Here at Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare in Hoffman Estates, pregnancy care is a top priority. Our four physicians have the skills and compassion you need for a healthy pregnancy, safe delivery, and a thriving newborn—read on to learn more.
Pregnancy care is so important
Also called prenatal care, these routine check-ups and tests guide you through conception to delivery and the postpartum period. The US Office of Women's Health states that pregnancy outcomes are more favorable when women receive routine pregnancy care. Even low birth weight babies are far more likely to survive and thrive when mothers see their doctors regularly throughout pregnancy.
At Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare in Hoffman Estates, pregnancy care begins early with testing (screening) to confirm the pregnancy. Next, a pelvic examination, lab work, and medical history review form the foundation of your care plan. Additionally, your due date will be determined based on your last menstrual period.
What pregnancy care looks like
Throughout your pregnancy, you'll visit Northwest Associates For Women's Healthcare at regular intervals—every month at first. As your due date approaches, you'll see your OB/GYN doctor more frequently, during which they will check your vital signs, urine, uterine size, and more. You'll have the opportunity to discuss any concerns that you may have and will receive counseling on your nutrition and activity level.
Additionally, your physician will monitor your baby's position, vital signs, growth, and more. Periodically, you'll undergo an ultrasound examination that visualizes your baby, your placenta, and the interior of your uterus. Fetal measurements are an important aspect of this easy in-office test. Your first ultrasound exam will confirm your due date and helps your doctor identify possible pregnancy and delivery risks.
As you and your baby grow and change throughout pregnancy, you'll have the opportunity to learn about labor and delivery, breastfeeding, newborn care, and more. Be sure to keep all scheduled appointments, and please call the office any time you have a question or concern about your health or that of your baby.
Your pregnancy is a wonderful time of change. Stay healthy and happy throughout. Your friends at Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare will help every step of the way. Phone us for a pregnancy consultation at (847) 884-1800.
It’s important to discuss your birth control options with a gynecologist you trust.
When it comes to family planning there are a ton of birth control options on the market. The two main types of birth control are hormonal and non-hormonal. While there is a lot of information on there about birth control, we also know that you may have questions or concerns that only a qualified doctor can address. Our Hoffman Estates, IL, board-certified OBGYNs offer a variety of birth control options to help prevent pregnancy including,
Hormonal birth control refers to any type of birth control that contains a small amount of estrogen and progestin (or progestin-only) hormones that are released into the body to prevent ovulation. While most women choose to get hormonal birth control from our Hoffman Estates, IL, gynecologist because of its high success rate in preventing pregnancy, some women also choose to get hormonal birth control to help with other issues such as PMS and acne.
Here are the types of hormonal birth control to consider,
- The Pill: this medication must be taken at the same time every day (it can also help women who deal with painful periods, acne or PMS)
- The Shot: a great option if you only want to worry about getting an injection every three months rather than taking a pill every day
- Progestin IUD: this intrauterine device is placed within the uterus by one of our OBGYNs, where it can remain for 3-7 years (it can also be removed at any time)
- The Ring: this plastic ring is placed into the vagina where it stays for a month
- The Patch: this dermal patch can be placed just about anywhere on the body where it remains for three weeks
- The Implant: the device is placed under the surface of the skin (typically in the arm) and can last up to five years
While these options do protect against pregnancy they do not protect against sexually transmitted infections. It’s important that you are still using protection to prevent the spread of infections or diseases.
There are some women who are unable to take hormonal forms of birth control. In this case, you may want to consider non-hormonal birth control options. These include,
- Copper IUD: this type of IUD works the same as the progestin IUD, but it doesn’t release any hormones
- Fertility awareness: this involves tracking your fertile days to prevent pregnancy (not recommended for women with irregular periods)
Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare in Hoffman Estates, IL, is devoted to quality women’s health care from adolescence and pregnancy to menopause. To discuss your birth control options with a qualified medical professional, call our office today at (847) 884-1800 to schedule an appointment.
Here are some of the milestones that expectant mothers will experience over the coming months.
Every pregnancy is unique and different, and our Hoffman Estates, IL, OBGYNs provide tailored care and treatment throughout each week and milestone of your pregnancy. Here are some of the exciting milestones to expect when you’re expecting:
Your First Prenatal Checkup
Once you receive a positive pregnancy test, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with our Hoffman Estates, IL, obstetrician to confirm the pregnancy. This first appointment will typically fall between 6-9 weeks. The first checkup is a memorable one because this is usually when you receive your first ultrasound. You may even get to hear your baby’s heartbeat (around 6-7 weeks).
Saying Goodbye to the First Trimester
The end of the first trimester has a couple of wonderful benefits. For one, morning sickness and the extreme exhaustion you may have felt during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy may ease up during the second trimester. The end of the first trimester is also the time that most expectant couples begin to tell friends and family the exciting news.
Baby’s First Kick
A baby’s first movements are known as quickening. This usually occurs during the second trimester, typically between 16 to 25 weeks. If this is your first pregnancy, it’s normal not to feel movements until closer to 25 weeks, while women who’ve been pregnant before may experience movement even earlier than the standard 16 weeks.
“Surprise! It’s a….”
Approximately halfway through your pregnancy, your OBGYN can tell you whether you are having a boy or girl. While some couples chose to wait until their baby’s arrival, you may choose to find out while you’re still pregnant.
Your Due Date
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: your due date. Now your baby can make their appearance at any time (and we know you’re probably ready to meet them already!); however, don’t be surprised if your little one doesn’t show up exactly on time!
Labor & Delivery
Childbirth is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, experiences that a woman can go through. You can work with our OBGYN to create a birth plan that fits your personal goals and needs. But all the effort and pain will go away the moment you hold your baby in your arms for the first time. Congratulations!
We are Here For You
We know that these are unprecedented times with the coronavirus pandemic; however, we want our patients to know that our Hoffman Estates team is still providing pregnancy and obstetric care to our patients, as well as offering emergency gynecological services. Please don’t hesitate to call Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare at (847) 884-1800 with any questions or concerns you may have.
Traditionally, people have called menopause "the change," a rather fitting title given that this stage ushers in a dramatic shift in estrogen and progesterone levels, as well as a cessation of menstrual periods. Here at Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare in Hoffman Estates, your four physicians and their team provide the care and support you need to navigate menopause in a healthy fashion.
The symptoms of menopause
Menopausal symptoms may begin as early as the late thirties, states The North American Menopause Society. Typically, this period is called peri-menopause, and as years advance (with 51 being average for true menopause), ovarian activity and the release of female hormones drastically diminish. When the ovaries release their last egg, menstruation ceases sometime afterward. When a woman has not had a menstrual period for a full year, she is considered post-menopausal.
In effect, menopause is a lengthy process of many kinds of changes, often accompanied by disconcerting symptoms such as:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Genital dryness (and sometimes painful sex) because of atrophy of the vagina
- Mood swings
- Inability to fall asleep, insomnia, and other sleep disturbances
- Weight gain, especially at the waistline
- Varying degrees of urinary incontinence
- Thinning bones (osteoporosis)
- Hair loss
Getting through the change
At Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare in Hoffman Estates, your professional team provides the counseling and treatment you need to navigate menopause. Depending on your symptoms and personal preferences, your care plan may include:
- Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT (not appropriate for breast cancer patients)
- Antidepressants, such as Effexor
- Vitamins, such as B6 and E supplements
- Herbal supplements, such as St. John's Wart for depression and Black Cohosh for hot flashes
- Vaginal lubricants and moisturizers
- Kegal exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
- Relaxation techniques
- Adequate hydration and heart-healthy nutrition
- Avoiding foods which precipitate hot flashes and insomnia (spicy foods as an example)
- Exercising every day
- Limiting caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, particularly at bedtime
You can take charge of menopause
Know the facts about this important life change. Call your friends at Northwest Associates for Women's Healthcare in Hoffman Estates for the menopause treatment and counseling you need: (847) 884-1800.
Menopause is the end of the menstrual and fertility cycle in women. It can either occur naturally or as a result of surgical intervention that requires the removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This usually as a treatment for cancer or other health conditions like infections or cysts. The ovaries regulate the hormones that control the menstrual cycle and fertility. Once the menstrual cycle permanently ends, either naturally or through the surgical removal of the ovaries, a woman is in menopause. The process varies form woman to woman and begins on average from the mid to late 40s to early 50s. As the production of eggs and hormones begins to decline, many women experience physical changes and symptoms that range in severity and intensity.
In addition to physical symptoms and changes, many women experience emotional and psychological symptoms related to the transition away from the child bearing phase. An OBGYN can help navigate the process and recommend treatment when necessary.
Signs and Symptoms of Menopause
Like the menstrual cycle itself, menopause affects every woman differently. Some may experience only mild symptoms and require minimal to no treatment. Others may experience drastic fluctuations in everything from body temperature to moods, and require medication and specialized treatment plans from an OBGYN to help manage symptoms. The most common symptoms are:
- Vaginal dryness and pain during sex
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Irregular/infrequent periods
- Skin problems and hair loss
- Anxiety and depression
- Mood swings and irritability
- Loss of sex drive
Treatment for Menopause
Depending on the range and severity of symptoms, as well as the woman's overall health, an OBGYN may recommend hormone replacement therapy and medication. Many women benefit from lifestyle modifications like dietary supplements and changes to a more balanced and clean diet. Managing anxiety, depression and stress with exercises like yoga and meditation can help regulate moods, as well as provide an opportunity to engage in social activities in a supportive environment. Although fertility declines and eventually ends with menopause, women can still enjoy an active, fulfilling sex life both during and long after menopause.
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