Everything You Need to Know about Fertility

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We get a lot of questions about fertility from our clients. Here are the answers to some of the most common queries.

When Am I Most Fertile?

On average, a woman’s menstrual cycle is 28 days. If we break that into 4 weeks, then ovulation will usually be around the fourteenth day following the first day of her period. When the ovaries release an egg around this time frame, there is a window of about 24 to 48 hours where the egg is ready for fertilization. Also, women in their early twenties are usually the most fertile.

Can I Do Anything to Boost My Fertility?

It is possible to track your own menstrual cycle to get a more accurate time frame for your personal fertility. This involves monitoring when you get your period and taking your temperature daily to determine when there is a small rise (ovulation). One of the best things a woman can do for her fertility is to be in good health. Maintaining a regular exercise regime and practicing good nutrition habits is very helpful.

When Should I Seek Help for Fertility Problems?

Generally, if you are in good health and younger than 35 years old, it’s normal to take up to 1 or 2 years to conceive naturally. If you are nearing age 40, or you have been trying for more than a year or two without success, then it may be time for a consultation.

What Can You Do To Prevent Breast Cancer?

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Breast cancer is a frightening diagnosis, but it’s one that more than 230,000 American women hear each year from their doctors. About 40,000 women die from this cancer annually. Chances are you know someone who has been affected by breast cancer either directly or indirectly. Even though genetics plays a large part in breast cancer, there are things you can do to help prevent breast cancer.

Lifestyle Changes

Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits. By choosing to limit your alcohol intake and increasing your physical activity, you will become a less likely candidate for breast cancer. Studies show that the more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk for developing breast cancer. Experts recommend drinking no more than one drink per day. Even consuming small amounts of alcohol increases your risk. Increasingly, evidence is starting to show that there is a link between smoking and breast cancer particularly in women who have already gone through menopause. If you become overweight or obese postmenopausal, your risk for developing breast cancer also increases.

Studies suggest that mothers can reduce their risk of a getting breast cancer by breastfeeding, and it appears that the longer a woman breastfeeds the lower her risk of developing breast cancer.

Annual Mammograms

One of the best tools in the fight against breast cancer is getting a yearly mammogram. Doctors recommend that starting at age 40, women should undergo yearly mammograms. If there is a history of breast cancer in your family, you may need to get annual mammograms earlier than age 40. Be vigilant about conducting self breast exams. If a lump is spotted during these exams, contact your OB/GYN as soon as possible. Earlier breast cancer diagnoses typically result in better outcomes.

When Should You Begin Visiting the Gynecologist?

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A girl’s first visit to the gynecologist can be nerve-wracking for both mother and daughter. No mother wants to admit her little girl is growing up, and a visit to the gynecologist will solidify this fact for her. However, it is important to establish regular visits with a gynecologist when a girl is in her teens. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that a girl see a gynecologist for the first time between the ages of 13 and 15. It is also recommended to visit a gynecologist if menstruation has begun or if she's sexually active.

At the first appointment, the gynecologist will do the following:

  • Ensure that your reproductive system is working properly
  • Help you avoid any problems in the future
  • Talk to you about contraceptive options or birth control if you are sexually active or thinking about becoming sexually active
  • Answer any questions you may have regarding your body, your menstruation cycle, and your reproductive system

Some other reasons, you should think about making an appointment with a gynecologist include:

  • If you have been menstruating for at least a year and your cycles are irregular
  • If your periods are heavy, painful, and last longer than a week
  • If have any type of pain that seems abnormal
  • If you think you may have an STD
  • If you are experiencing any type of unusual discharge or odor

 

Your Summer Pregnancy Survival Guide

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Being pregnant is a wonderful time, but it comes with more than its fair share of difficulties. This is especially true if you're pregnant during the heat of the summer. With your extra body weight and increased blood flow, you're already running a slightly higher internal temperature. The last thing you need is for the blazing sun to make you even hotter!

Here are our top tips for surviving the summer when you're pregnant.

Stay Hydrated

The amount of water you drink is directly related to the amount of amniotic fluid in your womb, so it's vital that you stay hydrated for your own health and for the health of your unborn baby. This is especially important in the summer, when the heat can make you sweat and cause you to lose fluids quickly. It's best to always keep a water bottle with you, and drink throughout the day to ensure that you're hydrated.

Use Sunscreen

Some pregnant women experience discoloration of the skin during pregnancy. This usually appears in brown patches on the arms, hands, and even the face. It is caused by hormones affecting your skin pigmentation, but the issue can be exacerbated by the sun, so use plenty of sunscreen when you go outside, and avoid the sun altogether when you can.

Stay Cool

Take what measures you can to stay cool during the summer. Getting overheated is easy when you're pregnant, and it's bad for your baby. So stay in the shade, soak in a pool, or just stay indoors on those extra hot days.

What Do I Actually Need for a Baby?

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Having a baby can be a very expensive proposition, especially if you have to purchase everything that people say you should have. Though there are a million and one things new moms think they may need, the number of absolutely essential items is limited. At John A. White M.D. Obstetrics and Gynecology, LLC, we have put together this list with some suggestions for alternatives and why you should have them. Read the rest of this entry »

Overlooked Early Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

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Pregnancy can be an exciting time in a woman's life. For prospective mothers, there are several early signs that are easily overlooked. Here a list of some common and not-so-common signs from the experts at the office of John A. White, M.D. Obstetrics and Gynecology, LLC. Read the rest of this entry »

Saving for a Baby

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What an exciting time of life! A new baby in the house will bring sweetness, cuddles, joy, and a whole new set of expenses. Diapers, wipes, clothing, car seats, a stroller, a crib, toys, and many more nursery items you probably never knew existed will need to be purchased and ready for your baby’s arrival. These costs don’t even include the money you’ll need to put away to pay medical bills, help cover costs as you take time off of work, and possibly be prepared to pay a nanny or daycare when you’re ready to return to your job.

It’s okay! We understand that it seems like a lot, but here are some tips to help you prepare financially for when your baby makes his or her entrance into the world.

  • Put away a little money each month into a savings account. Getting started on this before you get pregnant is best, but definitely do it as soon as you find out a baby is on the way.
  • When you do your regular shopping, buy a package of diapers and wipes or a set of infant clothes. Buying a little here and there lessens the burden of gathering everything all at once.
  • If you have friends or family offer you gently used baby items, put them in storage until you’re ready for them.

What to Pack for the Hospital

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When faced with a medical emergency, it’s easy to forget to pack the things you’ll want or need for a stay in the hospital. However, in many instances, like expecting a baby or staying for a surgery, you know that you’ll be staying a few days. Below are some vital items we recommend you pack when you know you’ll be in the hospital overnight.

Personal Care Items

Make sure to pack personal care products such as toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, deodorants, wash cloths and towels. Though some hospitals may supply some of these items, these are things you won’t want to be without.

Prescription Medications

We recommend you bring your prescription medications when you visit the hospital. Obviously, your doctor needs to know what prescription medication you take on a regular basis, and having the medication is handy for that reason, but also, because you may need to continue taking your medication while you’re in the hospital. Also, include any other health items you feel necessary to your well-being.

Insurance and Identification

Be sure to bring your insurance card and identification card, as it is critical to the work of the healthcare personnel; it’s also good for us to ensure that we are working with the right patient.  Like any other public service, you will be required to present this information upon your hospital visit.

Reading Materials

Visiting the hospital for an extended period of time can create a feeling of idleness and boredom. Bring a book or a magazine to read or an activity to stimulate your mind during your stay.

Clothing

Though you will be provided with a hospital gown, you may the option of wearing your personal clothing—we recommend comfortable clothing to make it easier for our staff members to perform their jobs efficiently. You’ll also want clean clothing you can wear home on departure day.

Everything You Need to Know About Starting Birth Control

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If you are like most people, starting birth control can be a bit burdensome. But arming yourself with the right information can make the process less stressful. Birth control is a process to prevent pregnancy and plan the timing of pregnancy. There are several important methods to help you start your birth control and prevent pregnancy.

Birth Control Pills

Most sexually active people usually take prescribed pills to protect themselves from becoming pregnant. These pills are prescribed by an authorized health care provider. However, it is important to know that taking pills has side-effects, consult your doctor. Make sure to ask the right questions when you visit your doctor to ensure whether taking birth control pills is the right method for you.

Abstinence

Abstinence means that you choose not to engage in any sexual activity that can possibly lead to pregnancy. In the simplest terms, abstinence prevents any activity which will avert sperm from contact with the cervix. It is also the safest way to protect yourself from contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

Condoms

Condoms are worn over the male genitals to prevent pregnancy. Often, using condoms in addition to birth control pills can offer additional protection. There are two kinds of condoms: latex and female condoms; using condoms helps, but does not provide 100% protection from STDs. During sexual activity, it is important to use lubricants to stop tearing due to friction

Hormone Birth Control

Hormone birth control is prescribed to prevent the release of eggs from the body. This form of birth control ensures that the sperm does not fertilize the egg.  This method is highly effective and prevents pregnancy.

Intrauterine Device (IUDs)

This is a small plastic device that a doctor inserts into the female. This form of birth control offers up to five years of pregnancy protection. The procedure is simple and quick, though a bit uncomfortable. The Copper T version of IUD (copper is a natural sperm killer), lasts for up to ten years.

Practicing abstinence and using contraceptives are some of the ways to maintain effective birth control. But before you begin, make sure you visit your doctor for a health assessment and to discuss what method of birth control is right for you.

4 Safe Pregnancy Exercises

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Expectant moms who exercise have increased energy, avoid unhealthy weight gain, and have a lower incidence of depression. With all of these benefits, it’s time to put on the Lycra and get to work. Here are 4 safe pregnancy exercises:

Walking

Walking is a great, low impact exercise to maintain cardiovascular health and fight against excessive weight gain. It’s also an inexpensive option as all it requires is a supportive pair of shoes and the road.

Yoga

Relaxation and breathing techniques learned in yoga can be applied during labor and delivery. Additional benefits include increased flexibility and limber joints. Use a DVD or attend a class specifically for pregnancy, as these will avoid overstretching or any poses that could put baby at risk.

Weight training

Lifting weights is an excellent way to prepare for all of the time that will be spent holding baby. Moms-to-be should skip the heavy weights and instead focus on high repetitions with light weights. Be sure to use slow, controlled movements, and do not do any lifting while lying on the back as the increased abdominal pressure can restrict blood flow to the heart.

Swimming

Perhaps the safest exercise for expectant mothers, swimming does not put any additional pressure on the joints or involve any risk of falling and causing injury to the baby. Try walking or running in the pool or aquatic Zumba to add variety to workouts.

Always speak with a doctor prior to beginning any exercise program. Discuss which options may be best and aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week.