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Posts for category: Women's Health

By North Houston Center for Reproductive Medicine
February 05, 2019
Category: Women's Health
Tags: Keratosis Pilaris  

Keratosis Pilaris can cause bumps on your armsCould those rough, white bumps actually be Keratosis Pilaris?

If you are dealing with rough patches of skin on your body, then you may be dealing with a condition known as keratosis pilaris. While this is a fairly common and non­threatening dermatological issue it can be hard to effectively treat. Luckily, most cases of keratosis pilaris go away by the age of 30. However, find out everything you need to know about this condition and how to manage your symptoms properly.

Are you noticing any of these symptoms?

  • Rough, scaly patches that are sometimes itchy
  • White or red bumps that look like acne
  • Bumps on the arms, legs, cheeks or butt
  • An increase in symptoms during the winter

If you’ve said “yes” to any of these symptoms above, then your bumps may be the result of keratosis pilaris. Luckily, this isn’t a serious condition and often won’t require treatment. However, some people feel embarrassed by how their skin looks. If this is the case, then consult your dermatologist.

Keratosis Pilaris Treatments

There is no one treatment that effectively helps those with keratosis pilaris. However, your dermatologist might recommend a medicated exfoliant, a retinoid cream or gel, or laser treatment. While using these medications may improve the look of your skin, if you stop taking this medication there is a significant chance that the problem will return. The biggest issue with this dermatological condition is that it lasts for many years.

Self­Care Measures for Keratosis Pilaris

While your treatment options might not sound ideal, there are also some easy things you can do at home that can improve the look of your skin.

  • Avoid scrubbing or rubbing your skin, which can further aggravate your condition.
  • Always pat your skin dry and never rub. This will also help to maintain moisture.Apply a moisturizer after getting out of the shower. This can further help to improve the appearance of dry, irritated skin.
  • Look for products with urea or lactic acid. Both of these ingredients can be found in over-the­counter skin care products and they remove excess keratin from the outermost layer of the skin.

Talk to your dermatologist about which prescription medications and lifestyle changes would improve your condition. Even though this condition isn’t serious you can still seek medical advice and treatments to help with your problem.

By North Houston Center for Reproductive Medicine
January 16, 2019
Category: Women's Health
Tags: Bladder Infection  

Bladder infections have a way of making themselves known. You may be making multiple trips to the bathroom, feeling like you constantly have to go again. But once you’re in there, you may feel burning or stinging every time you pee. That’s the most distinct sign of a bladder infection.

What is a bladder infection?

A bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection or UTI. This is an infection anywhere in the urinary tract, like the bladder, kidneys, or urethra. Usually, bladder infections are acute, which means that they occur suddenly. They can sometimes be chronic, which means that they recur over a long term.

Bladder infections are caused by bacteria that enter through the urethra and move into the bladder. Normally, the body can remove the bacteria by flushing them out during urination. However, bacteria can sometimes attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly. Infections can occur when bacteria from the stool get onto the skin and enter the urethra. This is common with women since the urethra is short and the outer opening isn’t far from the anus.

Symptoms of Bladder Infections

The symptoms of a bladder infection may vary between people, depending on the severity of the infection. Some common symptoms include:

  • Pain or burning while urinating
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Cramping in the lower abdomen or lower back

Treating and Preventing Bladder Infections

Bladder infections are treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the bladder infection. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help relieve the symptoms associated with the bladder infection.

There are many things that you can do in order to prevent bladder infections, such as:

  • Drink six to eight glasses of water daily
  • Drink cranberry juice daily
  • Urinate as soon as you feel the need, don’t hold it
  • Take showers instead of baths
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes
  • Avoid using a diaphragm or spermicide

See Your Doctor Today

Don’t live with the pain of a bladder infection any longer. Call your doctor today to schedule an appointment or ask any questions about bladder infections!

By North Houston Center for Reproductive Medicine
November 16, 2018
Category: Women's Health
Tags: Endometriosis   Pain  

Managing endometriosis

Endometriosis is a gynecological condition affecting millions of American women of child-bearing years. An extreme overgrowth of the lining of the uterus (endometrium), this painful and persistent malady leaves some women infertile, in pain and even debilitated from the symptoms. Are you one of them? A visit with your OB/GYN doctor will uncover the reasons and treatments for your endometriosis.

Symptoms of endometriosis

The most frequent symptom is severe cramping before, during and after menstruation. Periods may be unusually long in duration or very short. Lower back pain and migraine headaches occur through out the monthly cycle, and many women report difficulty with bowel movements and a feeling of "heaviness"in the lower abdomen.

Some sufferers of endometriosis experience weight gain and unfortunately...infertility. Endometriosis can block the fallopian tubes and interior of the uterus so sperm cannot reach and fertilize eggs. Endometrial tissue often appears in odd areas such as on the ovaries or the bowel.

Who gets endometriosis?

The Office on Women's Health reports that a full 11 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 suffer with endometriosis. The condition appears to run in families, and it is common among women who have never had children. Autoimmune conditions such as allergies, MS and Lupus often co-exist with endometriosis.

Finding and treating endometriosis

Reporting your symptoms of endometriosis to your obstetrician/gynecologist is critical to diagnosis and treatment. He or she will perform a pelvic examination and may do ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging.

Treatment options vary, but frankly, surgery usually is not a first choice. Medical management with hormones and pain medications is preferable. Your OB/GYN will want to monitor your symptoms and treatment plan closely to help you manage this often-frustrating condition.

In addition, many women experience significant symptom relief if they:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Deep breathe through periods of abdominal or lower back pain.
  • Manage stress levels and the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the bloodstream.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits, and reduce gluten and refined sugars which produce inflammatory reactions in the abdomen.
It's possible
 
You can live well with endometriosis. Thoughtfully record your symptoms, and then, go see your OB/GYN physician. Together, you can work through this difficult condition and optimize your comfort, fertility and overall wellness.
By North Houston Center for Reproductive Medicine
September 28, 2018
Category: Women's Health
Tags: Colposcopy  

Need a colposcopy? If your pap test results are abnormal, your doctor may ask you to have a colposcopy. Colposcopy is an effective and safe procedure. It's important to attend your colposcopy appointment even if you do not have any symptoms. Read to to learn more about colposcopy.

What is colposcopy?

A colposcopy is a simple procedure that lets your healthcare provider get a good look at your cervix. The procedure involves looking at the cervix through a lighted magnifying instrument. It shines a light into the vagina and cervix. This examination allows your doctor to find problems that cannot be seen by the eye alone. The exam takes 5 to 10 minutes. Sometimes the exam may need to be performed more than once.

Why is colposcopy done?

The procedure is done in a doctor's office. Colposcopy is performed when results of pap smear tests show abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. The exam provides more information about the abnormal cells. Colposcopy is also used to further assess other problems, including pain, genital warts on the cervix, bleeding, cervicitis, and benign growths.

How is the procedure done?

During the procedure, you will lie on your back with your feet raised and placed on footrests. Your doctor will use a medical tool to hold apart the walls so the inside of the vagina and cervix can be viewed. The lighted magnifying instrument placed outside the opening of your vagina. A mild solution will be applied to your vagina and cervix. This solution makes abnormal areas on the cervix easy to see.

When is a biopsy done?

Sometimes, a biopsy is done during a colposcopy. During colposcopy, your healthcare provider may see abnormal areas. A biopsy of these areas may be done. During a biopsy, a small piece of tissue is removed from the patient's cervix. The sample is removed with a special device. Sometimes, the biopsy is also your treatment. That's because your healthcare provider may be able to remove all of the abnormal cervical cells during the biopsy. If so, you will not need further treatment.

What is recovery like?

If a biopsy is not done during the colposcopy, you should feel fine afterwards. You may have a little spotting for a few days. If you a biopsy is done, you may have pain for one or two days. You may have some bleeding. You may also have some discharge from your vagina. While your cervix heals, you will be told not to put anything into your vagina for a short time. Test results from the exam can take some time to be returned, but rest assured that your doctor will call as soon as the results are in.

By North Houston Center for Reproductive Medicine
June 15, 2018
Category: Women's Health
Tags: STI  

If you are sexually active, getting regular STI screenings is a crucial and proactive practice to adopt for both your health and the health of your future partners. It’s important to know if you have an STI so that the infection can be treated or managed before more serious health complications set in. While using condoms, being monogamous and avoiding risky behaviors can go a long way to keeping you healthy and safe from infection, it’s important that everyone who is sexually active continue to get screened, no matter their age.

When To Get Tested

It’s important to get routine screenings even if you feel fine and aren’t experiencing symptoms, as many people with STIs don’t ever experience symptoms. Even when symptoms do arise it’s easy to mistake them for less serious issues such as the common cold or flu virus. Did you know that some STIs present with a fever, sore throat and muscle aches? What might seem like the regular influenza virus could actually be an STI. Furthermore, it’s not that uncommon to be exposed to more than one STI at a time. So, you could have multiple infections and not know it.

While a lot of people feel nervous or even embarrassed to get STI screenings, having an OBGYN or medical doctor that you trust is the most important. Trust us; they’ve heard it all, so you should feel comfortable talking to your doctor about your sexual health. Being as honest as possible about your current or past sexual history is important to make sure you get the proper medical care.

Even though untreated STIs can lead to more serious health problems down the road, the good news is that many STIs can easily be treated if the infection is caught early enough. Even incurable STIs like hepatitis, herpes, and HIV can be managed through simple lifestyle changes and medications to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms and to improve your quality of life.

Even if you come in once a year for a wellness checkup or Pap smear, this doesn’t mean that you are getting screened for an STI. Of course, during your routine exam you can ask to also be screened for STIs. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, having an untreated STI can cause serious health risks for your unborn child.

It’s important that you get regular STI testing to ensure that you and your partners enjoy a safe and healthy lifestyle!