Are you preparing for your first visit to a gynecologist but feeling a little anxious about what to expect? You are not alone! Visiting a gynecologist for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience for many women. However, it’s essential to understand the importance of regular gynecological exams for maintaining good reproductive health and preventing potential problems. In this article, we’ll guide you through what to expect during your first gynecologist visit and provide you with tips to help ease any anxieties and ensure that you receive the best possible care.
Why It is Important to See a Gynecologist
A gynecologist is a medical professional who specializes in women’s reproductive health. Regular gynecological exams are essential for maintaining good reproductive health and preventing potential problems. Women should start seeing a gynecologist around the age of twenty-one or when they become sexually active, whichever comes first. Younger women and girls may need to see the gynecologist if they are having problems with their periods, pelvic pain, or infections.
Preparing for Your Visit
Before your appointment, it’s best to write down any questions or concerns you may have. It’s also essential to gather information about your menstrual cycle, including the date of your last period, the length of your cycle, and any symptoms you may be experiencing.
During the Visit
Your first gynecological exam will typically include a medical history review and a physical exam. Here’s what you can expect during each part of the exam:
Medical History Review
Your gynecologist will review your medical history, including any past surgeries, medications, and allergies. They’ll also ask about your sexual history, including the age at which you became sexually active, the number of sexual partners you’ve had, and any birth control methods you have used.
The physical exam will typically start with a breast exam. The gynecologist will check for any lumps or abnormalities in your breasts and under your arms. After the breast exam, you will lie down on the exam table with your feet in stirrups.
The gynecologist will then perform a pelvic exam. This includes an external and internal exam of your reproductive organs. They will use a speculum to hold open the walls of your vagina to examine your cervix and take a Pap smear. This test is used to screen for cervical cancer. Younger women and girls don’t always need a speculum exam, depending on their history and complaints. The exam can always be modified to the patient’s level of comfort and needs.
After the Exam
After the exam, your gynecologist will discuss their findings with you. If they find any abnormalities, they may recommend further testing or treatment.
If you are sexually active, your gynecologist may also recommend testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They may also discuss birth control options with you.
If you are experiencing any menstrual problems, such as heavy bleeding or irregular periods, your gynecologist may recommend further testing or treatment.
Tips for a Comfortable Visit
Here are some tips to help make your first gynecological exam as comfortable as possible:
1. Schedule your appointment when you are not on your period. This will make the exam more comfortable and accurate.
2. Wear comfortable, loose clothing. This will make it easier to change into a gown for the exam.
3. Bring a friend or family member for support. Having someone with you can help ease any anxiety you may be feeling.
4. Communicate with your gynecologist. Let them know if you’re feeling uncomfortable or experiencing pain during the exam.
Visiting a gynecologist for the first time may be nerve-wracking, but it’s essential for maintaining good reproductive health. Your first visit will typically include a medical history review and a physical exam. Remember to prepare for your visit by writing down any questions or concerns and gathering information about your menstrual cycle. By following these tips and communicating with your gynecologist, you can ensure that you receive the best possible care during your first visit.
Make your first gynecologist visit a stress-free experience with the help of Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG. We are a certified gynecologist in Forest Hills, NY, that has been working with patients for over 25 years. By encouraging you to take an active role in your own health and wellness and offering you an individualized care plan, we provide the level of treatment you deserve. Book an appointment today!
For many couples, the journey to parenthood can be long and difficult. Trying to conceive can be stressful, emotional, and exhausting. However, with the right tools and support, couples can increase their chances of achieving their dream of parenthood. The Positive Pregnancy Test Blueprint is a step-by-step guide designed to help couples navigate the process of trying to conceive and increase their chances of a positive pregnancy test.
Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle
Understanding your menstrual cycle is one of the most important factors in achieving pregnancy. The menstrual cycle is the monthly process by which a woman’s body prepares for pregnancy. It involves the release of an egg from the ovary, the thickening of the uterine lining, and the shedding of the lining if pregnancy does not occur. Understanding the timing of ovulation is crucial in trying to conceive, as it is the only time during the menstrual cycle when pregnancy can occur.
There are several things’ couples can do to optimize their fertility and increase their chances of a positive pregnancy test. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly can all affect fertility. Avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and drugs is also important, as these substances can have a negative impact on fertility. Additionally, supplements such as folic acid and zinc may help improve fertility.
Tracking ovulation is a crucial step in trying to conceive. Several methods for tracking ovulation include using ovulation predictor kits, monitoring basal body temperature, and tracking cervical mucus. Ovulation predictor kits work by detecting the surge in luteinizing hormones that occur just before ovulation. Monitoring basal body temperature involves taking your temperature every morning before getting out of bed and looking for a slight increase in temperature that occurs after ovulation. Tracking cervical mucus involves monitoring changes in the cervical mucus throughout the menstrual cycle.
FAQs on When to Seek Medical Attention
1. What are the common signs of female infertility?
Some of the most common signs of female infertility include irregular periods, painful periods, no periods, or abnormal bleeding. Other signs may include hormonal imbalances, ovulatory disorders, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
2. What are the common signs of male infertility?
The most common sign of male infertility is low sperm count, decreased sperm motility, or abnormal sperm shape. Other signs may include hormonal imbalances, erectile dysfunction, or a history of sexually transmitted infections.
3. When should someone see a doctor about infertility?
If a couple has been trying to conceive for over a year without success, it may be time to see a doctor. Women over 35 should see a doctor after six months of trying to conceive. Additionally, if there are any signs of infertility such as irregular periods or low sperm count, it is important to seek medical attention. A doctor can help diagnose the underlying cause of infertility and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Achieving a positive pregnancy test can be a challenging and emotional journey for many couples. However, with the right tools and support, couples can increase their chances of conceiving and achieving their dream of parenthood. Understanding the menstrual cycle, optimizing fertility, tracking ovulation, and seeking support are all important steps.
If you are looking for a trusted OBGYN to help guide you through your pregnancy journey, look no further than Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG. With years of experience and a dedication to providing the highest level of care, we are committed to helping women achieve their dream of parenthood. Schedule an appointment today!
Fibroids are non-cancerous lumps that grow in a woman’s uterus, and they can be as small as a tiny seed or as big as a grapefruit. They are also known as uterine leiomyomas, and can happen to any woman of reproductive age, no matter where they’re from.
While many women with fibroids may not experience any symptoms, others may face a range of physical and emotional challenges that can significantly impact their quality of life. From heavy menstrual bleeding and painful cramps to fertility issues and pregnancy complications, fibroids can have a significant impact on a woman’s health and well-being.
In that regard, let’s explore everything you need to know about fibroids, including their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options, so that you can better understand how they may be affecting your health.
Defining Fibroids: What is it? Who Does it Affect?
Women of reproductive age are typically affected by fibroids, with most cases being diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50. While fibroids can be asymptomatic, some women may experience common symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and frequent urination.
What are the Factors Putting You at Risk for Fibroids?
There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing fibroids, including:
- Genetics: If your mother or sister has had fibroids, your risk of developing them is significantly higher.
- Ethnicity: African American women have a higher risk of developing fibroids compared to women of other ethnicities.
- Hormones: Estrogen and progesterone, which are the hormones responsible for the development of the uterine lining, can promote the growth of fibroids.
- Age: As mentioned earlier, women of reproductive age are more likely to develop fibroids. The risk increases with age until menopause when the risk decreases due to a decrease in hormone production.
- Obesity: Women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing fibroids.
- Diet: A diet that has mostly red meat, while being low in fruits and vegetables can increase the risk of fibroids.
How Do Fibroids Affect Your Overall Health?
While many women with fibroids may not experience any symptoms, others may suffer from various health issues that can profoundly impact their quality of life. These issues include:
1. Heavy menstrual bleeding: Fibroids can lead to heavy and prolonged periods, which can result in anemia and fatigue.
2. Pelvic pain and pressure: Large fibroids can cause significant discomfort and pressure in the pelvic region.
3. Frequent urination: Fibroids pressing on the bladder can lead to frequent urination and, in some cases, urinary incontinence.
4. Pain during intercourse: Fibroids can cause discomfort or pain during sexual activity.
5. Infertility and pregnancy complications: Fibroids can interfere with the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus, resulting in infertility. They can also cause complications during pregnancy, such as preterm labor and the need for a cesarean section.
Exploring the Treatments for Fibroids
Treatment for fibroids depends on factors such as the size, location, and symptoms associated with the fibroids. Some of the available treatment options include:
1. Watchful Waiting: If fibroids are asymptomatic, a doctor may recommend monitoring the condition without any intervention.
2. Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help alleviate pain and inflammation caused by fibroids. Hormonal therapies, like birth control pills and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, can help regulate hormone levels and alleviate heavy menstrual bleeding.
3. Uterine Artery Embolization: This minimally invasive procedure involves injecting small particles into the arteries that supply blood to the fibroids, effectively cutting it off from receiving any more blood, and causing them to shrink.
4. Myomectomy: This surgical procedure involves the removal of fibroids while preserving the uterus. It can be performed using laparoscopic or open surgery techniques, depending on the size and location of the fibroids.
5. Hysterectomy: In severe cases, a complete removal of the uterus may be recommended. This is a permanent solution and is only considered when other treatment options have been unsuccessful or if the woman does not wish to have any more children.
The Bottom Line
Fibroids are a common health concern for women, and understanding the causes, effects, and treatment options is crucial for maintaining overall well-being. If you suspect you may have fibroids, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for your unique situation.
With proper guidance and treatment, many women can effectively manage fibroids and maintain a healthy, fulfilling life.
If you’re looking for an experienced obstetrician in Forest Hills, NY, look no further than Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG. She’s committed to providing high-quality obstetrical care and helping her patients achieve a better reproductive health. Contact her today to get started!
Annual Pap smears have been a cornerstone of women’s health care for decades. They have been critical for detecting cervical cancer and other gynecological issues.
However, recent medical advancements have shifted from annual pap smears to more personalized and targeted screening approaches. This article will explore why annual Pap smears are no longer necessary and why routine Ob-Gyn visits remain essential.
The Changing Landscape of Cervical Cancer Screening
The Pap smear was first introduced in the 1940s to detect cervical cancer. The test involves collecting cells from the cervix and examining them under a microscope for abnormal changes. Since then, Pap smears have been the gold standard for cervical cancer screening.
Women’s healthcare has also advanced with the development of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. HPV is a common virus that can cause cervical cancer, and the vaccine helps protect against the most high-risk strains of the virus. As a result, the incidence of cervical cancer has decreased significantly in recent years.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG),The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP), and The Society of Gynecological Oncologists (SGO) recommend starting pap smears at age 21. Women should have a pap smear at least every 3 years from age 21-29 and pap and HPV co-testing at least every 3 years from age 30-65. These guidelines do not apply to persons with risk factors, including a history of abnormal pap spears, exposure to DES, and women who are immunocompromised due to other medical problems. This more targeted and personalized approach to screening allows for better detection of abnormal cells while reducing the need for unnecessary testing and procedures.
The Importance of Regular Ob-Gyn Visits
Women are not getting screened as often as recommended, and routine Ob-Gyn visits remain important for overall women’s health. These visits provide an opportunity to discuss various health issues and concerns, from birth control and menstrual problems to sexual health and menopause.
During these visits, your Ob-Gyn will perform a physical exam, including a breast exam, a pelvic exam, and a Pap test or HPV test if necessary. However, the visit focuses on preventative care and health education. That is why Dr Hessel utilizes the latest technology for the detection of cervical cancer- The DySIS Advanced Cervical Imaging System.
For example, your Ob-Gyn may discuss the importance of regular exercise, a healthy diet, and ways to manage stress and improve sleep. They may also guide safe sex practices, birth control options, and the importance of regular cancer screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies.
By establishing a relationship with your Ob-Gyn and scheduling regular visits, you can actively manage your health and prevent illness. These visits can also help identify potential health issues when they are easier to treat.
Annual Pap smears are no longer considered necessary for all women due to advancements in screening technology and the availability of the HPV vaccine. However, routine Ob-Gyn visits remain essential to women’s health care. These visits provide an opportunity to discuss various health issues and concerns, from birth control and menstrual problems to sexual health and menopause.
By establishing a relationship with your Ob-Gyn and scheduling regular visits, you can actively manage your health and prevent illness.
Barbara Hessel, MD, FACOG, is a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist working with patients in the Forest Hills, NY, area for over 25 years. She is a member of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists and a recipient of the Special Excellence in Endoscopic Procedures Award. Her hospital affiliations include Northwell Health/ Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Book an appointment to visit our ob-gyn clinic in Forest Hills, NY!
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. It is characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excessive hair growth, acne, and Although some women with PCOS have a normal weight. Women with PCOS often struggle with weight management due to insulin resistance, which can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and infertility and weight gain. As such, a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle are crucial for managing PCOS symptoms and optimizing weight management.
Today, we will discuss the essential do’s and don’ts of a PCOS diet to help you achieve your weight management goals:
Do’s of a PCOS Diet
1. Prioritize a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is crucial for managing PCOS symptoms and promoting weight loss. Aim to consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including whole grains, lean protein sources, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. These foods can help balance blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and support overall health.
2. Choose Low Glycemic Index (GI) Foods
Low GI foods are digested and absorbed slowly, which helps to prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. This can be beneficial for women with PCOS, who often struggle with insulin resistance. Some low-GI foods include whole grains, legumes, non-starchy vegetables, and some fruits. Incorporate these into your meals and snacks to help manage blood sugar levels and support weight management.
3. Increase Fiber Intake
A high-fiber diet can help with weight management by promoting satiety and improving digestion. Fiber-rich foods can also help lower cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Aim for at least 25 grams of fiber per day from sources such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
4. Consume Lean Protein Sources
Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and promoting satiety. Choose lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey, fish, beans, lentils, and low-fat dairy products. Incorporate these proteins into your meals and snacks to help support weight management and overall health.
5. Include Healthy Fats
Healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish, can help balance hormones, reduce inflammation, and support weight management. Incorporate these healthy fats into your diet in moderation to promote overall health and well-being.
Don’ts of a PCOS Diet
1. Avoid Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, and sugary snacks, can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and exacerbate insulin resistance in women with PCOS. Opt for whole grain alternatives and minimize your intake of refined carbohydrates to support healthy blood sugar levels and weight management.
2. Limit Added Sugars
Added sugars can contribute to weight gain, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Limit your consumption of sugary beverages, candies, and baked goods, and opt for natural sweeteners such as honey or stevia when needed.
3. Minimize Saturated and Trans Fats
Consuming high amounts of saturated and trans fats can increase inflammation, cholesterol levels, and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Limit your intake of fatty meats, fried foods, and processed snacks, and choose healthier alternatives such as lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.
4. Avoid Excessive Caffeine and Alcohol Consumption
Excessive caffeine and alcohol intake can interfere with hormone balance and contribute to weight gain. Limit your consumption of caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and energy drinks, and opt for water or herbal tea instead. If you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation and opt for healthier options such as red wine.
5. Don’t Rely on Fad Diets
Fad diets that promote rapid weight loss or eliminate entire food groups can be detrimental to your health and often lead to unsustainable weight loss. Instead, focus on a balanced, nutrient-dense diet and incorporate regular physical activity to support long-term weight management and overall health.
Managing PCOS symptoms and achieving weight management goals may seem challenging, but by following these essential do’s and don’ts of a PCOS diet, you can make significant strides toward improving your health and well-being. Remember, it is essential to consult with a gynecologist and medical doctor trained in nutrition and weight management before making significant changes to your diet, as they can provide personalized guidance and support based on your unique needs and circumstances!
Barbara A. Hessel, MD, FACOG, is a highly experienced obstetrician/Gynecologist with board certification who has been serving patients in Forest Hills, New York, for over two decades. If you are looking for fertility treatments, nutrition coaching, weight management and and more, reach out today!
A late period can cause panic and anxiety. While pregnancy can be a cause, there are other medical reasons to be concerned, whether you are trying to get pregnant, not sexually active, or have a female partner. But before you jump to conclusions and assume the worst, take a deep breath and consider that there could be other factors at play.
Today, we’ll explore the possible causes for a late period that aren’t pregnancy-related.
Stress is a significant factor that can affect your menstrual cycle. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that can interfere with the release of other hormones responsible for regulating your period. High stress levels can cause an imbalance in these hormones, leading to a late or missed period. If you suspect stress is the cause, try incorporating stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, or journaling into your daily routine.
2. Weight Fluctuations
Sudden weight gain or loss can impact your menstrual cycle, as your body needs a certain amount of body fat to produce hormones that regulate your period. Losing a significant amount of weight in a short period or being underweight can cause your body to stop producing these hormones, resulting in irregular periods or missed periods altogether. On the other hand, being overweight can cause hormonal imbalances, leading to irregular periods as well. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise is essential for a regular menstrual cycle.
3. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. It causes small cysts to form on the ovaries, leading to hormonal imbalances that can result in irregular periods. If you have other symptoms of PCOS, such as excessive hair growth, acne, or weight gain, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
4. Thyroid Issues
Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that regulates your metabolism. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause hormonal imbalances that impact your menstrual cycle. If you suspect thyroid issues might be causing your late period, consult your healthcare provider for an evaluation and appropriate treatment.
5. Birth Control Changes
Starting or stopping hormonal birth control can impact your menstrual cycle. It’s common for your body to take some time to adjust to the new hormone levels, which can lead to a late period. Similarly, if you’ve recently stopped using hormonal birth control, it might take a few months for your body to re-establish its natural hormonal balance and regular menstrual cycle.
Intense physical activity can affect your menstrual cycle, especially if you’re not consuming enough calories to support your energy expenditure. Over-exercising can cause a decrease in body fat, leading to hormonal imbalances that result in irregular or missed periods. Ensure you’re eating a balanced diet and getting enough rest to support your training regimen to maintain a healthy menstrual cycle.
A recent illness or infection can also cause a late period. When your body is fighting off an infection, it can divert resources away from reproductive functions, resulting in a temporary delay in your menstrual cycle. Once your body has recovered, your period should return to its regular schedule.
If you’re experiencing a late period and are confident that pregnancy isn’t the cause, consider these factors that could be impacting your menstrual cycle. Remember that it’s always essential to consult a healthcare provider to discuss any concerns or changes in your menstrual cycle, as some issues may require medical intervention. Regular check-ups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help ensure a regular and healthy menstrual cycle!
Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist offering the services patients need to maintain good health at all times. If you are looking for an in-office or online telemedicine consultation, schedule an appointment with us today.
Pregnancy is a time of excitement, anticipation, and sometimes anxiety. Choosing a certified obstetrician can make a significant difference in your pregnancy experience. They are not only the person who will guide you through the prenatal care and delivery process but also the person you will rely on for advice and support during one of the most critical times of your life. In this article, we will discuss how to choose an obstetrician for your pregnancy.
Qualifications and Experience
The first thing to consider is the doctor’s qualifications and experience. You want to ensure that they are an obstetrician certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which ensures that they have completed the necessary training and passed the required exams to practice their profession.
You also want to consider their experience. It is especially important to choose an obstetrician who has experience with high-risk pregnancies or complicated deliveries if you have specific medical conditions that require additional attention.
Location and Availability
The location and availability of your certified obstetrician are also essential factors to consider. You want to choose a doctor whose office is located near your home or workplace. This will make it easier for you to attend regular prenatal appointments without disrupting your daily routine.
You should also consider their availability, especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy. You want to ensure that your obstetrician is available to you whenever you need them, whether it’s for routine check-ups or emergencies. Ask the doctor about their after-hours availability and if they have a backup plan in case they are not available.
Your obstetrician’s communication style is another crucial factor to consider. You want to choose a doctor who is easy to talk to and who will listen to your concerns. They should be able to explain medical procedures and conditions in a way that you can understand.
Additionally, you want to choose an obstetrician who will respect your choices and preferences. If you have a specific birth plan or certain concerns, your doctor should be willing to work with you to accommodate your wishes as much as possible.
Your obstetrician’s hospital affiliation is also an important factor to consider. You want to choose a doctor who is affiliated with a reputable hospital with a good track record for delivering healthy babies. Check its ratings and reviews to ensure that it meets your expectations.
Additionally, you want to ensure that the hospital is conveniently located and offers the amenities you need, such as private birthing rooms or a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in case of complications.
Finally, you want to consider your insurance coverage when choosing an obstetrician. You want to ensure your certified obstetrician is in your insurance network so you don’t end up with unexpected bills. Additionally, you want to check if the doctor’s office accepts your insurance plan and what your out-of-pocket costs will be.
Choosing the right obstetrician is an essential part of having a healthy pregnancy and a positive birth experience. When selecting an obstetrician, consider their qualifications and experience, location, availability, communication style, hospital affiliation, and insurance coverage. By taking these factors into account, you can find a doctor who will provide you with the care and support you need during this critical time.
If you’re looking for an experienced and compassionate obstetrician, Barbara A. Hessel, MD, FACOG, can help. She has over 25 years of experience and provides personalized care to all patients .She is affiliated with LONG ISLAND JEWISH MEDICAL CENTER – Northwell – one of the top hospitals in the US Dr Hessel accepts most major insurance policies, including Emblem Health, United Healthcare/Oxford, Aetna , Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Medicare Schedule an appointment with our certified obstetrician in Forest Hills, NY today.
Breast exams are essential in detecting breast cancer early, which can help improve a person’s chances of successful treatment and recovery. There are different types of breast exams, including clinical breast exams, self-exams, and mammograms.
Understanding what each type of exam entails and what to expect before going in for one is essential.
Types of Breast Exams
A. Clinical Breast Exam
A clinical breast exam is a physical exam conducted by a healthcare provider. During the exam, your healthcare provider will check your breasts, underarms, and collarbone area for any lumps or abnormalities. They will also check for changes in breast size or shape, skin texture, and nipple discharge.
The exam itself is not painful, but you may feel some discomfort if your healthcare provider needs to press down on any areas. The exam typically lasts a few minutes.
A self-exam is a way for a person to check their breasts for any lumps or abnormalities. It’s recommended that people perform self-exams at least once a month to become familiar with the normal look and feel of their breasts.
To perform a self-exam, start by standing in front of a mirror and visually inspecting your breasts for any changes in size, shape, or skin texture. Next, use the pads of your fingers to feel for lumps or abnormalities in your breasts, starting at the armpit and moving in a circular motion around the breast.
It’s important to note that not all lumps or changes in the breast are cancerous. Still, it’s essential to report any changes to your healthcare provider to determine the cause and receive proper treatment.
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that can detect changes or abnormalities that may not be noticeable during a clinical exam or self-exam. Mammograms are typically recommended for women over the age of 40 or those with a family history of breast cancer.
Before the exam, it’s recommended that you avoid wearing any deodorant, lotion, or powder on your breasts or underarms, as these products can interfere with the X-ray. During the exam, your breasts will be compressed between two plates while the X-ray is taken. This can cause some discomfort or pain, but it only lasts a few seconds.
After the exam, you may experience some mild discomfort or bruising. Your healthcare provider will review the results of the mammogram with you and determine if any further testing is needed.
Importance of Regular Breast Exams
Regular breast exams are essential in detecting breast cancer early, which can lead to more successful treatment outcomes. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, and early detection is crucial in reducing mortality rates.
Clinical breast exams, self-exams, and mammograms are all important tools in detecting breast cancer. By performing regular self-exams and scheduling regular clinical exams and mammograms with your healthcare provider, you can increase your chances of detecting any abnormalities early.
It’s essential to understand what each type of exam entails and what to expect before going in for one. Clinical breast exams, self-exams, and mammograms are all important tools in detecting breast cancer, and it’s recommended that people schedule regular exams with their healthcare provider.
When it comes to breast health, you can trust Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG. We are an OBGYN clinic in Forest Hills, NY that can help you assess your overall well-being. Schedule an appointment with us today to learn how.
Breast exams are an important part of women’s healthcare routine. They are used to detect any abnormalities in the breast tissue and identify any potential signs of breast cancer. If you are planning to have a breast exam, there are several things that you should know to prepare yourself for the procedure.
In the first part of this guide, we cover the basics of breast exams, including tips for preparing yourself with the exam proper. Here are some things you need to know.
Understand the Types of Breast Exams
There are three types of breast exams: self breast exams, clinical breast exams and mammograms. Self breast exams are performed by the patient herself. The best time to perform a breast self exam is right after the period, or pick a date that’s easy to remember.
Clinical breast exams are typically performed by a healthcare provider during a physical exam. During the exam, the provider will feel for any lumps or abnormalities in the breast tissue.
Mammograms are a type of imaging test that uses X-rays to create images of the breast tissue. Mammograms are typically recommended for women over the age of 40, or for women who are at higher risk for breast cancer.
Know When to Schedule Your Exam
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends that women receive a clinical breast exam at least once every three years starting at the age of 20. Women who are at higher risk for breast cancer may need to have more frequent exams.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about your risk factors and when you should start having regular breast exams.
Prepare for Your Exam
Before your exam, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself. Wear comfortable clothing that is easy to remove, as you may need to undress from the waist up for the exam.
Avoid wearing any lotions, perfumes, or deodorants on the day of the exam, as these products can interfere with the results. If you are having a mammogram, bring any previous images with you to the appointment.
During Your Exam
During your exam, your healthcare provider will ask you about your medical history and any symptoms you may be experiencing. They will then perform a physical exam, feeling for any lumps or abnormalities in the breast tissue.
If you are having a mammogram, you will be asked to stand in front of a machine while a technician takes images of your breast tissue. The procedure is typically painless, but some women may experience mild discomfort or pressure.
Understanding the Results
After your exam, your healthcare provider will review the results with you. If any abnormalities or lumps are detected, your provider may order further testing, such as a biopsy, to determine if the tissue is cancerous.
If the results are normal, you will typically be advised to continue with regular breast exams and mammograms as recommended.
Breast exams are an important part of women’s healthcare. They can help detect any abnormalities in the breast tissue and identify early signs of breast cancer. By staying informed and taking an active role in your healthcare, you can help ensure that you are doing everything you can to maintain your breast health. In part 2 of this guide, we will discuss the importance of breast exams and additional health implications.
When it comes to breast health, you can trust Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG. We are an OBGYN clinic in Forest Hills, NY that can help you assess your overall well-being. Get in touch with us today to learn how.
Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the uterus and sometimes the cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. While the procedure can alleviate various medical conditions, many women have several questions and concerns when considering this surgery. This article aims to answer some of the most common questions about hysterectomy, including the conditions it can treat, the types of hysterectomy, the risks and benefits, the recovery process, and sexual function.
What Conditions Can Hysterectomy Treat?
Hysterectomy can effectively treat several medical conditions, such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic prolapse, and certain types of cancer. It can also be a solution for women who experience heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, or other symptoms that do not respond to other treatments.
What Are the Types of Hysterectomies?
1. Total Hysterectomy
Total hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus and cervix. This is the most common type of hysterectomy and is usually recommended for women with cancer, endometriosis, or fibroids that are causing symptoms.
2. Partial Hysterectomy
Partial hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus only. This type of hysterectomy is usually recommended for women with fibroids or endometriosis and have no history of abnormal pap smears.
3. Radical Hysterectomy
Radical hysterectomy involves the removal of the uterus, cervix, upper part of the vagina, and sometimes nearby lymph nodes and tissue. This type of hysterectomy is usually recommended for women with cervical or uterine cancer.
Oophorectomy involves the removal of one or both ovaries. This procedure may be performed in conjunction with a hysterectomy or alone. Oophorectomy is usually recommended for women with ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or other conditions that affect the ovaries.
Salpingo-oophorectomy involves the removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes. This procedure may be performed in conjunction with a hysterectomy or on its own. A salpingo-oophorectomy is usually recommended for women with ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or other conditions that affect the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
What Are the Risks and Benefits of Hysterectomy?
Like any surgical procedure, a hysterectomy carries some risks, such as bleeding, infection, damage to nearby organs, and complications from anesthesia. However, the benefits of a hysterectomy can outweigh these risks, especially if a woman has a medical condition that significantly impacts her quality of life. Hysterectomy can relieve pain, bleeding, and discomfort and improve sexual function and overall well-being.
What Is the Recovery Process Like?
Recovery from a hysterectomy can vary depending on the type of surgery and the individual’s health and lifestyle. Women who have a laparoscopic hysterectomy might be discharged from the hospital the same day, while women having an abdominal hysterectomy might stay in the hospital for a few days. Full recovery may take two to eight weeks. During this time, a woman may experience pain, cramping, and vaginal bleeding and should avoid lifting heavy objects or engaging in strenuous activities. It is also essential to follow any postoperative instructions from the surgeon and attend all follow-up appointments.
Hysterectomy can be a life-changing procedure for many women, but it is crucial to understand the risks, benefits, and recovery process before undergoing this surgery. Women should discuss their medical history, symptoms, and options with their doctors and carefully weigh the pros and cons. With the right information and support, women can make an informed decision about hysterectomy and take steps to improve their health and well-being.
Book an appointment today with Barbara Hessel, MD, FACOG, an experienced board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist serving patients in the Forest Hills, NY, area for over 25 years. Dr. Hessel is an esteemed American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists member and a recipient of the Special Excellence in Endoscopic Procedures award. Trust in her expertise for all your OBGYN needs.