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Menopause can be a challenging experience for any woman, but it is especially difficult for women who experience premature menopause (otherwise known as premature ovarian failure). The average age that women in the US go through menopause is 52. Premature menopause describes when menopause occurs before the age of 40. It currently affects roughly 5% of all women in the US.

menopause womens wellness osteoporosis female health concerns gynecological healthIn addition to familiar menopause symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings, women who undergo premature menopause may have additional physical and emotional concerns to consider. For instance, since women who experience premature menopause will live longer with depleted estrogen levels that are associated with menopause, they may be more at risk for health conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease. Although many cases of premature menopause can occur without any one obvious cause, there are several factors that can greatly increase a woman’s chances of experiencing premature menopause:

  • Women with a family history of premature menopause, whether it be a mother, grandmother, sister, or any other relative can have a higher chance of undergoing premature menopause.
  • Surgery to remove the ovaries can lead to periods stopping, estrogen levels decreasing and sudden, strong menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes and decreased sex drive.
  • Smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of premature menopause and lead to even more severe menopause symptoms.
  • Undergoing cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy can damage the ovaries and cause a halt in menstrual periods, as well as difficulty getting pregnant.
  • Certain health conditions and genetic mutations such as autoimmune diseases (including thyroid disease), HIV or AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, or missing chromosomes, can also contribute to premature menopause.
  • Gynecological health conditions like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can potentially lead to premature menopause

It is especially important for women who have undergone premature menopause to be diligent and proactive in regard to their reproductive health and wellness. Our hope is that being aware of the prevalence of premature menopause and these risk factors can help women physically and emotionally prepare for the possibility of premature menopause. For more info on premature menopause, menopause, and help improving your symptoms, schedule an appointment with our gynecological healthcare providers, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips, news, updates, and details on our upcoming Health and Wellness events.

Fertility problems can be the cause of considerable strain within a relationship. If a woman is not able to get pregnant after trying for a full year (or six months if she is 35 or older), she may be experiencing issues related to female infertility. The same can be true for women who have the ability to become pregnant but are unable to stay pregnant. Our gynecological health providers understand that this is a serious subject for many women, so we wanted to share some questions and answers we have received regarding female infertility and how it can be treated.

Ask the Gynecologists Female InfertilityQuestion #1: How common is infertility for women?

Although it may not be very common to hear women discuss fertility issues due to the intimate nature of this concern, female infertility is actually very common and nothing to be ashamed of. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10% of women in the US between the ages of 15 - 44 experience difficulties getting or staying pregnant.

Question #2: What is ovulation induction and how can it help women with fertility problems?

Since many cases of female infertility (roughly 25%) occur due to issues related to ovulation, one of the most common treatment methods for female infertility involves the use of medication designed to induce ovulation. Ovulation induction can be used to help women facilitate natural conception or to increase the number of eggs that can be used in assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Some of the more common ART methods include in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Ovulation induction is administered by delivering a series of injections during specific times in a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Question #3: Are there things women can do at home to reduce their risk of experiencing female infertility?

Although some fertility problems result from gynecological conditions like endometriosis or hereditary factors that are out of a woman’s control, certain lifestyle habits can increase a woman’s chances of experiencing infertility. We recommend maintaining a stable, normal bodyweight, as woman who are underweight or overweight are statistically more likely to deal with infertility. Avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol, and limiting caffeine consumption can all help as well.

Although gaining knowledge on the subject can help women achieve a better understanding of fertility issues and how they can be prevented, regular appointments with a board-certified gynecologist are still the best way to make sure a woman is in the best-possible reproductive health. At Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we specialize in detecting and treating reproductive health conditions that can lead to infertility before they become an issue. For more information on female infertility or to schedule an appointment, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional news, tips, and more from the world of women’s health and wellness.

The annual well woman exam is the perfect time for women to reconnect with their gynecologist and establish a clear picture of the state of their overall reproductive health. But as a woman’s body and gynecological health changes as the years go on, so do the components of her annual exam. Although all well woman exams involve in-depth discussions on a variety of topics relating to a woman’s health and wellness, certain examinations and other components of the visit can fluctuate as a woman ages. To help explain what women can expect from their annual visit, our board-certified gynecologists have provided this outline for the components of a well woman exam for the following age ranges.

How Do Well Woman Exams Change As I AgeFemales Between Ages 14 - 18

Although it’s common for women not to begin their well woman exams until they have turned 18, we may recommend starting as young as age 14 in cases where there is a history of certain female health issues or underlying conditions not typically handled by a pediatrician. Additionally, if a woman has become sexually active before age 18, it may also be appropriate to begin well woman exams sooner. This may include a pelvic exam, tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (sometimes referred to as sexually transmitted diseases), and a human papillomavirus (HPV) immunization.

Women Between Ages 19 - 39

For women between 19 - 39, a well woman exam might include an HPV immunization, however this is only available until age 26. In addition to a pelvic exam and other standard health screenings like testing cholesterol levels, thyroid function, and liver and kidney function, we typically begin screening for common cancers for women including annual clinical breast exams and Pap testing for cervical cancer during this timeframe.

Women Between Ages 40 - 64

It is during this age range when we typically begin to more closely monitor for symptoms of menopause. This can include testing bone density as there is a close association between menopause and osteoporosis. The American College of Obstetricians/Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends annual screening mammograms beginning at the age of 40.

Women Aged 65 Years & Over

Starting at age 65, clinical breast exams are still offered annually. Although some women may discontinue their pelvic exams at this age, we personally still strongly recommend including them as part of a well woman exam.

Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, our gynecological healthcare providers work hard to provide knowledge, guidance, and peace of mind during all well woman exams in our office. We pride ourselves on providing the patient care, professionalism, and discretion that every woman deserves. For more information or to schedule a well woman examination, contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips, news and more.

April is STD Awareness Month, a critical time to raise awareness about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs (also known as sexually transmitted diseases) are infections that can be spread by sexual contact with another person. With the exception of common colds and the flu, STIs are the most common contagious infections in the US, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Some STIs can cause serious health concerns if not properly diagnosed and treated. So, in the spirit of patient education and awareness, our gynecological healthcare providers wanted to share some tips about how common STIs can be prevented.

  • How to Prevent STIUnderstand that your partner’s sexual history is as important as your own when trying to prevent STIs. The more partners you or your partner(s) have, the higher your risk of developing an STI will be.
  • Having safe sex is essential, as any unprotected sexual contact with an infected person poses a very high risk of getting an STI. Use a latex condom during sex and make sure that it is being used properly. Despite popular belief, condoms that are lubricated with spermicides do not offer any extra protection against STIs.
  • Avoid sharing towels or underclothing with other people.
  • Wash properly before and after sexual intercourse.
  • Undergo regular HIV testing during annual well woman exams.

Although some STIs cannot be completely cured, early detection and diagnosis can help effectively treat them and significantly manage their symptoms. That’s why practicing safe sex and receiving regular STI testing is so important for adults who are sexually active. For more information about STIs or to schedule a testing appointment today, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips, news, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.

 

Yeast infections are among the most common reproductive health concerns for women. Some women may be more prone to these uncomfortable and frustrating infections. If you’re one of these women, you’ve likely wondered if there was something you can do to prevent yeast infections or at least reduce their frequency. That’s why our board-certified gynecologists wanted to highlight some of the most common causes and solutions for yeast infections.

How to Prevent a Potential Yeast InfectionFeminine Hygiene Products

Yeast infections are often caused by changes in your normal vaginal flora. Using some feminine hygiene products like scented soaps or douching can increase your risk of developing a yeast infection. This is why we recommend avoiding douching. Using plain, unscented soaps when washing is also recommended.

Certain Medications

Some medications including antibiotics like tetracycline or amoxicillin can throw off the pH balance in your vagina by killing off healthy bacteria. Additionally, changes in your estrogen and progesterone levels associated with using hormone replacement therapy or taking hormonal birth control can also sometimes lead to potential vaginal yeast infections.

Sweaty Workout Clothes & Wet Bathing Suits

Staying in sweaty gym clothes can increase your risk of a yeast infection. Yeast thrives in warm, wet and dark environments like workout clothes and swimsuits. We recommend wearing looser, more breathable clothes when you work out and changing as soon as possible after your exercise.

Certain Lifestyle Habits

Some day-to-day behaviors and habits can also increase a woman’s risk of developing a yeast infection. Diets high in sugar can lead to an excess of yeast production. Wearing pants that are too tight can also contribute to this. Additionally, some behaviors pertaining to sex including sexual activity with a partner who is carrying yeast or not urinating after having sex can increase the chances of a yeast infection.

It’s important to remember that in some cases, women who think they have a yeast infection may in fact be suffering from a different condition like bacterial vaginosis. That’s why it’s so important to discuss your symptoms with your board-certified gynecologist in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and determine the best-possible course of treatment. For more information or to schedule an appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould or one of our other gynecological healthcare providers, contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more gynecological health 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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Monday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Tuesday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Wednesday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Thursday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Friday 8:30AM–12PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

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