Health Notes

Five Gynecology Myths: Busted!

by Dr. Abby Lankhorst on 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 aren’t safe or effective.” I have found information online about IUDs in general is terribly inaccurate. IUDs are small T-shaped devices placed within the uterus for up to 10 years to prevent pregnancy. Newer IUDs are not only incredibly safe, they have relatively few side effects and are the most effective contraception we have.

IUDs have been around for many years, but fell out of favor in the 70s and 80s when older versions were associated with pelvic infections such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). New IUDs have actually been shown to reduce PID. The progesterone IUD has also been shown to significantly reduce pain associated with endometriosis and reduces your risk of endometrial cancer. In fact, in certain circumstances, the progesterone IUD may even treat early stages of endometrial cancer. That’s incredible!

Another common misconception is that the IUD causes side effects such as weight gain, hair loss and moodiness. Although everyone reacts differently to certain contraceptives, the hormone level in IUDs is incredibly low and act locally – meaning they only affect nearby cells instead of traveling through your circulatory system. The actual hormone you get from an IUD is 10 times less than an oral contraceptive pill, and considerably less than your own progesterone hormones. So it’s great for people who want to avoid the risks associated with hormone use.

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What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cysts

by Katina Gordon on 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 that will be released by a properly functioning ovary with each menstrual cycle.”

The ovary produces cysts each month in response to hormones that are a normal part of an ovulating woman’s monthly cycle. It’s when there are abnormalities to this monthly process that problems can occur.

“Cysts can be dangerous if they are painful, as this can be an indication that the ovary is starting to twist, bleed or become enlarged. They can contribute to difficulty getting pregnant,” said Dr. Lange. “In addition, cysts that occur with a positive pregnancy test are concerning for an ectopic pregnancy and need emergent evaluation.”

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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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Too Much or Not Enough? How Much Should You Gain During Pregnancy?

Thumbnail image for Too Much or Not Enough? How Much <i>Should</i> You Gain During Pregnancy? August 28, 2014

It’s a touchy subject for many expecting moms. Just how much weight should you put on during pregnancy? Gaining too much or not enough when baby’s on board can have serious consequences for both mom and baby. How much weight you put on during pregnancy really depends on where your weight begins before becoming pregnant. […]

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HPV Vaccine offers Life-Saving Protection

Thumbnail image for HPV Vaccine offers Life-Saving Protection August 14, 2014

These days, Dr. Judith Scott at the Methodist Physicians Clinic Women’s Center says it’s rare to see a young girl at the Adolescent Gynecology clinic without it. A series of three HPV vaccines that have played a major role in women’s health care. “Pediatricians are doing such a fantastic job of getting kids vaccinated for […]

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