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How to Treat the Symptoms of Vaginal Laxity or Vaginal LoosenessDespite how common it is today, vaginal laxity is an issue that many women are too embarrassed or uncomfortable to talk about. Unfortunately, this leads many to suffer in silence instead of seeking a solution to their problem. The vaginal walls are made up of fibrous material and collagen that give it flexibility and strength. When a woman goes through vaginal delivery, this puts immense stress on the vaginal walls, leading to stretching which can reduce both the sensitivity and tightness of the area. This is known as vaginal laxity.

Although it is commonly associated with childbirth, vaginal laxity can occur over time as a result of menopause, weight fluctuation, natural aging, or other factors. Regardless of its cause, vaginal laxity can diminish a woman’s emotional health and wellbeing by making sex unpleasurable or undesirable. To help women understand their options, we have outlined three ways to treat varying degrees of vaginal laxity.

Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are often recommended as a first step towards treating mild vaginal laxity. For women who have given birth, Kegel exercises can help tighten the muscles in the pelvic area. Unfortunately, since they do not address the tissue within the vagina or the vaginal wall, Kegel exercises will not be able to help women with true vaginal laxity.

Vaginoplasty Surgery
Vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to tighten loose vaginal muscles and surrounding soft tissues. The intended result is a considerable rebuilding of the vaginal wall, resulting in more friction and (hopefully) more sensation during sex. The downside for certain patients is that, as with any reconstructive surgery, vaginoplasty requires downtime for recovery. Though many women are able to walk comfortably just a few days after their procedure, returning to work, exercise, and sexual activities can take up to six weeks.

FemTouch™ Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation
For women who need a tightening result that kegel exercises cannot produce and prefer not to undergo surgery, we recommend FemTouch™ Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation. By gently ablating weakened tissue in the vaginal wall and promoting natural fibrin and collagen growth, FemTouch™ Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation can be perfect for women who seek a safe and effective treatment for their vaginal laxity. As an added bonus, FemTouch™ treatments can treat other symptoms of vaginal atrophy including vaginal itchiness or vaginal drying, as well as bladder leakage from stress urinary incontinence.

There is no need to settle for an unsatisfying sex life due to vaginal laxity. To fully understand your unique situation and how these potential treatment methods may help, we recommend scheduling an appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould. During your appointment, we will discuss your issues, your goals, and your options to help get you on the path to the best possible reproductive health and wellness. To schedule your appointment today, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips, news, and updates.
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How Exercise Can Help Alleviate your Menopause SymptomsExercise is always highly recommended for any woman trying to improve her overall health, but did you know that getting regular physical exercise can also do wonders to improve your reproductive health and wellness? It’s true. Keeping active can be a great way to help promote good gynecological health and manage the common symptoms of menopause.

The perimenopause period refers to the months or years leading up to the onset of full menopause, when women begin to experience menopause symptoms. These symptoms are typically caused by fluctuating levels of estrogen produced by the ovaries. They may include irregular bleeding, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, depression, anxiety, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, headaches, urinary incontinence, and more. However, since every woman is unique, both the symptoms and degree to which they occur can vary considerably from person-to-person.

Working out has been proven to help ease a woman’s transition into menopause by helping to relieve physical and emotional stress. It’s normal for women to gain weight and lose muscle mass during the perimenopause period, but regular exercise can help prevent weight gain and keep muscles strong. Menopause has also been linked to osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones caused by a lack of estrogen in the body. Staying physically active can slow bone loss during menopause. Staying physically fit during menopause and limiting weight gain can also dramatically decrease a woman’s chances of developing common illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. Lastly, there can be significant mental and emotional benefits to exercising during menopause including staving off depression and anxiety.

We agree with the recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that healthy women should try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of more strenuous aerobic activity, every week. How you achieve this target goal is totally up to you. Cardio activities ranging from jogging and swimming to evening walks or even regular daily activities like gardening or housework can be extremely beneficial. Strength training exercises like lifting weights can help build up bone and muscle strength, burn body fat, and improve your metabolism. Just be careful not to push yourself too hard. Start with a weight level you are comfortable with and gradually increase it as your strength improves. Additionally, post-work out stretching can be a great way to improve your flexibility.

Remember not to do too much, too fast. It’s important to set realistic, achievable goals from the start and work your way up as your strength and fitness level increase. Keeping active doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor either. Teaming up with someone, whether it is a significant other, a friend, or a trainer, can help make your workouts more enjoyable to get through. At Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we host bi-weekly boot camps for patients who want to spend time with like-minded women while improving their overall physical health and wellbeing. For more information or to schedule an appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips, news, and updates on our upcoming health and wellness events.

Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we are always happy to take some time to answer questions that our patients have, especially when they are in relation to serious health issues for women like gynecological cancers. Female-specific cancers, like cancer of the ovaries or cervix as well as breast cancer, are a major cause for concern for many of our patients. Our hope is that by answering these questions, our patients will be more knowledgeable and better prepared to catch these terrible illnesses in their earliest and most treatable stages.

FAQs About Common Cancers for WomenQ.) Can newer breast cancer screening methods be used to replace a yearly mammogram?
Definitely not. Although there have been some outstanding developments in the field of breast cancer screening, like breast thermography, these newer screening methods cannot replace annual breast cancer screenings. Women should think of these newer methods of screening, along with breast self-exams, as a tool to help complement their annual mammograms in the fight against breast cancer.

Q.) How can ovarian cancer be diagnosed?
If a woman is experiencing common symptoms of ovarian cancer like bloating in the abdominal area, pelvic pain, or feeling full quickly when eating, we recommend that she undergo a physical exam, including a pelvic exam. This may include an imaging test of the ovaries, like a transvaginal ultrasound exam. If this testing shows the possibility of cancer, you will receive surgery, in which tissue is surgically removed and tested for cancer. This surgery is the only way to receive a conclusive diagnosis.

Q.) Are there other means of preventing cervical cancer in addition to HPV vaccinations?
Receiving an HPV vaccination is still the most highly-recommended means of preventing cervical cancer, but not all women may be able to do so. We recommend a Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP) for patients who have a biopsy showing moderate to severe cell activity abnormalities in the cervix. LEEP is an in-office procedure that uses a thin wire loop with a light electrical current to remove abnormal tissue from the cervix. LEEP is safe, effective and requires only 1-2 days of downtime for recovery.

When it comes to cancer, there is no such thing as an unimportant question. We hope that by sharing this information, we can shine a light on these topics and encourage more of our patients to get regular cancer screenings. For more information on gynecological cancer or if you would like to schedule a screening appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips, news and updates on our upcoming events.

4 Things That May be Causing Your Night SweatsIf you have experienced night sweats before, you know it’s not an especially pleasant experience.  Everyone wakes up every now and again feeling a bit overheated. Although uncomfortable, there is a difference between these episodes and true night sweats. Night sweats are characterized by "extreme perspiration" (as in, soaked bed sheets) and they are typically associated with an underlying medical condition or genetic predisposition. To help you get a better idea of what may be causing your issues, our board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould has detailed four of the most common causes of night sweats for women:

Menopause
Menopause is by far the most common cause of night sweats in women. During the perimenopause period, many women experience hot flashes that result from fluctuating or decreased levels of estrogen produced by the body. If a hot flash occurs at night, this can lead to night sweating.

Increased Risk of Heart Disease
For middle-aged women, experiencing regular night sweats can be a sign of increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Several factors that can lead to increased night sweating like high blood pressure, diabetes, and being overweight are also risk factors for heart disease risk.

Reactions to Certain Medications
Night sweats may occur as a side-effect of many medications women take. This includes certain common antidepressants. Many hormone treatments, including birth control and those related to cancer treatments can also lead to night sweats. This also applies to certain diabetes drugs, which can cause night sweats if a person's blood sugar drops too low.

Certain Gynecological Cancers
Several types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, can cause night sweats. If, in addition to your night sweats, you experience symptoms like unexplained fever, bloating in the abdominal area, pelvic pain, or frequent urination, you should contact your gynecologist to find out if it’s a warning sign from your body.

It’s important to remember that night sweats can be hard to differentiate from normal flushing or redness. Also keep in mind that there are many other potential causes of night sweating and you may require a visit with your board-certified gynecologist to discover the cause of your symptoms. For more information on night sweats or if you would like 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 tips, news, and updates.

Hear From Our Amazing PatientsHere at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett we take great pride in providing personal, hands-on treatment to all of our patients. Regardless of whether someone comes into our office for a routine reproductive wellness exam, opinions on female issues like menopause, or a gynecological surgery procedure, it’s important that every patient be treated with the upmost attention and care they deserve. So it certainly warms our hearts whenever we hear back from any of the women we were able to help over the years. To help readers understand the special bond we develop with our patients, we have invited some of our them to share testimonials about their personal experiences with our board-certified gynecologists.

To help get us started, hear one of our patients discuss the difference our personal care can have during a gynecology visit:

Doctor Gould, I want to thank you for being a very special doctor. I was so impressed with you during my first visit. You made me feel important to you that you really cared for my wellbeing as a patient. Doctors like you are very rare. I have recommended you to my friends and from their first visit they feel the same. Thank you for being a wonderful doctor. - SL

Our second testimonial highlights the kind of long-term bond that can form between our doctors and patients going through menopause and other life changes that may occur:

I came to Dr. Kristine Gould in my pre-menopausal 40's and she has given me the great care that all women need for their Gynecological Health. Dr. Gould is always able to answer my questions in a knowledgeable, straight forward and positive manner. She guided me through 10+ years with outstanding advice. In addition, Dr. Gould and her office staff create an environment that is caring and nurturing to her patients. – KR

Lastly, one of our hysterectomy patients explains how our commitment to caring for our patients extends far beyond just the procedure itself:
Dr. Gould is an amazing gynecologist with the perfect bedside manner. She carefully walked me through what I could expect during my hysterectomy. Every aspect of her service from pre-consultation, surgery and post-surgery was met with concern for my overall health and wellbeing. She is the best and I highly recommend her. - TPM

We know that no woman looks forward to a visit to the gynecologist. Our goal is to assure our patients that they will receive only the best hands-on care, guidance, and advice from the moment they step foot into our office. For more information or to make 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 gynecology information, tips, and info in upcoming Health & Wellness events.

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

Our Hours

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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