Category Archives: Blog

Preventing Osteoporosis

Bone Health During Menopause: Preventing Osteoporosis

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. While it brings about various changes in the body, one significant concern for women during menopause is the health of their bones. As estrogen levels decline, women become more susceptible to osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures. 

Preventing Osteoporosis

With proactive measures and lifestyle changes, it’s possible to maintain bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis during and after menopause. Continue reading to learn more about bone health during menopause and preventing osteoporosis with Raleigh OB/GYN

Understanding The Link Between Menopause And Osteoporosis

Estrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining bone density by regulating the activity of osteoblasts (cells responsible for bone formation) and osteoclasts (cells responsible for bone resorption). During menopause, the decline in estrogen levels disrupts this delicate balance, leading to accelerated bone loss and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Additionally, other factors associated with menopause, such as aging, reduced physical activity, and changes in diet, can further contribute to bone loss. Therefore, it’s essential for women approaching or experiencing menopause to be proactive about their bone health.

Lifestyle Strategies For Maintaining Bone Health

Nutritious Diet

A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is crucial for maintaining strong and healthy bones. Dairy products, leafy greens, fortified foods, and supplements can help ensure adequate calcium intake. Vitamin D, obtained from sunlight exposure and dietary sources like fatty fish and fortified products, aids in calcium absorption and bone health.

Regular Exercise

Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are beneficial for building and preserving bone density. Activities such as walking, jogging, dancing, and strength training help stimulate bone formation and strengthen muscles, reducing the risk of falls and fractures.

Quit Smoking And Limit Alcohol

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact bone health by interfering with calcium absorption and hormone levels. Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake can help mitigate these risks and promote overall health.

Maintain A Healthy Body Weight

Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential for bone health. Excessive weight loss or being underweight can increase the risk of bone loss and fractures. Aim for a balanced diet and regular exercise to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Bone Density Screening

Regular bone density screenings, such as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans, can help monitor bone health and detect signs of osteoporosis early. Based on the results, healthcare providers can recommend appropriate interventions and treatment options.

Medical Interventions For Osteoporosis Prevention

In addition to lifestyle modifications, certain medical interventions may be recommended to prevent or manage osteoporosis during menopause:

Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy, which involves estrogen and sometimes progestin supplementation, can help mitigate bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures in postmenopausal women. However, it’s essential to weigh the benefits and risks of hormone therapy with your healthcare provider, considering individual health factors and preferences.

Calcium And Vitamin D Supplements

In cases where dietary intake is inadequate, calcium and vitamin D supplements may be recommended to support bone health. It’s important to discuss supplementation with your healthcare provider to ensure proper dosing and compatibility with other medications.

Fall Prevention Measures

Taking steps to prevent falls, such as removing tripping hazards, installing grab bars, and practicing balance exercises, can help reduce the risk of fractures, especially for individuals with osteoporosis.

Maintaining bone health during menopause is essential for reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Consulting with healthcare providers and staying proactive about bone health is key to promoting overall well-being during this stage of life.  If you have questions about preventing osteoporosis, set up an appointment to talk to your doctor. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

Psychological Effects Of Infertility

Understanding The Psychological Effects Of Infertility

Bringing a child into the world is often portrayed as a natural and joyous part of life’s journey. However, for many individuals and couples struggling with infertility, the path to parenthood can be filled with emotional turbulence- including the psychological effects of infertility.  Infertility, defined as the inability to conceive after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse, affects millions of people worldwide. 

The Psychological Effects Of Infertility

Beyond its physical implications, infertility can have profound psychological effects, impacting individuals, relationships, and overall well-being.


One of the most significant psychological burdens of infertility is the pervasive sense of loss and grief. The dream of parenthood may seem shattered, leading to feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and profound sadness. Couples often experience a sense of mourning for the child they’ve imagined but cannot conceive. Each negative pregnancy test or failed fertility treatment can deepen these feelings of grief, creating a cycle of despair that is difficult to break.

Relationship Conflicts

Infertility can strain relationships, leading to conflicts, resentment, and communication breakdowns. Couples may struggle to cope with the emotional strain, and differences in coping mechanisms can exacerbate tensions. Each partner may experience infertility differently, with one feeling responsible or defective while the other grapples with feelings of helplessness. Without open and compassionate communication, these dynamics can strain even the strongest relationships.

Anxiety And Uncertainty

The journey through infertility treatment can also evoke feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. The process of fertility testing, treatments, and procedures can be physically demanding, financially draining, and emotionally exhausting. Each step carries the hope of success but also the fear of disappointment. The uncertainty of whether treatments will work can fuel anxiety and stress, leaving individuals feeling powerless and overwhelmed.

Societal Stigma

The societal stigma surrounding infertility can compound its psychological impact. In many cultures, parenthood is glorified, and infertility is often seen as a personal failure or taboo subject. Individuals and couples may feel isolated and ashamed, reluctant to discuss their struggles openly for fear of judgment or pity. This stigma can further exacerbate feelings of loneliness and inadequacy, perpetuating a cycle of silence and suffering.

Despite the challenges infertility presents, it’s essential to recognize that help and support are available. Seeking professional counseling or joining support groups can provide a safe space to process emotions, share experiences, and gain coping strategies. Connecting with others who understand the journey can offer validation and solidarity, reducing feelings of isolation and shame.

Self-Care During Infertility

Moreover, practicing self-care and mindfulness techniques can help individuals manage stress and cultivate resilience. Engaging in activities that bring joy and fulfillment outside of fertility treatments can provide a much-needed sense of balance and perspective. Whether it’s spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or prioritizing physical and emotional well-being, self-care is essential for maintaining resilience in the face of infertility.


For couples navigating infertility, prioritizing their relationship and communication is crucial. Engaging in open and honest conversations about feelings, expectations, and coping strategies can strengthen bonds and foster mutual support. Couples counseling can provide a safe environment to address conflicts, enhance communication skills, and navigate the complex emotions of infertility together.

Explore Your Options

It’s also essential for individuals and couples to explore all available options and make informed decisions that align with their values and goals. While fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or adoption may offer paths to parenthood, they’re not without their own challenges and uncertainties. It’s essential to weigh the physical, emotional, and financial implications carefully and seek guidance from medical professionals and counselors.

The psychological effects of infertility are profound and far-reaching, impacting individuals, relationships, and overall well-being. Understanding and acknowledging the complex emotions associated with infertility is the first step toward healing and resilience. If you have questions about the psychological effects of infertility, set up an appointment to talk to your doctor. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.


Can Hormones Affect Your Sleep?

Believe it or not, hormones and sleep cycles go hand in hand. Any time you go through hormonal changes related to pregnancy and menopause, you may notice sleep disturbances. Stress hormones, such as the stress hormone cortisol, may lead to sleep issues as well. Raleigh OB/GYN is here to dive deeper into how hormones may impact your sleep and what you can do to get a good night’s sleep every night.


Estrogen is a female hormone that comes from the ovaries. While it’s typically linked to reproductive health, estrogen can also help your body increase bone formation and process serotonin, which is a chemical that carries messages between nerve cells in the brain through various parts of your body.

As you near menopause, your estrogen levels may decrease and, as a result, hinder your sleep. You may face common symptoms, like mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats, that impair your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. 


Progesterone is another female hormone that is also produced by the ovaries. It can naturally reduce anxiety, help you fall asleep faster, and minimize sleep disruptions. Unfortunately, however, menstruation and menopause may cause progesterone levels to fall, often leading to anxiety and insomnia. The most common symptoms of low progesterone levels include mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, and a low sex drive. 

Hormonal Insomnia

When hormones, like estrogen and progesterone interfere with your ability to sleep well, you may face hormonal insomnia. You might find it difficult to fall asleep, wake up in the middle of the night, have trouble maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and experience fatigue, irritability, and/or concentration issues due to lack of sleep. While hormonal insomnia can be a frustrating condition, there are many ways to combat it and stop it from arising in the first place. 

How To Improve Hormone-Related Sleep Issues

These tips may help you fall asleep and stay asleep, despite any hormone changes you may be experiencing. 

1. Stick To A Regular Sleep Schedule

Consistency is important if you want to achieve and maintain a good night’s sleep, every night. That’s why you should commit to a regular sleep schedule. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every morning and evening. Remember that waking up too early or sleeping in too much can hinder our sleep quality. 

2. Reduce Distractions

While it may be tempting to surf the internet and scroll through social media at bedtime, doing so can prevent you from falling asleep. It’s a good idea to turn off your phone and television when you’re in bed. Instead, practice relaxing activities that will get you in the mood for bed, like taking a warm bath or listening to soothing music. 

3. Limit Heavy Meals Or Alcohol Consumption

Heavy meals and alcohol can make you feel sleepy. However, they may also hinder your ability to stay asleep for a long period of time. If you do get hungry before bed, opt for a light, nutritious snack and glass of water instead. Schedule dinner and other meals more than three hours before bed.

4. Only Use Your Bed For Sleep

You should dedicate your bed to sleeping. Save your work for your desk and other activities for other places in and out of your house. When you reserve your bed for a good night’s sleep, you’re less likely to get distracted and more likely to fall asleep and stay asleep. Speaking of your bed, make sure it’s furnished with a comfortable mattress and in a dark bedroom with a good temperature. 

Struggling with Hormone-Related Sleep Issues? Contact Raleigh OB/GYN

Raleigh OB/GYN is dedicated to helping you lead your healthiest life. If you’re coping with sleep problems as a result of hormones, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!

breast pain

8 Reasons You May Be Experiencing Breast Pain

At some point in time, you may experience breast pain. In many cases, breast pain, which is also known as mastalgia, is easily treatable and resolves quickly. Sometimes, however, it may be a sign of a more serious condition. Raleigh OB/GYN is here to take a closer look at some of the reasons you may be experiencing breast pain.

1. Hormone Fluctuations 

The leading cause of breast pain is hormonal fluctuations. It’s not uncommon for breasts to become tender for a few days before your menstrual period begins. This occurs because of estrogen and progesterone levels that go up and down. You’ll likely find that your breast pain subsides as you get closer to the end of your period. Experiencing breast pain might also be one of the early signs that you’re pregnant. 

2. Breastfeeding

If you’re breastfeeding a baby, you can expect some breast pain. It may occur because of an improper latch or sore nipples. You might also notice a tingling sensation as soon as the milk flows to your baby. Fortunately, a doctor or lactation consultant can help you reduce breast pain while you’re breastfeeding. Oftentimes, the pain will go away on its own as you and your baby become more comfortable with the process. 

3. Breast Infections 

Typically caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria found on normal skin, breast infections can lead to pain and discomfort. If you’re breastfeeding, you may be prone to a breast infection called mastitis. Some of the common signs of breast infections, aside from pain, include redness and swelling. Be sure to consult your doctor if you think you have a breast infection. They may suggest antibiotics or pain medications. 

4. Poorly-Fitting Bras

Bras that are excessively tight or lack proper support can put excessive pressure on your breast tissue and, in turn, cause pain. To avoid this issue, only wear bras that offer proper support. If you’re unsure of your bra size, you can always use a tape measure at home or get some help at a store that sells bras and related clothing.

5. Vigorous Exercise

While high-impact exercise is good for you, it may also lead to experiencing breast pain, especially if you bounce around repetitively. The good news is a sports bra can reduce breast movement during exercise and help you reduce the risk of pain. A sports bra will give you better support than a traditional bra.

6. Caffeine Consumption

Research shows that there is a connection between the overconsumption of caffeine and breast pain. If you tend to drink many cups of coffee throughout the day and experience breast pain often, you might want to drink less of it. In addition to reducing caffeine, it’s a good idea to stick to a nutritious, well-balanced diet.

7. Medication Side Effects

Some medications may lead to side effects such as breast pain. These may include Oxymetholone for anemia, water pills for kidney and heart disease, Chlorpromazine for mental health conditions, hormone therapies, and Methyldopa for high blood pressure. If you have concerns that your medication is causing breast pain, inform your doctor as soon as possible.

8. Breast Implants

If you’ve undergone breast augmentation surgery and have silicone or saline implants, capsular contracture or tight scar tissue around the implants may develop. Breast pain can be a sign that you have a ruptured implant. Your surgeon can evaluate your breast implants and the area around them to determine if your breast pain is related to your procedure. 

Struggling With Breast Pain? Contact Raleigh OB/GYN

Raleigh OB/GYN is dedicated to helping you lead your healthiest life. If you’re experiencing breast pain and need some guidance, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!

Might Be Pregnant

What Are The Signs You Might Be Pregnant?

A pregnancy test will tell you if you’re pregnant. However, if it’s too early to take one, you may be looking for early signs that you might be pregnant. While a missed period is usually the first sign of pregnancy, there are several other symptoms that can also indicate you may have a baby on the way. Raleigh OB/GYN put together some of the most common signs you might be pregnant. 


Nausea or morning sickness is a telltale sign that you might be pregnant. It can make it difficult for you to eat certain foods and perform your everyday activities. Keep in mind that while many pregnant women only face nausea in the morning, it can occur at any time of the day. In addition, it may stick around long after the first trimester. 

Light Bleeding or Spotting

You may be surprised to find out that light bleeding or spotting that is light red, pink, or brown in color is actually an early sign of pregnancy. It’s known as implantation bleeding and might occur when the fertilized egg implants itself into your uterine lining. Note that this is different from heavy bleeding, which can be a symptom of a miscarriage.

Cervical Mucus Changes

The discharge that comes from your cervix is called cervical mucus. Right after you conceive, your mucus will likely become thicker and stickier than it normally is. It will likely increase and change to a white or yellow color as your pregnancy progresses. 

Cramping Or Lower Abdominal Pain

Implantation cramps may arise with spotting or without it. Unlike menstrual cramps, which are dull and achy, pregnancy-related cramps typically feel like they are pulling or tingling. It’s quite common for them to come and go over a period of a few days— indicating you might be pregnant.

Frequent Urination

If you notice you have to pee more than usual, you may be pregnant, especially if your period is due soon. This is because your body produces HCG, a pregnancy hormone, which can prompt more frequent urination. Progesterone can also cause you to urinate often.

Nasal Congestion

A sudden stuffy or runny nose may mean you’re pregnant due to hormone levels that often cause mucous membranes to swell, bleed, or dry out. Post-nasal drip and itchy eyes might also indicate early pregnancy. Although nasal congestion can have several other causes, if you think you might be pregnant, this could be an early symptom. 

Higher Basal Body Temperature

Basal body temperature (BBT) refers to your temperature when you’re completely at rest. It typically increases right after you ovulate. If you’re pregnant, however, your BBT will remain elevated instead of going back down. You can track your BBT through a basal thermometer or app. 

Tender Breasts

Pregnancy hormones can cause your breasts to feel sore or tender. If you’re used to sensitive breasts before or during your period, note that they’ll likely be more intense. You may also experience a tingling sensation, and your nipples may become sore as well.

Energy Loss and Fatigue 

Progesterone, the hormone that significantly increases during the first trimester, can make you feel exhausted. You may have trouble getting out of bed or performing your daily activities because you’re worn out. Fatigue typically improves by the second trimester and returns in the third trimester. 

Mood Swings

The increase in estrogen and progesterone may lead to mood swings. You might be happy and upbeat one minute and sad the next. In addition, you may be more emotional or sensitive than you normally are. 

Have Questions About Early Pregnancy? Contact Us Today

Pregnancy affects every woman differently. Therefore, you may experience early signs that someone else doesn’t and vice versa. If you think you might be pregnant, have questions about early pregnancy, or would like confirmation that you’re pregnant, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

Pregnancy And Sleep

Pregnancy And Sleep: Common Issues & Tips


While pregnancy is a rewarding experience for many women, it also comes with a number of challenges, including sleep. Fluctuating hormones, physical discomfort, and strong emotions can all take a toll on a pregnant woman’s sleep quality. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we have put together what you need to know about pregnancy and sleep.

What Causes Sleep Discomfort In Pregnant Women?

A number of physical issues, such as nausea, vomiting, tender breasts, and higher body temperature, may disturb sleep quality during pregnancy. As you progress to the second and third trimesters, you might also experience back pain and a larger baby bump that makes it difficult to find a comfortable position. Sleep may also be a challenge if you have anxiety about labor, motherhood, juggling your job with your home life, and other upcoming events and responsibilities. 

Common Sleep Disorders During Pregnancy

The most common sleep issues that pregnant women face include:

  • Insomnia: Insomnia is a general term that means you struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get a good night’s sleep, even in the right environment. The NIH suggests that a majority of women experience insomnia during pregnancy, with rates as high as 80%.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when there is a blockage in your upper airway that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. This condition can also inhibit the flow of oxygen to the fetus. 
  • Restless Legs Syndrome: Restless Legs Syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system that gives you an irrepressible urge to move your legs. It’s widely seen during the third trimester. 
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder: Also known as heartburn or acid reflux, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder feels like a painful burning sensation in your throat. It may make it difficult to sleep well. 

How To Sleep Better During Pregnancy

Fortunately, there are several strategies that can help you reduce sleep issues while pregnant, such as:

  • Try Different Positions: As your baby grows, you might have trouble finding a comfortable sleeping position. Most medical professionals suggest sleeping on your left side with a pillow under your stomach or between your legs as it allows for better circulation. You can also use a body pillow or extra pillows to support your body.
  • Be Strategic About Eating and Drinking: To minimize the risk of heartburn and acid reflux during sleep, refrain from spicy and fatty foods as well as carbonated drinks. It’s also a good idea to eat small meals throughout the day instead of three, larger meals. Don’t forget to stay away from caffeine.
  • Focus on Your Sleep Hygiene: Do your best to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.  Turn off all electronics, lights, and distractions. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and your room is at a good temperature. If you can’t fall asleep, get out of bed and do something for 30 minutes before you try again.
  • Reduce Stress: There’s no denying pregnancy can be stressful. Make it a priority to lower stress levels through relaxing activities like meditating, soaking in a warm bath, doing yoga, and journaling.
  • Avoid Sleep Medications: It may be tempting to take an over-the-counter medication or supplement to help your sleep issues. However, these products usually come with side effects that can be particularly harmful to pregnant women.
  • Consult Your Doctor: If you’ve taken steps to improve your sleep during pregnancy but are still struggling a lot, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. Their personalized advice about pregnancy and sleep can be invaluable.


Sleep disturbances are common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes, physical discomfort, and heightened emotions. If you’re pregnant and having trouble sleeping, we encourage you to reach out to us today. Raleigh OB/GYN is here to provide professional guidance to help you through this stage in your life. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

Hypertension In Pregnancy

What Are The 4 Types Of Hypertension In Pregnancy?


Bringing new life into the world is a joyous journey, but for many expectant mothers, it can come with unexpected challenges, such as hypertension in pregnancy. Hypertension, a condition often overlooked in everyday conversations, can significantly impact pregnancy. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, high blood pressure happens in 1 in every 12 to 17 pregnancies among women ages 20 to 44.

Hypertension In Pregnancy

Hypertension in pregnancy refers to elevated blood pressure levels and is classified into four main types, each with distinct characteristics, implications, and management approaches. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we’re here to help you understand the four types of hypertension in pregnancy. 

       1. Gestational Hypertension

Gestational hypertension typically manifests after the 20th week of pregnancy and is characterized by high blood pressure without the presence of protein in the urine or other systemic symptoms. This condition usually resolves after delivery, and most women with gestational hypertension do not develop complications. However, it requires close monitoring as it can progress to more severe forms of hypertension.

       2. Chronic Hypertension

Chronic hypertension predates pregnancy or is diagnosed before the 20th week of gestation. Women with chronic hypertension often have high blood pressure readings before pregnancy or exhibit persistently elevated levels during pregnancy. This condition requires ongoing management as it poses an increased risk of complications such as preeclampsia. According to the National Library of Medicine, ​​two categories of severity are recognized: mild (up to 179 mm Hg systolic and 109 mm Hg) and severe (≥ 180 systolic or 110 diastolic).

       3. Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a serious condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy. It is often accompanied by other signs such as swelling, rapid weight gain, headaches, vision changes, and abdominal pain. Preeclampsia can progress rapidly and lead to severe complications, affecting the mother’s organs such as the kidneys, liver, and brain, and potentially impacting fetal growth and well-being.

       4. Eclampsia

Eclampsia is the most severe form of preeclampsia and involves the development of seizures or convulsions in a woman with preeclampsia. These seizures can be life-threatening for both the mother and the unborn child and require immediate medical intervention.

Risks and Complications

Hypertension in pregnancy poses risks to both maternal and fetal health. Potential complications include:

  • Reduced Blood Flow: High blood pressure can compromise blood flow to the placenta, affecting the fetus’s growth and development.
  • Premature Birth: Hypertension increases the risk of preterm labor and delivery, which can result in complications for the newborn.
  • Placental Abruption: In severe cases, high blood pressure can lead to the separation of the placenta from the uterine wall, endangering both the mother and the baby.
  • Organ Damage: Preeclampsia and eclampsia can cause damage to vital organs in the mother, leading to severe health consequences.

Management And Treatment

The management of hypertension in pregnancy depends on the type and severity of the condition. It often involves a combination of monitoring, lifestyle modifications, medication, and close medical supervision:

  • Monitoring: Regular blood pressure checks and urine tests are essential for early detection and monitoring of hypertension and associated complications.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Maintaining a healthy diet, adequate hydration, regular exercise, and avoiding stress are crucial in managing blood pressure levels during pregnancy.
  • Medication: In cases where lifestyle modifications aren’t sufficient, healthcare providers may prescribe medications to control blood pressure. However, medication choices may vary to ensure the safety of both the mother and the fetus.

Importance Of Prenatal Care

Early and regular prenatal care is critical in detecting and managing hypertension in pregnancy. Healthcare providers can monitor blood pressure, perform necessary tests, and provide guidance on managing the condition to reduce the risk of complications. Timely intervention and close monitoring can significantly improve outcomes for both mother and baby.


At Raleigh OB/GYN, we are committed to providing care for all stages of a woman’s life. This includes necessary health screenings to monitor well-being and prevent illnesses. If you have questions about hypertension in pregnancy, contact us at 919-876-8225 or request an appointment online.

fetal alcohol syndrome

What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?


Surely, you’re aware of the advice against consuming alcohol during pregnancy, and there’s a good reason behind it. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) represent a range of conditions resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure. These disorders can have profound and lifelong effects on an individual’s physical, mental, and behavioral development. 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Understanding the impact of alcohol on fetal development is crucial to raising awareness and preventing these conditions. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we have put together a comprehensive guide to help you understand Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. 

What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)?

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the most severe form of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. It occurs when a pregnant person consumes alcohol, and the alcohol crosses the placenta, affecting the developing fetus. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is characterized by a distinct set of facial features, growth deficiencies, and central nervous system problems. These include:

Facial Features:

  • Small eye openings
  • Thin upper lip
  • Flat midface
  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip (this ridge is called the philtrum)

Growth Deficiencies:

  • Lower than average birth weight and length
  • Slower growth rate after birth

Central Nervous System Problems:

  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Poor memory
  • Learning and behavioral issues
  • Attention deficits or difficulty paying attention
  • Impaired memory and judgment
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Hyperactivity

Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders encompass a broader spectrum of conditions resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure. These conditions may vary in severity and can include Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, partial FAS, alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD). The effects can manifest differently in each affected individual.

Risks And Impact Of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

Alcohol is a known teratogen, a substance that interferes with fetal development. During pregnancy, alcohol can disrupt the delicate process of cell division and organization, particularly affecting the development of the brain and other vital organs. The risks associated with prenatal alcohol exposure include:


Physical Abnormalities

Alcohol exposure during critical developmental stages can lead to physical deformities, particularly in facial features and organ systems.


Cognitive And Behavioral Issues

FASDs can result in cognitive impairments, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and difficulties with attention and memory.


Emotional And Social Challenges

Individuals with FASDs may struggle with social skills, impulse control, and emotional regulation, impacting their ability to form relationships and navigate daily life.


Health Complications

Prenatal alcohol exposure can increase the risk of various health issues, including heart defects, kidney problems, vision or hearing difficulties, and compromised immune function.


Prevention And Support

The most effective way to prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is to avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Even small amounts of alcohol can pose risks to the developing fetus. For individuals planning to conceive or already pregnant, abstaining from alcohol is the safest choice. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, protective factors include:

  • Diagnosis before six years of age
  • Loving, nurturing, and stable home environment during the school years
  • Absence of violence
  • Involvement in special education and social services

Early intervention and support are crucial for individuals affected by FASDs. Diagnosis and intervention services can help manage the symptoms and provide specialized care and educational support tailored to the individual’s needs. This may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, and educational accommodations. 


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are entirely preventable conditions, emphasizing the importance of alcohol abstinence during pregnancy. If you have more questions about FAS or FASDs, set up an appointment to talk to one of our providers. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

get pregnant

Struggling To Get Pregnant? You Are Not Alone

If you have been struggling to get pregnant, know that you are not alone. Believe it or not, one out of every eight couples in the United States has trouble conceiving. Infertility can be the result of both men and women and has a variety of causes. 

Dealing With Infertility

Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we understand the impact infertility can have on an individual and in a partnership. Read on to learn more about the causes and risk factors of infertility, as well as what you can do to treat it, get pregnant, and achieve your dream of becoming a parent.  

Causes Of Infertility

The causes of infertility differ in men and women. In men, infertility may occur because of abnormal sperm production or function, issues with the delivery of sperm, overexposure to certain environmental factors such as cigarette smoking, alcohol, and marijuana, and cancer-related damage.

In women, infertility may be present because of ovarian disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), abnormalities with the uterus or cervix, damage or blockage in the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, pelvic adhesions, and early menopause.

Infertility Risk Factors

The risk factors of infertility are the same for men and women and include:


As a woman gets older, her fertility gradually declines. After age 35, her fertility drastically declines because she has fewer and lower-quality eggs. Men over age 40 may be less fertile as well. 


When a woman or man smokes, their chances of conceiving declines. Smoking also reduces the effectiveness of fertility treatments.

Alcohol Use

Women and men should avoid alcohol use while they are trying to get pregnant. It can decrease sperm count and increase the risk of birth defects.

Being Overweight

Men and women who would like to have a baby should lead an active lifestyle, as being inactive and overweight may increase infertility risk.

What Can Be Done?

If you are facing infertility, understand that there are a number of treatments that can help you and your partner become parents:


  • Ovulation induction: Uses fertility medications to stimulate the release of one or more eggs from the ovary.
  • In-vitro fertilization: Eggs are fertilized outside the body and then implanted in the uterus.
  • Intrauterine Insemination: Placing sperm directly into the uterus during the woman’s fertile window
  • Fertility preservation: Freezing of embryos, eggs, or sperm for future reproduction.


Regardless of whether the infertility is caused by a man or woman, one or a combination of the above treatments may help.

Seeking Professional Help

If conception does not occur after a year of trying, it is advisable to seek guidance from a healthcare professional specializing in reproductive medicine. Both partners may undergo a series of tests to identify any underlying issues. These tests can include hormone assessments, imaging studies, and evaluations of sperm quality.

Emotional Impact Of Infertility

The emotional toll of infertility can be significant, affecting individuals and couples on both a personal and relational level. Feelings of frustration, sadness, guilt, and inadequacy are not uncommon. It is essential for those experiencing fertility struggles to communicate openly with each other and seek support, whether from friends, family, or mental health professionals.

If you are under 35 and healthy and have tried to get pregnant for a year with no success, or over 35 and healthy and have not been able to conceive after six months of trying, schedule an appointment at our office today. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, our team of physicians, nurses, and medical staff are committed to providing patient care in a nurturing, supportive environment. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

Cervical Cancer 101: What You Need To Know

cervical cancer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, about 11,500 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed. Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. 

Cervical Cancer 101

As a significant health concern for women worldwide, understanding its basics can empower individuals to take proactive steps in prevention, early detection, and treatment. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we have put together a comprehensive guide for those with any questions regarding cervical cancer. 

The Importance of Early Detection

Early detection is crucial for successful treatment outcomes in cervical cancer. Regular screenings and medical attention, if any symptoms arise, can significantly improve the chances of detecting the disease at an early, more treatable stage.



HPV Vaccination

Vaccination against HPV is a powerful preventive measure. The HPV vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls and is usually administered in early adolescence before the onset of sexual activity. By protecting against the most common cancer-causing HPV strains, the vaccine significantly reduces the risk of cervical cancer.

Regular Pap Smears

Pap smears are essential for early detection. During a Pap smear, cells from the cervix are collected and examined for abnormalities. Regular screening can identify precancerous changes, allowing for medical attention before cancer develops.

Safe Sexual Practices

Practicing safe sex, including the use of condoms, can reduce the risk of HPV transmission. Limiting the number of sexual partners can also contribute to prevention.

Smoking Cessation

Smoking is a known risk factor for cervical cancer. In fact, women who smoke are about twice as likely as those who don’t smoke to get cervical cancer.  Quitting smoking not only improves overall health but also reduces the risk of developing cervical and other cancers.


In its early stages, this cancer may not present noticeable symptoms. As the disease progresses, common signs may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause
  • Pelvic pain or pain during sexual intercourse
  • Unexplained weight loss and fatigue
  • Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider can help monitor any changes and address concerns promptly

Risk Factors

Several factors can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common risk factor. HPV is a group of related viruses that can be transmitted through sexual contact. Other risk factors include smoking, a weakened immune system, and a family history of cervical cancer.

Screening Guidelines

Screening guidelines for cervical cancer may vary depending on factors such as age, sexual history, and risk factors. However, general recommendations include:

Pap Smear

Women between the ages of 21 through 29 should have a Pap smear every three years. After the age of 30, a combination of Pap smear and HPV testing is typically recommended every five years.

HPV Testing

HPV testing may be done alone or in conjunction with a Pap smear for women aged 30 and older.


HPV vaccination is recommended for individuals between the ages of 9 and 26, but it is recommended at ages 11-12 years old. 

Treatment Options

If cervical cancer is detected, treatment options depend on the stage of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and other factors. Common treatment modalities include:


Depending on the stage and extent of the cancer, surgical procedures such as a hysterectomy or removal of lymph nodes may be recommended.

Radiation Therapy

High-energy rays are used to target and destroy cancer cells.


Medications are administered to kill cancer cells or stop their growth.

Targeted Therapy

Specific drugs are used to target cancer cells without affecting healthy cells.

Cervical cancer is a significant health issue that affects women worldwide, but with awareness and proactive measures, it can be preventable and treatable. If you have more questions about cervical cancer or women’s health, set up an appointment to talk to one of our providers. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.