One of the more common questions we receive from patients is when they can safely stop worrying about birth control. The truth is, it’s common for women in their 40’s or even early 50s to stop thinking about contraception a bit too soon. While a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant decline as she ages, the vast majority of women in their early-to-mid 40’s can still become pregnant. Regardless of whether you are finished having children or still considering becoming pregnant for the first time, birth control is the last line of defense between you and the unexpected.

Birth Control Options for Women in their 40sAccording to research conducted by the Mayo Clinic, nearly 75% of pregnancies in women in their 40’s or older are unplanned. As women age, the potential risks of pregnancy complications and miscarriage can also rise. So, if you want to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, it’s very important to continue using effective birth control until you have reached menopause. This is typically defined by a full year without experiencing a menstrual cycle.

By this point in your life, you're probably pretty well-versed in that variety of available birth control methods. The question now is, which method makes the most sense for you now? The answer depends on whether or not you are open to becoming pregnant in the future. We recommend anything from the following three categories for women in their 40’s or older who prefer to keep their options open in regards to future pregnancy:

Birth Control Pills: Women in their 40’s can still safely use oral contraception, as long as they don't smoke, have normal blood pressure and are in good overall health.

Other Hormonal Options: This may include patches, IUDs, implants and other estrogen-based options like the NuvaRing® device. The Depo-Provera shot is another long-lasting birth control option for women in their 40’s.

Barrier Options: Barrier birth control methods, including diaphragms and condoms, are available (but considerably less common) for women in their 40’s and beyond.

For women who are sure that they do not want to become pregnant, we offer long-term birth control options like a tubal ligation procedure. Even for women beyond age 40 who may be closer to menopause, choosing the right birth control method is a complicated decision that requires considerable thought and consideration. If you’re not sure which contraceptive approach is best for you, we invite you to contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett to schedule an appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine E. Gould. For more information on birth control, you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips, updates, and news on our upcoming Health and Wellness events.

Stress is a natural part of life. Although a certain amount of stress can be good and even help us challenge ourselves, too much stress at any given time can negatively affect our mental and physical health. A woman’s hormones and brain chemistry offer some protection from stress, but women are still more deeply affected by the effects of being over-stressed than men. And these effects can manifest themselves in a number of ways, including leading to irregularities with menstrual periods.

How Stress May be Affecting Your Period

According to findings from the American Journal of Epidemiology, women who work in overly-stressful jobs have a 50% higher risk for shortened menstrual cycles (less than 24 days) than women who work in lower-stress positions. Chronic stress that builds up over a period of time can fundamentally alter the body’s hormone balance, throwing your normal menstruation cycle out of whack. This can lead to periods that are late, abnormally heavy or light, or missed entirely.
We can’t tell you to avoid getting stressed out entirely; that’s just not possible. We can however recommend a number of things that can help you promote better menstrual health by managing your stress in a healthy, productive way. Try out the following suggestions:

  • Improving your diet (eating well-balanced meals and cutting out junk food) can help reduce stress by improving your physical well-being and emotional health.
  • Don’t forget to exercise. Being physically active can be a terrific way to improve your physical health, lift your spirits, and promote the release of endorphins, a natural brain chemical associated with your mood.
  • Find fun ways to relax. Picking up a hobby can be a great way to help unwind at the end of a long day. Knitting and needlepoint are known to have stress-reducing effects.
  • Try breathing exercises, as well as non-strenuous activities like yoga, meditation, and tai chi that can help both the mind and body cool down.
  • Talk it out. Simply talking about what is causing your increased stress can be a great way to get it off your chest, as opposed to just letting it pile up without a release.

Remember not to go nuts trying to eliminate stress from your life entirely. The best you can do is accept that stress is unavoidable and work on your methods on how to reduce and manage it before any menstrual issues should occur. For more information on stress and gynecological health, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips on reproductive health and updates on our upcoming health & wellness events.

Tips for Choosing the Right Birth Control MethodThere is no right or wrong choice when you are determining how to pick a birth control method. When weighing your options, what matters most is finding the appropriate choice for you and your lifestyle. It’s crucial to find the birth control method that best fits your own personal needs. With so many choices, it’s fairly common for this decision to seem a bit overwhelming for certain women. That’s why we’ve come up with some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a birth control method.

Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we currently offer eight different kinds of birth control and we will continue to add new ones as they become available. These birth control methods range from barriers like diaphragms to longer-term solutions like intrauterine devices or birth control pills. These methods are in addition to long-term birth control solutions including tubal litigation procedures. Each option has its own pros and cons. The important part is selecting which one makes sense for you, when factoring in your lifestyle, budget, medical history and plans to become pregnant sometime in the future.

Before making any decisions, you should consult with your board-certified gynecologist about which birth control method makes the most sense for you. During your consultation, we recommend asking the following questions to help narrow down your choices:

  • How readily available is each birth control method?
  • Which birth control methods should I avoid if I plan to become pregnant in the future?
  • How effective is each birth control method?
  • How should pre-existing health conditions like heart disease or diabetes factor into my choice?
  • How expensive is each birth control method?
  • Will this particular birth control method help protect me from potential sexually-transmitted diseases?
  • How convenient or easy to use is each birth control method?
  • What are the side effects associated with each birth control method?
  • What age do I have to be to begin taking birth control?

Keep in mind, once you have made your choice, it doesn’t necessarily have to be final. As a woman ages and her lifestyle changes, she may need or want to change her birth control method. So do your research, consult with your board-certified gynecologist and select the birth control method that makes sense for your current situation. If you need more information on birth control, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more news and updates.

For women trying to maintain their overall health and well-being, it’s important to take a proactive approach to your reproductive health. That’s why at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we often stress the importance and benefits of well woman examinations. Even for women with clean, healthy lifestyles, reproductive health issues can still arise. Well woman exams are meant to help identify and diagnose any potential gynecological problems a woman may be experiencing before they become serious concerns.

Questions to Ask During a Well Woman ExamA well woman exam is the perfect time to ask any questions you may have in regards to your gynecological health and wellness. You should treat your appointment as an opportunity to ask about general concerns like menopause and fertility, as well as any changes or difficulties you have noticed or experienced since your last visit. To help get the most out of your well woman exam, patients should come with their questions prepared. We recommend keeping a running log of questions/concerns that arise, so you’ll have them on-hand when it’s time for your exam.

Though many times these questions will be personal and unique to each woman’s specific needs, here are some more general questions that we recommend asking during your next well woman exam (if they are applicable to you):

  • What may be causing sex to be painful or uncomfortable?
  • What can I do to treat bladder leakage when I laugh or cough?
  • What is considered irregular bleeding?
  • What is causing my periods to be heavy or light?
  • What birth control method would you recommend for me?
  • How can I perform a breast self-exam?

Your annual well woman exam can be the perfect time to form a more personal bond with your board-certified gynecologist. The right source on the Internet can be a terrific resource for information on various gynecological issues you may experience, but it is certainly no substitute for advice from a trusted medical professional. So take your well woman exam seriously and prepare any relevant questions in-advance to help make the most of your appointment. For more information or to schedule a well woman exam today, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And don’t forget, we have moved to a new location: 601 Professional Drive, Suite 330 in Lawrenceville!

gwinnett gynecology lawrenceville gaGynecology Associates of Gwinnett is officially announcing their new office location at 601 Professional Drive, Suite 330 in Lawrenceville, Georgia following nearly a year of providing high-quality gynecological services and treatments to the Gwinnett County area. After more than 11 years of gynecological practice experience, Kristine E. Gould, M.D. founded Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett almost 1 year ago with the goal of combining gynecological care with overall health and wellness services for women.

Founder Kristine E. Gould, M.D., a board-certified fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, believes that Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett differentiates itself from other gynecological practices in the metro Atlanta and Gwinnett County area by putting an emphasis on patient education and early prevention of common gynecological issues, as well as general health and wellness. The practice remains committed to providing personalized care for women of all ages from routine health screenings and birth control to diagnosing and treating female concerns, gynecological cancers, and menopause symptoms.

“We are extremely excited about moving to our new location. Our new location is the next stepping stone towards our mission of delivering the best, most personal care possible for every patient who walks into our office,” says Kristine E. Gould, M.D., Founder. “Our goal is that our new office will allow us to reach and help even more women as our practice continues to grow and evolve. I’m proud of our entire staff and thankful for this opportunity to assist such wonderful patients by helping them feel their best and achieve the best-possible reproductive health and wellness.”

Along with their new location, Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett is now offering additional feminine rejuvenation services including a full line of cosmetic injectables treatments and FemTouch™ Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation. An important part of their practice philosophy is that there is a connection between positive body image and overall wellness for women. Dr. Gould believes confidence in one’s appearance can be a positive force for reducing stress and maintaining good emotional health. Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett is now accepting appointments for cosmetic injectables treatments including Botox® Cosmetic, Juvéderm®, Restylane®, Dysport®, and more. All injectables treatments at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett are performed by Barbara Weber, a Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse (CPSN) and a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist (CANS) with more than a decade of experience performing aesthetic medicine.
About Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett

Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett is a metro Atlanta-based general gynecology practice founded by board-certified gynecologist Kristine E. Gould, M.D. It is located at 601 Professional Drive, Suite 330 in Lawrenceville, GA. Dr. Gould is a board-certified fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists with over 12 years of gynecological practice experience. With a passion for offering the best, most up-to-date and technologically-advanced treatments available and a focus on personalized care, Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett offers a variety of gynecological health services and treatments including: Well Woman exams, birth control, FemTouch™ Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation, diagnosis and treatment for menopause, urinary incontinence, female infertility, gynecological cancers, surgical procedures and more. They also host regular Health & Wellness events including educational seminars and boot camps.

To learn more about their entire selection of treatments and services provided, call (678) 380-1980 to schedule an appointment.

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Contact Information

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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