"Care for Women by Women"
1600 Sixth Avenue, Suite #117, York, PA 17403

Women's Institute for Gynecology & Minimally Invasive Surgery, LLC.

(717)840-9885

Sometimes it doesn't work...

We all have that story of a friend who got pregnant while on the pill or some other form of birth control. Very few forms of contraception are 100 percent effective – however, many come close. Aside from permanent contraception, the Mirena IUD or the Nexplanon implant are the most effective.

Also very successful are the hormonal patch, shot, vaginal ring, and pill. If used correctly, about one in every 100 women will still get pregnant while using these methods, because occasionally the hormones do not entirely counteract the possibility of pregnancy. If used incorrectly (missing a pill, forgetting to insert the ring or put the patch on, or missing an appointment to get the injection), eight in 100 women will likely become pregnant.

For options using a membrane, such as a condom or diaphragm, there’s a slightly higher chance of pregnancy occurring. Male condoms, if used correctly, carry about a two in 100 chance of pregnancy, although if not used correctly (tearing, sliding off, incorrectly put on) the incidence rises to 15 out of 100. For a female condom, 5 out of 100 women will get pregnant if used correctly, whereas 21 out of 100 will likely conceive if not used the right way. A diaphragm that’s fitted by a health care provider results in 6 out of 100 women conceiving, and if not used well in 16 out of 100. For all of these methods, spermicide can improve the results.

Moderately effective types of contraception include the cervical cap, which comes in small, medium, and large sizes; the morning-after pill; and a sponge. How soon the morning-after pill is taken helps determine its success rate, and the sponge is not nearly as effective (32 out of 100) for women who have given birth and don’t use it correctly.

Was the story of a friend who got pregnant while on birth control actually YOU? Share your story on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a FREE chair massage at our office!

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet

 

 

 

 

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

 

Rings, Pills, Patches...Oh My!

There are a variety of contraceptive options available to women, and many of them are now covered (per your health insurance guidelines) under the Affordable Care Act.  Each works a different way and requires a different commitment from you. Here's a quick overview:

  • Depo Provera Injection:  Given by a shot once every three months, the hormone medroxyprogesterone acetate enters the bloodstream. The result affects the uterine lining so that pregnancy does not occur. The hormone also prevents the release of hormones from the pituitary gland, stopping ovulation.
  • Intrauterine device: the Mirena IUD is a small plastic “T” shaped device inserted into the uterus through the vagina, and releases the hormone levenogestrel. The hormone changes the uterine lining, as well as ovulation, through its ongoing release. It can be kept in for up to five years.  The Copper IUD releases copper making the uterine environment inhospitable for the sperm or egg.
  • “The pill”: taking a daily tablet containing progestin and sometimes estrogen hormones, which both keep the menstrual cycle regular and prevent release of hormones from the pituitary gland, stopping ovulation.
  • Using the patch: a square patch placed on the arm, stomach, or rear, releasing estrogen and progestin through the skin into the blood stream. These hormones keep ovulation from happening. The patch must be changed once each week for three weeks, and then left off on the last week.
  • Inserting a vaginal ring: A stretchy ring releases continuous small doses of progestin and estrogen just like the pill but with less risks of nausea. A woman places it into her vagina, and leaves it for three weeks, during which time the hormones work to prevent ovulation. After three weeks the ring is removed, and one week later a new one is inserted.
  • Nexplanon: a small plastic rod about one inch long and very thin is placed by a doctor just under the skin of a woman's arm. It releases a progesterone-like hormone called etonogestrel that prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation and thinning uterine lining. Can be used for up to three years.

For permanent contraception, a woman can have the fallopian tubes blocked either through minor surgery or an in-office procedure with no incision. Some not as highly effective methods of birth control also exist, including a fitted diaphragm, condoms, cervical caps, emergency contraception, and a sponge.

If you aren’t sure which options may be right for you, give us a call today at 717-840-9885, or
fill out this form for someone to contact you. 

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet

 

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

 

How DOES it work?

To make sure your method of contraception is effective, it’s a good idea to understand how it works.

The most common type of contraception is hormonal, whether a pill, patch, implant, IUD, ring, or injection.  Each of those options contains varying amounts of hormones such as estrogen and/or progesterone (or similar hormones that mimic the effects).   As these hormones enter the bloodstream, they interact with the pituitary gland in the brain by altering the release of substances that dictate egg development and ovulation.  They also affect the uterus by thinning the inner lining.  Hormonal intrauterine devices also cause some of the same effects.  Some may also thicken the cervical mucus, which makes it hard for sperm to travel to an egg.

Other methods of contraception serve as a membrane barrier, keeping sperm from traveling through the cervix and fertilizing an egg. These include a diaphragm, a cervical cap fitted over the cervix; a male condom, fitted over the penis; and a female condom, lining the length of the vagina. If used correctly (without tearing, in place only for the recommended amount of time, and not reused if not intended for that), and especially when paired with spermicide, these methods can be almost as effective as hormonal birth control.   The vaginal “sponge” releases a substance that affects the quality and life of the sperm. 

Permanent methods of contraception include tubal ligation, which prevents eggs from reaching the uterus, or a vasectomy, which is minor surgery barring sperm from entering the semen.  Both prevent contact between the egg and sperm.

For any questions about which contraception method might be right for you give us a call at 717-840-9885.

Many forms of birth control are now covered (per your health insurance guidelines) under the Affordable Care Act. To find out more, click here.

If you have any questions about birth control coverage, you can contact us at any time.

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

What Treatments Might Help

If you suffer from frequent urination, you’re not alone. Whether from childbirth, lifestyle habits, or as a symptom of a larger issue, many women face several trips to the restroom throughout the day, which can get in the way of you staying on top of your routine. Along with lifestyle changes such as what food and drinks you consume, maintaining a healthy weight, and performing kegel exercises, there are a few treatment options you can talk with your doctor about.

  • Bladder training means you’ll be taught ways to increase the length of time between feeling you need to use the restroom and actually doing so. Usually a several-week course, this might happen in tandem with pelvic floor training. 

  • A physician might recommend pelvic floor training, assessing your ability to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and putting you on a routine.   In order to help “hold your urine” when an urge comes about at an inopportune time. 
  • Medication to tamper your urges, usually begun at a low dose to test effectiveness and adjusted as needed. 
  • Neuromodulation therapy: if behavior and muscle trainings or medication doesn’t work, your doctor might discuss with you the option of using electrical impulses to change how your nerves respond to certain signals.

Have you tried tracking your urination patterns, kegal exercises, and every other technique under the sun without seeing results? It may be time for you to speak to a physician to get to the root of your frequent urination. Give us a call today at 717-840-9885, or fill out this formfor someone to contact you.

Sincerely,
Dr. Julie Drolet


P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Managing Frequent Urination

While it’s never fun to face frequent urination, there are several steps you can take every day to help manage your symptoms, and hopefully cope with the occurrence.

  • Pay attention to how much you drink. While you should never be dehydrated and you should drink when you’re thirsty, try not to drink  More than 8 glasses/day unless exercising strenuously.

  • Keep track of your fluid intake in writing. Write down everything you drink for a week, and how much. Keep track of the times you drink, and also the times you visit the restroom. You might notice a pattern in what’s causing more trips. The tracking can also help your doctor diagnose and treat the issue.

  • Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, which are both diuretics and will make you urinate more often.

  • Eat foods high in fiber, which can keep your bowels empty and from pressing on your bladder.

  • Aim to maintain a healthy weight, because excess weight can stress your bladder.

  • Perform kegels, exercises tightening the muscles you use to stop urination, to help with urinary incontinence.

Do you have a technique that helps you control your urges? Share with us via private message on our Facebook page and we’ll post it as an anonymous tip to help other women.


Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Drolet

 

 

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Why me?

Frequent urination plagues many women. At times, it’s caused by harmless (and even good!) practices in your daily life – such as drinking lots of water. The symptoms can be from a mild problem, or be telling of a larger issue.

Some situations that can cause you to need to visit the restroom regularly:

  • Prolapse or dropped bladder
  • Changes in your muscles or nerves that control your bladder
  • An infection or  chronic inflammation of your bladder
  • Certain medications or beverages
  • Conditions that can increase your urine production such as diabetes
  • Bladder stones or tumors

Depending on what is causing your frequent urination, the problem is often paired with other issues, such as pain while urinating, difficulty urinating, losing control of your bladder, or the strong urge to urinate. More than one of these symptoms might occur regularly. If you are experiencing frequent urination with one of these effects as well, make an appointment to see your doctor. If frequent urination by itself is causing disruption to your life, also consider talking to your physician. After talking with your doctor, he or she will likely order some testing.

If you haven’t had a chance to download our free guide on How to Take Back Your Life from Incontinence, I invite you to download it now by clicking here.

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

How Often is Too Often?

It’s OK if you’re one of the many women suffering from frequent urination. An issue a woman of any age can face, some might feel the stress only at night, while others face the challenge throughout the day as well.

What is considered a normal amount of times to urinate in a day? While this will vary from person to person, you’ll likely need to visit the restroom six to seven times in a 24-hour day, but as few times as four and as many as 10 can also be normal. Some medications necessitate visits to the bathroom more often, while a low intake of fluids will lessen it.

While it can be normal to visit the bathroom if you have a large intake of fluids, caffeine or alcohol, if you are experiencing an increase in urination without obvious cause, and especially if the problem is interrupting your sleep, daily routine, or you are worried, it should be a reason to call your physician.

You should also call your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Painful urination
  • Pain in your side, lower stomach, or groin area
  • Difficulty urinating
  • The strong urge to urinate
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Fever
  • Red or dark brown urine
  • Blood in your urine

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, I strongly encourage you to give us a call today at 717-840-9885, or fill out this form for someone to contact you.

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Menopause: When to Get Help

Not everyone needs treatment for their menopausal symptoms. Some don’t feel strongly affected by symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings, while others see their symptoms fade quickly. You should be aware of what changes are not normal for approaching menopause, and call your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Menstrual bleeding that requires changing pads or tampons every hour
  • Menstrual bleeding for more than eight days
  • Menstrual bleeding that passes clots
  • Bleeding in between periods or after intercourse
  • Getting your period less than 21 days apart on a regular basis
  • Having issues with incontinence
  • Suffering from depression

If you are facing any of these, get in touch with your doctor, as it is possible they are symptoms of a different issue. Normal symptoms many women experience during perimenopause include: irregularity in their menstrual cycles (more or less frequent, heavier or lighter flow, and/or last for fewer or more days at a time), hot flashes or night sweats, vaginal dryness, weight gain, problems with sleeping, heart palpitations, mood swings, or headaches. If you have trouble dealing with normal symptoms, talk with your physician, as there might be treatment options available to manage them.

Are you concerned that you may be experiencing abnormal symptoms? If you have questions or concerns about the changes in your body, simply reply to this email or give us a call at 
717-840-9885 to schedule an appointment.

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Help!

When going through challenging periods in our lives, we often feel very alone. Fielding the symptoms surrounding perimenopause, fortunately, is not something any of us have to work through by ourselves. Here are a few tips to help you make use of the community around you as you face the changing days ahead:

  • Find someone (or several someones!)  to exercise with. People who will help motivate you and you also enjoy spending time with can help you feel your best and commiserate with you.

  • Begin a recipe-sharing group with your friends, to trade easy and healthy recipes and keep your body fueled with the right energy.

  • Consider counseling sessions – From the physical toll and the emotional ups and downs, it can help as you look to your future to talk about what you’re going through.

  • Find something you love with a passion, whether it’s a new hobby or old. Gardening, hiking, volunteering, or anything that you enjoy and provides solace and feels soothing. If it’s something you enjoy doing with others, join a club or find friends to gather with.

  • Take time to care for yourself, even if it means saying no to others sometimes or changing your schedule. The people around you will understand.

  • Surround yourself with those who understand what you’re going through: older mentors, women in the same spot you are, and those knowledgeable about perimenopause.

Have you found some great effective ways to manage your perimenopause symptoms? Share on our Facebook page!

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Is it hot in here?

The symptoms of approaching menopause seem to come from around every corner sometimes. From hot flashes to trouble sleeping to urinary incontinence, it often seems to get worse before it gets better.

 

 

For some problems, there’s not a lot you can do to combat the symptoms. But for others, some simple changes to your life and intentional steps can help you. Here are some suggestions:

  • Hot flashes: Avoid things that might trigger them, such as caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods. Set up a small fan at home or in your workplace to keep you cool.

  • Vaginal dryness: Try water-based lubricant, or an over-the-counter vaginal moisturizer such as Replens.

  • Insomnia: Make it a point to stay physically active during the day (but not right before bed). Also avoid smoking, large meals and caffeine late in the day. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet, and go to bed and get up on a regular schedule every day.

  • Mood swings: Try getting enough sleep and exercising regularly to feel your best. Learn new techniques to manage stress.

What’s the most surprising menopause symptom you’ve had? Share on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a copy of “What Can I Eat? Menopause Diet -- A Quick Reference Guide to the Right Foods That Will Get You Through Menopause with a Minimum of Symptoms.”

 

 

P.S. Did you recently have an appointment with us? Fill out this survey to tell us about your experience.

Change Is Not Bad

Many of us look forward to but simultaneously dread menopause, the disappearance of monthly cycles with their emotional roller coaster and physical discomfort forever. But first, we have to endure a variety of symptoms that come and go with no warning. Many of these symptoms disturb our sleep or concentration: hot flashes, fatigue, weight gain, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, headaches and hair loss.

These changes occur because of the biochemistry within our bodies. Estrogen can be elevated at times as we near menopause, causing the mood swings or headaches.  The conversion of another hormone into estrogen occurs in adipose (fat) tissue, which naturally increases to body fat (you knew you’d cut back on those brownies!). Also, your body’s metabolic rate naturally falls.

As estrogen levels decrease, the areas in your body with estrogen receptors are affected. Those areas include your bones, brain, blood vessels, central nervous system, and skin; thus, all of those areas experience changes. Low levels of estrogen also reduce the production of an anti-anxiety neurotransmitter, resulting sometimes in heightened anxiety during menopause.

Needless to say, some women stress when menopause rolls around. The important thing is not to over-think it and welcome this natural life change.

These are just some of the ways a woman’s body undergoes change as menopause approaches. If you have questions or concerns about the changes in your body, simply give us a call at 717-840-9885 to schedule an appointment.

Here's to you

One thing most women seem to regret every year: not taking enough time for ourselves, whether it’s to work on our relationships, relax a little, or broaden our horizons. It’s important to meet our many obligations as women, but it can be equally as important to make sure you are at the top of your game, both for yourself and those around you. Follow some of these tips to recharge and have the best year ever.

  • Treat “me time” as a priority. You wouldn’t skip a doctor’s appointment for your child or a work responsibility – and those are essential to keep everyone functioning. Consider whatever refuels you or relaxes you to be just as important. Whether it’s a night out with the girls or 20 minutes of yoga daily, put it in your schedule just as seriously as anything else you do.

  • Insert “productive” relaxing activities into your everyday life. Helping with homework, filling out paperwork, or waiting in line? Give yourself a foot massage with a massager kept nearby, rub luxurious lotion on your hands and neck, or read a book.

  • Take advantage of those who can help you with your children or your to-do lists. Get your groceries delivered, or visit a store or a gym with childcare provided. Ask for partners with any events you’re coordinating or ask someone else to run an errand for you.

  • Say no sometimes. Whether it’s to a child, helping out a friend, or taking on an extra responsibility, learn to be OK with saying you’re already booked or need to slow down.

What do you do to take time for yourself? Share on our Facebook page for a chance to win a $5 Starbucks gift card.

Do you Have a Plan?

A majority of New Year’s resolutions made each year have to do with living healthier and weight loss. But how do you get from the hope to do so and achieving some results?

Here are some steps to help you get from “I hope I’m thinner by June” to losing some inches from your waist and some pounds from the scale.
  • Make a plan. To begin to be healthier, you need to be able to focus on your weight loss goals. Addressing other stressors in your life that might take away your focus (financial concerns, relationship issues) can help you stay on point.

  • Write down all of the reasons it’s important to you to lose weight or live healthier – it will help you stay focused in moments you waiver.

  • Find resources for information and support – check out local gyms, consider a personal trainer, or talk to your doctor about how to make and eat healthier meals.

  • Ensure you’ll have the right kind of support every step of the way. Find friends who will work out with you or who have a passion for healthy living and eating, rather than those who will use shame or embarrassment to try to encourage you.

  • Define realistic goals. A healthy amount to lose each week is one to two pounds. Make sure your goals are measurable (30 minutes of walking every day; three servings of vegetables each day).

  • Get active, and make it a habit. To lose one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories. Cutting 500 calories each day, either through cutting down on unhealthy fat or sugar, or exercising, will help you reach your goal.

  • Most of all, you’ll need to change your perspective for the long-term to keep up on your weight and healthy living habits. Do you eat when stressed? Do you tend to get fast food for lunch or dinner regularly? Find out why you have bad habits such as these, and work to change your outlook. Remember one step at a time, one pound at a time.

If you start with a realistic plan and focus on it every day, you’ll begin to see a change in your life slowly but surely.

What’s your goal for 2014? Share on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win a $10 Subway gift card!

Once a Year

While it’s hard to make time for all of the things you “should” do on top of all the things you must do, it’s important to prioritize a physical exam at least once each year. Even though going to the doctor seems like something only necessary when you’re feeling ill, regular visits can catch serious diseases before they fully develop, provide baselines to compare with later, and build a relationship with your practitioner. Did you know that most insurances do not require any copays for a preventative well woman exam?

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist still recommends an annual well woman exam. In this visit the provider will perform a breast and detailed pelvic exam, as well as evaluate your BMI and blood pressure. Even though the collection of the Pap smear may not be recommended yearly for everyone, you still have breasts, a bladder, and vagina that require a physician’s attention.

Identifying risk factors for disease and adjusting your lifestyle through discussion with your healthcare provider at an annual exam can be life-changing. Whether for a common diagnosis such as diabetes or a more immediately life-threatening one such as a type of cancer, your doctor can watch carefully for signs. If you go each year, your physician can use previous years to compare your screening results and measurements, ensuring the most accurate findings. Having a good relationship with your doctor,
whether specialist or family doctor, can help you feel comfortable with any proceedings.

Consider these statistics:

  • One in three women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in the U.S. in their lifetime.
  • Heart disease and lower respiratory diseases were two of the three leading causes of death in the U.S. in 2010.
  • More than 25 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, with an estimated seven million of that number undiagnosed.
  • About 40,000 women are estimated to die from breast cancer in 2013.

Knowing your doctor well and visiting annually for a check-up will help you stay ahead of any health developments you might not yet detect, and help you come up with the best plan to continue to live a healthy, hearty life.

Make it your goal for 2014 to get all of the recommended testing done, starting with your annual gynecological exam. Schedule your appointment with us by January 31 and you’ll be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

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