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By Bay Area OB/GYN
July 01, 2020
Tags: STD Test  
STDThe American Sexual Health Association reports that one in two sexually active Americans will contract an STD by the time they turn 25 years old. It’s crucial for people to understand the importance of getting an STD test, as well as understand how often they should get tested. If you are a sexually active woman who has never been tested before or has questions about STD testing your OB-GYN is the perfect person to talk to.

Here’s when you should get an STD test,

You are noticing symptoms
This might seem like the most obvious reason to get an STD test but it’s still important to acknowledge. If you notice any symptoms of an STD including any bumps or sores on the genitals, changes in discharge or other changes in your body then you should see your gynecologist as soon as possible to discuss your symptoms and to see if you should get tested.

You have a new partner
Before becoming sexually active with a new partner it’s a good idea to know both of your sexual health statuses. That’s why your OBGYN will always recommend getting an STD test before starting a new sexual relationship. There is nothing better than knowing that both you and your new partner are healthy and STD-free.

You aren’t practicing safe sex
While birth control pills can certainly protect against unwanted pregnancies, most forms of hormonal contraception will not protect against STDs. This is why you will still want to use a condom every time you have sex. If you aren’t practicing safe sex then you should get tested twice a year (or, at the very least, once a year).

You have multiple partners
If you or your partner have other sexual partners, it’s a good idea for both of you to get regular STD tests about every 3-6 months. There is a window period between getting the infection and when the results will appear on an STD test so it’s also important not to test too early. Here’s a great resource to show you when symptoms may appear and when to get tested for what STDs.

It’s a good rule of thumb to get tested at least once a year since many STDs do not produce any symptoms at all, so you could have an STD and not even know it. If you need to schedule an STD test, your OBGYN can often provide you with comprehensive testing right here in their very own office. This is a great option for many women because they have already established a rapport with their doctor and may feel more comfortable undergoing a more sensitive procedure such as an STD screening with a gynecologist they know and trust. Knowing your health status doesn’t just protect you, it also protects your partner.
By Bay Area OB/GYN
June 12, 2020
Category: OB/GYN
Birth control is important if you’re a sexually active female. It keeps you safe from pregnancy while also providing other health benefits. Just like there are many different types of people, there are a variety of birth control options. It’s important to talk to your OBGYN to discover what works best for you. There is a birth control type that matches every female's preferences and lifestyle. 
 
Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives 
These are long-term birth control options that are inserted into your body. They can last anywhere between three-to-ten years without needing a replacement. Your OBGYN will insert the device during a scheduled appointment. These are great if you don’t want to worry about taking or applying your birth control daily. 
 
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, plastic T-shaped device inserted into the uterus. They are one of the most effective types of birth control. They are instantly reversible by having your OBGYN remove the IUD when you are thinking about conceiving. IUDs work by either releasing the hormone progestin, which thickens cervical mucus to keep sperm away or through copper, which functions as a spermicide. 
 
An implant is a thin rod that your OBGYN places into your arm. Just like with an IUD, this method is extremely effective. Once removed, a female can conceive right away. Implants last for years and work by producing progestin. It’s the same as a hormone IUD, with progestin thickening cervical mucus to stop sperm from reaching the egg. 
 
Short-Acting Hormonal Methods
This category contains birth control pills, the patch, the shot, and the vaginal ring. These differ from the long-acting type by needing to be used or replaced on a daily or monthly basis. 
 
Birth control pills are one of the most popular forms of contraceptives. Your OBGYN prescribes them for you. They are an affordable and easy option. You take the pill every day just like any other type of medication. For the best results, take it at the same time every day as well. 
 
The vaginal ring, called the NuvaRing, is a bendable ring placed in the vagina. Talk to your OBGYN about NuvaRing, as you need a prescription for it. This birth control method works by being inserted into your vagina. It stays there for twenty-one days before removal. You can either keep the ring out for a week during your period or replace it with the next one immediately after.
 
The birth control shot is also called Depo-Provera. This is an injectable form of birth control performed every three months. It is a very straightforward process. Every three months you go into your OBGYN office to receive a shot, which prevents fertility until the next dosage. It’s a great option for people who want something low maintenance and without daily interaction. 
 
The birth control patch is a weekly contraceptive. You put on a new patch every week for three weeks, leaving it off the fourth week while you’re menstruating. The patch is similar to a bandage and is commonly placed on the stomach, back, upper arm, or buttock. Talk to your OBGYN if this option is right for you. It is less effective for patients weighing over two-hundred pounds.  
By Bay Area OB/GYN
June 01, 2020
Tags: USDA’s MyPlate  
Congratulations on your little bundle of joy! Pregnancy is a new and exciting time. Your body goes through vast changes as your baby develops. It’s important to do everything possible to guarantee a healthy baby. This includes changing your diet! Many women aren’t sure what they should and shouldn’t eat during this time. Why not schedule an appointment with your local OBGYN and learn what’s best for you?
 
A Balanced Diet and You
You should start eating a balanced diet right away when you find out you are expecting. Most OBGYN’s even recommend starting before you’re even pregnant. What you eat directly affects the baby’s nutrition. Eating healthy foods keeps both of your bodies strong. It’s also a good idea to take a prenatal vitamin or multivitamin with folic acid every day. 
 
Follow your OBGYN’s advice on the proper balance of dairy, proteins, vegetables, fruit, grains, and fats during your pregnancy. A great resource is the USDA’s “MyPlate.” This is the upgraded version of the food pyramid. 
 
Healthy Weight Gain
Everyone is different when it comes to pregnancy. Your OBGYN will monitor your weight gain to make sure it’s within healthy levels. Typically, women gain 2-4 pounds during the first trimester and 3-4 each month during the second and third trimester. 
 
Although you are eating for two, your calorie intake should only increase by about 300 or so. This amount varies between women, so talk to your doctor about an appropriate goal. It’s even more important in the first trimester because of morning sickness. Nausea can make it hard to keep food and fluids down. 
 
Dangerous Foods During Pregnancy
You should avoid certain types of food throughout your pregnancy. These are dangerous for you and the baby. Avoid eating or drinking: 
  • Smoked seafood
  • Hot dogs or deli meat
  • Meat spreads
  • Uncooked sprouts
  • Unpasteurized milk or juice
  • Fish that contain high levels of mercury
It’s also a good idea to reduce your intake of fat and cholesterol. You should also make sure you’re not drinking alcohol, smoking, or consuming high levels of caffeine. 
 
Pregnancy Cravings
Many women crave specific foods during their pregnancies. Just try to make sure what you’re eating ends up being healthy and providing nutrients to your body. If you end up craving junk food, try to limit how much you eat. 
By Bay Area OB/GYN
May 15, 2020
Category: OB/GYN
Tags: Colposcopy  
ColposcopyA colposcopy is an OBGYN procedure performed after abnormal test results for cervical cancer or unusual areas are detected on the vulva, vagina, or cervix. Pap smear results come back flagged if there’s a chance the cervix is infected with human papillomavirus (HPV). The entire exam takes between 5-15 minutes. The only difference between colposcopy and a Pap smear is that your OBGYN uses an instrument called a colposcope. Your OBGYN will walk you through the entire procedure. 
 
Why You Might Need a Colposcopy
 
Your OBGYN has reason to believe there is something wrong with your cervix. As mentioned, irregular pap smear results require a colposcopy. If you have already tested positive for HPV, it’s also necessary. Your OBGYN might also have noticed something unusual with your cervix during a pelvic exam. 
 
The results from your colposcopy can diagnose: 
  • Genital warts
  • Precancerous changes to the vagina, vulva, or cervix
  • Vulvar, cervical, or vaginal cancer
  • Cervicitis
What to Expect During the Procedure
 
This is a nonsurgical procedure your OBGYN will perform in their office. You’ll undress from the waist down and put on a medical gown. The doctor will have you lie down on the exam table and place your feet in the stirrups. Next, they use a speculum to open your vagina. This opens up the walls so the cervix is more visible. 
 
Because the procedure is somewhat uncomfortable, numbing medication or certain types of sedation are used. Once you are feeling comfortable, the next step is to clean the cervix. This gives your OBGYN a better view. The colposcope can now be used. This is a magnifying instrument placed right outside the vulva. A light shines through it and brightens the cervix. All the unusual areas on the cervix are made completely clear. A biopsy is then taken of these abnormal cells for further testing. 
 
After everything is done, expect some mild discomfort. It’s similar to having a slight period cramp. In the next few days, you’ll experience spotting, bleeding, or dark discharge. 
 
Before Your Appointment
 
You’re going to want to make sure that your appointment doesn’t take place during your period. This makes it much easier for your OBGYN to perform the colposcopy. For at least twenty-four hours before your appointment, avoid using creams like medicine, douches, tampons, and engaging in vaginal sex.
 
Make sure to let your doctor know beforehand if you’re pregnant or on any blood thinner medication. 
By Bay Area OB/GYN
May 01, 2020
Urinary IncontinenceUrinary incontinence happens when an individual can’t fully control their bladder, resulting in them experiencing leakage. Most women have experienced weakened bladder control at some point in their life. It’s especially common during pregnancy and for a while after. But when do a few accidents indicate a problem? An Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OBGYN) can help with all matters related to women’s sexual and reproductive health. Schedule an appointment with your OBGYN if urinary incontinence starts happening frequently or affects your quality of life. 
 
Before Your Appointment
 
First, don’t be embarrassed about discussing this with your OBGYN. They are a medical professional designed to help you. There are also a few ways to be prepared for your appointment. Try to keep track or write down every instance of urinary incontinence. Record the amount, time of day, frequency, and what you were doing at the time. 
 
Types of Incontinence
 
There are two main types of incontinence that a patient can experience: stress and urge. Stress incontinence happens when pressure is placed on the bladder, forcing leakage. This can happen from any sort of muscular contraction, like sneezing or laughing. Urge incontinence is an overactive bladder. A patient may constantly feel like they need to go to the bathroom. This makes it hard to determine when they do need to go or not, causing accidents to happen.
 
Other causes of urinary continence are also a possibility. Certain foods, drinks, and medications can temporarily affect bladder control. These are known as diuretics, and affect how much urine your body produces. 
 
Common diuretics:
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Spicy, sugary, or acidic foods
  • Chili peppers
  • Chocolate
  • Blood pressure and heart medications
  • Muscle relaxants and sedatives
You should also talk to your OBGYN about the possibility of overflow or functional incontinence. Overflow is caused by blockage of the urethra or poor bladder contraction. Functional incontinence is the result of other medical conditions that make going to the bathroom difficult. 
 
Treating Urinary Incontinence
 
Talk to your OBGYN about a treatment that is right for you. There are many possibilities and combinations to try. Many women find success through retraining their bladders, using certain medications, or possibly surgical intervention. 




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