I recently participated in a live chat with Swedish to answer questions that women had on urine leakage, bladder control treatments, pelvic floor disorders, and other pelvic health topics.
Click here to read through the archive of the chat. I also wanted to answer a few other questions I get asked, but didn't come up in the chat:
IUDs are plastic devices that are placed in the uterus by a healthcare provider. There are three products available in the U.S.:
In order to get the most out of your appointment here are some simple tips:
1. Come prepared!
- Bring a list of your medications; this can help us be sure that anything we prescribe will be safe for you. Your problem may also be related to your medication – for example, blood thinners can cause heavy periods.
- Know your family history. Things that are important for OB/GYNs to know include family member with blood clots, recurrent (more than 3) miscarriages, family members with cancer of the breast, ovary, uterus or colon (bowel.) It is also helpful to know the age they were diagnosed.
- Bring a list of questions! The more you ask, the more you’ll know. We want our patients to be well informed so that we can help you make the right treatment plan for you. Also, there may not be time to go over everything in one appointment so make sure you start with what is important to you.
- Trust me, we have seen and heard everything and there is very little than can shock us! It is important that you are open and honest so that we can make sure we understand exactly what is going on to come up with the right diagnosis.
- It is likely that ...
Some of the most common are:
- Heavy periods that are not controlled on hormones or an inability to take hormones to control the period.
- Large fibroids that press on the bladder or the bowel, or are so large they can be felt on the abdomen.
- Endometriosis (usually if this is requiring a hysterectomy it is due to both pain and bleeding).
- Uterine artery embolization where microscopic plastic beads are inserted into the uterine arteries to block the majority of blood flow to the uterus. This causes the uterus to slowly shrink in size. The uterus may decrease to half of its normal size within 2-3 years. Initially there is a lot of inflammation of the uterus as it loses its blood supply. The pain associated with this will usually require ibuprofen and narcotics. Most women stay in the hospital for overnight, and it is usually about 2 weeks before you are feeling well enough to resume normal activities.
- Myomectomy, a surgical removal of the fibroids. There are two ...
A good time to schedule a visit with a gynecologist (or women’s health specialist) is when you first have problems or concerns with menstrual periods, including premenstrual moods, acne around menses, vaginal discharge or any other cyclic discomfort. That appointment will involve a conversation about what is bothering you and may include a pelvic exam or may not. Likely the doctor will ask you questions and together you will decide whether or not an exam is necessary.
Around age 13, even if you feel fine and are just wondering when you should come in for a routine exam, is a good time to schedule an appointment to discuss your female health, contraception and screening for sexually transmitted infection. Vaccinations may be recommended if you have not already received routine immunizations. Some of the things that may be discussed include your health history, family health history, your habits with regard to diet and exercise, smoking or any drug use and sexual activities. Some of these topics are things you may find difficult to discuss with friends and family. In the gynecologists office we talk about those things all of the time! Often we give you pamphlets or point to online resources for you. The conversation is confidential and it is okay for you to remind the health care provider that you wish it to remain confidential.
What is a pelvic exam and why might I need one?
A pelvic exam is ...
MILL CREEK, WASH., Feb. 19, 2013 – If heavy periods are interfering with your daily activities, you’re not alone. It is estimated that one in five women deal with this problem every month. The good news is that there is a wide range of treatment options that can reduce or eliminate those symptoms and get women back to their regular activities.