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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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What Helps Prevent the Development of Ovarian Cysts?

Lifestyle Changes Can Prevent Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts are more common than one might think. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled or solid pockets on a woman’s ovary and are often presumed to be more serious than they really are. They’re typically painless and won’t cause any harm. However, an ovarian cyst can become an issue if it does not go away on its own or continues to grow larger—they can also become cancerous in rare cases. Ovarian cysts are common among pregnant women and occur mostly in women who regularly experience their menstrual cycle. As common as ovarian cysts can be, there are still ways women can prevent them from developing.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

A woman’s overall health plays a big role in whether or not she will develop ovarian cysts, which is especially true when it comes to weight. Maintaining a healthy weight, based on age and body mass index, is important for all women. When a woman is overweight she is at a higher risk for developing conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which can subsequently increase the risk of ovarian cyst development. What’s the good news? If overweight women with PCOS lose 10 percent of their weight, it can resolve issues and decrease the chances altogether. In order to maintain a healthy weight and prevent ovarian cysts, women should practice healthy eating habits and follow a normal exercise routine at least five days a week.

Rule Out Fertility Medication

Similar to weight gain, there are other underlying issues that can contribute to a woman developing ovarian cysts. If a woman is experiencing infertility and is taking fertility medication to increase her chances of becoming more fertile, she may get cysts over time. There are certain fertility medications, like clomiphene, that cause a woman’s body to ovulate more and often create this unwanted result. Although it is strongly advised to consult with a doctor before stopping any fertility medications, doing so will greatly decrease a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cysts.

Steer Clear of Smoking Cigarettes  

Smoking is never advised, especially for those who wish to live a long, healthy life. Since the nicotine in cigarettes promotes conditions such as cancer and emphysema, it also increases a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cysts. Cigarette smoking affects both ovarian hormones and ovarian function. As multiple studies have shown, cigarette smoking links to a significant increase in ovarian cyst risk. Women who smoke cigarettes should cease the bad habit altogether by joining a smoking cessation program or taking another positive step to quit as soon as possible.

Think About Birth Control

Birth control can help with a myriad of issues, from acne to period regulation. Fortunately, birth control can also help prevent ovarian cysts and can even help to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. If women have been diagnosed with ovarian cysts, or are at an increased risk, they should strongly consider taking birth control. Birth control, in all its forms, suppresses ovarian function and prevents ovulation. The pill, a patch, ring, injection and implant all work to achieve these goals and prevent ovarian cysts from occurring in women.

Schedule a Gynecologist Appointment 

There is no one better to help a woman with ovarian cyst prevention than a medical doctor who is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. A gynecologist has the ability to diagnose, treat and educate patients on ovarian cysts from what they are to the best ways to prevent them. In the event that a woman does develop ovarian cysts, she can also receive an ovarian cystectomy from her doctor. This surgical procedure removes cysts from one or both of the ovaries. An ovarian cystectomy not only diagnoses ovarian cysts, it also reduces any painful symptoms a woman experiences and rules out the risk of cancerous growth.

Comprehensive Ovarian Cyst Treatment Near You

Women living in the New Jersey and New York areas who are looking to prevent or treat ovarian cysts should schedule an appointment at the office of Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates. Contact the office to explore your treatment options and learn more about the conditions a local OBGYN can treat today.

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How Does Endometriosis Affect Fertility?

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Exploring Endometriosis and Fertility

Infertility is a serious condition that sadly affects both women and men, defined as the inability to conceive after a year or longer of having unprotected sex. Although fertility issues can be brought on by a variety of factors, some of which are unpreventable, women with an endometriosis diagnosis are even more likely to experience infertility problems in life.

What is Endometriosis?

Endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. When a woman has endometriosis, the endometrium is located outside of the uterus. In various cases of endometriosis, the endometrium has been found on the abdomen, ovaries, pelvic cavity and even inside the fallopian tubes. Since the endometrium is misplaced, the tissue actually builds up more so than usual, breaks down and ultimately sheds. While this is a very normal and routine occurrence for the endometrium tissue properly located within the uterus, the misplaced tissue has no other way to leave the body—which leads to tell-tale signs of endometriosis, like internal bleeding and inflammation.

Endometriosis Symptoms

Endometriosis is a chronic disease that doesn’t always show symptoms or signs to the women who have it. For those women who do experience the signs of endometriosis, symptoms could range from mild to severe. Symptoms of endometriosis include painful cramping throughout a menstrual cycle, extreme pelvic pain that gradually worsens, lower back pain, painful intercourse, excessive bleeding, painful bowel movements, painful urination, constipation and nausea. And although it might not be a physically felt sign, infertility is also a symptom of endometriosis.

Endometriosis and Fertility

Endometriosis can affect different parts of a woman’s reproductive system, depending on where the endometrium tissue is located outside of the uterus. Due to the fact that endometriosis causes severe inflammation and irritation to multiple parts of a woman’s body, it can significantly affect fertility—and decrease the chances of a woman becoming pregnant. In some cases, the fimbria may be tampered with, leading to infertility. The fimbria allows the egg to be transported into the fallopian tube; when endometriosis cause swelling and brings about damage to the egg, it makes it more difficult for the egg to travel to its end location successfully. The inflammation brought on by endometriosis can also heavily influence the sperm and eggs as well, since they are existing in a damaged environment that makes it almost impossible for successful fertility circumstances to occur. In rarer occasions, endometriosis can block the fallopian tubes or lead to adhesions in a woman’s body, causing the pelvic organs to stick together; this makes the pelvic organs function at a much lower rate.

Becoming Pregnant with Endometriosis

For those women with diagnosed endometriosis and ongoing infertility issues as a result, an experienced obstetrician or gynecologist can perform a laparoscopy to treat the endometriosis and increase the chances of her becoming pregnant. Laparoscopy is a minor outpatient surgery that inserts a scope through a woman’s umbilicus, into her abdomen. Throughout the procedure, the medical doctor can remove lesions caused by endometriosis with scissors, a laser or some other type of approved, medical removal process. Once the laparoscopy is finished, women have the best chance of conceiving within the first few months. In the event that a woman does become pregnant and can successfully carry a baby to term while living with endometriosis, pregnancy has the ability to improve symptoms greatly; the pregnancy hormones naturally counteract the endometriosis.

Get Tested for Endometriosis at Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates

Getting diagnosed with endometriosis and increasing the chances of becoming pregnant all start with proper general obstetric care. At Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates, Dr. Quartell and his dedicated staff specialize in minimally invasive gynecological surgery and treat conditions like endometriosis on a daily basis, helping women decrease their infertility rate and become the healthiest they can possibly be. Women who think they might have endometriosis can become tested, diagnosed and possibly even treated at Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates’ convenient location at 316 Eisenhower Parkway in Livingston, New Jersey. Please contact the office by calling 973-716-9600 to schedule an appointment today.

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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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  • 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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