Desert West Ob/Gyn
Desert West offers women of all ages the most up-to-date assessments and treatments, along with preventive and well-woman care.

A Patient's Guide to Hormone Replacement Therapy [INFOGRAPHIC]

During menopause, symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats can make life extremely uncomfortable. These common symptoms are triggered by a drop in hormone levels that occurs during menopause. The good news is that help is available from your gynecologist in the form of hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, restores your hormone balance to pre-menopause levels to alleviate your symptoms. In the longer term, HRT can also lessen the risk of health complications that can occur after menopause, such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Find out more about HRT in this infographic from Desert West OB/GYN. If you're interested in finding out if you're a good candidate for HRT, make an appointment with one of our gynecologists near Glendale for a consultation. Menopause symptoms can be uncomfortable and disruptive, so please help other women going through the same experience by sharing this useful information.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Exploring Treatments for Urinary Incontinence

Women who are suffering from urinary incontinence might think that this condition is a normal part of aging. While urinary incontinence is common—especially among older women—it is not a condition that you have to live with. There are many possible treatments for urinary incontinence, which you might discuss with your gynecologist.

This video talks about just a few of the possible causes and treatments for urinary incontinence, focusing primarily on lifestyle changes that can reduce the problem. For example, if you are overweight, a weight loss plan can help to relieve urinary incontinence. Relaxation exercises and improved control over the pelvic muscles may also be beneficial.

To explore all of the possible treatments for urinary incontinence, including the innovative solution of InTone biofeedback therapy, call Desert West OBGYN at (602) 978-1500 to schedule an appointment with us. We have four west and north valley offices serving communities including Arrowhead, Avondale, Goodyear and Surprise.

Common Triggers for Pelvic Pain

Regular pelvic pain is a common problem among adult women, but many women will never bring this symptom to the attention of their doctors. While pelvic pain can be embarrassing to discuss, it is important to bring it up during a visit to the gynecologist, since many of the causes of pelvic pain are treatable. There are a number of conditions that may be to blame for recurring pelvic pain, and some of the most common are described in further detail below.

Pain that increases during menstruation or sexual activity may be related to endometriosis, a condition affecting about 5 million women in the U.S. With endometriosis, the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, causing pain ranging from moderate to severe. Treatment may include hormonal therapy, pain medication, and, in some cases, minimally-invasive surgery.

Vulvodynia, or chronic vulvar pain, may be the cause of pain in the vulva, buttocks, and upper thighs. It is often worsened by sexual activity, though other activities like sitting for long periods or inserting a tampon may aggravate vulvodynia as well.

Pelvic congestion syndrome
With pelvic congestion syndrome, women will feel a dull, aching pain in the lower abdomen caused by pelvic varicose veins. The hormone progestin has been shown to reduce the size of varicose veins, and minimally invasive embolization procedures can provide relief if medication fails.

Pelvic floor tension myalgia
Pelvic floor tension myalgia is related to chronic muscle tension in the pelvic region. Childbirth is a common cause of this condition, since it can put significant strain on these muscles. Using activities like Kegel exercises are often most helpful for reducing spasms, though there are medications that can be used in treatment too.

If you have been struggling with ongoing pelvic pain, Desert West OBGYN can help you identify the cause and find the right solutions for relief. We provide care with treatments ranging from non-invasive therapies to hysterectomy and other surgical procedures with four Phoenix area offices to serve our patients. Call to schedule an appointment with one of our gynecologists at (602) 978-1500.

A Woman's Guide to Choosing the Right Birth Control

Which birth control is right?

There is no one "right" method of birth control, as every woman's needs and preferences are different. Women should consult a local gynecologist to discuss available birth control methods, since gynecologists can offer personalized recommendations based on your medical history and preferences. Keep reading to discover some of the options your gynecologist may discuss for your birth control.

Birth control pills are a popular type of contraceptive. They contain estrogen, which halts the production of eggs, and progestin, which inhibits the fertilization of eggs. While many women consider the pill to be convenient, it may not be the best choice for women who may forget to take it every day. Skipping dosages decreases the effectiveness. Additionally, women should discuss the possible side effects with a gynecologist before trying it.

The birth control injection may be ideal for women who might forget to take a pill every day. The injection delivers a dose of progestin to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It can also reduce menstrual bleeding. Women who choose this method will visit a gynecologist every three months to receive an injection. However, since it may take a while to become pregnant after ceasing use, the injection may not be best for women who wish to grow their families in the near future.

Much like the injection, the birth control implant releases progestin into the body. A gynecologist can insert the implant under the skin of the upper arm. This simple procedure takes just a few minutes and its effectiveness can last for up to three years. Women who choose to use the implant often do so because of its hassle-free nature. However, women should be aware that it may cause irregular bleeding for up to a year. Essure is a different type of implant placed non-surgically in the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy with over 99% effectiveness. This method is completely permanent, and the procedure only takes about 45 minutes with minimal downtime.

IUDs, or intrauterine devices are small, flexible T-shaped devices placed in the uterus to prevent sperm from fertilizing eggs. Some IUDs release progestin, while others contain copper and have a longer period of effectiveness—up to 12 years. There are more restrictions with IUDs than with other forms of birth control, so it is important to discuss all the pros and cons of this method with your gynecologist.

The gynecologists of Desert West OBGYN offer a full range of healthcare services for women, including birth control counseling, prenatal care, well woman exams, and many more. Our gynecologists and obstetricians are dedicated to providing compassionate, personalized care to every patient. Our OB-GYN offices in the Arrowhead, Estrella, Glendale, and Anthem areas may be reached at (602) 457-6459.

Dr. Tom named Phoenix Magazine Top Doc for 2015!

Congratulations to Judy Tom, MD FACOG, for being named a Phoenix Magazine Top Doc for 2015! Dr. Tom joined Desert West in 1996 and cares for patients at our Glendale and Arrowhead offices. She is a multi-year winner of this prestigious honor. Way to go, Dr. Tom!

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