My Blog

Posts for: April, 2018

By James A. Scales, MD
April 13, 2018
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: Period   Pain  

 

While we know that dealing with your period each month is never a party, we also understand that every woman experiences their period differently. Some women barely, if ever have any symptoms or problems during this time of the month; while other women experience symptoms that are so painful and debilitating that it takes a toll on their personal and professional lives. If you are dealing with painful periods then it’s time to read on to find out how to relieve these stubborn monthly symptoms.

Painful periods, medically known as dysmenorrhea, don’t refer to the normal cramping and discomfort that can easily be remedied with pain relievers or a heating pad. Dysmenorrhea refers to either lower abdominal pain and cramping that lasts a few days before your period starts (primary dysmenorrhea) or cramping that appears as a result of another condition such as endometriosis (secondary dysmenorrhea).

Fortunately, there are ways to tackle this problem if this is something you are experiencing. While some women find relief from over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications when they experience menstrual cramps, if you deal with severe pain you may want to consider taking this pain medication a couple days before your period even begins. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications have the ability to greatly lessen and even stop uterine cramping while also decreasing your flow.

Along with these medications, you can also turn to alternative therapy such as acupuncture to help manage your symptoms, or turn to certain therapeutic exercises such as yoga to ease cramping.

If you don’t experience the relief you need through over-the-counter treatments, you’ll want to turn to your gynecologist for more specific care. Sometimes oral contraceptives are prescribed because they are effective for lessening both blood flow and menstrual cramping due to the hormones within the pills.

It’s important that if you have any questions or concerns about your period that you turn to a gynecologist who can provide you with the proper care and treatment you need. If painful periods are affecting you and aren’t responding to lifestyle modifications or medicines, or if the pain is getting worse, it’s a good time to call your women’s doctor.

If symptoms don’t improve even with other more aggressive measures, a diagnostic procedure known as a laparoscopy may be performed to determine the source of your pain.


By James A. Scales, MD
April 03, 2018
Category: Fertility
Tags: Infertility  

There are many reasons couples have trouble getting pregnant. There are so many factors that can influence fertility and it can be almost impossible to pinpoint the cause without turning to a medical expert for help; fortunately, your OBGYN is a great source for providing a proper evaluation and treatment options to increase your odds of getting pregnant.

So, when should you consider visiting your gynecologist or infertility specialist? If you are at a high risk for infertility, if you are over the age of 35 or if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year, then you may want to schedule an evaluation to find out if there is something that could be preventing you from getting pregnant.

During a fertility evaluation, you and your partner will provide details regarding your medical histories, and you will undergo a physical examination. For women, a blood test will be performed to check hormone levels. If you have a history of irregular periods this could also mean that there is an ovulation issue.

X-rays or other imaging tests may also be performed to check the health of the reproductive organs or to determine if there is a blockage in the fallopian tubes. Uterine fibroids can also be detected through these imaging tests, and this common issue can also affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant.

The most effective fertility treatment will really depend on the root cause. If there is an ovulation problem then medication will be prescribed to either stimulate the release of the egg or to treat conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, which can make it difficult to get pregnant.

If there is a fallopian tube blockage, then surgery will be performed to remove the blockage. If endometriosis is causing your infertility then a minor surgery may be recommended to remove the excess endometrial tissue.

However, there are situations in which your OBGYN can’t find the cause of your infertility. Even if this happens there are different ways to treat infertility to increase your odds of getting pregnant. Just like with any condition, there is trial and error when it comes to finding the right treatment. Medication may be prescribed (often the same type of medication used to treat ovulation problems).

If a woman is dealing with damaged fallopian tubes, severe endometriosis or other fertility issues that don’t respond to the treatment options above, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) may be recommended.

Your gynecologist will sit down with you to discuss the ideal fertility treatment options that will offer the best chance for success.