Posts for category: Obstetrics Gynecology Care
Every journey through motherhood is going to be different for every woman, so you want an OBGYN that understands your specific needs. Here are some ways to make the first six weeks a little easier for both you and your baby,
- They say to sleep when your baby sleeps, and if you have this opportunity it’s best to take it. While newborns sleep about 14-17 hours within a 24-hour period, they only sleep for about 2-3 hours at a time before needing to be fed.
- During this time, it’s important to turn to friends and family for help cooking meals or running errands, so you’re not exhausted and running on fumes. Remember, that you don’t have to do it all. Your focus is on healing and caring for your baby. The rest can wait.
- Eat a healthy diet that helps support and nurture your healing body. This includes eating proteins, whole grains, and vegetables. It’s also important that you are getting enough water and staying hydrated, which will help with breastfeeding.
- Your OBGYN will be able to tell you when it’s safe to exercise again. While this doesn’t necessarily mean jumping right back into CrossFit (unless you want to), find low-impact activities such as a brisk walk that can help you get out of the house and also provide energizing benefits.
Most women experience “baby blues” during the postpartum period. Between the massive changes in hormones to the lack of sleep, it’s very normal for new moms to experience mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and sadness; however, the baby blues are not the same as postpartum depression. These symptoms last longer than two weeks. Know the signs of postpartum depression,
- You’re experiencing crying spells, or you’re consumed by sadness or guilt
- You don’t have any interest in activities or things that once made you happy
- Changes in sleep patterns such as sleeping too little or sleeping too much
- You have thoughts of harming yourself or others
- You have trouble bonding with your baby
- You don’t want to eat
- You’re having panic attacks
No, these are two different tests. A pap smear looks for suspicious cellular changes in the cervix to spot precancerous and cancerous cells early. An HPV test, on the other hand, specifically looks for a current HPV infection but won’t be able to detect cervical cell changes. Women should turn to their OBGYN to get both a Pap smear and an HPV test.
Even if you’ve been vaccinated for HPV or you’ve already gone through menopause, it’s still a good idea to get regular pap smears. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should get a pap smear every three years (if they’ve only had normal pap smear results in the past). Women who’ve had an abnormal pap smear may need to come in once a year. A pap smear should be performed regardless of whether or not you suspect that you might have HPV.
Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should get a pap smear every three years, an HPV test every five years, or both tests together every five years.
Many strains of HPV are shed by the body over time so they don’t require treatment; however, other strains of HPV can lead to genital warts and cervical cancer. Cryosurgery or laser treatment may be used to remove abnormal cells from the cervix or genital warts.
The CDC recommends that both men and women between the ages of 11 to 26 should get vaccinated for HPV, as this vaccine can protect against many of the strains that can lead to cervical cancer. Since the vaccine is only administered to people who’ve never had HPV before, it’s a good idea to talk with your OBGYN about getting your teen vaccinated before they become sexually active.
Bleeding after Miscarriage
Whether you had to go through a D&C or you had a natural miscarriage, it is completely normal to bleed immediately after. The bleeding will be heavy for several hours, and it’s normal for it to contain tissue and clots. The bleeding will lighten and go away after 1-2 weeks. Only wear pads, not tampons, while bleeding.
Getting Your Period
It is normal for the first period after a miscarriage to be a little different than what you’re normally used to. Your period could be unusually heavy, or you may only experience spotting. It can take one cycle before your period returns to normal and it should be normal by the second cycle after your miscarriage. If you are still dealing with irregularities after your second cycle, you should talk with your OBGYN.
Most OBGYNs will give you the go-ahead to have sex again after about two weeks, but your OBGYN will need to have you come in for a follow-up to make sure that you’re not still bleeding. If you are, your doctor may ask you to wait a little longer.
Addressing Your Emotions
Your OBGYN has worked with many women who have experienced miscarriages, and they understand that what you are going through is traumatic and stressful. Some ways to support your emotional health during this time include,
- Spend more time with friends and family
- Ask for help and support when you need it
- Talk to other women who have also experienced miscarriages (there are support groups that can help)
- Talk to your OBGYN if you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression (they can provide counseling referrals)
- Get adequate nutrition and maintain a healthy, nourishing diet
- Get regular exercise
- Turn to meditation or other outlets for stress relief
- Make sure you are getting good sleep every night
Remember that you do not have to go through the recovery process alone. Many women seek solace in their OBGYN after a miscarriage. When you are ready, they can also guide you through the steps of getting pregnant again and providing you with the support system and compassionate care you need.
Bleeding During Your First Trimester
Your body is going through a ton of changes, especially during the first trimester. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that as many as 30 percent of women experience some sort of spotting or light bleeding during early pregnancy. Some of the causes of light bleeding or spotting include,
Implantation bleeding: After about 6 to 12 days after conception, some women experience cramping and light spotting. This is known as implantation bleeding. While some women may assume that their period is coming (since implantation bleeding usually appears a few days before a woman’s period), implantation bleeding is very light and may cause pink or brown spotting that may only last a day or two.
Bleeding During Second and Third Trimester
While light bleeding is fairly normal during the first trimester, it’s less common and more likely to be a concern if there is bleeding in the second or third trimester. If you are bleeding during your second or third trimester it’s best to talk with your OBGYN as it could be a sign of,
- Placental abruption
- Problems with the cervix such as an infection
- Placenta previa
- Premature labor
Since bleeding could be a sign of a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or other serious problems, you must talk with your OBGYN about any bleeding you experience. You should call your doctor right away if,
- Your bleeding lasts more than 24 hours
- Bleeding is heavy or you pass blood clots or tissue
- Your bleeding is accompanied by abdominal pain, fevers, or chills
Dr. Debora Sedaghat provides pap smears at OC Women's Care in Fountain Valley, CA. We are here for all your OBGYN needs.
What is a pap smear?
A pap smear is routine screening for abnormal or precancerous cells in and around the cervix. Pap smears are in-office procedures performed by your OBGYN. During a pap smear, the vaginal opening and canal are expanded with a tool called a speculum, and then cells are collected from the outside of the cervix to be examined. The process can be uncomfortable or a little painful for some patients, but it is over quickly.
The cells are examined under a microscope for irregularities, looking for signs of precancerous conditions. OC Women's Care in Fountain Valley, CA, will contact you about any abnormal results on your pap smear.
Why is it important?
In a majority of cases, cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Early detection of high-risk HPV can help prevent cervical cancer.
The CDC recommends getting pap smears starting at age 21 and through age 65 every three years. After the age of 30, HR HPV is also checked at the time of pap smears. Based on the results of your pap smear, your OBGYN will advise when you should have your next screening. If you are healthy your doctor may tell you to come back in three years for paper smears but to continue with your annual exams which will include breast and pelvic exams every year. If they are watching precancerous cells, they may want you to return early in time for repeat pap smears or proceed with colposcopy and biopsies. Remember it's still important to have an annual exam even if you don't need a pap smear!
How can I protect myself?
Consistent screening is important to protect yourself from cervical cancer, but good habits are another way to be proactive. Practicing safe sex (using condoms) can prevent the spread of HPV. Smoking increases the risk of cervical cancer significantly and your OBGYN will recommend quitting smoking.
Come see Dr. Debora Sedaghat at OC Women's Care in Fountain Valley, CA, for a pap smear and cervical cancer screening. Give us a call at (714) 966-2112.