3 Questions You Should Ask Your Gynecologist Every Year During Your Annual

Your annual trip to the gynecologist is just around the corner, and you are already cringing at the thought of the pending awkwardness and embarrassment. But annual exams are about more than just answering routine questions while attempting to avoid eye contact. These crucial check-ups can detect potential problems early and help you develop habits that will benefit your reproductive health, sexual health, and overall wellness. Your gynecologist is the best resource you have when it comes to female health, so make the most out of your annual exam by asking these important questions!

What tests or screenings should I have this year?

Tests and screenings are excellent early diagnostic tools, but they are not performed at every visit. Some tests have certain age recommendations and timing requirements while others are only used if certain risk factors are present. For example, mammograms that check for breast cancer are not recommended before age 40 and Pap smears that check for cervical cancer should only be done every 3 years. Ask your doctor if you are due for any tests this year, and if so, find out the specifics.

Is this normal?

Unless you are an expert on women’s health, you have probably had a situation over the past year that made you stop and wonder, “Hmmm, is that normal?”. Don’t worry, you are definitely not alone! You know your body best, so if you have noticed any recent changes or feel that something just isn’t right, you should bring it up to your doctor. Some common topics may include:

  • Vaginal itch

  • Pain during sex

  • Urinary incontinence

  • Vaginal odor

  • Hot flashes

  • Painful periods

  • Irregular menstrual cycles

  • PMS

If you are worrying about itching down there or why sex hurts sometimes, your gynecologist can help set your fears at ease.

What else can I do to improve my female health?

Even if you are in good shape, there may be ways to further optimize your intimate health. Just doing a quick internet search will bring up lots of recommendations for supplements and intimate exercise equipment (yes, it’s a thing!), but that does not necessarily make them safe to use. Some supplements can affect birth control efficacy or cause issues like bleeding or infection if you forget to list them under ‘medications’ on pre-op surgery forms. Remember to check with your gynecologist before trying anything new. Other things to discuss with your gynecologist:

  • Self-breast exams

  • Genetic testing

  • Birth control options

  • Fertility issues

  • Family planning

  • Menopause

  • Kegels

With more than 25 years of experience in women’s health services, you can trust the excellent doctors at Women’s Healthcare Associates for sound advice, accurate assessments, and high-quality services. Our courteous staff is happy to answer your questions and address your concerns, and we always make your comfort our top priority. If you would like to schedule your next annual exam, contact our caring and compassionate doctors today!

The Uses of Ultrasound

Ultrasound tests are a critical component of prenatal care. During an ultrasound in Houston , an OBGYN places a transducer against the skin. The transducer transmits sound waves, which are used to create images. These sound waves do not harm the developing fetus. An OBGYN can perform an ultrasound to confirm a pregnancy, to evaluate the baby’s age and growth, and to check whether a woman might be pregnant with multiples. The images produced by the comprehensive ultrasound can also help the physician determine the gender of the baby. Ultrasound Houston

Additionally, an ultrasound during pregnancy enables the OBGYN to evaluate the baby’s muscle tone, movement, and heartbeat, along with his or her overall development. An ultrasound can also screen for birth defects such as heart defects or spina bifida. Potential complications of pregnancy can be revealed through ultrasound images. These may include ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage. Generally, an OBGYN would recommend that most women have an ultrasound when they are between 18 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Types of Birth Control Implants

OBGYN doctors near Houston can help you learn about your birth control options , which include implantable devices. An implant is typically thought of as a device that is placed under the skin, such as Implanon and Nexplanon. A gynecologist can place one of these implants under the skin of the upper arm. It works by releasing progesterone slowly over the next three years. At that point, you’ll have to visit a gynecologist again for Nexplanon removal.

Another birth control option that is commonly thought of as being an implant is the intrauterine device (IUD). You can hear more about using IUDs by watching this interview with a physician. He explains how long these IUDs typically last and reminds viewers that all implants and IUDs must be placed by a physician.

Common Reasons for Getting an IUD

IUD Houston Intrauterine devices (IUDs) have been growing in popularity in the U.S. If you’re thinking of talking to your gynecologist about having IUD insertion near Houston, it might be because IUDs are known for their convenience and effectiveness. If you choose an IUD, you have two options available to you. Your gynecologist could insert a hormonal IUD or a copper IUD that works without hormones. Before undergoing IUD insertion , it’s important to become aware of all of the benefits and potential drawbacks of IUDs.

Convenient
One of the most common reasons for getting an IUD is that it is very convenient, particularly when compared to birth control methods such as pills and condoms. After an OBGYN doctor inserts an IUD, it remains effective for three to five years if you choose a hormonal IUD. Copper IUDs can remain effective for up to 10 years. During that time, you won’t need to worry about refilling prescriptions, taking a pill, or handling similar tasks. All you’ll need to do is perform a simple self-check once per month to make sure the device is still in place. Another reason why IUDs are a convenient choice is that hormonal IUDs may reduce your menstrual flow and cramps. For some women, menstruation ceases altogether.

Effective
Most birth control methods are highly effective , as long as they are used correctly. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to forget to take a pill or schedule an appointment for an injection. Many women choose an IUD because they can have confidence in knowing that after the insertion, the IUD will remain effective until it is removed.

Reversible
With some methods of birth control, fertility isn’t immediately restored once the birth control is discontinued. This isn’t the case with an IUD. If you’re planning on having children in the future, an IUD may be right for you. Once you decide you’re ready to become pregnant, you can visit your gynecologist for IUD removal.

Safe
There are some serious risks associated with IUDs, such as the possibility that the device will migrate and perforate tissue. It’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about whether an IUD is safe for you. However, most women can use IUDs safely. Birth control is often a concern for breastfeeding mothers, as some drugs are present within breast milk. However, the IUD can be used during breastfeeding.

Are You a Good Candidate for Essure?

Essure Houston Previously, women who desired a permanent, irreversible method of birth control considered having tubal ligation, which is a surgical procedure. However, OBGYN doctors can now perform a non-surgical procedure for permanent birth control, known as Essure. Essure involves the placement of special coils into both of the fallopian tubes. Over the next few months, scar tissue develops around the coils, which blocks the fallopian tubes and prevents egg fertilization. If you’re considering having Essure in Houston , talk to your gynecologist to find out if you’re a good candidate.

Are You Confident in Your Family-Planning Decisions?
One of the most important considerations when assessing whether Essure is right for you is to evaluate your confidence in your decision to have permanent, irreversible birth control. If you’re unsure of whether you wish to have more children in the future or whether you prefer not to have children at all, you can share these concerns with your gynecologist. Unless you are absolutely certain that permanent birth control is right for you , you may wish to consider another birth control method for the time being. You can always decide to have Essure later on.

Are You Looking for an Alternative to Hormonal Birth Control?
For many women, Essure offers much more than the freedom and confidence that comes from knowing that an unwanted pregnancy will not occur. It also offers an alternative to hormonal birth control methods, such as the pill, injection, patch, and implant. Long-term use of hormonal birth control raises some safety concerns, such as its possible association with certain cancers and its link to side effects like blood clots. If the possible risks of hormonal birth control trouble you, then Essure might be a good alternative for you.

Have You Discussed Your Medical Conditions?
Not everyone is a good candidate for Essure. Be sure to tell your gynecologist about all of your medical conditions, including whether you have only one fallopian tube and whether you’ve previously undergone tubal ligation. Essure is contraindicated for use by patients with allergies to contrast dye and sensitivities to nickel. Additionally, if you have a pelvic infection or you had one recently, you may need to wait before having Essure. Essure may not be appropriate for patients taking systemic corticosteroids.

What Is an IUD?

If you want birth control that does not require condoms or pills, consider IUD insertion near Houston . This video describes how IUD insertion works and why women’s healthcare experts recommend it.

An IUD is a device that a gynecologist can implant into your uterus during a minimally invasive procedure. Depending on the type of IUD, it can obstruct sperm passage into the uterus, prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, or simply kill sperm. Gynecologists often suggest IUD insertion for patients who want long-term birth control. Its success rate of preventing pregnancy is similar to that of tubal ligation, but it does not cause permanent side effects that may hinder pregnancy in the future. IUD removal is a simple procedure that can allow women to start families when they are ready.

Debunking Myths about IUDs

Having access to safe and convenient birth control can greatly improve your quality of life. With the introduction of intrauterine devices (IUDs), many women can now look after their female health needs without the use of birth control pills or condoms. However, as effective and easy as these devices are, many women still harbor misconceptions about IUDs. The key to understanding IUD insertion near Houston is talking to a gynecology expert who can explain both the process and benefits of this birth control option. The following information can also reveal the truth behind some common IUD myths.

Myth: IUDs Feel Uncomfortable
Many women hesitate to pursue IUD insertion because they believe that the procedure is painful or that they will IUD Myths Houston continue to feel discomfort after insertion. Like any minimally invasive procedure, IUD insertion may cause minor discomfort. However, this side effect normally subsides in the hours following insertion. Once in place, IUDs cause no sensation, making them a highly comfortable form of birth control. Further, gynecology experts point out that the presence of an intrauterine device should in no way interfere with sexual intercourse.

Myth: IUDs Cause Reproductive Issues
A prevalent misconception about IUDs is that they are unsafe. Many women mistakenly assume that undergoing IUD insertion raises the danger of getting painful infections that could threaten their future fertility. Women who want to use intrauterine devices as their form of birth control can rest assured that they can do so without worry of infection. The insertion process comes with a minimal risk of infection, which is a concern only in the weeks immediately following the procedure.

Myth: IUDs Are Inconvenient
Women who use other forms of birth control sometimes believe that IUDs are too much trouble to get or remove, though they themselves must renew their birth control prescriptions, get injections, or purchase new condoms on a regular basis. In contrast, once IUD insertion takes place, it requires only minimal maintenance and lasts several years. Gynecology experts recommend checking the device monthly to ensure that it has not moved, but otherwise women can turn their time and attention to other matters. The procedure itself is an outpatient process and IUD removal also requires only one appointment.

What Happens After You Get Essure?

Essure in Houston is one of the most effective ways for you to enjoy permanent birth control. If you do not ever want to become pregnant, or if your family is already complete, Essure might be the right measure for you. Essure stops future conception without hormones. Rather, it creates a natural obstruction of both fallopian tubes so that eggs cannot reach sperm that may enter the uterus. The first part of the procedure entails the introduction of a small device into each fallopian tube that triggers the growth of tissue around it. This tissue growth eventually results in the total blockage of each tube. However, Essure sterilization is a two-part process:

Use Alternate Birth Control
Essure does not produce immediate results. It can take several months for sufficient tissue growth to occur in the Essure Permanent Birth Control Houston fallopian tubes. So to prevent pregnancy during this time period, OBGYN doctors highly recommend using alternate birth control. The type of birth control you use should be discussed and approved by your gynecologist . Birth control that uses hormonal changes to prevent pregnancy may not be compatible with Essure. During the Essure implantation process, you can talk to your doctor about what can most effectively stop possible pregnancy as you wait for your next Essure appointment.

Get a Post-Treatment Checkup
Most women who undergo Essure must wait a minimum of 90 days before they can return for a follow-up evaluation. During this visit, a gynecologist can determine whether the fallopian tubes are adequately blocked to prevent pregnancy. This evaluation is normally done with imaging technology such as an x-ray, as well as contrast dye that can provide image definition. With visual confirmation, your OBGYN may give you approval to begin using Essure as your only form of birth control. In some cases, though, this follow-up appointment may indicate that tissue growth inside the fallopian tubes is not enough to provide a substantial measure of protection against pregnancy. Should this be the outcome of your checkup, you may need to continue using an alternate form of birth control for several more months until Essure provides its desired effects.

IUDs: Safe and Effective

If you would rather not use condoms, patches, shots, or pills as your method of birth control, ask a gynecologist serving Houston about IUD insertion. IUDs, or intrauterine devices, offer safe, long-term protection from unplanned pregnancies.

This video explains the benefits of IUDs. Female health experts recommend IUD insertion for women who want birth control without having to take a pill each day or use a condom during sexual intercourse. Gynecology specialists also note that IUDs can last for five years or more, making them convenient for women who don’t plan to get pregnant in the near future. When implanted by a qualified gynecologist, IUDs pose a minimal risk of infection within the first three weeks following the procedure. Afterwards, women who use this method of birth control have no greater danger of getting an infection than women who use alternate means of pregnancy prevention.

Answers to Your Questions about Essure

Are you looking for a permanent form of birth control? If so, you may think that you must undergo tubal ligation. While this method can be effective at preventing future pregnancies, it is no longer the only procedure that can achieve this outcome. Instead, you can choose Essure in Houston . Essure is a convenient, minimally invasive procedure that can provide permanent birth control. To find out if Essure is the right procedure for you, talk to a women’s healthcare expert who can address your questions and concerns.

Who is a candidate for Essure?
Essure is a nonreversible procedure, so to be a good candidate for it, you must be sure that you have no desire Essure Houston to become pregnant in the future. Essure is a particularly attractive birth control method for women already with families who want to avoid unexpected pregnancies. It may also be the right choice for women who have determined that they do not want biological children. Prior to receiving Essure, your gynecologist may conduct an extensive discussion to be certain that you are informed and comfortable about your decision.

How does Essure work?
The fallopian tubes are the passageways through which the eggs travel from the ovaries. If these structures are obstructed, though, they can no longer carry eggs to where sperm may fertilize them. Essure creates a safe obstruction of the fallopian tubes with the use of small implants. These implants are introduced into the fallopian tubes where they prompt the formation of scar tissue. After about three months, this tissue will completely obstruct the movement of eggs into the uterus.

Why should I consider Essure?
Women who do not want biological children may use condoms or oral birth control for years with great success. However, these methods also demand a high level of time and financial commitment. Other women may decide to do tubal ligation, but they must then endure the common side effects of surgical procedures. In many cases, tubal ligation results in postoperative discomfort and may even necessitate weeks of recovery. In comparison, Essure sterilization is fast, easy, and safe. Your gynecologist can likely finish your procedure in less than an hour, allowing you to quickly return to your everyday life.