Q. When should I start getting mammograms?
A. Although we conduct a physical examination of your breasts during your annual check-up, you won’t need to have regular mammogram screenings until your 40’s. We will provide the order needed to obtain your mammogram at the facility of your chosing during your visit. Please call the facility directly to schedule the mammogram at a convenient time for you.
Q. What kind of birth control is the best?
A. Each woman’s body responds differently to different types of birth control. We usually start you out at a low dose of a commonly used birth control pill and go from there. You may end up trying out a couple different ones before finding one that works best with your body. If you have a pre-existing condition, it may effect what we prescribe. We also provide IUDs (Mirena and Paraguard), tubal ligations, Essure, Implanon, Depo Provera, diaphragm fitting and referral for vasectomies. Talk to your provider to determine the best selection for you.
Gynecology covers many aspects of women’s health, but most specifically it focuses on the female reproductive system and problems that may arise related to it. We encourage regular annual exams to catch any potential problems before they progress. Our providers care for all varieties of issues related to gynecology. Discuss your concerns at your appointment for the most specialized and compassionate care. Visit the link on our resource page; American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), for reliable information about gynecologic issues.
2. Infertility: Evaluation and Treatment
There are many reasons why a woman may not be able to get pregnant. Infertility requires thorough evaluation before any treatment is started. Infertility is fairly common, effecting 1 in 7 couples worldwide. If you have been trying to get pregnant for more than 9-12 months you qualify for this evaluation.
Difficulties conceiving can be caused by age, hormone imbalances, genetic factors, ovulation problems, tubal blockage, and many other reasons. Treatment varies depending on the cause. We have had great success at our practice helping couples start or expand their family. Meet with one of our physicians to see what options are available to you.
Visit the link on our resource page; Resolve, for more specialized reliable information regarding infertility.
3. Laparoscopic Minimally Invasive Surgery
Laparoscopic surgery or minimally invasive surgery is performed through several small incisions (usually .5-1cm). Our physicians prefer to use laparoscopic surgery because it results in less scarring, quicker recovery time, and causes less pain for our patients. A large number of patients can benefit from this approach for evaluation of pelvic pain, ovarian masses, tubal ligation, treatment of endometriosis, infertility evaluation, removal of ovaries, and even hysterectomy. Talk to your provider to see if you are a candidate for this type of surgery.
Ultrasound is used often in both Obstetrics and Gynecology. It uses ultrasound waves instead of x-rays to form images. Several ultrasounds are generally performed during Obstetric care to monitor your pregnancy. We also recommend ultrasounds for gynecological conditions including ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, and pelvic pain. We try to include this in your visit on the same day; however, some conditions may require the exam to be performed at an imaging center.
5. Bone Density: Evaluation and Management
When estrogen levels begin to drop in the body (usually around the time of menopause), it becomes more difficult for your body to absorb calcium. This can lead to weaker bones and even to osteoporosis. Approximately 1 in 4 women over the age of 60 experience a bone fracture related to osteoporosis. Early screening for osteoporosis can lead to treatment that will help stop or significantly slow the loss of calcium from your bones if you are at risk. Bone mineral density can be determined with low dose x-ray or DEXA scan. Ask your provider if you are a candidate for testing at your appointment. This can be done on the same day and takes 10-15 minutes.
Management and prevention of osteoporosis may include increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake, increasing the amount of exercise you get, reducing alcohol consumption, hormone therapy, or other prescriptions. Your physician will determine the most beneficial course of action at your exam.
Menopause naturally onsets for most women sometime between the ages 45-55 years old and can last several years. During menopause, estrogen levels begin to drop in the body. This can effect mood, menstruation, and many other aspects of your physiology. Blood tests can be used to help diagnose this more accurately. The fluctuating hormone levels can cause many symptoms. For severe problems, hormone replacement may be necessary. We can help you navigate through this important time of adjustment. Visit our link on our resource page; North American Menopause Society (NAMS), for more specialized reliable information about menopause.
7. Blood Work (Phlebotomist On Site)
Part of your visit may require blood testing. We have a trained phlebotomist on site who handles drawing and prepping the blood samples, so that you do not have to schedule a separate appointment elsewhere. Labcorp currently provides this service for our patients. If your insurance directs you to use a different lab, labcorp will process and send your specimen to the appropriate location. Some lab tests may need to be fasting so you may need to return at another time for this reason. Our lab hours are 830am-500pm. (on lunch break 12-1pm)
8. Obstetrics: General and High Risk
If you elect for obstetric care to be provided by WCA, you will be an obstetric patient of all three physicians: Drs Anderson, Halbach, and McPherson. You will not be assigned a single primary obstetrician. During the course of a routine pregnancy you will have 14-15 appointments at WCA and see each obstetrician 4-5 times. Hopefully, by the time of your due date, you will be most comfortable with all three physicians.
Each of our physicians considers obstetrics a most rewarding profession and feels it is an honor to provide maternity care. However, obstetrics often demands extremely long hours of work during both day and night. In order for us to provide you with an obstetrician who is well rested, alert, and attentive to your care, we must rotate on-call services and can not guarantee that any one physician will deliver your baby.
If you are going to be delivered by scheduled cesarean section or induction of labor, we will make every effort to accommodate by providing the physician of your choice. All other after hours obstetric care will be provided by one of the three on-call obstetricians.
At approximately 18-20 weeks gestation, you will be scheduled to see Dr. Richard Rosemond, a perinatalogist, (700 Sunset Drive, Ste 301, Athens GA 706-549-0087) for a complete anatomical ultrasound of your baby. This ultrasound is done with the most state of the art ultrasound equipment and is successful in detecting potential physical birth defects. It can also determine the gender of your baby if you desire this information.
Dr. Rosemond is a Board Certified Perinatalogist and therefore his area of expertise is in obstetric ultrasound and high risk obstetrics. Although your pregnancy man not be considered a high risk pregnancy, this 18-20 week ultrasound will provide you with the most expert and professional assessment of your baby that is available.