Not only is the month of November the time to welcome cooler temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes, and Thanksgiving it is also National Bladder Health Awareness Month. It is time to speak out about bladder health conditions and incontinence. At OBGYN Specialists of Columbus, we are experts in bladder health and pelvic support problems. Here are a few things you should know about bladder health.

Incontinence Shouldn’t be a Taboo Subject

According to the National Association of Continence, over 25 million Americans live with incontinence each day. For many women, it’s a condition that all too often gets swept under the rug. Oftentimes incontinence is left out of pertinent doctor/patient discussions due to embarrassment. Let’s get real! Incontinence is not something most people want to talk about around the dinner table. Most women wait at least 7 years before even speaking with a doctor about incontinence.

At OBGYN Specialists of Columbus, you don’t need to be embarrassed or ashamed of your bladder condition. Dr. Rees and her team are ready to provide you with exceptional care and solutions to relieve bladder issues.

What You Can Do to Maintain Bladder Health

Here are several tips you can do daily to keep your bladder healthy. These are just suggestions and if you experience any severe issues with your bladder please contact your physician immediately.

  • Drink plenty of water. Try to drink eight cups of water each day (advised for overall health, not just bladder health).
  • Limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink, these can irritate your bladder.
  • Stay away from foods that bother the bladder. Some foods can worsen incontinence. Skip foods like chocolate (also a source of caffeine), as well as spicy or acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits.
  • Take your time to empty your bladder completely when you urinate. If you rush and do not empty your bladder fully, over time you could get a bladder infection.
  • Keep your pelvic floor muscles strong with pelvic floor muscle training.
  • Maintain routine visits to your gynecologist and notify your physician if you feel you have bladder issues or are experiencing overactive bladder or incontinence issues.

Additional Bladder Treatment Options

At OBGYN Specialists of Columbus, Georgia we offer a broad range of treatment options based on the best available clinical data. This may include non-surgical and surgical options such as:

  • Lifestyle changes including elimination of bladder irritants (e.g. Caffeine, Nicotine)
  • Structured pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation (e.g. Kegel exercise)
  • Structured timed daytime voids
  • Pelvic floor physiotherapy (e.g. Biofeedback and/or Functional electrical stimulation-Apex M Pelvic Floor Trainer)
  • Radiofrequency energy treatment (Votiva or ThermiVA)
  • Votiva is an exciting new FDA approved treatment which uses radiofrequency energy to gently and uniformly heat the treated tissue. This results in improvements in blood circulation and tightening of the pelvic floor muscles. Votiva treatment can be used as an adjunct to Kegel exercises (tightening of the muscles of the pelvic floor to increase muscle tone).
  • Percutaneous Tibial Nerve stimulation (Urgent PC)
  • Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation uses an acupuncture type needle placed near the ankle to send mild stimulation up the tibial nerve in the leg. This gentle stimulation also referred to as neuromodulation, affects the nerves responsible for bladder control
  • Urethral bulking injections
  • Surgical treatment for stress incontinence with Intrinsic sphincter deficiency

Contact our office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Ruthann Rees.

All too often women put their health and needs last in order to take care of others. By routinely performing self-breast exams monthly you can not only know your body better, but you may be the first to notice any changes to your breasts.

Here are five tips on how to perform self-breast exams at home.

How to Perform Breast Exams at Home

  • Mark Your Calendar – According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, performing a monthly self-breast exam can help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes. As a reminder, mark your calendar the same day each month. This way you will have a mental note that will help keep your routine.
  • How to Get Started – There are three main positions most women use to perform the self-breast exam: in the shower, in front of a mirror or laying on back. You may find one way more convenient than the others and do what feels the most comfortable to you.
  • Performing the Exam – You will want to begin the exam by using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Don’t forget to examine both breasts each month feeling for any lumps, thickening, or hardened knots.
  • If You Notice Change – If while performing your self-breast exam you notice any sort of changes in your breast tissue or are alarmed by differences in color, texture, or find a lump, contact your gynecologist to schedule an appointment. Even though breast tissue may change over time, knowing your “norm” is important to proper self-examination and relaying any concerns you may have to your primary care doctor and gynecologist.
  • Schedule Routine Mammograms and Well-Woman Appointments – We cannot stress enough how important maintaining your routine well-woman appointments can be. In 2018, over 250,00 new diagnoses of breast cancer occurred. Being proactive with your health and keeping open communication with your gynecologist is crucial if you have any questions or concerns about your breast health. 


Schedule Your Next Well-Woman Appointment

Don’t put yourself and your health on the back burner. Schedule your next well-woman appointment today! At OBGYN Specialists of Columbus, we provide total women’s healthcare and care deeply about the health and wellness of all women. If you have any questions or concerns about breast health or self-breast exams please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Do you have heavy menstrual bleeding or painful menstrual periods? This quick Q&A will give you a brief overview of Uterine Fibroids and will answer some of the most common questions asked here in the office.

What are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine Fibroids, also known as “leiomyomas”, are benign growths of smooth muscle and connective tissue from the wall of the uterus. They may grow within the wall of the uterus, project into the interior cavity, or project towards the outer surface of the uterus.

  • According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, 25-80% of women suffer from uterine fibroids.
  • No two patients with uterine fibroids are alike: Uterine fibroids may have varying sizes, number, location, and symptoms.

Are Fibroids Cancerous?

New research suggests that it is more common than previously thought for a uterine fibroid to undergo malignant or cancerous changes. Patients with the rapid growth of uterine fibroids or fibroid growth during menopause require prompt evaluation.

Who is at Risk for Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine Fibroids are the most common tumor of the uterus in women of childbearing age. The highest prevalence is in women of color. Research suggests that obesity, a family history of uterine fibroids, early onset of menstruation, or late onset menopause may contribute to an increased risk of developing fibroids.

Factors that may lower the risk of developing fibroids are pregnancy and long-term use or oral or injectable contraceptive.

What Causes Uterine Fibroids?

The exact causes are unknown. Evidence suggests that multiple factors play a role in the growth of fibroids such as genetics, estrogen and progesterone,  growth hormones, and stress. Fibroids may stabilize or shrink in women after menopause.

What are the Symptoms?

Most fibroids do not cause symptoms and do not require treatment other than regular observation by your healthcare provider. Common symptoms of fibroids are:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Pelvic pressure (a feeling of “fullness” in lower abdomen)
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Low back pain
  • Difficulty becoming pregnant or difficulty maintaining a pregnancy
  • Frequent urination, constipation, or difficult bowel movements may also occur

What Tests are Completed to Diagnose Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine Fibroids may be discovered during a routine gynecologic examination or during prenatal care. Oftentimes an ultrasound is ordered to verify the size and number of fibroids.

How are Uterine Fibroids treated?

For Uterine Fibroids that are not causing symptoms, the best therapy may be watchful waiting. Your healthcare provider may schedule routine gynecologic exams and periodic ultrasounds to check for growth of fibroids.

Currently, the only cure uterine fibroids is a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus).

  • Hysterectomy: Surgical removal of the uterus. The only definitive diagnosis, however, does not preserve fertility.
  • Myomectomy: Surgical removal of fibroids while leaving the uterus in place. This preserves fertility; however, although the fibroids do not regrow after the surgery, new fibroids may develop.
  • Uterine Artery Embolization:  Performed by an interventional radiologist. Tiny particles about the size of grains of sand are injected into the blood vessels that lead to the uterus. Particles then cut off the blood flow to the fibroid causing it to shrink.
  • Medication Therapy: Your healthcare provider may recommend oral contraceptives or other hormonal birth control methods in order to reduce heavy bleeding and painful periods. Medication therapy is symptomatic care and does not remove or reduce the size of uterine fibroids.

Your healthcare provider will consider several factors such as age, general health, the severity of symptoms, location/size of fibroids, and whether you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant to determine your individualized treatment approach.

Contact us to schedule a visit.

Do you have heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding with severe cramping? This Q&A will give you a brief overview of endometriosis and will answer some of the most common questions we are asked here in the office. Let’s get started!

What is Endometriosis?

The uterus is lined by the endometrium with the top layer consisting of endometrial mucosa, which forms a membrane and secretes protective fluid, in endometriosis, endometrial mucosa is abnormally implanted in locations other than the uterus such as the ovaries.

Can I get Pregnant if I Have Endometriosis?

Approximately 30-40% of women with endometriosis will be subfertile, which does not mean they will never become pregnant, but that they might require the assistance of fertility methods to increase their chances conception.

What is this Caused by?

Some risk factors may include a mother or another family member with endometriosis, early age of menstruation onset, short time period between menstrual cycles, long duration of menstrual flow, heavy bleeding between menstrual cycles, delayed childbearing, defects in the uterus or fallopian tubes, and iron deficiency.

What Symptoms are Typically Seen with this Condition?

Painful and heavy menstrual cycle, pelvic/abdominal/back pain, pain with sexual intercourse, pain with bowel movements, bloating, nausea, vomiting, pains with urination, pains during exercise.

How is Endometriosis Diagnosed?

Initially, labs and ultrasounds may be ordered to determine cause of symptoms. A trial of combination oral contraceptive pills [OCPs] may be attempted. The definitive diagnosis is made by laparoscopy, which is an invasive procedure done at the hospital, but not always needed in every patient with endometriosis.

What are the Current Treatment Options Available?

Hormonal therapy with combination OCPs, progesterone agrats, or gonadotropin releasing hormone [GnRH] analogues may be first attempted. Orilissa is a medication used for pain during and in between menstrual cycles. Surgery might be indicated in some patients with endometriosis who are refractory to medical treatment. Some options include endometrial abortion, presacral neurectomy, uterine nerve ablation, or hysterectomy.

More questions? Contact us at 706-324-0471 or to schedule a visit.

All too often women put their health and personal needs on the back burner for others. While your family and loved ones are important, the value of regular obstetrics and gynecology appointments is extremely real. A visit to the gynecologist is more than just a yearly pap smear — so much more! While a pap smear may be included in your “well woman check-up” appointment, your visit is not limited to just that screening.

An appointment with your OBGYN is a “check-in” with your body. Here at OBGYN Specialists of Columbus, Dr. Rees is a doctor that has years of experience helping women stay healthy and prevent potential risks. What aspects of your health can be examined at your OBGYN Specialists of Columbus appointment?

Here are just some of the services provided in our local office, but not limited to:

  • Fitness and Nutrition
  • Breast Health Exam
  • Contraception Counseling
  • Infertility Evaluation
  • STD Testing and Prevention
  • Peri- or Menopausal Issues/Concerns
  • Pap Smear, Mammogram, and Additional Screening Tests
  • After Hours Care
  • Lab Services
  • Non-Invasive Laparoscopic Surgeries
  • Pre and Postnatal care
  • And more!

So Much More Than A Pap Smear

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all women should receive a “well woman check-up” at least once a year. Additionally, claiming that one day a year could add years to your life in the future. In recent years, the general rule of having a pap smear every year has been shifted to every three years (as long as normal results are present). This, however, does not mean women should stop seeing their gynecologist for routine check-ups and other specific female healthcare needs. Many women view their yearly exam as apart of their “self-care” routine, which is important to maintain your overall health. Furthermore, most prominent insurance companies include an annual “well woman” checkup in their plans, so take advantage and schedule your appointment.

Countless mothers will tell you, a trusted and caring obstetrician is worth their weight in gold. Our highly trained staff will support you throughout every step of your pregnancy. At OBGYN Specialists, we provide you with the knowledgeable care of pre/postnatal in a comfortable female-centered environment.

Local Women’s Healthcare You Can Trust

Located in the heart of Midtown Columbus, Georgia, and convenient to surrounding areas, OBGYN Specialists can assist with your complete women’s healthcare. When you visit the OBGYN Specialists of Columbus, you are not only treated by a knowledgeable all-female staff and doctor but you’ll feel confident and comfortable in the professional care you experience.

Contact us to schedule your next appointment today!