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'women' posts

Are You Up to Date on Your Pap Smear?

Recent changes to Pap guidelines may have you wondering when exactly you need to have a pap smear and in turn, how often you really need an annual exam with your gynecologist. Here I’m going to review the new pap guidelines so you can determine if you are up to date! Of course, every patient should check with their physician about what they recommend regarding the timing of cervical cancer screening because some specific populations may have different recommendations. These are just the general guidelines.

Pap smears are a screening test for cervical cancer. They have helped decrease the incidence of cervical cancer by more than 50% in the last 30 years. Over the last decade we’ve also begun testing for HPV (or Human Papillomavirus) which is by far the most common cause of abnormal pap smears and cervical cancer. It is an incredibly common sexually transmitted virus that can be spread by genital to genital contact but also oral to genital and manual to genital contact. It has been estimated that 75 to 80 percent of sexually active adults will acquire a genital tract HPV infection before the age of 50. Luckily, most HPV-infected women, especially younger women, will mount an effective immune response to the virus and will never develop dysplasia or cancer.

HPV is not like herpes —YOU CAN GET RID OF IT! The amount of time it takes to get rid of the virus varies but most experts think it takes an average of 8-24 months. Women with persistent HPV infections are more likely to get dysplasia and if it goes undetected or untreated, over time it can develop into cancer. HPV infections of the cervix do not cause symptoms and can only be detected by pap screening. Unfortunately we don’t have a cure for HPV, but vaccinations are available and FDA approved for girls and now boys ages 9-26. More on HPV is sure to show up in future blog posts, so stay tuned!

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends starting pap screening ....

Say No to Mom Guilt

We moms have all sorts of things we feel guilty about but shouldn’t.

We feel guilty because...

  • We go to work (we feel like we should be home)
  • We stay home (we feel like we should go to work)
  • We play with our kids (we should get the chores done)
  • We work on the chores (we should be playing with the kids)
  • We want some ‘me’ time (we should be spending time with our partner)
  • We want to work out and get back in shape (we should be working, playing with the kids, getting the chores done, and spending time with our partners)

That’s it! We work at work and work at home (and only write our blog at 11pm the night before it’s due after partner and the kids have all gone to bed.)

Mom guilt is a real problem. If you search “Mom Guilt” in Google, you’ll get 12,700,000 results in .2 seconds. This topic is well versed, but they all say the same things:

It Is Time

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week next week, I’d like to talk about the issue of feeding a baby. You’ve probably heard the statistics on the benefits of breastfeeding but, I’d like to talk about the history of breastfeeding, how formula fits in, and tolerance.

Over the last century or more, women have been searching for an alternative means to feed their babies, rather than breastfeed. We’re too busy or we want our Independence. Unfortunately, maybe the mother died during childbirth or the baby was adopted. Then there’s the sexualization of the female breasts which has caused some people to turn away from breastfeeding or to persecute those who choose to breastfeed.

Prior to 1867, there were limited ways for a baby to be fed. The mother could breastfeed, family members or a ‘wet nurse’ (a breastfeeding surrogate nanny), or there was the milk from a nonhuman mammal such as a cow or goat. The latter two options did not prove very successful because of the difficulties for the baby to digest the milk.

A ‘formula’ developed in 1915 based on nonfat cow’s milk, lactose, oleo oils and vegetable oils became the basis for modern, commercially prepared infant formula. Although there have been improvements to infant formula over the years.

As parents, we make 100’s of decisions everyday. There are some that are easier than others, like whether we want to wear pants or a skirt, high heels or flats. We get so used to making decisions that oftentimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it.

Some decisions carry more weight....

Ladies, What Does Your Health Picture Look Like?

Several of us don’t enjoy having our photo taken.  It’s just so 2-dimensional and we feel like it just does not show the “real” us.  Getting your health photo is a whole different situation. 

There are screenings that are recommended at certain ages that will tell you what your health profile is looking like, so you can take an active role in reducing your risk for disease. (Men, make sure you know how your engine is running, too.)

Screening tests for Women:

What you need and  when:

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