Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are quite common in women. They are usually caused by E. coli bacteria that can travel up the urethra after urination or after sexual intercourse. However, it’s important to note that UTIs are not sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you suspect that you might have a UTI, you can visit a gynecologist near you in Arlington Heights for a proper diagnosis. After a gynecologic exam, your provider can recommend appropriate treatment options to reduce your risk of complications and improve your comfort level.
When you go to your appointment with the gynecology provider, be sure to inform him or her about all of the symptoms you’re experiencing and how severe they are. The main symptoms of a UTI are urinary symptoms. You may notice a feeling of pressure in your bladder. Even though you may feel as though you have to urinate, you may pass little to no urine. When you do urinate, you may experience pain or a burning sensation. Your urine may be unusually cloudy or foul-smelling. Some women may experience bright pink or red urine, which is an indicator that there is blood present. A UTI can also result in pelvic pain.
Gynecology providers have identified certain symptoms that are associated with infections of certain parts of the urinary tract. For example, women with infections of the urethra, known as urethritis, will typically experience burning and discharge with urination. Women with bladder infections, or cystitis, are more likely to experience pelvic pressure, bloody urine, frequent and painful urination, and discomfort of the lower abdomen. Occasionally, the bacteria that cause UTIs may enter into the kidneys, which is a condition known as acute pyelonephritis. If this occurs, women may experience symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. They may display a high fever with shaking and chills. Upper back and side pain is also common.
Promptly treating a UTI with help from a gynecology provider can reduce the risk of developing complications from it. In women who are pregnant, a UTI may increase the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight. When the infection affects the kidneys and it is not treated with antibiotics, women may develop permanent kidney damage. Chronic kidney disease can cause symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, sleep problems, and muscle cramps.
There are many types of birth control available to women, but most of them are temporary and rely on the use of hormones. If you’re looking for a non-hormonal, permanent type of birth control, consider talking to your doctor in Arlington Heights about family planning with Essure®. Essure® is a safe, effective alternative to tubal ligation for women who are positive that they do not wish to have children. It’s a nonsurgical procedure that hundreds of thousands of women have already undergone.
Before deciding whether Essure® is right for you, you can consult your doctor to learn more about it. You should be aware that this procedure is irreversible. This birth control procedure involves placing a small, flexible insert into each of the fallopian tubes. This causes a natural barrier to develop around the inserts, which prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg . Your doctor will need to review your medical history to make sure it’s safe for you to receive this type of birth control. Women who have a nickel allergy may have adverse reactions to the insert material. If you decide to go forward with the procedure, you’ll schedule an office appointment for a day not long after your period ends.
Essure® can be placed in the healthcare provider’s office, since it is a nonsurgical procedure. Your doctor will insert a hysteroscope into the vagina, through the cervix, and into the uterus. The hysteroscope allows your doctor to see the openings of the fallopian tubes. The Essure® inserts are then passed through the device and into the tubes. You may experience some mild discomfort or cramping during and after the procedure. Women often describe the side effects as being similar to what is normally experienced during menstruation.
The recovery period for Essure® placement is minimal. Most women can return home in about 45 minutes and they usually return to their normal activities within one to two days. Protection against pregnancy does not occur immediately with this procedure. It takes time for the scar tissue to form a natural barrier against sperm. You’ll return to the office in about three months and your doctor will use X-rays or ultrasound images to confirm whether you are protected from pregnancy. Some women may need a second confirmation test at the six-month mark.
When a successful pregnancy seems to be elusive, the holiday season can become difficult to bear. The increased focus on family and children can bring closer scrutiny on your own pregnancy difficulties. If you aren’t already receiving infertility care from an Ob/Gyn in Arlington Heights, consider booking an appointment. Infertility counseling and treatment can help you feel more empowered about the situation.
Let Yourself Say “No”
It can be difficult to turn down holiday invitations, but you may want to consider being selective about your plans this year. Consider attending get-togethers where children will not be the focus, such as office potlucks. Of course, you’ll likely be expected to socialize with your close family, but you might prefer to limit your contact with your extended family this year. Simply send a holiday card along with your regrets; no explanation is necessary.
Develop a Prepared Answer
Some women who are struggling to achieve a pregnancy aren’t quite sure how to answer questions like, “So when are you and Bill going to have kids?” To avoid being thrown off-guard, prepare your answer in advance. You might offer a humorous response that discourages further inquiries, such as “We’re just practicing right now,” or “We’re not quite sure how to do that yet.” It’s unlikely that the person inquiring about your pregnancy status will want to continue the conversation and he or she will likely get the hint that pregnancy is not a welcome discussion. After giving your response, you can safely change the topic.
Spend Time Helping Others
Even if you successfully navigate awkward social situations, you might find it hard to be alone with your own thoughts, especially if you’re dreaming of all of the cute baby toys you might like to buy. Take your mind off of parenthood for a while and find a volunteer opportunity in your community. Spend some time with the elderly at a nursing home or hospital, volunteer to drive cancer patients to treatments, or serve meals to those who are less fortunate. Helping others in need is a sure way to lift your own spirits and get your mind off that elusive pregnancy for a little while.
If you have decided that a midwife will be part of your birth plan, then you probably have many questions about when to expect from your first appointment. Midwives are commonly used in other countries during pregnancy, but their services have only recently begun to increase in popularity in the U.S. Now, many women are opting to use a midwife in Arlington Heights to help them through pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Your first midwife appointment should occur sometime in the first trimester of your pregnancy, preferably as soon as you know you are pregnant. Here is a look at what to expect during that first visit.
Your midwife will review your complete medical history during your first appointment, including your experiences during any past pregnancies. It is important to inform your midwife about all of your medical conditions and any medications you take. In some cases, some chronic conditions, like diabetes, can make your pregnancy high risk. If your midwife determines that you have a high-risk pregnancy, she may refer you back to an obstetrician for your care or have an obstetrician oversee your case closely. You may also need to stop or change the way you take certain medications. Having a complete picture of your health history helps your midwife make decisions about your care.
In most cases, your midwife will perform a physical exam during your first appointment, which may include a pelvic exam and even a Pap smear, depending on your needs. This exam will be the first of many that your midwife will perform to determine if your pregnancy is progressing as expected. As you advance in your pregnancy, your midwife may also listen to your baby’s heartbeat and use an ultrasound machine to watch your baby’s growth.
Midwives are advocates for women’s health and will often use your appointments to share information about caring for yourself during and after pregnancy. Your midwife will also explain all of your options for labor and delivery with you and help you choose a birth plan that is right for you. This education will continue after you deliver, when your midwife can advise you about things like birth control and breast feeding.
Menopause is a part of life for all women as they transition out of their childbearing years. During menopause, women stop ovulating and experience a significant drop in estrogen levels that can cause a wide range of symptoms. Fortunately, it is possible to manage your menopause symptoms in Arlington Heights with the help of your gynecologist.
Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 50, though the range varies significantly. During menopause, the hormonal changes can cause hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, night sweats, sleep disturbances, and loss of bone tissue. A gynecologist can help to manage these symptoms with hormone replacement therapy and advice for lifestyle changes that can keep uncomfortable symptoms in check.
For decades, women have turned to the trusted resource book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” for pregnancy guidance. Now, there’s an app for that. Before your next appointment with your midwife in Arlington Heights, take a minute to download the “ What to Expect: Pregnancy Tracker ” app. You’ll get personalized updates every day throughout your pregnancy about your baby’s development.
Of course, your midwife is your go-to source of trusted health information, but it never hurts to get more support from your smartphone. With this app, you’ll have instant access to practical tips and real stories from other parents. You’ll also get access to a supportive community of expectant moms. You can even join a birth group with other moms-to-be who expect to give birth during the same week as you.
Although there are dozens of birth control options available to women in Arlington Heights, over half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Birth control isn’t always foolproof and sometimes it simply isn’t available. Fortunately, pregnancy doesn’t occur immediately after sex. In fact, it may take as long as five days after sex for sperm to fertilize an egg and create a zygote. During this time, there is a window of opportunity to use birth control to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. This is known as emergency contraception.
Birth control that is used after sex is sometimes called the “morning after pill,” but this label is somewhat misleading. Emergency contraception is available both in pills and in medical devices, and it may be used at other times than just the morning after intercourse. There are different brands of emergency contraception pills (ECPs), which are available for purchase without a prescription for women who are at least 17 years of age. One particular brand may be purchased by women of all ages at drugstores without a prescription. These pills contain a hormone that blocks conception. Another type of emergency contraception is an intrauterine device (IUD), which must be placed in the uterus by a healthcare provider. IUDs are intended for women who desire a long-term method of birth control.
It’s important to carefully follow the dosage instructions. Some brands instruct women to take one pill, while others require two. Even if a pill can be taken within five days after unprotected sex, it is more effective when taken as soon as possible.
Birth control pills can sometimes cause temporary nausea. If you vomit within one hour after taking the pills, you should call your healthcare provider to ask if you need another dose. Despite some temporary side effects, emergency contraception is very safe and, when used as directed, it is effective.
Some women may be reluctant to use emergency contraception for fear that if they are already pregnant, the pills could harm the fetus. If emergency contraception is used after pregnancy has occurred, the pills have no effect on the fetus at all. There is no risk of birth defects and it is impossible for ECPs to induce pregnancy loss.
When you’re ready to stop using birth control and try to conceive a child, you may become frustrated if pregnancy doesn’t happen right away. However, it’s not uncommon for women and men to experience difficulties with conception. If you’ve been having unprotected sex for one year without achieving pregnancy, it’s time to talk to an obstetrics specialist in Arlington Heights. If you’re aged 35 or older, you can shorten that time period to six months.
In about one-third of cases, infertility occurs because of an issue with the female partner. Another one-third is attributable to problems with the male partner and the remaining cases involve a combination of female and male infertility issues . When you visit an obstetrics specialist to determine the underlying cause of your problem, it’s wise to encourage your partner to visit his doctor, too. In women, some of the common causes of infertility include anatomical dysfunction such as scar tissue and adhesions. Congenital defects, endometriosis, prior surgeries in the area, a history of ectopic pregnancy, or infections might be to blame for the problem. Infertility can also occur due to hormonal problems such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
In addition to performing a physical exam and recommending appropriate medical tests, the doctor will likely ask you about your lifestyle habits. It’s likely that you already know that it’s harmful to smoke or drink alcohol during pregnancy, but it’s also harmful to smoke or drink while trying to become pregnant. In women, this can interfere with ovulation, while men can experience problems with sperm count. It’s also advisable to avoid environmental toxins such as pesticides and to practice good stress management. If you’re overweight or underweight, your doctor might advise you to make dietary adjustments as needed, since both of these problems can affect fertility.
Lifestyle modifications can help, but many couples need medical treatment to achieve pregnancy. Your doctor can help you understand your options. Some women can successfully conceive with the help of fertility drugs, while others may need medical procedures such as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Osteoporosis is characterized by weak, brittle bones that are at a high risk of fracturing due to falls or even mild physical trauma like coughing. It’s often thought that osteoporosis is inevitable for women who are of menopause age . And indeed, the work of preventing osteoporosis should ideally begin well before a woman enters menopause. However, it’s never too late to begin improving the health of your bones, even if you’ve already begun to experience menopause symptoms. To get started, talk to your provider about having a healthy menopause in Arlington Heights.
Healthy nutrition is a cornerstone of osteoporosis prevention. For a well-balanced diet, women should choose a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products. A well-balanced diet can help women under 50 get 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day. Older women should aim for 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily for bone health. Vitamin D is also important for building strong bones. Women who are 70 or younger should get 600 units of vitamin D daily, while those who are older should get 800 units daily.
Regular physical activity is essential at every stage of life. Weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones as well as muscles. Some good examples of weight-bearing exercises include walking, stair climbing, jogging, tennis, dancing, yoga, and hiking. Strength training with weights or resistance bands is also a smart idea.
In addition to eating well and exercising regularly, you can make other healthy lifestyle choices to reduce your risk of osteoporosis. These include not smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption. Smoking is significant for bone health because it inhibits the ability of the bones to absorb calcium by interfering with the way the body uses vitamin D. Smoking also lowers a woman’s estrogen levels. At menopause, a woman’s estrogen levels have already begun declining considerably. Smoking will worsen this effect and further increase the risk of osteoporosis. Additionally, it’s widely recommended that women consume no more than one alcoholic beverage per day, if any. Consuming more alcohol than this may increase your risk of osteoporosis because it can act on the liver in a way that interferes with the activation of vitamin D. Alcohol can also affect the absorption of calcium.
Struggling to get pregnant can be an emotionally draining process. If you have been trying to conceive but have not gotten pregnant, see your OBGYN in Arlington Heights . Often, by identifying the cause of infertility, your doctor can help you find the right way to finally achieve a pregnancy.
There is a long list of things that can cause infertility, including hormonal imbalances, premature menopause, and scarring left by previous surgeries. In some cases, lifestyle factors such as poor diet and smoking can be to blame. Endometriosis, infections, and abnormalities of the uterus or fallopian tubes may also interfere with fertility.
When you visit your OBGYN, he or she will conduct an exam and perform tests to target the exact cause of your infertility. Armed with this information, you can develop a personalized fertility plan to treat the cause of your infertility or to begin fertility treatments. By taking control of your fertility, you can achieve your goal of starting the family you want.
- Northwest Professional OB/GYN
- Dr. Karen L. Collins
- Birth Control
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- Women's Health
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- Annual Woman Exam
- Infertility Treatments
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- Dr. Richard Levy
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- Dr. Chris Butler