• Ultrasound Schedules for Expecting Moms

    Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life—once you conquer morning sickness, that is. Expect frequent trips to the Ob/Gyn clinic for prenatal checkups, health screenings, and patient education, like nutritional guidance. You’ll also have routine ultrasound exams. Ultrasound technology uses sound waves, which are completely safe for your baby and you. Ultrasound exams don’t hurt, and there are no needles required, although the gel that’s placed on your abdomen may feel a little cold.

    First Trimester Ultrasound

    Most expecting moms have their first ultrasound at six to eight weeks. Your obstetrician may ask you to arrive at your appointment with a full bladder. This is done to get a clearer image, as sound waves travel more effectively through liquid. Additionally, your first ultrasound might be a transvaginal exam. This requires inserting a very small, thin device into your vagina. It won’t hurt at all, though it may feel a little uncomfortable. Obstetricians conduct transvaginal ultrasounds in order to get a better image at this stage, when your baby is still very tiny.

    Second Trimester Ultrasound

    Usually, your second ultrasound will be scheduled between weeks 18 and 20. (If you have a high-risk pregnancy, your doctor may ask you to return for more frequent ultrasounds.) This exam allows your doctor to thoroughly assess your baby’s development . During this appointment, it’s usually possible to identify the baby’s sex. If you want to be surprised when your little one arrives, let the doctor know this ahead of time.

    Third Trimester Ultrasound

    Third trimester ultrasounds aren’t always necessary, but you can expect to have one if you have a high-risk pregnancy. A third trimester ultrasound may be recommended for moms who go past their due dates. Other reasons for additional exams include fetal growth and placental health concerns.

    Women’s Healthcare Associates is a specialized Ob/Gyn clinic in Houston that offers high-quality ultrasound imaging. We’re on a mission to provide the personalized, compassionate care that women deserve, which means we’ll customize your ultrasound schedule according to your baby’s needs. Give us a call today at (713) 654-8128.

  • A Step-by-Step Guide to Breast Self-Exams

    Many gynecology experts recommend that all women perform breast self-exams once per month. If you aren’t yet in an age range in which mammography is recommended, your breast self-exams and your gynecologist’s professional breast exams may facilitate the early detection of potential problems. However, even after you start having mammograms, you should continue to do self-exams. It’s important to note that many women who are diagnosed with breast cancer do not feel a lump. Regular self-exams let you become familiar with how your breasts generally look and feel, which can also support early detection.

    In the Shower

    A thorough exam involves checking yourself in the shower, in front of a mirror, and while lying down. Use a circular pattern to move the pads of your fingers around the entire area of each breast. Move from the outside to the inside, and also check your underarm area. Feel for any lumps, knots, or thickened areas.

    In Front of the Mirror

    Stand in front of a large mirror with your hands on your hips and your shoulders straight. Visually inspect your breasts and underarm areas for the following:

    • Nipple inversion
    • Nipple discharge (blood, or fluid that is yellowish, milky, or watery)
    • Swelling
    • Redness
    • Rash
    • Dimpling or “orange peel” appearance of the skin
    • Asymmetry
    • Changes in shape or size

    After you’ve examined yourself with your hands on your hips, raise your arms above your head. Check yourself for the same changes in appearance.

    While Lying on Your Bed

    Lie down with your upper body unclothed. Put your right arm above your head, resting it on the bed. Use your left hand to examine your right breast. Then, put your left arm over your head, and use your right hand to examine your left breast. Remember to use small, circular motions. Some women prefer to check up and down their breasts, in vertical rows, while others prefer to feel around the perimeter of each breast, and move inward.

    A gynecologist at Women’s Healthcare Associates will be happy to help you learn the steps of breast self-exams during your well-woman exam. Give us a call today at (713) 654-8128. Our Ob/Gyn clinic in Houston has a convenient location downtown, on the St. Joseph Parkway.

  • Talking to Your Doctor About Chronic Pelvic Pain

    Pain that lasts six months or longer, and is located between your hips and beneath your belly is called chronic pelvic pain. This discomfort may be caused by a treatable, underlying medical condition, or it may be idiopathic—without a known cause. Regardless, you shouldn’t wait too long to consult your gynecologist. Take a few minutes to prepare for a productive conversation at the Ob/Gyn clinic.

    Write down a few notes about your family medical history and personal medical history. Your doctor will likely ask about any prior issues related to digestive, urinary, and reproductive health, such as uterine fibroids, interstitial cystitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Additionally, expect the gynecologist to ask about specific times when you experience pain, such as during sex or after sitting for a long time. Be prepared to describe your pain, including whether it feels dull, severe, or like cramping.

    At Women’s Healthcare Associates, you’ll find a welcoming setting and warm healthcare providers who will work closely with you to help you achieve optimum wellness. Call (713) 654-8128 if you’ve been suffering from chronic pelvic pain and live near Houston.