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For some women, a visit to the gynecologist’s office can be a source of anxiety. However, regular visits with your board-certified gynecologist are an integral part of maintaining a healthy reproductive system as well as good overall health. Our board-certified gynecologists are here to help explain the importance of keeping up with your appointments.

3 Important Reasons to Schedule a Gynecological Appointment#1: Keeping Up with Annual Well Woman Exams

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) strongly recommends that women undergo annual well woman exams with their board-certified gynecologist starting at age 18. Even if you aren’t currently due for a Pap smear, your annual well woman visit provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the state of your reproductive health as well as any changes you may have noticed since your last appointment.

#2: Undergoing Pap Smears and HPV Testing

Much like an annual well woman exam, it’s important for women to keep up with their other (sometimes less frequent) gynecological appointments like Pap smears and HPV testing. Many gynecologists believe that Pap testing is required every three years (once a woman turns 21 and through age 65). However, we recommend annual Pap testing to help detect and treat any abnormalities as soon as possible. Additionally, women who do not receive a Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination between the ages of 9 and 26 should undergo HPV testing at least once every 5 years.

#3: Diagnosing Vaginal Infections

Common vaginal infections like yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis affect millions of women in the US every year. Although they may be more common for pre-menopausal women, both can affect women at any age. There are steps you can take to help minimize your risk of developing a vaginal infection including wearing breathable cotton underwear, changing out of wet clothes as soon as possible, maintaining a healthy diet (high in probiotics, low in sugar) and using a mild, fragrance-free soap when you bathe.

Staying proactive and maintaining strong vaginal health is a lifelong process. Thankfully, our board-certified gynecologists are here to accompany you and help provide any assistance that is needed along the way. If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment, please contact board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. For more reproductive health tips for women, you can follow along with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Hormone imbalances are not uncommon for women, especially those who are near or entering menopause. However, these imbalances can cause gynecological conditions earlier in our lives. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that occurs when a woman experiences an imbalance in male hormones known as androgens. For women with PCOS, this hormone imbalance is related to insulin resistance at the level of the ovary that can potentially cause issues with menstruation and fertility. If left untreated, PCOS can sometimes lead to serious long-term health problems like diabetes and heart disease according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

What are the Common Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOSRoughly 15% of women in the US have PCOS, but many may not even be aware of their condition. In order to receive the best possible treatment and avoid any serious health concerns, it’s important for PCOS to be recognized and diagnosed early. That’s why our board-certified gynecologists are here to provide some information on the most common symptoms of PCOS for women to be aware of.

Irregular Menstrual Bleeding

Abnormal menstrual bleeding is perhaps the most common sign of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. In women with PCOS, the irregular bleeding they may experience can be caused by higher-than-normal levels of androgens as well as lower-than-normal levels of progesterone (a female hormone). This can lead to skipped periods or an unpredictable menstrual cycle.

Development of Acne

Pimples on the face and elsewhere on the body can be another potential sign of PCOS. Much like breakouts that occur during puberty, the hormone fluctuation associated with PCOS can have similar effects on your skin.

Difficulty Becoming Pregnant

PCOS is one of the leading causes of female infertility. When your body doesn't create enough progesterone to complete a normal menstrual cycle, undeveloped eggs may turn into cysts in your ovaries. These cysts can prevent healthy eggs from travelling down your fallopian tubes and into your uterus, making becoming pregnant extremely difficult or even impossible for some women.

Unusual Hair Growth

Unusual hair grown, also known as hirsutism, is another symptom of PCOS. Hair may appear on your chin, around the sideburns, the upper lip, or other places where you wouldn't expect to normally find it. A few hairs out of place isn't typically anything to worry about, but if you notice significant, unusual hair growth in any of these areas then we recommend consulting with your board-certified gynecologist.

At Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. We will work on creating the most appropriate and beneficial PCOS treatment plan based on your specific needs and the severity of your symptoms. If you would like more information on PCOS or to schedule an appointment today with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more news, tips, and updates on our upcoming health & wellness events.

Welcome to another installment in our ongoing Q&A series. Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we strongly believe that education is one of the foundations of wellness. That’s why we’re always happy to take some time to answer questions about common gynecological issues and some of the treatments and services we offer. Our hope is that by providing this kind of in-depth knowledge, we can help more women better understand how to achieve and maintain the best-possible reproductive health. Keep reading for more information on vaginismus, menopause, and endometriosis.

Dr Kristine GouldQ.) Are there different kinds of vaginismus or just one?
A.) There are several types of vaginismus that affect women differently. Primary vaginismus describes those who are born with vaginismus and experience discomfort or pain their entire lives (until treatment). Other women develop vaginismus symptoms over time. This is known as secondary vaginismus. Additionally, some women experience global vaginismus, in which vaginismus pain occurs during all instances of vaginal penetration. On the other hand, situational vaginismus describes women who only experience symptoms in certain situations like during sex, but not during gynecological exams or tampon insertion.

Q.) What are the most common effects of the pre-menopause period?
A.) During perimenopause, or the pre-menopause period, women may experience various physical and emotional effects. Hot flashes typically come to mind first, but it’s also quite common for women to go through increased heart rate, headaches, vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence, joint and muscle pain, and more. Additionally, there may also be emotional side effects like sudden mood swings, depression, irritability, fatigue, trouble sleeping, and decreased sex drive.

Q.) What is the connection between endometriosis and infertility?
A.) According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, nearly 40% of women with infertility have endometriosis, indicating a strong association. Inflammation that results from endometriosis can damage the sperm or egg or interfere with how they move through the fallopian tubes and uterus. In more severe endometriosis cases, the fallopian tubes can become blocked by adhesions or scar tissue.

If you have a question of your own or would like to learn more, feel free to schedule an appointment with Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. We try to create an environment where our patients can feel comfortable asking more private and personal questions regarding their gynecological health and wellness. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us today or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

There is no such thing as a bad time to focus on maintaining good reproductive health and wellness. In honor of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and the recent International HPV Awareness Day (March 4th), we thought it would be an especially good time to educate our readers on HPV (Human papillomavirus). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US. It is the leading cause of cervical cancer and other Gynecologic cancers, including those of the vagina and vulva. HPV is also responsible for anal, oral, and laryngeal cancers, as well as genital warts.

What You Need to Know About the Human Papillomavirus HPVHere are a few helpful statistics about HPV to consider. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. The overwhelming majority of these cases occur in people between their late teens and early 20’s. Roughly 14 million people in the US become infected with HPV each year. HPV is transmitted through sexual intercourse, oral sex, kissing, and skin to skin contact. HPV infection can cause Pap smear abnormalities and/or genital warts. Those who are infected are typically asymptomatic and don’t realize they are passing the virus to their partner.

When it comes to HPV, the best course of treatment is prevention. HPV vaccinations can be administered to females and males between the ages of 9 and 26. It is estimated that the quadrivalent vaccine can prevent up to 70% of cervical cancer cases. Receiving an HPV vaccine can also help promote a more active immune response for preteens. In addition to being effective, HPV vaccinations are very safe and are not associated with any known serious side effects.

It’s important for women to remember that receiving an HPV vaccination is not a substitute for annual cervical cancer screenings. We still very highly recommend regular Pap testing as well. If you have questions about HPV or cervical cancer and would like to schedule an appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for additional tips, news, updates, and details on our upcoming health and wellness events.

Patient education is something we feel very strongly about here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. It’s important for women to be knowledgeable about the common reproductive options and treatments available for them. Although it is very common, many women may not understand certain key aspects about female sterilization and how it works. That is why our board-certified gynecologists are here to answer some common questions about female sterilization.

Answering Common Questions About Female SterilizationWhat is Female Sterilization?
Female sterilization is a safe and extremely effective method of long-term birth control. When performed by an experienced, board-certified gynecologist, female sterilization procedures are estimated to be 99.5% effective in preventing a woman from becoming pregnant.

What are the Most Common Methods of Female Sterilization?
There are two primary methods of female sterilization. The first is called tubal litigation, also known commonly as getting your “tubes tied”. Tubal litigation is a gynecological surgery procedure that blocks or seals the fallopian tubes. This prevents the transportation of eggs to the uterus and the passage of sperm into the tubes. The second method is called tubal occlusion. Tubal occlusion is a non-surgical procedure that involves placing a tiny, flexible insert called Essure® into the fallopian tubes. This helps form a natural barrier that prevents sperm from reaching the eggs, making fertilization and pregnancy virtually impossible.

Is Female Sterilization Reversible?
Determining whether or not you are ready for female sterilization is a major decision that should not be made lightly. Although female sterilization procedures are safe and relatively simple, attempts to reverse them can be difficult and may not always be effective.

Opting to undergo female sterilization is an important decision that takes considerable time and thought. This includes doing research, learning as much as you can about your options, and speaking with an experienced, board-certified gynecologist to help make a confident, informed, and assured decision. For more information or to schedule an appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for 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
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Wednesday 8:30AM–4:30PM
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