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Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we consider patient education one of the most valuable and essential parts of our work. And in the case of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), education is an incredibly powerful tool in preventing and helping our patients promote good reproductive health and wellness. So in honor of STI Awareness Month this April, our reproductive healthcare providers wanted to present some helpful statistics about STIs for adults in America. All statistics were collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

  • 1 in 5 Americans are living with an STI.
  • Over 26,000 new STIs are diagnosed annually in the US.
  • Nearly 50% of these new infections occur in people between the ages of 15-24.
  • STIs result in over $16 billion in direct medical costs for Americans each year.
  • However, women are only responsible for roughly 25% of these direct medical costs.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) is by far the most common STI, resulting in over 42 million currently diagnosed cases. 
  • And since HPV is highly contagious and may not come with any noticeable symptoms, experts believe the incidence rate, or the number of undiagnosed cases, is also very high.
  • There are currently more diagnosed cases of HPV among Americans than herpes, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, HIV, gonorrhea, and syphilis combined.

 The best way to treat a potential STI is to prevent it before it occurs. For sexually active adults, we strongly recommend making sure to use a latex condom during sex and making sure that it is being used properly. Unprotected sexual contact with an infected person presents a very high risk of contracting an STI. Receiving an HPV vaccine is highly recommended. We also strongly suggest avoiding sharing towels or underclothing with other people and making sure to wash properly before and after having sexual intercourse.

Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we offer a wide variety of treatment options for the most common STIs. Treatment plans are custom-tailored to best align with each woman’s preferences and what is best for her overall health and wellness. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And follow along with us on Facebook and our medical spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics, on Instagram.

Dr-Gould-photoThe board-certified gynecologist, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett take our responsibility as educators very seriously. Reproductive health concerns can be very complicated and difficult to talk about. However, providing women with the knowledge they need to better understand these issues is a critical part of our job. This is why we are always happy to answer any questions, no matter how small they may seem. Below are a few helpful questions and answers on various topics pertaining to women’s health and wellness including birth control, Pap testing, and yeast infections.

Question #1: Is it possible to remove or undo long-term birth control methods?

Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we offer different long-term birth control options for women including intrauterine devices (IUDs) and birth control implants. However, all of these methods can be safely and easily removed if a woman changes her mind about her preferred birth control method or wants to try to become pregnant.

Question #2: How often should I have Pap testing performed to screen for cervical cancer?

The regularity with which a woman should have Pap testing performed depends on her age and medical history. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends for women between the ages of 21–29 have a Pap test done at least once every 3 years. For women between 30–65, a combined Pap test and HPV test is recommended every 3-5 years. However, though there is value in having it done annually, especially for women with a family history of cervical cancer or a previous Pap test that showed precancerous cells.

Question #3: How are yeast infections diagnosed?

If a woman experiences common symptoms associated with yeast infections, including itching, burning, redness, and an irregular vaginal discharge, it’s important to see a reproductive healthcare professional. Self-diagnosing, even for women with a history of yeast infections, is rarely accurate and a professional diagnosis is still required. In our office, we will perform a pelvic exam and take a vaginal sample to examine under a microscope to perform a culture. This can effectively determine if an infection (and what type of infection) is present and allow us to find the correct course of treatment.

We hope our readers found these questions and answers informative and reassuring. We understand that many women will have additional questions of their own. That’s why we always take the time during appointments to address any questions, concerns, or curiosities women may have. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And follow along with us on Facebook and our medical spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics, on Instagram.

woman-holds-stomachIn honor of Endometriosis Awareness Month this March, we thought now would be an excellent time to discuss one of the most common and frustrating reproductive health conditions that women face. Endometriosis occurs when the uterine lining, or endometrium, extends beyond the uterus. This can lead to a chronic inflammatory reaction in other areas of the female reproductive system and beyond. Below are some helpful facts about endometriosis:

  • Experts estimate that endometriosis occurs in about 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15-49.
  • It is most commonly diagnosed in women who are in their 30s and 40s.
  • Scar tissue or inflammation from endometriosis is most often detected in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or outer areas of the uterus, bladder, ureters, intestines, and rectum.
  • In some rare cases, it has been detected on the diaphragm or in the lungs.
  • Although this varies from woman to woman, common endometriosis symptoms include irregular bleeding, pain during menstrual periods,ovulation, and sex, chronic pelvic discomfort, fatigue, and infertility.
  • Nearly 4 in every 10 women that experience infertility have endometriosis. This is often due to inflammation that can damage or interfere with the sperm or egg during passage through the fallopian tubes and uterus.
  • Although there is no cure for or way to prevent endometriosis, there are several things women can do to reduce their risk. This includes getting regular daily exercise and avoiding drinking large amounts of alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
  • Endometriosis can be treated with certain medications including hormonal birth control pills or GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) agonists.
  • In some cases, we may perform surgery to remove the endometriosis without removing any reproductive organs. We may recommend an ablation or a hysterectomy for women with more severe or persistent symptoms.

We hope our readers found these facts informative and helpful. We believe strongly in the power of spreading awareness of endometriosis and other reproductive health concerns in order to help as many women as possible find the relief they deserve. For more information on endometriosis or to schedule an appointment with one of our reproductive healthcare experts today, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And follow us on Facebook for more tips and updates. Follow our full-service medical spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics on Instagram for details on their cosmetic specials and so much more.

woman-with-questioning-lookThe reproductive health effects after menopause are wide-ranging. One of these concerns is genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). However, it’s a fact that nearly 50% of postmenopausal women will experience genitourinary syndrome of menopause. Despite the availability of safe and effective treatment methods, very few women receive treatment for symptoms of this common condition. This is why our board-certified gynecologist and reproductive healthcare providers wanted to discuss GSM to help educate our readers on how it can be identified and treated.

Also sometimes referred to as vulvovaginal atrophy, genitourinary syndrome occurs in women due to a lack of estrogen produced by the ovaries after menopause. Following menopause, it’s common for women with low estrogen levels to experience thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls.

Although GSM may affect women differently, there are many commonalities. Vaginal dryness, itching, and irregular discharge are the most common. Additionally, women with genitourinary syndrome of menopause may also experience vaginal pain or discomfort during sex, recurring urinary tract infections, light bleeding following sex, or a tightening of the vaginal canal. Problems associated with urination including urinary incontinence, frequent urination, or burning with urination may also occur.

Women who seek treatment for GSM have different treatment paths to choose from. Some women may benefit from hormone therapies that supply the body with estrogen (and/or progestogen) to restore more balanced and stable hormone levels following menopause.

The reproductive healthcare experts here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett and our full-service medical spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics, use FemTouch™ Non-Surgical Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation to treat the effects of this condition. FemTouch™ treatments utilize fractional CO2 laser technology to rebuild the vaginal wall without the need for surgery or downtime for recovery. In fact, a recent study published by the North American Menopause Society found that Fractional CO2 laser therapy like FemTouch™ were able to improve sexual function and address sexual problems related to GSM.

We understand that it can feel embarrassing or uncomfortable to discuss these symptoms. However, speaking frankly with one of our reproductive healthcare providers is the first step towards treating genitourinary syndrome of menopause and restoring your reproductive health and wellness after menopause. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook or check our medical spa MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics on Instagram for additional news, tips, and much more.

doctor-patient-consultFebruary is officially American Heart Month; a time to reflect on the importance of heart health and what we can do to take care of the most important muscle in our body. Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we often stress the relationship between a woman’s reproductive health and wellness and her overall physical wellbeing. That’s why we wanted to take a moment to discuss a few common reproductive health concerns and the impact they can have on heart health for women.


Menopause

Once a woman transitions into menopause her risk for developing heart disease increases considerably. This is partially due to the natural dip in estrogen produced by a woman’s ovaries after she has gone through menopause. Decreased estrogen levels have also been known to increase a woman’s risk for developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes; three conditions commonly associated with heart disease. Women who transition into menopause at an early age (premature menopause) have an even greater risk for heart disease due to this increased time with a depleted supply of estrogen.


Endometriosis

In addition to causing reproductive issues like pelvic pain and irregular bleeding, endometriosis can make women more vulnerable to more serious heart health concerns. Endometriosis can contribute to coronary artery disease and potential heart attacks, as well as other conditions that promote heart disease like chronic inflammation and high levels of "bad" cholesterol. In fact, women below the age of 40 who experience endometriosis may be as much as three times more likely to have heart disease than women without endometriosis in the same age range.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is commonly associated with a wide variety of symptoms including infertility, acne, excess body hair growth, and weight fluctuation, but there is also a link between PCOS and two common indicators of heart disease. Women with PCOS are at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, both of which can lead to heart attack, cardiovascular disease, and other heart problems. Roughly 35% of women with PCOS have prediabetes and 10% go on to develop diabetes by age 40. This is why it’s so important for women with PCOS to regularly exercise and make heart healthy lifestyle choices.

Heart health is obviously nothing to take lightly. Our hope is that by providing this information, our readers will not worry, but use this guidance to be more aware of their risk of developing heart disease and take a more proactive approach to maintaining long-term health and wellness. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified gynecologists or licensed nurse practitioners, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. You can also follow us on Facebook or check our medical spa MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics on Instagram for additional news, tips, and much more.

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Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett
601 Professional Drive, Suite 330
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046   
Phone: 678.380.1980   
Fax: 678.380.7348

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Monday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Tuesday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Wednesday 8:30AM–4:30PM
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Friday 8:30AM–12PM
Saturday Closed
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