Celebration of Wellness, April 2019

Celebration of Wellness, April 2019

Influenza Vaccination during Pregnancy

Spring 2019 has experienced a unprecedented trajectory with the most recent rise in confirmed flu cases. At Celebration Obstetrics and Gynecology, we are taking the opportunity to ensure that our patients are protected from all active strands. The US flu season is already a long one, with illness activity still widespread in 44 states and expected to continue for several more weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its latest weekly update.

Though the level of clinic visits for flu peaked in February, the latest markers show little change from the previous week, with H3N2 viruses causing anApril 2019 increasing number of infections.

Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to influenza infection and its resulting morbidities; therefore, influenza vaccination is an integral element of pre-pregnancy, prenatal, and postpartum care. It is imperative that obstetrician–gynecologists, other health care providers, health care organizations, and public health officials continue efforts to improve the rate of influenza vaccination among pregnant women. Doing so will benefit women and their newborns.

 

 

Celebration of Wellness, March 2019

Celebration of Wellness, March 2019

Cervical Cancer Screenings and Well Women’s Examinations

Dr. LemertBy: Robert F. Lemert, MD, FACOG

Over the past few years, the recommendations for Cervical Cancer Screenings (Pap Smears) have changed. We now understand more about the virus that causes cervical cancer, and the technology to improve screenings has improved.  A Pap Smear is just part of a Well Woman’s Examination. A Well Woman’s Examination also usually covers the following topics: birth control counseling, vaccinations, health screenings, preconception care, and the latest information about your reproductive health.

 A cervical cancer screening is when your ob-gyn or other health care professional takes cells from the cervix and sends them to a lab for testing.  A Pap test looks for abnormal cells.  An HPV test looks for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can be linked to cervical cancer. Due to improvements in the screenings for cervical cancer, the recommendations have changed for certain patient populations and age groups. If you are under the age of 21, you do not need a Pap test. If you are ages 21–29, you may have a Pap test every three years. If you are ages 30–65, you choose one of three options. You can have a Pap test and an HPV test (co-testing) every 5 years. You can have a Pap test alone every 3 years. You can have an HPV test alone every 5 years. If you are 65 years or older, you do not need screening as long as you have no history of cervical changes or have had three negative Pap test results in a row or two negative co-test results in a row within the past 10 years. The most recent test needs to have been performed within the past 5 years.

It is important to remember that even if you have been vaccinated against HPV, you still need to have screenings. Women also need to have screenings after a hysterectomy if they still have a cervix. Exceptions to the above recommendations include: 

  • You have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • You have a weakened immune system
  • You have a history of cervical cancer
  • You were exposed to diethylstilbestrol before birth

You may need more frequent screenings if any of the above applies to you. If you have had a hysterectomy in which your cervix was removed and you have a history of cervical cancer or moderate to severe cervical changes, you should continue to have screenings for 20 years after your surgery. If you have had a hysterectomyMarch 2019 Full Newsletter in which your cervix was removed and you have no history of cervical cancer or cervical changes, you do not need screening.

 These recommendations are for the Pap Screening test. Your Well Women’s visit is important for several other reasons. You can learn about choosing the right birth control method for you. Some examples include the birth control pill, an intrauterine device (IUD), the patch, condoms, or an implant. You can learn more about breast cancer, colon cancer, and other types of cancer. You can get vaccinations against the flu, human papillomavirus (HPV), and more.  You can be screened for high blood pressure, diabetes, bone density for osteoporosis, and more. You can also talk about your mental health at these visits. Depression is a common but serious illness. Depression can be mild, moderate, or severe. To diagnose depression, your obstetrician–gynecologist or other health care provider will discuss your symptoms, how often they occur, and how severe they are. You can also be screened for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and genital herpes. You can discuss what happens during intercourse, pain during sex, hormonal changes related to sex, or different forms of sex. You can learn about body mass index (BMI), exercise, obesity, diet, surgery, and health problems associated with being overweight. You can discuss premenstrual syndrome (PMS), painful periods, your first period, heavy bleeding, or irregular periods. If you are planning to become pregnant, it is a good idea to have preconception counseling. Your obstetrician–gynecologist or health care provider will ask about your diet and lifestyle, your medical and family history, medications you take, and any past pregnancies. Your Well Women’s examination is also a good time to begin getting help with menopause symptoms, urinary incontinence, getting pregnant, or relationship problems.

 

Celebration of Wellness, January 2019

Celebration of Wellness, January 2019

Taking the confusion out of Copays, Coinsurance and Deductibles

Many health insurance plans require you to pay a copay and/or coinsurance when you receive healthcare services, including doctor’s office visits, hospital visits and prescriptions. These payments are necessary until you reach your out of pocket maximum, but how they work with your annual deductible is different. Learning the difference between these expenses can help you better understand your total annual healthcare costs, above and beyond your monthly insurance premiums.

Coinsurance: The percentage you pay for covered health services after meeting your deductible.January Flipbook

Some health insurance plans also include coinsurance, which is the percentage you and your insurance provider share to pay for the cost of care. As more of the cost of healthcare shifts to the patients, you may be feeling the impact of rising premiums and deductibles. Since these are often the first expenses you’ll pay for healthcare, it’s important to understand what these terms mean and how they affect your budget.

Premium: What you pay each month for your health insurance plan.

When you have health insurance, you pay a premium to be enrolled in the plan. Premiums are paid in addition to your plan’s deductible or copay or coinsurance.

Deductible: How much you have to pay out-of-pocket before insurance pays.

Every insurance plan has a deductible which varies based on the details of your plan. Your deductible must be met before your insurance will pay for covered expenses—excluding any copay or coinsurance required by your plan. Deductibles reset once a year, which means you’ll have to meet it again each year you are enrolled.

 How do premiums and deductibles work? Think of it like this:

  • You are going to have a baby. The cost for the physician is $2,300.
  • You have health insurance with a $300 monthly premium, which doesn’t apply to your pregnancy.
  • In addition to your premium, you have a $2,000 deductible you’ll have to pay on your own before insurance will cover any of the remaining costs.
  • Once you meet your deductible, you pay any coinsurance responsibility per your plan requirements.

 Our goal at Celebration ObGyn is to provide the best customer service possible by helping our patients better understand the confusion around insurance, copays, coinsurance and deductibles. We always recommend patients to also contact your insurance company for further understanding of your plan and financial responsibilities.

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month!! 

Each year, an estimated 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and, of those, about one-third will die as a result of the cancer. But cervical cancer is also a highly preventable and treatable cancer, thanks to improved screening and vaccination.

The American Social Health Association (ASHA) and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition have named January Cervical Health Awareness Month to encourage women across the country to get screened for cervical cancer and receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine if they’re eligible.

Today, detection tools and inoculations make cervical cancer a condition that is relatively easy to prevent and treat. In women who are not vaccinated and not screened regularly, either due to a lack of information or inadequate health care, cervical cancer can still be a serious, even fatal, illness.

“Science has put us in a remarkable position to protect women from cervical cancer, but technology is only half the battle,” said ASHA president and CEO Lynn Barclay. “It’s imperative we continue efforts that not only promote greater access to health care, but that we also inform women about cervical cancer and the marvelous means we now have to prevent this disease.” For cervical cancer screening information, give us a call at 407-566-BABY.

Celebration of Wellness, February 2019

Celebration of Wellness, February 2019

Addressing the Female Libido

Is your sex drive stalled out? Or is it in hyperdrive? Studies show that a significant amount of women have a lower than desired level of libido.  Movies, TV shows, and social media portray energetic, powerful, and beautiful women having amazing sexual energy. But let’s face it, like anything else on the big screen or Instagram, things are often exaggerated or untrue. Before you get too overwhelmed, lets learn a little about what is going on.  

Sexual problems are very common in woman of all ages.  Up to 40 percent of women report concerns to their doctors and therapists. This percentage is likely even higher due to under reporting for fear of embarrassment and lack of social acceptance. The clinical term for these sexual problems is “female sexual dysfunction”. Here I will discuss some clinical observations, explanations, and treatments for low female libido.  

First, we must understand the different types of problems that exist so that we can identify them in ourselves. These can include lack of sexual desire, impaired arousal, inability to achieve orgasm, and pain with sexual activity.  There may also be a combination of problems happening at the same time. Once we have identified the problem, we must set realistic goals for treatment. A good goal might be to return to a baseline level of desire that was present at an earlier time in life.  

After determining the cause of the disorder with your health care provider, treatment options can be initiated. These usually take a multidisciplinary and multimodal approach that can include counseling (couples or individual) or a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacology. Lifestyle changes are encouraged first for problems related to low sexual desire. Fatigue, stress, and lack of privacy can play a large role. Reducing stress at work and home is easier said than done but can truly be a game changer. Delegating household chores, exercising (yoga) to improve body image, and engaging in relaxation techniques are a good start. Studies also show that reading books about sexual desire, visiting “specialty stores”, and expanding your usual sexual repertoire can effectively increase libido and response. 

If your decreased sexual desire is due to pain, pelvic floor physical therapy may be an excellent option after pathological conditions such as ovarian cysts,February Flipbook endometriosis, bladder, and bowel problems are ruled out by your doctor. Vaginal conditions such as vaginismus are rare but treatable through your gynecologist.  

Understanding sexual interest and arousal problems can be confusing for a woman and her health care provider. It has been found that sexual interest typically decreases with relationship duration. Here are some hints on how to improve things: 

  • Spend a night away from home together. Date nights often improve sexual satisfaction. It has been shown that couples that enjoy time together outside the bedroom often have more fun in the bedroom.  
  • Try new positions.  
  • Incorporate devices or “warming lubricants.”  
  • Try an unusual time of the day to be intimate.     

In my practice, I often get questions about checking hormone levels and treatment with testosterone supplements. What I tell my patients is that testosterone and estrogen levels in your body do not and cannot predict sexual function. Studies have shown that increasing levels of testosterone may increase desire in postmenopausal woman, but this is not advised. Some side effects include facial hair growth, deepening of the voice, acne, male pattern baldness, abnormal uterine bleeding, and breast cancer. Research shows that it increased the frequency of desire by 1.9% compared to the placebo. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve androgen use for sexual dysfunction.  Other drugs include synthetic steroids, serotonergic, and dopaminergic agents such as fibaserin, bupropion, and buspiron.  

To find out more about treatment for low libido, call your gynecologist or family doctor and have a complete physical.   

National GO RED for Women’s Day-Join Us on February 1st!!!

The American Heart Association’s signature women’s initiative, Go Red for Women, is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally.

It’s no longer just about wearing red; it’s no longer just about sharing heart health facts. It’s about all women making a commitment to stand together with Go Red and taking charge of their own heart health as well as the health of those they can’t bear to live without. Making a commitment to your health isn’t something you have to do alone either, so grab a friend or a family member and make a Go Red Healthy Behavior Commitment today. For additional information and ways to get involved with this cause please go to www.goredforwomen.org.

Valentine’s Day

Millions of Americans will be lining up to buy their lovers chocolate covered strawberries and bouquets of roses this Valentine’s Day. But have you ever wondered how this day dedicated to love came to be?

  • Valentine’s Day started with the Romans.
  • Passing out Valentines is a 600-year-old tradition.
  • Candy hearts were originally medical lozenges.
  • Americans spend a lot on love. ($19.6 Billion in 2018!!)
  • The chocolate box has been around for more than 140 years.

 

 

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