Tag Archives: Obstetrics

female athlete triad

The Female Athlete Triad: 5 Things To Watch For

The pursuit of excellence in sports often requires dedication, discipline, and rigorous training. Female athletes, in particular, face unique challenges that can impact their physical and mental well-being. One such challenge is the Female Athlete Triad, a complex syndrome characterized by three interrelated components: disordered eating, menstrual dysfunction, and low bone density. 

The Female Athlete Triad

Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we focus on the health and well-being of all women. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the critical aspects of the Female Athlete Triad and highlighted five things to watch for to ensure the health and performance of female athletes.

1. Disordered Eating Patterns

The Female Athlete Triad often begins with disordered eating patterns, which may manifest as restrictive diets, excessive exercise, or an obsession with body weight and composition. These behaviors can lead to inadequate calorie intake, depriving the body of essential nutrients needed for optimal functioning. Coaches, parents, and teammates should be vigilant for signs such as sudden weight loss, preoccupation with food and weight, skipping meals, or avoiding certain food groups. Intervening early can help prevent the progression of disordered eating behaviors.

2. Menstrual Dysfunction

Irregular or absent menstrual periods, known as amenorrhea, are a hallmark of the Female Athlete Triad. Intense training and insufficient calorie intake can disrupt hormonal balance, impacting the menstrual cycle. Female athletes may experience amenorrhea or irregular periods, which not only affect reproductive health but also indicate potential underlying health concerns. Monitoring menstrual patterns and seeking medical advice when irregularities occur is crucial. Addressing menstrual dysfunction promptly can help prevent long-term complications such as fertility issues, weakened bones, or osteoporosis.

3. Bone Health

Low bone density, a consequence of the Female Athlete Triad, poses a serious threat to the overall well-being of female athletes. Insufficient calorie intake and hormonal imbalances can compromise bone health, increasing the risk of stress fractures and osteoporosis. Young athletes in their formative years are especially vulnerable, as their bones are still developing. To decrease this risk, coaches and healthcare professionals should focus on implementing strategies that promote bone health, including adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, weight-bearing exercise, and appropriate rest periods.

4. Psychological Well-being

The psychological aspect of the Female Athlete Triad is equally important to monitor. The pressure to excel, maintain a certain physique, and meet performance expectations can contribute to anxiety, depression, and a negative body image. Female athletes may struggle with self-esteem issues or experience feelings of guilt around eating. Creating a supportive and open environment where athletes feel comfortable discussing their mental health is crucial. Coaches, teammates, and support staff should be aware of changes in mood, behavior, and attitude, offering resources and guidance when needed.

5. Multidisciplinary Approach

Addressing the Female Athlete Triad requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach. Coaches, parents, medical professionals, and athletes themselves must work together to recognize and manage the various components of the syndrome. Regular medical check-ups, nutritional guidance, and mental health support should be integrated into the athlete’s training regimen. Education about the Female Athlete Triad and its potential risks can empower athletes to make informed choices about their health and well-being.

The Female Athlete Triad demands careful attention and proactive measures. Female athletes contribute immensely to the world of sports, showcasing strength, determination, and resilience. To ensure their success and longevity in their chosen fields, it is imperative to prioritize their health and well-being. 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, call our office at (919) 876-8225 to make an appointment.

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.


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.

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.