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    A Patient's Guide to Ovarian Cancer

    Last updated 7 hours 54 minutes ago

    During National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month this past September, women across the country participated in events designed to raise awareness about key health issues. The awareness month was intended to encourage women to learn about their risk factors for ovarian cancer and enable its early detection by visiting gynecologists. Gynecologists play a critical role in the early detection of ovarian cancer by performing pelvic exams, during which they may detect abnormalities.

    Symptoms

    In its early stages, ovarian cancer does not often cause symptoms. This is another reason why regular exams at a gynecologist’s office are so important. As the disease progresses, women may experience abdominal or pelvic pain, frequent urination, frequent bloating, and weight loss. They may feel satiated more quickly than usual while eating and they may report constipation.

    Types

    Oncologists classify the type of ovarian cancer according to the cell from which it developed. Epithelial tumors develop in the layer of tissue on the outside of a woman’s ovaries. Most cases of ovarian cancer involve epithelial tumors. Stromal tumors develop in the hormone-producing cells and germ cell tumors develop in the egg-producing cells.

    Risk Factors

    Women can discuss their risk factors of ovarian cancer with their gynecologists. Ovarian cancer is more common among women who are 50 or older. This type of cancer may also occur more often among women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), those who have never been pregnant, and those who smoke.

    Diagnosis

    A pelvic exam is often the first step in diagnosing ovarian cancer. The gynecologist will examine the outer area of the genitals, and then feel the ovaries and uterus. Then, the gynecologist will insert a speculum to conduct a visual inspection of any potential abnormalities. Depending on the gynecologist’s findings, he or she may advise the patient to undergo tests, including blood tests and imaging scans.

    By undergoing regular pelvic exams, women can facilitate the early detection of ovarian cancer. The gynecologists of Desert West OBGYN provide well-woman exams, including pelvic exams and Pap tests, to women in Arrowhead, Glendale, Anthem, and the surrounding areas. Current and prospective patients can visit our website for more healthcare resources or call our Ob/Gyn offices at (602) 457-6459. 

    Highlighting the Importance of HPV Testing

    Last updated 7 days ago

    Worldwide, millions of people die from cancer each year. While not all cancers are preventable, taking certain precautions can help individuals reduce their risk. One type of cancer that may be preventable is cervical cancer, which is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Gynecologists strongly advise the use of HPV vaccines among girls and women before they become sexually active. It’s also advisable for women to undergo regular HPV testing.

    HPV testing can be performed along with a woman’s annual well-woman exam and Pap smear. The Pap test facilitates the detection of precancerous cell changes of the cervix. The HPV test enables gynecologists to check for the presence of the virus, which may cause these precancerous changes. Women can speak with their gynecologists to determine if HPV testing is right for them. It’s generally recommended for all women who are at least 30 years of age.

    Desert West OBGYN offers a full suite of gynecology services to women in Arrowhead, Peoria, Estrella, and the surrounding areas. Women who are interested in HPV testing may call our gynecology offices at (602) 457-6459.

    Understanding Gestational Diabetes

    Last updated 14 days ago

    During each prenatal care appointment, women are examined for signs of any potential problems. One pregnancy health issue that may arise is gestational diabetes. An OBGYN may diagnose gestational diabetes in women who have not been diagnosed with diabetes before, yet do experience high blood sugar while pregnant. However, help is available for the expectant mother to manage the condition properly and to protect the health of both mother and baby.

    Symptoms

    During National Diabetes Month this November, women might consider taking a few minutes to learn about the signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes. Those who suspect they may have a health issue are advised to contact an OBGYN promptly for an examination. Many women with gestational diabetes experience only mild symptoms, such as blurry vision, fatigue, increased thirst, and increased urination.

    Complications

    When a woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, her OBGYN is likely to classify her pregnancy as high risk. This does not automatically mean that she will experience problems with the pregnancy or that her child will have health issues. Rather, it means that the OBGYN will recommend more frequent prenatal checkups. With proper management of the condition, women can avoid the potential complications of gestational diabetes. These may include excessive birth weight of the child. A very large baby is more likely to require a C-section. Gestational diabetes may also lead to low blood sugar of the infant and preterm birth. Mothers may be at a higher risk of hypertension, preeclampsia, and type two diabetes later in life.

    Treatments

    A physician can help expectant mothers learn how to monitor their blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity is recommended to improve insulin sensitivity and manage blood sugar levels. In addition, women can receive guidance with regard to following a healthy diet that contributes to stable blood sugar levels. Sometimes, medication may be required.

    The obstetricians of Desert West OBGYN can help women learn how to have a safe, healthy pregnancy. Those who wish to explore our OBGYN services may call (602) 457-6459 or refer to our website. Our gynecologists and obstetricians are pleased to serve women throughout Arrowhead, Glendale, Estrella, and Phoenix.

    What Will Happen at Your First Prenatal Visit?

    Last updated 19 days ago

    Obstetricians generally recommend that women schedule their first prenatal visit by six to eight weeks of pregnancy. During the initial appointment, the OBGYN will thoroughly review the patient’s medical history, including her reproductive history. The OBGYN may ask questions pertaining to the patient’s last period, prior pregnancies, allergic reactions, medications, and prior surgeries.

    As the doctor in this video explains, an OBGYN will also conduct a physical exam. Women can expect a breast, abdominal, and pelvic exam during the visit. The physician may request laboratory tests, such as blood tests and HIV tests. An ultrasound will be performed to evaluate fetal development.

    Desert West OBGYN provides prenatal and postnatal care to women throughout Arrowhead, Estrella, and Glendale. Women may contact our gynecology offices at (602) 457-6459 to learn more about our OBGYN services.

    Dealing with Heavy Menstruation: Causes and Treatments

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Each woman experiences menstruation in a unique way. There is no set standard for “normal” menstruation. However, women who experience very heavy bleeding are advised to consult a local gynecologist. A gynecologist may diagnose women with menorrhagia, or very heavy menstrual bleeding. Gynecologists can also identify the underlying cause of menorrhagia and discuss treatment options.

    Causes

    There are many potential causes of heavy menstruation. Teenage girls, women who are approaching menopause, and women who use hormonal birth control may experience heavy menstruation. In these cases, it may be caused by changes in hormone levels. Other medications may also interfere with hormone levels. Gynecologists can help patients correct improper hormone levels. However, sometimes heavy menstruation can indicate a more serious problem. For example, it may be caused by uterine cancer, bleeding disorders, or infections. Other possible causes include uterine fibroids, endometrial polyps, and certain issues associated with pregnancy.

    Non-Invasive Treatments

    There are a variety of treatment options available to women who experience heavy menstruation. Gynecologists may recommend non-invasive treatments such as medication. Birth control pills or intrauterine devices (IUDs) may also help women suffering from heavy menstruation. Women might also try tranexamic acid, a non-hormonal drug.

    Minimally Invasive Treatments

    Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that is commonly used to treat menstrual problems. This procedure may involve the use of cryotherapy, heated fluids, or high-energy radiofrequencies to destroy the endometrium. The endometrium is the uterine lining. Destroying the lining reduces menstrual flow. However, women should be aware that endometrial ablation increases the risk of future pregnancies.

    Invasive Treatments

    When other treatments have failed, women may consider having a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy for menorrhagia involves the removal of the uterus and cervix. Sometimes, a hysterectomy may be performed as a minimally invasive procedure. However, not all women are candidates for this approach. Talk with your gynecologist to discuss the pros and cons of a hysterectomy to treat heavy menstruation.

    The gynecology team at Desert West OBGYN works closely with each patient to develop a personalized treatment plan. Along with other treatment options for heavy menstruation, our gynecologists can perform endometrial ablation. Our gynecology offices in Estrella, Anthem, Glendale, and Arrowhead may be reached at (602) 457-6459.

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