Blog

Posts for category: Women's HealthCare

By Virginia Center For Women
January 15, 2019
Category: Women's HealthCare
Tags: Bladder Infection  

Bladder infections have a way of making themselves known. You may be making multiple trips to the bathroom, feeling like you constantly have to go again. But once you’re in there, you may feel burning or stinging every time you pee. That’s the most distinct sign of a bladder infection.

What is a bladder infection?

A bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection or UTI. This is an infection anywhere in the urinary tract, like the bladder, kidneys, or urethra. Usually, bladder infections are acute, which means that they occur suddenly. They can sometimes be chronic, which means that they recur over a long term.

Bladder infections are caused by bacteria that enter through the urethra and move into the bladder. Normally, the body can remove the bacteria by flushing them out during urination. However, bacteria can sometimes attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly. Infections can occur when bacteria from the stool get onto the skin and enter the urethra. This is common with women since the urethra is short and the outer opening isn’t far from the anus.

Symptoms of Bladder Infections

The symptoms of a bladder infection may vary between people, depending on the severity of the infection. Some common symptoms include:

  • Pain or burning while urinating

  • Cloudy or bloody urine

  • Frequent urination

  • Foul-smelling urine

  • Cramping in the lower abdomen or lower back

Treating and Preventing Bladder Infections

Bladder infections are treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the bladder infection. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help relieve the symptoms associated with the bladder infection.

There are many things that you can do in order to prevent bladder infections, such as:

  • Drink six to eight glasses of water daily

  • Drink cranberry juice daily

  • Urinate as soon as you feel the need, don’t hold it

  • Take showers instead of baths

  • Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes

  • Avoid using a diaphragm or spermicide

See Your Doctor Today

Don’t live with the pain of a bladder infection any longer. Call your doctor today to schedule an appointment or ask any questions about bladder infections!

By Virginia Center For Women
January 07, 2019
Category: Women's HealthCare
Tags: Hysterectomy  

Why Would a Hysterectomy Be Necessary?

Do you need a hysterectomy? Hysterectomy is the second most common surgery among women in America. A hysterectomy is a surgical operation to remove a woman's womb, or uterus. The uterus is where a fetus develops when a woman is pregnant. Women undergo a hysterectomy for different reasons. Read on to learn about the conditions that may be treated by hysterectomy.

Cancer- You have invasive cancer of the cervix, uterus, vagina, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. Hysterectomy is often medically necessary and lifesaving when patients are diagnosed with invasive cancer. The procedure may involve removing the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. The type of hysterectomy performed depends on your situation.

Uterine Fibroids- Uterine fibroids are treated by a hysterectomy. Uterine fibroids are benign growths in the uterine wall. In some women, they can cause long-term heavy bleeding and pain. Your doctor may try other procedures, like endometrial ablation or myomectomy, before a hysterectomy.

Heavy Periods- Infection, changes in hormone levels, or cancer can cause heavy periods. Some women lose a large amount of blood during their periods. They may also experience other symptoms, such as stomach cramps and pain. For some patients, the symptoms can have a significant impact on their quality of life. In some cases, removing the uterus may be the only way of stopping heavy or prolonged vaginal bleeding. 

Uterine Prolapse- Uterine prolapse, which is a sliding of the uterus from its position into the vaginal canal. If uterine prolapse is severe, your OBGYN might recommend a hysterectomy. Talk with your healthcare provider about all your treatment options to be sure you understand the benefits and risks of each so that you can choose what's best for you.

Endometriosis- Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus grows on other pelvic organs, such as the ovaries. This can cause bleeding between periods and severe pain. While there's no cure for endometriosis, many women undergo a hysterectomy to alleviate intolerable symptoms of the disease.

Today, thanks to advances in technology, a hysterectomy is much less invasive which means a faster recovery time. Talk to your healthcare provider about how a hysterectomy might improve your symptoms. Hysterectomy has improved the lives of millions of people. And it can do the same for you.

By Virginia Center For Women
December 06, 2018
Category: Women's HealthCare
Tags: Pap smear  

The Importance of a Pap Smear

A pap smear, also known as a Pap test or cervical smear, is a routine procedure done at your gynecologist’s office to detect any irregularities in and on the cervix. The name comes from an abbreviation of the inventor’s name, Greek doctor Georgios Papanikolaou, and this test has been performed since 1923. It is currently the most common form of cervical screening in the United States.

What Are Pap Smears?

Pap smears are procedures done in-office and are performed by a doctor on an exam table. The vaginal opening is expanded with a tool called a speculum, and cells are then collected from the outside of the cervix using a tool called a spatula, which is very different from the one you may have in your kitchen. This procedure only takes a few minutes, and is very important for female health. Some patients report mild cramping during or immediately after the test, but it is usually very brief.

The collected cells are transferred to a glass slide and are examined under a microscope. The reason for this test is to identify any pre-cancerous conditions, most of which are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). These results can usually be used to diagnose other cervical problems and can take a week or two to come back.

A Pap smear is recommended for women to get every three years starting at age 21 until 65, barring any pre-existing conditions or any atypical results; those cases may call for more frequent testing. Regular Pap smears can reduce fatalities caused by cervical cancer very significantly, granted that patients with abnormal results follow their doctors’ treatment recommendations.

Be sure to stay up to date with your Pap smears and call your gynecologist with any questions!

By Virginia Center For Women
November 01, 2018
Category: Women's HealthCare
Tags: IUD   Birth Control   Diaphragm  

Choosing the right birth control to suit your needs and lifestyle is a very important and personal decision that you will have to consider if you are sexually active and do not want to get pregnant. During this time it’s important to have an OBGYN that you can turn to not just for proper checkups and health care, but also to present you with the different birth control options available to you so that you can make an informed decision about your sexual health.

Birth control falls into two categories: Hormonal and non-hormonal. While this may certainly be a factor in the decision-making process there are also other factors and benefits that some birth control may offer that may make it more ideal for you than others. For example, there are some forms of birth control that can improve cramping and other PMS symptoms, while other birth control options are easy to use and don’t require you to take them at the same time each day. These are all things to consider when it comes to choosing the proper birth control for you.

There are approximately 12 different kinds of birth control including:

  • Condoms
  • Spermicides
  • Contraceptive pills
  • Birth control implant
  • Vaginal ring
  • Patch
  • Diaphragm
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Injection
  • Tubal ligation
  • Abstinence

As you might imagine, contraceptive pills, the ring, patch, implant, injection, and plastic IUDs are hormonal, which means that these methods release hormones that prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg.

Non-hormonal methods include the diaphragm, copper IUD, spermicides, and condoms. When used correctly, condoms are also able to protect against STDS. It’s important to understand that while many of these methods are designed to prevent pregnancy they do not protect against STDS. This is why it’s still important to wear a condom even if you are taking birth control.

Of course, for women who are already finished with family planning or have chosen not to have children, they may opt for tubal ligation, which is a permanent way to prevent pregnancy.

 

It’s important that you fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of each birth control method beforehand. This is why it’s so vital to have a gynecologist you can trust to sit down with you and to help you determine the best option for your needs. Call your OBGYN today to schedule an appointment.

By Virginia Center For Women
October 17, 2018
Category: Women's HealthCare
Tags: OBGYN   Painful sex  

Dyspareunia is the technical term for pain during intercourse. It's not uncommon for women to experience painful sexual intercourse at some point in their lives. It may be a sign of a gynecologic problem, a problem with sexual response, or simply a lack of arousal. If you are experiencing pain during sex, work with your OB/GYN to determine the root cause and devise a treatment plan. Read on to learn about treatment options for painful sex.


Lifestyle Changes

Painful sex can be treated with lifestyle modifications. There are a few ways to try to alleviate pain during sexual intercourse such as trying a slower pace or using more lubricant. Using lubricants can help make the sex more comfortable; different brands can be tried until you find one that is well suited to your needs, and remember communication is important! Talk to each other about what feels good and what doesn't. If your partner is going too fast, then tell them so.


Medication

Treatment options vary depending on the cause of the dyspareunia. Changing medications known to cause lubrication problems might also relieve your pain. For some women, pain during sex is caused by a lack of lubrication resulting from low levels of estrogen. This can be treated with topical estrogen applied to the vagina. Another medication to relieve dyspareunia is prasterone, which is a capsule you place inside the vagina every day.


Laser Therapy

If you’re looking for a non-invasive way to address painful sex brought on by low estrogen levels, MonaLisa Touch laser therapy is a highly effective long-term solution. Laser therapy eliminates vaginal dryness and helps prevent further complications, including vaginal atrophy. In just three treatment sessions, MonaLisa Touch revitalizes the vaginal mucosa and activates the production of new collagen to help restore normal functional and pain-free sexual intimacy.


Counseling 

Painful sex can lead to relationship problems. It may be worthwhile to speak to a counselor if this is the case. If trauma, sexual abuse, or other emotional issues are the root cause of the dyspareunia, counseling could very well help. Counseling can also help you cope with the emotional consequences of painful intercourse. Couples may attend counseling together if painful sex is leading to communication or intimacy issues.


Pelvic Exercises

Painful sex can be treated with desensitization therapy. Pelvic floor exercises and vaginal relaxation exercises may be used in this treatment method as they will strengthen your pelvic muscles and ease your pain during intercourse. Strong pelvic floor muscles can go a long way toward warding off urinary incontinence.

 

Call Today!

You don’t have to live with sexual pain. Find an OB/GYN in your area and schedule a consultation today. Get your life back on track by receiving the best dyspareunia treatment available. You deserve to live your best life!