Health Notes

In previous generations, women experienced pregnancy not really concerned about the safety of some of life’s little luxuries. But today’s expecting mom has much more information at her fingertips.

While more information is great, it can also bring on some confusion about what is and isn’t safe to do during pregnancy.

While there may not be sufficient scientific studies on all these subjects, here is my take on four of the most common questions I get from new moms in my office:

1. Can I still dye my hair? Yes, you can safely dye or highlight your hair during pregnancy. Most dyes and bleaching products used in the U.S. right now are low or non-toxic. Because only small amounts get absorbed through the scalp, it is considered safe.

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With the arrival of menopause – generally between the ages of 45 and 55 – means many changes for a woman. Periods cease, as does the ability to bear a child. So do you really need to schedule an annual pelvic exam?

The short answer is yes – and there are a host of reasons why. While you may no longer need an annual pap smear, a pelvic exam is still a vital part of staying healthy.

“Between 30 and 65, if you’ve had no abnormal pap smears in your life, you can go five years without a pap smear, but not without a pelvic exam,” said Kristen Hoffman, MD, one of five providers certified by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) at Methodist Physicians Clinic Women’s Center Menopause clinic. “Most women still have a vagina, vulva, cervix, uterus, tubes and ovaries, and those things need to be checked.”

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Let’s Talk About Sex after Baby

Thumbnail image for Let’s Talk About Sex after Baby April 2, 2015

It’s one of those “taboo” topics that most soon-to-be new moms worry about but may be afraid to discuss: Having sex after delivering your baby. Let’s face it, a lot of stuff is going on down there after baby is born. It can be painful or just feel “different.” Either way, the first intimate experience […]

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Why the Weight?

Thumbnail image for Why the Weight? March 19, 2015

Weight and metabolism are a dynamic process and fluctuate during our lives. But there are certain points in our lives when weight seems to fluctuate more. Adolescence, college years and menopause are all times when many women experience that undesired spread, and there are a few key reasons why: Poor food choices Decreased activity Stress

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5 Food Secrets to Surviving Menopause

Thumbnail image for 5 Food Secrets to Surviving Menopause March 6, 2015

You know the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Certainly with all the news, research and expert advice about food and our bodies this statement can actually be fairly true. It’s no secret there are foods that are very good for your body and those that are not. As a standard rule, it’s always […]

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How Clean is Your Vagina?

Thumbnail image for How Clean is Your Vagina? February 20, 2015

It’s a great question with a complex answer. Many women don’t even think about it until it becomes an issue… but how exactly should you clean your vagina? A certain celebrity recently posted on her website that steaming is the best way to clean the uterus. This is simply a bad idea. Steaming definitely won’t […]

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Heart Attacks: Are Women So Different?

Thumbnail image for Heart Attacks: Are Women So Different? February 5, 2015

Although many women may see cancer as their most serious health threat, there is another silent killer that women should put on their watch list. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in American women over age 45. A majority of women between the ages of 40 and 60 have at least one risk […]

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How Pregnancy Feels

Thumbnail image for How Pregnancy Feels 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 […]

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Menopausal? How to Fight the Dryness Down Below

Thumbnail image for Menopausal? How to Fight the Dryness Down Below 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 […]

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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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