image

Preventing Cervical Cancer–We Can Do Better!

This post has been updated:
Only about 60% of American teens (13 through 17) have been vaccinated against HPV. The HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine provides protection against certain viruses that are known to cause cervical cancer. Here in Alabama, the statistics are slightly worse. We remind you that–regardless of whether you have received the HPV vaccine–you should continue to be screened for cervical cancer after age 21 (Pap test/HPV test).

Recently the CDC has added additional guidance for adults over age 26 who have not yet been vaccinated against HPV as follows:
“…some adults age 27…

Read Full Article
image

Winter Has Come to Birmingham!

The COLD weather has finally arrived, along with post-holiday fatigue, and a mind-boggling COVID surge. If you’re hunkering down ’til things get better, try a hearty, comfort food to lift your spirits! This Chicken Brunswick Stew is New Year’s Diet friendly, “crockpot easy,” and sure to cure your winter chill! (For recipe, click the image…

Read Full Article
image

Gestational Diabetes–Good OB Care Makes a Difference in High-Risk Pregnancy

Over the nine months of your pregnancy, you are likely to experience some physical and emotional bumps in the road. Most women are not caught off guard by feelings of fatigue and the discomforts of morning sickness during the early weeks. These sensations usually improve. The middle months pass as you make plans and preparations for your child’s arrival.

As you begin your third trimester, your doctor will schedule a few tests to make sure your body is adapting well to the changes that pregnancy brings. Your 28-week appointment will include a screening test of your blood sugar…

Read Full Article
image

Developing a Healthy Body Image for Pre-Teens and Teenagers

As a gynecologist, I occasionally see a woman who is struggling with a serious emotional problem. Sometimes she realizes that challenges like being stuck in an unhealthy relationship, substance use, self-harm, or eating disorders (anorexia, compulsive eating) have become lifelong battles. Many women cannot explain the issues that interfere with a healthy life. Too often, a woman’s first steps on this path began years before.

Pre-teens and teenagers are under lots of pressure these days. Recognizing emotional changes that are different from normal teenage angst is a hard part of parenting. One aspect of teens’ emotional and…

Read Full Article
image

Dr. Hall-Minnie Talks About Strategies to Enhance Recovery After a Cesarean Delivery

Did you have a hard time when your doctor suggested that a cesarean delivery would be best for you and your baby? You’re not alone. Most expectant mothers are young and have enjoyed good health.  Many have never had any kind of surgery. Moms recall feeling disappointed and sometimes fearful.

Knowing what to expect will ease your concerns. I’d like to offer some reassurance and a few tips for our OB patients, whether you are expecting a c-section or just know it’s a possibility. Women who have had a previous c-section may also find this…

Read Full Article
image

Dr. Stradtman Explains Early and Premature Menopause

The average age for a woman to reach menopause is about 51. A woman has reached menopause when she has had no menstrual periods for 12 months. The transition between the reproductive years and menopause is gradual and can last for several years. Doctors call this phase perimenopause. Periods become more irregular, and other symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, mood changes, changes in sexuality may become bothersome.
What Causes Menopause
Very simply, a woman reaches menopause when she runs out of functioning eggs. The journey toward menopause actually begins before birth! At 24 weeks of pregnancy, a baby girl…

Read Full Article
image

Dr. Sparks’ Retirement Message

Most of my patients know that my last day of practice will be September 30th, since I began early this year notifying you at your annual exam. I am very glad that I decided to do this. It has given me a chance to share memories with many of you whom I’ve cared for through years, decades, and sometimes generations. I’ve shared both joyous and challenging moments with you and your families. I cannot thank you enough for your trust in my care, and for your kind words as I pass that care on to my wonderful partners…

Read Full Article
image

Women’s Cancer Care

Another Reason We Entrust the Care of Our Patients to Brookwood Women’s Hospital
 

In 1973, Brookwood became the first hospital in Alabama to provide healthcare for women in an environment devoted entirely to their unique needs. In the decades since, Brookwood has remained steadfast in its commitment to provide the latest advances in women’s services. The hospital invested in the new technology known as robotic surgery near its beginning (2009). Over the next decade, Brookwood achieved headlines as national leader in women’s robotic gynecologic surgery, surpassing 7000 women’s cases! These thousands of women returned home…

Read Full Article
image

Menstrual Irregularities and the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Reports have begun to appear in mainstream and social media about an association between the COVID-19 vaccine and menstrual irregularities. This is very disappointing—not because the question shouldn’t be studied; but rather, because the reports thus far offer no scientific evidence whatsoever. Unfortunately, they do grab attention—exactly their purpose. For example, NPR covered the topic this week in its popular morning segment All Things Considered.

The headline read: “A Possible Side Effect? Thousands Of People Saw Menstruation Changes Post-Vaccine.” What was this about? The NPR commentator reviewed the post-vaccine experiences of two women, Dr…

Read Full Article