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An Announcement for Our Obstetric and Gynecologic Patients

We would like to notify our patients that Dr. Cynthia Brown has left Sparks & Favor to begin another chapter in her career. Dr. Brown will be joining the medical staff at Medical West in Bessemer, Alabama, beginning October 1, 2019. We are proud of her dedication to community practice and her desire to broaden her contribution to the health needs of Birmingham women. With sincere gratitude for her service to our practice and to the care of our patients over the past twenty-three years, her colleagues here at Sparks & Favor and our staff wish her well in…

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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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Are You Protected from Measles?

As measles outbreaks continue to occur in several states—the most in 25 years—patients have begun to ask me whether they are protected or whether they should receive another vaccination.

Public health officials are appropriately concerned. Up to 95% of persons who are exposed to the virus will become sick with measles if they have no immunity. Experts consider measles one of the most contagious of all infectious diseases. Health officials have traced several recent cases to Disney theme parks in Florida and California where international visitors from countries with low vaccination rates mix in crowded facilities. And this…

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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: A Candid View of Dr. Judi Favor

To be clear, this is Dr. Favor’s story, but not in her words. She would not write her own story. Even so, those of us who have known her for thirty years (Dr Sparks, Dr. Stradtman and Mrs. Edmonds) thought her patients might enjoy reading a little bit about what inspires the dedicated care she provides. She relies on her faith, humility, and a strong sense of purpose to guide her work and everyday life.

Dr. Favor did not come from a family of physicians. Lowndes County, Alabama had only a part-time physician when she was growing up…

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A Milestone in Women’s Surgery

We were amazed and delighted a few weeks ago when the Women’s Medical Center at Brookwood Baptist announced its 8000th robotic surgery, adding that approximately 6000 of these were hysterectomies. In fact, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (manufacturer of the da Vinci robotic technology), published last fall that Brookwood is Birmingham’s leader in GYN robotic surgery.

How time flies! At Sparks & Favor, we were interested in the new technology from nearly its beginning. Dr. Sparks recalls those first cases in 2009. He wondered whether women would accept the new “robotic” technique. He assured them that the robot did nothing…

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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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A Chat with Dr. Whitehead–for Birmingham Girls!

Brookwood Women’s Services is again offering this excellent program (Saturday May 4th, 9 AM), and Dr. Whitehead is looking forward to participating. Click here to find registration information.
From my childhood in Botswana (my parents were missionaries), I am deeply aware of the difference reproductive-health information can make in the lives of women and girls. The HIV/AIDS epidemic devastated Botswana. Women, particularly young women ages 15 to 24, are still suffering in greater numbers than men, and progress has stalled. The fact of their limited opportunity, especially in education, makes them vulnerable. Nearly half of them cannot…

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