Although menopause is something that all women will eventually go through, it is a complex condition that is a common source of confusion and uncertainty. That’s why we’ve taken some time to answer some of the more commonly-asked questions about menopause and its effects. Hopefully this will provide clarity and ease some of the concerns surrounding menopause.

Frequently Asked Questions about MenopauseAre there any ways to limit the severity of hot flashes?

Hot flashes are the side effect most commonly associated with menopause and a normal response to natural changes in your body. They can be uncomfortable and inconvenient for women, especially when they affect your ability to sleep through the night. While hot flashes usually cease within a year after menopause begins, we understand that this news won’t bring you any short-term relief. In the meantime, here are a few things you can do to try to minimize your hot flashes:

  • Avoid tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Manage stress, which can often make hot flashes worse
  • Get daily exercise and eat properly
  • Try rhythmic breathing exercises

If those don’t help, you can speak with your board-certified gynecologist about hormone therapy or other medical treatments that may help.

If I undergo a full hysterectomy (including my ovaries), will my induced menopause differ from natural menopause?

Symptoms associated with induced menopause are typically very similar to those from natural menopause. This includes hot flashes, sleep disturbances, irritability and vaginal dryness. But the symptoms for premenopausal women who experience induced menopause can be more intense and require more treatment. Additionally, anyone who goes through menopause at a young age (before 40) is more susceptible to menopause-related medical conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis as they age and should be extra diligent when monitoring their health.

If I've begun menopause, do I still need to take birth control?

Yes. Though you may think your menopause has started, you won’t know for sure that you have experienced menopause until you go an entire year without having a menstrual period. Until you are totally sure, you should keep taking birth control like normal if you do not want to risk becoming pregnant.

If you still have questions about menopause, you can always contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. Our board-certified gynecologists can share their expertise on the three stages of menopause and help you determine a treatment plan that will make your transition as smooth as possible. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more news and updates.  

There are an abundance of factors that can affect a woman’s fertility. Female infertility can be the result of irregular ovulation, issues with the reproductive organs or a hormonal imbalance. These irregularities can be caused by simple genetics or conditions like endometriosis or even various lifestyle factors. Today we’ll be investigating the relationship between your diet and potential fertility concerns.

How Your Diet Can Affect Your FertilityAccording to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle are heavily linked to infertility caused by irregular ovulation. The study found that following a “fertility diet” can help lower the risk of ovulatory disorder and resulting infertility. A combination of these diet recommendations and increased physical activity was found to significantly lower the risk of female infertility.

Finding and maintaining a healthy body weight can go a long way towards preventing infertility. Being either overweight or severely underweight can affect a woman’s hormone production and disrupt regular ovulation. It’s important to find the right balance between eating healthy and also ensuring your body is receiving the necessary nutrients to promote healthy reproduction.

The study explains that eating a diet rich in iron is recommended. Iron-rich foods like beans, eggs, spinach, tomatoes and beats can have a positive effect on your overall health and help boost fertility. Fruits and veggies with vitamin C can also help increase your body’s ability to absorb iron.

We also recommend the following diet tips to help general wellness and increase fertility:

  • ·         Eat healthy fats - Trans fats can have a negative effect on your fertility. Instead try to ingest healthy fats from avocados, nuts, vegetable oils and fish like salmon.
  • ·        Focus on non-animal proteins - Proteins from beans, vegetables and soy have also been found to increase fertility in women.
  • ·        Dairy can be your friend – High-fat dairy products like whole milk and yogurt are recommended.

Regular visits to your board-certified gynecologist specializing in fertility can help detect and treat health conditions that might lead to infertility before they become an issue. During your visit with Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we will run through a variety of tests including a work-up, laboratory testing, an ultrasound and more to determine your fertility status. For more information on infertility, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more updates.

It’s October, which means it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There is much we can do to help spread breast cancer awareness, but since we specialize in women’s health, we’ve decided to focus specifically on the importance of regular breast cancer screenings.

Regular annual cancer screenings and examinations are hugely beneficial in the fight against breast cancer. This is especially true for women who have a family history of breast cancer and may be at a greater risk. Following the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer greatly improves the chances of finding breast cancer early and successfully treating it. Many experts in the field state that early detection tests for breast cancer help save thousands of lives each year and that many more lives could be saved if more women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests and got screened regularly.

The American College of Obstetricians/Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends yearly screening mammograms for women starting at age 40 and yearly clinical breast exams starting at age 19.  They also recommend regular self-breast exams to become familiar with how your breast normally look and feel. You should report and changes you notice to your doctor immediately.

As part of an annual Well Woman Exam at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we will discuss your family history of breast cancer. A clinical breast exam (CBE) is then performed to check for any lumps or other potential signs of breast cancer.  A screening mammogram will be ordered if you are 40 or older. A diagnostic mammogram and/or breast ultrasound will be ordered if any abnormalities are found on CBE.

Spreading knowledge is what Breast Cancer Awareness Month is all about. Even if you are up-to-date on your screenings or exams, sharing this information with a friend or loved one can make all the difference in the world. When it comes to a woman’s health and wellness, knowledge is power. For more information on well woman exams, clinical breast exams or cancer screenings please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. Or for more information and helpful tips on women’s health, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Menopause can bring many changes to a woman’s body and overall health. In addition to the reproductive changes we commonly associate with women in the post-menopause phase, there are additional health risks to consider as well. Today we’ll be focusing specifically on the link between menopause and heart disease.

Menopause & the Increased Risk of Heart DiseaseOnce a woman reaches menopause (usually around age 50) her risk for heart disease increases dramatically. This is partially due to a lack of estrogen produced by a women’s body after she has gone through menopause. Lower 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. For younger women who undergo early or surgical menopause, the risk for heart disease may also be increased.

Women who have gone through menopause should be aware of the following symptoms of heart disease and act accordingly if they begin to experience them:

  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Heart palpitations
  • Consistent shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Jaw pain
  • Swelling of the feet

There are a number of steps women can take to live a healthy lifestyle and reduce their risk of heart disease. The first steps are eating right and getting regular exercise. A diet consisting of many fruits and vegetables, plus whole grains and healthy proteins like fish and nuts is recommended. Daily cardio exercise, including walking, jogging, swimming or dancing can also be extremely beneficial to a woman’s long-term health.  All women, but especially post-menopausal women, should avoid smoking.

At Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we understand certain factors that contribute to a woman’s health can be uncontrollable. This is why it’s important for women to understand what they can control and strive to live well and keep their overall health in mind as they age. If you have questions about menopause, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for additional news and updates about reproductive health.

Excessive menstrual bleeding is an inconvenience for thousands of women in the US. In many cases, women with abnormally heavy or irregular bleeding are treated with hormone-based medications, but these are not always successful or available depending on the patient. Endometrial ablation is a procedure that surgically diminishes the lining of a woman’s uterus in an attempt to reduce menstrual flow. It is common for patients who are not eligible or would prefer not to undergo a hysterectomy to opt for endometrial ablation instead.
NovaSure® endometrial ablation performed at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett is a one-time procedure that stops excessive bleeding by removing the lining of the uterus. Endometrial ablation with NovaSure® is a gentle procedure that can drastically reduce or stop bleeding completely in as little as five minutes. Many patients prefer this procedure to more invasive surgical alternatives and hormone therapies that can come with side effects.
To be of assistance, we’ve taken the time to answer some commonly asked questions about endometrial ablation and who it may be able to help:

Common Questions about Endometrial AblationAre there medical conditions that would prevent me from undergoing Endometrial Ablation?

Yes. Endometrial ablation should not be performed on women who are post-menopause. We would also not recommend it for women who were recently pregnant or suffer from the following medical conditions:

  • Uterine or Endometrium disorders
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia
  • Uterine cancer
  • Current or recent infection of the uterus

Will I still be able to become pregnant after Endometrial Ablation?
Pregnancy after endometrial ablation is very rare, but not impossible. For women who wish to become pregnant in the future, endometrial ablation is not recommended due to the increased chances of pregnancy complications associated with the procedure.

What side effects can I expect after Endometrial Ablation?
There are some side effects commonly associated with endometrial ablation, however they are relatively minor. These can include temporary nausea, frequent urination and cramping immediately following your procedure. Some patients may experience a watery discharge mixed with blood for up to two weeks following their endometrial ablation. A full recovery is expected within two weeks.

What will my periods be like after undergoing Endometrial Ablation?
Every woman is different, so we can’t know for sure right away. We recommend taking about three months after your procedure to let your body heal in order to resume its normal cycle. After that time, you and your board-certified gynecologist should be able to tell what your cycle and your periods will be like.

When it comes to your reproductive health, you can never have too much information. We hope that after reading this, you have a better understanding of endometrial ablation and whether it may be the solution to your bleeding problems. If you have any more questions, we encourage you to contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today to schedule an appointment. During your appointment, we will talk you through your options and make sure you are on the correct path to reproductive health and wellness. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more information and updates.

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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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