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Our Latest Women’s Health Newsletter

Our Summer Women’s Health Newsletter was emailed this morning. Articles include–

Meet Our New Physician

Your Mammogram and the COVID Vaccine

Compounded Bio-identical Hormones, Hormone Pellets, and other non-FDA Hormone Products

(and more!)

If you did not receive the newsletter, you can VIEW IT HERE,  and also subscribe to receive future newsletters…

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What Women Need to Know about “Bio-identical Hormones, Custom-Compounded Hormone Therapy and Hormone Pellets–FDA Advises Caution

Nearly twenty years have passed since the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) announced serious safety concerns involving hormone replacement therapy during menopause. Since then, we have come to understand that these early conclusions were misleading, based on an incomplete understanding of the study’s data. Unfortunately, the announcement caused panic among American women. Nearly half of them gave up hormone replacement within a few months. Women whose menopausal symptoms reduced their quality of life resigned themselves to suffer in silence.

With better information, women have now reached a more balanced understanding of the benefits and possible risks of hormone replacement…

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Should I Postpone My Mammogram After Receiving A COVID Vaccine?

 
Or–Should I Delay my COVID Vaccine Until After My Scheduled Mammogram?
These questions have arisen recently after reports that 10 to 15% of COVID vaccinated women have developed an enlarged lymph node in the area of the breast under the arm on the side where they received the shot. A SWOLLEN LYMPH NODE IS NOT A HARMFUL COMPLICATION OF YOUR SHOT. The TEMPORARY swelling and possible tenderness of lymph nodes is a common reaction to this and many other types of vaccines. A vaccine’s purpose is to activate the body’s immune system against an invading bacteria…

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From Dr. Sparks: “Will the Pill Make Me Gain Weight?”

One of the most frequent questions we answer in the office concerns the potential side-effects of birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives (rings, implants, hormonal I.U.Ds, etc.).  The pill carries a small increased risk for certain health problems (deep-vein thrombosis, heart attack, and stroke), and no method of birth control is one hundred percent effective in preventing pregnancy. Yet, in the fifty-plus years that the pill has been prescribed in the U.S., it has proven to be a very safe and effective contraceptive method. In fact, American women find it safe, effective, and…

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Women and Cancer—Are You Old Enough to Worry?

Slightly more than 1 in 3 American women will develop cancer in her lifetime. Cancer is the second leading cause of death for women (after heart disease). True, it usually strikes during or after middle-age. About 77% of cancers are discovered in people 55 or older. But even if, as you are reading this, “middle-age” seems a long way off; consider that your ability to influence many cancer risk factors begins much earlier in life. Some of the facts I mention here are well-known, but you’ll also find some new insights if you read on…

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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…

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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…

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Update to Our Office COVID Policies

As Alabama’s statewide mask requirement has now expired (5 PM, April 9th), we would like to inform our patients about how that will affect your care at Sparks & Favor.

First, we want you to know that we are extremely confident in the vaccines. Their ability to protect people from serious illness and hospitalization has been spectacular. Breakthrough cases are extremely rare. Of the scant number of infections after vaccination, most people have had very mild symptoms or none at all. Your shot is a ticket back to your normal life.

If you have not yet been vaccinated, ALL…

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On Our 30th Anniversary–Sincere Gratitude to Our Patients!

On March 15, 1991, two young physicians from UAB opened the doors to their new office, and the practice Sparks & Favor saw its first patients. Along with Mrs. Edmonds, our practice administrator then and now, we began a journey that has continued for thirty years.

Along the way, we were fortunate that Drs. Stradtman, Gregory, and Whitehead shared our vision of the how a medical practice should provide care. More than just individual physicians sharing space and equipment, we have truly been a team over these many years. We share call with each other, but not outside of our…

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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…

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