Author Archives: tbsmo

How Can Ovarian Cysts Affect Pregnancy

What are Ovarian Cysts? 

Ovarian cysts are fairly common, which the majority of women will have at some point during their lifetime. Ovarian cysts are identified as fluid-filled sacs that form on or inside the ovaries. Most cysts can be diagnosed through an ultrasound or other imaging tests administered by a physician. Ovarian cysts usually do not produce any symptoms, however, in certain cases women may experience them. 

Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts

Some of the common signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts include:

  • Sudden, severe pain in the abdomen
  • Dizziness, weakness, or feeling faint
  • Fast breathing

Although it is rare, a cyst may rupture causing sudden pain, in which case you should go to the doctor immediately. If you are unsure of whether or not you have an ovarian cyst, your gynecologist will usually be able to identify them during a pelvic exam. 

How do Ovarian Cysts Affect Fertility?

Cysts generally do not make it harder for a woman to get pregnant. In fact, the corpus luteum cyst or “pregnancy cyst” is actually beneficial during pregnancy, because it produces the progesterone necessary to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Most corpus luteum measure less than 5 centimeters, however, those lasting longer than 12 weeks may grow larger than 5 centimeters.

Endometriosis

On the other hand, if the cysts are caused by an underlying condition, such as endometriosis, you may be at a higher risk of infertility. With endometriosis, the cells from the lining of your uterus implant or grow on the outside of the uterus. If it causes growths that block flow through the fallopian tubes, cysts can form. Almost 50% of women with infertility also suffer from endometriosis. 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Another condition that can cause ovarian cysts affecting fertility is polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. It is identified by many small cysts on the ovaries, an irregular menstrual cycle, and high levels of certain hormones. PCOS may contribute to issues with pregnancy, since it is associated with irregular ovulation. PCOS may also put you at an increased risk for gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, premature delivery, or even miscarriage. 

In order to lower your risk of developing a condition such as endometriosis or PCOS, you should:

  1. Exercise on a regular basis
  2. Avoid excessive alcohol
  3. Limit your caffeine intake

Solutions for Treating Ovarian Cysts

It is important to know the signs of a potentially dangerous ovarian cysts and the ways you can get rid of them. The most common treatment is an ovarian cystectomy. This is a minimally invasive surgery that involves small incisions in the abdomen and a camera that assists the doctor in completely the procedure. A laparoscopic surgery usually involves a faster recovery time than open surgery and is the preferred method of most patients.

Bear in mind that the window for this type of treatment closes once the pregnancy passes approximately 20 weeks. Talk with your OB/GYN about your risk and whether or not you should seek treatment. He or she will provide you with a set of options and lead you on the right path to help you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

Laparoscopic Surgery in Livingston, New Jersey

Dr. Quartell has 40 years of experience in his practice and has done thousands of procedures using laparoscopic format. He is a skilled surgeon that will ensure a safe procedure and a speedy recovery. If you are worried about the risks associated with ovarian cysts and would like to be evaluated, come visit our office in Livingston, New Jersey or call us at 973-716-9600. At Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates, you are guaranteed to receive the best care possible!

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Which Birth Control Method is Right for You?

Contraception is a personal choice, and for many women, that choice is not easy. While contraceptive methods all have the same goal of preventing pregnancy, they all vary in how they do so, whether it’s through hormonal or physical barriers. With the dozens of kinds of birth control methods to choose from and various myths and fears about each one, women may feel restricted in their choices. However, it’s important to be educated about each birth control method, so that you can decide which one is right for you when consulting with your doctor.

Personal Factors for Birth Control

Your personal reasons for choosing birth control matter just as much as the birth control method you choose. One birth control method may work for one woman, but not another due to lifestyle or health reasons. All birth controls have their own pros and cons, and depending on your personal factors, the cons may outweigh the pros.

Before choosing a birth control method, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you want to have children? When?
  • Do you have unprotected sex? 
  • Do you need protection against STDs and HIV?
  • Are you able to follow a routine schedule of taking your birth control every day?

Depending on your answers to these questions, you may find that one kind of birth control may not fit your lifestyle and plans for the future.

Hormonal Birth Control Methods

Hormonal birth control methods manipulate a woman’s hormones to control or prevent ovulation from occurring. Nowadays, all methods of hormonal birth control are considered effective, but some are considered more ‘short-action’ means of preventing pregnancy than others, meaning that they must be scheduled and taken on time in order to prevent pregnancy. This extra effort to take these methods may not be right for some who lead active, busy lifestyles.

‘Short-action’ birth control methods include:

  • Birth control pills – often the most popular method, birth control pills usually have to be taken every day
  • Injectable birth control – known as “the shot”, this kind of birth control is directly injected into the woman’s body once every three months to regulate hormones
  • Patch – a patch that is placed on a woman’s body, which is then absorbed into the skin. This patch has to be replaced every week for effectiveness
  • Vaginal ring – a ring that is placed inside the vagina, giving a combination of hormones directly into the body. This ring has to be replaced once a month.

Another birth control method is IUD (intrauterine device). IUDs are small, T-shaped wires coated with copper or other hormones that a doctor will place inside the woman’s vagina. These can last up to 10 years. 

Barrier Birth Control Methods

Some women may feel wary of manipulating their hormones for the sake of preventing pregnancy. For women that cannot, due to medical reasons or personal preference, take hormonal birth control, physical barrier methods may be right for them. Barrier birth control is meant to literally prevent the sperm from traveling into the uterus. These methods are usually enacted during sexual intercourse itself, so it’s important for both the woman and her partner to remember to use these contraceptive methods in order to successfully prevent pregnancy. A barrier method, such as condoms, also can prevent STDs

Common barrier birth control methods include:

  • Male or female condoms
  • Diaphragm – cups inserted into the vagina to block sperm
  • Sponge – placed into the vagina, and contains spermicide that kills any sperm from entering the uterus
  • Spermicide – a type of birth control that comes in many forms, including creams, films, and gels, that kills sperm upon contact

Birth Control Consultation in New Jersey

Birth control methods, as you can see, come in all different forms. It’s important to remember that the only way to have the ultimate protection from both pregnancy and STDs is by using both a birth control method and wearing a condom during sex. If you are thinking about going on birth control, it’s important to consult with a doctor first in order to assess your needs, current medical conditions, and whether or not your current lifestyle is optimal for one of these methods. Dr. Anthony C. Quartell, M.D., and Associates have been treating patients for over 40 years in Livingston, New Jersey. For more information about birth control, Dr. Quartell’s other gynecological specialties, or to schedule an appointment, contact his office today!

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Top Natural Family Planning Methods

What is natural family planning?

As the name suggests, natural family planning, or NFP, is a form of family planning that does not use medicine or devices. Instead, NFP involves reading the body’s signs of fertility to determine the days of the month you are most likely to get pregnant. 

Natural family planning is also known as fertility awareness. This method utilizes biologic markers to identify the fertile days of a woman’s reproductive cycle. Using natural family planning methods is usually the first step in trying to conceive. 

Natural family planning effectiveness

The effectiveness of natural family planning heavily relies on the couple’s diligence in following the instructions. It also relies on how regular a woman’s cycle is. This family planning option may not be the best option for you if you have irregular periods or if you are currently breastfeeding. 

Fertility awareness can also be used as a form of birth control. For those who are not looking to get pregnant, natural family planning isn’t as effective as other methods of birth control. According to the CDC, NFP has a failure rate of 24%. 

Natural family planning methods

  • Calendar/Rhythm Method

The rhythm method is one of the oldest methods of natural family planning. This method is based on the calendar, as a woman’s cycle typically lasts between 28 and 32 days. To figure out how long your menstrual cycle is, you will need to keep track of the length of your period for at least 6 months. While you can use a regular calendar, there are many apps designed to help you keep track of your menstrual cycle.

To track your cycle, day 1 will be the first day of your period. You will also mark the first day of your next period. From there, you will count the number of days between the first days of each period. 

To find the first fertile day where you can get pregnant, you will look at the shortest cycle in your period record and subtract 18 from the total number of days in that cycle. You will then count that number from day 1 of your current cycle. That will be your first fertile day of the month. To predict the last day of fertility in your current cycle, find the longest cycle in your period record and subtract 11 from the total number of days in that cycle. Count that number from day 1 of your current cycle. 

  • Basal Body Temperature Charting

This method of family planning utilizes the fact that your natural body temperature slightly changes throughout your menstrual cycle. In the first part of your cycle, your body temperature is slightly lower, typically around 96-98 degrees, and then it rises when you ovulate, typically around 97-99 degrees. While the rhythm method requires about 6 months of data (6 periods), using your body temperature only requires 3 months. The more data you have, though, the better you can increase your chance of pregnancy!

To use the temperature method, you must take your temperature the same way and around the same time every day. Dr. Quartell recommends taking your temperature as soon as you wake up, before talking, eating, drinking, or any other activity. The best results will be if you take your temperature before you get out of bed! You will record your temperature within a fertility awareness chart. The changes in your temperature will only be fractions of a degree, so it’s important to get as accurate of a reading as possible. 

Be sure to keep in mind that there are many things that can change your internal temperature. These include sleep deprivation, smoking, drinking, alcohol, jet lag, and stress. Dr. Quartell recommends that you also keep track of these factors in your fertility log to ensure you know when the changes in your temperature aren’t part of your natural menstrual cycle. 

  • Cervical Mucus Monitoring

This method requires you to track the changes in your cervical mucus, or vaginal discharge, throughout your menstrual cycle. The hormones that control your menstrual cycle are also responsible for making your cervix produces mucus. This mucus changes in color, texture, and amount during your menstrual cycle. This is especially true around ovulation. Cervical mucus monitoring is the basis for more modern NFP methods. 

To track your cervical mucus, you are required to feel and look at your discharge every day. You will then record what you notice on a special chart or app. You can check your discharge by using one of the following methods:

  • Using white toilet paper, wipe the opening of your vagina prior to urination.
  • Look at the discharge on your underwear.
  • Insert clean fingers into the vagina to check the color and texture.

Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, you will notice the following:

  • During your period: You will not notice any, as your blood flow covers your mucus.
  • After your period: Known as “dry days,” you typically do not have mucus or discharge in the first couple of days following your period.
  • Before ovulation: Typically, you have the most mucus right before ovulation. It is usually clear and feels slippery. These are the days you are most likely to become pregnant.

Top OB/GYN in New Jersey

If you have followed our tips and have successfully conceived, congratulations! This is an exciting time. Anthony C. Quartell, MD. and Associates have been treating patients for over 40 years in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology, specializing in family planning.  Dr. Quartell is here to guide you during every step of pregnancy. For more information about family planning, pregnancy and the various services we provide, and conditions we treat, be sure to contact us today to schedule an appointment today!

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10 Breast Cancer Facts You May Not Know

What is Breast Cancer?

When someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, it means that their cells in their breast tissue change and divide uncontrollably. This results in a lump or mass in the lobules, ducts, or connective tissue of the breast. There are many different types of breast cancer, and the type is dependent on which cells in the breast turn into cancer. The most common types are:

  • Invasive ductal carcinoma: This type of cancer is where the cancer cells grow outside the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue. Invasive ductal carcinoma can spread to other parts of the body.
  • Invasive lobular carcinoma: This type of cancer is where the cancerous cells spread from the lobules to the nearby breast tissue. Similar to invasive ductal carcinoma, this type of breast cancer can also spread.

Signs of Breast Cancer

While the signs and symptoms of breast cancer vary from person to person, some of the more common warning signs include:

  • Swelling, redness, or other visible skin changes in one or both breasts
  • Increase in size or change in the shape of one or both breasts
  • Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
  • General pain
  • Lumps or nodes felt on or inside the breast

Signs of more invasive breast cancer may include:

  • Irritated or itchy breasts
  • Change in breast color
  • Changes in touch, including feeling hard, tender, or warm
  • Peeling or flaking of the nipple skin
  • A breast lump or thickening

It’s important to note that you may not experience any symptoms at all, which is why it is crucial to be screened by your gynecologist regularly. 

About Breast Cancer Screening

Your gynecologist will use a mammogram to screen for breast cancer. This screening test uses low dose X-rays to look for changes in your breast tissue. A mammogram can detect lumps that are small and cannot be felt in a self-examination. It is recommended that all women over 40 schedule a yearly mammogram, but it’s important that you discuss your options with your gynecologist. He or she will help guide you in knowing what the right choice for your body is. 

Breast Cancer Facts You May Not Know

  1. 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. That equates to about 12% of the female population in the US. About every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed.
  2. While it is not as common, men can get breast cancer too. About 1 in 1,000 men will be diagnosed.
  3. Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women.
  4. There are more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the US, which is the largest group of all cancer survivors. 
  5. Although many people, unfortunately, pass away from this type of cancer, the death rates for breast cancer have been decreasing since 1989. These decreases may be a result of treatment advances, earlier detection, and increased awareness. 
  6. A woman’s risk of breast cancer almost doubles if her mother, sister, or daughter has been diagnosed. 
  7. 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to a gene mutation that is inherited from your mom or dad. Women with the BRCA1 mutation have up to a 72% risk of developing breast cancer, while women with the BRCA2 mutation have up to a 69% risk. Breast cancer that is positive for these mutations tends to develop more often in younger women. 
  8. The most significant risk factors are gender (being a woman) and age (the older you are, the higher your chance). 
  9. 62% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at a localized stage, for which the 5-year survival rate is 99%. If the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 85%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate dips to 27%. Early detection is the best prevention!
  10. Causes of breast cancer can be genetic (age, race, family history) or caused by environmental factors (alcohol consumption, weight).

Breast Health Services in Livingston, New Jersey

No matter if you’re over 40 or not, if you are concerned about your risk of developing breast cancer, it’s important to schedule an appointment with Dr. Quartell and his staff. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about breast cancer or any other gynecological condition you are worried about. For more information about our Livingston, New Jersey office, please contact us today.

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7 Cervical Cancer Warning Signs

Cervical cancers effects around 13,000 women each year in the U.S. and just over 4,200 women passed away from the disease in 2017 alone. Fortunately, cervical cancer is highly preventable thanks to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. HPV is an extremely common virus that is transmitted through direct sexual contact. In addition to HPV, causes of cervical cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Contraceptive use
  • History of sexual transmitted infections (STI)
  • Having multiple children
  • HIV
  • Organ transplant

Thanks to the Pap Smear test and the Gardasil 9 vaccine, the death rate from cervical cancer has decreased by more than 50 percent over the past 40 years. Cervical cancer does not typically cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Once the cancer is more advanced, women may start to experience the following warning signs of cervical cancer:

1. Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding

The most common cervical cancer warning is abnormal vaginal bleeding. This typically occurs after the cancer has spread to nearby tissue. Although spotting can be harmless, it’s important to see your doctor if you experience bleeding between menstrual periods, heavier or longer menstrual periods, bleeding after sex,  menopause, or a pelvic exam, or bleeding resulting in anemia-causing fatigue. 

2. Fatigue

We all experience fatigue sometimes, but when should you start paying closer attention to it? Cancer patients often describe feeling tired, exhausted, lethargic or weak, and having little drive to participate in activities. For those suffering from fatigue, even the simplest tasks can seem draining. The more advanced the cancer, the more likely you are to experience fatigue.  

3. Loss of Appetite or Unexplained Weight Loss

As with many other types of cancer, loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss are warning signs of cervical cancer. This can be especially evident if the weight loss persists regardless of your food consumption. 

4. Foul Smelling Vaginal Discharge

This warning sign is also very common with the onset of cervical cancer. If cervical cancer lacks oxygen, some cells may die off, infecting the tumor. The infection is what creates a foul-smelling vaginal discharge. If the discharge is continuous and appears to be pale, watery, brown, or mixed with blood, you should contact your doctor. 

5. Pain During Sexual Intercourse

Pain during sexual intercourse can occur in women with advanced cervical cancer. The tumor growth throughout the tissues and reproductive organs is what causes this pain and if experienced, should not be ignored.

6. Lower Back, Pelvic or Appendix Pain

Lower back or pelvic pain can be linked to issues with the reproductive organs, such as the cervix. Pelvic pain, especially pain that is continuous, is a tell-tale warning sign of cervical cancer. Pain near the appendix does not usually occur unless the cancer is in an advanced stage. Pelvic pain will generally follow other cervical cancer red flags.

7. Leg Pain

As the cancer progresses and reaches more advanced stages, it can start to press against nerves in the pelvic wall, resulting in leg pain and swelling. Swelling accompanied by leg pain could be a warning sign of cervical cancer, however on their own could be symptoms of various medical issues. 

Cervical Cancer Diagnosis in Livingston, NJ

Fortunately, cervical cancer can be successfully treated when found early on – which is why getting that annual pap test is extremely important. The treatment a woman with cervical cancer can receive typically depends on how severe the cancer is, and at what stage she is diagnosed. Treatment options include surgery, the most common being a hysterectomy. If you’re concerned about your health, want to schedule your annual visit today, or to speak with Dr. Anthony Quartell about cervical cancer and the services that we offer for it, contact our office today.

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Pap Smear 101 - What to Expect During and After

There are various routine health exams women must do to ensure that their bodies are free from cancers or other abnormal conditions. These types of tests are very important so that you can maintain good health, and a Pap smear or Pap test is no different. This gynecological pelvic test screens for cervical cancer and HPV (human papillomavirus). A Pap smear may seem scary to think about, especially if it’s your first one! But it is usually very quick and may only be mildly uncomfortable. Once women turn 21 years of age, a Pap smear test becomes routine during your annual gynecology exam. Keep reading to learn what to expect during and after your Pap test and why this exam is so important for your health. 

Why Do You Need a Pap Smear?

A Pap smear is done in conjunction with a pelvic exam, and it is recommended that every woman receives this test every one to three years after the age of 21 – even if you are not sexually active. You may need more frequent tests if you are HIV-positive or have a weakened immune system from undergoing chemotherapy or an organ transplant. Cervical cancer screening is critical for receiving an early diagnosis of cervical cancer. With an early diagnosis, adequate treatment is usually possible. This exam not only detects if cancer cells have already developed- it can also indicate if someone is at risk for developing abnormal cells in the future. This may require further testing. 

What to Expect During a Pap Smear

While you are in the proper gynecological pelvic exam position, with your legs in stirrups, your doctor will insert a tool called a speculum into the vagina to examine the cervix. A sample of your cervical cells will be taken with a brush or spatula, which then will be sent to a lab for testing. This test is done very quickly and you may feel a slight push, irritation, or scraping that feels similar to a period cramp. It’s ideal to avoid having a Pap smear during your menstrual period, especially if your flow is heavy. Menstrual periods can affect the results of the test, so it is best to discuss this with your doctor prior to your appointment if it is your time of the month.

After the Exam and The Results 

After your cervical exam, you may experience a cramping feeling throughout the rest of the day. Although rare, you also might show some spotting up to 24 hours after. If your Pap smear results are normal or “negative,” this means that your test showed no abnormal cells – so you do not have to think about this exam for another year or three! If you have an abnormal Pap smear, this does not mean you have cancer. This often indicates that there are some precancerous cells on the cervix. Your doctor may want to do further testing, such as a Colposcopy. A colposcopy is a further examination of the vagina, cervix, and vulva with a magnified view to locate and determine the extent of abnormal cells.

Put Your Cervical Exam Nerves at Ease With Dr. Quartell in Livingston NJ

If you are looking to schedule a Pap smear exam with a top board-certified OB/GYN in Livingston, NJ, then look no further than Anthony C. Quartell, MD. and Associates. Dr. Quartell and his staff have been treating patients for over 40 years in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology, specializing in minimally invasive gynecological surgeries. With Dr. Quartell, you will have access to tests and services that are extremely beneficial for your long term health and well-being. For more information about Pap smears or the various services we provide and conditions we treat, be sure to contact us today to schedule your appointment!

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4 Things to Know if Your Pap Smear is Abnormal

Pap smears are a screening tool used by gynecologists to detect abnormal cells growing on the cervix. A doctor will collect a sample from the cervix wall to test for any abnormalities. Pap smear tests are a crucial component in detecting cervical cancer and other reproductive-related diseases. About two weeks after the procedure, your doctor will have your results. Ideally, the test comes back negative, however, it is not uncommon for women to receive positive test results indicating an abnormality. To help understand a little more about the process, here are 4 things to know if your Pap smear is abnormal.

Understanding Your Results

If your Pap smear test results come back positive, it means your doctor found unusual cells on your cervix. While many women might panic at the thought of testing positive, there are many reasons this can happen that do not necessarily mean you have cervix cancer. Most often, the abnormal test result means there have been cell changes caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). When HPV causes abnormal cell changes on the cervix and this is called cervical dysplasia, which if left unattended, may lead to cancer.

Causes of an Abnormal Pap Test

In addition to HPV, some activities or physical conditions can result in an abnormal Pap test. To prevent false abnormal test results, doctors have agreed on a suggested list of things to avoid when scheduling your Pap smear. While no real preparation is necessary, it is best if you schedule your exam between periods. Having recently menstruated or beginning your cycle soon can potentially influence positive results. In addition, avoid things such as tampons, vaginal cream, smoking, and intercourse for at least two days before your scheduled test. In some instances, cell changes are caused by other infections and conditions. These include yeast infections, bacterial infection, herpes, inflammation, or trichomoniasis.

Abnormal Pap Smear Symptoms

Most changes in cells which cause an abnormal Pap smear do not cause symptoms, such as HPV. However, other STIs can cause irritating symptoms. Itching, pain, or burning in your pelvic area during sex or urination, off-colored vaginal discharge, lumps, sores, or rashes around your genitals are all symptoms you should inform your doctor of.

What Now?

If your Pap smear test comes back abnormal, your doctor may suggest scheduling a follow-up test to see if there is a recurrence of abnormal cells or HPV. Another small biopsy will be taken to be used in comparison with your first results. If your doctor has reason to believe something may not be quite right with your cervix, he or she may recommend additional testing such as a colposcopy. A colposcopy is an examination of the vagina, cervix, and vulva with a magnified view to locate and determine the extent of abnormal cells.

If not done already, your doctor may recommend testing you for HPV. Testing for HPV every 3 years is recommended as certain types of HPV, including types 16 and 18, increase your risk of cervical cancer. Knowing whether you have a type of HPV that puts you at high risk of cervical cancer means that you and your doctor can better decide on the next steps in your health care. Those steps might include follow-up monitoring, further testing, or treatment of abnormal or precancerous cells.

Pap Smear Exams in New Jersey

If you are looking to schedule a Pap smear exam with a board certified OB/GYN in Livingston, NJ, then look no further! At Anthony C. Quartell, MD. and Associates, Dr. Quartell and his staff have been treating patients for over 40 years in the field. For more information about Pap smears or additional services we provide, be sure to contact us today to schedule your appointment!

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5 Reasons for Painful Periods

Here’s Why Your Period Might Be So Painful

Painful periods are not uncommon. In fact, a high number of women report feeling some type of pain or discomfort at some point during their menstrual cycle. The body’s activity during a menstrual cycle should, in no way, induce pain. However, there are certain complications and conditions that can arise in some women, which bring about pain throughout their period.

1. Stress and Anxiety

A body’s automatic, physical response to stress and anxiety is usually never positive. Both factors can cause serious health issues in women especially, like low energy, headaches and stomach issues. A woman’s menstrual cycle is most definitely affected when a female is stressed or anxious. Experiencing severe stress during a period can make the menstrual cycle shorter, or prolong it from arriving at all during certain months. This is usually associated with the fact that some women eat very little while they are anxious, which interferes with the uterus’ ability to shred during a menstrual cycle.

2. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Defined by an infection of the reproductive organs, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can be a big culprit of pain during a woman’s period. Pelvic inflammatory disease directly affects, and brings pain to, the lower abdomen—including the fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix and uterus. The common condition can bring about pain for women while they have intercourse and urinate, and can also bring about painful periods and irregular bleeding between menstrual cycles.

3. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is an unfortunate disorder, causing the tissue that forms the lining of a woman’s uterus to grow outside of her uterine cavity. Endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus, can grow on ovaries, bowel and tissue lining the pelvis—it can even spread beyond the pelvic region. During a woman’s period, her hormones change and vary. This hormonal shift can affect the misplaced endometrial tissue, which then causes severe pain and inflammation. When a woman has endometriosis, she will almost always experience a lot of pain throughout her menstrual cycle.

4. A Heavy, Long Period Flow

While the duration of every woman’s period is different, there are specific instances that bring about period pain during her time of the month. When a woman’s menstrual cycle is extremely heavy, irregular or lasts longer than it should—especially if it’s longer than seven days total—it’s known as menorrhagia. Women who have menorrhagia oftentimes experience severe pain during their prolonged period. To make matters worse, women who have other conditions that already bring about period pain, like pelvic inflammatory disease or a cancerous growth, can cause menorrhagia to occur.

5. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Usually occurring just before a woman begins her menstrual cycle, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can arise and bring about a variety of negative factors for women during their period, affecting her emotions, behavior and physical health. As far as the physical symptoms of premenstrual syndrome goes, women can experience high amounts of pain in their lower abdomen during PMS. They may also have bad cramping, which brings about pain and discomfort during a woman’s menstrual cycle as well.

Schedule an Appointment for Period Pain at Dr. Quartell’s Office

Painful periods might be common, but they don’t have to be every woman’s reality. For those women who reside in or near Livingston, New Jersey, Anthony C. Quartell & Associates are available for help, assistance and medical guidance. Women who are experiencing pain during their periods should contact Dr. Quartell’s office by calling 973-716-9600. In addition to treating painful periods, Dr. Quartell and his staff can also tend to a wide variety of other conditions as well.

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6 Common Surgical Procedures Done by Your Gynecologist

Whenever a doctor mentions “surgery,” it’s a completely natural reaction for patients to feel a little intimidated or even scared. The thought of surgery can be a daunting one, but many surgical procedures are extremely routine and common. Highly qualified surgeons will be able to perform the procedure with little to no difficulty and ensure that the patient’s health and comfort is the primary concern. To alleviate any concerns you may have about gynecological surgery, here is a list and brief overview of what to expect of the most common surgical procedures your gynecologist may perform.

Gynecologic Laparoscopic Surgery

Gynecologic laparoscopic surgery is any minimally invasive procedure in which a laparoscope is used to see inside of the patient. This eliminates the need for a large incision that traditional surgery methods would involve. This procedure is used for both diagnosis and treatment, and may be recommended if you’re experiencing pelvic pain, infertility, or have pre existing pelvic infections. It can diagnose such conditions as pelvic adhesion, certain cancers, infertility, and many more. It’s the best option for those who do not want to be forced to rest for a recovery period, however you will not be able to drive home as you will be put under anesthesia.

Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

A laparoscopic hysterectomy is an extremely common procedure in which a laparoscope is used to remove the uterus or womb, and possibly the fallopian tubes or ovaries. If the fallopian tubes or ovaries are removed as well, it is considered a total hysterectomy. The procedure itself entails two to three hours under anesthesia during which the doctor will make two to three small incisions from which the uterus or womb will be removed. This method involves less blood loss, less chance of infection, and is considered safer than traditional surgery. The recovery time for this procedure is roughly one to two weeks and should be considered the last resort of treatment options for the female reproductive system. It’s effective in treating conditions such as uterine prolapse, persistent pain or bleeding, certain cancers, and more.

Laparoscopic Total Hysterectomy

A laparoscopic total hysterectomy is a surgical procedure in which the entire uterus and cervix are removed, and often times the fallopian tubes and ovaries as well. It is minimally invasive when compared to traditional surgery, but it is a permanent procedure and completely halts the menstrual cycle and a woman’s ability to become pregnant. There are much smaller incisions made to insert the laparoscope and remove the uterus, which creates a quicker recovery time and less chance of infection. This procedure, while a last resort, can save lives. It can treat several types of cancers, extreme pain, and other potentially life-threatening conditions.

Myomectomy

A myomectomy is used in the case where the doctor must surgically remove uterine fibroids, which are benign growths that can be found in the uterus during a woman’s peak child conceiving years. Women who plan on having children may undergo this procedure to ensure optimal uterine health and fertility. An instrument called a resectoscope will be used to enter through the vagina into the uterus to shave away the fibroids with a combination of saline solution and laser surgery. Alternatively, the doctor may perform the procedure laparoscopically instead. In cases where the fibroids are larger, which is rare, they will be removed through the abdomen. This entails a 48 hour hospital stay with a four to six week recovery period, which is crucial to ensure optimal uterine functionality.

Oophorectomy/Salpingectomy

An oophorectomy is a procedure in which one or both of the ovaries are removed as treatment or a preventative measure. It’s often performed with a hysterectomy or salpingectomy, which is the removal of the fallopian tubes. It can be used to treat ovarian cancer, cysts, ovarian torsion, and more. The procedure is typically done with traditional surgical methods, but can also be performed with a laparoscope, depending on the patient’s circumstances. It typically takes up to six weeks to make a full recovery, but that can be less if it is performed laparoscopically. Dr. Quartell can consult with you and determine the best course of action for your oophorectomy.

Ovarian Cystectomy in New Jersey

An ovarian cystectomy is an extremely common surgical procedure performed by gynecologists. Essentially, it is a procedure to remove a cyst or cysts from one or both ovaries. A cyst, which is a fluid-filled sac that can grow in or on the ovary, can cause problems or even be cancerous. Cysts must be removed if they become painful, start affecting the menstrual cycle, or grow larger than three inches. They can be removed via laparoscopic procedure, which will decrease recovery time significantly when compared to a traditional method.

Gynecological Surgery in Livingston, NJ

Dr. Anthony Quartell and Associates are among the top ranked and most respected gynecologists for surgical procedures in the state of New Jersey. With a convenient location in Livingston, Dr. Quartell is well versed in all of the procedures listed above, and especially gifted at laparoscopic procedures. If you have any discomfort, pain, or any questions, contact our office today to set up an appointment. Don’t settle for subpar surgery, come visit Dr. Quartell and Associates.

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When Should You Get a Pap Smear Test?

Also known as a Pap test or Pap smear, a Pap smear test is a routine procedure for all women who regularly go to a gynecologist. It checks the cervix and the lower part of the uterus, for any and all abnormal cell changes. Some cell changes that could be detected have potential to lead to cervical cancer, so it is crucial for all women to go for regular testing. Early detection of cervical cancer can make treatment quicker, easier, and more effective instead of leaving the abnormal cells to develop and go untreated. Pap smear tests are important, but when is the right time to get one? There are a few different factors to consider for receiving a Pap smear test, so here are some that every woman should know.

Age

Age is most certainly a factor when it comes to the frequency of your Pap smear tests. For example, women under the age of 21 do not need to get regular Pap smear tests, but a woman between the ages of 21 and 29 should get one every 3 years. Women ages 30 to 65 should get a Pap test done in conjunction with an HPV test, an STD that can cause cervical cancer, every 5 years. The general rule of thumb is a Pap test should be done at least once every 3 years. A woman over the age of 65 on the other hand typically do not need to get a Pap smear test done any longer if their last 3 tests have come back normal. Cervical cancer typically takes 10 to 20 years to develop, so it’s not necessary to get a test done every year in these scenarios.

Medical History

A woman with an average medical history should stick with the norm of getting a regular Pap smear test done every 3 years depending on their age and what their doctor says. When a patient has variation in their medical history, however, that can alter the frequency of a required Pap smear test greatly. Women who have had a hysterectomy for any reason other than cancer-related complications have no need for Pap smear tests. Individuals who have received a hysterectomy due to cervical cancer, or any other cancer, should get a Pap smear test done every year until they receive 3 normal screenings in a row. Weakened immune systems and being HIV positive are also additional reasons to receive the exam.

Pregnancy

During your pregnancy, getting a Pap smear test is usually the last thing on your mind, but it’s still important if you’re within a certain timeframe. If you are 24 weeks pregnant or less, it is perfectly fine to receive a regular Pap smear. After the sixth month mark, however, a test could prove to be very uncomfortable or even painful, therefore doctors do not recommend the examination. You should wait 12 weeks before receiving a Pap test after giving birth. This is because the level and quality of hormones around the cervix before the 12 week mark could cause an unreliable test and even a false-negative.

When Was Your Last Pap Smear Test?

If you realized that you’re overdue for a Pap smear test, we at Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. and Associates are here for you. If you’ve already gotten your Pap smear test done and it came back as abnormal, we will be there with you every step of the way. Your health and happiness are our primary goals and regular Pap smear tests are the first step towards a care-free life. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and if you have any questions or concerns about the procedure itself or about our women’s health expertise, we’d be happy to help!

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  • Dr. Anthony C. Quartell has been recognized by New York Magazine and New Jersey Monthly numerous times in the category ‘Best Doctors’. In addition, he was rated and awarded ‘The Patients’ Choice Award’ by his patients!

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  • Dr. Anthony C. Quartell was rated and awarded ‘The Patients’ Choice Award’ by his patients!

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