Is Online a Safe Way to Obtain Birth Control?

These days so many services are available online. Everything from groceries and meal prep kits to goat rentals and professional potty trainers, you can pretty much order anything these days without ever having to leave the comforts of your own home. But what about birth control? Is it smart or even safe to tap into this latest online fad?

Who Are These People?

There are a handful of companies circling the web and probably even your primetime TV commercial slots advertising the ease and cost efficiency of obtaining birth control and other women’s health related pharmaceuticals through the internet. But who are the people behind these companies? While most of them do have at least a nurse practitioner on their staff, many are founded and run by people with no medical training or background. For many of these companies, the online screening will permit you to receive three months of birth control then report back to them a self-reported blood pressure to extend your prescription for the year. But what if you don’t get an accurate blood pressure reading on your own terms?

What’s the Trade-off For Convenience?

While innovation is great, we believe safety is paramount. Birth control requires a prescription for a reason. Not every person is an ideal candidate for hormones. This is why it is so important to establish and maintain a relationship with a qualified health care professional that you trust. Keeping with the blood pressure example, say you are not aware you have chronic elevated blood pressure. Did you know that for some people, taking birth control pills can increase your blood pressure? You potentially put yourself at risk of developing a blood clot that can lead to stroke if you take birth control in this scenario. Making sure to receive an annual physical and exam with a qualified, trained health care professional can help you avoid these potentially harmful situations. During an annual exam, the provider will not only check your blood pressure, but he/she will listen to your heart, feel for any possible abnormalities or masses, and thoroughly ensure you are healthy enough to be prescribed birth control.

Is it Worth It?

We all love the convenience that online services can provide, however convenience should not be a reason to forgo safety. If you or a blood-related family member have history of high blood pressure, clotting disorders, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), stroke, heart attack, or certain cancers; or if you are a smoker or could possibly be pregnant, you will want to ensure you see a trained medical professional before starting any hormonal contraception.

The highly trained and compassionate providers are North Atlanta Ob/Gyn are ready to help you determine which contraception is right for you. Call our office at 404.255.0621 to schedule your appointment today.

How To Prevent Alzheimer’s: Eat A Mediterranean-Style Diet

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition that evolves from mild confusion to personality changes and can ultimately affect the ability to move and communicate. In 2017, about 50 million people worldwide were living with dementia. Alzheimer’s is predicted to double every 20 years so that by 2050, the afflicted population will reach around 132 million.

Changes in the brain often occur years before any of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear. These early brain changes provide a possible window of opportunity to delay or prevent dementia symptoms. Scientists have been looking at many possible ways to do this, including lifestyle changes. Unlike some risk factors for Alzheimer’s that we can’t change, such as genetics and age, people can control lifestyle choices such as exercise, cognitive training, and diet.

An annual wellness exam can help you begin new healthy lifestyle choices—call (404) 255-0621 to schedule your appointment with us today.

The Mediterranean and MIND Diets and Alzheimer’s

Can a healthy diet help prevent dementia caused by Alzheimer’s? Many studies have suggested that what we eat affects our aging brain’s ability to think.

One diet that has shown promising results is the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, and other seafood. A new variation of this, called MIND (Mediterranean–DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), incorporates the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. The MIND diet has been found to lower high blood pressure, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

While scientists aren’t sure why the Mediterranean diet might help the brain, its proven effect on improving cardiovascular health can perhaps, in turn, reduce dementia risk. Also, the Mediterranean diet might increase specific nutrients that may protect the brain through anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Ingredients of the MIND Diet

The MIND diet includes plant-based foods linked to dementia prevention from 10 healthy food groups:

  • Leafy green vegetables, minimum 6 servings/week
  • Other vegetables, minimum 1 serving/day
  • Berries, minimum 2 servings/week
  • Whole grains, minimum 3 servings/day
  • Fish, 1 serving/week
  • Poultry, 2 servings/week
  • Beans, 3 servings/week
  • Nuts, 5 servings/week
  • Wine, 1 glass/day*
  • Olive oil

The MIND diet limits servings of red meat, sweets, cheese, butter/margarine, and fried/fast food.

*Be mindful about how much alcohol you drink. How the body handles alcohol changes with age. Learn more about alcohol and older adults.

Fish Keeps Your Thinking Strong

Eating fish may be the biggest factor influencing slower cognitive decline and higher cognitive function. To reduce the risk of cognitive decline and impairment, eat a Mediterranean-style diet that includes fish several times per week.

There are lots of variety of fish to choose from, including Atlantic mackerel, catfish, black sea bass, clams, crab, cod, crawfish, lobster, flounder, haddock, salmon, tilapia, sardines, scallops, shrimp, trout, skate, sole, squid, and canned tuna. Just be careful about the fish that may have high mercury levels, such as bigeye tuna and swordfish; these fish should only be eaten occasionally.

The FDA has a guide to help you know the best fish to eat if you’re looking for more helpful dietary information.

North Atlanta Ob/Gyn

At North Atlanta OB/GYN, we strive to give all our patients the utmost care and comfort. Our nurse practitioners and doctors are committed to providing the latest techniques and technologies for women’s healthcare—learn more about us here.

Scheduling an annual wellness exam can jumpstart a new healthier lifestyle. Visit our clinic today, call us at (404) 255-0621.

During COVID-19, Your Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Questions Answered

Is it safe for pregnant women to deliver at North Atlanta Ob/Gyn?

Yes, we have taken many cautionary steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure for our pregnant patients—including restricting visitors, requiring everyone to wear a mask (staff and patients), limiting the number of people in our waiting areas, and thoroughly disinfecting exam rooms between patients. We follow the updated CDC guidelines for healthcare facilities.

Are there restrictions on visiting the mother and new baby?

Each of our Labor & Delivery patients may have one support person of the mother’s choosing with them during their stay. No substitutions are allowed. Unfortunately, we cannot allow for any additional visitors at this time.

Are pregnant women more at risk? If so, what precautions should be taken?

We are aware that pregnant women are at a higher risk of infections since pregnancy suppresses their immune system. Moreover, some illnesses can impact the fetus’s health, but the known risks of COVID-19 are not yet entirely clear. So far, there has been no evidence of vertical transmission of COVID-19 from the mother to the baby, so it is believed that the risk is minimal.

We advise to take the same precautions as everyone else, including handwashing, not touching your nose or face, and maintaining social distancing with people outside of your household.

How much self-isolation should pregnant women practice?

Minimizing your risk of exposure is always a good safety measure. Consider designating someone else to run errands for you, such as grocery shopping for your family.

It is still essential that you attend your prenatal care visits. When leaving your home, we recommend wearing a mask and maintaining six feet from people who do not live with you. Always wash your hands thoroughly, especially after leaving the house. If you are feeling sick, feverish, have cough, unusual shortness of breath, muscles aches & chills, or recent decreased sense of smell or taste the few days or so before your appointment, please contact our office to determine if you should still be seen in person for your prenatal visit.

What precautions should new mothers take?

It is recommended to have no visitors in your home to minimize the risk of outside exposure. Moreover, there are many other ways to connect with friends and family who want to celebrate the arrival of your new baby. You could use FaceTime or join in a meeting forum like Zoom or Google Hangouts. If you’d like to learn more about recommended precautions, click here for the latest CDC pregnancy & breastfeeding guidelines.

Can pregnant women pass COVID-19 to their babies?

As far as we know, the consensus from cases in the United States and abroad have suggested there is no vertical transmission from a pregnant woman that has COVID-19 to the baby.

What are some ways to deal with stress while being pregnant?

Summertime is almost here. Take advantage of the warm, beautiful weather and go for a walk outside. You could also do prenatal yoga exercises while at home. If exercise is not your thing, use your extra time to enjoy a good book or connect with family and friends online.

If you’re experiencing more anxiety than usual, talk to your local provider—finding answers to your questions from a trusted and reliable source can help alleviate fear.

Is it ok to breastfeed? What if I start to develop COVID-19 symptoms while breastfeeding?

Yes, it is still ok to breastfeed. From what we know so far, COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through the breastmilk. We also recommend that you notify your provider if you have any symptoms. To schedule an appointment, call (404) 255-0621.

When should a pregnant woman contact her provider if she is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms?

Pregnancy is a high-risk category. Notify your provider immediately if you have fatigue, fever and/or cough, or difficulty breathing—get tested to find out if you have the virus as soon as possible.

In an effort to keep other patients safe from potential exposure, please do not come to the office if you think you may have COVID-19.

What about healthcare workers who are pregnant? What kind of precautions should they take?

Healthcare workers who are pregnant should take the same precautions as everyone else, including handwashing, not touching your nose or face, and practicing social distancing. Additionally, they should be wearing gloves and a surgical mask when interacting with patients. Lastly, they should not work outside of the home for the last two anticipated weeks of pregnancy.

What about COVID and sex? Is it ok? Should you do anything differently?

It’s ok to have sex with your partner or spouse that lives with you. It is recommended that you should avoid close contact, which includes sex or kissing, with anyone outside of your home. COVID-19 has not yet been found in semen or vaginal fluid, but it is spread by close contact.

What if I get pregnant right now?

We will likely see a lot of babies in 9 months, so you won’t be alone! If you get pregnant, we recommend avoiding contact with sick people and anyone who has been exposed to the virus.

We Care For Mother And Baby

If you have underlying conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, we would like to establish care with you soon so that any medications you are currently taking can be reviewed and/or updated.

Call (404) 255-0621 to speak with one of our nurses about your pregnancy and schedule your appointment with us.

National Women’s Health Week Was Made For Your Daily Health

Stay active. Eat healthy. And get enough sleep. Most important? Start today!

National Women’s Health Week was made to encourage all women to make healthy choices that are right for them — and this year marks the 20th anniversary of the event. It is a week that brings into focus the importance of preventive and positive health behaviors in your daily life.

Women have their own set of unique health issues, such as pregnancy and menopause. What’s more, some health issues can affect women differently. Examples include urinary tract problems and osteoarthritis—both of which tend to affect women more often than men.

Establishing a relationship with a medical professional is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Receiving a routine checkup at least once a year with a doctor you see regularly can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and an awareness of what your body needs. National Women’s Health Week is a reminder for all women and girls — especially during the outbreak of COVID-19 — to make their health a priority and take good care of themselves.

Read on to learn much more — including a look at how to improve your overall wellbeing — and discover five valuable women’s health tips along the way.

HEALTH & HAPPINESS: 5 STRATEGIES FOR WOMEN

  1. Schedule an annual wellness examAnnual checkups are an absolute must for helping you maintain good health. If you haven’t had a physical in quite a while, contact our office today and book an appointment. Yes, even if you are feeling great it is important to have things checked out at least once a year. An annual wellness exam at the gynecologist office will likely include an array of screening questions, review of medications, a physical exam to check for any abnormalities, possibly a Pap smear, and lab work if necessary.
  2. Get plenty of quality sleepDid you know that women are more likely than men to suffer from sleep ailments such as insomnia? Achieving enough quality sleep can feel like just that, an achievement. Establish a regular nighttime routine to help your brain prepare to get into sleep mode. Limit blue light exposure at least one hour before bedtime. Avoid stimulating beverages such as coffee or tea late in the day. These little adjustments can mean big changes in the quality of sleep you get each night.
  3. Think positive thoughts You would be surprised to know how much your mental state can play a role in your overall health and well-being. A recent study conducted over the course of eight years demonstrated that women with positive mindsets and attitudes were 30% less likely to die from serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke as compared to those women who tend to view the world through a less rosy lens. Keeping a gratitude journal, meditation, and surrounding yourself with other positive thinkers are a few ways you can improve your mindset.
  4. Examine your dietCheck your daily eating habits to make sure you’re getting the recommended amount of nutrients. It’s easy to slip into an unhealthy eating routine, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. A diet rich in vegetables ranging in colors, lower sugar fruits, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates can help your body maintain immune function and other normal bodily functions.
  5. Get movingExercise has a vast array of helpful benefits on your entire body – the list is practically endless! From improving mood, muscle tone, sex life, and immunity, exercise also reduce your risks of ailments such as osteoporosis and risk of dementia. Join your local gym, get outside, or utilize the internet to find a workout routine that you can stick to. Your body and mind will thank you.

Why National Women’s Health Week Is Important

Happiness starts with good health.

Healthy women tend to have more energy to get through the day and approach life with more optimism. They are less prone to stress and experience less anxiety. Use National Women’s Health Week as your reminder to take a deep breath and take time to care for yourself.

Good health is infectious.

When family and friends see how happy you are by living a healthier lifestyle, they’ll crave a piece of that happiness pie. Living and eating well encourages others that they can do it too. Your actions can help inspire your family and friends.

Kids need their moms.

For moms, living a healthier lifestyle and applying preventative measures means you’ll be around longer for your kids. Also, kids tend to adopt their parents’ habits; healthy moms are likely to have healthier kids. Be the example you wish for them to see.

North Atlanta Ob/Gyn Cares About Your Health

As one of the best obstetrics and gynecology practices, we provide the most current and reliable care by creating trusted and safe environments for women. Our doctors and nurse practitioners are committed to our patients and the surrounding community.

Visit our North Atlanta OB/GYN clinic today! We strive to give every patient the utmost care and comfort.
For more information, call us at (404) 255-0621 or request an appointment here.

Our New Telemedicine Solution

Enjoy virtual care with North Atlanta Ob/Gyn. In an effort to facilitate a safer environment for our patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now offering telemedicine appointments. From the comfort of home, a virtual telemedicine appointment helps you meet with your trusted provider.

Telemedicine makes it easy and convenient for you to stay healthy and engaged in your health care. We’ve found that patients love the convenience, flexibility, and real-time care with our providers via virtual appointments.

How does telemedicine work?

A safe and simple way to get the care you need. Telemedicine can be delivered using video-conferencing or audio communication using mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers.

Your virtual appointment is like an in-person visit.

We handle the appointment in a way that will make you feel the most comfortable.

What can be treated virtually?

Telehealth has been shown to overcome the common barriers to health services caused by access to transportation, fragmentation of care due to gaps in time between appointments, and lack of available providers. What’s more, virtual appointments can help you practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, you can begin setting up your virtual appointment.

Telemedicine is convenient and made to enjoy in comfort. It’s simple to get started, and we’re very excited to get our established patients onboard. Call our office at (404) 255-0621

to schedule your virtual appointment.

We will review your insurance and confirm that you’re an established patient. Once you have a scheduled appointment—we will contact you on the day to initiate the virtual session. You will need a mobile phone, tablet, or computer to conduct your appointment. 

What are the advantages of telemedicine?

First, patients seen virtually can benefit from more frequent assessments by our providers as barriers such as distance and transportation are not a problem.

Second, removing the physical presence of patients can facilitate a safer environment for you and our frontline staff during the pandemic. Likewise, patients who have respiratory symptoms can help mitigate the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus by avoiding emergency health departments or busy family practice offices.

Third, the quality of care you receive is not compromised by a virtual visit. Our patients who are seen by licensed physicians via virtual appointments have the benefit of a dedicated and uninterrupted session. A thorough history and evaluation can be conducted while high-definition video and audio ensure that communication between our physicians and patients is not compromised. Throughout the virtual appointment, the patient-physician relationship is well-respected.

Finally, our patients who have been quarantined at home because of COVID-19 can retain high-quality access to care via virtual visits.

Get real-time quality care from North Atlanta Ob/Gyn

We believe a strong patient-doctor relationship is the foundation for high-quality patient care and reducing health care costs. Telemedicine can support, not replace, traditional care delivery.

With telemedicine, our care providers can continue to care for a patient’s in-person care needs while providing the flexibility and convenience of virtual appointments for follow up visits, check-ups, and education when appropriate or necessary.

Understanding New Advantages From Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery has evolved from straight-stick instruments to instruments that can move in all directions with even more precision than the human hand. What’s more, new improvements such as these are simultaneously helping the movement to same-day discharge patients after their procedures. The future has never looked brighter.

Previously, straight-stick instruments could only move in up or down directions. In traditional laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon would use a camera alongside straight-stick instruments. Small incisions were made, the instruments went inside, and the surgeon would maneuver the tips of the limited instruments at the bedside.

Robotic surgery, a new and hugely successful advantage, allows surgeons to perform complex procedures with much better precision. The surgeon can operate these robotic instruments, much like a human hand. Moreover, the new cameras attached to these improved robotic instruments are equipped with three-dimensional visualization to provide the surgeon with more clarity than ever before.

Does The Robot Perform The Surgery?

The robot is not, in any way, acting independently. The surgeon has complete control over the robotic console — no movement is made without the surgeon. The robotic platform can be thought of as a stationary assistant, an assistant who holds the instruments and moves only by the guidance of the surgeon’s hands.

What Types Of Procedures Can Be Performed Robotically?

Many different procedures can be performed robotically, from simple hysterectomies to more complex pelvic surgery. For example, patients needing procedures for large uterine fibroids or very severe endometriosis, which can cause scarring and inflammation in the pelvis, can now enjoy less painful procedures and faster recovery time.

The Benefits Of A Robotic Procedure Versus An Open Procedure

When compared to traditional open surgery, there are many proven benefits to robotic surgery. For minimally invasive surgeries, patients will experience less blood loss, less hospitalization time, lower infection rates, and less pain overall.

Robotic procedures have been found to cut recovery time in half when compared to open approaches. For instance, recovery from a robotic hysterectomy generally takes 2–3 weeks. When in comparison, a traditional open hysterectomy takes 5–6 weeks to recover from.

The Future Is Bright

There is a movement within the medical field toward same-day discharge or releasing a patient from the hospital to recover at their home a few hours after their procedure. This has been studied extensively at major surgical and cancer centers with promising results. Same-day discharge has been found to be safe and satisfying. Patients can spend more recovery time with their families in the comfort of their homes versus the hospital.

Robotic procedures and movement toward same-day hospital discharges are allowing patients to get back to their regular routines much sooner. In the long-term, we also see much less formation of adhesions and scar tissue after minimally invasive surgeries when compared to traditional open procedures. Ultimately, these advancements in the medical field are exciting to follow as they aim to improve a patient’s care, comfort, and recovery significantly.

Did you know robotic surgery may be an option for you? Some physicians at North Atlanta OBGYN are highly skilled and trained in this method. Learn more here.

Should You Get An IUD?

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are one of the most effective forms of reversible birth control. They can last for several years, are relatively hassle-free once in place, and highly effective. IUDs are small, T-shaped devices that are inserted into the uterus and can be in place for 3 to 10 years, depending on the device. The IUD works by preventing fertilization; it does not abort a pregnancy. Should you wish to get pregnant, your provider can quickly remove the IUD during an office visit, and your cycle should return to normal shortly after. 

Types of IUDs

There are 2 main types of IUDs available, hormonal and non-hormonal:

Hormonal IUD

  • Plastic containing the hormone progestin (levonorgestrel)
  • Slowly releases small amounts of progestin (levonorgestrel) into the body over time
  • Lasts 3-5 years, varies depending on the one you choose
  • Effective immediately if inserted during your period otherwise it may take up to 7 days to become effective
  • Options include Mirena®, Skyla®, Kyleena®, and Liletta®

Non-hormonal IUD

  • Plastic wrapped with copper
  • Uses copper to trigger your own immune system to prevent pregnancy
  • Lasts up to 10 years and has no hormones
  • Effective immediately after placement
  • Options include Paragard®

Your North Atlanta OB/GYN provider can help you determine which IUD is the best option for you. Please schedule an appointment with our office today to learn more.

Benefits Include:

The IUD is excellent for women who have experienced side effects — such as mood changes, headaches, or breast tenderness — from other forms of contraception such as the patch, birth control pills, or injections.

Progesterone IUDs such as Skyla® and Kyleena® release a small amount of progesterone locally into the uterus. This means you’ll have much fewer hormones in your body; therefore, less hormonal side effects.

The Mirena® and Lilleta® — which have a bit more progesterone — can similarly reduce your menstrual cramping and decrease your menstrual flow. Some women may even stop having periods altogether, which can be a typical result.

The Paragard® copper IUD may be ideal for women who prefer to have their periods and do not desire or cannot use hormones.

It is important to remember that no IUD will protect you against sexually transmitted infections, or STIs.

Who should get an IUD?

The IUD is an excellent option for all women — including teenage women and women who have never been pregnant. Moreover, it does not lead to problems with getting pregnant in the future.

What’s more, it can also work well for women in the final 5 to 10 years before entering menopause. During menopause, periods often become more painful and cumbersome. Certain IUDs can ease the transition into menopause by decreasing menstrual flow and pain. Your provider at North Atlanta OB/GYN can help you decide which IUD option is best for you.

IUD Insertion

An IUD is inserted into the uterus at your OB/GYN’s office. Similar to your routine Pap smear, your provider will place your feet in the stirrups, then a speculum will be placed into the vagina, so the cervix becomes visible. Next, a narrow tube containing the IUD will be placed through the cervix and into the uterus. The provider will then push the IUD out of the tube and into place in the uterus. Thin strings attached to the base of the IUD will remain outside of the cervix for easy removal in the future.  

During the procedure, expect to have spotting and menstrual-like cramping. It is alright to take pain relief, such as ibuprofen, before and after your procedure for any cramping. You should be able to return to your normal activities later that day. Schedule an appointment with our North Atlanta OB/GYN offices today — we ensure a safe, reliable, and women’s health-focused environment.

IUD Removal

The IUD can be easily removed at your OB/GYN’s office at any time. A speculum will be inserted into the vagina to visualize the IUD strings. Using forceps to grab the strings, the provider will slowly pull the IUD out. Only in rare instances may the strings not be readily visible.

After the IUD is removed, you can try to get pregnant without delay.

Risks And Side Effects

The risks of using an IUD are extremely low. They include:

  • IUD expulsion (which may happen in the first few weeks after insertion)
  • Displacement outside of the uterus, which is very rare.
  • Increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID
  • Increased risk of ovarian cysts
  • While the progesterone IUD can decrease menstrual flow, it can also lead to irregular spotting or bleeding.

About North Atlanta OB/GYN

At North Atlanta OB/GYN, we strive to give every patient the utmost care and comfort. Our doctors and nurse practitioners are committed to our patients and the surrounding community. As one of the best obstetrics and gynecology practices, we provide the most current and reliable care by creating trusted and safe environments for women. Visit our North Atlanta OB/GYN clinic today — learn more about us here.

January Is Cervical Health Awareness Month

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. What is the cervix you ask? The cervix is the lower portion of the uterus. The cervix is two inches long, and is shaped like a tubular donut. Its main function is to widen during childbirth to allow for the passage of the baby. However, it also allows for the passage of menstrual fluid from the uterus, and for sperm to travel through to reach the uterus during conception.

The cervix is vulnerable to several health conditions, such as dysplasia, polyps, chronic inflammation, and cancer. Unfortunately, these cervical conditions rarely present symptoms in the early stages; therefore, a regular Pap smear from a gynecologist is vital.

What Is The Pap Smear Test?

Let’s talk about Pap smears. A Pap smear, or Pap test, is a screening procedure that checks for cervical cancer. Detecting cervical cancer early —with a Pap smear — gives you a much greater chance at a cure.

During a Pap smear, cells are very gently scraped from the opening of the cervix and examined under a microscope for abnormal growth. It may be slightly uncomfortable, but should not cause any long-term pain. A Pap smear test is done at your OB/GYN’s or doctor’s office — visit our North Atlanta OB/GYN clinic today to enjoy superior care to keep you healthy.

Why Do I Need This Test?

Getting a regular Pap test can be life-saving. It is recommended to start routine Pap smear tests at age 21. Starting at age 21, women should get Pap smears every 3 years. 

The goal of routine Pap smear testing is to diagnose cervical cancer in its early stages or to prevent any precancerous disease from progressing to cervical cancer.

How Often Do You Need A Pap Smear?

How often a Pap smear is needed is determined by various factors, including your age and risk of cervical cancer. Recommendations vary and should be individualized for each woman. In particular, if you have a compromised immune system, a history of precancerous, or cancerous lesions.

Age and Pap Smear Frequency

  • Less than 21 years old — None needed
  • 21-29 — Every 3 years
  • 30-65 —Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years is preferred; however, a Pap smear alone every 3 years is acceptable.
  • 65 and older — You may no longer need a Pap test; talk to your OB/GYN to help determine your needs

What Do My Pap Test Results Mean?

Your test results will either be normal or abnormal. If you get an abnormal Pap test result, this usually does not mean that you have cancer. In fact, it often means a minor cervical concern. Moreover, your test results may not mean you have a problem. Test results may vary depending on your health history, age, and the method used for the Pap test, among other factors. Ask your OB/GYN what your Pap test results mean for you.

Occasionally, a Pap test has a false-positive result. This means you don’t have a cervical problem, even though the test results show you do. Your OB/GYN or healthcare provider can do another Pap test to confirm the initial results. Or they may recommend other tests such as a colposcopy.

What Might Affect My Pap Test Results?

The ideal time to schedule a Pap smear test is 10 to 20 days after the first day of your last period. For the most accurate test results, avoid having sex or using tampons, vaginal creams, deodorant sprays and powders, douches, contraceptive foams, and jellies for 2 days before your exam. While a Pap smear can still be performed, it is recommended not to have the test while you’re menstruating.

What Other Tests Might I Have Along With This Test?

Your OB/GYN will likely administer a pelvic exam along with a Pap test. During the pelvic exam, your OB/GYN will exam the visual and physical female reproductive organs. Depending on your age, and some other factors, your tissue samples collected from the Pap smear can also be tested for the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Infection with some types of HPV may put you at risk for cervical cancer.

Pap smears are screening tests, which means that an abnormal pap smear doesn’t give a diagnosis of precancerous cells or cancerous cells. If you have an abnormal Pap test result, your OB/GYN or healthcare provider will most likely order other tests.

These may include:

  • The cervix and vagina are looked at with a microscope called a colposcope, which magnifies any abnormal areas.
  • Endocervical curettage. Cells are taken from the cervix’s opening with a spoon-shaped tool and then looked at under a microscope. This may be done during your colposcopy.
  • A small tissue sample is taken from the cervix and looked at under a microscope. This also may be done during the colposcopy.

An HPV Screening Can Easily Be Scheduled At The Same Time

HPV is a virus that can cause warts and increases the chance of cervical cancer. If you have HPV, you may have an increased risk of cervical cancer. It is recommended to continually get regular Pap smears based on your age, regardless of your sexual activity status. That is because the HPV virus can be dormant for years and then suddenly become active.

We strive to give every patient the utmost care and comfort. Our doctors and nurse practitioners are committed to our patients and the surrounding community. As one of the best obstetrics and gynecology practices, we provide the best possible care by creating trusted and safe environments for women. Visit our North Atlanta OB/GYN clinic today — learn more about us here.

Featured on the Jan/Feb 2020 Atlantan Magazine List of Leading Health & Beauty Experts

What do you get when you combine the warm welcome of your best girlfriend with a highly trained medical doctor? Keisa Anderson. Dr. Anderson always wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of women, so she decided to become an OB/GYN. After attending medical school at the Medical College of Georgia, she went on to complete her residency at Washington Hospital Center in Washington D.C. The Atlanta-native knew she wanted to return to her roots to care for the women of her beloved hometown and after a few years of practice, she joined North Atlanta OB/GYN. Helping women understand and admire their bodies throughout the various seasons of life is Dr. Anderson’s passion. She has helped countless women achieve their health goals through individualized care with nutrition, exercise, and more customized treatments like hormone optimization, BioTE, and MonaLisa Touch laser vaginal rejuvenation therapy. With more than 16 years of experience, Dr. Anderson still enjoys all aspects of women’s health. Whether she is guiding her patients to the right form of contraception, supporting a healthy pregnancy and labor experience, or providing relief from things like fibroids, abnormal periods, decreased libido, or menopause, you can always be certain of one thing, you are going to leave her office feeling like you just had coffee with your smartest girlfriend.

Taking Action On Prematurity Awareness Month

Taking Action On Prematurity Awareness Month

November is National Prematurity Awareness Month — let’s celebrate taking action. We’ve gathered some commonly known ways in which expectant mothers can avoid a premature birth event. As a women’s healthcare provider, we are proud to be a resource of health, wellness, and support.

Premature or preterm birth is often an unplanned event in a woman’s pregnancy. In 2018, it was recorded that about 1 in 10 babies are born preterm, or before completing the standard 37 to 40 weeks of pregnancy. Depending on the causes of delivery and how early a baby is born, it can also be an emergency. Several factors can put a pregnant woman at a higher risk of having premature labor and delivery.

Awareness of strategies to delay and prevent premature birth can help the mother have the most enjoyable pregnancy. Preparing in advance can help you proactively manage your time of pregnancy to be a good and positive experience. About 50% of the time, when a premature birth occurs, the cause or causes are unknown. However, some causes and signs of premature birth are commonly known.

Some Commonly Known Risk Factors:

1. Twins
One significant risk factor for premature labor and delivery is when a woman is pregnant with twins or multiple babies. Over recent years, the rate of twins and multiple babies has increased.  Fertility drugs and other assisted reproduction techniques are considered to be the main reason for an increase in twins, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, and more. Mothers of twins and multiple babies often go into premature labor spontaneously.

  • About half of all twin deliveries occur at 36 weeks or less.
  • Half of triplets deliver before 32 weeks or less.
  • Additionally when giving birth to multiple babies, early labor may need to be induced due to complications.

2. Infections
Another critical risk factor to be aware of is infections. Some types of infections that can result in premature births are as follows.

Untreated Urinary Infections:
Urinary infections can double the risk of premature birth. Your obstetrician will periodically be screening for urinary infections at the expectant mother’s medical visits. If a urinary infection is discovered, antibiotics may be prescribed for treatment.

Bacterial Vaginosis:
Bacterial vaginosis doubles the risk of premature birth. A light or heavy vaginal discharge that has a mild “fishy” smell can be one of the easily noticeable symptoms. This infection can also be treated with antibiotics.

3. Body Stresses
Other factors for premature labor and delivery include particular stress to your body from substances or physical demands. These risks include anemia, slow maternal weight gain, stressful work habits, smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs.

Some other risk factors for premature birth include prior multiple abortions, low pre-pregnancy weight, and being under 17 or over 40 years of age. Being aware of these risks can help you and your doctor determine whether you and your baby need special care to prevent premature labor.

If you at high risk due to these factors mentioned above, your physician can help take special precautions to ensure the best outcomes for you and your new baby.

A Few Tips For Prevention:

  1. Eat a nutritious and balanced diet. A nutritious, well-balanced diet is vital to the health of you and your baby.
  2. Try to minimize the stress in your life whenever possible. Deal with stress using relaxation techniques, nutrition, and rest. Exercise is also a good stress reliever if you are cleared to do so by your doctor. If you are clear, you should avoid heavy lifting. If your physician thinks you are at high risk for premature labor, they may suggest that you refrain from having sexual intercourse.
  3. Prevent infections as much as possible.
  4. Quit smoking before your pregnancy, or as early as you can during the pregnancy.
  5. Avoid drinking alcohol and using recreational drugs. This can be significant in improving the outcome of your pregnancy and the health of your new baby.
  6. Make sure to advise your health care provider of all medications that you are taking. Some medications can be harmful to your pregnancy and might need to be phased out beforehand.
  7. It’s essential to maintain a healthy body weight throughout your pregnancy. Your increase in weight may vary; make sure to discuss with your health care provider what is right for you. If you are under 17 years or over 35 years of age, carrying twins or multiple babies, your nutrition and optimal prenatal care is particularly important.

About North Atlanta OB/GYN

We strive to give every patient the utmost care and comfort. As one of the best obstetrics and gynecology practices, we provide the best possible care by creating trusted and safe environments for women.

Our team is made up of highly qualified board-certified physicians and nurse practitioners. We prioritize comfortable office settings, a well-trained staff, and sincere smiles. Dedicated to empowering our patients, we provide the best practices and newest technology to manage your health.

Our doctors and nurse practitioners are committed to our patients and the surrounding community. Visit our North Atlanta OBGYN clinic today to enjoy personal and superior women’s care to keep you healthy.