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While it may be a part of every woman’s life, no two women experience menopause the exact same way. Every journey into menopause is unique, so it’s understandable that this is such a common source of questions and concerns among the women we see here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. To help shed some light on menopause and how it can affect women during and after their transition, our board-certified gynecologists have answered some questions about each phase of the menopause process.

Question #1: How Long Does the Perimenopause Period Last?

menopause phasesThe perimenopause (or pre-menopause) period is the time when a woman’s body begins to transition into menopause. On average the perimenopause period lasts roughly four years. However, this can vary significantly from woman to woman. Some women may only experience a few months of perimenopause. By medical definition, perimenopause is not officially over until a woman has gone more than 12 months without having a menstrual period.

Question #2: At What Age Should I Expect to Enter Menopause

Like the length of the perimenopause period, the age at which each woman transitions into menopause will vary. In the US, the average age for a woman to reach menopause is 52. Premature menopause occurs when a woman transitions into menopause before she turns 40. This can happen for women who undergo a hysterectomy at a younger age. Women who experience premature menopause may have an increased risk of menopause-related health conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease.

Question #3: Will Hot Flashes & Other Symptoms Stop During the Post-Menopause Period?

In many cases, menopause symptoms like hot flashes will ease significantly during the post-menopause period. However, this is not a guarantee. Some women may experience these symptoms for as long as a decade following their transition into menopause. If this is the case, we offer treatments including hormone replacement therapy that are intended to reduce menopause symptoms like hot flashes and bone loss that can contribute to osteoporosis.

Menopause is complex and there is a lot to know. That’s why we are always happy to answer questions like this and more during our in-office appointments. For more information on menopause or to schedule an appointment with one of our reproductive healthcare providers, contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips, news, updates, and more. And visit us at our full-service medical spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics for all of your cosmetic needs.

 

 

 

 

In honor of Melanoma Awareness Month this May, the healthcare providers here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett wanted to take some time to focus on skin cancer and its effects. While it may not be a reproductive health concern, it’s a fact that melanomas are among the most common forms of cancer for women. It’s extremely important for women to be aware of the warning signs of skin cancer, their personal risk factors, and how melanoma can be treated in order to properly protect themselves.

Our very own Dr. Kristine Gould recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Jing Gill of North Georgia Dermatology about melanoma via webinar. Dr. Gill is a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in the treatment of skin cancer. Over the course of their discussion, Dr. Gould and Dr. Gill touched on the importance of early diagnosis of skin cancer, how melanomas are diagnosed, what kind of moles and skin marks to look out for, how to be proactive in the fight against melanoma, and many more related topics.

You can watch the entire conversation by clicking on the link below:

We want to thank Dr. Gill for her time and expertise on this very important subject. Taking care of your skin and understanding the risk of skin cancer is a critical part of maintaining long-term health and wellness. That’s why we offer many top-of-the-line broad spectrum SPF products at our medical spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And follow along with us on Facebook and Twitter for additional news, tips, and more.

 

 

 

The effects of menopause can be considerably far reaching. In addition to the more widely-known side effects of menopause including hot flashes and night sweats, menopause can lead to long-term physical health issues for women including osteoporosis. During menopause, a woman’s body stops producing the hormone estrogen. Estrogen is critical in helping to protect the body from a loss in bone density and osteoporosis. That’s why osteoporosis is so common in women who have already transitioned into menopause. In honor of National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month this May, the reproductive healthcare experts here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett wanted to provide some helpful information on how osteoporosis can be effectively prevented and treated.

Osteoporosis-Prevention-office-visit

  • Maintain a bone-friendly diet that is rich in both calcium and healthy proteins to promote strong bones.
  • Prioritize vitamin D intake by spending about 15 minutes in the sun every day (though make sure to protect yourself with broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen) and consuming foods and drinks with vitamin D such as oily fish, eggs, and fortified dairy foods or juices. Vitamin D supplements may also be able to help.
  • Maintain a stable, healthy body weight as being too light or too heavy can both negatively affect bone health.
  • Stay active by performing regular weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises.
  • Avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol. Nicotine is toxic for bones and can counteract the good that healthy nutrients like calcium and vitamin D provide. Consuming alcohol in excess can also contribute to additional bone loss.

For women with osteoporosis, there are several treatment options available to help manage symptoms and improve bone density. Being proactive and beginning treatment before osteoporosis worsens over time is critical. In many cases, treatment begins with oral medications and supplements intended to help restore lost bone density. This includes hormone replacement therapies to replenish estrogen that has been lost after menopause as well as vitamin D and calcium supplements. Sometimes prescription medications known as bisphosphonates may also be prescribed as a preventative measure against bone loss. Physical therapy and regular weight-bearing exercise may be able to help some women strengthen bones, maintain muscle tone and joint health, and even reduce or prevent further bone loss.

Whether you have already gone through menopause or you are just beginning your transition, checking up on the health and wellness of your bones is always a good idea. We recommend asking your healthcare provider about a bone mineral density (BMD) test to help gain the information you need about your bone health during your next appointment. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our reproductive healthcare providers, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips, news, and updates on our upcoming health and wellness events. And don’t forget to check out our medical spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics.

 

 

 

When it comes to understanding reproductive health and wellness, there’s no such thing as a small or insignificant question. Reproductive health is a vital component of overall health and the more a woman knows about this topic, the better. That’s why we are always happy to answer questions that we receive from our patients and other women as part of our Ask the Gynecologists blog series. This month, we’ll be focusing on a variety of topics pertaining to women’s health and wellness including infertility, ovarian cancer, and vaginal discharge.

Dr-Kristine-E-Gould-photoQuestion #1: What is a laparoscopy and how can it help with my infertility issues?

A laparoscopy is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure that we perform in order to detect potential causes of fertility issues. During the procedure, a slender telescope-like instrument is inserted through a small incision in the belly button. This allows us to examine the abdominal and pelvic organs including the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries and look out for potential issues like endometriosis, scar tissue, cysts, or uterine fibroids that can decrease a woman’s fertility.

Question #2: Is there a connection between ovarian cancer and ovarian cysts?

Not necessarily. It’s natural for a healthy ovary to occasionally produce a normal, benign cyst during a menstrual cycle. This process becomes less frequent during the perimenopause period. Some cysts that occur after menopause and grow especially large (roughly 6 centimeters) can be considered abnormal and may require examination. However, the vast majority of these are benign.

Question #3: Is a vaginal discharge always a cause for concern?

No. Although some types of vaginal discharge may occur as a response to infections and other vaginal health concerns, a certain amount and type of discharge is completely normal and a sign of a healthy, functioning vagina. A normal vaginal discharge ranges in color from clear to white and will not have any noticeable odor. If a change in the color, consistency, or odor of the discharge occurs, as well as any other troubling symptoms including pain or itching in the vaginal area, pain during urination, or irregular bleeding, we recommend speaking with one of our gynecology providers.

We hope our readers found the answers they were looking for. If you have additional questions of your own and would like to discuss them with one of our reproductive healthcare providers, please don’t hesitate to contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow along with us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, and more. And don’t forget to check out our medical spa, MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics.

 

 

In honor of STD Awareness Month this April, the reproductive healthcare experts here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett wanted to take some time to discuss this pertinent topic. More specifically, we wanted to focus on how some of the most common STDs (also known as Sexually Transmitted Infections or STIs) can be treated. Recommended treatment options can vary depending on the specific STI and each woman’s unique circumstances. However, the end goal is always the same: to minimize symptoms and get each woman back to full health as quickly and easily as possible.

sexual-health-posterChlamydia

For women who experience chlamydia symptoms, they may include a burning pain during urination or an abnormal vaginal discharge. Chlamydia is easily spread because many people who have been infected display no obvious symptoms or effects. In most cases, chlamydia is spread by sexual contact with someone who has the infection. If left untreated, chlamydia can seriously affect a woman’s reproductive system and lead to fertility issues and chronic pelvic pain. Thankfully, it can often be treated rather easily with simple oral antibiotics. Some women with more severe cases of chlamydia may require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is the most common STI in the US. Women who do not receive an HPV vaccination by age 26 may be vulnerable to this virus. However, the FDA recently approved a new HPV vaccination that is safe for women up to age 35. Some people with HPV may experience genital warts or warts on their hands, feet, or face. The virus is commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex. It can be passed by an infected person with no visible symptoms. HPV is a leading cause of different gynecological cancers including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, and oropharyngeal cancer. In cases where HPV leads to genital warts, these can be treated with topical medications (or surgery in some cases).

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea can affect both men and women, but it is more common in women. The infection passes from person to person through unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Like chlamydia, many women with gonorrhea experience very minor symptoms or no symptoms at all. Common gonorrhea symptoms for women include burning during urination, an abnormal vaginal discharge, and irregular bleeding. If left untreated, it can lead to increased HIV risk, infertility, and joint pain. Gonorrhea is also treated with antibiotics, however certain strains of gonorrhea may be resistant to antibiotics. In these cases, a combination or medications may be required to successfully treat the infection.

Genital Herpes

Herpes is a viral infection that can cause outbreaks of sores and blisters on the lips, genitals, or anus. Herpes can be easily spread by skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the virus. Although genital herpes cannot be fully cured, there are medications that can significantly reduce the severity and frequency of outbreaks while also making the virus less contagious. These treatments include antiviral therapy to reduce cold sores. Some women are recommended to only take medication if they experience a flare-up (intermittent therapy) while others who experience more common outbreaks may be recommended to use a daily regimen of their medication (suppressive therapy).

Preventing, diagnosing, and effectively treating STIs are a critical part of maintaining good sexual and overall health. Although this topic may seem embarrassing or intimidating to discuss, it’s important to be open and honest with your board-certified gynecologist in order to ensure the best possible care and treatment. For more information on STIs or to schedule an appointment, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional tips, news, and more.

 

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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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