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Posts for category: Obstetrics Gynecology

By Serenity Gynecology & Functional Medicine
June 12, 2020
Birth control is important if you’re a sexually active female. It keeps you safe from pregnancy while also providing other health benefits. Just like there are many different types of people, there are a variety of birth control options. It’s important to talk to your OBGYN to discover what works best for you. There is a birth control type that matches every female's preferences and lifestyle. 
Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives 
These are long-term birth control options that are inserted into your body. They can last anywhere between three-to-ten years without needing a replacement. Your OBGYN will insert the device during a scheduled appointment. These are great if you don’t want to worry about taking or applying your birth control daily. 
An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small, plastic T-shaped device inserted into the uterus. They are one of the most effective types of birth control. They are instantly reversible by having your OBGYN remove the IUD when you are thinking about conceiving. IUDs work by either releasing the hormone progestin, which thickens cervical mucus to keep sperm away or through copper, which functions as a spermicide. 
An implant is a thin rod that your OBGYN places into your arm. Just like with an IUD, this method is extremely effective. Once removed, a female can conceive right away. Implants last for years and work by producing progestin. It’s the same as a hormone IUD, with progestin thickening cervical mucus to stop sperm from reaching the egg. 
Short-Acting Hormonal Methods
This category contains birth control pills, the patch, the shot, and the vaginal ring. These differ from the long-acting type by needing to be used or replaced on a daily or monthly basis. 
Birth control pills are one of the most popular forms of contraceptives. Your OBGYN prescribes them for you. They are an affordable and easy option. You take the pill every day just like any other type of medication. For the best results, take it at the same time every day as well. 
The vaginal ring, called the NuvaRing, is a bendable ring placed in the vagina. Talk to your OBGYN about NuvaRing, as you need a prescription for it. This birth control method works by being inserted into your vagina. It stays there for twenty-one days before removal. You can either keep the ring out for a week during your period or replace it with the next one immediately after.
The birth control shot is also called Depo-Provera. This is an injectable form of birth control performed every three months. It is a very straightforward process. Every three months you go into your OBGYN office to receive a shot, which prevents fertility until the next dosage. It’s a great option for people who want something low maintenance and without daily interaction. 
The birth control patch is a weekly contraceptive. You put on a new patch every week for three weeks, leaving it off the fourth week while you’re menstruating. The patch is similar to a bandage and is commonly placed on the stomach, back, upper arm, or buttock. Talk to your OBGYN if this option is right for you. It is less effective for patients weighing over two-hundred pounds.  
By Serenity Gynecology & Functional Medicine
May 15, 2020
Tags: Colposcopy  
ColposcopyA colposcopy is an OBGYN procedure performed after abnormal test results for cervical cancer or unusual areas are detected on the vulva, vagina, or cervix. Pap smear results come back flagged if there’s a chance the cervix is infected with human papillomavirus (HPV). The entire exam takes between 5-15 minutes. The only difference between colposcopy and a Pap smear is that your OBGYN uses an instrument called a colposcope. Your OBGYN will walk you through the entire procedure. 
Why You Might Need a Colposcopy
Your OBGYN has reason to believe there is something wrong with your cervix. As mentioned, irregular pap smear results require a colposcopy. If you have already tested positive for HPV, it’s also necessary. Your OBGYN might also have noticed something unusual with your cervix during a pelvic exam. 
The results from your colposcopy can diagnose: 
  • Genital warts
  • Precancerous changes to the vagina, vulva, or cervix
  • Vulvar, cervical, or vaginal cancer
  • Cervicitis
What to Expect During the Procedure
This is a nonsurgical procedure your OBGYN will perform in their office. You’ll undress from the waist down and put on a medical gown. The doctor will have you lie down on the exam table and place your feet in the stirrups. Next, they use a speculum to open your vagina. This opens up the walls so the cervix is more visible. 
Because the procedure is somewhat uncomfortable, numbing medication or certain types of sedation are used. Once you are feeling comfortable, the next step is to clean the cervix. This gives your OBGYN a better view. The colposcope can now be used. This is a magnifying instrument placed right outside the vulva. A light shines through it and brightens the cervix. All the unusual areas on the cervix are made completely clear. A biopsy is then taken of these abnormal cells for further testing. 
After everything is done, expect some mild discomfort. It’s similar to having a slight period cramp. In the next few days, you’ll experience spotting, bleeding, or dark discharge. 
Before Your Appointment
You’re going to want to make sure that your appointment doesn’t take place during your period. This makes it much easier for your OBGYN to perform the colposcopy. For at least twenty-four hours before your appointment, avoid using creams like medicine, douches, tampons, and engaging in vaginal sex.
Make sure to let your doctor know beforehand if you’re pregnant or on any blood thinner medication. 
By Serenity Gynecology & Functional Medicine
May 11, 2020
Tags: Hormone Management  

Hormone replacement therapy or HRT entails managing your hormones by taking medications that contain female hormones to substitute the ones your body stops producing following menopause. In general, it’s used for treating common symptoms of menopause such as vaginal discomfort and hot flashes. HRT has likewise been proven to minimize fractures and prevent bone loss in postmenopausal females.

While immensely beneficial, HRT also comes with risks that will mainly depend on certain factors such as the dose, the exact kind of hormone therapy, and the duration of the therapy. With this in mind, the management of HRT should be a partnership with your gynecologist. Dr. Miriam Torres, your women’s healthcare specialist here at Serenity Gynecology & Functional Medicine in Grapevine, TX, can customize an HRT plan for you to ensure that you benefit from it with no to little risk.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Benefits

The benefits of HRT would depend on which type of therapy you’ll be undergoing, whether vaginal estrogen products or systemic hormone therapy.

Low-Dose Estrogen Vaginal Preparations

These estrogen preparations, which are available in ring, tablet, or cream forms could treat vaginal and urinary symptoms effectively while reducing absorption into your body. However, these don’t work to combat night sweat, hot flashes, and they also can’t protect against osteoporosis.

If your uterus is still intact, your gynecologist and women’s healthcare professional in Grapevine, TX, may prescribe estrogen with progestin or progesterone. The reason for this is that estrogen, if not balanced with adequate levels of progesterone, could trigger the uterus lining’s growth and raise your risk for cancer of the uterus. On the other hand, if you’ve already had a hysterectomy, you won’t need to take progesterone.

Systemic Hormone Therapy

This entails taking systemic estrogen products, which are available in pill, spray, cream, gel, or patch forms. These are very effective in treating annoying symptoms of menopause like night sweats and hot flashes. Likewise, estrogen could help relieve vaginal dryness, discomfort, itching, or burning during sexual intercourse. Additionally, combined progesterone and estrogen therapy may lower your risk of developing colon cancer.

Studies have also found that systemic estrogen could help reduce your risk for heart disease when you take it as early as possible in your postmenopausal years. It can also help safeguard against osteoporosis but doctors typically recommend bisphosphonates for treating this bone-thinning condition.

To figure out whether you can benefit from hormone replacement therapy, speak to your gynecologist about your specific symptoms and issues.

If You Have Concerns, Questions, or Need Information on Women’s Healthcare Issues and Hormone Management, Call Us

Dial (817) 280-9616 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Miriam Torres here at Serenity Gynecology & Functional Medicine in Grapevine, TX.

By Serenity Gynecology & Functional Medicine
March 26, 2020
Tags: Pelvic Pain  

How your gynecologist in Grapevine, TX, can help you feel better

Are you struggling with pain below the belly button in the lower abdomen? If you experience this pelvic pain infrequently, it could be a completely normal sign of ovulation or menstruation. However, if you are experiencing chronic pelvic pain, it could be a sign of a more serious condition.

Fortunately, your gynecologist is an expert at diagnosing and treating pelvic pain. Dr. Miriam Torres of Serenity Gynecology & Functional Medicine in Grapevine, TX, can help you feel better.

More about pelvic pain

There are many different types of pelvic pain. Pain can be sharp and occur suddenly, or you may experience a dull ache that starts out gradually, becoming worse over time. Pelvic pain can be a symptom of:

  • Menstruation or ovulation
  • Bladder conditions including interstitial cystitis
  • Cystitis or a urinary tract infection
  • Gonorrhea, chlamydia, or other STD
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis
  • Ectopic pregnancy or appendicitis
  • Pelvic adhesions or uterine fibroids
  • Ovarian cysts, tumors, or cancer

If you are experiencing severe pelvic pain or pain that has changed in severity, you should seek out help from your gynecologist. You should also visit your gynecologist if you are experiencing pelvic pain along with:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unexpected vaginal bleeding

Your gynecologist will record your medical history, your symptoms, and perform a comprehensive medical examination, including a pelvic exam. Your gynecologist may also recommend imaging including a pelvic ultrasound to help determine what is causing your pelvic pain. Laboratory testing including blood and urine tests may be recommended, as well.

Concerned? Give us a call

To learn more about the causes and treatment of pelvic pain, call Dr. Miriam Torres of Serenity Gynecology & Functional Medicine in Grapevine, TX, at (817) 280-9616. Call now, and feel better!

By Serenity Gynecology & Functional Medicine
February 27, 2020

Did you know that cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer for women worldwide? While this statistic can be startling the good news is that it is one of the most preventable cancers. A cervical cancer screening is one of the best and most reliable tools our OBGYN has to detect cancerous and precancerous cells within the cervix. This screening is most often referred to as a Pap test.

What is a Pap test?

Women as young as 21 years old should start getting routine cervical cancer screenings from their OBGYN. If results from the first Pap smear are normal then women between the ages of 21 to 29 will only need to get a Pap test every three years. Women with an abnormal Pap will require a repeat Pap test to look for the presence of precancerous cells.

Women between the ages of 30 to 65 should get a cervical cancer screening every 5 years. Once a woman reaches 65 years old, she usually won’t need to undergo cervical cancer screenings any longer. Women at high risk for cervical cancer may need to come in more often for screenings. This is something that you can discuss with your gynecologist during your first screening or next annual wellness exam.

Are there other ways to prevent cervical cancer?

Along with getting routine cervical cancer screenings your OBGYN can also provide a way to protect young women from contracting HPV, a common STI that is also the leading cause of cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine is often recommended for young women around the age of 11 or 12.

This vaccine can be administered to women between the ages of 13 and 26 who have not contracted HPV. The vaccine comes in three doses and it protects against the strains of HPV that are most likely to cause cervical cancer. Even if women have received the HPV vaccine they should still come in for routine screenings and checkups.

Whether you want to learn more about the HPV vaccine or you need to schedule your annual checkup and Pap smear, turn to your OBGYN today to take an active interest in your reproductive health.