Tag Archives: OBGYN

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.

Doctor vaccinating pregnant woman in clinic; blog: Preventing Infections During Pregnancy

Preventing Infections During Pregnancy

For nearly forty years, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has recognized the importance of reducing prenatal infections in the US. They first focused on preventing mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV, but their efforts have expanded to other harmful infections during pregnancy. 

Prenatal Infections to Be Aware Of

Our goal at Raleigh OB/GYN Centre is to take care of our prenatal patients like our own family. When you choose to partner with us for your obstetrical care, you will be in wonderful hands at every step of your journey. Some of these infections during pregnancy are rare in the US but can be dangerous and have serious effects on both mother and baby.


Listeriosis is one of the rare but potentially serious infections during pregnancy caused by bacteria called Listeria. Listeria is spread through contaminated food. The symptoms of listeriosis are similar to the flu and may include fever, muscle aches, and unusual fatigue. However, listeria infections in pregnant women can lead to miscarriage, premature delivery, and even stillbirth. The infection can be passed on to the baby, which can be life-threatening.

The following foods have been linked to listeriosis and should be avoided during pregnancy:

  • Unpasteurized/raw milk and dairy products (cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc)
  • Undercooked meat
  • Luncheon meats and deli meat
  • Any type of sprouts that are raw or not completely cooked
  • Cut melon that has been left at room temperature for more than 4 hours

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women are 10 times more likely than other people to get listeriosis. Other groups at elevated risk include newborns, people with weakened immune systems, and older adults.

Zika Virus

Zika virus is primarily spread by infected mosquitoes, but you can become infected by having unprotected sex with someone who already has the virus. Zika infection during pregnancy may cause serious birth defects like microcephaly and brain defects. To prevent Zika infections during pregnancy, you exercise caution when traveling to areas with a high incidence of Zika infection. The CDC has a Zika Travel Recommendation Map for individuals to consult. Women who are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant should avoid regions where the virus is prevalent. Other ways to protect yourself against Zika if you might be at risk include following recommendations on preventing mosquito bites and using a condom to prevent sexual transmission.

Group B Streptococcus

Group B strep (GBS) is a common bacteria that approximately 1 in 4 women carry. Most women do not feel sick when they carry these bacteria. GBS can be passed to a baby during childbirth, which can be life-threatening to newborns and infants. Complications can include fever, meningitis, breathing difficulties, pneumonia, and blood infection (sepsis). However, GBS infection in babies can be prevented. Doctors recommend getting tested for GBS near the end of pregnancy. If the test is positive for a group B strep infection, the mother will be given antibiotics during childbirth to protect the baby.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Like GBS, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the more common infections during pregnancy that many people have. According to the CDC, more than half of adults have had a CMV infection by the time they reach 40. Most people do not know they have it. Pregnant women can pass CMV to their babies. Babies with congenital CMV infections are often healthy and show no signs of infection. However, some babies will have long-term health problems like hearing loss, vision loss, developmental delays, and seizures.

Since CMV spreads through bodily fluids, women can reduce their risks by avoiding contact with the urine and saliva of babies and young children (who are more likely to spread CMV than older kids and adults). Food or utensils shouldn’t be shared with babies and young children, and good hand hygiene should be practiced, especially after changing diapers.

General Tips for Preventing Infections During Pregnancy

Along with following specific guidelines for the above prenatal infections, there are some other things you can do to prevent infections during pregnancy, including

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Avoid people with infections
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Ask your doctor about getting vaccinated
  • Only take vitamins and supplements approved by your doctor.
  • Do not touch dirty cat litter.
  • Avoid contact with rodents, lizards, and turtles. This includes both wild animals and those kept as pets.

Raleigh OB/GYN Centre has been serving the women of the Raleigh, NC, area for more than 40 years. Our team of healthcare providers offers personalized and comprehensive care for women in all stages of life, including during pregnancy. If you have concerns or questions about having a safe and healthy pregnancy, or for more questions about infections during pregnancy, call our office at (919) 876-8225 to make an appointment.

Pre-Pregnancy Considerations

5 Pre-Pregnancy Considerations

When it comes to women’s health, preparing for pregnancy is as important as the lifestyle and dietary changes you make during pregnancy. We strongly believe that if you prepare yourself both physically and financially before conceiving a child, you will be able to give birth to a happy, healthy baby. Pre-pregnancy considerations take into account a number of steps you can take to ensure that when you’re ready to get pregnant, everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Pre-Pregnancy Considerations

Ready to welcome a new little miracle into the world? Planning for pregnancy is an important step in your journey to motherhood. We’ve outlined some of the key steps you can take before becoming pregnant to help ensure that you are as ready as possible for all the changes that are about to take place in your life. Continue reading to learn more about pre-pregnancy considerations.

1. Limit Your Intake Of Alcohol And Caffeine

One of the best things you can do for your body when planning for pregnancy is to limit your intake of caffeine and stop your consumption of alcohol altogether. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no known safe amount of alcohol use during your pregnancy or when you are trying to get pregnant. Additionally, experts recommend limiting your caffeine intake while trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy.

2. Find Your Healthiest Weight

Another one of our key pre-pregnancy considerations is to find and maintain your healthiest 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, having a high BMI can interrupt regular ovulation, sometimes leading to difficulty falling pregnant. To assess your weight, visit your healthcare provider, or check out this resource.

3. Hit The Hay

Sleep is incredibly important for anyone, but especially for those getting ready to host a baby for the next nine months. Sleep affects fertility and hormone production, and a lack of it can result in producing less of certain hormones and too much of others. The same part of the brain that is responsible for regulating sleep-wake hormones like melatonin and cortisol also regulates reproductive hormones. Sleep deprivation will signal the body to produce more stress hormones, which is bad for overall health and can throw off levels of estrogen, testosterone, and other reproductive hormones. For more on how lack of sleep can affect your fertility, reference one of our earlier blogs: Can Lack Of Sleep Affect Your Fertility?

4. Get Moving

Exercising is one of the best pre-pregnancy considerations, as it not only can help balance hormones, improve insulin, and ward off levels of stress but can also help you get a better night’s rest. Some of the best ways to get moving before trying to conceive are running or walking, resistance training, yoga, pilates, pelvic floor exercises, and more. 

5. Visit Your OB/GYN

Visiting your OB/GYN for a preconception appointment is an important step for pre-pregnancy considerations. At this appointment, your doctor will review your medical history, medications and vaccinations, lifestyle behaviors, and complete a physical exam. If you are at risk of a medical condition that can make pregnancy dangerous or difficult, such as diabetes, heart disease, or certain birth defects/disorders, then your doctor may recommend additional tests or treatment in preparation for pregnancy.


Pre-pregnancy considerations have the ability to set you up for a happy and healthy pregnancy. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we are dedicated to helping you understand every step of your unique pregnancy journey— from making a plan to execution. If you have questions about pre-pregnancy considerations, 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.

Normal During Pregnancy

What’s Normal During Pregnancy And What’s Not?

Pregnancy comes with a lot of unknowns. How one woman’s body reacts is an entirely unique experience. Some pregnant women face a whole host of symptoms, while some go unscathed. No matter how your pregnancy journey goes, knowing what is normal during pregnancy and what is not can keep you feeling confident about the adventure to come. 

Conditions Of Normal And Abnormal Pregnancy

Raleigh OB/GYN believes pregnancy is one of your life’s most beautiful and exciting times. A basic understanding of what’s normal during pregnancy and knowing what may indicate a problem can help you keep your baby safe throughout the nine months.

Normal Pregnancy Symptoms

Pregnancy can bring on several physical and emotional changes but vary from woman to woman. It is essential to understand some of the changes you might experience throughout your pregnancy.

  • Swelling, Aches, And Pains

When you’re pregnant, your body tends to hold more water than usual. This water retention can lead to swelling. Often, the extra water congregates in the lower parts of your body, such as your feet, ankles, and fingers. Additionally, the weight of your growing baby can also affect blood flow to your legs, leading to swelling. Many women also experience aches and pains while pregnant, another symptom that is common during pregnancy. 

  • Gastrointestinal Issues

Gastrointestinal issues are common during pregnancy. Your growing baby creates less room for GI functions, and your hormones are all out of whack. Common GI issues during pregnancy include nausea, vomiting, constipation, heartburn, and diarrhea. If any of your symptoms become severe or unmanageable, talk to your doctor. 

  • Skin Discoloration

At first glance, skin discoloration during your pregnancy may be alarming. However, developing dark, irregular patches, also known as chloasma, is normal during pregnancy. Women may experience this pigmentation disorder due to darker skin complexion, hormonal changes, or the use of oral contraceptives.

Abnormal Pregnancy Symptoms

During pregnancy, it is not uncommon to have some uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms. However, some symptoms may indicate a serious problem. Education on certain symptoms that can lead to an abnormal pregnancy is of the utmost importance. 

  • Vaginal Bleeding

In the early stages of your pregnancy, experiencing light bleeding, called “spotting,” is harmless. The NHS suggests this happens when the developing embryo plants itself in the wall of the womb. However, heavy bleeding in later trimesters is not normal during pregnancy. Causes of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy include growth on the cervix, problems with the placenta, or may indicate preterm labor. If you experience bleeding later in your pregnancy, contact your OB/GYN immediately.   

  • High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure during pregnancy is called gestational hypertension or, in serious cases, preeclampsia. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest severe and uncontrolled high blood pressure during pregnancy can cause serious complications for you and your fetus. Because high blood pressure during pregnancy does not often cause any symptoms, your OB/GYN should check your blood pressure during every prenatal appointment. 

  • Preterm Labor Symptoms

Preterm labor is when a pregnant woman experiences regular contractions that result in the opening of the cervix after 20 weeks of pregnancy and before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Signs and symptoms of preterm labor include

  • Sensations of abdominal tightening (contractions)
  • Dull pain in the lower back
  • Pelvic or lower abdomen pressure
  • Vaginal spotting or bleeding
  • Preterm rupture of membranes
  • A change in vaginal discharge

Preterm labor can result in premature birth, which often leads to your baby needing special attention in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). If you are experiencing any symptoms of preterm labor, it is important to contact your doctor or OB/GYN immediately. 

Pregnancy can be a wonderful time; however, you need to know what is normal during pregnancy and what are serious symptoms. Possessing this knowledge can help you have a happy, healthy, and full-term pregnancy. At Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, we offer a full range of obstetrical care from preconception to delivery. For more information about what is normal during pregnancy and what is not, schedule an appointment with our team of dedicated providers.

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.