Author: Dr. Jimmy Sparks

Covid and Pregancy–Info for Birmingham Moms

We would like to comment briefly on a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about COVID-19 and pregnancy. The report—covered by the major media—stated that pregnant women with COVID-19 infections were more likely to be admitted to the hospital, require ICU care, and require mechanical ventilation (a respirator) than women who are not pregnant.

Of course, we advise our pregnant patients to take the recommended precautions to avoid contagious illnesses—including COVID-19. But we are concerned that this report creates stress and anxiety for our expectant mothers that far outweighs…

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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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For Birmingham Women–Should You Be Wearing Gloves to the Grocery Store?

You’ve been bombarded 24/7 with advice about how to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 illness. Some of it comes from medical sources, but much of it comes from individuals with no medical background nor even good research to back up their claims.

For our patients, we want to recommend one of the most important ingredients of wellness—common sense. In most cases, you can rely on your own good judgment to decide how much protection is necessary.
How Masks Reduce COVID-19 Risk
The question of what protection you would want to wear when you…

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Who Should be Tested? New COVID-19 testing in Birmingham

For our patients, we want to update our previous guidance about testing. UAB is now offering COVID-19 testing at a drive-thru site, by appointment only.
To use this testing site, you must have symptoms of COVID-19 infection and first be screened by telephone. (205-975-1881). The following is a summary of our current guidance about who should be tested.

As COVID-19 testing has expanded in the greater-Birmingham area, many individuals are still uncertain about whether testing would benefit them and their family members. The confusion is understandable considering the amount of press commentary about…

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Even in Our Most Difficult Days…

…we are blessed to share moments of great joy with women and their families.
This beautiful piece turned up in one of our social media mailboxes today. New York Times “Well” writer Tara Parker-Pope reflects on the good in our lives. We hope you will find something calming in her words.
March 18, 2020

Dear Readers

Every day brings a new question, a new worry, a new fear about the coronavirus pandemic. It’s essential to pay attention to public health advice to practice social distancing and to stay home to limit contact and reduce the spread of infection…

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For Families in Greater Birmingham–Our Response to the COVID-19 Situation

We are seeing patients in our office as usual! We ask you to call our office to reschedule if:

You have symptoms of a flu-like illness (fever, cough, etc.)
You have traveled outside of the U.S. within the last 14 days
You have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 infection or symptoms of a flu-like illness, or has traveled outside the country within the last 14 days

If you do not belong to one of the above groups, we are very happy to see you as usual.
For any OB patient who may fit…

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Considering a Hysterectomy? Is it…

URGENT?
MEDICALLY NECESSARY, BUT NOT URGENT?
ONE OF SEVERAL OPTIONS?
UNNECESSARY?

By age 60, about 1/3 of American women will have had a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus (womb), in order to treat a gynecologic problem. We suggest surgery to our patients when it offers health or quality of life benefits that outweigh the risks of having surgery. On the other hand, a woman herself will sometimes tell her doctor that she is ready to consider a hysterectomy when the doctor has not recommended it.

In either situation, the decision to have surgery requires…

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“Healthy” Resolutions–Some Gentle New Year’s Advice!

Among our favorite New Year’s resolutions are those related to a healthier lifestyle.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that obesity, tobacco use, and lack of physical activity together cause approximately one-third of all deaths. You can probably guess that my thirty-something years of caring for women when they are healthy and when their health is in jeopardy have not given me the magic key to solving these problems. But as the new year begins, I would like to share a few thoughts…

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Women’s Health Update: Mood Changes During the Menopause Transition

Click here to learn more about mood changes many women experience during the menopause transition.
This brief video from the North American Menopause Society discusses the relationship between menopause and increased feelings of depression, anxiety, or other mood symptoms. It offers some guidelines about whether these feelings may be menopause-related, as well as a discussion of treatment options…

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Confused About When to Begin Breast Cancer Screening?

Click the image below to see the full infographic…

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