Posts for category: OB/GYN Care
By Bay Area OB/GYN
April 07, 2021
HPV 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 09, 2021
We 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.
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
January 28, 2021
A Google search will show you thousands upon thousands of women who are wondering whether bleeding is okay during pregnancy. We understand that bleeding can be scary, especially if you aren’t sure what’s causing it. Here’s what you should know about bleeding, including when to turn to an OBGYN.
Bleeding During Your First Trimester
Your body is going through a ton of changes, especially during the first trimester. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that as many as 30 percent of women experience some sort of spotting or light bleeding during early pregnancy. Some of the causes of light bleeding or spotting include,
Implantation bleeding: After about 6 to 12 days after conception, some women experience cramping and light spotting. This is known as implantation bleeding. While some women may assume that their period is coming (since implantation bleeding usually appears a few days before a woman’s period), implantation bleeding is very light and may cause pink or brown spotting that may only last a day or two.
Cervical polyps: These (often) benign polyps are common in women and can lead to inflammation and spots of bright red blood. You may not experience any other symptoms apart from light bleeding, but your OBGYN can diagnose polyps during a pelvic exam.
Pelvic exams, intercourse, or infection: Anything that may irritate the cervix may result in bleeding. This includes infections, intercourse, or a pelvic exam. If you notice some drops of bright red blood after intercourse or a pelvic exam, don’t worry. It will go away on its own.
Bleeding During Second and Third Trimester
While light bleeding is fairly normal during the first trimester, it’s less common and more likely to be a concern if there is bleeding in the second or third trimester. If you are bleeding during your second or third trimester it’s best to talk with your OBGYN as it could be a sign of,
- Placental abruption
- Problems with the cervix such as an infection
- Placenta previa
- Premature labor
Bleeding: When to be Concerned
Since bleeding could be a sign of a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or other serious problems, you must talk with your OBGYN about any bleeding you experience. You should call your doctor right away if,
- Your bleeding lasts more than 24 hours
- Bleeding is heavy or you pass blood clots or tissue
- Your bleeding is accompanied by abdominal pain, fevers, or chills
If you have any concerns about symptoms or issues during pregnancy, your OBGYN can provide you with the answers and care you need. Don’t ever hesitate to call your OBGYN if you are worried about bleeding or other problems. A simple phone call can determine whether you need to come in for an evaluation.
By Bay Area OB/GYN
January 13, 2021
Tags: Bladder Infection
Having trouble going? It could be due to a bladder infection.
You’ve been running back and forth to the bathroom all day and you’ve noticed an increased urgency to pee, even after you’ve just gone. What gives? Well, if you notice burning or pain with urination you could very well be dealing with a bladder infection. Most people will experience a bladder infection at least once during their lifetime. If you are experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection you may want to call your OBGYN for a checkup.
What are the signs of a bladder infection?
Bladder infections are one of the most common urinary tract infections (UTIs). If you have a bladder infection you may experience,
- Strong-smelling urine
- Cloudy urine
- Increased urgency and frequency of urination
- Abdominal cramping
- Burning with urination
- Pain that lingers after urinating
If you are experiencing symptoms of a bladder infection you must see your OBGYN right away for treatment. Bladder infections will require prescription medication to treat the infection. If left untreated, bacteria from the bladder can spread to the kidneys, leading to intense back pain, chills, fever, and vomiting.
How is a bladder infection treated?
Your OBGYN will prescribe an oral antibiotic to kill the bacteria in the bladder. You may also receive medication to ease burning and pain with urination. You must be drinking plenty of fluids to flush out bacteria in the bladder.
You should see an improvement in your symptoms after 2 days of taking the antibiotics, but you mustn’t stop taking your medication once you start to feel better, as the infection can return.
Is there a way to prevent bladder infections?
There are certain lifestyle adjustments that you can make to prevent the development of a bladder infection. Some of these habits include,
- Drinking enough water every day
- Taking showers over a bath
- Not douching or using scented feminine products
- Wearing loose-fitting clothes
- Urinating immediately before and after intercourse
From bladder infections to birth control options, your OBGYN can be an invaluable source to turn to for treatment and care. If you are dealing with recurring bladder infections, you’ll definitely want to talk with your OBGYN to find out what could be causing your frequent infections.
By Bay Area OB/GYN
December 24, 2020
Cervical ectropion, also referred to as cervical erosion, is when the glandular cells found inside the cervical canal are also found outside the cervix. This harmless, benign condition is more common than you might realize. Some women are born with this while others develop it as a result of hormonal changes. Young women who are taking oral contraceptives, pregnant, or going through adolescence are also more likely to develop cervical ectropion. If you have cervical ectropion, an OBGYN can provide you with the answers you need to manage this condition.
Are there symptoms?
Most of the time, this condition doesn’t cause any symptoms. Most women don’t even know they have it until they visit their gynecologist for their annual checkup. If you do have cervical ectropion you may notice,
- Spotting between periods
- Light discharge
- Discomfort during sex
You may also experience a little discomfort when undergoing a regular pelvic exam. We understand that pain with sex can be concerning. Spotting or breakthrough bleeding between periods or pain with intercourse could also be signs of an infection, fibroids, endometriosis, or other health problems, so it’s important to see your OBGYN for a proper diagnosis.
How is cervical ectropion treated?
If you aren’t experiencing symptoms, then treatment really isn’t necessary. In some cases, cervical ectropion may just go away on its own. Of course, heavy discharge, bleeding, or pain can be managed through cauterization (performed through heat, cold or silver nitrate), which removes the glandular cells from outside the cervix.
In most cases, this procedure is enough to get rid of this condition; however, it is possible for symptoms to return. If they do, your OBGYN may decide to simply repeat the procedure.
Does cervical ectropion increase my risk for cervical cancer?
Finding out that there are cellular changes within the cervix can be a little unnerving, but this condition is completely harmless. If you are pregnant this will not harm your unborn child and this cervical ectropion will not increase your risk for cervical cancer.
Do you have questions or concerns about cervical ectropion? Want to talk about your treatment options? If so, your OBGYN can help.