We hear this question quite frequently: is my menstrual cycle normal?
Since every single woman is unique, and we love that, it is hard to define “normal.” Most of the time we talk more about what is “average” rather than normal to help women understand if their cycle falls within average parameters.
Most young women begin to see a gynecologist in their teens and by the time they are in their 20s or 30s know the routine, know their bodies, and schedule annual visits. There are times, however, when abnormalities present themselves, and you wonder if you should see your doctor in between your normal visit. The answer is usually yes, and in case you’re in doubt, here are 11 signs you need to call your gynecologist.
Everyone knows that using birth control gives a woman control over when and if she becomes pregnant. What you may not know is that there are some great birth control benefits that are beyond pregnancy prevention.
We all know that exercise is one of the most beneficial ways to relieve stress, even though we sometimes don’t want to do it. Those who live with endometriosis often find that exercise also works for their painful symptoms as it releases endorphins, which help to ease and slow pain. Let’s look at why, and the ways, exercising to improve symptoms of endometriosis may work for you.
Once they are discovered, you can expect to see the doctor more often because there may be some fibroid factors that increase your risk of complications during pregnancy.
What Are the Risks?
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop inside of the uterus, outside of the uterus, or within the uterine wall itself. They can be very tiny or as large as a grapefruit, so once your doctor determines the size(s) and location of the fibroid(s), they can give you an idea of any particular risks associated with them. If a fibroid is larger than 5 centimeters there can be additional abdominal pain during pregnancy and an increased urge to urinate more frequently.
Most women with fibroids will experience little to no effect during their pregnancy. However, up to one-third of women with fibroids may experience some increased risks and complications during their pregnancy and delivery.
Fetal Growth Restriction or Retardation
Intrauterine growth restriction or IUGR refers to a fetus that does not develop at the normal rate. The fetus is smaller than normal compared with other fetuses of the same gestational age. This term is also used when a child is born less than 5 pounds 8 ounces.
One particular fibroid factor relates to pain from the fibroids during pregnancy. This pain can cause uterine contractions and lead to early delivery. Preterm means being born prior to week thirty-seven, and overall one in eight women deliver preterm.
In this case the placenta breaks away from the uterine wall too early due to a blockage by a fibroid. Since the placenta is what nourishes the fetus, the baby may not get sufficient nutrients or oxygen as a result of an abruption.
If the uterus is an abnormal shape due to a fibroid(s), it can prevent the baby from getting into the correct position for birth with the head facing down. In some cases there is less amniotic fluid for the baby to move into position for a normal birth.
It is considered to be a breech birth if the baby’s feet are pointed down. Although many breech babies are born perfectly healthy, this positioning does put your child at a higher risk for birth defects and complications.
A women with fibroids has double the chance of experiencing a miscarriage.
Best Way Forward
Should you be worried if you are pregnant and have fibroids? Clearly there are some increased risk factors from having fibroids during pregnancy, but it does not guarantee a woman will have complications. Talk to Atlanta Women’s Obstetrics & Gynecology about your personal risks and how you can minimize them, if possible.
Most sexually active adults have been exposed to HPV. However, how much do you really know about human papillomavirus? Here are a few surprising facts about HPV so you are better informed:
1.20 million Americans are infected
According to the American Cancer Society, 20 million Americans are infected with the genital form of the virus and around 5.5 million infections occur each year.
2. You can contract HPV without having sex
Because HPV is transmitted through genital skin-to-skin contact, you don’t have to have sex to transmit the disease. It’s even possible to transmit it through oral sex, but less likely.
3. HPV doesn’t necessarily cause cancer
Some strands of HPV are high-risk, cancer-causing strains while other strains cause no symptoms or health problems.
4. Condom risk doesn’t prevent HPV
Condoms can lower the risk of becoming infected with the disease. However, since human papillomavirus is passed through skin on skin contact, there are no sufficient preventive measures. Most physicians will suggest Gardasil as the most effective form of prevention. Gardasil protects against two types of HPV that cause 75 percent of cervical cancer cases and two types of HPV that cause 90 percent of genital warts cases.
5. HPV has no cure
It’s true that there’s no cure for HPV, but approximately 90 percent of infections are resolved by the body’s immune system.
Many women living with endometriosis do not even realize that they have it. Sexual health can be a bit of a touchy topic that leaves many women feeling embarrassed about their body, but there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and speaking up will only help to improve both the quality and longevity of your life.