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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

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"I'm past my due date" ... Recommendations Regarding Post-Term Pregnancy

In the US approximately 28% of pregnancies deliver in the week of the due date or within the week following the due date (40-41 weeks pregnancy.)  Another 5 % of births occur in the second week past the due date (42 weeks.)   So it’s possible that you may have about a 30% chance of still being pregnant past your due date.  For some women, the continued uncertainty of not knowing when they’ll go into labor is, understandably, both frustrating and concerning.  Though the overall chance of an untoward fetal outcome (including neonatal illness, intensive care admissions and stillbirth) are low, studies do show these risks to increase as pregnancy continues past 41-42 weeks.
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"Hormones" aren't the only reason for Decreased Libido...

I'm often asked if "hormones" are the cause of decreased libido?  Though declines in hormonal levels in the menopause may lead to physical symptoms causing decreased interest or painful intercoure, female hormonal fluctions are rarely the cause of decreased libido in reproductive aged women.  Check out this article from WebMD.com discussing other life factors that could be affecting libido... Relationship issues, the demands of raising children, and negative body image were among the list of common concerns.

 

http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/ss/slideshow-sex-drive-killers?ecd=soc_fb_ss_sexdrivekillers

 

 

Suzanne Hall, MD (@drsuzyyhall)

Eastside Gynecology Obstetrics, PC

 

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Social Media Friendly Healthcare Information

 

Technology statistics tell us that 80% of consumers search for health-related information online.  With so much of our lives consumed by mobile technology, have you considered health-related information another area to search while on the go?  Is your doctor’s office or area hospital on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, sharing health-related tips for your information?

 

Our practice, Eastside Gynecology Obstetrics, is active in the use of social media for sharing information regarding Women’s Reproductive Health.  Drop by any of our informational sites and let us know what topics you’d like to see us address.  Keep in mind, these avenues are for ‘information and educational’ purposes only.  For reasons of your personal privacy, we are not able to share medical advice on ‘personal health’ concerns.  This can get a bit tricky when you have concerns about your ‘personal medical health’.  But address the concerns as a ‘topic’, and we’ll be happy to share educational information to address it.


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Work-Life Balance: My 2014 Resolution!

 

To know me, is to know the 'worker-bee'.  My plate is usually quite full with the responsibilities of my career, a full-time Ob/Gyn physician, the ‘part-time’ role I play in assisting in the administrative duties of our practice, a Women’s health blogger, and Mommy, wife, sister, daughter and friend.

 

I’ve always enjoyed my work, never complaining about the dedicated additional time and energy it takes to build a high quality business that serves its public well.  Though finding a healthy balance between my work life and personal/home life has been one of my perpetual challenges.  (My Mom says I got the ‘work-a-holic’ gene from my Dad…She says she’s had “no problem” with knowing how to relax!)


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Are my Hormones 'Out-of-Whack'?...Understanding Female Hormonal Imbalance

Not uncommonly,  patients present with irregularities in their menstrual period, irritability or mood swings, bloating, fluid retention or weight gain, hot flashes, or decreased libido…wondering if their ‘hormones are out of balance’?  Unfortunately, there’s not always an easy answer to that question, but as Gynecologists, it does cause us to consider two common ‘hormonal’ conditions that could explain such symptoms:  Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and the Perimenopause.
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Cesarean Section on 'Maternal Request'? Be Sure to Understand Your Risks

 

In modern obstetrics, there is a growing trend in expecting mothers’ request for ‘elective’ Cesarean section (‘Cesarean Section on Maternal Request’.)  This ‘elective’ cesarean delivery, is a maternal request for Cesarean section delivery, in the absence of any maternal or fetal need (nor medical indication) for Cesarean section birth.  (This particular ‘request’ for Cesarean section refers to a maternal request for a first-time Cesarean delivery… not a request for a repeat Cesarean birth, as in the case of a mother with previous Cesarean Section deliveries.)  In the U.S. 2.5% of births are performed by Cesarean section for this request.  In my experience, concern and anxiety regarding pain in labor seem to represent the most common reason for this request.

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Is my baby coming too early? Understanding Preterm Labor

 

Normal labor begins after 37 weeks. Your "due date" is set at 40 weeks. If labor begins before 37 weeks, it's too soon.....preterm labor. About 1 in 10 pregnancies in the U.S. have a premature baby.  But what about the patients that “don't feel good", may feel they’re “too big", or just “want the baby out".  A premature baby -or "preemie"- can suffer serious illness, both acute and chronic; some could even suffer insurmountable complications leading to death. The earlier a baby is born, the greater the chance of health problems. Preemies grow more slowly, and may have problems with their eyes, ears, breathing, and nervous system. Learning and behavioral problems are more common in children born premature.

John Knapp M.D.

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The Why's of...'Morning Sickness'

50%-90% of pregnant women experience symptoms of ‘morning sickness’ in the early months of pregnancy.  These symptoms can range from mild intolerance to certain odors or food, to more significant, daily nausea and vomiting (N/V).  Studies suggest that up to 25% of pregnant women experience nausea, 50% experience both nausea and vomiting, leaving only 25% of pregnant women unaffected.  In those affected, the symptoms usually manifest by the 9th week of pregnancy.

 

Much is written and discussed about home/medical remedies for morning sickness, but much less is written/discussed about the (possible) causes for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP).  Though the cause of NVP has not been proven, it has been postulated that NVP is an innate mechanism, presenting as a ‘protection’ for the developing fetus (an inherent ‘aversion’ to substances that could be harmful to the fetus.)  Leading medical theories consider the adverse reaction of the ‘hormones of pregnancy’ as potentially causative (in the absence of other intestinal or medical problems that could present with N/V.)

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Teen Pregnancy Prevention...A Parent's Struggle between 'Protection'-and-Advocating Abstinence

On Teen Pregnancy Prevention...

A quote from a friend & middle-aged Mom--"So many of my friends had sex by age 17...but they refuse to think their daughters are having sex by age 17!"

According to the CDC's 2011 stats 47.4% of high school students have been sexually active. In my practice I see many parents struggle to balance between contraception for the (realistic) potential of sexual activity
& pregnancy prevention, while still, hopefully, advocating for abstinence as a choice. I try to reinforce with my teen patients the difficult position their parents may be in. In trying to 'protect' them from the 'possibilities', we want them to consider the consequences of unprotected sex....
And to remember, abstinence is still a choice.
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So What Is a Routine Annual Exam And How Often Should I Get It?

There has been a lot of buzz in recent months about how often a woman should get their Paps.  Just to refresh everyone's memory, a Pap smear is a screen for cervical cancer and THAT IS IT!  It does not screen for breast cancer, uterine cancer or ovarian cancer.  It also does not screen for STD's or other gynecological issues.
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