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Which Birth Control Method is Right for You?

There are several different types of birth control available to women looking to prevent pregnancy or who might benefit from the other health benefits of birth control. Below, we will go through the popular birth control methods available to women, and will also discuss who might benefit from each type of birth control. This article does not constitute as professional medical advice and is more of a general guide. If you are interested in accessing any of the birth control methods below, it is important to make an appointment with your gynecologist to discuss which options are available to you and will best suit your lifestyle and needs.

Hormonal Birth Control

Hormone based birth control is an easy birth control option for women. It involves taking a pill once-per-day, wearing a patch that you change each month, or placing a ring in the vagina which is replaced each month. Hormonal birth control does not protect against STDs or STIs. The patch and ring are better options among hormonal birth control if you are forgetful about taking a pill each day.

Pill

The hormonal birth control pill is one of the most common forms of birth control. Known most commonly as “the pill”, this prescription medication is a tiny pill that is taken one time per day at the same time each day. There are some different variations of the birth control pill, all of which contain some combination of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones prevent ovulation, therefore preventing pregnancy.

Patch

The patch works similarly to the pill, except the patch is placed directly on the skin so that the hormones are able to enter the blood stream. The patch is replaced each month, making it a better option for those that are unable to remember to take a pill each day.

Ring

The hormonal ring (NuvaRing) is a ring that is placed inside of the vagina. It works by releasing a low dose of hormones continually that work to prevent pregnancy. It is placed in the vagina for three weeks and taken out for one, allowing for a period. After that, a new ring is placed back in.

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

An IUD is an increasingly popular birth control option among women. This birth control option is a small device that is implanted inside of the uterus in a quick, in-office procedure. There are a few different types of IUDs, including hormonal and non-hormonal options. Depending on the type of IUD selected, it will be effective in preventing pregnancy between three and twelve years. IUDs do not protect against STDs or STIs. IUDs must be removed by a doctor, however they can be removed and the patient can very soon become pregnant if desired.

Non-Hormonal Copper IUD

The non-hormonal IUD is made of copper and slightly larger than the hormonal IUD. The copper IUD is beneficial to some women because it prevents pregnancy without hormones and it can effectively be utilized for up to 12 years.

Hormonal IUD

There are a few hormonal IUD options available at differing levels of hormones and sizes. Some women may prefer higher levels of hormones in order to get the benefits (such as acne treatment and lighter or no periods) while other women may prefer a smaller size IUD. Hormonal IUDs are effective for 3-5 years depending on the type selected.

Implant

Birth control implants are another increasingly popular birth control method among women. Effective for up to four years, the birth control implant is implanted in an in-office procedure through a very small incision. Once inserted in the upper arm, the implant will slowly release the progestin into the body. Progestin prevents pregnancy and is 99% effective. This is a great option for women who don’t want to have to think about their birth control method. The birth control implant will be removed at its expiration date, upon which you can have another implanted if chosen.

Barrier Method

Barrier method birth control includes male condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, and any other method of birth control that creates a physical barrier to prevent pregnancy. These methods of birth control are slightly less effective than the birth control methods mentioned above because they have a higher chance of not being utilized correctly by the individual. Barrier methods are important for protecting against STDs and STIs, and are often utilized alone or in combination with any of the birth control methods outlined above.

Learn More About Which Birth Control is Right for You

You and your gynecologist together can narrow down some options about which birth control method is right for you. This decision will ultimately depend on your lifestyle and medical needs. Dr. Quartell is here to help guide you in making that decision. Contact us today to learn more about the birth control options available to you in Livingston, NJ.

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Can Bad Menstrual Cramps Affect Your Fertility?

woman holding heat pad torso for cramps

If you suffer from painful periods, the thought of having difficulty conceiving has most likely crossed your mind. While any pregnancy can have complications, women who experience painful periods may have unaddressed underlying issues that can affect their chances of pregnancy.

Menstruation may be innately painful but should not affect your daily life. While there are many factors contributing to fertility difficulties, informing yourself on the root of the problem can aid in addressing the issue more swiftly. To give you a head start in learning about possible causes of painful menstruation, Anthony Quartell, M.D. and Associates have put together a list of 5 conditions commonly associated with infertility.

Underlying Causes Of Painful Periods

Fibroids

With nearly 3 out of 4 women developing one in their lifetime, uterine fibroids are extremely common growths that develop on the smooth muscle of the uterus. Although noncancerous, these abnormal masses may cause heavy cramping and prolonged bleeding. Many women never realize they have fibroids due to their ability to “pass” during a menstrual cycle. Extreme cases of uterine fibroids occasionally can cause lower fertility and increased risk of having a miscarriage; surgical removal of a fibroid growth or hormone treatment may be required.

Endometriosis

Another commonly undiagnosed condition that can affect pregnancy is endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when the formation of endometrium – the mucous membrane that lines the uterus – develops elsewhere in the body. This spread of endometrium is believed to travel through the fallopian tubes to areas such as the pelvic floor, ovaries and even your bowels. This causes extreme pain during menstrual cycles and has been linked to cases of infertility. It is estimated that 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis in their lifetime, with up to 50% of those cases resulting with difficulty conceiving.

Adenomyosis

Similar to endometriosis, adenomyosis occurs when endometrium grows in the uterine wall. It is currently unclear if adenomyosis directly affects fertility, but adenomyosis often causes heavy bleeding, severe cramping and painful intercourse. While there are certain medications available to treat the discomfort, adenomyosis can only be completely eradicated through a hysterectomy – the removal of the uterus.

PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is another possible cause of painful menstrual cramps and typically associated with an untreated medical disease. Caused by an infection in the reproductive organs, PID leads to the formation of scar tissue. This web-like scarring between the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus causes increased discomfort during a menstrual cycle and is the most common cause of blocked fallopian tubes. Fortunately, pelvic inflammatory disease can be diagnosed through a routine pelvic exam and be treated with antibiotics from a doctor.

Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that occur on the surface of an ovary. Cysts can originate from unreleased eggs (if ovulation does not occur) or if the sac in which the egg forms does not completely dissolve. Although usually benign, ovarian cysts have the potential to become cancerous. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition defined by the accumulation of small cysts on your ovaries, high levels of certain hormones, and irregular menstruation– all of which may contribute to future issues with fertility. Most women will develop a cyst on their ovaries at least once in their lifetime, which is why it is important to mention any discomfort during a pelvic exam.

Menstrual Cramp Relief in New Jersey

Infertility affects about 15% of couples in the U.S. with many more experiencing difficulties conceiving. If you or someone you know is suffering from painful menstrual cramps do not hesitate scheduling your appointment with the professionals at Anthony Quartell, M.D. and Associates. Let our dedicated team help you explore treatment options for fertility-related issues. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (973) 968-4611 today!

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7 Signs of Cervical Cancer You Shouldn't Ignore

Coming in only second to heart disease, cancer  is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Roughly 13,000 women are diagnosed annually with cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is a deadly disease that affects the cervix- the lower portion of the uterus that opens to the vagina. The rate of this disease has declined significantly in the past 40 years due to increased awareness and Pap smears, but remains a concern for many. Pap smears as well as other preventive screenings can assist in the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer.

The importance of cervical cancer prevention is not something that you or your loved ones should take lightly. While symptoms of cervical cancer often appear later in the disease’s development, being aware of these symptoms can increase your chances of successful treatment. Starting today, take cancer prevention into your own hands. Below we have compiled a list of common cervical cancer symptoms you should keep an eye out for.

Cervical Cancer Early Symptoms

Pelvic or Abdominal Pain

A common symptom of cervical cancer is abnormal pelvic or abdominal pain. For those in question, any discomfort below your belly button above your legs qualifies as pelvic pain. If issues persist or gradually become worse merits a consult.

Vaginal Bleeding

Although natural monthly occurrence, spotting between periods and abnormal vaginal bleeding can be concerning. While it is not necessarily a definite indication of serious issues, be aware that irregular vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of cervical cancer and should not be left unattended.

Vaginal Discharge

Similar to vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge can occur as a result of many possible causes- both harmful and natural. An irregular balance of normal bacteria or the introduction to antibiotics may lead to unexpected discharge. While different colors, smells, and textures all mean various possible causes, brown or bloody discharge accompanied with abnormal vaginal bleeding and/or pelvic pain are red flags for possible cervical cancer.

Advanced Cervical Cancer Symptoms

Lower Back Pain

Cervical cancer primarily affects women between the ages of 35-44, but any age post-puberty is vulnerable. Constant ache around the lower back and pelvis area are one of the easiest symptoms to go unnoticed. Be aware if conditions last more than a week or traditional relief does not work.

Unusual Urinary Symptoms

Urgency, increased frequency, or difficulty urinating – also blood in your urine – are all causes for concern. If symptoms occur more than 12 times in a month be proactive and schedule an appointment.

Discomfort During Intercourse

Cervical cancer may affect your sex life. If you experience any unusual pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse, schedule a visit. Bleeding during and after intercourse are additional signs red flags.

HPV’s Role in Cervical Cancer

While cervical cancer only affects women, prevention of this disease falls on both men and women. Found in almost every case of cervical cancer HPV, or Human papillomavirus, is the largest contributing factor to the disease. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US and if left untreated, may result in various other common genital cancers. To prevent yourself from contracting HPV, practice safe sex or ask us about recommended vaccines.

Schedule Your Screening NOW

Early identification of cervical cancer drastically decreases the chance of the cancer spreading to other organs. The earlier cervical cancer is spotted, the better your chances are for treatment to be successful. Any persistent symptoms should be an alert to stop in and get checked out. For more information about cervical cancer symptoms or to figure out the best cancer screening schedule for you, contact us through our website or call (973) 968-4611. Help us improve cervical cancer survival rates today and book a visit at the best gynecologist in New Jersey.

 

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Hysterectomy: Here’s What to Expect

What is a Hysterectomy?

A gynecologic hysterectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a woman’s uterus from her body. A patient may choose to receive a hysterectomy to relieve pain or assist in progressing toward a desired lifestyle preference. This operation is safe, highly effective, and eliminates the chances of pregnancy.

Types of Hysterectomy

There is no single approach to this surgery, but each tactic utilized by your surgeon is equally as effective as the next. A hysterectomy can be can be performed through either the vagina or by a laparoscopic incision into the abdomen. The following examples will highlight the procedural options available by most OB-GYN surgeons.

  • Total Hysterectomy: Both the entire uterus and cervix are removed during this procedure.
  • Subtotal / Partial or Supra-Cervical Hysterectomy: The cervix is left intact, but the upper section of the uterus is removed. This procedure can only be performed abdominally.
  • Radical Hysterectomy: This procedure removes the uterus and other surrounding structures (eg. Cervix, Ovaries & Fallopian Tubes).

How is a Hysterectomy Performed?

The patient will receive general anesthesia and a urinary catheter to drain the bladder before initial vertical or horizontal incisions are made. Patients should note that a hysterectomy is performed based on the individual’s physical body. The type of incision depends on the size of the uterus, preexisting scars, and possibly the need to further explore the upper abdomen for a successful surgery. Once all preceding steps are completed – and the surgical tools are cleansed and sterilized – surgery can commence. The surgeon will then pass surgical instruments through the vagina or abdominal incision to work on the designated area. The blood vessels and connective tissues are detached so the uterus can be easily removed. Depending on the type of hysterectomy, other surrounding organs and tissues may be removed as well during the surgery.

Why Receive a Hysterectomy?

Receiving a hysterectomy is contingent on a variety of health conditions and life choices. Below you will find easily treatable conditions and reasons for receiving a hysterectomy.

Treatable Conditions

The symptoms and conditions described here can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. To correct these abnormalities, a hysterectomy may be the best approach before pain develops into severe cases and chronic recurs.

Benefits

Your successful hysterectomy procedure will provide you with a generous amount of post-surgical benefits. You’ll find immediate relief from the symptoms that were once causing you pain and menstrual periods will never occur again – due to removal of the organ in which it takes place. Your sex life can return to normal and some women report to even experience more pleasure post-hysterectomy. A hysterectomy will improve your overall quality of life and promote a rejuvenated sense of well-being.

Preparing for a Hysterectomy

When you experience any symptoms like the ones listed above, you should contact a physician right away. Scheduling an appointment will allow the doctor to examine your body and accurately diagnose your condition before symptoms increase in severity. You’ll then undergo initial screening tests to check for various cancers. The presence of cancer will change the surgeon’s approach to your hysterectomy and these tests may include a cervical cytology test, endometrial biopsy, and a pelvic ultrasound. After you’ve undergone precautionary screening – and chosen which procedural method will be performed – the doctor will give you specific instructions to prepare. You’ll be instructed to wash your body with prescribed soap and perform a preoperative cleansing of the vagina and rectum to prevent infection. If all directions are followed, surgery will be a great success.

Board-Certified OB-GYN in Livingston, New Jersey

A hysterectomy is a life-changing procedure that can improve your bodily health and quality of life. Dr. Anthony Quartell, M.D. is a board certified OB-GYN surgeon who specializes in laparoscopic hysterectomy surgery. If you think this procedure may be the solution to relieve your symptoms, please contact us or call 973-716-9600 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Quartell is dedicated to delivering you back to full health so you can enjoy a worry-free life!

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Menopause Holiday Survival Guide

How to Manage Menopause During the Holidays

Menopause is an inevitable condition that officially marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. While this might seem like a great reason to jump for joy, menopause comes with a wide range of unwanted symptoms. These common side effects don’t tend to mesh well with the hustle, bustle and stress of the holiday season – but fortunately, there’s a way for menopausal woman to effectively cope with her symptoms.

Get a Better Handle on Extreme Mood Swings

Mood swings are inevitable during menopause, triggered by constant hormonal shifts within a woman’s body. While there is a possibility that a woman experiencing menopause will have extreme levels of happiness, she will also feel depressed, sad and angry. Here are some different ways you can cope with your mood swings:

  • Seek support from family, friends and loved ones. Pick up the phone and call a friend, send a family member a sweet greeting card in the mail or meet for coffee with a favorite co-worker. Staying in touch and connected with loved ones will make the difficult mood swings more tolerable.
  • Sign up for an activity that helps promote relaxation. Whether it’s scheduling a massage at a local wellness center or trying a yoga class, find a new pastime that allows you to take a deep breath, lower your anxiety levels and feel more at ease.

Keep Yourself at a Healthy Weight

Women who have entered the menopausal stage in life are known to experience serious fluctuations in their weight, and gain weight more often than lose it. Since the holidays involve a lot of cooking and eating, pay close attention to what you’re consuming and doing to counteract the calorie intake. Here’s how you can keep a healthy weight during the holidays:

  • Even though it can be tempting to help yourself to one, two or even three plates of food during a holiday party or dinner, menopausal women especially should stick to the dietary guidelines for peopled aged 50 or older. Only consume the recommended portion sizes, and eat food on smaller plates.
  • Always stay active during the holidays. Even though outdoor activities like walking or jogging aren’t much of an option due to the cold weather, you can sign up for a gym membership, order a workout DVD or perform some simple at-home exercises every morning and night.

Effectively Deal with Stress

Trouble sleeping, hot flashes, sweating, a lowered sex drive and vaginal dryness are other common symptoms of menopause that add on to a woman’s stress levels. Since the holidays are already a high stress time for most people, it’s important to deal with stress and increased anxiety in a healthy way. Here’s how you can deal with your stress during the holidays:

  • Ask for help. Even if your family and friends have relied on you to do most of the holiday cooking and party planning in the past, call on your loved ones to help you out during the holidays. Even if it’s something as simple as a quick grocery store run, or bringing an extra dish to dinner, ask for help. Taking on all of the usual holiday tasks will only bring on more stress, making you feel worse than before.
  • Incorporate some (much needed) time for yourself during the holiday. Everyone – stressed out or not – needs a break, but women who are menopausal truly deserve one. Since most of your symptoms are tiring and unbearable, preventing you from living a quality lifestyle, it’s only fair to treat yourself to some rest and relaxation during the holidays. Schedule a manicure and pedicure appointment, read a chapter of your favorite book or go see a movie with friends to recuperate and feel refreshed.

Handle Menopause in a Healthy Way with Dr. Quartell

If you are a woman who is currently experiencing menopause, these tips will be sure to help you keep all your symptoms in check during the holidays. For more information about menopause, and any other gynecological condition, please contact the obstetrics and gynecology practice of Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. and Associates by calling 973-716-9600. You can also fill out an online form to shoot us a quick message or inquiry. We look forward to hearing from you, and helping you remain happy, calm and safe during this holiday season.

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How Do I Choose the Best OB-GYN Near Me?

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The Top 5 Tips for Selecting an OB-GYN

For women, selecting an obstetrician-gynecologist – more commonly referred to as an OB-GYN – is one of the most significant decisions she will have to face. Whether or not she plans to expect a child in the near future, attending an OB-GYN’s office for routine, regular visits is a crucial component of her overall, optimal health. OB-GYN’s are the doctors who specialize in women’s health, who assist with menstruation, menopause, childbirth and other conditions only women can experience. In other words, going to the OB-GYN is kind of a big deal – so it’s important to choose the best one that is located nearby to you.

 

1.     Make sure you are compatible.

Similar to a regular physician, not every OB-GYN is going to be a good match for you. Sometimes, it takes a few visits with more than one doctor, at more than one practice, to pinpoint exactly what you are looking for in an OB-GYN. While some doctors might miss the mark on every single characteristic you want them to posses, others may be extremely similar to you. Whatever you find the most important – whether it’s extra screening for a serious condition, or trying for an all-natural birth at the time of your delivery – make sure that the OB-GYN is on the same page as you, or at least willing to meet you halfway.

 

2.     Check out patient testimonials and recommendations.

Past and present patient testimonials are the closest word-of-mouth advice you’ll get regarding the prospective OB-GYN you are on the fence about choosing. These patient testimonials can usually be found on the OB-GYN’s website – but a quick Google search could also produce some accurate results as well. If the majority of the patient testimonials are positive, and inform you that the OB-GYN is one that values his or her patients and runs a respectable practice, then that OB-GYN is worth looking into.

 

3.     Research what hospital he or she is affiliated with.    

Expectant mothers – and those women who are looking to conceive somewhere down the road – should always ask about the OB-GYN’s hospital affiliation. Some OB-GYN’s strictly deliver babies out of one hospital only, while other practices are affiliated with more than one, giving you more options to choose from. Sometimes, the hospital is a make or break factor for women who are expecting – if they don’t like the hospital that the OB-GYN works out of, they might need to consider finding a new one altogether.

 

4.     Keep an open line of communication.

If you’re trying out an OB-GYN for the first time, but you’re still not so sure about whether or not they are the best fit for you, always voice your opinions. When you are open and honest about how you feel regarding a procedure or the way that the OB-GYN handles something, it will shed some light on how they react, and make you consider if that truly is who you want to see as your OB-GYN.

 

5.     Schedule a consultation.

The best way to pick an OB-GYN is to give them a chance. Schedule a consultation at a prospective OB-GYN practice that you’ve done some previous research on. If you think they might be a good match for you, it is definitely worth contacting the office and making an initial appointment. At this consultation, the staff should be accommodating and friendly to you, making you feel comfortable in their office. This allows you to get a feel for the overall atmosphere of the office, see what type of equipment they use, and most importantly, meet the OB-GYN face-to-face.

 

Make an Appointment at Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. and Associates  

At Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. and Associates, we always welcome new patients with open arms, and we’re more than happy to provide them with any more information they need to make a final decision on whether or not they’d like to choose Dr. Quartell as their OB-GYN. Dr. Quartell is a highly qualified and experienced medical doctor who specializes in obstetrics, gynecology and minimally invasive gynecological surgery. Contact us by calling 973- 968-4611 to make an appointment.

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What to Expect at Your Mammogram

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Even if it’s not your first mammogram, many women often are anxious before appointments. But there’s no need to be stressed! A breast screening is an important step in taking care of your body. Use our blog below to learn more about what the procedure entails and how to prepare for it to help ease your nerves!

What is a Mammogram?

A mammogram is one of the best ways to detect breast cancer as early as possible. Using low-dose X-rays, this specific type of breast imaging allows specialists to look for changes in a woman’s breast tissue. It is crucial that you do not put off your mammogram. The technology that is used can detect lumps that are too small to be felt in a self-examination. This is when breast cancer is easiest to treat.

How to Prepare for Your Mammogram

If you haven’t started menopause, it is best to schedule your mammogram for the week after your period. You don’t want to schedule it in the days leading up to or during your menstrual cycle, especially if that’s when you tend to experience breast tenderness. You may prefer to schedule your appointment for early in the day, as you cannot wear any deodorant, powder, lotion or ointment. Some of the ingredients in these products can show up on an X-ray.

On the day of your appointment, be sure to wear a two-piece outfit. You only have to remove your top for the exam, so separates make things more convenient. Be sure to describe any breast changes or problems to your doctor before the mammogram begins. You also need to tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or may be pregnant.

What Happens During a Mammogram?

During your screening, you and your technologist will be the only two people in the room. He or she will position you to get two X-rays of each breast. For some women, more pictures may be needed. If that’s the case, no need to worry! A technologist may reposition you for an extra X-ray or two, but this is usually just to get a better view. If you have implants, additional photos are almost always required.

To get the highest quality picture, your breasts need to be flattened. This allows the breast tissue to spread, ensuring a clear view of the breast and reducing the amount of radiation needed to produce an image. Some women experience some pain or discomfort during the compression. While the appointment usually takes about 20 minutes, the compression only lasts about 10 to 20 seconds per picture. Be sure to tell the technologist if you’re experiencing a tremendous amount of pain.

About Your Mammogram Results

A full report of your results will be sent to your health care provider. If there are any abnormal findings, the radiologist will send you a letter in the mail detailing what they found to be abnormal. While abnormal mammogram results can be scary, it does not necessarily mean you have cancer. It could just mean higher-resolution images or an ultrasound is needed to further examine you. Many women who have initial abnormal results are found to be perfectly healthy.

When Should You Schedule Your First Mammogram?

There is a lot of debate as to when women should schedule their first mammogram. Before 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) used to recommend all women over 40 should schedule a yearly mammogram. But in 2009, the USPSTF updated its screening recommendations to state that a woman who is at average risk for breast cancer could wait until she turned 50, and that she could schedule a mammogram every 2 years, instead of yearly. This has caused much debate within the medical community, making it unclear for women as to when they should schedule their mammograms.

The best thing to do is to speak with your doctor. He or she will be able to help you decide what is the right choice for your body, depending on your medical history and risk of developing breast cancer.

Breast Health Services in Livingston, New Jersey

If you are concerned about your risk of developing breast cancer, it is important that you speak with an experienced gynecologist. Dr. Quartell and his staff would be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about your breast health, or any gynecological condition you may be experiencing. For more information or to schedule a visit to our Livingston, New Jersey office, please contact us today.

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Surviving a Summer Pregnancy

Summer heat combined with pregnancy hormones? That’s a recipe for one hot mama! Sometimes it may seem that the heat and humidity is unbearable during your pregnancy, but fortunately there are ways to beat the heat.

Summer Wardrobe

Having a full summer maternity wardrobe will keep you not only stylish but also cool and comfy. It is absolutely essential for pregnant women to have these items on hand:

  • Swimsuits
  • Comfy capris and shorts
  • Lightweight, loose tops
  • Flowing, breezy summer dresses
  • Sunglasses
  • A tote bag to carry all your summer necessities to keep your cool and safe

Water is Your Best Friend:

It is important to stay hydrated in the summer for anyone, but more importantly for pregnant women. Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of cold water each day. Not drinking enough water can worsen pregnancy aches, swelling and even trigger contractions. A creative and tasty way to make drinking water easier is to put a fresh lemon, lime or orange wedge in your glass.

Water isn’t just for drinking! Carry a spray bottle filled with cold water. A few sprays can help to cool you down when the heat just won’t quit! You can also lay a cool washcloth on the back of your neck or a soft freezer pack. If none of these options are doing the trick, go for a swim to cool down!

Check the Weather

When the forecast calls for a hot and humid day, plan to stay indoors where you have access to air conditioning or fans. If you absolutely need to step outside, do so either early in the day or late in the evening when the heat is less extreme. If neither of these options will work for you, be sure to take hydration breaks and cool yourself off if you feel like you are starting to sweat. If you start to feel dizzy or light headed, get indoors immediately and grab a cold glass of water. Once you are refreshed, lie down on your left side. If you don’t feel better soon, be sure call your midwife or doctor right away.

Also be sure to avoid the afternoon sun. Pregnant women are more prone to sunburn, so whenever you are outside in the sun, be sure to apply and reapply sunscreen often to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays.

Plan Vacations Wisely

During the first and third trimester, you may need to rest and take frequent bathroom stops. If you are driving, be sure to stop every hour or two (depending on the length of your trip) to stretch your legs and walk around. If you are flying, take a walk up and down the aisle, or even just to the bathroom. Also be sure to extend your ankles while seated to reduce swelling. Before booking a flight, check their policies. Some airlines restrict travel after 36 weeks into a pregnancy, and others require verification from your doctor that you are fit for travel.

By using these tips, you will be able to keep your cool all summer long! Have any other questions about your prenatal care? Give our specialists a call at 973-968-4611.

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Your Complete Guide to a Laparoscopic Hysterectomy

Hysterectomies are one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States; in fact they are the second most common procedure among women. More than 600,000 hysterectomies are performed by OBGYN’s each year. A Laparoscopic Hysterectomy is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove the uterus or womb. A hysterectomy is a permanent and irreversible procedure, which will stop the menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancy. You may need a hysterectomy for various reasons. Also, the extent of a hysterectomy varies depending on the reason for the surgery. In most cases, the entire uterus is removed. Your doctor may also remove the ovaries and the fallopian tubes during the procedure if medically necessary.

What Are Hysterectomies?

A hysterectomy is typically considered a last line of defense, however it is highly effective in treating various reproductive conditions. Your doctor may suggest a hysterectomy if you have any of the following:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Uncontrollable vaginal bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries
  • Uterine fibroids that cause pain, bleeding, or other problems
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease: a serious infection of the reproductive organs.
  • Pelvic adhesions
  • Uterine prolapse: occurs when the uterus drops through the cervix and protrudes from the vagina.
  • Endometriosis: a disorder in which the inner lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterine cavity, causing pain and bleeding.
  • Adenomyosis: a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus grows into the muscles of the uterus.

The Process

During a laparoscopic hysterectomy, the patient will be under general anesthesia for about 1 to 3 hours. During this time, your doctor will make a tiny incision at the belly button to insert a tiny instrument called a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a long, thin tube with a high-intensity light and a high-resolution camera at the front. This allows the doctor to see what they are doing and complete the procedure through three very small incisions. This is exceptionally minor compared to a traditional hysterectomy, which requires a three to six inch incision. The small incisions allow your doctor to have a better look at the anatomy and stay extremely precise. Once the surgeon can see your uterus, they’ll cut the uterus into small pieces and remove one piece at a time. Patients of a laparoscopic hysterectomy will experience less blood loss, less scarring, lower chance of infection, and less post-operational pain than the traditional procedure. Patients can also have this procedure on an outpatient basis, and are often fully recovered in only one to two weeks.

It is important for you to understand the reasons that your doctor has suggested a hysterectomy as treatment for your specific gynecological issue. A hysterectomy is a major decision that you should take after careful consultation with your doctor. Dr. Quartell is highly skilled and experienced in performing this type of procedure. He will ensure you are treated with the highest quality of care to guarantee a safe procedure and speedy recovery.

If you think you may need a laparoscopic hysterectomy, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Quartell by calling 973-716-9600 to further discuss if this procedure is right for you.

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What New Moms Need to Know About Postpartum Depression

Becoming a new mother can trigger a swarm of powerful emotions, from excitement and joy, to fear and anxiety. But it can also result in something you might not expect – depression. Postpartum depression is a serious mental health condition that can occur in the weeks and months following the birth of a child. For new moms, this can be extremely overwhelming and scary. Postpartum depression can be mistaken for “the baby blues” at first, but the signs and symptoms are more intense and last longer, eventually interfering with your ability to care for your baby and handle daily tasks. Symptoms usually develop within the first few weeks after childbirth, but may begin later – up to six months after birth.

Postpartum depression symptoms may include:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, empty, or overwhelmed
  • Crying more often that usual or for no apparent reason
  • Worrying or feeling overly anxious
  • Feeling moody, irritable, or restless
  • Oversleeping, or being unable to sleep even when your baby is asleep
  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Experiencing anger or rage
  • Losing interest in activities that are usually enjoyable
  • Eating too little or too much
  • Withdrawing from or avoiding friends and family
  • Having trouble bonding or forming an emotional attachment with your baby
  • Having constant doubts about your ability to care for your baby
  • Thinking about harming yourself or your baby

Along with these symptoms, there are five general stages of postpartum depression:

  1. Denial: You’ll think, “I can’t have postpartum depression. This must just be what new motherhood is like. I’ll be fine; I just need more sleep. It’ll wear off.”
  2. Anger: You will have a difficult time understanding why this is happening. You will think, “Why is this happening to me? No one understands what I am going through! This is so unfair!”
  3. Bargaining: In this stage, you’ll try to make a deal with yourself to make things better. “I just need to get the baby to sleep through the night, then I’ll be okay. I just need to work harder.”
  4. Depression: You’ve done everything you could to avoid this, but it’s here. This is the stage where you’ll have awful thoughts such as, “My baby doesn’t deserve me as a mother. My family would be better off without me. I’m never going to be a good mother.”
  5. Acceptance: This is the stage where you finally realize this is real and it is time to get help. “This isn’t normal, I need to get help. I’m going to call my doctor.”

There are many things that new moms can do to cope with these symptoms:

  • Set realistic goals and assume a reasonable amount of responsibility. Let your family and friends help you.
  • Break large tasks into small ones and set priorities. Do what you can, as you can.
  • Find someone to confide in. It’s usually better than being alone and secretive.
  • Exercise regularly. Studies have shown regular exercise can regulate your mood.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Feeling better takes time.

As a new mom, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to simply relax. Living an overscheduled life can leave you feeling burnt out. This is when the symptoms really start to kick in and take over. The more work you give yourself, the more you are likely to beat yourself up when you can’t get it all done. Being a new mom is hard. You won’t be able to do it all, and you won’t be perfect. Take it day by day; it will get easier.

When left untreated, postpartum depression may last for many months or longer. If you’re feeling depressed after welcoming your new baby, you may be reluctant or embarrassed to admit it. It is important to call your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing any symptoms of postpartum depression.

Posted:
  • 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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