Colorado Springs Gynecology Asssociates

Types of gynecological visits

So you’ve officially gone to your first gynecological exam. Congratulations! You have just taken the first step in maintaining a very important part of your health as a woman. However, depending on your specific health needs, you may need to be seen for more than just an annual visit once a year. In this blog post, we will go into further detail on some of the different types of gynecological visits and explain why these additional visits may be necessary for your continued health and wellbeing.

Ultrasounds

If you are experiencing pelvic pain, abnormal or heavy bleeding, or issues with an intrauterine device, your provider may want to bring you in for an ultrasound. During an ultrasound, an image of your uterus and ovaries will be obtained so that your provider can better understand what may be causing any abnormal symptoms or pain. Ultrasounds can be performed trans-abdominally (externally) or vaginally (internally), depending on what the provider thinks is most necessary. At Colorado Springs Gynecology Associates, our ultrasounds are performed in-house by a certified sonographer who has had many years of experience as an ultrasound technician. Typically, after ultrasound images are obtained, you will follow up with the provider to review the images and determine what the best course of action will be to ensure your health and comfort.

Gynecological procedures

If you have an abnormal pap smear result, your provider may want you to come back for a procedure to investigate further. Gynecological procedures are important because they help the provider diagnose any abnormalities and determine how serious the abnormal result might be. Common gynecological procedures include colposcopies, LEEPs, and endometrial biopsies. In each procedure, the provider will use a special instrument to take a small sample of tissue from the cervix, endometrial lining, or labia and then send that sample to a lab to be analyzed for any abnormalities. These procedures are done in-office and usually take about 20 minutes. There can be some minimal pain and cramping with these procedures, but this usually wears off within a few hours. Gynecological procedures can help providers catch serious problems, such as cervical cancer, as early as possible, so if your provider recommends one of these procedures it is very important that you schedule it as soon as possible to rule out any potentially serious conditions.

Birth control consults

For patients who are not considering pregnancy, a birth control consult is a helpful way to explore the variety of different contraceptive methods and decide which method is best suited to each patient’s unique lifestyle. In these consults, the provider will discuss with you the different options so that you can make an educated decision about which method will be best for you. Many patients choose temporary contraceptive options. These include birth control pills, the Depo-Provera injection, intrauterine devices (such as the Mirena, Skyla, or ParaGard), and intramuscular devices (such as the Nexplanon). Additionally, more permanent methods of birth control may be available to you if you and your provider decide that that is the best option for you. Permanent methods of birth control are generally surgical procedures and include tubal ligation, endometrial ablation, and hysterectomy.

IUDs/IMDs –Insertions or removals

IUDs (intrauterine devices, such as Mirena or Paragard) and IMDs (intramuscular devices such as the Nexplanon) are long-lasting methods of birth control that have become very popular in today’s world. Many women appreciate the ease and convenience of these devices, and since they are effective for anywhere from 3-10 years, they can be used by women at all stages of their lives. If you choose to get an IUD or IMD, you will often be asked to schedule the insertion appointment during your menstrual cycle. This is the most accurate way to make sure you’re not pregnant, and in the case of IUDs, menstruation softens the cervix to make insertion easier. In terms of insertion, IUDs are placed into your uterus via a special applicator and the strings are then trimmed to the appropriate length. Your provider will usually ask you to schedule an appointment two weeks after the insertion to check the string length and the placement of the device. IMDs are inserted in the upper arm through a small incision. The incision is sutured back together and covered with a bandage, which must be kept on for 48 hours. There can be some pain upon insertion with both IUDs and IMBs, but it will usually wear off within 1-2 days. At Colorado Springs Gynecology Associates we offer a wide range of these devices such as Mirena, Skyla, ParaGard, and Nexplanon, as well as complimentary patient information brochures to assist you in making the most informed decision about your contraceptive choices.

Although this is only an abbreviated list of the many gynecological services we offer, we hope that it has given you a better understanding of the most common types of services we offer here at Colorado Springs Gynecology Associates. Regardless of what kind of care you need, we feel confident in the fact that our practice can help you to feel confident about your health and wellness, as well as make sure you’re well-informed about your care every step of the way. As always, the staff here at COSGA is happy to answer any and all of our patients’ questions and provide them with the tools and knowledge they need to feel healthy, happy, and confident in their care.

What to expect at your first gynecological visit

If you’re like many women, the idea of having a gynecological exam might seem a bit daunting–especially when you’re not sure what exactly that type of exam entails! However, as with any other type of medical care, it is important to be seen for routine gynecological visits in order to make sure everything is in working order. We are here to debunk the myths and to let you know what to expect from your first gynecological visit at Colorado Springs Gynecology Associates.

When you come in for your first gynecological exam, the provider will ask you to undress completely so that he or she will be able to perform a complete physical and pelvic exam. The physical exam will include listening to your heart and lungs and performing a breast exam. It is recommended that people of all ages get a physical exam yearly. If you are 21 years of age or older, the provider will also do what’s known as a pap smear. During a pap smear, your cervix will be swabbed in order to test the cervical cells for any abnormalities. If you request it, your provider can also do additional tests to screen for sexually-transmitted diseases and infections.

So you’ve completed your first gynecological exam–now what’s next? Your gynecologist can assist you with anything from birth control to ultrasounds to fertility counseling, depending on your unique wants and needs. Medical and surgical treatments are options as well. No matter what route your treatment takes, keep in mind that your care and wellbeing is the most important thing.

If you’re still having doubts about whether or not to be seen gynecologically, it is important to keep in mind that gynecological exams are an important part of every woman’s health. There is no judgment involved in a gynecological exam, and you will always receive care of the highest level regardless of your race, age, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation. We here at Colorado Springs Gynecology Associates are committed to your care and to providing you with all the knowledge you need to make informed, educated decisions about your health.

 

COSGA Races for The Cure!

Okay, you caught us. We may not have “raced” seeing as we finished the Susan G. Koman 5K in a whopping 50 minutes, but we did support the cause! We even got the honorary COSGA guys to “run” with us.
Team Cure

The race took place at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs on September 7th, 2014. We woke up bright and early and started walking around the beautiful Garden with over 4,000 other men, women, children, and even some pups to raise awareness for breast cancer. Our team raised over $1,000 for breast cancer research, mammograms for people that cannot afford it, and grants for new equipment for facilities all over the country.

 

The Susan G. Koman team cure familyfoundation is known worldwide for creating an urgency in finding a cure for the disease that has taken 40,931 women’s lives and 443 men’s in the United States alone*. Breast cancer is caused by cells in the breast tissue of men and women dividing and multiplying at an abnormal rate that creates a mass. Breast cancer is not racist, sexist, or age restrictive. It will take as many victims as it can and will not stop until we stop it. Since the disease’s cause is still unknown, there is no cure… yet. We are not giving up! Here at COSGA we take the fight against breast cancer very seriously and ask all our patients and non patients alike to take the steps to catch breast cancer early. Use the National Breast Cancer Foundations early detection plan to keep up with any changes in your breast tissue . Please call us immediately if there is any concern.

Monthly: Self breast exam.

Yearly: Mammogram and clinical breast exam by a physician. We will do a breast exam with your annual physical and if you need a mammogram, we will get you the order to whatever facility your insurance will cover.

Hopefully our little stand against breast cancer will help

*Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2011 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2014.

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What is Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy

What is custom bio-identical hormone therapy?
Hormone replacement therapy has been the subject of controversy since the Women’s Health Initiative study was released in 2002. This study found that hormone replacement therapy increased the risk of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer. What was not clearly discussed was that all of these women had been given synthetic hormones that were not “bio-identical”. In fact, the two hormones given were not chemically even close to what a women’s body produces naturally. The phrase “bio-identical” has become increasingly popular as women look for holistic and natural therapies to treat common symptoms associated with peri-menopause and menopause. Bio-identical hormone therapy as well as synthetic hormone therapy can lead to the risks of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer; however when needed, it makes sense to replace low hormone levels that are identical to what our bodies have been producing since puberty. A customized formulated hormone compound is tailor made based on the individual’s physical symptoms and blood or saliva lab testing. These formulations can be in the form of sub lingual tablets/troches, topical creams, gels or sub dermal pellets that are inserted in the office. These customized prescriptions are given with the current guidelines in mind that the least amount of hormones over the shortest duration of time to help symptom relief is the goal. At Colorado Springs Gynecology Associates we provide a three step process to fully assess the individual’s symptoms, risk factors, and general health status to ensure the highest quality of care. We are skilled to provide conventional and bio-identical hormone treatments including pellet insertion. Please contact Colorado Springs Gynecology Associates (719-598-0500) to schedule a hormone consult and see what may be the best solution for you. Next week’s blog topic; Five common Bio-identical hormones and what each is responsible for.

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21st Century pregnancies, now complete with mommy manual!

Today in the age of the smart phone, it’s almost impossible to resist the urge to find that one perfect app to help in any given situation. Because of this, it’s not illogical to want to find that perfect app for your pregnancy and baby’s first months. Here are a few of our favorites!

Similac: At your first visit here, there are some things that we might give you straight from Similac. This can range from free bottles and starter formula, to a bag to carry it in. It all depends on what they give us at that time. One thing you will be able to use no matter what though is their app (on the google play and apple store). In the app store search “similac” and you’ll see the “similac baby journal”.

    Why we like it:

This app is very useful for after your baby is born. It will ask if you are a Similac Strong Mom member, you don’t have to sign up, but you’ll get all sorts of free stuff and coupons if you do! This journal will help you document your new babies feeding, sleeping, and changing schedule for those times when pregnancy brain lasts long after your nine months are up. One of the really great things about this app is that you can call an on call feeding expert at any time of the day or night to ask any questions you might have. There are a lot more things in the journal you can record, and it will show your trends in each one of the categories.

    Overall,

this is a great app for keeping track of all sorts of things you’ll want to know, but may not be able to remember.

Enfamil: Enfamil is also a provider of some of the free things we will give you at the time of your first appointment. They will even give you a free sample of the baby formula if you fill out a card that will just register you for the “As Your Baby Grows” magazine. It’s free and is a $250 value, we think it’s well worth it. Their app is called Enfamil expecting baby, and is perfect for keeping track of your pregnancy.

    Why we like it:

This app will ask you questions throughout your pregnancy to help you remember little things you felt that you can actually share with Facebook, text, or email. This app is all about keeping your friends and family close to you throughout this very exciting time. These tips will change weekly, so it is very interactive through your entire pregnancy. there is also a countdown to your due date to help keep track of time. This app also helps when you think you are starting to have contractions by timing them for you. This can be a confusing thing to do, especially while you are in pain, so open the app and maybe let Dad time for you!
Another great part of this app is the announcement tab which lets you create your birth announcement and share it with your friends and family straight from your phone. This is a great way to get the news out to everyone at one time without having to call, text, or email single messages. Also, keep track of your to do list throughout the pregnancy, with their pre loaded things you need to get done each week.

    Overall,

this is a perfect app to help you through the pregnancy in any way you need!

Babycenter; My Pregnancy Today and My Baby Today are two separate apps by the same developer that you do have to sign up for.

    Why we like it (my pregnancy today):

This app resembles the book you’ll get at your first appointment “Your Pregnancy Week By Week”. It will remind you to take your prenatal vitamins as well as show your what your baby looks like at this point in your pregnancy. It will even give tips for you and your partner, as well as a checklist of things you should get done each week. One of the best parts of the pregnancy app is the birth club that shows you other women in your shoes that you can connect with. It really is a journey and these women are the ones that know what you’re going through better than anyone, why not share it? The last great part of this app is that it will let you count your babies movements. In between your 20th and 35th week of pregnancy you will be feeling your baby move all throughout the day and night. Only you will be able to tell what is normal and when something is just not right, but this part of the app will give you a visual that movement has decreased or increased over a certain time frame.

    Why we like it (my baby today):

This app has the same feel as the pregnancy today one, except it gives you a place to document growth, pictures, and great moments. There is the birth club inside this app as well, so you can continue to talk about mommy issues with other women in the same boat.

There are dozens if not hundreds of pregnancy and baby apps, and these are just a small handful of the ones we like. If you have found the perfect mommy tool of the 21st century, comment below!

The Affordable Healthcare Act and how it effects you!

January 1st, 2014 marked the start of many new policies written in the Affordable Healthcare Act that we wanted to make sure you are aware of.

Birth Control Coverage: If your health plan either started, or renewed after the first of the year (and is not considered a “grandfathered plan”), you are currently covered 100% for any birth control method of your choosing (http://www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines/). This means that many expensive options that were once out of reach are now available to you. Be sure you talk to either Dr. Bianco or Melinda Poland N.P. at your visit today about your new options if you have not yet.

Preventative Care: From January 1st all preventative care is covered 100%. The term “preventative” means that it falls in the categories of well-woman visits, HPV testing,      STD/STI testing, contraception counseling, breastfeeding support, and screening or counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence. We recommend that anything outside of one of these categories gets saved for another visit. We have seen insurance companies that have not paid for the preventative care because of other issues being addressed at the same visit. If you choose to proceed with addressing other issues at your annual exam, we will still bill it separate from your preventative care and it will go to your deductible and co-insurance.

Understanding your coverage: If you are seen for anything other than the preventative care listed above, understand that your insurance will have you pay for the cost in full until your deductible is met. Once you meet your deductible and are covered under a co-insurance amount, you will owe the percentage of whatever else is billed until you meet your total out of pocket. This is the only other time you will be covered at 100% other than the preventative care. We may know this information, but it is not guaranteed, and it is your responsibility to be aware of your plan coverage.

Plans we do not accept: The Affordable Healthcare plans are different from private insurance plans even though they are all administrated by the same companies. As of now there is only one plan (Humana X) that we are not taking. If you have this plan, or any other plan administered by Humana through the Colorado Exchange, please let us know right away. You are responsible for any fees that are incurred because of lack of notification.

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