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Sparks & Favor Sponsors Golden Gala for Baby Steps Bama

We are proud to partner with Baby Steps Bama as a sponsor of their Golden Gala.  Baby Steps is a non-profit organization that supports pregnant and parenting college students so that they are empowered to thrive as both parents and students.
The organization’s vision is “to create a culture of empowerment that changes how universities, communities, and society as a whole respond to and support Student-Moms. Young women facing unplanned pregnancies should not be defined by their circumstances but empowered to thrive. We are diligently working to bring Baby Steps to Student-Moms across the nation.” So…

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Ask Your Ob-Gyn—Dr. Sarah Whitehead Answers Questions about Endometriosis

What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis in a condition in which tissue normally found in the lining of the uterus begins to grow in other areas of a woman’s abdomen. It is normal tissue, not a cancer, but it can still cause great discomfort and other medical problems. Endometriosis is very common, affecting about one in ten women.

The misplaced endometrial tissue can become attached to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the outside surface of the uterus, the bladder, bowel, or other places in the pelvis.
What problems does endometriosis cause…

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5 Toxic New Year’s Resolutions to Avoid in 2024

The New Year and its traditions are upon us. For most of us, the festivities will include some combination of watching football, eating collards and black-eyed peas, attending a party, counting down the ball descent on Times Square, toasting 2024, AND making a New Year’s resolution!

Notice that the last item is not likely to help any of us look forward to 2024 with optimism. The reason is obvious. Experience tells us that most New Year’s resolutions are doomed to fail. So today our New Year’s greeting for patients and friends will not include the typical…

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From Dr. Favor–Top 5 Reasons Why People Do Not Take the Flu Shot

I’ve never gotten the flu, so I’d rather just take my chances.
True, individuals are not equally susceptible to getting sick from the flu. Science has informed us that genetics plays a role in how a person’s immune system responds to viral illnesses. The immune cells your body has on hand when you are exposed also influence your susceptibility. And some people who become infected have only mild flu symptoms or even no symptoms at all. It is still possible to pass the virus to your coworkers or loved ones.

You may have avoided the flu so…

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From Dr. Favor: A Word about Pancreatic Cancer

updated 11/20/2023
The pancreas is a small organ behind the stomach. It produces hormones like insulin and enzymes that help digest food. Like other very serious cancers, pancreatic cancer usually doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. There is no reliable test to find pancreatic cancer at an early stage. With so little available to fight this disease, you might wonder why, as a women’s physician, I am talking about pancreatic cancer.

I realize that I am the only physician many of my patients see regularly. When you come in for your well…

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Facing a Breast Cancer Diagnosis—from Mammogram to Surgery

Each October, we repost Dr. Stradtman’s  (2020) blog for women who may be going through the diagnostic process for breast cancer. We appreciate Dr. Stradtman’s willingness to share her personal experience.
 

The year 2020 affected all of us in ways we could not have imagined. But in February as we were beginning to realize how Covid-19 might alter our lives, I confronted another difficult life event. My annual screening mammogram revealed an abnormality that would require surgery and was likely to be malignant. I feel very fortunate that, in this case, the routine care I recommend…

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Now What? 6 Things Do Do When You Learn You are Pregnant

1. Understand What Your Positive Pregnancy Test Means.
Today’s urine pregnancy test kits are sensitive enough to detect the pregnancy hormone with about 98% accuracy by the time you would have started your next period. By 7 days after the first day of your expected period the result of the test is near 100% reliable. So, a positive test tells you that a fertilized egg has implanted (hopefully in the uterus), and the placenta is starting to form. The placental cells begin to produce the hormone hCG which triggers the positive test. Because hCG in the blood or urine…

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Gynecologic Cancers–Recognize What’s Not Normal for You

We want to remind you of the risks of postponing screening tests and other preventive healthcare.
Research tells us that Americans fear cancer more than any other health event, even though heart disease is the leading cause of death. Much of this fear comes from the belief that cancer or cancer death is just a matter of random chance, something we are powerless to prevent. But let’s look at the actual facts about gynecologic cancers.

We refer to any cancer that begins in a woman’s reproductive organs as a gynecologic cancer. About 100,000 women are newly diagnosed…

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Over-the-Counter Birth Control—Is This a Good Option for You?

For the first time in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its approval to an oral contraceptive product that will be available without a prescription. We expect that Opill will begin to appear in pharmacies, grocery stores, and online in early 2024.

From the FDA press release (July 13, 2023):

“Today’s approval marks the first time a nonprescription daily oral contraceptive will be an available option for millions of people in the United States,” said Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “When used as directed…

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Dr. Sarah Whitehead, Obstetrician and Mom, Talks about Breast and Bottle Feeding

Few of our expectant moms have missed the message that breastfeeding has many benefits. But, while we continue educating expectant and new mothers about how good it is for baby, we don’t want to overwhelm them with the idea that breastfeeding—because it is natural—should always be easy to do. Some well-meaning breastfeeding advocates cite higher breastfeeding rates in third-world countries. Such statistics suggest that successful breastfeeding happens naturally in cultures where breastfeeding is the norm, and it happens despite inadequate healthcare and education for women.

Many suppose that, in developing countries like Botswana where I…

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