Can fibroids become cancerous?
The majority of the time fibroids are completely benign. It is extremely rare that a fibroid will turn cancerous. Also, having fibroids will not increase your chances of developing uterine cancer or cancerous fibroids.
How are fibroids treated?
Since most women don’t experience symptoms, they won’t necessarily need treatment; however, women who do experience symptoms will want to discuss their options with a qualified OBGYN. Your OBGYN will be able to decide the best strategies for treating your fibroids based on your health, the symptoms you’re experiencing, whether you plan to become pregnant in the future, your age, and the size of the fibroids.
Mild symptoms may be managed with simple over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen. If you have heavy periods, your doctor may recommend iron supplements to prevent anemia. Some forms of birth control including an intrauterine device (IUD) can also help manage fibroid symptoms.
Another medication used to treat fibroids is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa). This medication can be administered in many different ways (e.g. inhaled, ingested, or injected) and is used to shrink large fibroids.
If you experience more severe fibroid symptoms, then your OBGYN may recommend surgery to have the fibroids removed. This procedure is known as a myomectomy.
Can I get pregnant if I have fibroids?
It can be more difficult for women with uterine fibroids to get pregnant, but it is still a possibility. Of course, women who become pregnant while they have fibroids may be more at risk for complications so it’s important that you have an obstetrician that will know how to best handle fibroids during your pregnancy. While there may be concerns, having fibroids does not put you in the high-risk pregnancy category.
Are you experiencing symptoms of fibroids? If so, it’s important to talk with your OBGYN about your symptoms and how to get them under control.
Why am I experiencing painful sex?
There are several reasons why you may experience pain with intercourse. One of the more common ones is a lack of lubrication; however, painful sex could also be a sign of:
- An infection including yeast infections and infections of the cervix
- Vaginismus: A condition that causes muscle spasms of the vaginal wall
- Endometriosis: Where tissue similar to uterine tissue grows beyond the uterus
- Ovarian cysts and other ovarian conditions
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Causes severe inflammation of the deeper pelvic tissue
- Vulvodynia: A condition that causes chronic pain in the vulva and other external organs including the clitoris
However, when it seems like something more is at play then it’s time to consult an OBGYN. If vaginal dryness is the cause, we can recommend or provide special lubricants. Menopausal women who are experiencing vaginal dryness may need hormone replacement therapy or estrogen creams.
We will need to perform a physical exam to check for any tears, signs of STDs, inflamed tissue, or other signs of infection or certain vaginal conditions. Some conditions simply require medication (as is the case with yeast infections or PID); however, chronic conditions such as endometriosis will require special treatments, lifestyle changes, and long-term monitoring from an OBGYN.
Are you dealing with painful sex? If so, your OBGYN can provide you with the care you need to get this problem under control. It’s important to address this problem as soon as possible.
You want to reach out to a lactation consultant if:
You are feeling nervous or worried about breastfeeding
No matter whether this is your first baby or your third, we know that every breastfeeding experience is different and that sometimes you need someone with experience and training to be able to provide you with encouragement, answers, and support. It’s natural to have questions or concerns along the way, but our team of lactation consultants can help support and encourage you every step of the way.
Your baby isn’t gaining weight
While milk supply is certainly a thing that mothers worry about, especially first-time moms, most of the time this isn’t an issue. If your baby is gaining weight then they are getting the milk they need; however, if you notice your baby’s weight staying the same or if your pediatrician mentions that your baby is losing weight, then it’s probably a good time to consult a lactation specialist who can provide you with simple strategies to improve milk supply.
You have multiple babies
If you have twins or triplets, then the thought of breastfeeding may be a bit overwhelming. Even before you give birth, you may benefit from visiting a lactation consultant to discuss ways to properly hold your babies and feed more than one at a time. A lactation consultant can also help you in the very beginning to determine if your milk supply is matching the increased demand.
You’re experiencing pain
Sure, breastfeeding can be a bit odd or tricky, but it should not be painful. If it is, then something is going on that shouldn’t be. So, if you are experiencing painful, sensitive, or even cracked nipples then it’s time to see someone. Putting up with the pain should not be an option, as this can lead to serious problems such as yeast infections and problems with milk supply.
If you’re having pain or difficulty with breastfeeding, you are not alone. An OBGYN can provide you with the lactation counseling and support you need. Talk with your OBGYN today.
What can lead to a high-risk pregnancy?
There is a wide range of factors that can determine whether a woman will be a high-risk pregnancy. Some of these factors include:
- Previous pregnancy complications (if you’ve been pregnant before and dealt with complications such as premature birth, then you are more likely to deal with complications with future pregnancies)
- Multiple births (if you are having twins, triplets, quadruplets or more, you are also more likely to go into preterm labor)
- Blood disorders (e.g. sickle cell disease)
- Lupus or other autoimmune disorders
- Advanced mature age (women who are age 35 or older)
- Diabetes (both type 1 and type 2)
- Thyroid disease
- Drinking alcohol
- Illicit drug use
What does this mean for my care?
Women need to keep in mind that just because they are a high-risk pregnancy does not mean that they will face complications or issues. Having an OBGYN by your side is paramount to keeping both you and baby healthy and making sure that if problems do arise that they are caught and treated early.
A woman who is a high-risk pregnancy will want to visit their OBGYN more often for prenatal checkups so that their doctor can closely monitor them for any changes. Remember, keeping up with your prenatal care appointments is one surefire way to keep both you and your baby safe and healthy.
If you are a high-risk pregnancy or are concerned about being a high-risk pregnancy, it’s important to discuss this with your OBGYN right away.
What is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome?
Thanks to advanced and ever-changing medical technology and fertility practices it’s now fairly uncommon to have OHSS occur in women who undergo IVF. OHSS causes the ovaries to swell and leak, sometimes causing significant abdominal pain. This is in response to taking these injectable medications, which stimulate several follicles to develop eggs. This results in higher levels of estradiol, which can cause the ovaries to leak fluid into the stomach. Women with OHSS may experience:
- Abdominal swelling
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
How is OHSS treated?
If your OBGYN believes that your symptoms are indicative of OHSS, a simple ultrasound can allow our team to be able to examine the ovaries to look for leaks or fluid in the abdomen. Sometimes blood testing is also performed. If OHSS is mild than rest, limited activity, and staying hydrated are all that’s needed. If there is significant fluid in the abdomen, the doctor may need to drain the fluid (particularly if it’s causing serious pain). Only in serious cases does OHSS require hospitalization.
If you are interested in learning more about IVF, or if you are having trouble conceiving, you may want to first talk with your OBGYN about your options and whether or not you should pursue fertility treatments. Your OBGYN will be able to answer all of your questions regarding family planning and getting pregnant.
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