We must view your insurance card at each visit to ensure that all information is the same as what we have in our system.
Your prior records can be helpful, especially if the doctor’s medical decision-making will be based upon information contained in your medical history. You can contact your previous doctor’s office before your visit with us and have the records sent to our office, or you can complete a form at your visit with us and we will fax it to the other office for release of the records (you will need to provide their fax number).
Arriving early allows you time to complete any necessary paperwork and gives our receptionists time to process your chart and any changes to your information. We strive to keep your wait time to a minimum and this makes it easier to keep our schedules running on time to better accommodate our patients.
Yes, From Labor Day until Memorial Day we have evening and Saturday hours. During the summer months we do not.
If it has been less than a year since your last annual exam your prescription can be obtained by e-mailing us (“Prescription Request” on our website) or by calling any of our offices. A nurse will call in the refill to your pharmacy or send you a prescription in the mail at your request. If it has been more than a year since your last annual exam the nurse will notify you that you need to make your appointment before we can proceed with your refill.
When you become sexually active or by age 21 if you are not sexually active.
If you are taking birth control pills, sexually active with more than one partner or having any gyn problems, you need an exam once a year. Pap smears may be recommended more frequently if they are abnormal. If you are postmenopausal but have a normal pap history, you may have pap screening every 2 to 3 years. However, you still need annual visits including a screening mammogram with a breast and pelvic examination.
Thin prep is a liquid based pap test. The collection and processing method used in this test provides a better cell sample for analysis. Thin prep has become the preferred test over the conventional pap because it has been more effective in the detection of abnormal cells. Our office uses the thin prep pap test unless you specifically request the conventional test at the time of your visit.
You will be notified by phone if your pap smear is abnormal by your provider or nurse. Our office automatically screens all paps with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) for the high risk human papilloma virus (HPV). This virus is the most common reason why abnormal cells are found with pap smears. You will be scheduled for an office procedure called a colposcopy to take a closer look at your cervix for abnormal cells. Follow-up may require only monitoring or may involve treatment if cell changes are significant. Click here for additional information on pap smears and abnormal results. For more information about HPV go to the American Social Health Association website click here.
We recommend screening for all women who have been sexually active with more than one partner. Tests may include Chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, Hepatitis C, Herpes Type 1 & 2 and syphilis. Consider screening on an annual basis if you have had unprotected intercourse with a new partner. Contact our office any time for STD screening if you are worried you may have been exposed or are showing symptoms of an STD.
Please click here for information about this vaccine.
There are many methods available depending on your interests and lifestyle. Most people are familiar with birth control pills that are taken on a daily basis. Click here for more information on the pill. Newer more convenient methods include the Nuva Ring or the Ortho Evra Patch. The Nuva Ring is inserted like a tampon and stays in the vagina for 3 weeks. It is very comfortable and very discrete. The Ortho Evra patch is worn like a bandaid and is changed once a week. Other options include the Depo provera shot, and Mirena IUD. The shot is given every 3 months and eventually makes your periods go away. The Mirena is available for women who have had children and want reversible contraception. This IUD is good for 5 years and helps to reduce heavy periods. Contact our office for an appointment to further discuss the best option for you.
Yes, many women are taking continuous birth control pills and choosing to have a period every 3 months instead of every month. A new pill called “Seasonal” contains 84 active pills and one week of placebo pills in one pack. You can also do this with regular monophasic pills (skip the 4th week of pills), the Ortho Evra Patch and the Nuva Ring. When you are ready to have a period, discontinue your contraception for 5-7 days, then restart it. Initially, you may experience occasional spotting, but this improves with time. It is not harmful to skip periods while taking birth control and many women with menstrual problems benefit from this type of schedule.
Emergency contraception (EC) is a way to prevent pregnancy after a condom accident, unprotected intercourse or if you forget 2 or more days of birth control pills. EC must be taken within 72 hours of sexual activity in order to be effective. Our office prescribes “Plan B” which has fewer side effects. EC does not cause an abortion and will not harm a pregnancy if a woman is already pregnant. Contact our office if you need a prescription called in.
It is not uncommon for women to have very light to non-existent periods on birth control pills. This is fine because the pill protects the uterus from abnormal cells. Missing periods when you are not on the pill can be a sign of menopause, perimenopause, pregnancy or a hormonal imbalance. If you miss 3 periods and are not pregnant, you should contact our office.
Bleeding that lasts longer than 7 days or comes more often than 21 days needs evaluation. Abnormal bleeding can be due to pregnancy, abnormal cells, mechanical problems (fibroids, polyps) or a hormonal imbalance. Abnormal bleeding after age 35 or any bleeding after menopause needs evaluation by your provider. Intermittent spotting on birth control pills is common in the 1st three months or if a pill is taken late.
You can try any over the counter product with Ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). Start taking this medicine when you first feel the first signs of your period beginning. For most women, 400-600 mg of Motrin or Aleve 1-2 tablets will relieve cramps. A warm heating pad over the abdomens is helpful too. Research shows menstrual cramps improve if you increase your daily calcium to 1500 mg a day. Birth control pills may provide additional relief. If you still have significant cramps after trying the above, please contact our office for an appointment.
This problem is more common than you think and can be helped. “Accidents” can occur with stress (coughing, exercise, etc.), or the urge to use the bathroom. Overuse of certain foods such as caffeine or citrus can add to the problem. Please contact our office for an evaluation. There are several treatment options available including our Pelvic Support Program to help meet your needs.
Routine mammograms should begin at age 40 unless specified otherwise by your physician or nurse practitioner. Talk with your provider if you have a family history of breast cancer especially under the age of 45. This would accelerate the start of mammogram screening for you. Many insurance companies will approve a one-time screening mammogram between the ages of 35-40. Check with your carrier to ensure it is a covered expense.
Absolutely. You just need to bring your prior films with you to your visit and we’ll send them together with this exam for comparison. Our radiologist uses your prior films to ensure that nothing has changed in your breast tissue, so they are essential to get a final mammogram report.
Yes – we provide wipes for you to remove your deodorant prior to having your mammogram performed.
Hot flashes are mild for some women while other women are just plain miserable. We know estrogen works the best in relieving hot flashes during menopause, but hormone therapy may not be an option for everyone. Recent research on herbal remedies have mixed reviews as to whether they work and if they are safe. Some plant-based products have estrogen-like properties and very little is known about their relationship to the risk of breast cancer. Plants in this category include soy, black cohosh, and wild yam. Non hormonal medications that have shown to reduce hot flashes are in the class of anti-depressants. These include low doses of Effexor, Paxil, and Prozac, which can reduce hot flashes by 70%. Lifestyle changes that can reduce hot flashes include regular exercise, reducing your weight, avoiding spicy foods and caffeine, and staying hydrated. Talk to your provider on the best way to manage your symptoms.
Women are especially at risk for osteopenia (bone thinning) and osteoporosis (bone loss). A way to evaluate bone density is with an easy, quick, painless x-ray of your spine and hip joints. The type of bone density test performed in our office is a DEXA test (the most accurate way to evaluate degree of osteoporosis).
Unless you are having complications, your first OB visit should be between 8-10 weeks of pregnancy. Gestational weeks are counted beginning with the first day of your last menstrual period. We typically schedule your first obstetrical visit during 10-12 weeks of gestation, however if you are unsure of your last menstrual period or have had any prior history of miscarriage, we would like to see you for a “confirmation of pregnancy” visit. Please call our office to schedule this appointment during the time that you think you will be 8-10 weeks pregnant.
You can anticipate the OB work-up visit will last about 2 to 21/2 hours. It will entail meeting with the OB coordinator nurse who will explain our practice, complete several forms, and answer any questions you might have; an examination by the doctor or midwife and lab work. You will only have an ultrasound on the first visit if you are scheduled for a “confirmation of pregnancy” visit or if you have had a previous miscarriage.
Click here to see information about foods to avoid during pregnancy. Click here for a listing of recommendations to help with nausea.
We are affiliated with Mercy Hospital.
Our practice does not support home births because of the risks associated with them. We cannot assume the care for you through your prenatal course.
When should I start taking folic acid if I'm considering getting pregnant and can I take over-the-counter prenatal vitamins?
You should begin folic acid supplementation as soon as you decide you may attempt pregnancy. For more information about folic acid, click here. You can take over-the-counter prenatal vitamins as long as they contain at least 400 mcg or .4 mg of folic acid. Women at increased risk, that is with a family history of Spina Bifida, should take 4 mg (or 4000 mcg) of folic acid.
Many patients have found that Flintstone’s Vitamins are tolerable. Taking two Flintstone’s Vitamins will suffice as a supplement.
Click here to view the normal pregnancy schedule listing tests that should be performed. We are a full-service obstetrical office providing all the prenatal testing you will need for a typical pregnancy.
Click here to learn more about our disability guidelines
Yes. The anesthesiologist will administer your epidural while the physican or midwife continues to manage your labor and delivery.
Yes, but only until you reach 34 weeks of pregnancy for international travel or 36 weeks for domestic travel. After 36 weeks you should go no farther than one hour away from the hospital without your doctor’s permission. You should stop every one to two hours and walk for about 10 minutes to increase circulation and prevent leg and feet swelling.
Yes, with authorization by your physician or midwife. Some airlines require a written letter from the physician authorizing travel by air. Remember if you go out of town, take a copy of your prenatal records with you.
Yes, provided you have not experienced a rupture of your membranes (water breaking)
Yes, and we encourage you to do so. Your dentist should use only local anesthesia and must cover the abdominal area during all X-rays. No nitrous oxide may be used.
Yes. Remember, because of the changes in your body related to pregnancy, the permanent may not take.
No, because it contains potassium salts that could cause problems.
Yes, after the first trimester (13 weeks), but try not to drink more than one a day. If given a choice, use products with Nutrisweet, also known as Aspartame.
In moderation (No more than the equivalent of two cups of coffee per 24-hour period).