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.


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.

Planning for Pregnancy Through Fertility Charts: The Calendar Method

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Are you looking to determine when you are fertile so that you can get pregnant? If so, there are multiple methods for achieving this. One of these methods is known as the calendar method. With this method, you will record your menstrual cycle on a calendar for anywhere from eight months to a year. The first day of your period is day one, and you will track the length of your cycle, which can vary from one month to the next.

Why Use This Method?

The calendar method is very helpful for many women as it allows them to know when their menstrual period is about to start while also making it very easy to tell when they are going to be fertile. The calendar method is incredibly simple to use and can be much less expensive than spending money on over the counter fertility tests to try to figure out the best time to have sex for the purposes of achieving pregnancy.

How to Use This Method

To use the calendar method, you will circle the day your menstruation first begins and label it as day one. Every month for eight to twelve months, you will want to label day one of menstruation. Maintain how many days are in each overall menstrual cycle. Once you have done this for at least eight months, you can start determining the first day that you are likely to experience ovulation. In order to do this, simply look at your records from all of the previous months and find the shortest cycle. Count the number of days in this cycle and subtract eighteen. If, for example, your shortest cycle was 29 days, you would subtract 18 from 29, leaving you with 11. You should then mark the date eleven days from your next day one, or onset of menses, with an O for ovulation. From this day through the next five days, you will be in your fertile period and should be trying to conceive. While this method doesn’t take into account irregular cycles, it can be used in conjunction with the basal body temperature method or other methods to improve accuracy.

The calendar method is a tried and true method of predicting fertility that has been in use for many years. It is especially effective when combined with other methods. If you are looking to find the best time to try to conceive, it can help to try this strategy.

Nutrition in Pregnancy: Finding the Right Balance

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Eating right while you are pregnant is important for both your health and your baby’s. Everything you do when you are pregnant, from what you eat and drink to your level of physical activity has an impact on your baby’s current growth and even future development, so making sure that you are doing it right is important. There are two things you really have to pay attention to when eating right during pregnancy. The first is watching exactly what you eat, and the second is keeping an eye on weight gain.

When it comes to weight gain, it can help to work with a health care professional. For overweight women, it can help to lose weight before becoming pregnant when possible. In terms of pregnancy weight gain, the average woman should gain about 25 to 35 pounds, with only 5 to 10 lbs. of this occurring in the first 20 weeks. After that, the rate of weight gain should be about a pound per week. Women who are overweight should gain only about 15 to 25 pounds, while women who are underweight should gain somewhere between 28 and 40 lbs. Working with your health care professional to manage your weight is highly recommended, as being overweight during pregnancy can increase your risk of miscarriage, the need for an emergency caesarian section, and more.

In terms of what you eat, it is important to avoid all raw or undercooked seafood and meat while you are pregnant. It is also important to avoid things like raw vegetables, shellfish, and unpasteurized milk, as they can carry listeriosis. Choose pasteurized milk and only eat harder cheeses such as parmesan or cheddar. Eat about 8 to 12 ounces of seafood weekly for the Omega 3s and other benefits, but avoid tuna and other fish that are potentially high in mercury. Be certain you are taking your prenatal vitamins and work to avoid things like caffeine and especially alcohol. Not only can drinking during pregnancy result in fetal alcohol syndrome, but studies have linked drinking during pregnancy with an increased risk of alcohol addiction in the child during later life!

Taking care of yourself during pregnancy is a very important task for both you and for baby. Learning how to eat right and to manage your weight can make a big difference in your pregnancy. Don’t hesitate to talk to your OB/GYN if you have questions about which foods to eat or how much weight gain is safe!

A Useful Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Trimester 1

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What Is the First Trimester?

The first trimester is the common name given to the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. During this time, your fetus is just starting to develop and you will start to undergo hormonal and physical changes. Here, we will examine steps you can take to ensure a healthy pregnancy during this time.

Find a Good OB/GYN

Finding a good OB/GYN is a critical part of a healthy pregnancy. Your OB/GYN will be the person who performs your ultrasounds and who answers the many questions you are likely to have throughout the first trimester and beyond. Having a doctor you can trust and who leaves you feeling confident and listened to is very important.

Taking Prenatal Vitamins – Why It’s Important

Prenatal vitamins aren’t just a product marketed towards pregnant women, they are a necessity. When you are pregnant, it is very easy to end up with nutritional deficiencies in your diet that can adversely affect your health or that of your baby. A prenatal vitamin will ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients that you and your baby need.

Dealing with Changes

Your body is going to undergo a wide variety of changes during pregnancy, from weight gain to morning sickness and even emotional and mood changes. The best thing you can do is read up on what to expect so that you know what is normal and what is not. Changes are to be expected, and not all of them are comfortable or fun.


While there is a common misconception that you shouldn’t exert yourself while pregnant, regular exercise can actually be one of the best ways to stay healthy during pregnancy. While it is not advised to run a marathon, exercise in moderation is highly recommended. If you are not used to exercise, start out with low intensity activity and move up your activity level as you become accustomed.

Eat Well

When you are pregnant, you will be taking in between 200 and 300 extra calories per day. Ideally, you will be taking in foods that are high in calcium (but avoid unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses), as well as seafood, folic acid (found in whole grains, lean beef and pork, and leafy greens), and other healthy foods. You will also want to avoid alcohol and caffeine.

These tips can help you achieve a healthy pregnancy. Follow them and don’t hesitate to ask your OB/GYN if you have questions about these or any other pregnancy tips you learn!

What Women Should Know About IUDs

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One of the most effective forms of contraception is a hormonal IUD with Progestogen, like Mirena. This long-acting reversal form of contraception should not be confused with an IUD with copper because contraceptives like Mirena are made entirely of plastic. These products are also used to treat a variety of medical conditionals such as Menorrhagia, Endometriosis and Anemia. In some cases, the use of a hormonal IUD may prevent a hysterectomy.

There are numerous advantages to this type of contraceptive. An IUD can minimize menstrual cramps and can lighten a period’s flow, or even stop a monthly period completely. An IUD can also be used safely while breastfeeding when inserted or reinserted after a planned pregnancy.

One of the most recognizable benefits to an IUD is that, unlike many other types of birth control that rely on the user to maintain a schedule, IUDs require little action once inserted. IUDs require no daily, weekly, or monthly regimen, which helps to explain why failure rates are so low. The overall failure rate for a hormonal IUD over a five-year period is just 0.7%.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the hormonal IUD with Progestogen is the opportunity of pregnancy when a woman is ready. The user can simply schedule an appointment with her doctor to have the unit removed and fertility will return to normal levels in about three months. Once pregnancy goals are fulfilled, the IUD can be reinserted.

Of course, some possible side effects exist for IUD users. Some women experience irregular periods or spotting between periods, and the insertion procedure can sometimes be uncomfortable. This can cause cramping and backaches for a few days after. Also, about five percent of women have their IUD slip out of their uterus (referred to as expulsion) and in some rare cases, serious medical complications such as infection or ovarian cysts may occur.

The Basics of Heavy Menses

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Menorrhagia, or Heavy Menses, is one of the most common issues women report to their OB/GYN. Heavy Menses is an abnormal bleeding from the uterus and affects approximately one in five American women. Menorrhagia occurs when a menstrual period’s flow produces enough blood to soak a pad or tampon every hour for several hours, or if a woman passes blood clots larger than a quarter. While heavy bleeding is a concern for most women, a Menorrhagia patient’s period causes enough blood loss and cramping to derail daily activities. Additionally, Heavy Menses can lead to anemia, which in turn causes fatigue and shortness of breath.

Reasons for Menorrhagia range from natural causes, such as hormonal imbalances to unnatural causes like sexual abuse. However, it is critical to see your doctor to provide an accurate diagnosis and establish a customized treatment plan. Once you have made your appointment, you can help your doctor by preparing some of the following background information ahead of time:
• Contact family members to see if any have been diagnosed or treated for a blood disorder.
• Journal any symptoms you experience and how long they have occurred. It is important you don’t feel embarrassed to document the most personal of details, like breast tenderness and pelvic pain, and share them with your doctor.
• Take note of any changes in your personal life, such as a new job or relationship.
• Document any medications that you are taking and their dosage.
• Write down your questions as you think of them so that you don’t forget at your appointment.

Your doctor will suggest options for your treatment. These are typically medicinal, but more severe cases call for surgical procedures. Iron supplements might be coupled with either type of treatment to help with anemia.

Speak up: don’t let a case of the Menses stop you from living your life to the fullest.

Standing Up to Vulvodynia

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Vulvodynia is a fairly common condition. However, due to its intimate nature many women often do not discuss the symptoms with their doctor. The condition is defined as a vulvar pain that continues for up to three months, or even longer in some cases. Many women describe the pain as a rawness surrounding the vaginal opening or an extreme burning or stinging in the area. While the pain is severe, Vulvodynia is not life threatening.

The condition itself is a bit of an anomaly because there are no definite causes or cures. Instead, treatments exist to manage pain. Vulvodynia is also very unpredictable. It can manifest at any age and then vanish as suddenly as it started. While the pain often occurs when the problem area is touched or pressure is applied, it can also present as an uncomfortable feeling when sitting for long periods or wearing tight clothing.

Having vulvar discomfort is not only painful and frustrating but can also inhibit sexual activity, which may contribute to depression. Other complications include, but are not limited to, anxiety, trouble sleeping, an altered body image, and an overall decreased quality in life.

If a woman experiences extreme pain in her genitals, it is imperative to discuss the issue with a gynecologist. Without a patient’s input, the doctor may not have all the information needed to provide an accurate diagnosis. Also, because Vulvodynia does not typically show visible signs, a doctor must perform tests to rule out other possibilities.

Treatments of Vulvodynia range based on the severity of each case, and focus on relieving the symptoms. No one treatment works for every case, and many doctors prescribe a combination of the available options. Patients can also consult their doctor for several homeopathic therapies.

Don’t suffer if you feel you may have Vulvodynia – talk with your doctor to get treated.

Proper Nutrition for Female Fertility

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If fertility is a priority, there are many things to consider about the way you lead your life. There are things you should avoid, like smoking and drug use, and you should think strongly about limiting caffeine and alcohol intake. Furthermore, all prescription drugs should be monitored closely and discussed with a doctor. Simply put, it is important to know what to put in your body, and what to keep out.

A major factor is maintaining a healthy and nutritious eating regimen. Here are some tips:

First and foremost, water is of the utmost importance. The accepted guideline for water consumption is 64 ounces daily, which provides a long list of benefits. This includes clearing toxins from within your body and moving nutrients throughout, as well as providing cushion and lubrication for organs and keeping a regulated body temperature.

While carbohydrates are often the topic of many weight loss discussions, they are a vital source of energy for the body. While a healthy regimen will limit the empty calories that come from refined sugars, natural sugars and complex carbohydrates are very beneficial. Good carbs supply vitamins and fiber, and should be roughly half of your daily calorie intake.

About a quarter of your daily calorie intake should come in the form of protein. Protein is important for maintaining healthy body tissue, as they aid in tissue growth and repair. Antibodies found in protein are also great for the immune system.

The rest of the calories you consume each day will come from fats. Like carbs with refined sugars, you should avoid empty fat calories. However, healthy foods like nuts, avocados and olive oil provide good unsaturated fats that help protect organs and insulate the body. A nutritious diet will help to maintain proper weight, and in turn keep your reproductive system healthy.