Tag Archives: OBGYN

health screenings

7 Health Screenings Every Woman Should Get

Throughout a woman’s life, there are many health concerns she should keep in mind. Often, these concerns change with age. One of the best practices in maintaining good health is getting recommended health screenings to detect any illness early so it can be treated more easily. 

Health Screenings For Women

Well-woman care is recommended to all women, no matter their age. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we understand the importance of health screenings, as they help to improve your overall health by preventing diseases and other complications. Continue reading to get an overview of some of the important screenings every woman should get throughout her life, when she should get them, and how often.


Women should get their cholesterol tested regularly starting at age 20 if they are at increased risk of heart disease due to family history or other illnesses that might be linked to heart disease or high cholesterol. Because it varies on individual health, your doctor can talk to you about how often you should be tested.

Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure is probably taken at the beginning of most doctor’s appointments. But if not, it should be tested regularly. You can get tested every two years if you have normal blood pressure lower than 120/80. If you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89, then a test once a year is necessary. If your blood pressure is any higher than that, you should discuss a treatment plan with your doctor. 

Breast Cancer

Doctors recommend women of all ages do monthly self-exams to detect any lumps or changes in breast tissue. Beginning at age 40, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends health screenings such as annual mammograms.

Cervical Cancer

All women should get regular health screenings for cervical cancer. Pap smears, or Pap tests, are performed by collecting cells from the cervix with a swab and then screening them for abnormalities. HPV tests can also be a part of a cervical cancer screening, as HPV is a leading cause of cervical cancer.

Many gynecologists include a Pap smear in an annual well-woman exam, but not all of them do. If it’s not part of your annual checkup, the general recommendation is as follows:

  • Women 21 and over should get a Pap test at least every three years.
  • Women 30 – 64 can get an HPV test and a Pap smear together every five years.
  • Women 65 and older should talk to their doctor about when and if they need to get a Pap test.

Colorectal Cancer

From ages 50-75, a woman should get health screenings for colorectal cancer once every 5-10 years. This range changes if you are at greater risk for colorectal cancer due to family history, a hereditary condition, inflammatory bowel disease, or if polyps have been found in prior screenings. Then the frequency could be every 1-5 years.

There are several types of colorectal screenings, and your doctor will discuss with you the best option for you. These screening methods can include:

  • Colonoscopy
  • CT colonography
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Barium enemas
  • Stool tests


Type 2 diabetes affects almost 10% of the U.S. population, with even more Americans considered prediabetic. How often and when you should get tested for diabetes varies on your overall health, family history, and whether you have other conditions that are linked to the disease. 

It is recommended for most people to get tested for diabetes once every three years after age 45. If you have high blood pressure, especially if you take hypertension medication, you should get screened for diabetes earlier and more often than people without hypertension. 

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for sexually transmitted infections. Even if you are generally knowledgeable about STIs, you might not know when or how often to get tested for STIs. The CDC provides excellent information on many sexually transmitted diseases, including the symptoms, risks, and guidelines for health screenings and treatment.

If you are sexually active, it is important to know the symptoms of STIs and when you should get tested, even if you use protection. STIs can affect not only your sexual health but other body systems. Left untreated, they can be serious. However, with appropriate screening, many STIs are treatable, if not curable. The most common STIs include

  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
  • HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus)
  • Chlamydia
  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis

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 what kind of health screenings you should get and when, contact us at 919-876-8225 or request an appointment online.


The Ins And Outs Of A Hysteroscopy

A hysteroscopy is a procedure used to diagnose or treat problems of the uterus. This procedure may be done for various reasons, including preventative and diagnostic care. At Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, hysteroscopies are performed in-office by our physicians. The procedure is scheduled for a day when you are not having your menstrual period. 

What Is A Hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is used to diagnose or treat problems in the uterus using an instrument called a hysteroscope, which is a thin, lighted tube that acts as a telescope. It is inserted through the vagina into the uterus. The scope transmits images from inside the body to a screen. Other instruments may be used along with the hysteroscope, depending on why the procedure is being performed. 

Why Is A Hysteroscopy Done?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the most common reason for a hysteroscopy is to diagnose the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. Abnormal uterine bleeding includes unusually heavy periods, prolonged menstrual periods, or bleeding between periods. Other reasons a hysteroscopy may be performed include 

  • Removing non-cancerous fibroids or polyps
  • Diagnosing the cause of repeated miscarriage
  • Helping to discover the underlying cause of fertility problems
  • Removing adhesions that are the result of an infection or previous surgery
  • Finding the location of an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Postmenopausal women experiencing unexplained bleeding 

Some possible complications of hysteroscopy include infection, bleeding, pelvic inflammatory disease, or complications from fluid or gas used to expand the uterus.

How Do You Prepare For A Hysteroscopy?

At Raleigh OB/GYN, hysteroscopies are performed in-office by one of our physicians on a day you are not having your menstrual period. Before your procedure, you should take a shower and refrain from using any lotions, perfumes, or deodorants. Depending on your specific needs, your provider may give you medication to help you relax and open your cervix. 

What Happens During A Hysteroscopy?

Before the hysteroscope is inserted, the vagina and cervix are cleaned with an antiseptic solution. Once this is complete, the hysteroscope is passed into your womb, and fluid is gently pumped inside to make it easier for your doctor to see. To do this, an instrument called a speculum may be inserted into your vagina to hold it open. Images are sent to a monitor so your provider can spot any abnormalities. This procedure generally takes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes but can take longer or shorter depending on the diagnosis and symptoms.

How Do You Recover From Hysteroscopy?

In most cases, you can go home the same day you have the procedure. Those who were administered general anesthesia will need to wait until it has worn off or have someone take them home. Some women may experience slight discomfort, cramping, or blood discharge post-procedure— this is considered normal. However, should you experience a fever, severe abdominal pain, or heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge, consult your doctor right away. Refrain from having sexual intercourse for roughly seven days to decrease the risk of infection. Unless directed otherwise by your healthcare provider, you can return to your normal activities the next day. 


Procedures like hysteroscopies are performed to inspect the uterine cavity in order to diagnose and treat a number of different conditions, such as abnormal bleeding, polyps, fibroids, adhesions, and septums. The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at Raleigh OB/GYN offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to the women of the Raleigh, NC area. If you have questions or concerns about a health issue that can be diagnosed or treated with a hysteroscopy, call our office at (919) 876-8225 to make an appointment.


5 Signs You Should Speak To Your OB/GYN About Infertility

Infertility is a complex and private subject that often goes undiscussed, yet it affects millions of people yearly. The first step when you’re struggling with conceiving is to consult your OB/GYN. Your gynecologist is equipped to perform a fertility evaluation and make further recommendations. Some common reasons for infertility include age, your partner’s fertility, sexually transmitted diseases, being underweight or overweight, and other lifestyle factors. 

When To Speak To Your OB/GYN About Infertility

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, irregular or abnormal ovulation accounts for approximately 25 percent of all female infertility problems. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we know infertility is a complicated topic and can be easily misconstrued — luckily, we are here to help you through this journey.

1. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a disease in which the presence of tissue resembling the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grows outside the uterus. Signs of endometriosis include painful periods, abnormal bleeding, pain with intercourse, pain with bowel movements, changes in urination, and infertility. An estimated 40% of women with infertility have endometriosis. Seeking treatment for infertility is often how many women are first diagnosed with endometriosis. If you have any of the symptoms above or are diagnosed with endometriosis and trying to conceive, it is recommended that you set up an appointment with your OB/GYN.

2. Irregular Menstrual Cycles

Irregular periods do not directly cause infertility, however, the lack of these cycles can make it difficult to fall pregnant. Irregular or abnormal ovulation accounts for 30% to 40% of all infertility cases. This condition is known as anovulation and includes irregular periods, abnormal bleeding, or no period at all. Any signs or symptoms of irregular menstrual cycles warrant a visit to your OB/GYN.

3. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Sexually transmitted diseases have been associated with directly or indirectly causing infertility in both men and women. Specifically, chlamydia and gonorrhea can affect fertility as they can turn into pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women. STDs often present with no symptoms and, when left untreated, can result in more damage. Getting regular STD screening through your OB/GYN can help prevent complications, including infertility.

4. Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are growths in the uterus made of uterine muscles. Fibroids can cause infertility due to a blockage of the uterus and fallopian tubes. Symptoms of uterine fibroids include 

  • Pelvic pressure or pain
  • Constipation
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Menstrual periods lasting more than seven days
  • Frequent urination

Fibroids have been linked to infertility and pregnancy complications such as placental abruption, preterm delivery, and growth restriction. Luckily, a procedure known as a myomectomy can be performed to remove fibroids while preserving the uterus. 

5. Failure To Achieve Pregnancy After 12 Months Of Unprotected Sex 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the medical definition of infertility is the inability to get pregnant after one year or longer of unprotected sex. If you are having trouble conceiving, the first step is to visit your OB/GYN. From there, your provider will go through your medical history, vaccinations, dietary guidance, lifestyle and behaviors, and exam health screenings. 


At Raleigh OB/GYN, we believe that patient education is an invaluable tool. For that reason, our doctors and staff provide patients with the information necessary to make informed decisions about their health and body, along with screenings and tests that can help detect underlying causes of infertility. We want to ensure you understand everything about your fertility journey and how having a healthy cycle impacts your overall well-being. If you have been struggling with 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.

visiting your ob/gyn

6 Myths About Visiting Your OB/GYN

Gynecological exams are recommended annually to ensure proper health screening, procedures, and testing. However, when it comes to visiting your OB/GYN, there are loads of misconceptions and misinformation that may discourage you from making your next appointment. But don’t let the myths fool you— there are several highly advantageous benefits to visiting your OB/GYN at least once a year. 

Myths About Visiting Your OB/GYN

Are you neglecting your routine OB/GYN appointments due to inaccurate information? At Raleigh OB/GYN, we understand talking about your sexual health isn’t a favorable pastime. However, gynecologists are in this profession because they love women, health, and proactive care! Check out these common myths about visiting your OB/GYN.

  1. You Have To Be A Certain Age To Visit Your OB/GYN

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends annual gynecological exams for women starting at the age of 21. However, young females should have their first visit between the ages of 13-15 to discuss body awareness and future options. This may include conversations regarding puberty, birth control, and safe sex.

  1. Pap Smears Test For STIs

A common misconception is that pap smears test for sexually transmitted infections. However, a pap smear is conducted to look for any cell changes in your cervix, which may lead to cervical cancer. Although cervical cancer is often caused by human papillomavirus, which is an STD, pap smears only test for cell changes and not if you have HPV. 

  1. You Don’t Need Annual Appointments With Your OB/GYN

The focus of annual appointments includes preventative care such as Pap smears and breast exams, along with discussing any abnormal health concerns. Some issues may include irregular menstrual cycles, birth control needs, sexual health questions, the inability to wear a tampon, and others. Visiting your OB/GYN annually is important for preventative care and maintaining your overall well-being. 

  1. STD Screening Is Included In All Gynecological Exams

Although some OB/GYN providers will suggest getting STD screening based on your sexual history, not all gynecological exams include testing. Additionally, some sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia present with no symptoms at all. When it comes to your gynecological exams, even if you are symptom-free, getting STD screenings at least once a year is highly recommended.

  1. My Gynecologist Is Going To Judge Me

We get it—talking about sex with your doctor isn’t exactly a favorable pastime. But remember, your gynecologist is there to help you, not pass judgment! That said, it is crucial to be honest with your gynecologist about your sexual past. Questions about sexual partners have a purpose and play a role in preventative care, helping to identify your risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

  1. I Don’t Need to Visit The Gynecologist If I Only Have One Sex Partner

Many people believe that having sexual intercourse with the same partner poses little to no risk for an STD. Although this is true in some cases, visiting your OB/GYN has benefits far beyond sexual health screenings. Other reasons to set annual appointments with your OB/GYN include physical exams, breast exams, cancer screening, pelvic exams, birth control needs, and overall physical health.


Scheduling routine appointments to be evaluated by a professional who specializes in women’s health is important for maintaining your well-being. Visits can be conducted in a relaxed environment and are designed to keep you comfortable and safe from any issues that may arise. Don’t let myths about visiting your OB/GYN stand in the way of you and your health! If you have more questions, our team of physicians, nurses, and medical staff are here to help! For more information, give us a call at 919-876-8225 or request an appointment.

Thyroid Diseases

4 Common Thyroid Diseases: Causes And Treatments

January marks Thyroid Awareness Month, which calls attention to medical conditions that keep your thyroid from producing the appropriate amount of hormones. The thyroid is a part of the endocrine system, which is responsible for skin integrity, menstrual cycles, calcium levels, cholesterol levels, the nervous system, and more. According to the American Thyroid Association, roughly 60% of those with thyroid diseases are unaware they suffer from any condition at all. 

January Is Thyroid Awareness Month

The thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland, is responsible for keeping the heart, brain, muscles, and organs working properly. To raise awareness for conditions of the thyroid during this month, Raleigh OB/GYN has outlined 4 common thyroid diseases, their causes, and treatments. 


The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland in your neck that makes two hormones that are secreted into the bloodstream— thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid produces too much hormone thyroxine. When this occurs, many of the body’s functions speed up. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Weight loss with or without increased appetite
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Extreme fatigue or trouble sleeping
  • Shaky hands and muscle weakness
  • Trouble tolerating warmer temperatures
  • Frequent bowel movements

Thyroid diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, are diagnosed using blood tests and imaging tests. When the diagnosis is confirmed, hyperthyroidism is usually treated using medication, radioiodine therapy, or thyroid surgery.   


On the opposite end of hyperthyroidism is hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones, and your body’s functions slow down. NIH suggests roughly 5 out of 100 Americans ages 12 years or older have hypothyroidism. Common symptoms of this thyroid disorder include:

  • Weight gain without surplus caloric intake
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Trouble tolerating cooler temperatures
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression

Hypothyroidism tends to develop slowly, and some symptoms may not be noticeable for months or years. Similarly to hyperthyroidism, blood tests or imaging tests will be used to confirm the diagnosis. Thyroid diseases such as hypothyroidism are treated by taking medication that is identical to the hormone normally produced by the thyroid gland.


Thyroiditis is the medical term for “inflammation of the thyroid gland” and encompasses a group of individual disorders that cause thyroid inflammation. These thyroid diseases are caused by an attack on the thyroid, which directly causes inflammation and damage to the cells. According to thyroid.org, there are no symptoms unique to thyroiditis, but typical symptoms may include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, depression, and difficulty exercising. 

Because thyroiditis represents a group of conditions, treatment can vary. Some treatment options may include beta-blockers, thyroid hormone replacement medication, antibiotics, or surgical treatment. 

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is when the cells of the thyroid gland begin to grow out of control. The early stages of thyroid cancer don’t often present symptoms. Yet as it grows, you may notice neck or throat pain, a lump in your neck, difficulty swallowing, vocal changes, or a cough. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, roughly 12,000 men and 33,000 women get thyroid cancer. Luckily, there are treatment options, including surgery, radioactive iodine therapy, thyroid hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted drug therapy. 


With the thyroid performing some of the most essential functions for the body, it can affect nearly every aspect of your overall health. From your mood to digestion and energy, your thyroid does it all. If you need more information about common thyroid diseases, or if you’re suffering from symptoms similar to any of the listed above, consult a provider at Raleigh OB/GYN. The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at our practice offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services. Visit our website to make an appointment, or call us at (919) 876-8225.

new year’s resolution

5 Achievable New Year’s Resolutions For Moms

Being a mom is a challenging, full-time job. As 2022 comes to an end, you may look to 2023 to make some positive changes in your life. However, this doesn’t mean saying yes to every new wellness trend as it comes along. Being healthy and happy are two wonderful characteristics to portray for your children. The goal of these new year’s resolutions for moms is to help you establish realistic habits with measurable results so you can maintain them for years to come. 

Achievable New Year’s Resolutions For Moms

Every new year is an excellent opportunity to assess your lifestyle behaviors and make adjustments to refresh and reset. If you want to make positive changes in 2023, Raleigh OB/GYN has compiled a list of simple and achievable new year’s resolutions for moms.

1. Limit Screen Time Around Kids

Screens have become an integral part of today’s generation. Technology is used to distract and occupy children where time outside and face-to-face communication have been placed on the back burner. Children are sponges and, in most instances, mirror their parent’s behaviors. This said, if you’re spending hours upon hours in front of screens, it increases the likelihood of your child wanting to engage in similar behaviors. A great new year’s resolution for moms is to limit screen time— as it will make for a happy, healthier, and more social mom and child!

2. Opt For One Family Meal A Week

We get it— between school, homework, sports, and other extracurricular activities, getting the whole family to sit down to have dinner can be challenging. A great new year’s resolution for 2023 is to opt into at least one family meal a week. According to childtrends.org, family meals can improve parent-child relationships and give kids a sense of connectedness and stability. Not only do family meals boost development, but it’s also a great way to ensure your child is eating healthy and nutritious meals!

3. Prioritize Exercise

You may be tired of hearing how good exercise is for your overall well-being. However, as overstated as it is, there is truth behind the talk! The CDC suggests that regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health. A great new year’s resolution in 2023 is to try and engage in some sort of physical exercise for at least 150 minutes per week.

4. Quit The Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk can directly impact your mental well-being. A great new year’s resolution in 2023 is to change the way we talk to ourselves. Some ways to quit negative self-talk include:

  • Catch yourself when the negative thoughts creep in
  • Address negativity and turn it into neutrality 
  • Repeat positive affirmations
  • Don’t say anything to yourself you wouldn’t say to someone else

By doing these few small steps, you can begin to heal your relationship with your inner self and learn to treat yourself with kindness and compassion. 

5. Enjoy The Little Things

Sometimes it can be easy to get swept up in all the to-dos and daily hassles. Don’t forget your child won’t stay young forever. Remember to celebrate the milestones, and make time to slow down and enjoy these early years. 

2023 is the year to set achievable new year’s resolutions that will help you be the best version of yourself. When you prioritize yourself and your needs, you are able to give more to your family.  The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at our practice offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to help you better understand your health and well-being as a woman. For more information, give us a call at 919-876-8225 or request an appointment.

new moms

A 2023 Gift Guide For New Moms

Finding the perfect gift for new moms can challenge even the most seasoned shopper. At first glance, it may seem like all of her needs have been met with the baby shower gifts that were given to her or that she already has everything she needs to be successful as a mother. When in doubt, focus on finding something to help ease some of the burdens of being a new mom. This gift guide for new moms will help you pick something to make life easier for mommy, baby, and everyone else around them.

Gift Guide For New Moms

Being a new mom can be one of the most challenging jobs in the world. Raleigh OB/GYN understands that getting a gift she’ll actually use in this season of life is more important than ever. Are you struggling to find the perfect holiday offering? Look no further— we’ve put together a 2023 gift guide for new moms.

1. Mama Must-Haves Kit—Hatch

This Mama Must-Haves Kit from Hatch combines three of their best-selling essentials for new moms or moms-to-be. This gift set gives her foundational pieces, including belly oil, nipple and lip balm, and soothing leg and foot rub relief. An added benefit, HATCH Mama Beauty Products are made with all-natural ingredients!  

2. Care for Birth Box— Bodily Care

A new mom has many challenges ahead of her, and being able to ease her burden in some way should be your first priority when purchasing gifts. What better way to help ease those burdens than a complete care package for new mamas? This kit includes birth recovery, postpartum, and breastfeeding essentials. This award-winning kit contains 11 research-backed products including, but not limited to, nipple gel pads, cozy socks, peri wash bottle, mesh undies, giant maxi pads, guidebooks, and more. 

3.  Multifunction Baby Bag—Dikaslon

Looking for a useful gift that won’t break the bank? This multifunction baby bag will do the trick. Not only is this diaper tote spacious and sturdy, but it has the ability to be carried messenger style and easily converts from a shoulder bag to a cross-body bag for grab-and-go convenience. This bag comes in black, dark gray, and gray, all with 3 insulated pouches, 5 easy-access pockets inside for bottles, diapers, or wipes, and two sides pocket with magnetic closures.

4.  Baby Wrap Carrier—Pottery Barn

Baby wraps have a plethora of benefits for new moms and babies! Not only are they great for moms on the go, but they also help to soothe your baby by making skin-to-skin contact easier. This baby wrap carrier by Pottery Barn is easy to wrap on, and its breathable and lightweight construction is designed to keep your little one comfy and cozy.

5. Instant Photo Printer—HP Sprocket

It’s not a secret that babies grow fast. New moms often want to document most, if not every, milestone from their bundle of joy. This instant photo printer is a great gift for those who want to capture all the memories! This portable photo printer is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.  

6. RoboVac—Eufy by Anker

Let’s face it, no one wants to spend their free time vacuuming— especially new moms. Not only is it time-consuming and tedious, but loud enough to irritate or wake up your sleeping baby! This RoboVac is quiet, self-charging, and cleans hard floors to medium-pile carpets.

Now that you have some great gift ideas for new moms, it’s time to start your holiday shopping! Raleigh OB/GYN has over 45 years of experience serving the women in our communities and is here to help. If you have questions about family planning or any obstetrical and gynecological care, 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.

planning for pregnancy

Planning For Pregnancy: Your Preconception Checklist

Are you ready to bring your own little miracle into the world? Many women believe that modifying their lifestyle only begins once they fall pregnant. Even though there is some truth behind this, there are a number of steps you can take before trying to conceive that can help better prepare you for the lifestyle, financial, and bodily changes you are about to undergo. Planning for pregnancy can be equally important as the steps you take to promote a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy.  

Your Preconception Checklist

Planning for pregnancy means spending time making healthy lifestyle changes that can have a lifetime of impact on you, your baby, and your family. Raleigh OB/GYN has outlined a few boxes to tick off before trying to conceive. 

Schedule A Checkup

One of the most critical steps to take when planning for pregnancy is to schedule a preconception appointment with your OB/GYN. During this appointment, your doctor may review your health history, pre-existing medical conditions, current lifestyle behaviors, medications/ vaccinations, and perform a physical exam. Usually, the physical exams include a pelvis exam or pap smear.  

Alter Lifestyle Choices

When planning for pregnancy, it is crucial to consider your lifestyle choices, such as drinking alcohol, smoking, nutrition, and body weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests people who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for complications during pregnancy, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Additionally, smoking and drinking alcohol can also cause complications, including premature birth, congenital disabilities, and stillbirth. In planning for pregnancy, ensure you reach and maintain a healthy weight, avoid toxic substances, and eat a nutritious diet. 

Make A Budget

It is important to keep in mind that you will need to have several doctor visits throughout your pregnancy. This may leave you wondering, how much will this cost? A great way to ease the angst and get a better idea of the number going into pregnancy is to make a budget. We suggest calling your insurance company to find out what they will cover, such as OB/GYN appointments, ultrasounds, prenatal vitamins, prenatal screenings, genetic testing, and labor and delivery. Other pregnancy costs include, but are not limited to, maternity clothing, medications, nursery costs, baby clothes, stroller, car seat, etc.  

Start Prenatal Supplements 

Prenatal supplements contain essential vitamins for both mom and baby. The American College for Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests the most important vitamins and minerals during pregnancy include:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Choline
  • Vitamin A, C, D, B6, and B12
  • Folic acid

Eating well and ensuring you are getting an adequate dose of the nutrients listed above is one of the best things you can do while planning for pregnancy and during your pregnancy.  

Learn Family History

Your family health history is vital to your child’s health. History that includes birth defects, developmental disabilities, or other genetic conditions is all crucial to know and relay to your doctor while planning for pregnancy. Depending on your family history, your doctor may suggest genetic testing or counseling to maximize your chances of a healthy and successful pregnancy and baby. Learning about your and your partner’s health history before getting pregnant is a highly recommended precautionary measure.


Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we understand the importance of planning for pregnancy— and we’re here to guide you the whole way! From making a plan to execution, we are dedicated to helping you understand every step of your unique pregnancy journey. If you have questions about preconception health, 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.


Dos and Donts For Women With Exercise-Induced Amenorrhea

Amenorrhea is the medical term for the absence of monthly menstrual periods. There are two types of amenorrhea— primary and secondary. Primary amenorrhea is when a girl doesn’t get her period by the time she is 15 years of age. Secondary amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation for three months or more by a woman who has had periods in the past. For the purpose of this blog, we will focus on exercise-induced amenorrhea, which falls under the category of secondary amenorrhea. 

The Dos And Donts Of Exercise-Induced Amenorrhea

Exercise-induced amenorrhea is a condition that occurs in female athletes due to environmental, nutritional, and metabolic stressors. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism states that the reproductive system’s sensitivity to these stressors causes the suppression of menstruation in athletes. In many cases, women with exercise-induced amenorrhea are thought to have low body fat levels and nutritional deficiencies.

Exercise-Induced Amenorrhea Do’s

  1. Do Focus On Adequate Nutrition

Many women believe they have stopped menstruating specifically due to over-exercising or too little body fat. According to the Female and Male Athlete Triad, a group of women with similar exercise programs and low percent body fat will not all experience menstrual problems, and those that do usually have inadequate nutrition. When a body goes through famine-like conditions, it halts menstruation due to insufficient fuel to support a fetus. Ensure when you are eating, it is balanced with nutritious foods that contain necessary fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. 

  1. Do Toss The Scale

While stepping on the scale may feel like a necessity for women with disordered eating, it actually causes more harm than good. Instead of starving your body for a number on the scale, try eating intuitively. Eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full. By doing this, your body will achieve a natural weight that matches your energy exertion and genetics. If tossing the scale altogether seems daunting and overwhelming, some women start by hiding the scale, so it is at least out of sight. 

  1. Do Understand The Long-Term Health Consequences

It is important to understand the long-term health consequences for those struggling with amenorrhea due to over-exercising and disordered eating. NEDA outlines a few possible results including:

  • The risk for heart failure rises as heart rate, and blood pressure levels sink lower.
  • Slowed-down digestion, known as gastroparesis, can lead to stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, blood sugar fluctuations, bacterial infections, and more.
  • Neurological implications affecting sleep, balance, and breathing.
  • Other consequences such as hair growth, dry skin, dehydration, hair loss, and anemia. 

Additionally, many women with amenorrhea also pose a risk for early onset osteoporosis, which is when the bones become less dense, weak, and brittle and are much more likely to fracture. 

Exercise-Induced Amenorrhea Dont’s

  1. Don’t Omit Certain Food Groups

Many women with amenorrhea due to disordered eating have “safe foods,” which are foods that are “safe” to eat. These foods don’t feel threatening to the overarching goal of weight loss. Eating outside of one’s “safe foods” can be anxiety-provoking and leave them feeling a loss of control. Try challenging the anxiety by not omitting certain food groups. This can also lead to a healthier relationship with food.   

  1. Don’t Skip Meals

Skipping meals is something that is often talked about when trying to lose weight. Women with exercise-induced amenorrhea should not be going too long without meals or intentionally doing without breakfast, lunch, or dinner. When you skip a meal, not only does your blood sugar drop, but you may experience anxiety, decreases in your energy, digestion irregularities, nutrient deficiencies, and even begin to lose touch with your hunger and fullness cues. Trust your body, listen to your body, be intuitive, and enjoy everything in moderation!

  1. Don’t Neglect Getting Help

When your behaviors start to get in the way of normal bodily functions, such as your menstrual cycle, but also affect your mental health, it is time to seek help. To contact the National Eating Disorder hotline, visit https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org. To find a sports dietitian in your area, use the American Dietetic Association’s referral networks:  www.SCANdpg.org or www.eatright.org

If you need more information about amenorrhea, or if you’re suffering from symptoms similar to amenorrhea, consult a provider at Raleigh OB/GYN. The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at our practice offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to help you better understand your menstruation. Visit our website to make an appointment, or call us at (919) 876-8225.

sexually transmitted diseases

4 Of The Most Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases (And What To Do About Them)

Sexual health screenings are recommended regularly in order to maintain your sexual and overall health. Usually, your doctors will make recommendations on when you need to get certain screenings based on your age, history, and current lifestyle. If you are sexually active, your doctor will often suggest getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 million sexually transmitted diseases are acquired daily worldwide.  

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Specifically for women, sexually transmitted diseases can pose a serious risk to reproductive health if left untreated. Many STDs don’t have alarming symptoms— sometimes, you may experience no symptoms at all! Here at Raleigh OBGYN, we urge all women who are sexually active to be tested regularly. To learn more about the most common sexually transmitted diseases and what to do about them, continue reading.   

     1. Chlamydia

According to the CDC, chlamydia often presents with no symptoms. However, if it goes untreated, it has the potential to cause serious health problems and even permanently damage a woman’s reproductive system. Because of this, it is imperative to get tested regularly if you are sexually active. When chlamydia does present symptoms, they may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Penis discharge
  • A burning sensation while peeing
  • Pain or swelling in one or both testicles
  • Rectal pain 
  • Abnormal bleeding 

Luckily, chlamydia is curable and can be detected with a simple laboratory test. The treatment for chlamydia is usually antibiotics, and when taken correctly, it has a success rate of 95%. It is important to note that repeat infection with chlamydia is common, and just because you got it once doesn’t mean you’re immune. Always using protection during sex and getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases at least once a year is highly recommended. 

     2. Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is considered one of the more common sexually transmitted diseases, with more than 3 million US cases yearly. This specific STD tends to target areas of the body that are warm and moist. Gonorrhea, like chlamydia, may present with no symptoms. However, those who do show symptoms may experience:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis, testicle(s), or vagina
  • Pain during urination or intercourse
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • A pus-like discharge from the penis
  • Fever
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Rectal bleeding or discharge

Although gonorrhea is highly treatable, it will not go away by itself. It is also important to note that babies of infected mothers can be infected during childbirth. Getting tested for STDs before trying to conceive is always a good idea. 

     3. Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is an STD that can be spread through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and saliva. Only about half of people who are infected with Hepatitis B experience symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Loss of appetite or nausea
  • Bloated or tender belly
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pain in joints

Luckily, there is a vaccine against this STD, and most adults in the United States can fully recover if they do contract it. Keep in mind that the vaccine for Hepatitis B does not protect you against Hepatitis A or Hepatitis C. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information regarding the different strains of Hepatitis. 

     4. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 

The National Cancer Institute states that HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses. These viruses can be spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex and fall into two categories: low-risk HPV and high-risk HPV.

  • Low-risk HPV: Often causes warts on or around a person’s genitals, mouth, throat, or anus. This type of HPV often causes no disease.
  • High-risk HPV: This type of HPV can lead to cell changes that, if left untreated, can lead to several types of cancers. Some of these cancers include cervical cancer, anal cancer, penile cancer, vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer, and more.

Similar to Hepatitis B, there is an HPV vaccine. This vaccine protects you against infection from two low-risk HPV types and seven high-risk HPV types. The CDC suggests that in most cases— 9 out of 10 times— HPV goes away on its own within roughly two years. However, it is always recommended to see your doctor should you show signs of HPV. 

If you have any questions about getting screened for STDs, talk to your women’s healthcare provider. They can help you determine which screenings you need to get and when. Raleigh OB/GYN has over 45 years of experience serving the women in our communities and is here to help. If you have questions about sexually transmitted diseases or STD testing, 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.