Author: Dr. Jimmy Sparks

Tips for Healthy Travel

Are you considering whether and when to plan a family vacation during this unusual Summer of 2021? Our best advice would center on the question “Have you been vaccinated against COVID-19?” But whenever you decide to resume some of your most enjoyable family activities, these tips for safe travel (from a past blog post) are more important than ever. Know your destination. Does it have specific COVID testing or quarantine requirements? If you are not driving, what does your mode of transportation require. In other words, plan ahead. And enjoy some of the freedoms that vaccination brings…

Read Full Article

COVID Vaccine–an Incredible Gift

The best gift I received this past Christmas was, without a doubt, my first dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine. When an email in mid-December notified me that I had been given one of Birmingham’s precious first few vaccination appointments, I felt joy and relief. Obstetricians, like other front-line healthcare providers, cannot postpone seeing patients with coronavirus until they recover. Our expectant mothers still need our care. So, I and my partners were offered the vaccine early, and we accepted gratefully. Never for a moment did any of us consider not taking the vaccine.

As doctors, we…

Read Full Article

The CDC Announces Recommendations for Vaccinated People

…with a personal view from an ObGyn physician.
The CDC has recently announced recommendations about how much fully vaccinated people can return to their normal lives. You can read them here. Rather than talking about the particular recommendations, it may be more helpful to comment on the reasoning behind the guidelines.

Vaccination is already decreasing the risk of catching, spreading, and ESPECIALLY becoming very sick or dying from COVID-19. Since COVID, you have come to rely on state and local mandates, CDC guidelines, and even the media to set rules for your behavior. But ultimately you will need to…

Read Full Article

What Birmingham Women Need to Know about COVID Vaccination

The CDC has published this helpful Q&A to encourage you toward a decision to be vaccinated. I am strongly encouraging my patients to receive the vaccine when you become eligible. For our pregnant patients, we recommend that you have a conversation with your obstetrician before receiving the vaccine. You can read more about COVID vaccination for pregnant and breast feeding women in my recent post “Should Our Pregnant and Breastfeeding Patients Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine…

Read Full Article

Dr. Sparks’ COVID-19 New Year’s Resolution

As we wished you good health and happiness at this time last year, we could not have imagined what 2020 would hold. But the New Year always brings hope, and with weekly shipments of vaccine arriving in Birmingham, we have much reason to be hopeful. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we are not there yet. Let our resolutions for this New Year include continuing to protect ourselves and others until we have all been vaccinated against COVID-19. We can do this for three or four more months and give thanks that it…

Read Full Article

Should Our Pregnant and Breastfeeding Patients Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine?

The short answer is—we don’t know. When the FDA Advisory Committee meets on December 10th to decide the matter of Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer COVID vaccine (and a week later for the Moderna vaccine), they are likely to specify whether pregnant and breastfeeding women (along with young children and the very elderly) will be included.
What factors will influence their decision…

Read Full Article

Dr. Sparks Discusses Back-to-School Health Concerns

As students return to Alabama college campuses facing the risks and restrictions of COVID-19, please consider that the greatest risks to the well-being of young adults are not COVID-related. They happen year after year. This year we have lost about 285 young people, ages 15 to 24, who were Covid positive at the time of their death. But every year, a subgroup of these young people (college students age 18 to 24), lose nearly six times as many friends and classmates to alcohol-related accidental deaths. Many thousands more suffer life-altering unintentional injuries including sexual assault…

Read Full Article

Our Office Policies During COVID-19–Including Information about Testing

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.

Please wear a mask.
Your temperature will…

Read Full Article

Covid and Pregancy–Info for Birmingham Moms

12/8/2020–Click here to find our office policies regarding Covid-19 including information about testing.
11/13/2020 We have updated this post based on recent updates to the original CDC reports of Covid-19 risk during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists summarizes its current view:
Although these data from the CDC suggest an increase in risk of severe outcomes in pregnant women with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, the absolute risk is still substantially lower than that of pandemic H1N1 influenza infection during pregnancy…ACOG recognizes the critical need for further analysis and peer…

Read Full Article

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…

Read Full Article