Excessive menstrual bleeding can be a source of considerable frustration. Heavy bleeding can lead to the need to change a pad or tampon frequently, periods that last an unusually long time, or even anemia due to excessive blood loss. In some cases, heavy or irregular bleeding can be treated with hormone-based medications. However, this approach may not work for every woman. Thankfully, there are alternatives.

ablationEndometrial ablation is a gynecological procedure designed to help women reduce their menstrual flow. When performed by our board-certified gynecologists, endometrial ablation can provide long-term relief for women who experience excessive bleeding by surgically removing (ablating) a thin layer of the lining of the uterus. Most women are incredibly satisfied with their results. Below we answer some commonly asked questions about endometrial ablation and which women it may be able to help:

Which Women are Good Candidates for Endometrial Ablation?

Endometrial ablation can help women who experience heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding who cannot be treated with medication alone. Some women are not able to successfully treat their excessive bleeding with hormone-based medications or prefer not to take these meds due to fear of certain side effects. Additionally, some women prefer endometrial ablation to more invasive surgical alternatives like a hysterectomy. We would not recommend endometrial ablation for women who wish to become pregnant in the future, as the procedure can increase the chances of pregnancy complications.

What is Recovery Like Following Endometrial Ablation?

We perform endometrial ablation as an outpatient procedure. This means that you can go home the same day following your procedure. Some minor side effects including cramping, nausea, and frequent urination may occur for one or two days after your ablation. Some women may notice a thin, watery discharge mixed with blood for a few weeks, but this is temporary.

Will My Need for Gynecological Screenings Change After Endometrial Ablation?

No. Endometrial ablation only affects the lining of the uterus. This means that a woman will still have all of her reproductive organs following her procedure. Regular well woman exams including Pap testing and pelvic exams will still be necessary.

We hope you found these answers informative and helpful. When it comes to maintaining the best-possible reproductive health and wellness, there is no such thing as too much information. If you have any questions of your own or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for additional tips, news, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.

Living with vaginismus can turn routine things like inserting a tampon or sexual intercourse into a frustrating, uncomfortable ordeal. Vaginismus is a condition in which the vaginal muscles contract involuntarily during any form of vaginal penetration. Depending on the woman, the effects of vaginismus can vary from mild discomfort to severe pain. As we always say, patient education and knowledge are highly effective tools for women who try to maintain the best-possible reproductive health. This is why our board-certified gynecologists are happy to answer a few common questions about vaginismus.

Ask the Gynecologists Common Questions about VaginismusWhat are the Different Types of Vaginismus?

Vaginismus is classified into two types; primary vaginismus and secondary vaginismus. Primary vaginismus refers to women who were born with their condition. Secondary vaginismus describes when vaginal penetration was once possible but can no longer be achieved. Some women may develop secondary vaginismus after menopause as a result of diminished estrogen production. Additionally, some women have vaginismus pain during all situations (global vaginismus), while others only experience symptoms in specific situations (situational vaginismus).

What Causes Vaginismus?

This question can have many different answers depending on the specific woman affected. There are several potential physical and psychological causes of vaginismus. Moreover, it can be challenging to pinpoint the exact cause of a woman’s symptoms. In many cases, vaginismus can be triggered by emotional responses like anxiety and fear related to sex. However, vaginismus can sometimes occur as a reaction to menopause, childbirth, certain medical issues like vaginal infections, or as a side effect to some medications.

How Can Vaginismus be Diagnosed?

The first step in diagnosing vaginismus is discussing your symptoms and sexual history with a board-certified gynecologist. Specifically, when and how often these symptoms occur. We will then conduct a physical evaluation (including a pelvic exam). Since it's common for women with vaginismus to be anxious during pelvic exams, we do everything we can to be gentle and make the exam as comfortable as possible. During the exam, we will look for signs of potential infections or other issues that may be causing your symptoms.

Vaginismus is an intimate, personal issue that can be difficult to talk about. However, vaginismus is nothing to be ashamed of. Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we work with our patients to help diagnose the root cause of their issue in order to determine the most appropriate, beneficial treatment plan. If you would like more information on vaginismus, contact board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould to schedule your appointment today. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips, updates, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.

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.

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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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