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Posts for category: Health Care

By James A. Scales, MD
February 23, 2018
Category: Health Care
Tags: Annual Exams  

Your health is paramount to living a happy and active life. Regular check-ups are an important part of catching and treating potentially annual examsharmful conditions early, at their most treatable. Women’s health is no different, with annual well-woman examinations and mammograms allowing doctors to catch women’s health issues faster than ever before. Find out more about annual examinations with your Texarkana, TX, OBGYN, Dr. James Scales.

What does an annual examination include?

Exactly what happens during an annual well-woman examination usually varies depending on age, medical history, and sexual history. A basic exam for a young, healthy woman will include a pelvic exam, breast exam, and Pap test. As a patient ages, their doctor may recommend other procedures like mammograms. Your doctor may also talk to you about things like STD tests or birth control.

How can an annual well-woman exam help me?

These yearly visits with your OBGYN give you the peace of mind of being up-to-date on your reproductive health. During a well-woman exam, your doctor will perform a Pap test, which looks for cervical cancer and, if necessary, a mammogram, which searches for breast cancer. Doctors can detect and even help to prevent the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer. These visits give your doctor the chance to catch potentially dangerous issues like ovarian cysts, STDs, or cancer early.

Annual Women’s Health Examinations in Texarkana, TX

Seeing your OBGYN for an annual examination is a great way to keep your health in check and understand any conditions you do have. Making yourself and your health a priority can help you live a long and active life. Caring for yourself has only benefits and gives you an increased quality of life. For more information on annual women’s health examinations, please contact Dr. Scales in Texarkana, TX. Call (903) 614-3003 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Scales today!

By James A. Scales, MD
October 13, 2017
Category: Health Care
Tags: Zika Virus  

Zika virus has certainly gotten a lot of attention in the news lately. If you’ve been traveling recently then no doubt you’ve also seen the warning signs in the securityZika Virus lines. Despite the headlines in newspaper, websites and the news, perhaps you still aren’t entirely sure what Zika virus is and what it could mean for your pregnancy.

The Zika virus is contracted by a mosquito bite, but it can also be sexually transmitted or transmitted from a mother to her unborn baby. This condition can cause symptoms such as a rash, pink eye, muscle aches, low-grade fever, fatigue, and headaches. The symptoms can last a couple days or up to one week. While the symptoms are usually mild and self-limiting, this virus can be dangerous for pregnant women. If a woman contracts the Zika virus during pregnancy it can lead to brain deformities such as microcephaly, neurological disorders (e.g. seizures), vision and hearing impairments, and developmental problems in the unborn child.

Of course, your risk of contracting the Zika virus in the US is very low; however, if you are planning to travel internationally and you are pregnant, you will want to check to make sure that the Zika virus cannot be contracted in these regions in which you are visiting.

The best way to protect yourself from Zika virus is to not travel to regions in which you can contract this infection or to avoid sex with anyone who has traveled to these regions (or, at the very least, use a condom everytime you have sex). Of course, if you must travel to these areas while pregnant, there are some precautions that you can take to prevent mosquito bites including,

  • Wearing long sleeves and pants
  • Applying and reapplying insect repellant often
  • Making sure that there are screens on door or windows in the place you are staying

If you start to come down with symptoms of Zika virus then you will want to see a doctor right away. Women who are pregnant who have to travel to these regions should talk to their doctor about regular testing.

The Zika virus can remain within the body for up to six months. Of course, once the Zika virus has gone away, this should not affect any future pregnancies you might have. If you are frequently traveling and you are pregnant, chances are good that you may have questions about Zika virus and protecting both yourself and your unborn child. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a pediatrician if you have any concerns.

By James A. Scales, MD
May 11, 2017
Category: Health Care
Tags: Menopause  

Menopause is known as "the change" for good reason: there are many different ways your body responds to the loss of hormones. Dr.menopause James Scales, your obstetrician in Texarkana, TX, works with his menopausal patients to help them understand the physical and emotional upheaval that can be associated with this time in their lives. Here, he's detailed what women often experience during menopause.

Physical changes

The decline in estrogen is responsible for several of the physical changes that women experience during menopause. One of the first signs that menopause is approaching is when periods become irregular in the mid- to late-40's. This is called perimenopause, and your Texarkana obstetrician recommends staying on birth control for at least a year after your final period, as pregnancy is still a possibility. One of the most well-known symptoms of menopause is hot flashes, a result of the brain trying to calibrate its temperature-regulating system. Menopausal women may also notice weight gain and vaginal dryness, and the risk of osteoporosis, or bone loss, becomes higher. Hormone replacement therapy may help some women navigate menopause, although it's not recommended for everyone. A good diet, regular exercise, and supplements have also shown to be helpful.

Emotional changes

Your Texarkana obstetrician finds that the emotions associated with menopause vary greatly from woman to woman. Part of the difference depends on the outlook the patient has on menopause. Some women feel happy, even exhilarated, about no longer needing birth control or having periods. Others process the news as a significant marker for aging and feel sad or even angry at the change. The fluctuation in hormones and specific physical changes can play a part in the way women react to menopause. Anxiety, irritability, memory loss, decreased libido and depression can all be part of the process, and the rapid mood swings that come along with it mean that none of these symptoms are predictable. Your Texarkana obstetrician can help you manage your emotional changes associated with menopause through medication, dietary changes, exercise and possible hormone replacement therapy.

Dr. James Scales and his caring staff are available to help you maintain good reproductive health at any point in your life. To schedule an appointment, contact our Texarkana, TX, office today!

By James A. Scales, MD
April 18, 2017
Category: Health Care
Tags: Pelvic Exam  

Getting a pelvic exam can be nerve-wracking, especially if this is your first visit, but knowing what to expect when you step foot in our office can help take away some of the anxiety. If you are feeling a bit nervous, don’t worry. We are here to provide you with all the information you could ever need regarding your next pelvic exam.

What is a Pelvic Exam?

A pelvic exam is a normal part of a woman’s routine gynecological exam. During the pelvic exam, a gynecologist will examine the reproductive organs to check for any potential signs of infection or other potential issues. Sometimes a Pap smear is also performed during your visit. During a Pap smear, we will remove some cells from the cervix to check for any cancerous or precancerous cells. Early detection is important, as it often makes treating health conditions much easier.

Besides a pelvic exam sometimes your gynecological visit may include:

  • A discussion about your medical history
  • A breast exam
  • STD testing

Who Should Get a Pelvic Exam?

Unless you are facing a health issue, most women can start getting a pelvic and breast exam by the age of 21. Even before a pelvic exam, it’s recommended that women get annual gynecological visits. Especially during a time where a young woman’s body is changing so drastically it’s sometimes helpful to have a doctor to turn to for questions about birth control, bodily changes, sexual health, etc.

When you come in for your first exam we will also tell you how often you should come in for care. A lot will depend on your medical history. If you’ve had abnormal Pap smear results, past sexual health problems, a family history of gynecological cancers or a sexually transmitted disease then you may need to come in more regularly.

For the sake of your health, getting a pelvic and breast exam should at least be an annual visit that you don’t miss. These visits are vitally important for your health and it's truly the best way to detect any health issues as early as possible.