Posts for: August, 2019
Worried that you may have PCOS? Find out more about this condition and what we can do to help.
Do you notice that you have irregular menstrual cycles? Do you sometimes skip your periods altogether? You could be dealing with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which estrogen and progesterone levels are off kilter and can lead to to ovarian cysts. Find out more about this condition and how your OBGYN can help.
What causes PCOS?
Unfortunately, no one really knows what causes this condition, but it is believed that genetics and hormonal imbalances have some responsibility in who develops PCOS and who doesn’t. If your mother or immediate family member has this condition, you are also more likely to develop PCOS.
Women with PCOS also tend to have an overproduction of androgen, a male sex hormone. Androgen can affect how an egg develops or is released each month.
What are some telltale signs that I have PCOS?
Many women will start to notice that something is amiss one they start menstruating. Of course symptoms varies from woman to woman, but many people with PCOS notice that they have irregular menstrual cycles.
With the imbalance of hormones, some women may start developing more masculine characteristics such as:
- Excess hair on the face, chest, fingers or toes
- Thin hair
- Deeper voice
Besides these symptoms women with PCOS may also experience:
- Weight gain (usually caused by other chronic health problems like diabetes)
- Abdominal pain
How will a PCOS specialist treat my condition?
While there is no cure for PCOS, there are certainly ways to manage your symptoms. Your treatment plan will be tailored to what symptoms you are experiencing. Of course, a healthy diet and regular exercise are recommended for everyone who has been diagnosed with this condition.
Birth control pills may also be prescribed to help regulate hormones and your menstrual cycle, and they sometimes have the added bonus of improving your acne. For women with PCOS who are looking to get pregnant, fertility treatments may be recommended to help assist in successful ovulation.
If you are concerned that you may have PCOS, or if you are having issues with irregular periods, it’s time you talked to your gynecologist.
Is minimally invasive surgery (MIS) the right option for you? The surgery, offered by your San Dimas, CA, OB/GYN, Dr. Richard Williams of Williams OB/GYN & Associates, provides several important benefits.
What is MIS?
Unlike traditional surgery, MIS doesn't require large incisions. For example, during laparoscopic surgery, your San Dimas doctor makes a half-inch-long incision in your belly button in order to insert a tiny device called a laparoscope. This laparoscope contains a tiny camera that transmits images to a digital monitor. Your OB/GYN passes small instruments through several additional small incisions made in your abdomen to perform the surgery.
Hysteroscopy, another minimally invasive option, involves inserting a thin tube that contains a fiber optic camera into your vagina. The scope is passed through your cervix and into your uterus. After diagnosing abnormal bleeding, fibroids, or other issues, your OB/GYN inserts tiny instruments to treat the problem.
When is MIS recommended?
MIS can be used to:
- Diagnose and/or treat adhesions, scar tissue, fibroids, polyps, and certain uterine and vaginal malformations or structural issues
- Perform hysterectomies
- Treat endometriosis
- Perform surgery to treat uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancer
- Remove ovarian cysts
- Improve the position of a tipped uterus
- Support the bladder to relieve stress incontinence
- Treat heavy bleeding and ectopic pregnancy
What are the benefits of MIS?
Smaller incisions mean less pain after surgery and reduced reliance on pain medications. Furthermore, while scars are unavoidable after any surgery, they will be much smaller and less noticeable if you have MIS.
Downtime is also greatly reduced with MIS. Depending on the type of surgery you have, you may be able to return to work just a few days after your procedure.
MIS may also improve surgical accuracy. The miniaturized camera provides your doctor with an up-close, real-time view of organs and structures, which can make it easier to spot and treat problems.
MIS offers an excellent surgical option for many women. If you're interested in learning if MIS would be an appropriate treatment for you, call your San Dimas, CA, OB/GYN, Dr. Richard Williams of Williams OB/GYN & Associates, at (909) 599-8677 to schedule an appointment.
You're more likely to experience a birth control failure if you select a method that's not comfortable or convenient for you. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective birth control options available if you're not happy with your current method. Your OBGYN can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each option and make an informed choice.
Types of birth control available
Birth control options include:
- Barrier Methods: Barrier types of birth control physically prevent ejaculated semen from entering your cervix. Condoms are the most well-known type of barrier birth control. Other options include cervical caps, diaphragms and contraceptive sponges. Condoms also help protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Spermicide: Spermicide is a cream, foam, gel or film placed inside your vagina to kill sperm. It's most effective when combined with other birth control methods, such as diaphragms, condoms or cervical caps.
- Intrauterine Devices (IUDs): IUDs are T-shaped devices inserted in your uterus at your OBGYN's office. The devices protect you from pregnancy for several years and provide reversible protection against pregnancy. Some IUDs release a hormone that thickens the cervical mucus and makes it difficult for eggs to attach to the uterine lining. Others secrete small amounts of copper to prevent sperm from moving.
- Hormonal Methods: Hormonal birth control thickens your cervical mucus and prevents you from ovulating, a process that occurs when you release eggs into the Fallopian tubes. Birth control pills are taken every day, while implants, patches, rings and shots can provide protection from three months up to three years, depending on the method.
- Natural Family Planning (NFP): If you choose NFP, you'll chart your monthly menstrual cycle and avoid sex during fertile periods. NFP doesn't work as well as other methods because ovulation doesn't always occur at the same time every month.
Factors that will affect your choice
Before you select a birth control option, you'll need to consider the method's effectiveness and ease of use. Will you remember to take a daily pill or use a condom every time you have sex? If not, a long-term birth control method may be a better choice.
Your health is an important consideration when selecting a birth control option, particularly if you're interested in hormonal methods. Although hormonal birth control is a good choice for many women, it may not be recommended if you smoke and are over age 35, or have a history of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, migraine with aura, or other conditions.
Do you need a little help selecting a birth control method? Contact your OBGYN to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.