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Being pregnant for the first time comes with many emotions. It could be shock or celebration (or both). Tears of happiness or tears that come from fear. Questions about when to tell friends and family, how to swing it financially, whether you’ll need a bigger home, when to start saving for college, changes your body will experience, and so on. The list is long and so are the nights worrying about it.

So, besides reading pregnancy classics, such as What to Expect When You’re Expecting and taking childbirth classes, how do you know when you’ve gone into labor?

5 Signs You’re in Labor

Something to keep in mind is that even when you’re in labor, it could take days for your baby to arrive. So prepare yourself mentally for the possibility of being in labor for a while.

Watch for the following clues that your baby’s grand entrance is right around the corner:

  1. Your Baby “Drops”. This is a very popular phrase, but what does it mean? It means that your baby’s head has dropped lower into your pelvis. Physically, you’ll notice a difference: You’ll feel less pressure under your ribcage, you’ll breathe easier, and you’ll feel your pelvis get heavier, adding pressure to your bladder. Get ready to pee even more frequently. You’ll also likely waddle when walking. Be aware that this can happen up to a month before it’s time to give birth.
  2. Braxton Hicks Contractions. These contractions are also known as false labor, because while you can feel the uterus tightening, it’s not time to give birth yet. You’ll know they’re Braxton Hicks if they are infrequent and ease up, then disappear. They usually last between 30 to 60 seconds and follow no specific rhythm. If you’re taking childbirth classes, this is a good time to practice your breathing.
  3. Mucus Plug Releases. During your pregnancy, a portion of thick mucus seals the cervix shut. When your body is getting ready to give birth, the cervix will start opening, causing the plug to release. You’ll see it in your underwear, and it’ll look like very thick vaginal discharge tinted with a little bit of blood or brown spots.
  4. Your Water Breaks. This refers to when the amniotic sac breaks and amniotic fluid leaks out. For some women, it feels like a small trickle, while others actually feel the liquid gush out. It could break either before or after contractions start. When your water breaks, call your OB-GYN as soon as possible, since you’ll want to deliver your baby within 24 hours to reduce the risk of infection now that there’s less amniotic fluid protecting them.
  5. Contractions. While Braxton Hicks contractions ease up as time goes by, labor contractions are much stronger, last longer, are more frequent, and they follow a specific rhythm. The pain will start slowly, peak, and go away, only to start again and repeat until you give birth.
What to Do When You First Go Into Labor

Labor can last a while, so as hard as it may sound, try to relax. Have a loved one with you for moral support, and to help you with all of the following:

  1. Time Your Contractions. The closer birth gets, the more frequent and intense these will become. Once you’re in active labor, they will last between 60 and 90 seconds, each.
  2. Get Into Water. If contractions have just started, getting into warm water in a bath tub or kiddie pool can help alleviate some of the pain.
  3. Stay Hydrated. Drinking enough water will increase your blood volume, which will be essential to provide your baby with enough oxygen and will provide you with energy during labor. If labor lasts for several hours, you can alternate water with soup, fruit, and smoothies.
  4. Expect to Feel Uncomfortable. In addition to pain, women in labor often feel nausea, hot flashes, and gas pain.
  5. Chew On Ice Chips. Because you’ll need extra water and you’ll have hot flashes, ice chips will keep you hydrated and help cool you down. Keep cool, wet towels handy for comfort during hot flashes.

It’ll help you feel a sense of control if you have a packed bag (for you and your baby) well before going into labor. Create a comfortable area in your home, with plenty of pillows, heat packs, your favorite scented candles, and an area to place wet towels once you start feeling contractions.

Contact us at OB-GYN Women’s Center

Pregnancy is a milestone in any woman’s life! You should have proper care from the time you miss your period, through the delivery of your baby.

At OB-GYN Women’s Center, we’ll provide you with the best prenatal care during all stages of pregnancy, taking into account your individual medical needs.

Contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and your baby.

The post How Will I Know When I’m in Labor? appeared first on OB-GYN Women's Centre.

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Finding out that you’re pregnant sometimes comes as a surprise. Getting the news while you’re still a teenager (or the parent of one) can be downright shocking. While it may not be ideal timing, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure a healthy teen pregnancy.

I’m a Teenager and Just Found Out I’m Pregnant
    1. Take A Moment To Yourself. First of all, breathe. Yes, you’re probably feeling scared and anxious. Nervous about telling your parents, your significant other, and about what’s to come. These feelings are completely normal and you’re not alone. So if you’re feeling a little freaked out, take a moment to process the news.
    2. Get Prenatal Care. If you’re still not sure about what to do, that’s ok too. This is a big moment and it may take a while to wrap your head around the news. But regardless of how you decide to move forward, you need to schedule an appointment with an OB-GYN as soon as possible.
    3. Rehearse How You’re Going To Tell Your Parents. Yes, they may be upset, but at the end of the day, they are your parents and will still love you. They may even be more understanding than you think. Or they may be as shocked as you are. Either way, they will also need time to process the news. Give them time to let it sink in. If you think that due to their personality, religious beliefs, or propensity for violence, they may react in an unfavorable way, speak first with a trusted loved one (like an aunt, sister, or cousin) and ask them to be present for moral support. Or ask your OB-GYN for referrals to a support group or counselor who can help you.
    4. Tell Your Boyfriend. Talk to him about the news. And just as with yourself and your parents, he may need time to let it sink in. Even if his initial reaction is not what you hoped for, give it time. Once he gets used to the idea, he may have a different response. If you’re no longer together or if he wants nothing to do with the baby, legally speaking, he can still be held financially responsible.
    5. Take Prenatal Vitamins. Prenatal vitamins (such as folic acid and iron) are designed to help prevent birth defects as well as to keep you healthy throughout your pregnancy. Even if you’ve been taking vitamins, now your body needs enough for you and your baby. So take those designed to promote the proper development of your baby.
    6. Eat Healthy. Yes, nachos and tacos are great, and you can continue eating them. However, if you’ve been living on a diet consisting mostly of processed foods, now is the time to incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. There are plenty of recipes online to try. Look for meals that appeal to you and that you’ll look forward to eating long-term. Also,  keep in mind that even though you’re eating for two, you don’t need to double the number of calories you’re eating. An additional 300 calories per day should be enough. 10 Foods to Avoid While Pregnant »
    7. Drink Lots Of Water. Healthy foods are nutrient dense, yet your body needs to stay hydrated to absorb them. If water gets boring, find creative ways to get enough fluids, such as eating more fruit, soup, or drinking tea.
    8. Attend Childbirth Classes. Attending childbirth classes will help ease some fears related to the big day, when you go into labor. You’ll learn about how to deal with the discomforts of pregnancy, what to expect during childbirth, as well as the realities of breastfeeding and being the mother of a baby. You’ll also meet other mothers-to-be who are experiencing the same things you are.
    Medical Risks from Teenage Pregnancy

    While there are many teenagers who have a successful, healthy pregnancy, it’s important to be aware that there are several risks associated with being a pregnant teen. These include:

    • Anemia
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Premature Birth
    • Low Birth Weight
    • Postpartum Depression
    • Difficulty forming a bond with the baby

    Postpartum depression is even more likely for teenagers who live in low-income families or who have a history of child abuse.

    The best way to prevent these risks from becoming a reality is to see your gynecologist on a regular basis.

    What to Expect from a Teenage Pregnancy

    Once you get used to the idea of having a baby, here are some of the things you can expect throughout your pregnancy:

    1. Morning Sickness. Nausea and vomiting are very common during pregnancy, especially at the beginning. And despite its name, it could occur at any time of the day. Some women feel it all the time, while for others it is triggered by certain smells. 5 Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness »
    2. Exhaustion. If you think you’ve experienced extreme fatigue before, get ready to feel it on a whole new level. Due to fluctuating hormones and the fact that your body is now working to nourish two people, you’ll feel more tired more often. Add to this the fact that as your belly grows, most sleeping positions become uncomfortable (sleep your side).
    3. Breast Tenderness. You know how your breasts can feel really sensitive right before your period? Pregnancy makes them even more tender. However, this gets better after the first trimester.
    4. Frequent Urination. Besides your body processing the extra water you are drinking to retain nutrients, your growing baby will put pressure on your bladder. So wherever you go, it’s good to know where the nearest restroom is located.
    5. Mood Swings. Fluctuating moods are a normal part of any teenager’s life. They are also a hallmark of pregnancy, so get ready for some intense emotional roller coaster rides. Getting enough sleep, exercising, and finding relaxing things to do will help alleviate some of these intense feelings. Go for a walk, learn how to meditate, read your favorite books, or take a nap. Prioritizing your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Try these: Six Deep Breathing Exercises to Reduce Anxiety »
    Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch for More Information

    At OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we provide a variety of services for all women. No matter your age, we’ll help you feel comfortable and answer all of your reproductive health-related questions.

    Call us today to schedule an appointment.

The post How To Have a Healthy Teen Pregnancy appeared first on OB-GYN Women's Centre.

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Talking about vaginal discharge is hardly a popular topic among friends. And because the subject is uncomfortable to discuss, women can be left in the dark about what constitutes “normal”.

If you have concerns about vaginal discharge, read below for an overview about what’s considered healthy, and what is a sign that you should see a gynecologist.

Is It Normal to Have a Lot of Discharge Every Day?

The body produces discharge to keep the vagina clean. The discharge carries away dead cells and bacteria that would otherwise result in infection. This discharge ranges in color, depending on where you are on your menstrual cycle.

During Ovulation: This is when discharge is at its highest, with a consistency of egg whites. The medical term is cervical mucus, and it is watery and slippery. Its purpose is to keep the vagina clean and lubricated. It also helps sperm move up along the cervix on its way to fertilize an egg.

Days Right Before Your Period: Soon before your period starts, there’s significantly less discharge, and it is less slippery. The consistency is also thicker than when ovulating.

Towards the Last Days of Your Period: During this time in your menstrual cycle, discharge is brown because it includes blood from the uterus shedding its lining.

Right After Your Period: After all the blood has been eliminated, you may see little to no discharge for a couple of days.

During Pregnancy: Discharge during pregnancy is very thin and white. It also has a very mild scent. If you feel that you’re having too much discharge during pregnancy, wear panty liners and talk to your doctor to make sure everything is okay. Do not insert tampons, as they can introduce bacteria into the vaginal canal.

During Menopause: Women who are going through menopause often experience vaginal dryness, and decreased lubrication during sex, due to a drop in estrogen.

5 Signs of Early Menopause »

Regardless of where you are in your cycle, vaginal discharge should be odorless. And it should not cause discomfort.

There are instances when a woman experiences more discharge than usual.

  • During ovulation
  • During sexual arousal
  • While breastfeeding
Symptoms of Unusual Vaginal Discharge

When a woman’s discharge is not healthy, typical symptoms include:

  • Foul smell
  • Itchiness
  • Irritation
  • Cottage cheese consistency
  • Yellow or green discharge

These symptoms are a sign of a yeast infection or sexually transmitted disease (STD). Regardless of which one it may be, you should seek medical attention immediately for treatment.

Also, note that while brown discharge is normal on the last days of your period, if you start seeing it during any other time of your cycle, it could be a sign of something much more serious.

Contact us at OB-GYN Women’s Center

If you’ve noticed any changes in your vaginal discharge, let us help you. Ask us all the questions you need for your peace of mind. We are here for you.

Call us at (941) 254-2717 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

The post How Much Vaginal Discharge is Normal? appeared first on OB-GYN Women's Centre.

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Throughout a woman’s life, there are many discomforts that come and go thanks to hormonal fluctuations. Ovulation and menstruation bring bloating, mood swings, breast tenderness, and lower back pain, among others. Pregnancy comes along with an even longer list of ailments. The whole roller coaster ride is capped off with menopause. Just when you think you’re free from everything reproductive-health related, along come hot flashes.

What Are Hot Flashes?

Hot flashes are exactly what the name states: You’re going about your day, feeling fine, when out of nowhere, you suddenly feel intense heat on your face, neck, and chest.

How Long Do Hot Flashes Last?

Once a woman starts feeling hot flashes, she may continue experiencing them for anywhere between several months to up to ten years.

Each episode can last between a few seconds to several minutes. Their frequency varies, with obese women feeling them more often.

When they happen overnight, they often cause women to wake up, drenched in sweat. As a result, it’s common for women experiencing hot flashes to also suffer from insomnia.

Symptoms of Hot Flashes

As if feeling overheated throughout your body weren’t bad enough, hot flashes often come accompanied with other symptoms, such as:

  • Red or flushed face
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Perspiring
  • Tingling in the fingers
What Causes Hot Flashes?

As with everything relating to reproductive health, hot flashes are caused by a fluctuation in hormones. Therefore, there isn’t much you can do to fully prevent them. However, certain lifestyle factors do contribute to their intensity or may act as triggers.

Some of these include:

  • Eating spicy foods
  • Being in a hot environment
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol intake
  • Stress
  • Smoking
5 Remedies for Hot Flashes

1. Keep cool. If you’re in a hot and humid environment, or if the air conditioner is not blowing hard enough in your home or car, the increased temperatures can trigger hot flashes.

2. Manage stress. When you are confronted with a situation that would typically cause you stress, practice breathing exercises or relaxation techniques. Meditation can also help to keep a sense of calm.

3. Herbal remedies. Herbal extracts that contain progesterone come in capsule form. These can help decrease menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes.

4. Hormone replacement therapy. This can come in tablet form, skin patch, gel, spray, or cream. Their purpose is to replace the estrogen that the body is no longer naturally producing after menopause.

5. Nerve block injection. This shot targets a group of nerves that are responsible for hot flash sensations. While women will still experience flashes, they become less intense.

If you are experiencing hot flashes and want some natural remedies to relieve the discomfort, check out our blog: Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes.

Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch to Relieve Your Hot Flashes

If you’re experience hot flashes due to menopause, we can help. We understand that menopause makes your body do some wild and crazy things. Explore your options to relieve hot flashes, night sweats and anything else you may be experiencing. Call us at OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch! We are happy to help!

The post How Long Do Hot Flashes Last? appeared first on OB-GYN Women's Centre.

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Sore nipples are very common, especially if you’re ovulating or breastfeeding. However, just as with most reproductive health issues, many women feel bashful about discussing them openly.

What you need to know, however, is that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Nipples are highly sensitive areas, and as such, are easily irritated.

5 Home Remedies for Sore Nipples 1. Aloe Vera

Fresh Aloe vera delivers soothing relief and natural healing for sore nipples. Rub some clear gel from the inside of an aloe leaf onto the affected area and allow it to air dry. The cooling relief starts almost immediately.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is great for soothing your skin. Apply a small amount to nipples in a gentle massage. It can bring relief to sore, cracked or itchy nipples. It’s also a moisturizing agent, so it’s particularly welcoming if you’re breastfeeding.

3. Basil Leaves

Grind up some leaves into a paste, and apply to the nipples, then allow to air dry. Before breastfeeding your little one, remember to wash off the paste.

4. Witch Hazel

Applying witch hazel to your nipples will help reduce inflammation, and eliminate itching.

5. Cold and Warm therapy

Applying ice (wrapped in a towel) for a few minutes will help reduce any swelling in the area, while applying a heat pack promotes healing. Just make sure not to apply heat directly to the skin.

Natural Solution for Nursing Moms

For the nursing mother, just applying a few drops of your own breast milk to the nipple before breastfeeding will provide healing. Breast milk is known to contain antibacterial properties. After breastfeeding, apply more milk to your affected nipple and allow it to air dry.

Sore Nipple Symptoms

Every woman is different, so it’s possible that you may not experience every symptom, but you might experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Mild soreness
  • Breast pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Nipples or breasts feel heavy
  • Itchiness
  • Discharge from nipples

These issues do not need to send anyone into panic mode, but if you are curious about more information or are starting to worry, please contact a medical professional.

What Causes Sore Nipples?

There are many reasons for experiencing sore nipples. Some of the most common reasons include the following:

Ovulation. When you’re ovulating, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body fluctuate: Estrogen causes breasts to enlarge, while progesterone causes milk ducts to engorge. This causes the nipples to become very tender and sore. It usually occurs about a week to ten days before your period.

Menstruation. Just as when you’re ovulating, estrogen levels change, causing reactions while you’re on your period: bloating, mood swings, breast pain, and nipple soreness. Sometimes the breast tissue around the nipple will look lumpy.

Pregnancy. Sore nipples during pregnancy are due to a rise in estrogen. This hormone promotes breast growth for the production of milk. In addition, while your body prepares to deliver your baby, you receive additional blood flow to your breasts. The combination of both factors often results in sore nipples.

Breastfeeding. Newborns need constant feeding, and the constant latching onto your breasts eventually stretches tissue in the areola. As a result, you may experience tenderness, chafing, pain, and soreness in your nipples.

Mastitis. Mastitis is an inflammation of breast tissue. It can be caused by bacteria entering your system through cracked skin. It’s often experienced by women who are lactating. Another common cause is a blocked milk duct, which occurs when a breast isn’t completely emptied during a feeding.

Eczema. Certain chemicals found in soaps or laundry detergent can cause irritation to the skin. If irritation occurs in the areolas, the nipples can become itchy and sore.

Menopause. The same way an increase in estrogen and progesterone cause nipple soreness during ovulation and menstruation, a decrease in these hormones also results in breast pain and tenderness. This is especially so during menopause, when the fluctuation is so drastic. In addition to soreness, you may feel a burning or throbbing sensation around the nipples.

Paget’s Disease of the nipple. This condition occurs when cancer cells collect in the tissue surrounding the nipples. In addition to soreness, the nipple becomes itchy, red, scaly, and irritated. It’s usually diagnosed in women in their 50s or 60s.

Yeast infection of the nipples. Yeast infections are skin infections. While it is commonly known to occur in the vagina, it can also happen on nipples. This is common when a woman is breastfeeding, since the baby can pass thrush through their mouth into the nipples. This type of yeast thrives on breast milk.

Running long distances. Sometimes, nipple soreness doesn’t have anything to do with your reproductive health. If you’re a new runner, it’s essential to wear a good sports bra that fits well and is specifically designed for high-impact activity. A regular bra can allow your breasts to bounce around while you run, causing friction with the material you’re wearing. You can also apply Body Glide around your sports bra line to avoid chafing and irritation.

Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch Today

Our highly skilled and compassionate doctors offer support with kindness. Sore nipples are a common occurrence. If you would like more information about tender breasts or have general gynecological inquiries, please contact OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch today. Let us advise you further.

The post Home Remedies for Sore Nipples appeared first on OB-GYN Women's Centre.

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If you’re currently pregnant, you’re likely spending a good amount of time doing online research about what you can do to make these nine months go by as smoothly as possible. And as a new mom, you’re probably also wondering which nutrients will best nourish your developing baby.

What you eat will have a significant influence on your unborn baby’s health. Therefore, it’s crucial to be well-informed on which foods to avoid while you’re expecting.

Can You Eat Ranch Dressing While Pregnant?

This is a very common question, since ranch dressing has become such a staple in the United States. The confusion seems to come from the belief that one of the ingredients is raw eggs. It isn’t. Therefore, yes, you can eat ranch dressing while pregnant. However, always look for pasteurized dressing and keep it refrigerated at all times when not in use. Do not leave it out on the countertop, even for a few hours.

Also, keep in mind that ranch dressing contains a lot of fat, and not the healthy kind. So go easy on the serving size to keep your baby healthy.

10 Foods to Avoid While Pregnant 1. Raw or Undercooked Meat

While pregnant, raw or undercooked meat can make you feel sick, causing potential harm to the unborn baby. Raw, pink, or bloody meat can contain salmonella, as well as the toxoplasma gondii parasite. This parasite can turn into toxoplasmosis, which in turn causes flu-like symptoms.

While this condition is a pretty mild illness for the expecting mother, it can seriously harm an unborn child, and in extreme cases, lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. A woman’s immune system changes while pregnant in order to protect the developing baby, which makes expectant mothers more susceptible to food poisoning.

2. Deli Meat

Deli meats can carry listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria can enter the placenta, therefore infecting the baby. While adults are able to fend off listeria, unborn children can suffer a life-threatening infection or blood poisoning. Pregnant women should reheat deli meats until steaming prior to eating.

3. Fish With Mercury

Pregnant women should not consume fish with high levels of mercury. These include shark, tilefish, king mackerel, and swordfish. Doing so may result in brain damage and developmental delays in the baby. While fish such as light-chunk canned tuna typically contains lower levels of mercury than other types of tuna, if you choose to eat it, do so in moderation.

4. Raw Seafood

If you love sushi or oysters, now’s the time to take a break. This is due to the possibility of harmful bacteria.

5. Raw Eggs

There is a potential for exposure to salmonella in raw eggs and foods containing raw eggs, such as homemade cookie dough, Caesar dressing, ice cream, hollandaise sauce, and mayonnaise. However, commercially made ice cream and salad dressings are made with pasteurized eggs, and are therefore safe to eat.

6. Raw Brussel Sprouts

If bacteria gets into the seeds before they sprout, there is no way to remove it other than to fully cook the sprouts. If you like the crunch in sandwiches, opt for organic, washed raw cucumber or shredded carrots instead.

7. Soft Cheese

While they are delicious, they also can contain listeria, which is a foodborne bacteria that can cause infections. Though it rarely causes harm in adults, it can be fatal to unborn babies. These include Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and queso served at Mexican and fondue restaurants. Also avoid salad dressings that have soft cheese as an ingredient, including those with feta or blue cheese.

8. Paté

It may make you feel fancy, but it may also contain listeria.

9. Unwashed Produce

Toxoplasma can also live in fruits and vegetables. Therefore, it’s imperative to wash them well before eating. Don’t just rinse them. You can scrub the surface with a vegetable brush, or purchase veggie wash from most any health food or grocery store. Never use soap for this purpose.

10. Unpasteurized Fruit Juices

Unless you made it yourself, you don’t know how well the fruit was washed before making the juice. If it’s not pasteurized, it could lead to food poisoning due to listeria or toxoplasmosis.

What About Eating at Buffet-Style Restaurants?

In addition to the foods mentioned above, if you love buffets or potlucks, it’s best to wait until after you deliver your baby to indulge. This is because when there’s a large spread of food, dishes tend to sit on a table, unrefrigerated, for hours. This increases the risk of bacteria that is harmful to your developing baby. This also applies to taking a “To Go” bag from a restaurant: If you know you won’t be able to place the leftovers in your refrigerator within two hours, leave the food behind.

OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch

Visit an experienced OB-GYN to learn more about what can and cannot be consumed during pregnancy. The experienced team at the OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch can help you establish a meal plan for your pregnancy to ensure the safe and healthy growth of your baby. Learn more about us here or schedule an appointment.

The post Foods to Avoid While Pregnant appeared first on OB-GYN Women's Centre.

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How often do you think about your pelvic floor muscles? If you’re like most women, chances are, you may not keep them in the forefront of your concerns. However, these muscles play an important role in women’s health. This is because they support the cervix, uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum.

When a woman has weak kegel muscles, she may experience incontinence or an inability to fully control bowel movements. This weakening of Kegels can occur naturally over time. Some of the most common reasons include childbirth, surgery, or chronic constipation. However, doing Kegel exercises can help you strengthen them again. As a result, you could significantly improve your sense of well-being and your quality of life.

If you are unsure whether you have weak Kegel muscles, try stopping urinating mid-stream. If you can do so without any issues, congratulations, you have strong Kegel muscles. However, if you’re not successful at it, it’s ok. That’s why we’re here to help.

What are Kegel Exercises?

Kegel exercises are repeatedly squeezing and relaxing the pubococcygeus (PC) muscles. Do three or more sets of 15 repetitions throughout the day. Hold each contraction for about three to five seconds before releasing the muscles.

The great thing about them is that nobody will notice you’re doing them, so you can do them at work, standing in line at the grocery store, or when you’re stuck in traffic.

7 Benefits of Kegel Exercises

Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will result in the following benefits:

1. Prevent Incontinence

There are different types of incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when you feel the need to urinate when pressing down on your abdomen, when you cough or sneeze, or when you’re pregnant. Urge incontinence occurs when you get a sudden urge to pee and you can’t hold it in, sometimes not making it in time to the toilet.

2. Back and Hip Support

PC muscles connect to your inner core: the muscles that support your trunk and hips. When all components of your inner core are strong, you have better support for your spine.

3. Easier Childbirth

Women who do Kegel exercises throughout pregnancy have an easier time controlling vaginal muscles during delivery.  In addition, postpartum recovery often includes a sore perineum, constipation, and hemorrhoids. All of these issues can be alleviated by having strong pelvic floor muscles.

4. Improved Sex Life

Kegel exercises improve blood flow to the vagina, which is an essential component for arousal. Strengthening pelvic muscles can also make the vaginal canal more sensitive and increase muscle contractions during orgasm.

5. Relief from Menopause Symptoms

There are certain aspects of menopause that you can’t control, such as hot flashes and infertility. However, doing Kegel exercises while you’re going through menopause will help you keep incontinence at bay, as well as retain elasticity of your vaginal canal.

6. Avoid Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are so weak, pelvic organs press into the vagina. You can either feel it or even see it bulging out. It’s uncomfortable and causes both urinary and fecal incontinence.

7. Improves Your Emotional Well-being

Let’s be honest: If you’re experiencing either urinary or fecal incontinence, or feel your pelvic organs sticking out of place, or suffer from regular back pain due to a weak inner core, all of these things will have a detrimental effect on your quality of life. Taking mindful daily steps can make a difference in improving your physical health and in turn, state of mind.

Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch for More Information

At OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we provide a variety of services for every woman. If you have any questions about how Kegel exercises can improve your overall health, let us help you.

Call us today at (941) 254-2717 or schedule an appointment online.

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When it comes to reproductive health, many women are afraid to ask candid questions due to embarrassment or fear of being judged. However, failing to talk honestly about what may be going on in your vagina can lead anywhere from daily discomfort to serious health complications.

One of the most common vaginal infections is Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). It occurs frequently in women between the ages of 15 and 44, and it frequently occurs soon after sexual intercourse with a new partner. But before you get alarmed, know that BV is not a sexually transmitted disease.

What is Bacterial Vaginosis?

All vaginas have bacteria in them. They are called vaginal flora and they keep the vagina healthy by keeping yeast and other unwanted organisms at bay. They also help maintain the vagina’s pH balance at 4, which is ideal to protect it against infections.

Whenever there is an imbalance in the vaginal flora, the vagina can become inflamed and  bacterial overgrowth can occur. This is called Bacterial Vaginosis.

Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis

Some women don’t experience any symptoms of BV, while others may only experience mild, barely noticeable changes. However, those who do, notice symptoms experience the following:

  • Itching
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Gray vaginal discharge
  • Unpleasant smell, similar to fish
Treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis

While Bacterial Vaginosis may sometimes go away on its own, sometimes a woman needs to take antibiotics to fully heal. They could be either in the form of pills or topical creams.

It’s crucial to remember to take the full amount of medication prescribed by your doctor (usually between five and seven days), even if symptoms disappear completely before you finish your treatment.

Avoid sex during the treatment period. If your sexual partner is female, notify her so that she can get tested as well.

Causes of  Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis occurs when the healthy bacteria in your vagina is out of balance. This leads to infection. Such imbalance can be caused by any of the following:

  • Using vaginal douches
  • Some scented soaps
  • Using vaginal deodorants or any products to make it smell “fresh”
  • Having sex with a new partner or with multiple partners
  • IUD birth control
  • Smoking
Complications of Bacterial Vaginosis

Always seek medical attention whenever you notice any unusual symptoms in your vagina. While Bacterial Vaginosis usually heals without any issues, if left untreated, it can increase your risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. It may also affect your chances of conceiving. If you’re already pregnant, it could cause your baby to be born prematurely.

Differences Between Bacterial Vaginosis and Yeast Infection

Both Bacterial Vaginosis and yeast infections are common. They can also be confused with each other, since symptoms are similar for both conditions (unusual discharge, irritation, and itching). They can also both be triggered by sexual relations with a new partner.

The first thing that differentiates them is that often, women with BV don’t experience any symptoms, while women with yeast infection can’t ignore the condition due to the severe discomfort.

The second main difference is treatment: BV may require antibiotics, while yeast infections can be healed with over the counter antifungal creams.

The third difference is that the discharge when you have a yeast infection is thicker, with the consistency of cottage cheese.

Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch for More Information

At OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we provide a variety of services for every woman. If you have any questions about how to improve your overall health, let us help you.

Call us today at (941) 254-2717 or schedule an appointment online.

The post What is Bacterial Vaginosis? appeared first on OB-GYN Women's Centre.

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There is nothing that can make two minutes feel like two hours as taking a pregnancy test. Regardless of what you hope the results will be, the desire to know immediately can be overwhelming. The thought of the possibility of getting a false positive can cause you to become more anxious in an already stressful situation.

So, how likely is it to get a false positive on a pregnancy test?

Accuracy of At-Home Pregnancy Tests

At-home pregnancy tests work by placing a plastic stick into your stream of urine. The instructions then have you wait a specific of time, for their sensor to determine whether there is any human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your system. This is a hormone produced by the placenta after a fertilized egg implants on the uterus. Home pregnancy tests usually include a control line that’s always present. If there’s hCG in your urine, a second line will appear above it. Sometimes, instead of two lines, you’ll see a plus sign, or a “pregnant” or “not pregnant” message on the display window.

The vast majority of at-home pregnancy tests are fairly accurate, as long as you take them after the first day of a missed period. While some brands claim they can detect pregnancy before then, hCG can take a few days to enter your bloodstream and urine. That said, when taken correctly, store-bought pregnancy tests are about 99% accurate.

What Causes of a False Positive on a Pregnancy Test?

So what causes that 1% of false results? There could be several reasons.

1. User Error

It’s not enough to just pee on a stick. You have to read the instructions thoroughly and follow them exactly as suggested. Some require you to take the test as soon as you wake up in the morning, since that’s the time of day when urine is most concentrated. There are also time requirements: Leave the stick in the stream of urine for as long as the test manufacturer suggests you do so. Read the expiration date on the box. Give it a few days for your body to actually detect hCG if there’s any.

2. Evaporation Lines

Here’s yet another reason to read the instructions carefully: Some tests require that you wait two minutes. Others require you to wait up to five minutes. If you leave the stick sitting around longer than what’s required in the instructions, as urine evaporates, a faint line may appear on the screen, on top of the control line. If you’ve read the instructions, you’ll (a) know the exact time to check for results, and (b) know exactly what a positive line will look like, so that you don’t confuse it with anything else.

3. Fertility Treatments

If you’re undergoing fertility treatments, be aware that some medications include synthetic hCG shots, designed to stimulate the production and release of mature eggs. Some of these medications include Pregnyl, Noveral, and Ovidrel.

4. Early Miscarriage

It’s possible for a woman to experience a miscarriage even before she realizes that she’s pregnant. This is called a chemical pregnancy, and it occurs when a fertilized egg detaches from the uterus soon after implantation. However, since there was implantation, there may still be traces of hCG in your urine.

5. Medical Conditions

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), ovarian cysts, kidney disease, pituitary gland disorders, gestational trophoblastic tumors, and certain cancers, may cause a woman to create hCG, which would lead to a false positive pregnancy test.

Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch for More Information

At OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we provide a variety of services for every woman. Whether you’re planning for a family or trying to avoid conception, we can help you.

Call us today to schedule an appointment.

The post How Likely is it to Get a False Positive on a Pregnancy Test? appeared first on OB-GYN Women's Centre.

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Being sexually assaulted is one of the most traumatic experiences a person can go through. Feelings of disbelief, shock, shame, and anger become ever-present. The event can cause one to feel isolated as if no one could truly comprehend what happened. To add insult to injury, there are concerns about whether telling someone will result in blame and shame on you for the encounter; or having your story questioned. Or maybe the perpetrator has threatened you and you are scared.

Sexual assault in the United States is, unfortunately, a pervasive problem. One in five women experience sexual assault, and the vast majority are victims of someone they know: a significant other, a “friend”, a family member, or an acquaintance. This makes reporting the offender even harder, which is why rape is the most under-reported crime.

Why Rape Is The Most Under-Reported Crime

This problem is exacerbated by the many ramifications of such trauma:

Reporting Sexual Assault to Your OB-GYN

While sexual assault is an extremely sensitive and difficult subject to speak about, OB-GYNs have plenty of experience in assisting women who are dealing with the aftermath of rape. There is nothing you can tell your OB-GYN that will result in a raised eyebrow or judgment. In fact, your doctor can help you in several ways:

Discuss STD Testing

While you may want to leave the traumatic event in the past, it’s crucial to discuss sexually transmitted diseases and to be screened for them. Even if you have no symptoms, it is possible to have contracted an infection during a sexual assault, or attempted rape. If you do have an STD, leaving it undiagnosed or untreated could result in irreparable damage to your reproductive health and other essential organs.

Discuss Pregnancy

An OB-GYN will conduct a pregnancy test. If positive, you can safely discuss your options without the fear of being judged. Whether you want to keep the baby, consider adoption, or discuss terminating the pregnancy, your doctor can provide all the necessary information and resources.

Referral to Counseling Services

Sexual assault counselors are specifically trained to assist victims of sexual violence. They can provide therapy and/or refer you to a support group. When you meet with your OB-GYN, he or she can refer you to local counseling professionals.

Assistance with Police Reporting

Most rape cases are unreported. This could be due to the fact that: the victim knows the perpetrator, the offender is a family member, the victim doesn’t think people will believe it happened, the victim wants to try to forget the event ever took place… Regardless, if you decide to come forward and talk to the police, an OB-GYN will help you contact them and guide you through the process.

Referrals to Victims’ Services

A victim of sexual assault may need assistance in several areas: securing shelter when leaving a domestic violence situation, seeking an order of protection from the courts, obtaining legal advice on how to leave an abusive relationship, or any type of assistance to help the victim rebuild their life. An OB-GYN will have a list of all available resources in your area and can put you in contact with trusted organizations.

OB-GYN Women’s Center Can Provide Screening and Treatment

We understand that sexual assault is a difficult subject to talk about. At OB-GYN Women’s Center, we aim to make our patients feel safe and comfortable. Getting answers to your questions is the first step in getting the help and the treatment you need.

Contact us to schedule an appointment.

The post Can Your OB-GYN Help if You’ve Been Sexually Assaulted? appeared first on OB-GYN Women's Centre.

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