Testing for Cervical Cancer

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Cervical cancer occurs when cancerous tissues form inside the cervix. The cervix is the organ that joins a woman’s vagina and her uterus. This type of cancer is slow growing and can be challenging to diagnose because symptoms are not always visible. Cervical cancer is most always caused by HPV, which is the human papilloma virus. While cervical cancer sounds very scary, and it should certainly be a serious consideration, it is also the easiest cancer to prevent in females.  Read more »

Three Ways to Prevent HPV

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HPV is a current buzzword that has been stirring up concerns for the last 15 years. Human Papillomavirus is transferred through skin-to-skin contact and is the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease today. In fact, at least 50% of sexually active people will contract HPV at some point in their lifetime. Read more »

Four Common Concerns Many Women Have About Breastfeeding

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After a woman gives birth she is posed with one of the biggest decisions of her life – whether or not to breast-feed. There are many myths associated with breastfeeding that detract many new mothers from doing so. However, according to modern-day medicine most of those theories are, in fact, only myths. Here are some of the most common concerns to consider in this decision:  Read more »

Common Steps to Prevent UTIs

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Any woman who has suffered from a urinary tract infection, often known as a UTI, understands that it can completely derail any plans. The truth is that UTIs are preventable. By maintaining healthy habits, women can have confidence in their flow and comfort. Read more »

Common Concerns About HPV

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The Human Papillomavirus, commonly referred to as HPV, has become a widespread concern for women over the last fifteen years. Thanks to developments in modern medicine we also know that this virus can lead to other complications such as herpes, genital warts and several types of cancer. Also, we now know that this virus is very common. Read more »

Why Get an Ultrasound?

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The ultrasound has long been used as the primary method of monitoring and examining a fetus. It is safe, non-invasive, and incredibly beneficial. It is an indispensable tool for virtually every OB/GYN and plays a crucial role in caring for virtually every pregnant woman.

Confirm Pregnancy and Determine Gestational Age

One of the primary reasons for an early ultrasound is to confirm that a woman is indeed pregnant. An ultrasound is a fast and effective way to rule out a false pregnancy and to confirm that there is, in fact, a fetus present. It is also an effective tool for the skilled OB/GYN to determine gestational age, or how old the fetus is, as well as to give a good estimate of fetal size.

Check for Abnormalities and Multiple Fetuses

There are many abnormalities that can show up on a simple ultrasound, even during the first trimester. First trimester ultrasounds are capable of identifying problems such as a missing fetal nasal bone and can even detect Down Syndrome. Ultrasounds are also used to identify when a multiple pregnancy has occurred, or when the mother is carrying more than one fetus.

Identify Gender

Yet another reason your OB/GYN will perform an ultrasound is to identify the gender of your baby. You can always opt to be kept out of the loop, but your doctor will be able to tell whether you are having a boy or a girl based on what he or she sees on the ultrasound screen.

There are many different reasons to have a prenatal ultrasound, but the biggest is to ensure that your baby is healthy and is developing properly. Your OB/GYN can tell a lot from what he or she sees on the ultrasound screen, and regular ultrasounds can be the best way to keep an eye on your baby’s development and to catch any potential problems as quickly as possible. It is recommended that all pregnant women have regular ultrasound examinations, and doing so can be one of the best choices that you can make for both your pregnancy and for your baby.

Trying to Get Pregnant? Follow These 5 Tips First!

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Are you trying to get pregnant? If so, you want to make sure that you are making healthy choices. In this article, we will look at five very important tips that can help you have a healthier pregnancy.

Avoid Chemicals, Toxins, and Pesticides

This means working to avoid contact with things like cat feces and other substances or materials, whether at home or at work, that could cause infection. It can even be a good idea to start eating organic foods to avoid pesticides and other chemicals found in processed and chemically-grown foods.

Limit or Eliminate Medications

Many medications can pass through the placenta and into your baby. Because of this, it is critical that you speak with your doctor about any medications, including over the counter medications that you take. You want to ensure that you are not endangering your baby and this may mean limiting or even eliminating the use of certain medications.

Take Folic Acid

All women should be taking folic acid on a daily basis, but this takes on a new importance when you are trying to get pregnant. Folic acid can help reduce the risk of many birth defects, including such things as spina bifida. Speak with your doctor to find out how much folic acid you need to be taking. There are some prescription prenatal vitamins that offer higher levels of folic acid.

Control Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and even poor oral health, can be affected by pregnancy or can affect your pregnancy. It is important that you get medical conditions under control before trying to become pregnant. It is safer for both your health and the health of your baby.

Quit Smoking and Drinking

Drinking and smoking are both bad for your health, but you have likely already heard that countless times. What you may not know is that they can be disastrous or even deadly for your baby. If you are trying to get pregnant, it is imperative that you quit smoking and drinking as soon as possible if you engage in these activities.

Better prenatal health means a better chance for a successful, smooth pregnancy. Eating right and following a healthy lifestyle regimen can really go a long way towards improving a pregnancy. The rules outlined here will help you make sure you get started on the right foot.

The 6 Types of Ultrasounds

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While all ultrasounds work in virtually the same way, there are actually some major differences between the six different ultrasound types. In this article, we will take a look at the different types of ultrasounds.

Doppler Ultrasounds

Doppler ultrasounds are used to measure both the direction and the speed of blood cells while they move through the arteries and veins in the body. These images can help a doctor find problems with blood flow, as well as congenital malformations. It is becoming increasingly used in obstetrics to help assess and monitor the well being of the fetus as well as in fetal heart rate detectors.

Obstetric Ultrasounds

These noninvasive ultrasounds are a cost effective way of examining the uterus, ovaries, and fetus. While often used for confirming early pregnancies and for monitoring fetal size, age, and weight, they are also used in cases of vaginal bleeding as well as to find or diagnose problems with the ovaries, uterus, or fallopian tubes.

3D and 4D Ultrasounds

3D ultrasounds provide a static 3D image of the fetus or whatever is being scanned, while a 4D ultrasound can also record movement of a 3D fetus or body part. 4D ultrasounds allow 3D images to be seen in motion, allowing them to show a baby’s movements even before it is born. While these ultrasounds are not yet ready to replace traditional 2D scans as diagnostic tools, there is certainly much hope for what the future will bring for this technology.

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound that examines the heart, the way the valves function, and the way blood flows through the heart. It can also determine how much blood is pumping through the heart and examine the motion of the heart walls. There are numerous different types of echocardiogram, but all are used for monitoring the function and movement of the heart.

Carotid Ultrasound

The last type of ultrasound is the carotid ultrasound. These ultrasounds are conducted in order to view the carotid arteries found on each side of a person’s neck. These arteries are responsible for supplying the brain with blood. These ultrasounds are often performed after a transient ischemic attack or a stroke.

As you can see, there are many different types of ultrasounds. Your doctor will know which one is best for your specific case and needs. Ultrasounds are incredibly safe and can be very critical diagnostic tools, especially for OB/GYNs.

Planning for Pregnancy Through Fertility Charts: The Cervical Mucus Method

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Often referred to as the ovulation method, the cervical mucus method is a means of determining your fertility by making yourself aware of any changes or differences in your cervical mucus at different points in the month. You may not know it, but the same hormones that are in charge of your menstrual cycle also change both the amount and type of cervical mucus present both before and during your ovulation. When your period first ends, you will also experience what are known as dry days, or days when there isn’t any mucus present. As your egg begins maturing, while or yellow sticky mucus will increase within the vagina. Right before ovulation, you will experience what are known as wet days, when cervical mucus is slippery and clear and has the appearance of raw egg whites. It can often be stretched apart. These wet days indicate your most fertile time.

Why Use This Method?

This method is quite accurate in determining fertility, as mucus is a clear indicator of where you are in your ovulation cycle. It is easy to do, it has no monetary cost, and it does not cause any side effects, making it ideal for many families or women trying to conceive.

How to Use This Method

Start on the day after menstruation ends, and observe and report your cervical secretions on a calendar. Record the color (cloudy, yellow, white, or clear), the consistency (stretchy, thick, or sticky), and the feel (slippery, dry, or wet) and write it on your calendar or chart. Keeping in mind that you are most fertile when you have abundant stretchy, clear, slippery cervical mucus, use these times to plan conception. Ovulation typically occurs on your last wet day, making it your peak day for fertility. It is important to remember that sperm can stay alive within the reproductive tract for up to five days.

The cervical mucus method is an effective means of planning fertility. It can be even more effective when coupled with either the calendar method, the basal body temperature method, or better still, both. The combination of all three methods will give you a very clear indicator of when you are most fertile so that you can properly plan conception. Learning to track your cervical mucus can be intimidating at first, but you will get the hang of it quickly.

Planning for Pregnancy Through Fertility Charts: The Body Temperature Method

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Using fertility charts can be an effective way to determine the best time to try to get pregnant. One of the most common ways to track your fertile times is by tracking what is known as basal body temperature. This temperature raises slightly with ovulation, so by recording it every day for a number of months, you will be able to predict the days when you will be most fertile. Because the change in temperature is so small, usually around .4 to .8 degrees, it is important to use a basal body thermometer when possible.

Why Use This Method?

Simply put, the basal body temperature method can help you gauge the best days to have unprotected sex in order to become pregnant. The biggest benefits to this method, besides its effectiveness is that it is inexpensive and does not have side effects. It can also be combined with other methods, such as the cervical mucus method, to best determine when fertility is at its peak.

How to Use This Method

Using the basal body temperature method isn’t difficult, though it can take a bit of getting used to, as you have to take your temperature every morning before you get up and get out of bed. In order to ensure accuracy, make sure that you are getting at least six hours of sleep. If you have trouble finding a pattern in your temperature, you can take it vaginally or rectally, but always take it using the same method. Each time you take your temperature, use graph paper to record your results. This will help you better find a pattern in your temperature over the course of your ovulation cycle. Once you know when your basal body temperature will rise, you have a good idea of when to have sex. You are the most fertile in the few days just before this temperature increase, but it is important to remember that sperm can live for up to five days within your reproductive tract, so plan sex carefully.

The basal body temperature method is a tried and true way of tracking fertility. It can be just as effective as buying over the counter fertility tests, though it can also take a little longer as you get to know your body’s rhythms and cycles. Learning how to tell your most fertile days is important and can help you greatly in your quest to become pregnant.