Tag Archives: OBGYN

high-risk pregnancy

High-Risk Pregnancy: What You Need To Know

Pregnancy is one of the world’s most amazing gifts. Yet, learning that your pregnancy is considered high-risk can illicit feelings of anxiety and stress. A high-risk pregnancy refers to a pregnancy in which there are increased chances of complications for the mother and/or the baby. 

What You Need To Know About A High-Risk Pregnancy

It is important for expectant mothers to understand the causes of a high-risk pregnancy and implement appropriate management strategies to ensure the best possible outcome for both mother and baby. At Raleigh OB/GYN, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to provide you with the essential information you need regarding a high-risk pregnancy.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Pre-existing medical conditions can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. Some of the most common pre-existing medical conditions that can lead to a high-risk pregnancy include

  • Diabetes: For women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar around the time of conception increases babies’ risk of birth defects, stillbirth and preterm birth.
  • Kidney disease: Women with kidney disease may experience hypertension and anemia, which affect blood flow to the fetus.
  • Heart disease: Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of pregnancy complications in women, including an increased risk of inherited cardiac genetic disorders, fetal growth restriction, and premature delivery.

In order to decrease your risk of a high-risk pregnancy, it is essential to schedule pre-pregnancy checkups. Here, your doctor will check your overall health to make sure your body is ready to take on pregnancy. 

Maternal Age

Advanced maternal age refers to the term used when a woman becomes pregnant at the age of 35 or older. This term is used because as women age, there is an increased likelihood of certain pregnancy-related complications. Advanced maternal age is often associated with higher risks, including 

  • Chromosomal abnormalities: Down’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome, or Patau syndrome.
  • Gestational diabetes: This condition, characterized by elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy, can lead to macrosomia (large birth weight), preeclampsia, and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Hypertension: Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension during pregnancy can harm a mother’s kidneys and other organs.

Although there are special considerations for women over 35 and looking to conceive, a majority of them will go on to have safe and healthy pregnancies. If you are worried about maternal age and high-risk pregnancy, contact your OB/GYN or healthcare provider.

Pregnancy Complications

Aside from pre-existing medical conditions and maternal age, which are both present before pregnancy, there are also complications that can happen as a result of pregnancy. These complications can range from mild to severe and can include:

  • Preterm Birth: High-risk pregnancies are more prone to preterm labor, which increases the risk of respiratory and developmental issues in the baby.
  • Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a condition characterized by high blood pressure and organ damage. It can lead to complications such as restricted fetal growth, premature birth, and maternal complications.
  • Placental Problems: Placental abruption (premature detachment) or placenta previa (placenta covering the cervix) can result in bleeding, increased risk of infection, and potential harm to the baby.

Your OB/GYN is equipped to handle the complications that are present during a high-risk pregnancy. For more questions regarding possible pregnancy complications, contact your provider. 

Fetal Complications

There are several reasons why women may experience fetal complications. Some of the most common risk factors include obesity, drugs and alcohol, advanced maternal age, or other genetic, infectious, nutritional, or environmental factors. Fetal complications can include

  • Birth defects: Down syndrome, cleft lip or cleft palate, club foot, congenital heart defects (CHDs), neural tube defects (NTDs), and more.
  • Infections: Certain infections, such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, or sexually transmitted infections, can impact the health of the mother and baby during pregnancy.
  • Restricted Fetal Growth: In some high-risk pregnancies, the baby may experience restricted growth due to placental issues or maternal health conditions.

A high-risk pregnancy requires careful management to ensure the best possible outcome for both the mother and the baby. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we are dedicated to helping you understand every step of your unique pregnancy journey. If you have questions about a high-risk pregnancy, 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.

Traveling While Pregnant

6 Tips For Traveling While Pregnant

Traveling elicits different emotions in people; some love it, while others lack those fond emotions. It’s not uncommon for travel to generate feelings of stress, and when you factor in pregnancy, you might feel inclined to avoid venturing beyond the comfort of your home altogether. However, it’s important to recognize that traveling while pregnant doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.

Traveling While Pregnant 

Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, certain preparations can reduce discomfort while you are on the way to your destination. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we recommend the following tips to help make traveling while pregnant a pleasant experience.

1. Take Timing Into Consideration

Since pregnant women are more likely to face medical emergencies during the first and third trimesters, the ideal time to travel is during the second trimester. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) suggests anytime between 14 to 28 weeks of pregnancy.  During this phase, your morning sickness has probably subsided, and you can still move around fairly comfortably. After 28 weeks, it often becomes more difficult to move or to sit for long periods of time. 

2. Fill Your Carry-On with Essentials

They say preparation is the key to success, and this certainly holds true when it comes to traveling during pregnancy. There are a variety of essential items you should pack in your carry-on bag. Be sure to include items such as 

  • A refillable water bottle
  • An extra pair of underwear
  • Snacks like nuts or dried fruit
  • Medication such as Tylenol in case you experience any headaches, backaches, or pain in general.
  • A supportive pillow or cushion
  • Wet wipes or hand sanitizer

Although there is no one list that fits all for traveling while pregnant, making sure you have some of the essentials can help you to feel more at ease throughout the trip.

3. Dress Appropriately

Comfort should be your top priority when you are trying to figure out what to wear before your trip. A belly support band can help take pressure off your lower back while you’re standing in security lines, walking across airports, and carrying luggage. In addition to a belly support band, wear comfortable shoes that easily slip on and off and a light cardigan to keep yourself warm in cold airports but comfortable if a hot flash arises.

4. Pack Light

Although it is easier said than done, packing extra light is important. By packing light, you won’t have to lift heavy suitcases and bags and put them onto an airport scale or overhead bin. Try to pack multi-functional items and consider purchasing beauty products and other items once you arrive at your destination. By packing light when traveling while pregnant, you can reduce the amount of stress put on your body. 

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you are traveling alone, ask for help whenever you need it. Ask the flight attendant for a snack and water bottle if you are feeling faint. If you are unable to lift your bag, find another passenger around you to help you out. Even if you are traveling alone, it is important to ask for help when you need it when traveling while pregnant. 

6. Speak With Your OB/GYN

Before planning or going on your trip, it is important to talk about your travel plans with your OB/GYN or other health care professional. You can discuss whether it is safe for you to travel. ACOG suggests travel is not recommended for women with certain complications, including preeclampsia, prelabor rupture of membranes (PROM), or preterm labor. Your healthcare provider may also want to ensure that your vaccinations are up to date before you embark on your travels. 


Although being in a plane or a car, or any form of public transportation isn’t always favorable during pregnancy, there are certain measures you can take to make it more bearable. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we are dedicated to helping you understand every step of your unique pregnancy journey. If you have questions about traveling while pregnant, 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.

first gynecology visit

5 Tips For Your Teen’s First Gynecology Visit

Undoubtedly, your teen’s first gynecology visit can be a daunting and anxiety-provoking experience. Nonetheless, it is a critical aspect of adolescent development and a significant stride towards taking charge of their reproductive well-being. As a parent, you can facilitate your teen’s readiness for their first gynecological visit by educating yourself on its significance.

Your Teen’s First Gynecology Visit

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends teens start seeing an OB/GYN between the ages of 13 and 15. In most cases, your teen’s first gynecology visit will be a conversation with your doctor about staying healthy and what to expect for future visits. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we have put together a list of 5 tips for your teen’s first gynecology appointment. 

1. Start The Conversation Sooner Rather Than Later

The birds and the bees. A talk you must inevitably have with your children as they grow up and their bodies develop. The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses comprehensive sexuality education that includes both abstinence promotion and accurate information about contraception, human sexuality, and STIs. Although it can be uncomfortable, starting this conversation sooner rather than later can help provide them with accurate information, guidance, and support that can shape their understanding and decisions about their sexual health.

2. Help Her Understand What To Expect 

One of the best ways to ease a teenager’s mind when it comes to their first gynecology visit is to help them understand what to expect. In most cases, your daughter’s first gynecology visit will be a physical exam, which includes height, weight, and blood pressure. Other than that, the appointment usually remains more conversational. According to ACOG, a teenager will learn what to expect at future visits and get information about how to stay healthy. This is also a time for your teen to ask questions about their body, growing up, and sex.

3. Assist In Coming Up With A List Of Questions

Teenagers are full of questions as they learn more about themselves and the world around them. It’s very common for them to also have questions about their developing bodies. Some questions that may be beneficial for your teen during their first gynecology visit include topics such as birth control, contraception, hygiene, their menstrual cycle, healthy lifestyle tips, and managing PMS. 

4. Talk About Privacy 

We get it— talking about becoming a woman can feel like a very intimate subject. Not to mention the nerves that come along with your teen’s first gynecology visit. One important factor that can help to ease their mind is the subject of privacy. Relay to your teen that doctors have to follow rules that keep their health records private, and what they tell their doctor is considered sensitive information that is not to be shared. During this time, it is important to respect boundaries. However, make sure they know that your support is always available when they’re ready to open up.

5. Maintain An Open Dialogue 

Navigating the complexities of a growing and developing teenager can be nothing short of a rollercoaster. As hormones surge and bodies transform, it becomes increasingly important to maintain an open dialogue with your teen. Creating a safe space for discussion allows them to have a comfortable environment when it comes to topics such as bodily changes, sexuality, and personal hygiene. Especially for young teenagers, during their first gynecology visit, birth control is often a topic of discussion. Although this can be scary to hear as a parent, it is essential that you maintain a trusting relationship.


At Raleigh OB/GYN, we believe that patient education is an invaluable tool. For that reason, our doctors and staff are committed to providing patient care in a nurturing, supportive environment. We want to ensure you understand everything about your body as a woman and have the resources to get all your questions answered. If you have any questions about your teen’s first gynecology visit, visit our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.


Similarities And Differences Between Obstetrics And Gynecology

While both OB/GYN specialties provide care to women’s reproductive systems and assume the same acronym, they actually differ significantly in focus and clinical practice. Both obstetrics (OB) and gynecology (GYN) doctors are trained to handle most gynecologic conditions, but there are distinctions between the two fields that may leave you wondering: what are the similarities and differences between obstetrics and gynecology?

Obstetrics And Gynecology

The terms obstetrics and gynecology are often used interchangeably. However, there are a number of key differences between the two. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we want to ensure you are equipped with the education to know when to see the providers in each of these fields. 

Similarities & Differences Between Obstetrics And Gynecology

When asking the question, “What is the difference between obstetrics and gynecology?” One of the first things you may consider is the definition of each term. Curiously, though, both terms are defined in a very similar way— according to the American Pregnancy Association, obstetrics is the medical specialty that focuses on care during pregnancy, labor, and birth. Gynecology is defined as the field of medicine that deals with women’s reproductive health. As you can see, these two specialties can overlap in focus, but they also have distinct differences.

1. A Focus On Women’s Health

Although there are differences between the exact practices when it comes to obstetrics and gynecology, both specifically focus on women’s health and the well-being of women. They address a wide range of health concerns related to the female reproductive system, including menstruation, fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and gynecological conditions.

2. The Use Of Diagnostic Tools & Surgeries

Diagnostic tools and surgical procedures are commonly used in the field of women’s health. Obstetricians perform cesarean sections and other surgical interventions related to childbirth, while gynecologists specialize in various gynecological surgeries such as hysterectomy, ovarian cyst removal, and treatment of endometriosis. Other obstetric services include

  • Fetal ultrasounds
  • Fetal Non-Stress Testing (NST)
  • Labor induction
  • C-sections
  • Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)

Other gynecology services include

  • Pelvic Ultrasonography
  • Laparoscopy & Robotic Surgery
  • Ovarian Mass Evaluation
  • Hysteroscopy
  • PMS management

Additionally, at Raleigh OB/GYN, we recommend that our patients visit us yearly for their annual exam. Although the annual exam process may vary based on each patient, the annual exam is a time for pap smear screening, breast examinations, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted disease screenings, and counseling women on a variety of health issues and topics. 

3. Management Of Pregnancy

Both obstetrics and gynecology play crucial roles in women’s reproductive healthcare, with each specialty emphasizing different aspects of pregnancy management. Gynecological services primarily concentrate on contraceptive methods, promoting safe sex practices, and addressing various gynecological concerns. On the other hand, obstetrics places its focus on prenatal care, ensuring the well-being of pregnant women and their developing babies.

4. Patient Counseling and Education

Both obstetrics and gynecology involve patient counseling and education. Obstetricians guide women through pregnancy and parenting. Some topics often covered in prenatal care include genetic screening, high-risk obstetrics, and deliveries. Gynecologists educate patients about various gynecological conditions, treatment options, and preventive measures such as screenings, vaccinations, and contraception options. 

Regardless of if you need gynecology or obstetric services, Raleigh OB/GYN is here. We have been providing comprehensive women’s healthcare for over 40 years. Our team of physicians, nurses, and medical staff are committed to providing patient care in a nurturing, supportive environment.

Although closely related, obstetrics and gynecology have distinct differences. 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 any area of women’s healthcare, call our office at (919) 876-8225 to make an appointment.

being pregnant

4 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Pregnant

Pregnancy is a beautiful and life-changing experience, but it is also a time of immense physical, emotional, and mental changes. While many people are aware of some of the common symptoms and experiences of pregnancy, such as morning sickness and fatigue, there are many aspects of being pregnant that are not commonly discussed.

Things They Don’t Tell You About Being Pregnant

While pregnancy can be a time of immense joy and excitement, it can also be challenging and overwhelming. By understanding some of the things that nobody tells you about being pregnant, you can be better prepared for the journey ahead and take steps to ensure a healthy and happy pregnancy. In order to help you navigate pregnancy as an individual and unique experience, Raleigh OB/GYN has put together a list of some of the things that often go undiscussed about being pregnant.

1. Your Body Will Change In Unexpected Ways

Some changes that your body will undergo while being pregnant are well-known, such as a growing belly and swollen ankles. Others may come as a surprise. Some unexpected ways your body can change during pregnancy include:

  • Hair growth: Women may experience an increase in hair growth during pregnancy, while others may notice hair loss after giving birth.
  • Skin changes: Pregnancy hormones can cause changes in your skin, such as acne, darkening of the skin, and stretch marks.
  • Foot size: As the ligaments in your feet relax during pregnancy, some women may notice their shoe size increases.
  • Nosebleeds: Increased blood volume and blood flow to the nasal passages can cause nosebleeds during pregnancy.
  • Varicose veins: Hormonal changes and increased pressure on the veins can cause varicose veins, especially in the legs.
  • Vision changes: Fluid retention and hormonal changes can affect the shape of your cornea, causing changes in your vision.

Just about every system in your body can undergo some sort of change, whether it is a subtle change, such as a slight increase in shoe size, or a more noticeable change, like nosebleeds. 

2. You May Crave Non-Food Items

This one may leave you a little perplexed. Pica is when a woman craves substances with little or no nutritional value and may also involve non-food substances. The exact reason for pica while pregnant is unknown. However, according to the Journal of American Dietetic Association, there may be a connection to an iron deficiency. Some common pica cravings during pregnancy may include burnt matches, dirt, stones, ice, toothpaste, soap, sand, or coffee grounds. If you are pregnant and experiencing pica cravings, it is important to inform your healthcare provider.

3. Your Heart Can Actually Grow

One of the not-so-noticeable changes to your body while being pregnant is that your heart can grow. The American Heart Association suggests that cardiac output increases throughout pregnancy. In fact, a woman’s blood volume can increase between 30 and 50 percent in order to nourish her growing baby. 

4. Your Sex Drive Can Change

It’s no secret that a woman’s body is undergoing many changes during pregnancy. With all of these changes, it is normal to notice an increase or decrease in your sex drive. Factors such as hormonal changes, mood, and energy levels all play a role in your libido and desire for intercourse. Some women experience an increased sex drive during their second trimester as their estrogen and progesterone levels continue rising.

Pregnancy is a unique and transformative experience that comes with its own set of challenges and surprises. At Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, we offer a full range of obstetrical care from preconception to delivery. For more information about being pregnant and what to expect, schedule an appointment with our team of dedicated providers.

obstetrician’s role

Your Obstetrician’s Role During Pregnancy and Birth

An obstetrician’s role during pregnancy and birth is to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby. From the moment a woman discovers she is pregnant to the time of delivery and beyond, obstetricians are there to offer guidance, care, and support. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is important to choose an obstetrician who you feel comfortable with and who you trust to provide you with the best possible care throughout your pregnancy and childbirth journey.

Obstetrician’s Role During Pregnancy

From prenatal care to delivery and beyond, obstetricians provide critical medical care and support to help women navigate the complex and often challenging journey of pregnancy and motherhood. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, our expertise and guidance can make all the difference in ensuring a healthy pregnancy, a safe delivery, and a positive postnatal experience for both you and your baby.

Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is important as it can help prevent pregnancy complications along with informing women about steps they can take to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Your obstetrician will typically schedule appointments every four weeks during the first and second trimesters and then every two weeks during the third trimester. During a women’s prenatal visit, your doctor will likely perform physical assessments such as checking your blood pressure, weight, and height. 

In addition to these physical assessments, the obstetrician will also provide guidance and education on a range of topics, including proper nutrition, exercise, and common pregnancy discomforts such as morning sickness and back pain. They will also advise on the importance of avoiding certain substances such as tobacco and alcohol, and offer support for mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety.

Labor And Birth

When the time comes for labor and delivery, the obstetrician’s role becomes even more critical. They will work with the mother and her support team to manage the stages of labor, ensure the safety of both the mother and the baby and provide any necessary medical interventions. Common complications during labor and birth include 

  • Labor that does not progress: Also called failure to progress, this is when any of the stages of labor are prolonged.
  • Preeclampsia: A condition that can increase the risk of placental abruption
  • Problems with the umbilical cord: The umbilical cord may sometimes get caught on an arm or leg and, in severe cases, can wrap around the baby’s neck.
  • Abnormal heart rate of the baby: Abnormal heart rate does not always lead to serious complications. However, close attention to this is required.
  • Perineal tears: A vaginal tear occurs during birth and is an injury to the tissue surrounding your vagina and anus. 
  • Perinatal asphyxia: A lack of blood flow to or from the fetus before, during, or after the birth process. 

Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we have five delivering physicians. You should meet all of the physicians over the course of your prenatal care. Our providers share daytime call daily amongst our own group, so there is always someone available at the hospital for emergencies of urgent medical needs.

Postpartum Care

Once the baby is born, the obstetrician’s responsibilities do not end. They will continue to provide care to the mother and the baby during the postnatal period. This involves monitoring the mother for any complications, such as infections or postpartum depression, and providing support for breastfeeding, infant care, and contraception options. Keep in mind that the recovery process can take several weeks to months. 


Overall, obstetricians play a vital role in ensuring the health and safety of both the mother and the baby during pregnancy and childbirth. If you have more questions about an obstetrician’s role during pregnancy and birth, contact us at 919-876-8225 or request an appointment online.

vaginal birth after cesarean

Everything You Need To Know About Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)

The National Institute of Health describes a vaginal birth after a cesarean section (VBAC) as a vaginal delivery in a woman who has given birth via cesarean section in a former pregnancy. Having a vaginal birth is generally easier on a woman’s body, making recovery time shorter and less painful. Data indicates that between 60-80% of all trials of labor after cesarean and VBACs are successful.

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

If you had a cesarean section with your first pregnancy, you may wonder if having a vaginal birth after a cesarean section (VBAC) could be an option with your next baby. A VBAC is possible for many women, but there are several factors to keep in mind. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we have put together a comprehensive list of what you need to know about vaginal birth after cesarean. 

What Are The Benefits Of A VBAC?

Just with any procedure or birth plan, there are benefits and risks associated with vaginal birth after cesarean. Many women find that the benefits of VBAC outweigh the risks. Some of the main benefits include

  • No abdominal surgery is required when VBAC is successful. This cuts down on the risks associated with C-sections.
  • Recovery time after vaginal birth is usually shorter and requires less bed rest than a cesarean. You will still need to heal, but you won’t have an abdominal incision to worry about, and there will be fewer restrictions on walking around and lifting things.
  • Individualized birth plans are possible with vaginal birth, rather than a C-section where surgery is planned. So, if you want to have the experience of labor and delivering your baby, VBAC can make that possible. 
  • Effect on future pregnancies: Having multiple C-sections will increase your chances of requiring scheduled cesarean for future pregnancies. If you plan on having a larger family and want to reduce your chances of needing another C-section, VBAC is a good option.

Less blood loss is also involved with vaginal birth (including VBAC) than with surgery (including a c-section). Always consult your provider when formulating your birth plan to see if they recommend certain interventions.

What Are The Risks Of A VBAC?

The risks associated with a VBAC are generally less than the risks of a C-section, but only if the VBAC is successful. If your doctor is monitoring your delivery and feels there is a danger to you or the baby, a C-section may be necessary, and then the risks associated with cesarean are of concern. More serious complications come into play when the VBAC is attempted but fails. Failed Trial of Labor After Cesarean (TOLAC) complications include uterine rupture, which necessitates an emergency C-section and a possible hysterectomy if the rupture is severe.

Who Makes A Good Candidate For A VBAC?

When deciding whether you are a good candidate for vaginal birth after cesarean, your doctor will speak to you about your medical history, along with past births. Some things that would make a good candidate for VBAC include

  • You are only pregnant with one baby and have had 1 or 2 C-sections with low transverse incisions and have no problems that would prevent or complicate VBAC.
  • You are pregnant with one baby and have had 1 C-section with an unknown type of incision that is not suspected to be a high vertical (classical) uterine incision and have no problems that would prevent or complicate VBAC
  • You are pregnant with twins, have had 1 C-section with a low transverse uterine incision, and meet other requirements for a twin vaginal delivery

If you have had a prior C-section with a high vertical uterine incision, certain types of uterine surgeries, such as fibroid removal, or a prior uterine rupture, your doctor will most likely rule out VBAC.


Not all doctors and hospitals offer VBAC, but the physicians at Raleigh OB/GYN will work with you if that is part of your ideal birth plan. We will make sure you meet the requirements to be a good candidate for a vaginal birth after cesarean and monitor you during labor to make sure things are going well, and both you and baby are safe and healthy. If you have more questions, our team of physicians, nurses, and medical staff are here to help! For more information on vaginal birth after cesarean, give us a call at 919-876-8225 or request an appointment.

your gynecologist

4 Questions Your Gynecologist Wishes You’d Ask

Talking about your body, your sexual behavior, and personal concerns can be awkward and uncomfortable. While talking with your gynecologist should never be accompanied by shame, it can be hard to actually sit down and discuss private topics like sex, pregnancy, or STDs. However, your gynecologist’s main job is to hear your concerns and ensure your physical and reproductive health is sound. 

Questions For Your Gynecologist

Many women will have questions about their menstrual cycle, contraception, sexual activity, and more during a typical visit— which is a natural part of being a woman! Although it’s not always easy to talk about these things with your doctor, here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we’re here for you. We want to hear about your concerns so that we can help you address them and make sure you feel comfortable during your appointments.

1. Are There Ways I Can Mitigate My Period Symptoms?

If you are a woman experiencing severe period cramps or a super-heavy flow, your gynecologist wants to know. Believe it or not, you don’t have to suffer through these symptoms every month. Your gynecologist can help determine whether your period pain is caused exclusively by the menstrual period (primary) or caused by another condition in the reproductive system (secondary dysmenorrhea). From there, your gynecologist can prescribe treatment that will help you manage your symptoms. 

2. Is This Much Discharge Normal?

Discharge can be very alarming, especially because it can vary in amount and color. But have no fear, discharge is very normal and even serves several purposes, including cleaning and helping to prevent and fight infections. Normal vaginal discharge can vary, but is often somewhat thin or thick, clear or white, with minimal odor. If you see a change in vaginal discharge, such as a change in odor, color, or texture accompanied by vaginal itching, burning, or swelling, it is important to contact your doctor.  Regardless of the appearance of your discharge, if you have any questions about vaginal fluids, your gynecologist is there to help. 

3. How Do I Decide Which Birth Control Is Best For Me?

Navigating all the different contraceptive options can be challenging. Depending on your individual circumstances, your doctor can provide more information about safety, effectiveness, side effects, and other considerations to help inform your decision. Some of the most common forms of birth control include the pill, the patch, a hormonal vaginal ring, a birth control shot, an intrauterine device (IUD), or a birth control implant. 

4. Why Is It Painful When I Have Sex?

We get it— talking about sex with your doctor isn’t a particularly fun way to spend your day. However, if you are experiencing painful sex, your gynecologist will want to know. In fact, this is a prevalent issue that gynecologists deal with on a day-to-day basis. According to ACOG, pain during intercourse is very common, with nearly 3 out of 4 women experiencing pain during intercourse at some point during their lives. Some of the most common causes of painful intercourse include

  • Lack of lubrication
  • Injury or irritation
  • Endometriosis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Vaginismus

Your gynecologist can help you detect the underlying cause of painful intercourse and get you the treatment you need to improve your sex life. 

At Raleigh OB/GYN, we believe that patient education is an invaluable tool. For that reason, our doctors and staff are committed to providing patient care in a nurturing, supportive environment. We want to ensure you understand everything about your body as a woman and have the resources to get all your questions answered. If you have unanswered questions, your gynecologist can help. Schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

reduce the risk of breast cancer

5 Tips To Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women, with nearly 1 in 8 women in the United States being affected by some form of this disease. While advances in finding treatments and cures have made a big difference, there are still steps we can all take to stay healthier, maintain a proper diet, and reduce our risk of getting breast cancer. By staying informed about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, along with lifestyle changes and simple habits that may help prevent it, you will be better prepared if faced with this disease.

Reducing The Risk Of Breast Cancer

With the increase in cancer rates across the world, it is important to know how lifestyle choices can impact your health and improve your chances of avoiding certain forms of cancer. Raleigh OB/GYN has put together a general guide for lifestyle tips that can reduce the risk of breast cancer.

1. Maintain A Healthy Weight

Not only does maintaining a healthy body weight reduce the risk of breast cancer, but it is also essential in leading a healthy lifestyle. When women are overweight, they have more fat tissue. This fat tissue can increase the chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer due to rising estrogen levels. The American Cancer Society suggests that if you’re holding extra weight, losing anywhere from 5-10% of your weight can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of breast cancer. Women can reach this goal by dedicating 75 to 150 minutes each week to low-impact exercise such as brisk walking. 

2. Stay Active

The link between physical activity and cancer risk is mostly examined through observational studies. Cancer.gov suggests that exercise has biological effects on the body, which may be the reason for the relationship between physical activity and cancer, including

  • Decreased levels of sex hormones that have been associated with cancer development
  • Prevent high levels of insulin
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve immune system function
  • Help to prevent obesity

Engaging in physical activity is good for your physical health, mental health, and can even reduce the risk of breast cancer. All adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, according to guidelines placed by ACS.

3. Breastfeed, If Possible

Breastfeeding is a magical, natural act that nourishes your baby and protects against allergies, sickness, infections, and certain diseases. Breastfeeding also can help reduce the risk of breast cancer in the mother. For every month that a woman continues to breastfeed her baby, the greater protection these women have from developing breast cancer. 

4. Don’t Forget Mammograms

A mammogram is an X-ray that is used to examine breasts for diagnostic and screening purposes. Mammograms are often considered one of the most effective ways to help detect breast cancer at an early stage. Early detection is important because the individual is likely to have more treatment options. This increases a woman’s chances of surviving breast cancer.  

5. Find Out Your Family History

Having a strong family history of certain diseases may increase your risk of developing similar conditions. It is important to gather information about those around you who are related by blood, including your parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, etc.  Once you find out more about your family history, your doctor can refer you to a genetic counselor. Genetic counselors can identify through testing if you have a higher risk of a genetic disorder. For more information regarding family health history and ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer, visit the CDC

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 reducing the risk of breast cancer, contact us at 919-876-8225 or request an appointment online.

menstrual bleeding

7 Ways To Combat Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Also known as menorrhagia, heavy menstrual bleeding is a common problem among women. In fact, about one-third of women seek treatment for it. Heavy menstrual bleeding can interfere with a woman’s lifestyle and lead to pain and anemia, which occurs when the blood doesn’t have enough healthy blood cells.

How To Combat Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that heavy bleeding is defined by the need to change your tampon or pad after less than 2 hours or you pass clots the size of a quarter or larger. If you are living with heavy menstrual bleeding, know that there are ways you can effectively treat this condition and improve your quality of life. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, we recommend the following treatments for heavy menstrual bleeding.

1. Diet

When experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, taking a look at your diet is a good place to start. Drinking a lot of water, along with eating a diet high in iron and vitamin C, may help keep heavy periods and associated symptoms at bay. Some foods high in iron and vitamin C to consider adding to your diet include brussel sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, lean beef, beans, tofu, and spinach. Additionally, try drinking an additional 4 to 6 extra cups of water each day when dealing with increased blood loss through menstruation. 

2. Medications

Oral contraceptive medications, as well as hormonal IUDs and pills, may reduce bleeding. They work by restoring the correct balance of hormones and making periods more regular. Birth control methods may include the pill, patches, rings, or a birth control shot. Other medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, can improve menstrual cramps and reduce blood loss.

3. Fibroid Removal

If your heavy menstrual bleeding is the result of fibroids, your issue can be treated by shrinking them. There are a number of fibroid removal procedures we may suggest, including a surgical procedure known as myomectomy or uterine artery embolization.

4. Endometrial Removal

Endometrial removal involves removing or thinning the endometrial lining to alleviate heavy bleeding. If we determine that an endometrial removal such as endometrial ablation or endometrial resection tissue removal is right for you, you should not become pregnant.

5. Dilation and Curettage

Dilation and curettage, or D&C, removes tissue from the uterine lining in order to reduce menstrual bleeding. In a D&C, the cervix is opened, and special tools are used to scrape or suction the tissue. You may require multiple D&C treatments if your heavy bleeding reoccurs.

6. Hysterectomy

If you do not have the desire to get pregnant and your heavy menstrual bleeding persists, a hysterectomy may be an option. A hysterectomy completely stops your menstrual cycles and prevents you from being able to conceive a child. 

7. Exercise

Although working out during your period may be the last thing on your mind, getting your body moving can help with menorrhagia. The exercise does not have to be strenuous— yoga, walking, and pilates are all great options. Ensure you are hydrating to replace the water lost during exercise. 


Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, prior to designing a treatment plan for you, we will take a number of factors into consideration. These factors include your medical history and overall health, the cause of your heavy menstrual bleeding, your tolerance for certain medications and procedures, how the condition affects your lifestyle, and your future childbearing plans. Our women’s health team understands how uncomfortable it can be to live with heavy menstrual bleeding. Therefore, we are committed to helping each and every patient with this condition find the relief they deserve. If you are facing menorrhagia, call us at (919) 636-3712 or schedule an appointment at our office today.