Meet A New Kind Of Gynecologist

meet_new_kind_gynocologistA sea change is taking place in the medical profession:

Many female doctors, who once practiced gynecology and obstetrics, are dropping the obstetrical part of their practices to concentrate on the feminine sexual health of their aging patients.

This is a significant development for women in perimenopause or menopause, who now are opening up more about the dramatic physical–and mental–changes they’re experiencing, and turning to their doctors for advice and help…



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Vaginal Dryness, More Common than You Think

vaginal-dryness-helpWhat exactly is vaginal dryness, what causes it and how can it be alleviated?

Vaginal dryness and discomfort during intimacy are not the taboo subjects they once were. With more women than ever entering menopause, these complaints are more commonplace and should be part of routine conversation between women and their gynecologists. During perimenopause, (the 10 or so years prior to losing your period) and menopause (once you have been without your period for a full year) the ovaries make less and less estrogen. This can lead to vaginal changes including dryness and more delicate, less elastic tissue. In fact, other causes of vaginal dryness include medications such as antihistamines and birth control pills or can be caused by other medical conditions, such as Sjogrens disease. The reduction of estrogen in a woman’s body can lead to vaginal atrophy, thinning of the skin and or dryness leading to daily discomfort, a reduced sexual drive and painful intercourse.

“In the USA there are approximately 64 million postmenopausal females, 32 million or 50% of them, suffer from a degree of GSM or genitourinary syndrome of menopause. It is estimated that only about 7% of women are treated for this condition which demonstrates a huge unmet medical need. Women need not grin and bear it,” says Dr Michael Krychman. “One survey, called the REVEAL Survey, illustrated that almost 7 in 10 women endure painful sex as part of the normal part of growing older. There are many safe effective natural ways now on the market to help eliminate the issues of vaginal dryness and painful sex.”…


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Everything You¹re Still Wondering About the IUD – Answered by an Ob-Gyn

We know you’ve heard all about the IUD. You probably know that the little intrauterine device, which is inserted inside the uterus, is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. You may also know that there are a variety of options out there, from the hormone-free Paraguard, which lasts for 10 years, to Mirena and Skyla, which secrete a synthetic version of progesterone and last for five and three years, respectively.

“The IUD is all the rage, particularly in younger women who haven’t had children yet,” says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., an ob-gyn in Westchester, New York, and the co-author of V Is for Vagina.

Even more, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is now recommending that ob-gyns suggest IUDs as the first line of contraception, says Dweck.

That being said, while IUDs are becoming an increasingly popular method of birth control, there are still a few things you may be wondering about‹and are maybe even a little too shy to ask your doc. Here, Dweck answers questions she commonly gets from patients about IUDs on a daily basis.

RELATED: Someone Live-Tweeted Her IUD Insertion and We Know You¹re Curious

“There’s this persistent myth that IUDs are only for women who have had children, but that’s not the case. In older times, some practitioners thought it was easier to insert IUDs in a parous uterus, or one that¹s had children,” says Dweck. “They thought the cervix and uterus would be more extended, but they didn¹t have the benefit of these very easy-to-insert IUDs.”

Being child-free doesn’t disqualify you from getting an IUD, but if your uterus is misshapen, has fibroids, or you¹ve had pelvic inflammatory disease recently, you should consider other birth control options. Same goes for if you¹re breastfeeding after delivering a baby. “In that case, you’d still be a candidate, but the risk of perforation is a little higher,” says Dweck. “My guess is lower estrogen due breastfeeding means the uterine surface may be a little more delicate.”

Good news: Your fertility returns to normal immediately after your IUD is removed. The only major exception is if your fertility was impaired before you got an IUD, that won¹t change for the better just because you get one. Another thing to keep in mind is age. “Most women¹s fertility drops naturally by age 35 and definitely by age 40, says Dweck. “If you get an IUD at 33 and have it removed five years later, your fertility will have naturally declined.”

RELATED: 9 Things You Need to Know About IUDs

“I get this question almost every day [from patients],” says Dweck. “You can absolutely use a tampon with an IUD. The IUD is inside your uterus, and there are the little threads that come out of the cervix slightly. A tampon is in your vagina.” A tampon and an IUD occupy two totally different spaces within your anatomy, so feel free to go for it. And no need to worry that when you¹re changing a tampon, you might yank the IUD out instead. “We typically trim the strings, so while they¹re palpable, they¹re not hanging down in an elongated way,” says Dweck. “It would be difficult to grab onto them and dislodge your IUD.”

There are a few different potential complications, although they’re all highly unlikely. “It’s very unusual for an IUD to become embedded into the wall of the uterus or to perforate the uterine wall,” says Dweck. If it does happen, your doctor may perform an ultrasound to see where the IUD is and figure out next steps. “I’ve only experienced extremely rare occasions when I had to take someone to the operating room to look for an IUD,” says Dweck.

One potential issue that¹s more common is the IUD strings curling up into the cervical canal so they¹re not visible to an ob-gyn. “That can make removal a little more challenging,” says Dweck. “Most of the time, we can still get it out without difficulty by searching for it with a small instrument, even though we can’t see it.”  There’s also a small chance your uterus will expel the IUD soon after it¹s placed, in which case you can just get it again and see if it sticks the second time around, says Dweck.

RELATED: This is the Birth Control Most Doctors Use

Removal is along the same procedural lines as insertion. The doctor puts in a speculum, then uses an instrument that can grab onto those fine threads, clamp down on them, and pull out the IUD, says Dweck. There may be a little cramping, but if you¹d like another IUD to replace that one, you can get it right away and walk out of the office knowing you’re protected for years to come.

Source:  Health Medicine Network – July 9, 2015

What Your Period Can Tell You About Your Health

period-healthYou may think the only thing your period can tell you is whether or not you’re pregnant—or if need to pop an ibuprofen because your cramps hurt like hell. But your menstrual cycle can actually clue you in to other health issues, too.

According to new research from the American Heart Association, women whose periods start at age 10 or younger—or 17 and older—have a higher risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and health complications related to high blood pressure. Women who experience their first menstrual cycle at 13, however, have the least risk of experiencing those conditions. Granted, that doesn’t mean that your period causes any of these problems—or that you’re doomed to experience them if you’re an early or late bloomer. But it’s still a good reminder that your flow can serve as an indication of other things going on in your bod.

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7 Places You Should Never, EVER Have Sex

places-never-have-sexWe all have a few fun locales on our “oh, I’ve got to have sex here” list.

The stairs, the back seat of the car, maybe even a public place or two. But, sorry to break it to you: Sex just shouldn’t happen in some places. And we don’t mean in an “ew, it’s creepy to get down in your parents’ bed” kind of way. Nope, in some places, sex can actually lead to UTIs, injuries, and little critters attached to your labia.

Check out these seven spots—and then erase them from your sexy-time wish lists.

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16 Ways to Make PMS Suck Less

pms_suck_lessFeel that familiar pain and rage coming on? It’s your uterus’ way of telling you that you’re going to be out of commission for the next week.

Pretty soon, even you won’t want to be around you.

But PMS isn’t going to win this time. You’re going to be a real person with goals and non-elastic waistbands and plans that occur outside of your apartment. You. Got. This. Here’s how to be a lot less miserable in the process…


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Why You Should Be Looking At Your Vagina On the Regular Basis…

vagina_look_regularWe spent a lot of time talking about vaginas this year—but you should be doing more than just talking about your nether-region. It’s also smart to take a good look at what you’re working with down there on a regular basis. “It’s empowering to educate yourself about your body and note any concerns,” says ob-gyn Alyssa Dweck, M.D., co-author of V is for Vagina. “And you may just prevent a bigger health problem in the future.”

Studying your lady-parts in a mirror can help you spot new moles, painful or bloody lesions, blisters or fissures, or thick discharge—all of which are reasons to book an appointment with your ob-gyn, stat. “In general, if something shows up that is not normal for you, always check in with your gynecologist,” says Dweck…

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Decoding Your Vaginal Discharge

decoding_vaginal_dischargeLike most women with other things going on in life, you probably don’t give your vaginal discharge much thought. As long as it looks and feels normal—that means clear or white and watery to slightly sticky, depending on where you are in your cycle—you have no reason to be concerned.

But when something in your undies looks or feels off, that sounds alarm bells. Maybe there’s a lot more of it than usual, the color is weird, or you’re hit with a whiff of an odor that you know can’t be good. Before you panic and buy out all the creams and sprays in your local drugstore’s lady bits aisle, read our discharge decoder…

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Is Your Gyno Giving You the Right Sexual Health Tests?

Is Your Gyno Giving You the Right Sexual Health Tests?You have a standing appointment with your gynecologist every year—for a pelvic exam, to discuss birth control issues, and to undergo tests.

Thing is, some of the testing guidelines have shifted in the last few years, and a lot of women (and some gynos too) missed the memo.

That’s scary, because not being screened for the right things at the proper intervals can have big repercussions. “Getting a Pap test, STD screening, and other diagnostics can prevent cancer and fertility issues and even save your life,” says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., an ob-gyn in Westchester, New York, and couthor of V Is for Vagina. Confused about the tests you need?

Here are the up-to-date guidelines…

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