Most Recent Questions and Answers
Q. I have a lump in my breast that comes and goes between cycles. What do I do?
A. Fibrocystic changes are the most common of all benign breast conditions. The term is nonspecific and used to describe irregularities on palpation and cyclically painful breasts. It is believed to be an exaggeration of the normal physiological response of breast tissue to the cyclic levels of ovarian hormones. It is generally recommended to monitor these changes for a full menstrual cycle, and if a persistent nodule is palpated, you should follow up with a physician for evaluation.
Q. What is osteoporosis? Who is at greatest risk? What can I do to help prevent it?
A. Osteoporosis is a condition resulting in thin, fragile bones and can result in fractures of the hip, spine or wrist. It most common in elderly women, but can occur earlier in life. Those women at higher risk for osteoporosis are those who are very lean, Caucasian, and smoke cigarettes. Early menopause, either natural or by surgical removal of the ovaries, is also a risk factor. Long-term use of steroids like cortisone can also contribute to decreased bone mass. Taking daily calcium with vitamin D, even before menopause, aids in the prevention of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise helps to strengthen bones as well.
Q. My husband and I have been trying to become pregnant for over 6 months now and I am still not pregnant. What can I do?
A. Where does one begin? From physicians’s standpoint, infertility and its treatment stands as one of the most challenging and yet rewarding conditions that can face a couple today. Having a child, should be as simple as hanky-panky at the right time of the month but unfortunately, it does not always work that way. It is, without a doubt, the couples’s problem. Men and women are equally responsible; both contributing 40% of the problem, while for 20% of couples, no reason is found. Evaluation is simple at first with isolation of the problem/problems being the key. Ovarian function and reserve, tubal patency and uterine normalcy are examined for the woman and a simple semen analysis is the key for the man. The above are simple to evaluate and hopefully, can direct the management of the couple. Treatment once again depends on the findings.
Q. I feel very dizzy during my pregnancy and feel like I may pass out. Is this normal?
A. Feeling dizzy or light-headed during pregnancy can be a very normal symptom and can worry a mommy-to-be. The main cause is the rising hormones that cause blood vessels to widen and relax. This helps increase blood flow to the fetus but can slow blood flow to you and your brain causing momentary dizziness. Low blood sugar levels could also be to blame for feeling dizzy which can occur as your body adapts to changes in your metabolism. In addition, a growing fetus can put pressure on blood vessels, slowing blood flow to the brain.
In order to attempt to reduce episodes of dizziness:
• Avoid standing for long periods of time
• Rise slowly from a seated position, especially after a shower or, if you prefer, bubble bath
• Eat regularly, avoiding long periods with no food
• Avoid lying on your back where the baby could rest on a large vessel called your vena cava
Q. I just had surgery. How do I know if my incision is doing ok? It looks…weird and I don’t know how to clean it.
A. It is best to keep your incision clean and dry. Warm water with a soft cloth wiped tenderly should do. Steri-strips are usually placed over the incision and will begin to lift after a few days or so and this is ok. Let them peel off or pull gently when they have lifted. There are stitches on the inside of your incision that are holding the wound together. Below is a list of signs and symptoms you can be looking for that would indicate possible infection or problems. You doctor should be contacted if you notice any of the following:
• An area that is gaping open
• Pus or odd colored discharge that won’t stop (discharge should be clear or red/red tinged and some light bleeding is expected)
• Odor from incision site
• Body temperature of greater than 101*F
• An area that is hot to the touch (fever at the site)
• An area that becomes increasingly more swollen, red (not pink), and grows more tender