Health Notes

How Pregnancy Feels

by Dr. Abby Lankhorst on January 15, 2015

A lot of people feel very different in pregnancy – physically, emotionally and mentally. The most obvious of those changes is physical as both you and baby develop and grow.

One of the most fun physical changes is when you start to feel baby move. Fetal movement is usually present very early in pregnancy and can be seen by ultrasound sometimes as early as eight weeks. First time moms usually start to feel this movement around 20 weeks and as early at 17-18 weeks in subsequent pregnancies.

Those very early perceptions of movement are often very subtle and difficult to describe, but may feel like a “flutter,” “bubbles” or even “weird gas.” Most mothers just describe it as something different than anything they have felt before.

Sometimes a mother will tell us she still isn’t feeling movement at 20 weeks, but this isn’t always abnormal. Several things can contribute to not being able to feel movements, including a placenta that is anterior in the uterus or larger amounts of amniotic fluid. The good news is we almost always complete an ultrasound at 20 weeks which can confirm baby is moving and growing appropriately.

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Menopausal? How to Fight the Dryness Down Below

by Katina Gordon on January 1, 2015

“I’ve had women tell me their vagina feels like the Sahara Desert.”

Dr. Kristen Hoffman, an OB/GYN at the Methodist Physicians Clinic Menopause clinic, doesn’t mince words when it comes to one of the more uncomfortable side effects of menopause.

“As we grow older, our skin loses its elasticity,” said Dr. Hoffman. “The vagina does the same thing. It isn’t as thick and pliable and doesn’t move as well.  Whether just sitting around or moving around, and especially when it comes to sex, things can feel very dry.”

It’s a feeling that can be very unpleasant. Some women describe it as itchy, or even feeling like paper cuts in the vagina. Sex can be downright painful.

“Whether a woman is sexually active or not, it can be a problem,” said Annette Dillon, APRN, one of five providers certified by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) at the Methodist Menopause clinic. “Our goal is to find something that improves the vaginal tissue and there are a lot of products out there that can do that.”

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Five Gynecology Myths: Busted!

Thumbnail image for Five Gynecology Myths: Busted! December 18, 2014

One of the great advantages of the internet is the wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, 24 hours a day. However this advantage turns into a disadvantage when the information is incorrect. I have run across a few such misconceptions common in gynecologic practice and I’m setting out to bust those myths! Myth #1: “IUDs […]

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What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cysts

Thumbnail image for What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cysts December 4, 2014

It’s a very common diagnosis with a scary-sounding name: ovarian cysts. Every woman who ovulates has them, and most cause no symptoms or problems. “Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that occur quite frequently,” said Emily Lange, MD, an OB/GYN with Methodist Physicians Clinic Council Bluffs. “Each cyst represents a follicle of a potentially maturing egg […]

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Five Things You Should Tell Your Gynecologist

Thumbnail image for Five Things You Should Tell Your Gynecologist November 20, 2014

When coming to the office for an annual exam, many patients assume the doctor will take over and drive the conversation. But don’t let that prevent you from bringing up concerns or addressing recent changes in your health. There are many things you should also consider telling your doctor even if you aren’t all that […]

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When it Comes to Diabetes, Women Have It Worse

Thumbnail image for When it Comes to Diabetes, Women Have It Worse November 10, 2014

It’s a sad fact, but true. Diabetes is especially hard on women in a variety of ways. It’s a diagnosis that puts their overall health – and potentially their life – at risk. “The risk for heart attacks is greater for women with diabetes,” said Martha Nepper, a dietitian at the Methodist Center for Diabetes […]

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How Fast Should You Lose Your Baby Weight?

Thumbnail image for How Fast <i>Should</i> You Lose Your Baby Weight? October 23, 2014

For many moms, one of the biggest challenges after having baby is the effort to lose the weight put on during pregnancy. Not only is it a challenge to lose weight, but the pressure from quickly shrinking Hollywood role models can make it doubly frustrating. Expecting rapid weight loss after baby can be detrimental to […]

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9 Ways Moms Benefit from Breastfeeding

Thumbnail image for 9 Ways Moms Benefit from Breastfeeding October 9, 2014

There are countless articles about the importance of breastfeeding for baby. The nutrition and health benefits baby receives from mother’s milk makes breastfeeding the natural choice whenever possible. However, baby isn’t the only one who reaps rewards from breastfeeding. Mom also benefits from nursing her child after giving birth. “We think of the benefit of […]

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Should You Get a 3D Ultrasound?

Thumbnail image for Should You Get a 3D Ultrasound? September 25, 2014

It’s one of the things expecting moms look forward to the most… But ultrasounds are about so much more than getting a first glimpse of the growing baby inside you. It’s also a physician’s opportunity to track the health and development of your unborn child. At Methodist Physicians Clinic Women’s Center, ultrasounds are our main […]

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Surviving the Symptoms of Menopause

Thumbnail image for Surviving the Symptoms of Menopause September 12, 2014

Most women know that one day they’re going to experience menopause. But knowing just what it means for your body, how it will change and how you will feel, leaves many with a lot of questions. Menopause is a time in a woman’s life when she will stop having periods and the ability to have […]

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