Menopause Care

Menopause is a phase in the aging process when a woman stops having menstrual periods completely and cannot conceive children. Many women find this transition unpleasant due to the changes, symptoms, and health risks. Knowing what to expect can reduce feelings of apprehension and help you embrace the inevitable. Additionally, there are many ways women can achieve symptom relief during their menopausal years. 

When Does Menopause Start? 

Menopause can start at various ages, but the typical age range in the U.S. is 45-58, with the average being 51 or 52. Early menopause is between 40-45, and late is 55+. Premature menopause occurs in 1% of women, beginning in their 30s. Surgical removal of the ovaries causes menopause immediately, at any age. 

Natural menopause is official when the woman experiences 12 consecutive months without a period. However, the menopausal phase can begin years before this happens and has three subphases.

Perimenopause 

When a woman says, “I’m going through menopause,” she is actually going through perimenopause. Perimenopause is the long phase before hitting menopause, as the body is transitioning. Perimenopause can start years before menopause, typically in your 40s. Hormone levels are yo-yoing, causing an array of symptoms to emerge. Some changes are subtle, while others are more noticeable. Perimenopausal women experience many of the symptoms listed below. 

  • Irregular periods 
  • Longer or shorter menstrual cycles 
  • Inconsistent ovulation 
  • Hot flashes  
  • Cognitive/memory changes  
  • Worsening mood swings 
  • Anxiety 
  • Fatigue 
  • Sleep problems  
  • Weight gain 
  • Decreased libido 
  • Intercourse discomfort  
  • Breast tenderness 
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Bone loss 
  • Altered cholesterol levels  
  • Bladder problems/urgency 

Menopause 

Perimenopause ends and menopause is reached after one full year without periods. Nearing the end of perimenopause, some symptoms are not as intense. The most common menopause symptoms include: 

  • Vaginal dryness 
  • Hot flashes/night sweats 
  • Mood swings 
  • Depression 
  • Insomnia 
  • Hair changes 
  • Dry mouth, eyes, and skin 
  • UTIs 

Post Menopause 

After 12 months period-free, a woman is now postmenopausal. Menopausal symptoms begin to subside, such as hot flashes and mood swings. Other symptoms may become long-term conditions such as chronic UTIs and vaginal dryness. 

After reaching menopause, women are at higher risk for certain health conditions such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Consult a physician regarding these and other health risks.

Self-help Ideas 

Menopause management is a rollercoaster that can be difficult to manage, but there are ways you can ease the symptoms.  

Enhance your wellbeing: The importance of healthy living cannot be overstated. By adjusting your lifestyle, you can remedy the symptoms with menopause care while improving your overall wellbeing.  

  • Exercising 
  • Healthy food choices 
  • Stop smoking  
  • A consistent sleep schedule and earlier bedtime 
  • Vitamins and supplements 
  • Meditation 
  • Self-calming activities and hobbies 

Sexual wellness: Conditions like low libido and vaginal dryness can make intimacy difficult. Water-soluble lubricants can help with the discomfort. Communicate with your partner about your concerns and know that it is ok to talk to a doctor if you are experiencing intimacy issues. 

Social support: It helps to discuss your concerns and emotions with friends or family members you trust. They may offer great advice and support. 

Positive outlook: Menopause is a natural progression in a woman’s life. Embracing your body’s changes in a positive light can help you get through the tough times and support a healthy mental state. This can lead to more symptom relief and stress reduction. Positive outcomes include: 

  • No worry of pregnancy 
  • No more periods 
  • Symptoms like mood swings subside 
  • Self-focus—You might notice you are more aware of your body and, therefore, able to care for it better than before. 
  • Empowerment—For many women, reaching menopause can be a powerful feeling of freedom and control over their lives. 

Colorado Obstetrics and Women’s Health If you are unsure if you are going through menopause or need assistance balancing symptoms and life, contact Colorado Obstetricians and Women’s Health. Our experienced OB/GYNs and staff can help you during this transition and educate you on menopause care and management. Call 719-634-8800 to schedule an appointment.

Will Ovarian Cysts Resolve Themselves?

If you haven’t been diagnosed with ovarian cysts before by an OBGYN doctor, you may have heard your female friends and family members talk about having them and wonder if you may be affected as well.

The truth is, ovarian cysts are quite common, and many women have this condition at some point in their life. The good news is, ovarian cysts often cause very little or no discomfort, so sometimes, women who get them don’t even know they’ve had them.

What Are Ovarian Cysts?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs found on or inside a woman’s ovary. Women have two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus (or womb), which produce eggs (or ova) during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Most ovarian cysts are functional cysts (discussed below). More rarely though, a woman may develop disease-related cysts caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or ovarian cancer.

How Do Ovarian Cysts Form?

Most ovarian cysts develop from functional cysts that are normally produced to release an egg during a woman’s menstrual cycle. During a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle, one of her ovaries produces a fluid-filled sac called a follicle. This follicle contains one of the woman’s eggs. Follicles also release the hormones progesterone and estrogen in women during their monthly cycle.

When a woman ovulates, the follicle ruptures and releases the mature egg into the fallopian tube. From the fallopian tube, the released egg travels to the uterus, where it embeds itself in the lining of the uterus.

If the embedded egg receives a sperm, the woman becomes pregnant. If it does not, the egg is shed with the uterine lining during a woman’s menstrual period.

However, sometimes the follicle does not rupture and release the egg but continues to grow, at which it is a functional cyst.

There are two types of functional cysts: follicular cysts and corpus luteum cysts.

A follicular cyst occurs when the normal follicle containing the egg does not rupture and release the egg but continues to grow. A corpus luteum cyst occurs when the follicle does rupture and release the egg, but it retains some of its fluid. The ruptured follicle that is left after releasing the egg is called the corpus luteum.

What Are Ovarian Cyst Symptoms?

Many women experience no symptoms at all from ovarian cysts.

If a woman does develop symptoms from an ovary cyst, the most common symptoms include abdominal bloating, pressure, swelling, and/or lower abdominal pain. The abdominal pain usually occurs in the left or right lower side of the abdomen and can come and go and be dull or sharp. Sudden, severe abdominal pain can occur if an ovarian cyst ruptures.

Nausea and vomiting can also occur along with abdominal pain if the cyst has caused the ovary to become twisted.

Other possible, but less common, ovarian cyst symptoms include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Tender breasts
  • Dull aching pain in the thighs and low back
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain during the menstrual period
  • Pelvic pain
  • Trouble fully emptying the bladder and/or bowels
  • Urinating more often
  • Weight gain that can’t be explained

When Should I See My OBGYN Doctor?

It’s important to contact your OBGYN doctor or seek medical attention right away if you have any of the following ovarian cyst symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain with vomiting and/or fever
  • Severe, sudden pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Symptoms of shock such as weakness, feeling lightheaded, fast breathing, cool and clammy skin

Will Ovarian Cysts Go Away on Their Own?

Ovarian functional cysts usually resolve on their own without any treatment. However, disease-related cysts may require treatment based on what caused them.

Colorado Springs Obstetrics and Gynecology

Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health

If you’re concerned you might have an ovarian cyst, make an appointment to see one of our Colorado Springs OBGYN doctors. At Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health, we offer pelvic ultrasound services to identify ovarian cysts. Our team of expert clinicians is here to answer your questions and put your mind at ease. Contact us today at (719) 634-8800 to schedule your appointment.

False Pregnancy Test Results

It may be that you have taken a pregnancy test because you are actively trying to get pregnant. Or, perhaps quite the opposite, and you are concerned you are pregnant but not trying to conceive.  Whatever the reason, false-negative or false-positive results can happen. Let’s look at pregnancy tests in a little more detail and why a false result may occur.

False Pregnancy Test Results

How do Pregnancy Tests Work?

Your body produces a hormone called Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) when you get pregnant. When a fertilized egg attaches to the lining of your uterus (right at the beginning of pregnancy), your body begins to release HCG. It starts to produce hCG around six days after fertilization. 

Pregnancy tests detect hCG levels in the urine. hCG levels rise quickly, doubling every two to three days. Most pregnancy tests advise that they are accurate when taken from the first day of a missed period. But, if you don’t know when your next period is due or you have irregular periods, you can do the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex. 

Some pregnancy tests are more sensitive and claim you can use them before a missed period. However, they are not likely to be as accurate when taken early.

How accurate are home pregnancy tests?

Home pregnancy tests are usually very accurate. When taken on the first day of a missed period, some home pregnancy tests claim to be 99% accurate. This accuracy reduces the earlier you take the test before your missed period. 

Home pregnancy test accuracy can depend on:

  • When you take the test
  • The time of day you take the test
  • How you take the test
  • The brand of the test

If you think you have a false test result, the best option is to wait a few days and then try again. 

What are false pregnancy tests, and how do they happen?

Even though home pregnancy tests are very accurate, they can provide false results very occasionally. 

  • A false positive is a test result that shows you are pregnant when you are not.
  • A false negative is a test result that shows you are not pregnant when you are. 

Reasons your test might be wrong

False-positive results can occur due to:

  • Reading the test after the recommended time frame. Some tests develop evaporation lines after a certain amount of time, making the pregnancy test look positive. Therefore, it’s important to read the test within the described time frame. 
  • A molar pregnancy (which is a condition where a tumor grows in the uterus mimicking pregnancy).
  • Medications that contain synthetic hCG, such as some fertility medications.
  • Medical conditions such as ovarian cysts, some cancers, kidney disease, or disorders that affect the pituitary gland and hormones. 
  • A recent miscarriage, incomplete miscarriage, or abortion where your hCG levels have not yet returned to normal. 

False-negative results can occur if:

  • You take a pregnancy test too early, before your missed period, so there is not enough hCG in your urine to detect.
  • You check test results too soon, and it hasn’t had time to process correctly. It’s essential to follow the instructions on the pregnancy test packet or leaflet to have the best chance of getting an accurate result. 
  • You take the test late in the day, and your urine is more diluted. Although pregnancy tests can work at any time of day, you are more likely to get a more accurate result if you take a pregnancy test first thing in the morning. This is because hCG levels are more concentrated in the urine at this time.
Colorado Springs Obstetrics and Gynecology

Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health

If you are concerned that your pregnancy test result is false, you can see an obstetrician for a blood test. At Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health, our team of expert clinicians is here to support you through every stage of pregnancy. Right from before conception. Contact us today at (719) 634-8800 to schedule your appointment. 

How does an OBGYN Test for Pregnancy?

When you take a pregnancy test, and it’s positive, it can be overwhelming emotional in various ways. And it can be challenging to know what to do next. If you think you may be pregnant, the best place to start is to schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN as soon as possible. 

Why See An OB/GYN?

Home pregnancy tests are highly accurate when used correctly. However, taking the test at the wrong time or incorrectly could lead to a false-positive or false-negative result. Also, home pregnancy tests differ in diagnosing pregnancy in women who have recently missed a period. So, if your periods are irregular, it might be a bit more complicated. To determine if you are pregnant, it’s best to get tested by an OB/GYN. It’s also a positive step to see a doctor early in your pregnancy to help you and your baby stay healthy.

How does an OB/GYN test for pregnancy? 

Whether bought over the counter or taken at a doctor’s office, all urine pregnancy tests work by screening for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). hCG is also known as the pregnancy hormone. When a fertilized egg implants itself in your uterus, your body starts to produce hCG. You can detect trace levels of hCG from as early as eight days after ovulation. This means some women can get a positive pregnancy test several days before their period starts. 

If you suspect you are pregnant, one of the benefits of being examined by an OB/GYN is that the doctor can use additional tests to confirm the pregnancy — such as a blood test and a pelvic ultrasound. The blood test your doctor performs can detect pregnancy earlier than a urine pregnancy test. The drawback is that it usually takes 24 hours to get results.

Ultrasound Scans for Determining Pregnancy

Your OB/GYN can also do a pelvic/transvaginal ultrasound if required. It is a type of ultrasound scan carried out by placing a probe in the vagina. A pelvic/transvaginal ultrasound can detect the heartbeat very early in your pregnancy—earlier than a standard abdominal ultrasound done on your stomach. A pelvic/transvaginal ultrasound can confirm early pregnancy and assist with due date calculation. This is done at 6 – 7 weeks after your last cycle. It is safe for both you and the fetus. 

Further along in pregnancy, your OB/GYN might do an abdominal ultrasound (sonogram). It uses reflected sound waves to produce a picture of a fetus. It can determine how far along the pregnancy has progressed. Sonographers will also carefully examine your baby’s body to check its health and development. The scan can be used to:

  • Calculate your estimated due date
  • Check the size of the baby and that it is growing normally
  • Identify if there is more than one baby
  • Detect certain physical conditions
  • Show the position of the baby and the placenta
  • Varify the gender of the baby if requested

Whether transvaginal or abdominal, there are no known risks to you or the baby from having an ultrasound scan. 

Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health

At Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality OB/GYN care. We offer complete obstetrical and prenatal care through routine or high-risk pregnancies. Our team of dedicated women’s health professionals understands that every pregnancy and childbirth is a unique experience for everyone. 

If you are looking for an OB/GYN who will work with you to have the best possible experience throughout your pregnancy, give us a call today at (719) 634-8800 to schedule an appointment.

4 Potential Causes for Infertility

In official terms, infertility is defined as being unable to get pregnant after one year or more of unprotected sex. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 12% of women aged 15-44 years have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term in the United States. 

4 Causes of Infertility

  1. Ovulation disorders. These are problems that affect the release of eggs from the ovaries, such as:
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): is the most common cause of female infertility. It is a condition that affects the hormones causing women to ovulate irregularly or not ovulate at all. 
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI):  is a condition sometimes referred to as premature menopause. It happens when a woman’s ovaries stop working before the age of 40. 
  • Hyperprolactinemia: where the body produces too much of the hormone prolactin, which can interfere with ovulation.
  • Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism: Thyroid problems can affect the menstrual cycle or cause infertility.
  • Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA): This can affect ovulation and is caused by excessive exercise, weight loss, stress, eating disorders, or a combination of these factors. 

    2.Structural Problems of the reproductive system.
  • Uterine fibroids: are benign growths in and around the wall of the uterus. They do not always affect fertility. 
  • Polyps: are benign growths on the inside surface of the uterus which can make it difficult to get pregnant or carry to term. They can sometimes be surgically removed to help improve fertility chances. 
  • Scarring in the uterus:  can be caused by previous injuries, infections, or surgery and can affect implantation. 
  • Fallopian tube damage or blockage: may happen for several reasons, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or adhesions.
  • An unusually shaped uterus can also affect fertility. 

2. Endometriosis is where tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus begins to grow in other places (like blocking the fallopian tubes). 

  • 3. Age.  With aging comes menopause, where there is a decline in ovarian function, and it usually happens around the age of 50. A condition to consider that is not natural due to aging is diminished ovarian reserve. This is when fewer eggs remain in the ovaries than expected for the woman’s age. 

Worried About Infertility? Coping with Infertility?

If you have any concerns about fertility and getting pregnant, it is best to speak to an OBGYN. At Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health we are dedicated to providing high-quality OBGYN care in a compassionate, friendly, and comfortable environment. You can contact us on (719) 634-8800 to discuss all your OBGYN concerns and needs. We are here to support you. 

What Causes You to Itch While Pregnant & Tips to Help

Pregnancy can cause all sorts of symptoms. You may have heard of, or experienced, some of the more common symptoms such as nausea, sickness, heartburn, or fatigue. However, itching can also be an uncomfortable symptom that occurs. 

Ranging from mild to intense itching, it can happen for several reasons. If you wonder what causes itching during pregnancy, when itching is a concern, and what to do about it, then read on to find out more. 

What causes itching during pregnancy?

Mild itching is actually pretty common in pregnancy. It tends to happen for a few reasons:

  • Raised levels of certain chemicals in the blood, such as hormones, can cause mild itching
  • Hormone changes can also lead to skin dryness which in turn can lead to itching. Your skin can also become more sensitive to scented skin products due to hormonal changes
  • When your bump grows in the later stages of pregnancy, your tummy’s skin is stretched and may feel itchy
  • Pregnancy-related skin conditions such as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) or prurigo

However, when itching becomes more intense, it can signify a more serious liver problem called obstetric cholestasis (OC), also called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP). So, let’s take a look at this and the skin conditions that can cause itching in pregnancy in more detail. 

Signs of obstetric cholestasis (OC)

OC is a liver condition where a buildup of bile acids in the blood causes feelings of itchiness. It most commonly occurs at around 30 weeks of pregnancy. However, it can present as early as eight weeks in some women. 

As you may have guessed, the main symptom is itching. It is often very intense, but in most cases, there is no rash. Itching tends to be more noticeable on the hands and feet, but some women can experience it all over the body. Usually, the itching gets worse at night. 

As it is a liver condition, you may also notice other symptoms alongside the itching, such as:

  • Lack of appetite and/or nausea
  • Dark urine
  • Pale/light poo
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)

OC can be serious, and some studies have linked OC to a higher chance of premature birth or stillbirth. Therefore, if you are worried that you may have signs of OC, it is essential to seek medical advice and support.

Signs of Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP)

PUPPP is a type of rash that appears during the later stages of pregnancy and extends from stretch marks. The rash starts as small, red, raised pimple-like dots. However, it can develop into plaques (patches of raised skin lesions) and blisters. 

PUPPP rashes tend to first appear on the stomach, particularly around stretch marks – but some women get the rash even if they don’t have stretch marks.

This type of rash is intensely itchy, especially at night. It usually lasts for four to six weeks towards the end of pregnancy. It then disappears within a few days or weeks after delivery. 

PUPPP isn’t dangerous, and your doctor will be able to diagnose it through a skin examination.

Signs of Prurigo

Prurigo is intensely itchy spots and bumps that appear on the arms, legs, or abdomen. The spots are often grouped together and may crust over. 

Prurigo is not dangerous and occurs in approximately 1 in 300 to 1 in 450 pregnancies. It most commonly appears in the 2nd or 3rd trimester, but women have reported it happening in all stages of pregnancy.

It’s usually treated with topical steroids or oral antihistamines and clears up after the baby is born. 

What can you do to help with itching during pregnancy?

There are several ways you can help relieve pregnancy itching if you are finding it challenging to get comfortable:

  • Avoid scratching
  • Take an oatmeal bath 
  • Avoid heavily scented skin products and change perfumes or detergents if necessary
  • Wear loose clothing made from natural fabrics to help your skin breathe and stay cool 
  • Use cold, wet compresses on areas of intense itching
  • Use a moisturizer to help with dry skin
  • Increase your water intake and stay hydrated to help prevent dry skin
  • Try to keep the room cool with air conditioning or a fan
  • Some people find aloe vera gel, or calamine lotion can help relieve itching

When to see your doctor or OBGYN:

Itching can be mild and harmless, but it can be a sign of OC in some cases. If your itching is:

  • Distressing or relentless
  • Worse at night
  • Worse on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet
  • Progressively getting worse

Then it is best to give your doctor a call. It’s always safer to seek help early so that you can get the medical support you need.

At Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health, we are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality OBGYN care. Our expert team of clinicians are compassionate, friendly and want to make your experience as comfortable as possible. If you are looking for OBGYN care, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling (719) 634-8800. 

We look forward to supporting you with all your women’s health needs. 

Understanding Irregular Periods

Irregular periods can be triggered by a myriad of factors, such as age, the medications you are taking, medical conditions, and even certain lifestyle choices.

Understanding irregular periods is an essential step women can take to first recognize the pattern in their cycle, and spot the signs that could indicate that a visit to your gynecologist might be necessary.

As you might already know, the average menstrual cycle results in a period every 28 days. But many women do not fall under the “average” category and can experience a period between 21 to 35 days, which can also last as little as 2 days to even a full week.

What an Irregular Cycle Looks Like

A period is considered irregular when the period is early, late, missed, or even when it occurs more frequently. The patterns of irregularities can vary:

  • Adolescents – cycles outside the 21-45 day range;
  • Adults – cycles outside the 24-38 day range;
  • Adults – cycles that vary in length by more than a week (such as having a 24-day cycle Month A, then a 40-day cycle Month B)

To know if your period is irregular, you must first keep track of your cycle. Count the number of days that pass between the first day of your previous period until the first day of your next, and keep this record for a few months. You can write it down on a piece of paper, or even turn to an app specifically designed for period tracking.

Note that in some period irregularities, your period can also stop for 90 or more days, without having a potential explanation for it, such as pregnancy, menopause, or medication.

Causes of Irregular Periods

1. Exercise and Diet

Exercise and diet fall into the “lifestyle choice” factor that can lead to irregular periods. Those who exercise extensively are likely to experience irregular periods as the workout can affect your metabolism. A lot of athletes, for example, who routinely exercise can often have this period side-effect, and even experience a total stop in getting their period.

Additionally, poor nutrition caused by extreme dieting can have a similar effect. It’s common for underweight women to struggle with their periods, as they can become irregular or stop.

2. Stress

High levels of stress or even anxiety can affect your hormonal balance, which could lead to even temporary irregular periods. You might experience a cycle delay or even experience spotting in between periods.

3. Sleep

Lack of sleep, which can happen as a result of sleep disorders, shift work that makes you switch activity patterns from night to day, or even long-distance travels can also lead to period irregularities.

When you don’t sleep properly, your body will produce higher levels of cortisol, which can even lead to a missed period.

4. Birth Control

Taking birth control involves introducing additional hormones into your body, which could lead to some period chances.

People can often experience lighter or shorter periods, but in some cases, birth control can also lead to skipped periods.

5. Pregnancy

The most common cause for late periods in sexually active adults is pregnancy. If you are pregnant, your body will produce a higher level of a hormone called progestin, which will suppress ovulation and lead to no periods throughout the pregnancy.

6. Illness

Irregular periods can also be a symptom of other medical conditions, such as thyroid disorder, STDs, diabetes, or endometrial cancer.

Why It Matters

While it’s common to experience some irregularities in the first 2-3 years once you get your period, irregularities in adults are usually a good sign that something else is going on.

When You Should Talk to a Gynecologist

As you begin to track your cycle more closely, you should also watch out for additional symptoms.

For instance, if the irregular period is followed by heavy bleeding once you do get your period, and you are having to change your tampon or pad every two hours, this is a sign of excessive bleeding, and you should contact your doctor right away.

Some irregular periods might also be accompanied by additional symptoms, like having lots of abdominal pain, fever, or having a strange fluid secretion with a strong smell. These can be signs of infection and require medical attention as soon as possible.

Contact Us

To put your mind at ease and find out the cause of your irregular period, contact an OB/GYN who will provide you with the best medical care possible.

At Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health, we are committed to helping you achieve your best health. Contact us at (719) 634-8800 to schedule an appointment.

Tips for Navigating a Summer Pregnancy



The warm weather, the sunny skies, the trip to the beach, the barbeques – there are many reasons to love summer. But, if you are pregnant, then the hot and humid summer months can get a bit uncomfortable. With your belly growing and all the changes that are happening in your body right now, the hot days can become quite unbearable.

So, here are some tips that will help you navigate a summer pregnancy.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can be quite worrisome in pregnancy as it can lead to various complications, such as low amniotic fluid, preterm labor, neural tube defects, and so on. And, because dehydration can easily sneak up on you on a hot summer day, it’s important to drink lots of fluids.

To make your fluid intake more interesting, try infusing your water with fruits, veggies, or herbs.

  1. Focus on Eating Healthy

It’s understandable if you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen when it’s hot outside, but ordering takeout every day is not a good option either. Look for recipes that are easy to make and include plenty of healthy ingredients, like wraps, salads, zucchini noodles, or gazpacho.

  1. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Summer pregnancy tips!

Most of us are aware of the importance of wearing sunscreen in the summer months to avoid sunburn or sun damage, but did you know that this is especially important for pregnant women? During pregnancy, your skin stretches, becoming more sensible and susceptible to sun damage. Make a habit of putting on sunscreen even when you’re not planning on lounging in the sun. You should be wearing sunscreen all year round as a preventive health measure and to avoid premature aging. 

  1. Limit Your Direct Exposure to the Sun

If you want to protect your skin and stay comfortable during the summer months, then it’s best to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest. If you have to be outdoors during those hours, wear protective clothing, apply a generous layer of sunscreen, and make sure to drink plenty of water.

  1. Beat Your Bloat

Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy, and unfortunately, bloatedness is one of the more uncomfortable symptoms of these changes. It happens because your body produces more progesterone, a hormone that relaxes the muscles in your body. And, because your intestine muscles are moving slower than usual, your digestion slows down too, leading to bloating.

To make matters worse, bloating becomes more excessive during summer. To avoid this uncomfortable feeling, try to stay hydrated and reduce your sodium intake as salt can make your body retain more water. Elevate your feet when lying down after long periods of sitting or standing.

  1. Keep up with Your OB/GYN Check-ups

If you are feeling especially uncomfortable or if you notice unusual or excessive swelling in your body, then you should immediately get in touch with the doctor at the Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health. Our offices are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and our staff is professional, compassionate, and friendly.

Our team will ensure that your pregnancy progresses safely that the summer heat won’t affect you or your baby. 

Conclusion

The hot, humid, and sticky summer months can be uncomfortable for anyone, but if you are a pregnant woman, then this weather can be particularly risky. To stay safe and comfortable, get plenty of hydration, use sunscreen, limit your sun exposure, eat healthily, and stay in touch with your OB/GYN.

If you are looking for a team of professionals who you can trust with this important and delicate period in your life, contact the Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health.

Postpartum Depression FAQs

What is Postpartum Depression?

With postpartum depression, a woman may feel extremely anxious, sad, or in despair which prevents her from completing routine daily tasks.

When does it occur?

Postpartum depression usually begins 1-3 weeks after childbirth. However, it can occur anytime within the year after having a baby.

What causes postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is likely caused by a combination of factors such as:

  • Fatigue – childbirth, including birth by cesarean section, can be very fatiguing for a woman and it may take weeks to regain her energy and strength.
  • Hormone changes – Sharp decreases in progesterone and estrogen levels soon after giving birth may cause postpartum depression.
  • Lifestyle and social supports – Recent stressful events such as a major move or the death or serious illness of a loved one as well as lack of personal support can trigger postpartum depression.
  • Emotional factors – It’s common to have doubts about being a parent and caring for a new baby. An unplanned pregnancy or a sick hospitalized baby can further add to a woman’s stress levels.
  • Previous history of depression – The risk of postpartum depression is greater for women who’ve had and/or been treated for depression before, during, or after childbirth.

How is postpartum depression different from the baby blues?

Approximately 80% of new mothers experience what’s commonly called “the baby blues” 2-3 weeks after childbirth that may include weepiness and mood swings. This is a normal adjustment period that resolves without any medical intervention.

If I think I have postpartum depression, when should I see my obstetrician/ gynecologist?

As soon as possible. Do not wait until your postpartum checkup.

How is postpartum depression treated?

Treatment is unique to each woman and the symptoms she is experiencing.

Talk therapy, support groups, lifestyle changes including self-care, diet changes, relaxation, natural remedies, spiritual support or practice, exercise, and personal time with a partner or spouse may all help reduce symptoms. Sometimes treatment with antidepressants or other medications may be recommended as well.

What are antidepressants?

Antidepressants are medications used to treat mood disorders by balancing brain chemicals.

Do antidepressants cause side effects?

Yes but most are temporary and go away shortly. If you have unusual or severe side effects contact your OBGYN. You may need to switch medications. If you have thoughts of hurting yourself or others, contact your healthcare provider right away.

What are the types of talk therapy?

There are different types of talk therapy to help meet your unique needs and preferences.

In one-on-one therapy, you meet by yourself to talk with a therapist. In group therapy, you join a group of people with similar problems and a therapist helps the entire group. In couples or family counseling, you and your partner or you and your family meet to talk with a therapist.

Some people feel more comfortable with one type of therapy than another so it’s important to choose what you’re most comfortable with.

What if I have a history of depression?

Talk to your OBGYN about your history with depression. The treatment approach may be different and they will be able to help you early on.

Each woman’s experience with postpartum depression is unique. Your treatment will depend on the symptoms you’re experiencing and what your OBGYN thinks is best after talking with you.

Postpartum depression can make you feel isolated and alone. Here at COOB Women’s Health, we want you to know you’re not alone and we can help. Contact us today to make an appointment with your OBGYN so we can help you start feeling better soon.

How to Research and Select the Best OBGYN

Finding the best OBGYN for you may feel overwhelming and uncomfortable. However, as a woman, these are one of the most important professionals you will consult with. So it’s worth taking the time to do your homework to make sure the specialist you choose is a good fit for you since ideally, this is someone you will trust with your reproductive health for many years to come.

Research the obstetrician’s/gynecologist’s credentials

It may seem obvious but one of the first things to find out is the OBGYN‘s professional credentials. You can find this online at DocInfo, a site run by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). Information such as the physician’s education, certifications, licenses held (and in which states), and disciplinary actions including malpractice can be found here. You want to be sure the OBGYN is board certified in your state.

Find out their history, location, & specialty

Next you’ll want to make some inquiries about the OBGYN‘s professional background and history. For example, do they specialize primarily in labor and delivery, infertility, gynecological surgery, menopausal health or some other area? This can help you narrow down your search as you look for the best OBGYN who specializes in the areas of reproductive health that concern you.

You’ll also want to find out what hospital the OBGYN works in should you need hospital care. Researching hospital quality and reviews is important and easy to overlook when you’re well. Also, don’t forget to find out where their practice is located. You don’t want to do all this research only to find out your ideal specialist works 4 hours away from where you live.

Review your insurance policy’s coverage

Before making your first appointment, don’t forget to review your insurance policy so you know what care is covered by an OBGYN and to what extent. Ideally, you want to minimize how much you pay out-of-pocket while getting the care you need. This might mean having to select the best OBGYN from those that participate in your insurance plan.

Your communication and personality styles need to mesh

During your first visit, pay special attention to how easily you’re able to talk with the OBGYN, especially regarding personal topics like your menstrual period and your sexual activity and preferences. Also, take note of how you feel as the OBGYN talks about these issues with you and asks you questions.

Do you feel comfortable with this person? Do they seem genuinely interested in getting to know you better or do they seem distracted or rushed? It’s important that your personality styles fit well together. Otherwise you’re going to feel uncomfortable each time you visit which may lead you to delay important appointments.

Trust your instincts— you need to feel comfortable to build a healthy relationship

Most of all, you need to “trust your gut” or instincts during and after this initial visit. Maybe a friend or coworker referred you to their OBGYN. However, you just didn’t “click” with this person or the conversation didn’t flow well as you talked with them. Don’t dismiss how you feel. We’re all different. You’re looking to establish a trusting relationship with a specialist who will be understanding and sensitive when you feel awkward or vulnerable. Your OBGYN has to be the right person for you.

As recipient of The Talk Award for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction every year since 2011, Colorado Obstetrics & Women’s Health in Colorado Springs is the premiere choice for an OBGYN at every stage of life from adolescence through menopause.

At our new modern medical facility, we provide leading edge OBGYN services for girls and women of all ages including obstetrics, infertility and contraceptive care, and annual exams as well as gynecological surgeries and related ultrasounds.

Contact us at (719) 634-8800 to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our OBGYNs.