Pregnancy is an exciting time for expectant mothers, but it can also be a time of great uncertainty and anxiety. That’s where an obstetrician comes in. Obstetricians are medical professionals who specialize in the care of pregnant women and their unborn babies. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what obstetricians do, why they’re essential, and what you can expect if you’re under their care during pregnancy and childbirth.
What Is an Obstetrician?
An obstetrician is a medical doctor who specializes in the care of pregnant women and their unborn babies. Obstetricians are also trained to manage any complications that may arise during pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or preterm labor. They work closely with other medical professionals, such as perinatologists, neonatologists, and midwives, to provide comprehensive care for their patients.
What Does an Obstetrician Do?
An obstetrician’s primary role is to monitor the health and development of the fetus and the health of the mother throughout pregnancy. This involves regular check-ups and ultrasounds to ensure that the baby is growing and developing properly. Obstetricians also monitor the mother’s health during pregnancy, checking for any signs of complications such as preeclampsia, preterm labor, or gestational diabetes.
Obstetricians are responsible for managing the labor and delivery process. They work closely with labor and delivery nurses to ensure that the mother and baby are safe and comfortable during labor. Obstetricians also perform cesarean sections (C-sections) when necessary and are trained to handle emergency situations such as fetal distress or umbilical cord prolapse.
After delivery, obstetricians continue to monitor the mother’s health and recovery, checking for any signs of complications such as postpartum hemorrhage or infection. They also provide guidance on breastfeeding and infant care and may refer the mother to other medical professionals if necessary.
Why Are Obstetricians Important?
Obstetricians play a critical role in ensuring the health and safety of both mother and baby during pregnancy and childbirth. They are trained to identify and manage any complications that may arise and are equipped to handle emergencies if they occur.
In addition to their medical expertise, obstetricians provide emotional support and guidance to expectant mothers throughout the pregnancy and delivery process. They can help alleviate anxiety and provide reassurance during what can be a stressful and uncertain time.
What Should You Expect if You’re Under an Obstetrician’s Care?
If you’re under an obstetrician’s care during pregnancy, you can expect to have regular check-ups and ultrasounds to monitor the health and development of your baby. Your obstetrician will also monitor your health throughout pregnancy, checking for any signs of complications.
As your due date approaches, your obstetrician will work with you to develop a birth plan that outlines your preferences for labor and delivery. They will also provide guidance on pain management options and help you prepare for the delivery process.
During labor, your obstetrician will be present to monitor your progress and ensure that you and your baby are safe and comfortable. If complications arise, they will work quickly to address them and ensure safe delivery.
After delivery, your obstetrician will continue to monitor your health and recovery, checking for any signs of complications. They will provide guidance on breastfeeding and infant care and may refer you to other medical professionals if necessary.
Obstetricians play a critical role in ensuring the health and safety of both mother and baby during pregnancy and childbirth. They are trained to identify and manage any complications that may arise and are equipped to handle emergency situations if they occur. If you’re under an obstetrician’s care during pregnancy, you can expect to receive comprehensive care and support throughout the pregnancy and delivery process. With the help of an obstetrician, you can feel confident that you and your baby are well cared for.
Do you need pregnancy testing? Trust Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG, a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist who has been 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 now!
Gynecological problems are common among women, ranging from minor discomforts to severe medical conditions. It is essential to understand these problems to seek timely medical assistance.
This article aims to inform women about their most common gynecological problems and ways to manage them.
1. Menstrual Disorders
Menstrual disorders are the most common gynecological problems among women. These disorders include heavy bleeding, irregular periods, painful periods, and absent periods.
Heavy bleeding or menorrhagia can cause anemia, fatigue, and weakness. Irregular periods or oligomenorrhea can cause infertility .
Painful periods or dysmenorrhea can cause severe abdominal cramps, headaches, and nausea. Absent periods or amenorrhea can also cause infertility.
Many of these conditions can be caused by hormonal imbalance
To manage menstrual disorders, women should seek medical assistance to diagnose and treat the underlying cause. Hormonal imbalances, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease can cause menstrual disorders.
Treatment options include hormonal therapy, pain medications, surgery, and lifestyle changes. Women can manage menstrual disorders by exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, reducing stress, and avoiding smoking and alcohol.
2. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. PCOS can cause anovulation, irregular periods, infertility, and other signs of hormonal imbalances.
Women with PCOS may experience weight gain, excessive hair growth, acne, and insulin resistance. PCOS can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and endometrial cancer.
To manage PCOS, women should seek medical assistance to diagnose and treat the underlying cause. Treatment options include hormonal therapy, lifestyle changes, and weight loss.
Women can manage PCOS by exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, reducing stress, and avoiding smoking and alcohol. Women with PCOS should also monitor their blood sugar levels and undergo regular gynecological check ups to prevent complications.
3. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common among women of all ages. UTIs can cause painful urination, frequent urination, and lower abdominal pain.
UTIs can occur in the urethra, bladder, or kidneys. Bacteria, viruses, or fungi can cause UTIs. Women are more prone to UTIs than men because they have shorter urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder.
To manage UTIs, women should seek medical assistance to diagnose and treat the underlying cause. Treatment options include antibiotics, pain medications, and lifestyle changes.
Women can manage UTIs by drinking plenty of water, urinating frequently, wiping from front to back, and avoiding irritants such as douches and feminine hygiene sprays. Women should also avoid holding urine for long periods and wear loose-fitting clothing to prevent UTIs.
4. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
STIs are infections that are transmitted through sexual contact. It can cause genital warts, herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.
STIs can cause various symptoms, such as painful urination, genital sores, and discharge. It can also increase the risk of developing cervical cancer, infertility, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
To manage STIs, women should seek medical assistance to diagnose and treat the underlying cause. Treatment options include antibiotics, antivirals, and lifestyle changes.
Women can manage STIs by using condoms during sexual intercourse, getting vaccinated against HPV, and undergoing regular gynecological checkups.
Women should also avoid having multiple sexual partners and engage in safe sex practices.
Women face various common gynecological problems affecting their physical and emotional well-being. These problems range from menstrual disorders and PCOS to UTIs and STIs. Women need to seek medical assistance to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of these problems.
Women can also manage these problems by adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as exercise, a balanced diet, stress reduction, and avoiding smoking and alcohol. Regular gynecological check-ups can also help prevent and manage these problems. Women must prioritize their gynecological health and seek timely medical assistance to maintain their health and well-being.
If you’re seeking expert care for your gynecological health, schedule an appointment with Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG, an experienced ob-gyn. Our practice is dedicated to providing personalized, compassionate care to women of all ages. We are here to help you achieve your best health and well-being.
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.