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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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From Dr. Sarah Whitehead—Optimizing Your Chance of Becoming Pregnant, an Obstetrician’s View

You’ve decided you’re ready to start a family. In fact, you’ve decided that the next few months would be “ideal” to begin a pregnancy. But a month goes by, and then another, and no little + sign appears on the magic stick. You’re not exactly worried, nor should you be. Statistics say that around 20% of couples who will eventually have a spontaneous pregnancy do not conceive during the first six months that they attempt getting pregnant.  Obstetricians define infertility as the inability to achieve a successful pregnancy after twelve months of regular, unprotected intercourse. So, during…

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Meet Dr. Cameron Askew–and learn about bariatric (weight-loss) surgery in Birmingham

Dr. Cameron Askew is a board-certified general surgeon. She cares for patients with a wide range of surgical problems, especially men and women seeking bariatric (weight-loss) surgery. She practices at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center here in Birmingham.

Dr. Askew is a life-long Alabamian. She is a graduate of Florida State University and the University of Alabama School of Medicine (UAB). She completed her general surgery training in the Baptist Health System. She is married with two stepsons, two dogs, and an active role in promoting obesity education; so, she understands her patients’ struggles to prioritize health in…

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Problems with Sexual Function

“Approximately 43% of American women report experiencing sexual problems, with 12% considering this problem to be so bothersome that it leads to personal distress.[1]” My hope is that providing some basic information here will encourage women to speak to their physicians if they are having this experience.

Doctors use the term female sexual dysfunction to refer to a group of problems including lack of interest in sex, pain with sex, and lack of satisfying sexual experience. A woman’s sexual response depends on many physical and psychological factors, so it is often difficult to identify and treat a single…

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Our Mammography Technologist Discusses 3D Mammography

So…a year has passed since we began using our new 3D mammography unit. If you have not yet had a mammogram with this technology, you may be overdue. Here is a re-run of last year’s post about the advantages of the new machine. Our patients tell us that it’s Smart-Curve compression surface is indeed more comfortable! Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds us to ask ourselves “When was my last mammogram.” (If you can’t remember, call us. We’ll check.)

Most of our patients (beyond that “certain age”), have met Mrs. Charlene Aitken, Sparks &amp…

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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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