Are we Better off than our Mothers?

Is the newest generation better off than their mothers? The women of the baby-boom generation saw significant progress in economic equality and health in comparison with their mothers. Studies show this trend has started to reverse slightly for young millennial women.

There is a higher incarceration rate for American women under 35, than there was in the previous generation. Today, more young women live in poverty, commit suicide or die from pregnancy-related causes. There is also a slight decrease in the likelihood of young women holding high-paying jobs.

Threats to women’s lives appear to be on the rise. The maternal mortality rate for Millennial women has more than doubled since the baby-boom generation. Sadly, the suicide rate for women has increased significantly since the previous generation. The current heroin epidemic has yielded a huge increase in drug overdoses in both men and women.

Fortunately, the news is not all bad: the teen birth rate dropped to an all time low this year. More and more young women ages 25 to 29 are graduating with at least a bachelor’s degree. This doesn’t remedy the equal pay for equal work struggle that has plagued the nation but hopefully we are closing the gap.

As a nation, we need to reverse this trend and continue the previous trend of each generation of young women exceeding the previous generation in every way.

Most of us try to take good care of our skin. Likely you wash it twice a day and may even apply moisturizer on occasion. Keeping your skin clean and moisturized seems rather easy. It’s a whole different story when it comes to all of the other thousands of products you can put on your face. Seriously, the possibilities are endless…. sunscreen, serums, face oils, moisturizers, and more. How are we supposed to know what we are supposed to apply? And when? And does it even matter? And does it really work?

Some doctors say skincare in the morning is most important. Many even recommend layering agents, such as a moisturizer under your sunscreen. Most dermatologists will agree that sunscreen is the single most important skincare product that you will use.

Now for your nighttime regimen, doctors suggests serums and oils. These products are often too greasy for people to use in the morning. These products should be put at nighttime after thoroughly washing your face.

For questions or concerns regarding your skincare, place consult a dermatologist.

Garden State Gynecology

Birth Control Pills May be Helpful in Preventing Certain Cancers

There are many benefits to birth control pills, way beyond preventing pregnancy. New research shows that taking the birth control pill might have another benefit that we don’t think of as ofte as we should…… Protection against cancer.

The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published a newly released study showing that, taking birth control pills may help prevent certain forms of cancer. The University of Aberdeen followed 46,000 women over the course of up to 44 years. This has been the longest running study ever in regarding oral contraceptives.

Studies show that pill users were less likely to develop colorectal, endometrial, and ovarian cancers than those who had never taken the pill. Researchers discovered that one in three women taking the pill “during their reproductive years” were protected from developing ovarian and endometrial cancers, while one in five were protected from colorectal cancer.
Conducting such a long running study of 44 years allowed a true and accurate evaluation of women taking oral contraceptives and women that have never taken oral contraceptives.

Clearly the benefits of taking oral contraceptives last well beyond a woman’s reproductive years. However, as the American Cancer Society notes, taking birth control pills could also slightly increase risk for breast and cervical cancer. You should discuss with your provider the risks and benefits of any birth control that you are considering and decide together which method is best for you.

The future of Obama Care

What will happen to those insured through Obama Care policies?

Republicans support the repeal of the health care law.

This law ended a common industry practice of charging men less than women for policies purchased directly from an insurer. It made maternity and newborn care a required benefit for individual market health plans. Most importantly, it added a list of preventive services to be provided at no extra cost to women, including birth control and breast pumps used by nursing mothers. T

What will the Trump replacement for Obamacare look like?
President Donald Trump says he will soon unveil his proposal to replace Obamacare. Reports say Trump’s plan will offer lower premiums and higher benefits for all. Democrats and many others have concerns that this will cause a backslide of healthcare in general throughout the country. Most say women benefited much more from the 2010 law than men.

A Trump administration spokesman says speculation about components of an Obamacare replacement is premature.

Any and all changes are likely to affect the estimated 18 million people who buy policies directly from an insurer, a group in which women tend to outnumber men. Most people covered by employers have broader benefits and are less likely to be affected.

Obamacare critics argue that required benefits aren’t the only basis for judging the value of a policy. Strip away costly federal requirements, and premiums will come down, they maintain. Women as well as men would benefit from lower-cost options. Potentially the future health of many is at stake.

Zika Working it’s Way Through the United States

Zika is working its way  all around the United States. It’s spreading across Florida, and is before long expected to reach Texas, Louisiana and other Southern states and finally make it’s way to the eastern and western coast.

The virus spreads from a type of mosquito.  But while mosquitoes are a key menace when it comes to Zika there is way more to focus on. We also need to pay attention to sex: If we are going to stop the spread of this disease, we are going to need better access to Zika testing for anyone who is sexually active in any and all Zika zones.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends testing for pregnant women at risk of Zika transmission, people who exhibit symptoms of being infected with Zika, and people who have had sex with a partner who might have been exposed to the virus.
The CDC now states that men, women who are not pregnant and children who are not symptomatic do not need to be tested. That, however, is not the best way to manage Zika.
Zika testing isn’t being offered as an essential preventive health service to every American right now. Nor should it be, at least not yet. It would be a waste of medical resources to include a Zika test with every sexually transmitted disease panel, especially for people outside areas of active transmission.
Men and Zika.  Zika isn’t the only virus that can be found in semen for months after infection.  We known  that men can transmit HIV and HPV to a male or female partner.
If men can be carriers of Zika, why aren’t they being recommended for testing in active Zika zones, too? Despite the fact that Zika is  a public health crisis for the general population, pregnant women and their doctors are being asked to bear the burden of preventing its spread. And if we are going to prevent the outbreak from spreading further, shouldn’t testing and counseling be offered to anyone who might be at risk as part of a panel of tests for sexually transmitted infections?
Another issue with testing is that not all brands of tests are created equal, which makes it difficult for patients to know if they even have Zika. While some use a well-established technique, the same one used for a rapid HIV test, some on the EUA list use newer technologies. For those tests, only labs with the equipment manufactured by the company marketing the test can get accurate results. So, without a standard test being offered in Zika zones, combined with the fact that we know a person with Zika is able to infect another person for at least six months, we are creating a perfect storm for the spread to continue.
 Worldwide we need a  Zika policy for the current outbreak and for the long run. Zika virus infection isn’t always a mild illness that will go away on its own.

Abortion and Family Planning Access Decreases Poverty

Many women in the United States live in poverty and financial insecurity everyday.  One of the less talked about causes of this is inadequate access to abortion and family planning services.

Women’s access to family planning, contraceptives and safe, legal abortion services is vital not only to their individual health and human rights, but it also plays a large role in a women’s socioeconomic status.

If there are little to no family planning and/or abortion services available , or if a low-income woman can’t afford to pay for a procedure or to travel to reach a free service, then she must face the repercussions of an unplanned pregnancy. These include preventing women from furthering their education and careers, which will ultimately affect her future income.
In Northern Ireland  women have been prosecuted for having abortions when they lacked the funds to travel elsewhere in the country to legally terminate a pregnancy, clearly  this demonstrates that link between financial resources and restricted access to services are having serious and disturbing ramifications for women in the UK too.

 

Women are much more likely to be poor than men. The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) points out that one in seven women in the US, and four in every 10 single-parent families headed by a woman, live in poverty. More than 18 million people in total, with 45% of those classified as being in “extreme” poverty.

Increasing access across the county to safe legal abortion and family planning services can decrease the poverty rate in the United States.

 

 

 

Garden State Gynecology

Permanent Family Planning Options

Family planning and deciding the number children you will parent is a very personal decision.  This decision should be thought out well with your partner.  Although tubal ligation for women, and vasectomy for men can sometimes be reversed, the reversal surgery is more complicated than the original procedure and may or may not be successful. So if you’re considering sterilization, you should be sure and confident that this is the right decision for you.

Female sterilization works by preventing the passage of eggs through the Fallopian tubes. This procedure is called a tubal ligation.  This surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia, and the woman usually will not overnight in a hospital. A tubal ligation usually will  not cause any changes in a woman’s sexual desire, menstrual cycle, or breastfeeding ability. Tubal ligation involves all of the risks of surgery.  A full recovery is usually expected within 7-10 days at most.

Male sterilization is called a Vasectomy.  This works by preventing the passage of sperm through the vas deferens (tubes that carry sperm). This procedure is usually performed in an office setting using local anesthesia. A vasectomy usually does not cause any changes in a man’s sex drive or masculinity. Vasectomy is a very  quick procedure (less than 30 minutes), with very few risks. A full recovery is usually expected within 1-2 days.

There is also a vast difference in the cost of  permanent sterilization for men and women.  The cost for a  tubal ligation is $5,000-8,500 while the cost for a  vasectomy is $800-1,500.

Garden State Gynecology

Long Term Birth Control – IUD Growing in Popularity

If used correctly, the pill and condoms are very reliable birth control methods. Unfortunately, they are not always used correctly. Women often make mistakes when it comes to birth control, so more often doctors are recommending IUD’s as the most effective reversible birth control method because they are effortless.

The T-shaped implants are more reliable than other birth control methods because once inserted they require little to no follow-up care. There are multiple devices on the market that can be inserted from 3-10 years. The IUD has now become the most effective form of birth control for patient’s seeking long-term options.

A healthcare provider inserts the T-shaped rod into your uterus. Once it’s in, women have a less than 1% chance of getting pregnant for up to 10 years, without a second thought.

IUD’s are safe and effective for girls and women of all ages. Although costly, ranging from $ 600-$ 1200, consider they last up to 10 years.

All in all the IUD is a reliable, effortless, affordable long-term reversible birth control option.

Garden State Gynecology

Is Spotting Between Periods Normal?

Bleeding or spotting between periods can occur for many reasons.

The cause is most likely benign; for many reasons including, hormonal fluctuations that occur at the very beginning of your reproductive life cycle.

But “spotting is never normal” .  It doesn’t necessarily mean that something bad is going on, but it’s not normal.” So if you have spotting, you should call  your physician to get it checked out.

Your  healthcare provider will consider your age and whether you’re pregnant, have been having unprotected sex, or recently started using a hormonal contraceptive method.

Skipping a pill or two may also cause spotting.

Spotting in the Early Years

Spotting can mean different things at early versus later stages of your reproductive cycle.

When you first start having your period, it may be quite irregular for months or even years. This is because your brain, ovaries, and uterus are still working on getting in sync.

Once you become sexually active, spotting after intercourse may be a red flag. This is especially true if you’re having unprotected sex or have just started having sex with a new partner.

Bleeding may also be a sign of a  sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, that should be treated promptly.

Much more rarely, post-sex spotting can even be a sign of cervical cancer. Your doctor can take a Pap smear, a sample of cells from your cervix — the opening of the uterus at the top of the vagina — to test for STIs and abnormal precancerous or cancerous cells.

Mid-cycle bleeding could also mean that you’re pregnant and could be miscarrying, although spotting during pregnancy doesn’t always mean the pregnancy will be lost. Ectopic pregnancy, in which a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus (usually within the fallopian tubes), can also cause bleeding, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Spotting may also be due to vaginal trauma. “The vagina and the cervix are very vascular [they have a lot blood vessels], so they bleed very easily.  A small scratch in the vagina will always bleed more than a scratch in in other areas.

Bleeding Between Periods in the Middle Years

Once you reach your thirties, the chance that spotting could indicate endometrial cancer, a type of cancer of the uterus, increases. Obesity also boosts your risk of endometrial cancer, even if you’re a younger woman.

Spotting “definitely becomes more worrisome after the age of 35, because it could be an early sign of endometrial cancer. Fibroids, and polyps are far more common than endometrial cancer. It’s probably one of those things, but unless you have it evaluated, you don’t know if you’re that one in 1,000 people who has the cancer.”

Fibroids are benign growths that can form in the uterus.  They are more likely to cause irregular bleeding if they grow into the uterine lining. Polyps, another type of benign growth, can also grow in the uterus or on the cervix and may cause bleeding. If required both fibroids and polyps can be surgically removed.

If your doctor suspects you may have endometrial cancer, he or she will take a sample of tissue from the endometrium so that the cells can be examined under a microscope. Other tests, such as an ultrasound, may be used to determine if bleeding is related to polyps or fibroids.

Menopause typically occurs when a woman has not menstruated for a full year — begins for most women during their fourth decade. As your ovaries begin winding down egg production, your period is likely to become irregular.

In Summary there are a multitude of reasons for spotting between periods.  They all require attention and diagnosis by your physician.

 

Garden State Gynecology

Preventing Cervical Cancer

Every year, approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Sadly, cervical cancer is the most preventable female cancer. January is National Cervical Health Awareness Month. It is an important time to get the word out about women’s health and important screenings.

Get screened, get screened, get screened — For many years years, the standard for women was to get a routine cervical screening. a pap test, once per year to help catch cervical cancer in its early stages. But the National Cancer Institute and the American College of Gynecologists have changed those recommendations. During your 20’s, a cervical screening should be done every three years. It is then recommended to get a screening every five years between the ages of 30 and 65.

Your individual screening recommendations may vary based on a number of different factors, such as age or prior health history. It is important to talk to to your doctor about how often you should be screened. Even though you may not need a cervical screening as often, it’s still important to schedule your yearly women’s exam to prevent and detect other issues.

Quit smoking — Women who smoke are more at risk than nonsmokers for getting cervical cancer. If you smoke, it’s highly recommended that you quit as it decreases your risks for many illnesses.

HPV vaccine — Another way to help lower your risk for cervical cancer is to ask your doctor if the HPV vaccine may be right for you. HPV (human papillomavirus) is a virus that may increase your risk for developing cervical cancer. Many cases of HPV are no cause for concern, but if you have HPV, your risk for cervical cancer goes up. The HPV vaccine helps protect you from HPV, thus decreasing your risk of cancer.

Schedule your annual examination today. The best prevention against any health-related issue is to schedule your annual women’s health visit. Garden State Gynecology has both male and female board certified obstetrician/gynecologist on staff. Call to schedule an appointment with any of our physicians at 973-525-1400.