Why am I experiencing painful sex?
There are several reasons why you may experience pain with intercourse. One of the more common ones is a lack of lubrication; however, painful sex could also be a sign of:
- An infection including yeast infections and infections of the cervix
- Vaginismus: A condition that causes muscle spasms of the vaginal wall
- Endometriosis: Where tissue similar to uterine tissue grows beyond the uterus
- Ovarian cysts and other ovarian conditions
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Causes severe inflammation of the deeper pelvic tissue
- Vulvodynia: A condition that causes chronic pain in the vulva and other external organs including the clitoris
However, when it seems like something more is at play then it’s time to consult an OBGYN. If vaginal dryness is the cause, we can recommend or provide special lubricants. Menopausal women who are experiencing vaginal dryness may need hormone replacement therapy or estrogen creams.
We will need to perform a physical exam to check for any tears, signs of STDs, inflamed tissue, or other signs of infection or certain vaginal conditions. Some conditions simply require medication (as is the case with yeast infections or PID); however, chronic conditions such as endometriosis will require special treatments, lifestyle changes, and long-term monitoring from an OBGYN.
Are you dealing with painful sex? If so, your OBGYN can provide you with the care you need to get this problem under control. It’s important to address this problem as soon as possible.
You want to reach out to a lactation consultant if:
You are feeling nervous or worried about breastfeeding
No matter whether this is your first baby or your third, we know that every breastfeeding experience is different and that sometimes you need someone with experience and training to be able to provide you with encouragement, answers, and support. It’s natural to have questions or concerns along the way, but our team of lactation consultants can help support and encourage you every step of the way.
Your baby isn’t gaining weight
While milk supply is certainly a thing that mothers worry about, especially first-time moms, most of the time this isn’t an issue. If your baby is gaining weight then they are getting the milk they need; however, if you notice your baby’s weight staying the same or if your pediatrician mentions that your baby is losing weight, then it’s probably a good time to consult a lactation specialist who can provide you with simple strategies to improve milk supply.
You have multiple babies
If you have twins or triplets, then the thought of breastfeeding may be a bit overwhelming. Even before you give birth, you may benefit from visiting a lactation consultant to discuss ways to properly hold your babies and feed more than one at a time. A lactation consultant can also help you in the very beginning to determine if your milk supply is matching the increased demand.
You’re experiencing pain
Sure, breastfeeding can be a bit odd or tricky, but it should not be painful. If it is, then something is going on that shouldn’t be. So, if you are experiencing painful, sensitive, or even cracked nipples then it’s time to see someone. Putting up with the pain should not be an option, as this can lead to serious problems such as yeast infections and problems with milk supply.
If you’re having pain or difficulty with breastfeeding, you are not alone. An OBGYN can provide you with the lactation counseling and support you need. Talk with your OBGYN today.
What can lead to a high-risk pregnancy?
There is a wide range of factors that can determine whether a woman will be a high-risk pregnancy. Some of these factors include:
- Previous pregnancy complications (if you’ve been pregnant before and dealt with complications such as premature birth, then you are more likely to deal with complications with future pregnancies)
- Multiple births (if you are having twins, triplets, quadruplets or more, you are also more likely to go into preterm labor)
- Blood disorders (e.g. sickle cell disease)
- Lupus or other autoimmune disorders
- Advanced mature age (women who are age 35 or older)
- Diabetes (both type 1 and type 2)
- Thyroid disease
- Drinking alcohol
- Illicit drug use
What does this mean for my care?
Women need to keep in mind that just because they are a high-risk pregnancy does not mean that they will face complications or issues. Having an OBGYN by your side is paramount to keeping both you and baby healthy and making sure that if problems do arise that they are caught and treated early.
A woman who is a high-risk pregnancy will want to visit their OBGYN more often for prenatal checkups so that their doctor can closely monitor them for any changes. Remember, keeping up with your prenatal care appointments is one surefire way to keep both you and your baby safe and healthy.
If you are a high-risk pregnancy or are concerned about being a high-risk pregnancy, it’s important to discuss this with your OBGYN right away.
What is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome?
Thanks to advanced and ever-changing medical technology and fertility practices it’s now fairly uncommon to have OHSS occur in women who undergo IVF. OHSS causes the ovaries to swell and leak, sometimes causing significant abdominal pain. This is in response to taking these injectable medications, which stimulate several follicles to develop eggs. This results in higher levels of estradiol, which can cause the ovaries to leak fluid into the stomach. Women with OHSS may experience:
- Abdominal swelling
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
How is OHSS treated?
If your OBGYN believes that your symptoms are indicative of OHSS, a simple ultrasound can allow our team to be able to examine the ovaries to look for leaks or fluid in the abdomen. Sometimes blood testing is also performed. If OHSS is mild than rest, limited activity, and staying hydrated are all that’s needed. If there is significant fluid in the abdomen, the doctor may need to drain the fluid (particularly if it’s causing serious pain). Only in serious cases does OHSS require hospitalization.
If you are interested in learning more about IVF, or if you are having trouble conceiving, you may want to first talk with your OBGYN about your options and whether or not you should pursue fertility treatments. Your OBGYN will be able to answer all of your questions regarding family planning and getting pregnant.
What is the purpose of a Pap smear?
A Pap smear is the best tool at our disposal for being able to detect precancerous cells within the cervix. By catching these cells early, we can remove them before they turn into cervical cancer.
When should a woman get her first Pap smear?
Women should start getting regular Pap smears from their OBGYN once they reach 21 years old, or once they become sexually active. Women will continue to get Pap smears until 65 years old.
How often should women get tested?
Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should get tested every three years. Once you reach age 30 you should get tested every five years (often alongside an HPV test). Women who have had abnormal Pap results in the past may need to come more often for testing.
Will it hurt?
While getting a Pap smear may feel a bit weird or maybe even a little uncomfortable (especially the first time when you’re not sure exactly what to expect), it shouldn’t hurt. You may notice a slight pinch but that’s usually about it. While a traditional OBGYN screening will usually take up to 20 minutes to perform, the Pap smear itself usually takes just a couple of minutes.
How quickly will I get results back?
It’s typical to get your results within one week after your test, but your OBGYN will let you know when results will be available to you.
Do abnormal or inconclusive results mean that I have cervical cancer?
Not typically. An inconclusive test just means that the sample that we collected wasn’t useable. This can happen if you’ve been sexually active or used tampons with two days before your test. Your doctor will usually recommend repeating the test.
Abnormal results, while stressful, could be due to inflammation, infections, trichomoniasis, HPV or herpes. If your tests are abnormal your doctor will discuss further testing with you or provide you with proper medication if an infection is found.
If you still have questions about Pap smears, don’t hesitate to call your OBGYN. We are here to make sure that you fully understand any and all care you receive at our office.
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