic floor dysfunction include,
  • Nerve damage
  • Pregnancy and childbirth (the most common causes)
  • Traumatic injury to the pelvic (e.g., bad fall; car accident)
  • Obesity
  • Pelvic surgery
  • Genetics
What are the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction?

If you are dealing with pelvic floor dysfunction you may experience these common symptoms,
  • Painful urination
  • An increased urge to urinate
  • Urinary or stool leakage
  • Constipation
  • Pain in the pelvic floor including the rectum and genitals
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle spasms in the pelvis
  • Pelvic pressure
What is pelvic floor therapy?

Just as someone might get physical therapy to restore function and strength into a shoulder injury or bad knee, your OBGYN may recommend that women who have pelvic floor dysfunction undergo pelvic floor physical therapy. These one-on-one physical therapy sessions are designed to help alleviate the symptoms of dysfunction while also training and re-strengthening weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Your OBGYN will first need to perform a physical exam to assess the muscle. This assessment will help us create a customized plan of action to alleviate your symptoms. Pelvic floor physical therapy may include,
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Coordination exercises
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Biofeedback
  • Heat or ice therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
Pelvic floor physical therapy has helped many women gain better control over their sexual health and bladder function. Whether you’re dealing with pelvic floor problems after giving birth or as a result of certain health problems such as endometriosis, your OBGYN may recommend pelvic floor physical therapy. Call your doctor to learn more.




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