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By Virginia Center For Women
December 10, 2021
According to the CDC, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common female reproductive disorders and also one of the most common causes of infertility. While PCOS often causes symptoms, it is possible for some women to have this condition but not even know it. No matter whether you know someone who has it, you’re concerned that you might have it, or you’ve already been diagnosed, here’s what you should know about PCOS including its treatment options.

What Is PCOS?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is both a hormonal imbalance and a metabolic disorder that can impact a woman’s general and reproductive health. It’s most common in women of childbearing age.

What are the signs and symptoms?

One of the most common signs of PCOS is an irregular menstrual period. This may mean that you experience a period too often or too infrequently. If your period is unpredictable it could be a sign of PCOS. Other warning signs include:
  • Severe acne
  • Hirsutism, or excessive hair growth (most common on the face, abdomen, and thighs)
  • Oily skin
  • Dark patches of skin
  • Multiple cysts on the ovaries
  • Infertility

What are the causes?

There is still so much that is unknown about PCOS, but it’s believed that this disorder may be the result of certain factors such as increased levels of the androgen hormone or insulin resistance.

How is PCOS treated?

An OBGYN will tailor their treatments to meet your needs, based on your symptoms, the severity of your condition, and whether or not you are planning to become pregnant (whether now or in the future). Treatment options may include certain lifestyle changes such as losing weight (if obese) by eating healthy and getting regular exercise. Some medications can help with irregular periods such as hormonal contraception. For women dealing with fertility issues, there are also medications (the most common is Clomifene) that can help women with PCOS get pregnant. Medications to control other symptoms such as excessive and unwanted hair growth can also be prescribed by your gynecologist.

If you are experiencing symptoms of PCOS, it’s important that you speak with your gynecologist to learn more. A gynecologist will be able to perform the appropriate tests to be able to determine what’s causing your symptoms and how to best treat the problem.
By Virginia Center For Women
December 01, 2021
Tags: Vaginal Stones  
Vaginal StonesWe’ve all heard about kidney stones or even gallbladder stones, but you may not realize that stones can also develop in the vagina. Vaginal stones, medically known as colpolithiasis, are a very rare condition that most gynecologists will never even see throughout their career; however, vaginal stones do still occur. Here’s what you should know.

Vaginal Stones are Either Primary or Secondary

A primary vaginal stone typically develops after surgery, trauma, neurogenic bladder, vaginal stenosis, or vaginal outlet obstruction. Women with congenital genitourinary malformations or urethrovaginal fistulas are most at risk. If a woman is dealing with any of these issues their OBGYN must continue to monitor their condition through routine checkups so they can promptly find and treat vaginal stones if they develop. Secondary vaginal stones typically develop due to the presence of foreign bodies in the vagina, whether an IUD (intrauterine device) or surgical mesh.

Vaginal Stone Symptoms Aren’t Unique to This Condition

Vaginal stones do mimic symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI), so you may not be able to immediately spot a difference. Vaginal stones can cause an increase in urinary urgency and frequency. You may also experience vaginal pain, abdominal pain, and pain with sex or urination.

Vaginal Stones Can Be Removed

The best way to treat vaginal stones is to have them removed. This will require surgery. The procedure itself may employ extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, the same treatment used to break up kidney stones. This surgery is performed under anesthesia. Any urethrovaginal fistulas should not be repaired at the time of surgery, but rather corrected months after the stone has been removed. Patients with serious health complications, as well as older patients, may do better with an open cystostomy, a surgical procedure that is sometimes used to remove large bladder stones as well.

If you are at risk for vaginal stones, it’s important to speak with your gynecologist. Many other conditions can lead to abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding, so it’s important to turn to an OBGYN who can provide you with the answers and treatment you’re looking for.
By Virginia Center For Women
November 09, 2021
Category: Women's HealthCare
Tags: Vaginal Cyst  
Treatment for a Vaginal CystHarmless lumps and bumps can develop just about anywhere on the body, including the vagina. While some cysts are rather small and painless, vaginal cysts can cause pain, discomfort, and other issues. Here’s what you should know about vaginal cysts, including when to turn to a gynecologist for treatment.

There are Different Kinds of Vaginal Cysts

Most vaginal cysts can be found under or within the lining of the vagina. Types of vaginal cysts include:
  • Inclusion cysts: this most common type of vaginal cyst develops in the back of the vaginal wall
  • Bartholin’s gland cysts: cysts that develop in the Bartholin’s gland, which are found on either opening of the vagina
  • Gartner’s duct: this congenital malformation occurs when ducts that are supposed to disappear in-utero don’t, which may result in vaginal cysts developing later on
  • Müllerian cysts: these cysts that develop around the vaginal wall form in areas that were left behind after the development and birth of a baby
There are Many Causes for Vaginal Cysts

There are several reasons a vaginal cyst may develop. Trauma is most common in cysts that develop in the vaginal walls. This may be the result of childbirth or surgery.

Cysts that develop on the outer area of the vagina such as a Bartholin’s gland cyst, may be the result of a bacterial infection or a sexually transmitted disease. Sometimes clogged glands or ducts are also to blame.

Vaginal Cysts Don’t Often Cause Symptoms

Unless you’re dealing with an infected Bartholin’s gland cyst, you probably won’t even know if you have a vaginal cyst. Most of the time, these cysts are detected by a gynecologist during a routine exam. Most cysts aren’t painful; however, some may cause pain with sex. If you’re dealing with a painful lump, this could be a sign of infection.

Most Vaginal Cysts Don’t Need Treatment

Since most vaginal cysts remain small and don’t cause problems they often don’t need to be removed; however, if the cyst continues to grow, cause pain, or show signs of infection, then you’ll want to see your gynecologist. External vaginal cysts can be eased with simple home care such as a warm soak or sitz bath. If the cyst is infected, antibiotics may be prescribed. Sometimes the cyst will need to be drained to heal (this is more common in Bartholin’s gland cysts). Most of the time surgery is not recommended for removing a vaginal cyst.

If you notice any unusual lumps, bumps, or lesions in the vaginal areas, it’s always a good idea to turn to your OBGYN to find out what’s going on.
By Virginia Center For Women
October 29, 2021
Category: Pregnancy Care
Tags: Pregnancy   UTI  
Pregnancy and UTIPregnancy can leave women more vulnerable to other complications, such as UTI. A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is the result of bacteria in the urethra that leads to an infection. This can happen for several reasons, including, sexual activity, improper hygiene, and dehydration. UTIs are common during pregnancy because of increased pressure on the bladder and urinary tract. In addition, it can be harder for patients to identify symptoms of UTI during pregnancy because of their initial similarities to some pregnancy symptoms. Be on the lookout for the following:

Symptoms of UTI During Pregnancy:
  • Cramping
  • Bleeding during urination
  • Pain while urinating
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Fever
Treatment for UTI During Pregnancy:
  • Antibiotics
  • IV fluids or increased water consumption
  • Rest
A UTI can be uncomfortable and unwanted during the best of times, but it is especially undesirable during pregnancy. If any of the above symptoms occur, you must contact your provider. During pregnancy, it is better to lean on the safe side and report any new symptoms, even if you are unsure. Your provider will be able to perform an exam and test your urine sample for evidence of infection. 

Seeking treatment for a UTI is important because the prolonged infection may spread to the kidneys, which is a much higher risk issue. Treatment for a UTI will include a course of antibiotics prescribed by your provider, which are safe to take during pregnancy when needed. 

Antibiotics must be taken properly (according to the instructions given by your provider and the pharmacist) as well as taken in their entirety. Stopping antibiotic treatment early can cause a relapse in symptoms or worsening infection. While you are recovering from a UTI, make sure to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid sexual activity until your provider clears you of infection. 

To prevent future infections, wipe from front to back after using the bathroom and after sex and drink water frequently to stay hydrated. Proper hygiene can keep bacteria away from the urinary tract and sufficient fluids can flush any missed bacterial particles from the body, ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
By Virginia Center For Women
October 13, 2021
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: Induce Labor  
Natural Ways to Induce LaborAfter waiting months to meet your sweet new baby, the discomfort of the third trimester can be hard to handle. You will likely be swollen, exhausted, and sore––not to mention ready to snuggle your newborn! By the time a woman reaches full-term pregnancy (defined by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as 39 weeks pregnant), she may want to do some things on her own to naturally induce labor. The good news is that these methods are perfectly safe to do at home!
 
To encourage labor once you've hit full-term pregnancy, try the following:
  • Exercise: While no one is suggesting you run a marathon to get ready for birth, light to moderate exercise can help prepare your body. In some cases, it has been shown to encourage dilation and loosen a woman's hips. It is always best not to overdo it, though. It is important to save your energy for the actual labor!
  • Sex: Some women report that their sex drive is heightened during pregnancy, while others insist it is the furthest thing from their minds. Whichever side you fall on, sex does have some undeniable benefits, like bonding with your significant other, relaxation, and sometimes even softening the cervix. Nipple stimulation has also been shown to bring on contractions, but proceed with caution due to the rare chance that contractions can become severe and prolonged. 
  • Membrane Stripping: Some providers offer a simple in-office procedure known as membrane stripping. This occurs when the doctor inserts a finger and separates the thin membrane lining from the uterine wall. Research shows that spontaneous labor often follows in the days after the procedure, but not always.
Be sure to consult with your doctor before trying any of the above methods. Your provider will discuss options with you and help you decide on the best course of action to induce labor. Every pregnancy is unique, and ultimately, your baby will come when they are ready. We promise that whenever that happens, it will be worth the wait!




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