Family Planning

Family planning is about birth control. The method you choose depends on your health, frequency of sexual activity and whether you want children. When choosing among birth control methods, you should consider:

  • Availability – Can you use it without a prescription or office visit?
  • Cost – Can you afford it?
  • Effectiveness – How well will it help you prevent pregnancy? You should choose the most effective method that meets your other criteria.
  • Partnership – Your partner’s support or lack of support may affect your choice of birth control.
  • Permanence – Do you want long-term birth control? Permanent sterilization? Tubal ligation (tubes tied) is considered permanent for women. Vasectomy is considered permanent for men. Essure® is a very popular minimally invasive method for permanent sterilization. Ask Dr. Hessel about it.
  • Prevention – Many birth control methods offer no protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condoms and dental dams are the best choices for preventing STDs.

Come in for contraceptive counseling to discuss any of the following options with Dr. Hessel:

  • Oral medication (pills)
  • Patch
  • Nuvaring®
  • Depo-Provera shots
  • IUDs – copperT, Mirena® and Skyla®
  • Diaphragm
  • Sponges, condoms and spermicides that are easily available over the counter but may not provide the best protection

When you want contraceptive  counseling that’s highly personalized to you as an individual, call Barbara Hessel, MD, FACOG, at 718.275.7200 or 347.943.4371 from Manhattan, Queens (Rego Park, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Middle Village), Brooklyn and Long Island in Queens County, NY. You can also use our online Request an Appointment form. Enjoy the most attentive care you’ve ever had.

Pelvic Pain

Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain can make life miserable, and it’s one of the most challenging women’s health issues for doctors to diagnose and treat effectively. With the ongoing discomfort, abnormal bleeding, painful intercourse and other problems that can accompany it, pelvic pain can be frustrating and tough to deal with for any woman. Fortunately, with the help of a well-qualified, dedicated physician like Dr. Hessel, you do not have to accept pelvic pain as part of life.

Here you’ll find a highly personal approach to resolving chronic pelvic pain and treating the spectrum of underlying conditions, including:

  • Endometriosis – An extremely common cause of pelvic pain, endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterus and into the pelvic region and abdomen.
  • Uterine fibroids – These noncancerous growths can develop inside or outside of the uterus. They can be addressed with myomectomy surgery for fibroid removal.
  • Pelvic adhesions – After surgery (or serious infection) in the abdomen or pelvic region, scar tissue can adhere to organs and cause them to “stick” to other organs (for instance, the ovaries and the fallopian tubes).
  • Ovarian cysts – These affect women of all ages but are most common during childbearing years. They are usually harmless, benign, fluid-filled sacs that form outside of any disease process and many disappear on their own.

No matter what’s causing your pelvic pain, you can take comfort with Dr. Hessel. As a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and an award-winning gynecologic surgeon, she has the expertise that inspires confidence – and the compassion that matters when you’re dealing with this intensely personal issue. Your treatment plan may include medications and other nonsurgical options. You may also benefit from a laparoscopic procedure to address the cause of your pelvic pain.

Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that requires only tiny incisions. For most women, laparoscopic surgery offers a remarkably quick, comfortable recovery. It’s extremely effective in treating many gynecologic conditions.

Dr. Hessel has extensive experience with these techniques and performs them at some of the finest facilities in our area. If laparoscopy is right for you, she’ll make sure you know exactly what to expect and give you complete answers to all your questions and concerns. Your comfort and well-being matter, especially when you need any kind of surgical care to resolve your pelvic pain.

Don’t live with painful periods

Don’t live with painful periods

We’ve all been there—painful period cramps send us running to the medicine cabinet in search of something to take the pain away. For the majority of women, the pain is mild and only lasts a day or two. For others, severe, life-stopping cramping can start up to a week before a period even begins and bring everyday activities to a grinding halt.  For these women, painful periods that are characterized by backache, and extreme cramping that comes and goes is known as dysmenorrhea.  No, I didn’t sneeze, but it’s pronounced “dis-men-uh-ree-uh”. It just means, basically, an abnormally painful period. (more…)

Abnormal Bleeding

Abnormal Bleeding

Whether it’s heavy, painful periods or bleeding between cycles or after menopause, abnormal bleeding could be a sign of a serious problem. You don’t have to tolerate it or spend your energy worrying about what’s wrong. Dr. Hessel is here to help with the latest in patient-friendly gynecologic medicine, along with the expertise – and personal care – you and your primary physician can feel good about.

It starts with better diagnostic technology. Many women’s health issues can lead to abnormal periods and other kinds of abnormal uterine bleeding. Here’s a short list:

  • Hormone imbalances – Especially for young women and for those of us approaching menopause.
  • Uterine fibroids – Noncancerous growths that develop inside or outside of the uterus.
  • Endometriosis – A painful condition that occurs when the lining of the uterus grows out into other parts of the pelvic region, interfering with the function of the pelvic organs and indirectly leading to abnormal bleeding.
  • With so many different factors involved, it’s important to get well-qualified, experienced medical care from a dedicated physician. Dr. Hessel works with you to understand your medical history, your symptoms and your lifestyle. She’ll talk with you about your condition, explain the pros and cons of all your options and guide you in making an empowered choice regarding your treatment.

A better standard of care is always the prescription Dr. Hessel cares about your well-being. That’s why she always recommends the treatment option that will be easiest on you in every way. She may treat your abnormal bleeding with:

  • Nutrition and lifestyle changes – With plenty of education and support, simple solutions are sometimes the best idea.
  • Low-dose birth control pills or other hormone therapy, including hormone replacement therapy.
  • Uterine fibroids treatment with myomectomy surgery.
  • Minimally invasive surgery – Dr. Hessel is an award-winning gynecologic surgeon and performs most procedures on an outpatient basis in some of the area’s finest facilities.
  • Endometrial ablation – One of the most effective techniques for relieving heavy, painful periods, this treatment offers a quick recovery. It is an excellent alternative to hysterectomy surgery.


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