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Although ovarian cancer is one of the most common reproductive cancers for women, many women don’t realize that it is a devastating diagnosis. Unlike Pap testing for cervical cancer, there is no defined testing method for ovarian cancer. Although there are symptoms commonly-associated with ovarian cancer like bloating in the abdomen, sudden weight gain, and abdominal pain, they are often subtle and easy to miss. This is why so many cases of ovarian cancer go undiagnosed until they are in later stages. As with any form of cancer, the earlier it is detected, the more easily it can be treated.

what are the signs of ovarian cancerUnderstanding your risk of ovarian cancer is critical for women of all ages. This is especially true for women of more advanced ages, as your risk may increase over time. In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month this September, our board-certified gynecologists have provided the following statistics from the American Cancer Society to illustrate the effect of this terrible disease on women across the US.

  • Ovarian cancer is the fifth most deadly form of cancer for women and causes more deaths annually than any other gynecological cancer.
  • This year, an estimated 22,240 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
  • Over 14,000 women die annually from the disease.
  • A woman's risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about 1 in 78.
  • Roughly half of all women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 63 years of age or older.
  • The number of cases diagnosed annually have remained constant since 2010, though this rate has decreased significantly over the last 20 years.
  • The five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is 46.5%, however, this is much higher for women whose condition is detected at an early stage.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month is the perfect time to spread knowledge and awareness in hopes of educating women about this terrible disease and its impact on women across the country. After all, education and understanding are essential tools in the fight against gynecological cancer. For more information on ovarian cancer or to schedule an appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for additional tips, news, and details on our upcoming Health and Wellness events.

Since its creation in 1960, the birth control pill has transitioned from a curiosity to a vital component of maintaining good reproductive health for women across the world. Although public understanding of “The Pill” and how it can help women has increased significantly over the last few decades, many myths and misconceptions about birth control pills still exist. For instance, some women think there is only one kind of birth control pill and it may not be right for their needs, however this is far from the truth. The prevalence of misinformation can scare off women who could strongly benefit from taking oral contraception or even lead to misuse and unwanted pregnancy. With this in mind, our board-certified gynecologists have taken some time to debunk a few of the most common myths about birth control pills.

Birth Control Options for Women in their 40sMyth #1: Birth Control Pills Will Make You Gain Weight

It’s common for women to ask if taking birth control pills will lead to weight gain. While it’s true that some women seem to gain weight while they are taking the pill, research has not shown any association between weight gain and birth control pills. Some women who take birth control pills with estrogen may experience mild bloating, but this is typically temporary. Some women who take progestin-based birth control pills may notice an increase in their appetite, but this can be counteracted with a healthy diet and exercise.

Myth #2: You Need to Take the Pill at the Same Time Every Day

This actually depends on which type of birth control pill you take. If you take the progestin-only birth control pill, it’s important to take it at the same time every day since its effectiveness begins to wear off after about 26 hours. However, if you take the combined pill (which contains progestin and estrogen), the timing is more flexible since combined birth control pills are able to effectively prevent ovulation. Regardless of the type of pill you are taking, we encourage you to take it at the same time every day as a means of forming a habit, so you don’t miss a day. Taking the pill the same time every day can also prevent break through bleeding. Try taking it when you brush your teeth in the morning.

Myth #3: Contraception is the Only Reason to Take Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills can provide several additional health benefits for women in addition to preventing unwanted pregnancy. Taking the pill can help make the menstrual cycle more predictable. Birth control pills can also effectively lower a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer and help manage pain and minimize the effects of endometriosis. The pill can help improve acne and moods related to PMS.

Education and knowledge are essential parts of reproductive health and wellness for women. If you have additional questions or concerns about birth control, it’s important to ask them during your next appointment with your board-certified gynecologist in order to determine the most appropriate form of contraception for your personal needs. For more information on birth control or to schedule an appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould or physician assistant Nikki McCann, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for additional reproductive health tips, news, and more.

Any healthcare professional will tell you that it is important to maintain a healthy diet. Eating right is an essential element of keeping our bodies and minds healthy and sharp. This only becomes more and more important as we age. But did you know that in addition to assisting our general health and wellbeing, eating healthy is also essential for a woman’s reproductive health as well? Allow us to explain.

gaogIn addition to providing the body with energy and essential nutrients that it needs, eating a healthy diet can also help reduce the risk of potential reproductive issues for women. Being overweight or obese has been linked to some of the most common forms of gynecological cancer (ovarian and uterine). There is also a strong association between obesity and several reproductive health concerns for women including infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), menopause side effects like hot flashes, and more.

When a woman enters menopause, the amount of estrogen her body produces naturally begins to decrease. Since estrogen is important for maintaining bone strength and density, this transition can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis. This is especially true for women who experience early menopause (before age 40), since the longer a woman’s estrogen levels stay depleted, the more bone mass she may lose. However, there are dietary measures women can take to keep their bones healthy and strong as they age and go through the stages of menopause. Most notably, we recommend foods and drinks that are rich in calcium and vitamin D like low-fat or fat-free dairy products, fatty fish (like salmon), and fortified yogurts and low-sugar juices.

To help promote more healthy eating habits at any age, we suggest that women should try to avoid excess calories from added sugars, saturated fat, and alcohol. This means limiting sweetened beverages (including sodas and sweet tea), candy, pastries, and other sweets. If you choose to drink, restrict your alcohol consumption to one drink per day. When available, choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products and lean proteins instead of their less healthy counterparts. Eating more salad and plant-based proteins like beans and lentils can be highly beneficial as well.

Keep in mind that women are typically smaller than men and have less muscle and more body fat. This means they need fewer calories to maintain a healthy body weight and energy level. For more information on nutrition and reproductive health, contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett to schedule your appointment today. Don’t forget to follow us Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for even more tips, news, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.

For many women, a hysterectomy is an elective procedure that can help treat several gynecological concerns like irregular bleeding, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or chronic pelvic pain. Women considering a hysterectomy must face many important decisions before they can undergo their procedure. First, you must be 100% positive that a hysterectomy is the best choice for your reproductive health needs. But even after you are sure that you want to pursue a hysterectomy, you must then decide which type of hysterectomy is right for you. To help guide women in their decision-making process, our board-certified gynecologists have taken some time to discuss the differences between total and partial hysterectomies.

Total or Partial Which Hysterectomy is Right for MeDuring a total hysterectomy, the entire uterus and cervix are removed. A total hysterectomy can be performed by making an abdominal incision around the bikini line or with a less invasive vaginal or laparoscopic technique. In some cases, one or both of the ovaries as well as the fallopian tubes may be removed as part of a total hysterectomy. It’s common for women with increased risks of gynecological cancers, including cervical cancer, to undergo a total hysterectomy as a preventative measure.

In many cases, patients may only require a partial hysterectomy, during which the uterus is removed, but not the cervix. Partial hysterectomies can also be performed abdominally, vaginally or laparoscopically. After undergoing a partial hysterectomy, which leaves the cervix intact, it’s important to keep up with your regular annual screenings and Pap testing.

A woman’s choice between a total or partial hysterectomy, as well as the technique used to perform her procedure, depends on several factors. These may include the reason for the hysterectomy, whether it is elective or medically-required, the size of your uterus, and your past medical history. Before making any decisions, we must first complete a comprehensive diagnosis of the woman’s general and reproductive health and come to a mutually-agreed upon course of action.

Regardless of which procedure option you are considering, a hysterectomy is a serious surgical procedure. It’s important to consult with an experienced, board-certified gynecologist to hear and thoroughly understand all of your options (including potential non-surgical alternatives) before making any final decisions. For more information about your hysterectomy options or to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more recommendations, news, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.

Vaginal dryness is among the most common reproductive health concerns for women. Although it may be commonly associated with older women, the truth is that vaginal dryness can affect women of all ages. In addition to leading to other common vaginal health problems like vaginal itching and painful or unsatisfying sex, vaginal dryness can also have a number of emotional or psychological effects including a decrease in a woman’s sex drive.

What Causes Vaginal DrynessThere are several potential causes of vaginal dryness, including psychological factors, reactions to products or medications, and natural hormonal changes. In order to successfully treat vaginal dryness, we must first determine the cause of your condition. This is why our board-certified gynecologists have taken some time to highlight the most common causes of vaginal dryness.

Menopause

It’s no secret that going through menopause can trigger a number of changes to a woman’s body. But did you know that vaginal dryness is among the most common symptoms for women during menopause? During the perimenopause period (the transition to menopause), a woman’s natural production of estrogen begins to decrease, and this continues throughout menopause. The lack of estrogen can make the vaginal lining thinner and lead to vaginal dryness.

Other Causes of Hormonal Changes

In addition to menopause, a woman’s levels of estrogen can decrease as a result of childbirth and breastfeeding, cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, and certain medications used to treat uterine fibroids or endometriosis.

Certain Vaginal Irritants

Chemicals found in some feminine hygiene products, including soaps and perfumes, may cause vaginal dryness. There can also be irritants on things like certain underwear or towels. We recommended using plain, unscented soaps and keeping tabs on any vaginal irritation that you experience.

Stress & Anxiety

Psychological and emotional factors can lead to vaginal dryness as well. Stress and anxiety can interfere with a woman’s sexual desire and affect the flow of blood to the vagina. This insufficient blood flow can directly lead to vaginal dryness in some cases.

The good news is that vaginal dryness can often be treated fairly simply. We offer FemTouch™ non-surgical laser vaginal rejuvenation for women who experience vaginal dryness and more of the most common vaginal health symptoms. For more information or to schedule your appointment, please contact board-certified gynecologist Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for additional tips, news, and 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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