What to Expect at Your First Gynecologist Visit

What to Expect at Your First Gynecologist Visit

Healthy Living

presented by: Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C. 

To those of you who have not made a trip to a gynecologist, the very thought of it probably makes you feel uncomfortable. Most of us are not even comfortable with looking at our own bodies, so baring it all in front of a physician you just met is not the most appealing idea. However, we at Henderson & Walton cannot stress to you enough how important it is to regularly see a gynecologist. Proper gynecological care helps prevent many undesired cancers, diseases, and other illnesses through early detection. Yes, your first gynecologist visit can be scary, but knowing how to prepare and what to expect can very beneficial

When to Visit. Our doctors recommend that your first visit be at the age of 21, or when you start becoming sexually active. Additionally, women and girls of any age need to visit their gynecologist if they notice irregularities in their breasts, genitalia, menstrual cycles, or if they become pregnant. Make sure you schedule your appointment when you will not be having your period. Bleeding can affect the accuracy of the test results. To be preventative and maintain your good health, visit your gynecologist once every year unless you are having problems or your doctor has advised otherwise.

Be prepared. Before your visit, look online at the practice’s website to see if you can get your paperwork online.  At Henderson & Walton all your paperwork is accessible online and just needs to be completed and printed. Have your insurance card with you when you come in for your first visit so the receptionist can scan your card into your account and your insurance can be correctly billed. Most preventative visits are covered at no cost to you. Bring a list of any medications you are taking and the dosage. Be prepared to provide a urine sample, before you see the doctor.

Meeting with the Nurse & Medical Assistant. When you are called by the nurse, she will take your height and weight, and ask questions regarding your personal, family, sexual, and medical history. She will then instruct you to go to the bathroom to give a urine sample in cups provided in the bathrooms. Once completed, you will be called to a room, or if a room is not ready yet, you will be sent to the waiting room. Once in the room, the medical assistant will take your vital signs and instruct you to remove your clothing and cover with drapes once she has left the room. When you are ready, the doctor will come in to meet you and will only uncover areas needed for the examination.

Meeting the Doctor. Your first appointment is usually very simple, and your doctor will spend time getting to know you. The doctor will ask about you and your family’s medical history and your sexual health. It is very important to be honest. This will help the physician tailor the best treatment for you. Also, do not be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes if you are nervous, you forget what you want to ask your physician. Try writing down a list of your concerns.

The Exams. Each exam depends on your age, sexual history and whether or not you have any particular symptoms. Your physician will explain each part of the exam before he/she performs it. The following is a list of exams that may be performed:

Breast examination: Your doctor will exam your breasts to detect whether there are any lumps or abnormalities. Breast exams are one of the most important early breast cancer screenings.

Pap smear: During this routine screening procedure, cells from your cervix are gently scraped away and then examined for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix. This test is performed on women over the age of 21.

Pelvic examination:  A physical exam of your pelvic organs is performed based on your age, whether you are sexually active, and the extent of your symptoms.

Gynecological care is important, regardless of your age, marital status, or level of sexual activity. Your first appointment may be nerve-wracking, but being prepared and having the knowledge of what to expect will help. It’s important that you find a gynecologist you trust and one that you feel comfortable with. We understand the importance of having the right gynecologist and we have 11 physicians to select from.

  • Henderson and Walton Women’s Center

The physicians of Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C. are accepting new patients in their Birmingham, Alabaster, Chelsea, Cullman, Gadsden, Jasper and Tuscaloosa locations. Call 1-800-264-1075 to make your appointment. Visit www.hwwc.net to learn more about the practice, physicians, and services.

*This article is for educational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, see your physician.

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

The Real (& Remarkable) Deal About Cardio: YMCA

The Real (& Remarkable) Deal About Cardio: YMCA

Healthy Living

Long before Jane Fonda donned her first pair of leg warmers, “cardio” has been a major buzz word in the exercise world. According to an article published by Muscle Mag Fitness, both the term and the style of exercise were introduced in 1968 by a team working at San Antonio Air Force Hospital in Texas.

Cardio, or aerobic exercise, refers specifically to exercise that helps improve our bodies’ consumption of oxygen. Improving our oxygen efficiency increases our metabolic (energy generation) process. Common examples of aerobic exercise include running, walking, swimming, cycling, and any number of aerobic-style classes. As long as the physical activity involves prolonged, continuous movement that keeps your heart rate elevated at an ideal level, it qualifies as “aerobic.”

Like any other muscle, your heart becomes stronger with regular exercise. Regular aerobic/cardiovascular activities help your lungs, heart, and blood supply operate more efficiently, and with less effort. The physiological benefits of cardio exercise are vast and many. Regular cardio training:

  • Increases stamina & reduces fatigue
  • Helps control blood sugar
  • Improves the muscles’ ability to use fat
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Increases red blood cell count
  • Improves circulation
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Decreases body fat
  • Tones muscles
  • Increases bone density
  • Reduces stress & improves sleep
  • Eases joint impact for arthritis patients

In addition to all the great ways cardio helps your body, it does brilliant things for your mind. In a study published by US News & World Report, cardio exercise increases your brain’s output of “calming” chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. It’s also possible that regular cardio can counter the effects that stress would otherwise have on the aging process. Aerobic activity also helps our brains produce more new brain cells, and new connections between these cells, thereby improving our learning skills. The more complex the activity, the bigger boost your brain gets. Activities that require intense concentration to follow, or to learn specific steps, are the best. Furthermore, aerobic exercises help keep your brain active, which defends against memory loss and supports your long-term vocabulary retention. Studies suggest that exercise, in particular, helps protect the hippocampus, the part of the brain where Alzheimer’s first manifests itself.

Now if you’re ready to give your heart and mind a good workout (with or without the leg warmers), check out our schedule of awesome aerobic Group X classes at the YMCA branch closest to you: www.ymcabham.org/class-finder. We look forward to seeing you there!

-Jean Bowick

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org

 

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Latest in Prevention & Treatment of Concussions

Latest in Prevention & Treatment of Concussions

Healthy Living

Attendees at the recent Concussion Summit at Children’s of Alabama learned the latest about concussion prevention, early identification and post-concussion care, www.childrensal.org/concussion.

Children’s of Alabama, UAB Sports Medicine and the Wise Up! Initiative recently hosted their fourth annual Concussion Summit. The day-long event geared toward coaches, athletic trainers and parents emphasized the importance of post-concussion care, including “Return to Learn” protocol. Renowned pediatric neuropsychologist Gerard Gioia, MD, PhD, from Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. and director of the SCORE Program (Safe Concussion Outcome & Recovery Education) talked about early identification of concussion and prevention. Parents, coaches and trainers were encouraged to speak to a medical professional about how to recognize early concussion symptoms. UAB Football Coach Bill Clark emphasized that safety of athletes should be paramount for all schools and sports. To learn more about concussion prevention and treatment visit www.childrensal.org/concussion.

 

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Radiation Oncologist at St. Vincent’s Birmingham

Radiation Oncologist at St. Vincent’s Birmingham

Radiation Oncologist at St. Vincent’s Birmingham Shares Progress in Prostate Cancer Treatment

Susan Salter, MD with prostate cancer patient Richard Hydinger who has benefitted from the SpaceOAR treatment offered at St. Vincent’s Birmingham. Susan Salter, MD has practiced at St. Vincent’s Birmingham for more than two decades. She is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, on the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation Board of Directors and a member of the Junior League of Birmingham.

Prostate cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in the United States, and the American Cancer Society now recommends regular prostate exams for men starting as early as age 40. Unfortunately, radiation treatments for prostate cancer can irritate the rectum, causing diarrhea, pain, and other bowel issues that complicate an already uncomfortable situation. St. Vincent’s Birmingham is the first hospital in Alabama to offer a system called SpaceOAR to minimize these effects. According to Radiation Oncologist Susan Salter, MD, the goal of radiation therapy is to maximize exposure to the prostate tumor while minimizing exposure to surrounding normal tissue, but because of its close proximity, the rectum remains at risk for damage. Here’s what to know about prostate cancer detection and how SpaceOAR can help:

  • Early stages of prostate cancer usually cause no symptoms, which is why screenings are crucial every one to two years.
  • Prostate cancer can be detected by an antigen in the blood, a digital rectal exam, and a prostate biopsy.
  • SpaceOAR hydrogel creates a half-inch barrier to reduce radiation injury to the rectum. It is the first prostate cancer spacing device to receive clearance by the FDA.
  • Using ultrasound imaging, local or general anesthesia, and a small needle, physicians can place the hydrogel in a 30-minute procedure.
  • Made of a polyethylene glycol, widely used in cosmetics, SpaceOAR is injected as a liquid then solidifies into a synthetic material that expands within seconds. It is eventually absorbed into the body after completion of the patient’s radiation therapy.

“We do not have long term results as of yet, but our patients have tolerated the procedure very well and have not experienced discomfort from the procedure itself,” Salter says. “In clinical trial, 76 percent of patients experienced less rectal pain during radiation therapy treatment.”

Dr. Salter’s mother and father are both physicians, and two of her siblings are surgeons. She says that while family did not pressure her to become a physician, they did encourage her try a nursing assistant position first, which taught her the complexity of patient needs. Today she puts that knowledge into practice by staying up to date on treatment technologies and encouraging patients. I love getting to know my patients and their families. I think it’s important to find out what motivates them, find out their support system, and really just get to know what they enjoy in their life,” Salter says. “Keeping focus on things they want to do or places they want to visit most often keeps them focused on getting through treatment.” For more information, visit stvhs.com/cancer.

 

  • Camille Platt

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

STRESS FREE in 10 Easy Steps

STRESS FREE in 10 Easy Steps

Healthy Living

  1. Take control of your health – Make a conscious effort for your personal health to exercise, eat right and get that physical check-up we all need every year. The easiest of these is exercise – and the easiest way to begin exercise is to take a walk! Get back in control!
  2. Change it up – Whether it’s cleaning out clutter at home or taking that long overdue vacation, a change in pace can pull you out of the monotony of your life and make a big difference. You know it’s been nagging at you so go ahead and do it!
  3. Live for today – Escape from worrying about tomorrow or fretting about yesterday and focus all your efforts on today. That’s why it’s called ‘the present’.
  4. Give yourself a pep talk – Instead of being your own worst enemy and focusing on the negative, you can be your own personal cheerleader. Write 5 positive things about yourself/that you can be thankful for on a sticky note, place it where you will see it every day and read it out loud!
  5. Laugh out loud – Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol (associated with belly fat), epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins. You know what tickles your funny bone so LOL! No joke!
  6. Pray/Meditate – A still mind is a stress-free mind. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and hold it in for 10 seconds. Repeat a few times until you feel the calm take over your body and your stress melt away. Do this for at least 10 minutes a day and give yourself a re-charge!
  7. Listen to music – Studies have shown music to be a wonderful tool that can promote wellness and help us overcome many of the obstacles we face in life. Listening can help reduce blood pressure and help our bodies build serotonin (the feel-good hormone) in the brain. Music therapy, promoted and endorsed by the American Music Therapy Association, has shown music to be effective in managing stress, promoting physical rehabilitation, memory enhancement, emotional expression, pain management and better communication. Rock on!
  8. Accentuate the positive – Negative thoughts enter our brain every day. Start by picking just one and look at the positive side of the situation. Then keep your focus there. Over time you will re-train your brain!
  9. Pay it forward – Sometimes the best way to help ourselves is by putting our focus on someone else. Putting someone else’s needs and how you can help them in the front of your mind allows you to step away from your own thoughts and challenges. And it makes you both feel better!
  10. Get out there – Making time for connecting with the people around you, spending time outside and doing things you love with family, friends and your spouse are all stress relievers that are good for your health in many ways. Social connection is tied to longevity, since it helps you feel like you’re a part of something larger than yourself and helps give you perspective.

-Jennifer Neil 

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Legal Matters: Frank S. Buck P.C.

Legal Matters: Frank S. Buck P.C.

Have You Been Injured at a Business?  

Did you know that if you are injured at a business you may have a personal injury claim? Property owners have a duty to people entering their premises to keep them safe from harm. In Alabama personal injury cases where people are injured due to the negligence or fault of a business are called premise liability cases.

What are examples of premise liability cases? Premise liability cases include a wide array of cases where a person is injured at a business. Common examples of these cases include a slip and fall at a grocery store, in a parking lot or in a restaurant, being burned by hot coffee, being injured on defective stairs, falling in unseen ice, sitting in a chair that breaks or a table at a restaurant breaking and causing injuries.

However just because you are injured at a business, you do not automatically have a claim. There are laws in Alabama to protect businesses so that they are responsible only for injuries that they caused or could have prevented. In Alabama, in order to have a successful premise liability personal injury claim, you must prove that a business owner knew or should have known that a dangerous condition or defect existed on their premises that could cause harm to customers or people on the premises. There is also a law in Alabama, that the dangerous condition on the premises must not have been open and obvious to the injured person. This means if a condition such as a spill was clearly visible and obvious and the injured person fell merely because he or she was not paying attention or was clumsy, the business is not liable or responsible for that person’s injuries. Any person entering a premises or business is responsible to pay attention to their surroundings. Our office currently handles a large number of these cases each year.

Frank S. Buck, P.C., Attorneys at Law have been offering professional legal services and serving Alabama citizens for over 40 years. We have experienced trial attorneys who have over 89 years of combined trial experience.  You can reach us 24 hours a day at (205) 933-7533.  Please call us for a free consultation.

 

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Healthy Living: St. Vincent’s

Healthy Living: St. Vincent’s

Expanding Healthcare Services in Trussville

St. Vincent’s Health System plans to open outpatient services, including diagnostics, in Trussville this fall.  “We are excited to expand our services in the Trussville and surrounding community,” said Neeysa Biddle, FACHE, Sr. V.P., Ascension & Birmingham Market Exec. of St. Vincent’s Health System. “We have listened to the community and are responding with convenient care that does not sacrifice quality and a personalized approach, which is why this is an especially rewarding project.” The center will be located at 7201 Happy Hollow Road and include a primary care practice, after hours/urgent care, wellness services, physical therapy and specialist physician practices. The medical services offered at St. Vincent’s Trussville will be very similar in concept to the St. Vincent’s One Nineteen campus in Shelby County with easy access to outpatient services, including convenient and ample parking for visitors. “The purpose of the new facility is to expand the medical and wellness services offered in Trussville,” said Mayor Buddy Choat, City of Trussville. “St. Vincent’s East has long served this community, and we are thankful St. Vincent’s is expanding its presence in our community.” St. Vincent’s is a part of Ascension, the nation’s largest not-for-profit and world’s largest Catholic health system. Learn more at www.stvhs.com. †

The new St. Vincent’s Trussville facility will have 31, 753 square feet and be located on Happy Hollow Road. Construction is expected to begin soon.

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Healthy Living: YMCA

Healthy Living: YMCA

Best Summer Ever! Build Healthy Confidence thru Camp

Do you want your child to be more confident? Send them to camp this summer! Sleepaway camp and day camp offer the perfect environment for children of all ages to gain self-confidence by experiencing success in new activities, learning how to be more independent, building new friend relationships and learning more about who they really are.

YMCA Camp Cosby sleepaway camp and YMCA summer day camp teaches kids that they CAN. For starters, camp is a great opportunity for your child to “unplug” and enjoy the people and activities around them instead of living in a virtual reality The advantage is that without electronic toys, your child will learn to slow down and appreciate real life experiences. From new adventures and sports to arts and crafts, summer camp counselors teach children many new skills. By removing academic competition that shapes their lives at school, camping’s laid-back activities produce tangible accomplishments every day. And it’s fun!

Check out and register for YMCA camps on-line, www.ymcabham.org/camp-cosby and www.ymcabham.org/bestsummer for Summer Cay Camps. YMCA Member’s receive a $50 tuition discount to Camp Cosby.

Being away at camp also gives children an opportunity to become more independent, which is a huge confidence builder. Because you’re not there to remind your children to make their beds, brush their teeth, or eat healthy foods, they have to remind themselves. And the same goes for day camp – It’s a fun, safe environment for your children to learn how to make their own decisions about what THEY would like to do, remember what is coming-up next and find their own way to the next fun activity.

Camp friendships have the potential to become some of the longest lasting and most memorable relationships they have as children. But whether it’s a summertime, or a lifelong friendship, camp offers children the opportunity to branch out from their regular circle of friends and learn to connect with other people in positive ways. This adds to their confidence level by allowing them to be more comfortable in social situations overall. They learn to get along with a new group of peers and support/receive support from others who are trying new things as well.

Whether you send your child to YMCA Camp Cosby sleepaway or YMCA day camp, you are giving your child’s confidence a huge boost. You are providing him with a life-changing experience he achieves on his own. Children’s independence to participate in different activities with new friends get them out of their comfort zone to develop important life skills. And you may find they appreciate you more when they get home!

-Jennifer Neil

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org 

 

 

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Health Living: American Heart Association

Health Living: American Heart Association

Babies Wear Red for Heart Disease Awareness

St. Vincent’s Health System babies wore red caps for the American Heart Association’s 15th Annual National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 3, 2017.  It’s a part of the “Go Red for Women” campaign to build awareness of heart disease, which is the number one killer of women. St. Vincent’s has partnered with the American Heart Association on the “Go Red For Women” campaign to help educate women on the disease and its symptoms, which are often difficult to detect. “St. Vincent’s wants to educate as many women as possible about heart disease, because the more they know about the disease, the better chance they have of beating it,” said Neeysa Biddle, Senior Vice President, Ascension Healthcare; President/CEO of St. Vincent’s Health System (STVHS).  “We have a longstanding reputation as a leader in cardiovascular services. By combining our expertise and experience with the American Heart Association’s ‘Go Red for Women’ efforts, we’re able to bring a better understanding of the disease to the community and ultimately, save lives.” To learn more about the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, visit www.goredforwomen.org †

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Pin It on Pinterest