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Tag: @drsuzyyhall

"But Doctor, Can I even get Pregnant?"

 

As an Ob/Gyn physician, it’s not uncommon for me to hear the question from patients, “Am I actually ABLE to conceive?”  For some women who are planning  pregnancy, as well as for some others who’ve never had a pregnancy (intended or not)…the question, “Can I get pregnant?” may be a looming concern.

Other than actually attaining a ‘positive’ pregnancy test, there really is no other specific test allowing us to know IF a woman CAN actually achieve pregnancy.  What we do know is, that for the normal couple (those without risk factors/or a history of infertility, regularly sexually active,) the chances of conception are actually stacked in our favor.  In fact, for regularly sexually active couples, there is a 15-25% probability of pregnancy with each menstrual cycle!

It is expected that nearly 90% of sexually active couples, without contraception, would become pregnant (intentionally or not) within one year.  The one year mark is typically used in defining those couples with ‘infertility’…the inability to become pregnant, despite frequent, unprotected sex within one year.  An infertility evaluation by your health care provider may be initiated at this time, and even earlier (at 6 months) for those women over 35.

 

Suzanne Hall, MD (@drsuzyyhall)

Eastside Gynecology Obstetrics

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Do we all have "Fireworks" at climax?

Would you describe your sexual response as ‘fireworks’…‘a budding flame’…or ‘not much at all’?  Despite our societal conditioning of the ‘typical’ female orgasmic response, not all women experience “fireworks” at climax (like in the movies,)…possibly leaving those women with a ‘less than typical’ response, left wondering…‘Is there something wrong with me?

 

If you experience ‘fireworks’, that’s great!  But not all women experience ‘fireworks’ with climax (orgasm.)  In fact, less than a third of women even consistently experience orgasm with sex.  Like other sensory responses in our body, the frequency and quality of our individual sexual response vary amongst women (and often vary amongst experiences). Just like the ‘savor’ of chocolate cake, the ‘scent’ of spicy perfume, the picturesque  ‘vision’ of a floral garden bring different sensations to different women, so does our experience of sex.  Women vary in type, intensity and duration of orgasm, as well as in our level of satisfaction with the experience.

 

There is no ‘right’ answer for your response to sexual stimulation.  A ‘less than typical’ response, is only a problem if you see it as one, and desire more from your experience.

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Considering the Novasure procedure for Heavy Periods?...Answers to 5 Common Patient Questions

 

Heavy menstrual flow is a common occurrence affecting 10-35% of women, and a common reason for visits to the gynecologist.  Though the causes for heavy menstrual periods (menorrhagia) vary, the Novasure endometrial ablation procedure is an excellent treatment option for many women, when child-bearing is completed.

As an Ob/Gyn physician with greater than 10 years of experience performing the Novasure procedure (and with hundreds of satisfied patients having selected the procedure), I thought it may be helpful to discuss common questions from patients considering the procedure as their treatment of choice. Here are my answers to 5 common patient questions regarding the Novasure procedure:

 

1. How is the procedure performed?/What can  I expect from my menstrual flow after the procedure…lighter periods or no period?

The procedure is considered minimally invasive, performed through the vaginal aspect without surgical incisions.  The Novasure wand (containing a triangular mesh) is inserted within the uterus, where a short (less than 2 minute) cauterization of the uterine lining occurs.  The procedure may be performed in an outpatient surgical setting (with anesthesia) or possibly in your doctor’s office.  You should expect to be back to normal activities within a day or so.

Several research studies on the results of the Novasure procedure note over 90-95% patient satisfaction with the procedure.  Expected results range from notably lighter menstrual periods (for most patients)…to skipped/or absent menstrual flows (up to 40% of patients.)  It’s not possible to predict for patient’s what result they will get, but when questioned overall, most patients are (very) satisfied with the results achieved.


 

 

Suzanne Hall, MD, FACOG

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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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Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) in Pregnancy

Did you know that up to 10-15% of pregnancies are affected by hypertension? About 5% of those cases are in women previously known to have hypertension (termed ‘chronic hypertension’), prior to pregnancy.  Another 5-8%, develop hypertension within the pregnancy (termed ‘gestational hypertension’ or ‘pregnancy-induced hypertension’.)

 

Hypertensive disorders are characterized by blood pressures consistently ranging 140/90 or greater.  Women with chronic hypertension (existing before pregnancy, or diagnosed before 20 weeks of gestation) may require blood pressure medications to control their blood pressure, even throughout the pregnancy.  Those medications should be reviewed with your healthcare provider, to assess their safety in pregnancy, even before conception.

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Choosing Pregnancy at Later Ages in Life... What my Medical Training Didn't Teach Me

If anyone should know the concerns of choosing pregnancy and childbirth later in life, as an Ob-Gyn physician, having given birth to my first child at 39 yo, I should think I’d be one of them.   With my training and experience as an Ob-Gyn physician, I was fully aware of my risks in deciding on childbirth…as a woman of ‘advanced maternal age’.  I counsel women on their risks nearly every day.

I already knew that at my age, it may take longer for me to get pregnant. I knew that advancing age is associated with subfertility (prolongation in time to achieve conception,) and I knew this to be related to altered/changing hormonal patterns as we age, leading to suboptimal ovulation.  I already knew that there is decreased ovarian reserve (fewer fertilizable eggs remaining in our ovaries) as we age.  I also knew that advancing age was associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, most likely related to the poorer quality of aging eggs, and the increased chances of fertilizing an egg containing abnormal chromosomal material...

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Suzanne Hall, MD  (@drsuzyyhall)

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