Category: Dr. Sparks

Our Office Policies to Protect You During COVID-19

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…

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Considering a Hysterectomy? Is it…


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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Uterine Fibroids–A Short Presentation from your Gynecologist

CLICK HERE to open the presentation…

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Cord Blood Banking–What Expectant Parents Need to Know

Cord Blood Donation in Birmingham
Your physicians at Sparks & Favor have prepared the following information to help our expectant families understand the potential benefits and possible consequences of cord blood donation. We neither recommend nor discourage this. We want our patients to base their choice on the principles of informed consent. However, we do not consider the arrival at the hospital for the birth of your baby to be the ideal time to first hear about or begin considering this option.

Our practice does not receive financial compensation for your donation to a public bank. If you choose a…

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Iron and Folic Acid–Diet Concerns for Women’s Health

The top nutrition/diet concerns we hear from you at your well-woman visits include weight management and bone health (calcium and vitamin D). Occasionally we answer questions about dietary or weight loss supplements. We usually recommend that the best source of the nutrients you need each day is a well-balanced diet! (Read Dr. Stradtman’s past blog about dietary supplements).

We realize, however, that a woman’s typical diet—even when she tries to eat well—may not be meeting the special nutritional needs she has at certain times in her life. Besides calcium and vitamin D (discussed…

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All Women need to Know Something about this very common Viral Infection—Genital Herpes

Because of the high prevalence of genital herpes among adult women, all women should have some understanding of this illness.  Estimates indicate about 1 in 5 adult women have genital herpes. At least half of those who are infected have no symptoms and are completely unaware that they carry this virus. While contacting the virus has little impact on many women, a first outbreak can cause significant illness for some. Recurrent episodes may be painful and stressful. The infection is contagious, and can be a serious and sometimes fatal illness in a newborn.

For these reasons, having some basic facts…

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My Story–Difficult Healthcare Decisions and Medical Second Opinions

In the coming months, our blog will feature a new series of posts called “My Story.” In them, our physicians will share a personal story or something from their daily practice that our patients may find helpful. Last month Dr. Whitehead offered some thoughts about how her childhood in Botswana continues to influence her commitment to women’s health education. In the following post, Dr. Sparks discusses his own recent surgery and what he learned about facing a confusing healthcare decision…

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ObGyn Update: Are Heavy Periods Interfering with Your Normal Life?

A woman whose menstrual periods are so uncomfortable, frequent, or heavy as to interrupt her usual activities is not comforted by the fact that this is a very common women’s health problem. The medical name for abnormally heavy periods is menorrhagia. Although about a third of women experience this problem at some time, heavy bleeding is not normal. Changes in your normal menstrual cycle are always a reason to talk with your ObGyn. Besides being very disruptive to your life, heavy menstrual bleeding can sometimes signal a more serious problem…

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