Patient Education

Eliana Bitar, MD, FACOG would like to be your partner in health care. Feel free to ask your questions and share your concerns with us. We will work with you to develop a wellness program for the care and treatment you need.

We welcome you to our practice and look forward to caring for you.

Eliana Bitar, MD, FACOG provides a full range of medical services including the following:


Braxton Hicks Contractions

As pregnancy nears its end, the cervix begins to dilate, and the muscles of the uterus begin contracting. However, at about 20 weeks of pregnancy, some women experience irregular contractions, known as Braxton Hicks contractions. Although not a sign of true labor, Braxton Hicks contractions, also referred to as "false labor," can continue throughout the pregnancy. Some women are unaware of them; others experience a tightening that starts at the top of the uterus and spreads down toward the pelvic area. The abdomen can also become very hard. Braxton Hicks contractions usually last about 15 to 30 seconds, and occur irregularly and infrequently, unlike real contractions, which occur often and become more frequent and intense. ...


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Abnormal Pap Smears

A Pap test, or Pap smear, is part of a woman's annual wellness exam. The Pap test involves extracting a small sample of cells from the cervix. These cells are examined, in a lab, for abnormal cell changes. The Pap test is used in diagnosing cervical cancer and human papilloma virus, or HPV. ...


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Breast-feeding

Breast-feeding (nursing) allows a new mother to feed her infant directly from her breasts. Ideally, an infant will nurse and get milk directly from the mother's nipple but, when that is not possible, milk can be expressed (pumped) from the breast and fed to the infant in a bottle. Breast-feeding provides an infant with essential vitamins, protein and fat, as well as antibodies that help the immune system fight off bacteria and viruses. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), if physically possible, women should exclusively breast-feed their infants for at least the first 6 months of life. ...


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Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Abnormal uterine bleeding is classified as any bleeding that occurs between regular menstrual periods. In some cases, abnormal uterine bleeding occurs after intercourse, or in women who are postmenopausal. Heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding that lasts for more than seven days is considered abnormal uterine bleeding. ...


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Breech Presentation

Toward the end of pregnancy, the fetus usually moves into a position where its head is near the birth canal. In a small percentage of cases, however, the fetus's head is at the top of the uterus and the buttocks are positioned near the birth canal, in what is called a breech presentation. Prior to delivery, manually shifting the fetus into proper position may be attempted. If the attempt is unsuccessful, a Cesarean section may be necessary. ...


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Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis is a condition that occurs when endometrial tissue, which normally lines the uterus, grows into the outer muscular walls of the uterus. This condition differs from endometriosis, in which the tissue grows outside of the uterus. Adenomyosis commonly occurs in women older than 30 who have had at least one full-term pregnancy. Symptoms of adenomyosis can include severe menstrual cramps, and heavy or prolonged menstrual periods. Adenomyosis usually does not occur after menopause. ...


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Cesarean Section

A Cesarean section, also referred to as a C-section, is surgery to deliver a baby. During a C-section, the baby is surgically removed through surgical incisions in the mother's abdomen and uterus. It may be planned by a physician ahead of time due to pregnancy complications, or may be necessary when unexpected problems arise during labor and/or delivery. ...


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Adolescent Gynecology

Gynecological exams are valuable to adolescents in many ways. It is important for young women to be assessed early, especially if they are sexually active, and to begin a relationship with a doctor that may guide them through many important milestones in their lives. The adolescent gynecologist provides wellness consultations for adolescents with a goal of establishing a bond of trust and confidence with each patient. Adolescent gynecology is a subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology. ...


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Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Chiropractic care is a safe, effective means of treatment of symptoms that often arise during pregnancy. A common complaint of pregnant women is back pain, and as many as 75 percent experience back pain during labor. Chiropractic care is a gentle way of ensuring musculoskeletal comfort and alignment as the patient's body changes to become more and more weight-bearing. Studies show that pregnant women who make use of chiropractic therapy achieve a high rate of symptom relief. ...


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AIDS

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the most advanced stage of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). People may become infected with HIV through sexual intercourse, sharing of hypodermic needles and from mother to child through child birth. HIV is spread through the transfer of bodily fluids including blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk. HIV targets the cells of the immune system and interferes with the body's ability to fight other infections or disease. ...


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Cord Blood

Cord blood is blood from a newborn baby that is found in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. The blood in the umbilical cord contains stem (blood-forming) cells that can be used to treat some diseases. These stem cells have the potential to grow into blood and immune system cells as well as many other types of cells, including bone marrow, neurons and heart tissue. The blood-forming stem cells found in cord blood make new blood cells to replace old ones in the body and are extremely beneficial in treating some very serious illnesses. Blood containing stem cells may be collected from an umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. The blood is frozen and stored at a cord blood bank for future use. ...


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Amenorrhea

Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation. Women typically do not menstruate before puberty, during pregnancy, and after menopause. However, if a woman does not menstruate when she normally should, it may be the symptom of a medical condition. While amenorrhea is a condition and not a disease, it can be worrisome for many women. This condition can usually be treated by identifying and treating the underlying cause. ...


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Doppler Ultrasound

A Doppler ultrasound (also known as a Doppler flow study) is a noninvasive diagnostic imaging test that utilizes sound waves to evaluate blood flow through major vessels. A Doppler ultrasound is often used during pregnancy to assess the health and overall development of the fetus.

In evaluating fetal growth and development, a Doppler ultrasound is used to measure the amount of blood flowing through the brain and heart of the fetus, as well as through the umbilical cord and placenta. A Doppler ultrasound may be recommended for a mother with health issues that include blood clots, kidney or liver disease, preeclampsia or sickle cell disease. ...


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Annual Gynecological Exam

The annual gynecological exam, also known as a gynecological well-visit, is a yearly preventative and diagnostic examination that serves to maintain the wellness of female patients, as well as to monitor any ongoing physical or hormonal conditions. This annual visit is an opportunity for doctors to counsel patients about maintaining healthy lifestyles and minimizing health risks. The examination includes a routine breast and pelvic exam, and may include a screening for sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. ...


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Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg grows in an abnormal place outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. An ectopic pregnancy most commonly begins in one of the fallopian tubes, but although rare, can also take place in the ovary, abdominal cavity or cervix. The fertilized egg is unable to survive if it is growing anywhere outside the uterus. Left untreated, an ectopic pregnancy can cause severe blood loss and life-threatening complications. ...


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Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is an infection of the vagina in which the body produces more harmful than beneficial bacteria. This imbalance of bacteria can lead to symptoms such as unusual vaginal discharge, itching, inflammation, or burning during urination. Bacterial vaginosis is a common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age, and is also common in pregnant women. ...


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Episiotomy

An episiotomy is a procedure that widens the vaginal opening during childbirth. During an episiotomy, an incision is made in the perineum, the area between the vaginal opening and the anus. An episiotomy may be performed if the fetus's head is too big for the vaginal opening; the fetus is in a breech position; the mother's urethra is beginning to tear; or the labor is stressful for the fetus and needs to be cut short. ...


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Barrier Birth Control

Birth control is any method of contraception used to prevent pregnancy. A woman has many birth control options; which are appropriate depend on her age, overall health and lifestyle. Birth control can be permanent or temporary. Some types of birth control are more effective than others, and it is up to each woman to decide which type is right for her. ...


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False Labor

As they enter their final weeks of pregnancy, many women have what they think are labor symptoms. These symptoms, however, are actually a sign of false labor, which is the result of the body's preparing itself for childbirth by dilating the cervix, and periodically contracting the muscles of the uterus. False labor is caused by these contractions, known as Braxton Hicks contractions. In most cases, these contractions subside when the mother changes position, or moves around. Resting or relaxing can also help them to stop. ...


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Bartholin's Cyst

The Bartholin's glands, which are located on opposite sides of the vaginal opening, secrete fluid that provides lubrication for the vagina. If the opening of one of the gland's becomes blocked, the lubricating fluid backs up into the gland, forming what is known as a Bartholin's cyst. The cyst can become infected, causing swelling, fever and pain during intercourse. Usually only one gland at a time becomes infected. ...


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Fetal Monitoring

Fetal monitoring involves checking the heart rate and other vital functions of the baby during labor and delivery. It is a useful tool to ensure that the fetal heart rate falls within the normal range of between 110 and 160 beats per minute. In cases where fetal monitoring shows an abnormal heart rate or rhythm it may indicate a lack of sufficient oxygen to the fetus or another potentially dangerous problem. ...


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Benign and Malignant Breast Cysts

Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs within the breasts. They may be malignant (cancerous ) or benign (noncancerous); may occur alone or in clusters in one or both breasts; and may be tiny and unnoticeable, or large and painful to the touch. Benign cysts occur in the breast's glands and, occasionally, connective tissue, whereas cancerous cysts form in the ducts or lobules. Benign breast cysts are quite common, occurring in about half of all women, most commonly when they are perimenopausal (between the ages of 40 and 50). Breast cysts can cause uncomfortable symptoms, and sometimes indicate the development of cancer. ...


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Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes (gestational diabetes mellitus) is a form of diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy. While the condition is estimated to affect nearly 20 percent of all pregnant women, gestational diabetes occurs in women who were not diabetic before they became pregnant and, in many cases, do not remain diabetic after they give birth. Only about half of the patients diagnosed with gestational diabetes have risk factors for the disorder. ...


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Bioidentical-Hormone-Replacement Therapy

Hormone-replacement therapy is a treatment for women going through menopause. Symptoms of menopause can vary from moderate to severe, and include a slowed metabolism, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, depression, memory loss, mood swings, weight gain and low libido. One way to treat the symptoms of menopause is to replace the hormones that a woman's body is no longer producing. Traditional hormone-replacement therapy uses synthetic hormones to treat the symptoms of menopause. Bioidentical-hormone-replacement therapy (BHRT) is an alternative treatment that uses hormones derived from plants. ...


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High-Risk-Pregnancy Management

Although any pregnancy has the potential of complications, one defined as "high risk" is more likely to have complications that potentially threaten the health of both the mother and fetus, so requires a greater level of attention and monitoring. A high-risk pregnancy increases a baby's chances for health and developmental problems at birth and beyond. ...


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Bladder Prolapse

Bladder prolapse, also known as cystocele, is a common condition in women that involves a stretching or weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder. Once this occurs, the bladder gradually sags into the vagina and may even protrude through its opening, causing urinary problems. Normally, in women, the bladder is held in position by supportive pelvic floor muscles and ligaments. When the muscles and tissues are stretched and weakened, the bladder can sag through the ligaments and into the vagina, resulting in bladder prolapse. ...


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Labor and Delivery

As her due date approaches, an expectant mother often looks for signs that her labor is starting. It is important for a woman to be aware of the changes that her body is going through as it prepares for labor, and what to expect when the labor process begins. If a woman suspects that she is in labor, she should contact her doctor or midwife immediately. ...


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Bloating

Bloating occurs when gas builds up inside the abdomen as digestion occurs. Bloating can result in discomfort, pain, a distended abdomen, or excessive gas (flatulence). In most instances, bloating is a benign symptom, easily preventable or treatable, but severe, persistent or chronic bloating may indicate a more serious digestive disturbance. When bloating is an ongoing symptom, or when it is accompanied by worsening heartburn, abdominal or chest pain, blood in the stool, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or weight loss, a physician should be immediately consulted. ...


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Lactation Consultation

Breastfeeding is a natural and healthy process that provides advantages to both baby and mother. Many new mothers have difficulty adjusting to breastfeeding, however, and may benefit from a lactation consultation. A lactation consultation can help the mother fully understand the breastfeeding process and troubleshoot any problems, pain or confusion she may have. ...


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Bone Mineral Density Test

A bone mineral density (BMD) test evaluates an individual's bone strength by measuring the density of calcium and other minerals in particular areas of bone. During normal aging, bones lose minerals and become thinner. If they become abnormally thin, however, the patient has a condition known as osteoporosis. ...


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Miscarriage

A miscarriage, sometimes called pregnancy loss, is the spontaneous loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy. Most miscarriages occur before the woman knows that she is pregnant. Miscarriage affects 20 percent of all pregnancies. Although common, miscarriage can be a heartbreaking event for expectant couples, often requiring a lengthy emotional recovery and concern about potential risks and causes of future miscarriages. ...


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BRACAnalysis® Testing

A BRACAnalysis® test is a simple blood test that assesses a woman's risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. "BRAC" stands for "Be Ready Against Cancer," and women at a high risk for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome (HBOC) are encouraged to undergo BRACAnalysis testing early and frequently. Doing so allows women who know they are at risk for hereditary breast or ovarian cancer to make informed decisions about their health before cancer has a chance to develop. Women who test positive for the gene mutation may be able to delay cancer's onset; detect it at an earlier, more treatable stage; or prevent it entirely. ...


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Molar Pregnancy

A molar pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg develops into a tumor that grows within the uterus. In a molar pregnancy, the egg is abnormally fertilized and contains an extra set of paternal chromosomes, but no chromosomes from the mother. As a result, instead of a healthy fetus developing, a tumor forms. Also referred to as a hydatidiform mole, this abnormal growth of tissue may result in a partial or complete molar pregnancy. With a partial molar pregnancy, there is abnormal fetal and placenta development, however the embryo is malformed and unable to survive. In a complete molar pregnancy, there is no fetal development, only abnormal placental tissue. ...


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BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 Gene Testing

While the specific cause of breast cancer is often unknown, a certain number of women may be genetically predisposed to developing this disease. Women with the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation carry an inherited risk of developing breast cancer. These gene mutations likely occur in women with: ...


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Morning Sickness

Morning sickness, characterized by nausea and vomiting, affects many women during the first few months of pregnancy. Despite its name, morning sickness can occur at any time of the day or night. Although many women suffer from morning sickness only in the early stages of pregnancy, some are affected throughout. Although its cause has not been established, morning sickness is believed to result from the increase in hormone levels during pregnancy. ...


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Breast Abscess

A breast abscess is a a painful mass on the breast. It presents as a pink to reddish swelling, warm or hot to the touch. Like other abscesses, it is filled with fluid and pus. Pus is a combination of bacteria, white blood cells the body sends to eradicate the bacteria, and dead tissue. The accumulation of these materials causes inflammation and pain. ...


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Multiple Pregnancy

A multiple pregnancy occurs when a woman is carrying at least two fetuses at once. A multiple pregnancy results when more than one egg is fertilized and each egg implants itself in the uterus, or when one egg is fertilized and divides into two or more embryos, producing multiple "identical" babies. Most multiple pregnancies result in the birth of twins. ...


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Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second-most-common cancer, and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths, among women. Most breast cancers are slow-growing, but there are types that are aggressive, which is why early detection is essential. Breast cancer is defined by the type of breast cells in which it begins, and is generally categorized as invasive or noninvasive. Breast cancer can also affect men, but it is 100 times more common in women. ...


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Nuchal Translucency Screening

Nuchal translucency screening is a diagnostic ultrasound imaging test designed to provide information about a fetus's health. It is used to measure the size of the clear space in the tissue at the back of the fetus's neck that is known as the nuchal translucency. Although every fetus has some fluid at the back of the neck, a fetus with certain chromosomal abnormalities tends to have a much larger amount. The increased amount of fluid causes the clear space to be measurably thicker. During nuchal translucency screening, the mother is given a blood test, which also helps to establish whether the fetus has a chromosome disorder. ...


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Breast Exams

Breast exams are physical and visual inspections of the breasts. They are an important part of an OBGYN checkup because breast exams can help identify any unusual lumps or suspicious growths around the breasts. In addition, a doctor can teach a patient how to perform these exams at home every month in order to recognize any changes on their own breasts. Breast exams can be a very useful tool for the early diagnosis of breast cancer. ...


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Obstetric Consultation

An obstetric consultation is an opportunity for a woman to meet with a doctor to discuss the details of her pregnancy. Regular visits with a doctor throughout a pregnancy are recommended, because they allow for professional monitoring of the woman's and baby's health. These consultations also provide time for the woman and doctor to develop a trusting relationship, and discuss any possible health issues that may affect her and her baby. ...


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Breast Self-Exam

Breast cancer affects a significant number of women each year. Most breast cancers are slow-growing, but there are types that are aggressive, which is why early detection is essential. Regular screenings are the best way to detect breast cancer in its early stages. The most common recommended screenings are mammograms and doctor-performed clinical breast exams. ...


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Obstetrical Sonogram

An obstetrical sonogram is a routine procedure performed throughout a pregnancy to evaluate the health and development of the fetus through the use of ultrasound. These images show the movement of the fetus and its heartbeat through real time images. The sounds of blood flowing through the heart and umbilical cord can also be heard during an obstetrical sonogram. ...


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Cancer Screening and Prevention

Gynecological cancer includes cancer of the cervix, uterus, ovaries, vagina and breast. While these diseases often cannot be prevented, early detection is essential in receiving successful treatment. Regular screenings are important for patients of any age. While certain people may be at a higher risk than others, undergoing screenings for gynecological cancer helps ensure proper treatment in the event of a diagnosis. ...


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Obstetrical Ultrasound

Obstetrical ultrasound is a safe, noninvasive procedure that uses sound waves to create images of the fetus, placenta and amniotic fluid. These images can be viewed in real time on a computer monitor by both patient and doctor. These are the first images parents are able to see of their unborn child. ...


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Cervical Biopsy

A cervical biopsy is a diagnostic procedure that examines and removes tissue samples from the cervix after potential abnormalities are detected during a routine pelvic exam. The procedure involves the placement of a microscope, known as a colposcope, at the opening of the vagina to magnify the area for closer inspection of the abnormal area. Your doctor may remove one or more tissue samples for further examination. ...


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Obstetrical Ultrasound FAQs

An obstetrical ultrasound is a routine procedure performed during pregnancy to evaluate the health and development of the fetus. The ultrasound shows the movement of the fetus and its heartbeat with real-time images. The sounds of blood flowing through the fetal heart and umbilical cord can also be heard during this procedure. ...


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Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers to affect women. It develops in the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that forms the canal that opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer is often caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is passed from person to person through genital contact, usually during vaginal or anal sex. Most women infected with HPV will not get cervical cancer, and treatment is usually successful when the disease is discovered in its early stages. ...


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Placenta Previa

Placenta previa occurs during pregnancy when the placenta partially or fully covers the opening of the cervix. In a normal pregnancy, the placenta is located at the top or side of the uterus; with placenta previa, however, the placenta is located low in the uterus, blocking the fetus's access to the birth canal. Placenta previa can cause sudden vaginal bleeding, which can range from light to heavy, and be continuous or intermittent. The bleeding may or may not be accompanied by uterine cramping. Placenta previa can also cause complications during delivery, and requires treatment by a physician. ...


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Cervical Cone Biopsy

If a patient receives an abnormal result from a Pap smear, further testing is usually done to determine whether there are any cancerous or precancerous cells present within the cervix. A cervical cone biopsy is often performed to gather additional information. It involves the removal of a cone-shaped segment of tissue from the cervix. ...


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Placental Abruption

Placental abruption occurs when the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus prior to birth. The placenta, which provides nourishment to the baby in the womb, may separate partially or completely. This is a serious condition that may occur during pregnancy and can pose complications for the unborn baby. Placental abruption may cause bleeding in the mother and deprive the baby of oxygen and nutrients. Left untreated, placental abruption may be dangerous to both the mother and baby. ...


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Cervical Dysplasia

Cervical dysplasia is the abnormal growth of cells on the surface lining of the cervix, which is located at the lower part of the uterus and opens into the vagina. Cervical dysplasia is more common in sexually active women between the ages of 25 and 35, however it can occur at any age in sexually active women. Cervical dysplasia is often caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common viral infection transmitted by sexual contact. Cervical dysplasia usually has no noticeable symptoms, and often remains unnoticed until it is discovered during a gynecological examination. ...


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Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a common condition that affects an estimated 10 percent of new mothers, causing symptoms of sadness and anxiety during this new and often overwhelming experience. This condition often develops as a result of the physical, emotional, hormonal and life changes that take place after childbirth and as a woman adjusts to motherhood. ...


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Cervicitis

Cervicitis is an inflammation of the cervix, the thin end of the uterus that opens into the vagina. The cervix may become inflamed as a result of a sexually transmitted infection, another bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection, or an allergic reaction. Cervicitis is extremely common, affecting approximately half of all women during their lifetimes. ...


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Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia, previously known as toxemia, is the sudden increase in blood pressure of a pregnant woman. If this condition occurs it is usually by the 20th week of pregnancy, resulting in hypertension and, usually, elevated protein levels in the urine. Preeclampsia, if left untreated, can result in serious complications for both mother and fetus. Eclampsia is a more severe form of preeclampsia. ...


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Chancroid

Chancroid is a sexually transmitted disease, or STD, caused by a bacterial infection. A chancroid is characterized by painful, irregularly shaped sores that develop in the genital area. Chancroid is prevalent in developing nations and under-developed parts of the world. There are less than a hundred reported cases diagnosed in the United States each year. Most of the people diagnosed with chancroid are men who have traveled outside of the United States to areas where the disease is prevalent. ...


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Pregnancy Testing

Pregnancy testing is performed to determine whether or not a woman has a fertilized embryo in her uterus. A pregnancy test detects the presence of the hormone human chorionic gonadoptropin (hCG) in the body. This hormone is usually only produced when an egg has successfully been fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall. Levels of hCG rise quickly and within a matter of days after a woman becomes pregnant. There are two types of pregnancy tests that are commonly performed; one uses a sample of urine, and the other, a sample of blood. Both tests measure the levels of hCG in a woman's body. ...


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Clitorodynia

Volvodynia is a condition that involves chronic pain and discomfort of the vulva and vaginal area. Clitorodynia is a form of vulvodynia in which the pain is concentrated in and around the clitoris.  The area may feel sore and uncomfortable much of the time or may be intensified while exercising, wearing tight clothing or having sexual intercourse.  In some patients, sitting for long periods of time and dealing with stress can worsen the symptoms. ...


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Premature Labor & Delivery

While a pregnancy usually lasts for 40 weeks, women may go into labor earlier, from a few weeks to a few months before the expected due date. Premature labor is classified as labor that occurs between the 20th and 37th weeks of pregnancy. But as an increased number of women are experiencing premature labor and delivery, care for babies born prematurely is improving, and many are able to survive with little to no complications. ...


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Colposcopy

Colposcopy is a diagnostic procedure used to examine, under magnifcation, certain areas of the body and determine abnormalities. A vulvar colposcopy typically examines lesions on the vulva and is used to identify cancer or genital human papillomavirus, also called HPV.

The procedure is done with a colposcope, a microscope that can help identify malignant lesions on the vulva. It is usually performed as a follow-up to an abnormal pap smear. The exam itself is similar to a pap smear in that a speculum is inserted into the vagina so that the cervix is visible. The colposcope is situated so that the physician may view the area in question with a magnification of 10 to 40 times its normal size. If any abnormal cells are noticed, a biopsy of the tissue may be done. ...


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Premature Rupture of Membranes

Amniotic fluid, which is contained in the amniotic sac, surrounds the fetus. In some cases, the membranes of the amniotic sac rupture or break before a woman goes into labor; this is known as premature rupture of membranes (PROM), and also as early water-breaking. During PROM, a woman can feel anywhere from a small trickle to a heavy flow of liquid from the vagina. Most women go into labor within 24 hours of PROM. The longer it takes for labor to begin after the membranes rupture, the greater the risk of infection for the mother and fetus. ...


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Condoms

A condom is a barrier method of contraception that prevents male sperm from entering a woman's vagina. Condoms for both men and women are available without a prescription, although the male condom is much more popular. In addition to preventing pregnancy, condoms are an effective way to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). ...


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Prenatal Consultation

A prenatal consultation serves as an opportunity to meet with the doctor to discuss the details of pregnancy. Regular doctor's visits are recommended and will allow for professional monitoring of the mother and baby's health. These visits also provide time to develop a trusting relationship and discuss any potential complications that may affect the patient and her baby. ...


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Condyloma

Condyloma, otherwise known as genital warts, is a common type of sexually transmitted disease, or STD, that causes small bumps to appear in the genital area in those affected with this condition. After sexual contact with an infected partner, patients can develop this type of human papilloma virus, or HPV, within three months of contact, although it may take years after contact for some cases to develop. ...


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Prenatal Nutrition

A balanced diet is essential to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. It can prevent excessive weight gain, and keep gestational diabetes and high blood pressure (preeclampsia) from developing. Every expectant mother can benefit from following a diet that provides her with sufficient nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and her baby will benefit as well. ...


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Contraception

Contraception is any method of birth control used to prevent pregnancy. A woman has many birth control options; which are appropriate depend on her age, overall health and lifestyle. Contraception can be permanent or temporary. Some types of contraception are more effective than others, and it is up to each woman to decide which type is right for her. ...


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Prenatal Testing

Prenatal testing is an important part of prenatal care, essential in ensuring the healthy growth and development of the fetus. Women who receive prenatal care have healthier babies, are less likely to deliver prematurely, and have fewer pregnancy-related problems. Prenatal care should begin as early as possible in the pregnancy. Doctor visits are usually monthly, and become more frequent as the pregnancy progresses. Routine tests at these visits include urine testing and blood-pressure checks. In addition, there are several prenatal tests performed only at specific times during the pregnancy. They are administered to monitor the health of the fetus and, in some cases, the mother. ...


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Contraceptive Skin Patch

A contraceptive skin patch is a hormonal method of birth control. A small adhesive patch is worn on the skin; it releases hormones that are absorbed by the body. The hormones released are estrogen and progestin, which prevent a woman's body from ovulating (releasing an egg). In addition, progestin causes the mucus within the cervix to thicken, making it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg. The contraceptive skin patch is a convenient form of birth control because, unlike oral contraceptives, which have to be taken daily, the patch is used for a week at a time. ...


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Preterm Labor

Preterm (premature) labor is a condition that occurs when a woman's body starts preparing itself to give birth too early in a pregnancy. Normal pregnancies typically last 40 weeks. In cases of preterm labor, however, a woman begins experiencing regular contractions that prepare the cervix for labor between the 20th and 37th weeks of pregnancy. ...


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Cosmetic Gynecology

Cosmetic gynecology is a growing field of treatment that focuses on both improving the function of the female genital area as well as enhancing its appearance. There are a number of different techniques used, depending on the particular concern of the patient. There are options available so that there is no reason to be uncomfortable or embarrassed about the way your genitals look or function. ...


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Stillbirth

When a fetal death occurs past the 20th week of pregnancy, it is referred to as a stillbirth. A stillbirth is often the result of natural causes, and usually happens prior to labor. An expectant mother may suspect that something is wrong when there is an absence of movement in the womb. Confirmation of a stillbirth can be made using an ultrasound examination, which can show that the fetus's heart has stopped beating. A small percentage of stillbirths occur during labor and delivery. Whenever they occur, stillbirths can be devastating for parents. ...


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Cystitis

Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder typically caused by a bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI). This disorder most often occurs in women because their anatomy includes a short urethra in close proximity to the anus. Bacteria found can too easily make their way into the urethra with incomplete genital hygiene or during sexual activity. Bacterial cystitis can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics, but, left untreated, can lead to kidney disease. Cystitis may also result from certain medications, allergies, or underlying disease conditions. ...


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Thyroid Disease During Pregnancy

Thyroid disease occurs when the thyroid gland malfunctions and produces an abnormal quantity of hormones. When a malfunctioning thyroid gland produces too much or too little hormone during pregnancy, abnormal hormone secretion can be damaging not only to the mother, but to the developing fetus as well. This is because thyroid hormone is essential to the development of the fetal brain and nervous system and, until about 12 weeks into gestation, the fetus depends on its mother's supply of thyroid hormone. ...


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Digital Mammography

A mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breast. It is performed to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, often before any signs or symptoms of the disease are present. A digital mammogram can offer patients faster and more accurate results than a traditional X-ray exam. A digital mammogram is similar to a traditional mammogram, and X-ray technology is still used to produce the image of the breast. However, instead of capturing the image on film, digital mammography captures the image directly to the doctor's computer for fast, easy viewing. The X-ray waves are converted into electrical signals, similar to the way they are in a digital camera. Compression of the breast is still needed to produce an accurate image. Digital mammograms are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and offer results comparable to, if not better than, conventional exams. ...


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Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section

A woman who has previously delivered a child by Cesarean section (C-section) may be able to deliver her next child vaginally. This process, known as vaginal birth after Cesarean section, or VBAC, had not been an option in the past. Once a woman delivered by C-section, all successive births were C-sections. Medical advancements and improvements in surgical methods have now made VBAC a safe and fairly common delivery procedure. ...


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Dilation and Curettage

Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure to scrape and collect endometrium, the tissue inside the uterus. Dilation is the widening of the cervix which allows instruments to pass into the uterus, while curettage is the scraping of the uterine walls.

A dilation and curettage procedure is performed for several reasons. They are as follows: ...


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Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy often causes feelings of worry or even panic. Although it may be a sign that something is wrong, many times it is not. Bleeding or spotting during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is common, and usually goes away on its own. Some women experience implantation bleeding, which occurs about 10 to 14 days after conception; others have cervical bleeding after intercourse, both of which are usually normal. However, if a woman does bleed during her pregnancy, she should consult her doctor immediately to rule out more serious causes. ...


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Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding, also known as DUB, is abnormal bleeding that occurs due to a change in hormone levels. Dysfunctional uterine bleeding often occurs as a result of high estrogen levels that are not balanced by an appropriate level of progesterone. This prevents an egg from being released, thickens the uterine lining and causes it to shed irregularly. ...


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Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful menstrual periods. The condition involves painful cramps with or without back pain.

There are two types of dysmenorrhea:

Primary dysmenorrhea has no underlying cause and is part of the regular menstrual cycle for many. ...


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Dyspareunia

Dyspareunia, also known as sexual pain, is the medical term for painful sexual intercourse in women. This is a common condition that affects many women at some point in their lives. Painful intercourse may be short-lived or may continue for a long period of time. It may occur just before, during or after intercourse, and the specific location and severity of the pain may vary. Women with dyspareunia may experience pain during penetration, pain with intimate touching or pain upon orgasm. ...


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Endometrial Ablation

Endometrial ablation is a surgical procedure used to treat women suffering from excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding and who have not responded to other treatments such as medication. Endometrial ablation removes or destroys the uterine lining, or endometrium, while leaving the ovaries and uterus intact. The endometrium heals by scarring, which reduces or stops future uterine bleeding. ...


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Endometrial Biopsy

An endometrial biopsy is a procedure to exam the endometrium, the inside lining of the uterus, for abnormalities or signs of cancer. The biopsy is performed by taking a sample of endometrial tissue and examining it under a microscope.

To perform the biopsy, a speculum is inserted into the vagina and a small plastic tube is inserted through the speculum to suction a sample of the lining. Anesthesia may be used but the procedure is usually painless. The biopsy is performed to determine the cause of abnormal menstrual periods, bleeding after menopause or to screen for endometrial cancer. ...


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Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer is a type of uterine cancer that develops within the endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus. It accounts for more than 95 percent of uterine cancers. Endometrial cancer can usually be treated if detected during its early stages. Its specific cause is unknown, but is believed to be connected to the body's having high levels of estrogen, which, in turn, can cause changes within the endometrial cells that cause them to rapidly multiply, and invade nearby tissue. Half of all cases are diagnosed in women between 50 and 69 years old. ...


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Endometrial Polyps

Endometrial or uterine polyps form when the tissue lining the uterus experiences an overgrowth. The overgrowth causes endometrial polyps to develop. Although typically benign, these polyps can in some cases become cancerous.

Symptoms of Endometrial Polyps

Endometrial polyps are more common after menopause, although younger women may also be affected. Endometrial polyps may affect menstrual bleeding and may cause: ...


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Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a painful medical condition that affects many women. It occurs when the endometrium (the tissue that normally lines the uterus) grows beyond the uterus and into other parts of the pelvic area. Endometriosis most commonly affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes and bowels, and the pelvic region behind the uterus. In rare cases, endometrial tissue can spread beyond the pelvis to other areas of the body. ...


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Endometritis

Endometritis is an inflammation of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. The condition can be chronic or acute, and develops when there is a uterine infection. Such an infection may occur as a result of childbirth, surgical intervention, and sexually transmitted disease. While most cases of endometritis can be effectively treated with antibiotics, the condition can be serious, even life-threatening, if left untreated. ...


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Essure®

For those who have decided that their family is complete and are considering a permanent form of birth control, Essure® is an option. Essure is a permanent form of birth control for women who are certain that they do not want to become pregnant. This FDA-approved treatment involves a noninvasive procedure that inserts tiny, spring-like coils into the fallopian tubes to prevent sperm from reaching the eggs. ...


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Family Balancing

For many couples, family balancing is part of family planning. They want to have a family that includes at least one son and one daughter. Historically, couples often had large families for several reasons: secure methods of contraception were unavailable, infant mortality was high, and gender balance in offspring was desired. In modern times, with secure means of contraception available and infant mortality no longer a pressing concern, many couples are content with much smaller families, but may still want to have some control over offspring gender. ...


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Female Infertility

Couples are considered to have infertility problems if they have been unable to conceive after a prolonged period, usually a year, of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse. Infertility may be attributed to the man, the woman, or both partners. When a female cause of infertility is determined, which occurs about one-third of the time, there are many measures that can be taken to help the couple conceive. Single women who are having trouble becoming pregnant may also seek medical evaluation. ...


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Female Reproductive Surgery

Female reproductive surgery repairs fertility problems that cannot be treated with medication. It enables accurate diagnosis of infertility issues and may also eliminate the need for more advanced treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures. Many causes of infertility, including fibroids, cysts, polyps, adhesions, endometriosis, tubal blockage, hydrosalpinx and certain birth defects can be treated surgically through one or another of the following procedures. ...


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Female Sexual Dysfunction

Many women experience problems with sexual function throughout their lives. However, when sexual problems continue to occur over a long period of time, a woman may be suffering from sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction is defined as any problems that prevent an individual from enjoying or receiving satisfaction from sexual activity. ...


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Female Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine, is more common in women, especially during and after pregnancy, although it can affect people of all ages. While not usually a serious medical condition, incontinence can be embarrassing and can adversely affect quality of life. A symptom, rather than a condition, female urinary incontinence can range from mild stress incontinence to complete loss of bladder control. ...


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Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by viral infection. Patients can be infected with either the herpes simplex virus type 1, also known as HSV-1 or herpes simplex virus type 2, or HSV-2. There are currently over 50 million people infected with genital herpes in the United States. Because the symptoms of herpes are often mild, people may be unaware that they have the infection or mistake it for something else. This long-term infection often causes sores or blisters on the mouth, lips, genitals or rectum. ...


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Genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Genital human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, is a sexually transmitted viral infection. There are more than 40 different kinds of HPV that can infect the genitalia, mouth and throats of men and women. For some people, the immune system will remove the infection over the course of two years, but, for others, HPV may lead to genital warts or cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina and anus. ...


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Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease, or STD, caused by bacterial infection. The bacteria is passed from person to person through sexual activity. The gonorrhea bacteria develops and thrives in the warm moist areas of the reproductive organs, including the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes in women and the urethra in men. If left untreated, the gonorrhea infection can spread to other parts of the body including: ...


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Gynecological Surgery

Gynecological surgery encompasses any type of surgical procedure performed on the female reproductive system. Two of the main types of gynecological surgery are hysterectomy, a procedure that removes the uterus, and sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes; and myomectomy, a procedure that removes uterine fibroids. Both can be performed laparoscopically or through open abdominal surgery. ...


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Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Menstruation is the monthly vaginal bleeding women experience as the uterine lining is shed. Every month, an ovary releases an egg that travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized, the egg and lining of the uterus are shed, resulting in menstruation. The average menstrual period lasts from 3 to 5 days, although it can vary from person to person and month to month. ...


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Hormone Replacement Therapy

As you age, your body slowly ceases to produce estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that thicken the uterus to prepare it for the implantation of a fertilized egg. These hormones also protect the body from developing uterine cancer and osteoporosis. The decrease of these hormone levels is also responsible for many of the symptoms of menopause. ...


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HPV Vaccination

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted viral infection. There are more than 40 different kinds of HPV infections that can infect the genitalia, mouth and throats of men and women. In most cases, the immune system will fight the infection and it will go away on its own, causing no symptoms. In other cases, an HPV infection may lead to genital warts or cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina and anus. ...


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Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus and can sometimes include the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This is a common procedure for women in the United States and is performed over 600,000 times each year. A hysterectomy stops the menstrual cycle and prevents pregnancy. It is a permanent procedure that cannot be reversed. ...


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Hysterosalpingography

Hysterosalpingography, also known as uterosalpingography, is an examination of the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes using X-ray imaging and a contrast medium. The primary purpose of the examination is to determine whether the fallopian tubes, through which the egg passes from the ovary to the uterus, are open and functioning properly. This procedure is commonly performed as part of an infertility evaluation. It is not performed on women who are pregnant, have pelvic inflammatory disease, or are experiencing unexplained bleeding. ...


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Hysteroscopy

A hysteroscopy is a procedure, using a tool called a hysteroscope to examine the lining of the uterus and identify, diagnose or treat abnormalities.

Reasons for a Hysteroscopy

A hysteroscopy may be performed to determine the cause of:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Infertility
It may also be used to diagnose and remove fibroids or polyps and find and reposition an intrauterine device.

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Inability to Orgasm

Many women experience problems with sexual function at some point in their lives.  One of the most common concerns is the inability to achieve orgasm. This may occur at any age.  Both physical and psychological factors can contribute to the problem. Some common causes may include: ...


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Infertility Evaluation

An infertility evaluation is performed to determine the source of a couples inability to become pregnant. Such an evaluation is typically performed when a couple has been having difficulty conceiving a child for an extended period of time, usually a year, even though they regularly engage in unprotected sexual intercourse. Diagnostic tests are used to detect any conditions or abnormalities that may interfere with the ability of one or both partners to conceive offspring. ...


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Infertility FAQs

What is infertility?

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. Infertility may be attributed to the man, the woman, or both partners. Infertility does not mean that a couple is sterile and will never have a child. Approximately half of all couples who seek help for infertility will eventually conceive a child. ...


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Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic inflammation or irritation of the bladder and the surrounding pelvic area. People who are diagnosed with interstitial cystitis may experience mild discomfort, pressure, tenderness, or intense pain in the bladder and pelvic area. Also known as painful bladder syndrome, interstitial cystitis most commonly affects women. ...


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Intrauterine Devices

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a method of birth control that has few side effects. They can provide long-term effective protection towards prevention of pregnancy. The devices require precision and care to be fully effective and protect against infection. Improper insertion of an IUD can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and other pelvic infections. IUDs should only be inserted or removed by a trained health care professional who will minimize risks for complications or serious damage. ...


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Labiaplasty

Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed on the labia major (the outer lips of the vagina) and/or the labia minor (the inner lips of the vagina). It is used to reduce the size of labia that are too large, and to reshape labia that are uneven, improving their appearance and reducing associated discomfort. A relatively minor surgical procedure, it is performed for cosmetic, hygienic, pain-relief and/or functional reasons. Labiaplasty can be performed alone or in conjunction with procedures such as vaginoplasty and liposuction. Labiaplasty specialists are often plastic surgeons, obstetricians/gynecologists, or urologists. ...


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Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus and sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes as well. This is the second most common procedure for women in the United States. A hysterectomy stops the menstrual cycle and prevents pregnancy. It is a permanent procedure that cannot be reversed. ...


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Laparoscopic Vaginal Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus and sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes as well. It may be performed for many reasons including fibroid tumors in the uterus, abnormal bleeding, endometriosis and genital prolapse.

A laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) is less invasive than a traditional open vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy. While an incision is made deep inside the vagina to actually remove the uterus, a very small incision is also made in the navel to insert a laparoscope, a thin probe with a light and camera that allows the doctor to see the organs of the abdomen and pelvis while performing the procedure. ...


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Laparoscopy

A laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat problems of the genital and pelvic areas. During this procedure, an endoscope (tube) with a camera on the end is inserted through a tiny incision that allows your doctor to closely examine the organs of the area. Surgical instruments can be inserted through additional incisions to treat any identified problems. ...


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Mammogram

A mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breast that is performed to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, often before any signs or symptoms are present. Mammograms allow early detection of small tumors, which are easier to treat than larger, more developed ones. They can also detect ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), small abnormal growths in a breast's milk ducts. Early removal of these growths helps to reduce the risk of future problems. ...


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Mammography FAQs

A mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breast performed to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, often before any signs or symptoms of the disease are present. Mammograms are an effective way to detect cancer early with the goal of successfully treating and beating it.

Who is this procedure for?

A mammogram is a useful tool in detecting breast cancer because it can show abnormalities, like a tumor, in the breast tissue long before they can be felt. Screening and diagnostic mammography can aid in the detection and diagnosis of breast diseases, lumps, cysts and benign and malignant tumors. They can also detect calcium deposits that may indicate breast cancer. ...


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Menopause

Menopause is the time in a woman's life when her menstrual period has stopped. Menopause is caused by a decrease in the ovaries' production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which eventually results in the ovaries' ceasing to produce eggs, and the end of menstruation.

A woman has reached menopause when she has not had a menstrual period for at least 12 months. Menopause is a natural process that takes several years. During this time, fertility decreases, and periods often change in duration, frequency, and amount of blood flow. This stage is known as perimenopause, and it is often when symptoms of menopause begin. The average age that menopause occurs is 51, although it may occur prematurely in women who have had total hysterectomies or have received chemotherapy or radiation treatments. ...


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Menstruation

Menstruation is the monthly vaginal bleeding a woman experiences as the uterine lining is shed. Every month, an ovary releases an egg that travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized, the egg and lining of the uterus are shed, resulting in menstruation. The average menstrual period lasts from 3 to 5 days, although it can vary from person to person and from month to month. ...


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Metrorrhagia

Metrorrhagia, also known as abnormal bleeding, is defined as bleeding in women that occurs between menstrual periods not associated with menstruation.This results in light to heavy bleeding that may or may not be accompanied by menstrual cramps.

Causes of Abnormal Bleeding

There are various causes of abnormal bleeding. They may include the following: ...


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Mirena®

Mirena® is a soft, flexible, estrogen-free intrauterine contraceptive (IUC) that can be effective for up to five years. It is a tiny T-shaped piece of plastic implanted into the uterus to block sperm and make the uterine lining thinner.

Mirena is effective in preventing pregnancy without the side effects of a birth control pill. If you want to have children, you can try to become pregnant as soon as the device is removed. Within a year of removal, most women are able to succeed in becoming pregnant. ...


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Myomectomy

A myomectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed to remove uterine fibroids,non-cancerous tumors of the uterus. Uterine fibroids may cause troublesome symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pain and pressure. Conservative treatments are initially used to treat uterine fibroids, but if they are not effective, surgery may be necessary. In some cases, a hysterectomy may be performed as treatment for uterine fibroids; however after a hysterectomy, a woman will not be able to bear children, due to the removal of the uterus. Therefore, a myomectomy is an effective treatment option for women considering having children in the future. ...


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Nipple Discharge

Nipple discharge is the leaking of fluid out of a breast nipple. Nipple discharge is common in pregnant women and in women who are nursing or in the process of stopping nursing. The discharge may look milky, clear, or have a yellow or brownish tint. Some newborn babies have nipple discharge for up to two weeks after birth as a result of the hormones from their mothers that are still present in their system. ...


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NovaSure® Endometrial Ablation

NovaSure® endometrial ablation destroys the lining of the uterus in a minimally invasive procedure to eliminate menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding). Menorrhagia, which causes pain, fatigue and other symptoms, is a common condition that affects 20 percent of women each year. A woman with menorrhagia has periods that last more than 7 days, are heavy enough to soak through a tampon or pad in an hour, and contain blood clots. ...


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Oophorectomy

An oophorectomy is a surgical procedure to remove one or both of the ovaries as a treatment for pelvic diseases such as ovarian cancer or severe endometriosis. This procedure is often performed with a hysterectomy, the removal of the uterus, or with a salpingectomy, the removal of the fallopian tubes. An oophorectomy can also be performed as a preventive procedure, as a prophylactic oophorectomy. ...


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Oral Contraception

Birth control is any method of contraception used to prevent pregnancy. A woman has many birth control options; which are appropriate depend on her age, overall health and lifestyle. One type of contraception, oral contraception, uses hormones to prevent pregnancy. Birth control pills are a form of oral contraception taken in pill or tablet form. ...


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Orchitis

Orchitis is an inflammation that occurs in one or both of the testicles. It is usually the result of an infection caused by a virus or bacteria. Orchitis may cause a rapid onset of pain in one or both testicles that may spread to the groin area. Orchitis may be related to a mumps infection, affecting about one third of males who have contracted the virus. Orchitis may also be caused by a bladder or urethral infection, most commonly associated with sexually transmitted diseases. ...


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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become weak and brittle, placing them at a high risk for fracture. In all individuals, bone wears down over time, but is replaced with new bone tissue. As people age, bone loss occurs at a faster rate than new bone is created, resulting in osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the result of increasing bone loss, and is more common in older people, especially women. ...


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Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer occurs when normal cells in an ovary change and grow uncontrollably, forming a mass called a tumor, which can be malignant or benign. Ovarian cancer is rare, and often not detected until it has spread to other areas of the body. When detected early, it can usually be eradicated without major complications. ...


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Ovarian Cancer Screening

Women can be screened for ovarian cancer when they undergo their annual pelvic exam, which helps detect any abnormalities or changes to the ovaries. Women who have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer should be aware of their risk and discuss the best methods of prevention with their doctor. Early detection is important in achieving effective results from the disease and lowering the risk of death. ...


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Ovarian Cyst Surgery

An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac found on the ovary. These sacs can cause pressure, swelling and pain in the abdomen in some women, while others may experience no symptoms at all. Ovarian cysts are common and usually benign. Cysts that do not cause symptoms and go away on their own are commonly called functional cysts. However, ovarian cysts that continue to grow and cause problems may require ovarian cyst surgery. An ovarian cystectomy is the surgical removal of ovarian cysts. ...


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Ovarian Cysts

An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that can form in the ovaries. The ovaries are two small organs that produce eggs and female hormones. The ovaries affect our body's appearance, menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

There are several types of ovarian cysts. The most common form of a cyst is a functional cyst. Functional cysts form during ovulation. Eggs that are produced each month are grown in tiny sacs called follicles. After these sacs release the egg, the sac dissolves turning into corpus luteum, which produces hormones. If the sac does not dissolve, a functional cyst will form from the sac and cause them to grow. Normally the cysts disappear within a few months. They are rarely cancerous but can cause mild symptoms. ...


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Ovulation

Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from an ovary. Once released, it enters one of the fallopian tubes and travels toward the uterus. If the egg is fertilized by sperm, it implants in the uterine wall (endometrium), and pregnancy occurs. If the egg remains unfertilized, the uterine lining is shed during menstruation. Ovulation usually takes place between the 10th and 14th days of a menstrual cycle, but varies among women or from month to month. ...


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Painful Intercourse

Dyspareunia is the medical term for painful sexual intercourse in women. Painful intercourse may be short-lived or may continue for a long period of time. It may occur just before, during or after intercourse, and the specific location and severity of the pain may vary. Women with dyspareunia may experience pain during penetration, pain with intimate touching or pain when experiencing orgasm. ...


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Pap Test and PapSure®

A pap test is a screening for cervical cancer. It is a standard gynecological procedure that examines your cervix for changes or abnormalities. It can also detect infections and the human papillomavirus (HPV). A pap test is recommended every year for women over the age of 21 and slightly less frequently for women over 30. A pap test collects cells from your cervix. The cells are sent to a laboratory for testing. Regular Pap tests detect problems quickly and rule out mistakes made by false positive and false negative results. ...


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ParaGard®

ParaGard® is a hormone-free intrauterine contraceptive (IUC) that is 99% effective and 100% hormone free. It is a T-shaped piece of plastic coated in copper that is inserted into the uterus by a doctor and lasts as long as wanted: two, five, even up to 10 years. ParaGard is effective immediately and can be removed by a doctor at any time. ParaGard requires a monthly self-check, otherwise it is unnoticeable. Side effects of ParaGard are minimal but can include abdominal cramps or longer and heavier periods for the first few months. ...


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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a bacterial infection of the female reproductive organs. The bacteria found in PID is the same bacteria that is found in gonorrhea and chlamydia, but PID can also result from infections that are not sexually transmitted. PID spreads from the vagina to the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes and can lead to infertility or complications during pregnancy. It is estimated that one in eight women diagnosed with PID have issues when trying to become pregnant. ...


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Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse (vaginal prolapse) is a common condition in women, occurring when a pelvic organ shifts from its normal position to push against the vaginal walls. This movement causes pressure, stretching and pain. Most frequently, pelvic organ prolapse occurs after childbirth, menopause, or a hysterectomy when the muscles and ligaments supporting a woman's pelvic organs become more lax. ...


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Pelvic Pain Syndrome

Pelvic pain syndrome is a chronic condition that involves persistent pain in the lower-abdominal and pelvic regions. Pelvic pain syndrome may be diagnosed when pelvic pain is chronic, and has been present for more than 6 months. It can affect women both physically and emotionally, leading to sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression and sexual dysfunction. Pelvic pain can be a symptom of an underlying condition, or its cause may remain unknown. Living with pelvic pain syndrome is often difficult, and many women spend years trying to determine its cause. ...


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Pelvic Ultrasound

An ultrasound, also known as a sonogram, is a painless imaging technique that produces images of internal organs through the use of high-frequency sound waves. It is a noninvasive, simple procedure that produces images of soft tissues, which often don't show up well on X-rays. A pelvic ultrasound is commonly used to view the abdominal organs, male and female reproductive organs, and to obtain images of a fetus in the womb. There is no ionizing radiation used during an ultrasound and there are no serious side effects associated with this procedure. ...


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Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the period of time when a woman's body transitions towards permanent infertility, or menopause. During perimenopause, changes in hormone levels can affect ovulation and cause changes in the menstrual cycle. Menstrual cycles may become longer or shorter and other symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, sleep problems, and vaginal dryness may begin. Most of the changes women experience during perimenopause are a result of decreasing estrogen. This stage usually begins when a woman is in her 40s, although symptoms can start as early as the mid 30s. Some women may experience perimenopause at an earlier age because of family history, a past hysterectomy or previous cancer treatment. ...


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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine system disorder that commonly affects women in their reproductive years. Women with PCOS often have multiple small cysts on their ovaries and experience irregular menstrual periods. PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women and although the exact cause is unknown, it is believed to be the result of a hormonal imbalance. In women with PCOS, the ovaries produce more androgens than normal. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation, and may also cause troubling symptoms such as excess hair growth and acne. ...


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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Many women experience physical and emotional changes several days before menstruation begins. This condition is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Symptoms, which may include breast swelling or tenderness, headaches, fatigue, bloating, acne, anxiety, irritability, mood swings and depression, commonly subside a day or two after menstruation begins. When the symptoms of PMS are severe and disrupt daily activities, a diagnosis of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD) may be made. ...


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Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition characterized by a group of symptoms women commonly experience before their monthly menstrual period. These symptoms usually abate once the menstrual flow begins. About 85 percent of women suffer from at least one symptom of PMS during each menstrual cycle, although most cases are fairly mild and do not interfere with a woman's normal activities. Severe cases of PMS may be diagnosed as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). ...


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Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Women who have had three or more miscarriages may be experiencing a condition known as recurrent pregnancy loss, a troubling diagnosis that presents both physical and emotional concerns for couples. The exact cause of a miscarriage is not always known, however, most miscarriages that occur in the first trimester of pregnancy are often caused by chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. While most cases of miscarriage are isolated occurrences, multiple miscarriages may be due to other underlying physical factors. ...


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Reproductive Endocrinology

Reproductive endocrinology is a subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology that addresses hormonal functioning as it relates to reproduction and infertility. In addition to treating infertility issues, reproductive endocrinologists are trained to evaluate and treat other hormonal dysfunctions. Many individuals facing infertility problems choose to see a reproductive endocrinologist to identify factors that may be causing infertility and to discuss appropriate methods of treatment. ...


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Salpingectomy

A salpingectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of one of the fallopian tubes. Removal of both fallopian tubes is called a bilateral salpingectomy. This procedure is most commonly performed in cases of ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube rather than in the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy can be dangerous and cause severe pain and bleeding. If the fallopian tube has been damaged or ruptured, it may be necessary to perform a salpingectomy. ...


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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a disease or infection that is spread from one person to another through sexual contact. Most STDs are caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses that are transmitted through contact with the genitals, skin, mouth, rectum or bodily fluids. Sexually transmitted diseases can cause problems ranging from mild irritation to severe pain. Left untreated, some STDs can cause illness, cancer and infertility, or harm to a fetus. ...


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Sonography

Sonography (ultrasound procedure) is a quick, painless diagnostic imaging technique. It uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the internal organs. A sonogram is the image that is produced by performing sonography or ultrasonography. During pregnancy, a sonogram is performed to obtain information about how the fetus is developing. It is used to check the fetus's blood flow and heartbeat, as well as estimate its age and delivery date. It is also performed to check the female pelvic organs during pregnancy. ...


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STD Testing

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a disease or infection that is spread from one person to another through sexual contact. Most STDs are caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses, that are transmitted through contact with the genitals, skin, mouth, rectum, or bodily fluids. STDs can cause problems ranging from mild irritation to severe pain. Left untreated, some STDs can cause illness, cancer, infertility or harm to a fetus during pregnancy ...


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Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence is a common condition involving an involuntary loss of urine that occurs when a physical movement places pressure or stress on the bladder. Patients with this condition may experience a leakage of urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing, jogging or lifting something heavy. This condition usually occurs as a result of weakened sphincter and pelvic muscles that cannot adequately support the bladder or urethra. ...


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Trichomoniasis

A trichomoniasis infection is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite. Trichomoniasis, also known as trich, is a common yet curable sexually transmitted disease. There are approximately four million people in the United States who are infected, with only one third of them experiencing symptoms. The disease can affect men and women but it is more commonly seen in women. ...


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Tubal Ligation

Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that involves blocking, tying or cutting a woman's fallopian tubes to prevent eggs from traveling into the tubes and being fertilized. It is a permanent form of birth control so you must be sure that you do not want to have more children in the future. Tubal ligation is not 100% effective; pregnancy can occur if the tubes grow back together or create a new passage. This is a rare occurrence and the procedure is effective for most women. ...


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Tubal-Ligation Reversal

Tubal-ligation reversal (tubal reanastomosis) is a procedure that "undoes" tubal ligation, which is a surgical procedure that prevents pregnancy by closing off the fallopian tubes. During tubal ligation, a surgeon cuts the fallopian tubes, and closes them with bands or clips, or seals them using electrical current. Tubal-ligation reversal reconnects the fallopian tubes so that a woman has a chance of becoming pregnant. ...


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Urethral Cancer

Urethral cancer, which affects the urethra, the thin tube through which urine is excreted from the bladder, is an extremely rare variety of cancer. It accounts for only about 2 percent of all urological cancers and is more common in men. There are three types of urethral cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, transitional cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma. Although rare, urethral cancer can be dangerous since it can metastasize rapidly and has frequently reached the lymph nodes by the time it is diagnosed. ...


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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI) is the loss of bladder control. It is a common condition that involves the involuntary loss of urine. It may range in severity from occasionally leaking urine to a sudden urge to urinate that comes on very strongly. Although it is not usually a serious condition, UI can be embarrassing and affect a person's daily life. Urinary incontinence is most common in women, especially during and after pregnancy. It can, however, affect people of all ages. Being overweight or elderly may also increase the risk of urinary incontinence. ...


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Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection of the urinary system, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The urinary tract refers to just the bladder and the urethra, and an infection can develop in either of these areas. These infections occur much more frequently in women than in men and may cause intense pain and discomfort. ...


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Uterine Artery Embolization

Uterine artery embolization, also known as fibroid embolization, is a minimally invasive procedure that blocks blood flow to uterine fibroids, shrinking or destroying the non-cancerous tumors that grow on the uterine walls.

While fibroids do not always cause symptoms, they may lead to future complications and usually require treatment. Traditional treatment can be done with surgery - either a myomectomy to remove the fibroids, or a hysterectomy to remove the entire uterus. Fibroid embolization is a less invasive procedure that is performed under sedation through a blood vessel in the upper thigh. A catheter is first inserted into the blood vessel. A contrast material is then injected into the catheter providing the physician with a visual field of the blood supply to the fibroid. Particles that cut off the blood flow to the fibroid are injected through the catheter which close off the blood supply to the fibroid. ...


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Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer is the fourth-most-common cancer in women in the United States. The two most common types of uterine cancer are endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma, although cases of uterine sarcoma are rare. Endometrial cancer forms in the uterine lining (endometrium); uterine sarcoma forms in uterine muscle and supporting tissue. There are no reliable screening tests or exams for either type of uterine cancer. ...


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Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids (myomas) are tumors that grow in the uterine walls. They are usually benign, and vary in size and quantity. The exact cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, but their formation may be affected by genetics, with a woman being more likely to develop them if she has a family member similarly afflicted. Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms and do not require any treatment, although, in some cases, they lead to pregnancy complications. Uterine fibroids are most common in women older than 30, and during the reproductive years. ...


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Vaginal Agenesis

Vaginal agenesis is a rare congenital birth defect that can occur in females. Patients with vaginal agenesis, are born without a vagina, or with a very short vaginal canal. Many patients who are are born with this condition also suffer from other reproductive organ defects such as an absent or small uterus. In addition some patients also suffer from kidney abnormalities. Most cases of vaginal agenesis remain unnoticed until puberty, when the condition prevents menstruation from beginning. ...


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Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge is a common substance excreted from the vagina during different stages of the menstrual cycle. The consistency of discharge can vary as the cycle progresses and is usually most abundant before ovulation, as well as while breastfeeding or when sexually aroused. Vaginal discharge is considered normal for most women, especially those of childbearing age. Normal discharge is usually clear or white and odorless. ...


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Vaginal Fistulas

A fistula is an abnormal passageway between two organs within the body or between an organ and the skin. Fistulas can develop in various parts of the body, typically as a result of tissue damage caused by surgery, trauma or disease. Gradual erosion eventually causes the tissue to wear through, causing the fistula. Vaginal fistulas may occur after childbirth, surgery in the region, radiation treatment, or inflammatory bowel disease. ...


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Vaginal Ring

A vaginal ring, which is a hormonal method of birth control, is a flexible, plastic ring that is placed in the upper part of the vagina, where it releases the hormones estrogen and progestin. When the estrogen and progestin are absorbed through vaginal tissue into the body, they prevent a woman's body from ovulating (releasing an egg). In addition, progestin causes the mucus within the cervix to thicken, making it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg. Although it is only available through a prescription, a vaginal ring does not require a personalized fitting, and can be removed at any time. ...


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Vaginal Yeast Infection Treatment

A vaginal yeast infection is a common condition that affects over 75 percent of women at least once in their life, caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. While this type of fungus exists naturally in the vagina, too much of it can cause a vaginal infection. A yeast infection causes itching, burning, redness and irritation in the vaginal area, as well as a white discharge that looks similar to cottage cheese and pain during sexual intercourse. ...


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Vaginitis

Vaginitis is a inflammation of the vulva and vagina that results in itching, pain and vaginal discharge. Patients may develop this condition as a result of a change in the vaginal bacteria levels, a yeast infection or, a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Yeast infections (Candida albicans) are the most common type of vaginitis. ...


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Women and Heart Disease

Heart (cardiovascular) disease is the leading cause of death in women older than 40. The death rate from heart disease increases as women age, especially after they reach menopause. It has claimed the lives of more women than men since 1984, and is responsible for the deaths of more women than breast and lung cancers combined. Each year, one of every four women in the United States will die from heart disease, with African-American women having a higher death rate than Caucasian women. ...


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