Frequently Asked Questions
Here at Southside OBGYN we have made a vow to make every single woman's visit to our office as pleasant, professional, and personal as possible. For any general questions that you may have, here is a short list of commonly asked questions from those who are seeking to learn more about health care for women.
What do I need to bring with me to my first visit?
Patients should bring their insurance card, and for anyone who is younger than 18 years old, we request that a patient or guardian is present in order to discuss parental consent and confidentiality. First-time patients can also visit the New Patients section of our webpage, where you can find helpful links for the New Patient Letter, New Patient Forms, Pregnancy Information, Our Policies, and a Map and Directions.
When should I bring my young daughter in for her first Gynecological exam?
It is recommended that young women have their first Gynecologic visit at the age of 15, or when they become sexually active and have questions about contraception and STI's.
I experience cramping and moodiness during my period. Is there anything that I can do to help with this?
Since Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, or PMDD, is very common for a lot of women, there are a variety of ways to ease its symptoms of bloating, irritability, and moodiness. Women are encouraged to avoid or decrease caffeine intake, limit salt, and to develop a healthy exercise routine, among other things. There are also vitamin supplements that are intended to specifically help with the symptoms of PMDD. If natural methods don't alleviate your symptoms, there are certain medications that can be prescribed by a physician.
When do I need to start thinking about getting a Mammogram?
Women aged 40 and older should have a mammogram every year. Women with an increased risk of breast cancer due to things such as family history are advised to talk with their physician about whether to have mammograms before the age of 40.
I am experiencing some burning while urination, is there anything to help with the pain?
When dealing with burning urination, it is advised that you increase your fluid intake. Drinking Cranberry Juice has also long been recognized as helpful in alleviating the symptoms of what might be a bladder infection. Women who experience burning while urinating are strongly encouraged to have a urinalysis performed so that the exact problem can be identified and diagnosed. Your gynecologist may then recommend other treatment, or they may decide that the prescription of medicine is the best course of action.
I am experiencing vaginal discharge and some vaginal itching. Could I have an infection?
It's very common for most women to have some vaginal discharge, which may occur more or less at different times of the month, depending on the individual. However, it is important to note whether or not the vaginal discharge has a foul odor to it, as this may indicate a bacterial infection. Vaginal itching accompanied by a thick, white discharge could potentially indicate a yeast infection. It is advisable to seek out a gynecologist for a simple exam to confirm the diagnosis and for swift, effective treatment, as abnormal vaginal discharge can usually be treated with medication. Vaginal discharge may be a symptom of an STI.
I skipped one of my birth control pills, and I am now experiencing vaginal bleeding. What should I do?
The skipping of just one birth control pill can potentially produce a hormone imbalance, and which can cause a symptom referred to as “breakthrough bleeding.” This is a relatively normal occurrence, and you should take the missed pill as soon as you realize you've skipped it. If you have skipped more than two birth control pills, you should use condoms for the remainder of the month.
I missed my period but the pregnancy test is negative. What should I do?
Women who miss a period but find their pregnancy test result to be negative should cautiously monitor the situation, as sometimes something as simple as an increase in stress can cause a woman to miss her period. However, if the same thing happens during the next cycle, you should contact our office to schedule an appointment; you may need to change your birth control.
I'm having problems with constipation. What can I do?
The natural ways to alleviate constipation include, but are not limited to, eating certain foods like apples, bran cereal, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, dried peaches, prunes, raw carrots, and any other high in Fiber foods. Women are also encouraged to increase their water intake to 8 glasses per day. Some medication that can help with constipation includes Fibercon, Dialose, and Miralax, just to name a few.
I recently found a lump in my breast. What should I do?
Women who have found a lump in one of their breasts should contact our office to schedule an appointment for an evaluation.
The world of women's health care can be overwhelming to many, especially when it comes to the complex field of Obstetrics. Given how vitally important it is for expecting mothers to be familiar with the Do's and Dont's of prenatal care, we have provided below a short list of commonly asked questions from mothers-to-be.
How much can I exercise while pregnant?
For people who regularly maintain active lifestyles, it is safe to continue to do so during pregnancy, though women should strive to stick to an exercise pace that is not too vigorous or exhausting. For women who don't regularly keep an active lifestyle, it is recommended that at least some light exercise be incorporated in to their daily life; just walking a moderate pace every day should suffice.
What should I avoid eating while pregnant?
Women are strongly urged to avoid alcohol during pregnancy, and to limit caffeine to no more than 300 mg. per day, which equals roughly two 5-ounce cups of coffee. Women are also encouraged to avoid the use of saccharin, soft or unpasteurized cheeses, raw meats & fish, and unpasteurized deli meats.
Can I continue to eat and drink foods that contain artificial sweeteners?
Women are encouraged to avoid anything that contains aspartame, which is found in products like Sweet and Low. However the artificial sweetener Splenda is deemed to be okay to consume while pregnant, since it is made from all-natural ingredients.
How should I treat a cold?
It is recommended that you do not take anything with ibuprofen in it. Aside from drinking fluids and resting, pregnant women who are past their first trimester are permitted to take Sudafed, Tylenol, Dimetapp, and Robitussin.
May I travel while pregnant?
For uncomplicated pregnancies, travel is not a problem. When traveling by car, make plans to stop at least every 2 hours to get out and walk. Plus, any women at the 34 week mark should consult with their physician before engaging in travel.
Are dental x-rays okay?
Yes, but be sure that your abdomen is completely shielded when having the x-rays taken.
What symptoms should be reported to my physician?
Just some of the symptoms that should be reported to our office includes contractions, bleeding, intense headaches, cramping, decreased movement of the baby, a fever of over 100 degrees, loss of fluid from the vagina, or any other symptoms that seem abnormal.
What are some suggestions for dealing with morning sickness?
Some recommendations for easing morning sickness includes:
•Eat several small meals during the day so your stomach doesn't remain empty for long
•Avoid fried, greasy, and spicy foods
•Drink soups and other liquids between meals
•Eat a piece of bread or a few crackers before you get out of bed in the morning, or whenever you feel nauseous.
•Have some juice, milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese before you go to bed or before you wake up.
•Ginger candy or tea can help nausea.
•Vitamin B supplements can also help relieve nausea.
What can I do about constipation?
To ease constipation during pregnancy, women are encouraged to try adding high in fiber foods to their diet like bran, fruit and vegetables, on top of increasing their daily water intake. You may also try products like Fibercon, Metamucil, Citrucel, or Miralax.
What prenatal vitamins should I be taking?
Women should look for prenatal vitamins that contain Vitamin's A, D, C, E, and B, Folic Acid, Calcium, Pyridoxine, Zinc, Iron, Riboflavin, Thiamine, and DHA.
Birth Control FAQs
There are many unique questions and concerns when discussing birth control methods. We are available to answer all your questions at any time. For any general questions that you may have, here is a short list of commonly asked questions from those who are seeking to learn more about birth control.
Is birth control covered by my insurance? YES.
The Supreme Court stated January 2, 2014 that the PPACA (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) states all group health plans and insurance issuers must provide, without cost-sharing, reproductive preventative care including all FDA-approved contraceptive methods and services, patient education and counseling.
What is the most effective form of birth control?
There are many birth control methods on the market today that are highly effective. The primary methods of birth control available include
Barrier Methods – Generally speaking, barrier methods do not prevent pregnancy as effectively as hormonal methods or IUD's, and they must be used EVERY TIME that you have sex. Barrier methods Include condoms, sponges, and diaphragms.
Hormonal Methods – Statistically very good at preventing pregnancy. Hormonal methods include birth control pills, shots (Depo-Provera), the vaginal ring, and Nexplanon.
Intrauterine Devices (IUD's) – IUD's are inserted into your uterus, work for 5-10 years at a time, and are a generally safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy. The Mirena IUD contains a hormone that can help with heavy periods and cramping.
Natural Family Planning – Also referred to as “fertility awareness,” Natural Family Planning can be effective provided that you and your sexual partner are extremely careful, and are especially mindful of what times of the month are best to engage in sexual activity. Women practicing natural family planning are strongly encouraged to keep good records so as to know when they are fertile; and for times when you ARE fertile, you will need to abstain from sex, or use a barrier method.
With all of this in mind, it's important to remember that all women are different, and that the best way to find out what method is best for you is by consulting with a licensed healthcare provider.
What are some of the potential side-effects of birth control pills?
Some possible side effects of birth control pills includes nausea, bloating, breast enlargement and tenderness, spotting between periods, decreased sex drive, and migraines. The best way to know which form of birth control will minimize undesirable side-effects is to consult with your healthcare provider.
Do birth control pills protect against STI's?
No, It is extremely important to remember that birth control pills do NOT prevent against anything but unwanted pregnancies. No form of birth control will help prevent a sexually transmitted disease. There are only two proven methods that protect against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases: the male or female condom and abstinence.
How soon after stopping the birth control pill can you conceive?
Generally speaking, a woman may have only a two-week delay before she can ovulate again. Once ovulation resumes, a woman can once again become pregnant. On average, a woman's period will follow about four to six weeks after the last pill is taken.
What if your period doesn't resume even after you stop taking the birth control pill?
If even after stopping the use of birth control pills you find that you are still not having your period, you may have what is commonly known as post-pill amenorrhea. Typically your period should start again within three months after you stop taking the pill. If after 5-6 months you still haven't had your period, consult your physician.
Where can I get birth control?
Where you get birth control depends on what method you eventually choose, although it should be noted that regardless of what method of birth control you decide on, it is still highly recommended that you consult with your gynecologist first so that you can get a licensed medical professional's opinion on what might be the best method for you-
Over The Counter
•Emergency Contraception (If under 15, a prescription is needed)
•Oral contraceptives (I.e the pill)
•Diaphragm (After a fitting with your healthcare provider)
•Shot/injection (Available at your physician's office)
•IUD (Inserted by a healthcare provider)
•Nexplanon (Inserted by a healthcare provider)
•Male or female sterilization
From a simple check-up to more serious concerns, a certified OBGYN at Southside OBGYN can provide you with the best possible health care experience when visiting us at our Indianapolis or Mooresville office. For any general questions that you may have, here is a short list of commonly asked questions from those who are seeking to learn more about health care for women.
What is an OB GYN?
A gynecologist or obstetrician, often referred to simply as an OB GYN, is a medical doctor who specializes in all aspects that pertain to female health care. From screening patients, to diagnosing and treating certain diseases that are particular to females, to helping women have safe and successful pregnancies, an OB GYN is trained to deal with a wide variety of aspects with regard to the health care of women.
When is the time to make your first appointment to see an OB GYN?
Generally speaking, teenage girls should make their first visit to a licensed gynecologist sometime between the ages of 13-18. A young woman's initial meeting with an OB GYN is usually just to establish a relationship with the gynecologist, and to go over your medical and sexual history. The first consultation with an OB GYN is also an opportune time for young women to learn important information about sexually transmitted infections (STI's), and to learn about contraceptives.
When should I get my first mammogram?
Unless you have a family history of breast cancer, the average woman should have her first mammogram screening around the age of 40. However, if you ever feel a lump in one of your breasts, or you have any concerns before the age of 40, you should not hesitate to consult your OB GYN. Women can generally make a big difference in their future well-being just by remembering to perform regular self-breast exams.
How often should I have a Pap Smear?
A woman should have a Pap Smear test annually. However, if you have had a history of abnormal paps, or if your OB GYN has instructed you differently, you may need to have a pap smear more or less frequently than once a year.
What is menopause, and what kind of symptoms can I anticipate?
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when her menstrual periods stop entirely, and the ovaries begin to produce smaller amounts of three hormones- estrogen, androgen, and progesterone. The average age when an American woman experiences the beginning of menopause is around 51 years old, and most women can expect their menopause to begin around the same time that her mother's began. An early-stage menopausal woman may experience hot flashes, as well as night sweats, vaginal dryness, and possibly the onset of osteoporosis.
Are my medical records confidential?
Yes, all of your medical records are confidential, and will only be released if you give us written authorization.
Ultrasound at Southside OBGYN follows the AIUM (American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine) guidelines and employs a registered (ARDMS) ultrasonographer who specializes in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. We have high-resolution ultrasound machines, including those with 3D/4D capabilities. 3D & 4D imaging is used routinely during your scan as well as a large monitor so you and your family can better see the images.
How many ultrasounds do we get with our pregnancy?
In a normal singleton pregnancy you will receive one routine scans. This is done at 20 weeks. This exam is called a fetal survey or malformation screening. We check the baby from head to toe make sure that everything we can see is well formed. At this time we are usually able to tell you the sex if you wish to know. We always try to ask if you want to know before your scan for those folks who don’t. Please feel free to let us know your wishes at that time. We will make every attempt to make sure you don’t see the sex if you don’t wish to know.
This is generally the only ultrasound that are allowed under most insurance plans, unless there is a complication or underlying medical condition, for example, twin pregnancy or for moms who have high blood pressure or diabetes.
What is NT (Nuchal Translucency) testing or first trimester screening?
Fetal screening for Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21) and Trisomy 18 is available in the first trimester. This involves a simple blood test at the lab and the ultrasound measurement of a small space on the back of the baby’s neck called the “nuchal translucency.” This data is analyzed and gives you your risk for having a baby with these genetic malformations. It is important to realize that the test only tells you your risk. For example, your risk for having a baby with Down might come back as 1 in 10,000, or 1 in 500. If your risk is greater than 1 in 200 the screen is considered to be “positive”. This does not mean that your baby has the abnormal gene, only that it falls into a higher risk group. The only way to determine with 100% accuracy that your baby is affected is to have an amniocentesis, which is not performed in our office.
In the second trimester, usually between 15 & 19 weeks you will be offered a second blood test. It revises your risk for Trisomy 18 & 21 and also screens your baby for spina bifida and Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome. The accuracy of the tests is increased because the first and second trimester results are taken together, or integrated. Some insurance companies will cover the cost of these tests, and some do not. Our billing office will be contacting you to let you know what your share of cost will be.
We will be happy to answer any questions you might have about the testing. Remember that having this test is completely optional.
How soon can we find out the sex of the baby?
We do gender reveal scans at 15 weeks gestation. We charge for $45 for the scan.
Can I have a 3D/4D “play” ultrasound?
Yes! We are happy to offer a second look at your baby. We will also give you a CD with the images.
We believe the best time to schedule this scan is between 28 & 32 weeks. Waiting longer makes the babies harder to see, as things get more crowded. At 28 weeks the babies have more muscle and soft tissue and begin to look very much like they will look when they are born. We charge $150.00 for the scan.
What is the difference between 4D ULTRASOUND and 3D ULTRASOUND images?
4D ULTRASOUNDS utilize 3D ULTRASOUND images, however, 4D ULTRASOUNDS add the element of time to the process, which results in live-action ULTRASOUND images of your baby. The 4th dimension is time. This means we are able to see the baby moving in 3D.
Do I need a full bladder for my obstetrical or gynecological ultrasound?
Generally you do not need a full bladder. For obstetrical scans we ask that you don’t empty your bladder until your scan is over. We can assess your cervix better if your bladder is somewhat full. Also, you will be leaving a urine specimen if you are seeing your doctor after your scan.
If you are not pregnant we will be scanning vaginally. We always scan vaginally for gynecological scans. The only exception is patient’s who have never been sexually active.
Can I still be scanned if I am on my period?
Yes, we are usually able to scan if you are menstruating. We frequently scan patient’s who are having bleeding issues. Just let us know you are bleeding when we take you into the room. If you are being seen for abnormal bleeding please try to schedule your pelvic ultrasound in the week just after your period ends. We are better able to assess the uterine lining at that time.
What is the difference between an ULTRASOUND and a Sonogram?
An ULTRASOUND is a test that allows you to see your baby during your pregnancy. A sonogram is the picture taken of your baby during the ULTRASOUND procedure.
Is a prenatal ULTRASOUND safe for me and my baby?
Numerous studies have shown that an ULTRASOUND is not harmful to either you or your baby. Unlike an x-ray test, an ULTRASOUND does not use radiation.
How should one prepare for an ULTRASOUND?
No special preparation is needed for an ULTRASOUND.
Will insurance pay for the ULTRASOUND?
An ULTRASOUND is usually covered under most insurance policies as long as the procedure is deemed to be medically necessary. If you are seeking an ULTRASOUND for reasons deemed to be non-essential, like for purposes of just finding out the sex of the baby, it is possible that your insurance company may not pay for the ULTRASOUND.
What are the primary reasons for performing the ULTRASOUND test?
the primary reasons for conducting the ULTRASOUND test includes dating of the pregnancy, checking for fetal viability, screening for genetic defects or anomalies, and ruling out ectopic pregnancy.
When is the best time to have an ULTRASOUND performed?
The ULTRASOUND can be performed at any point during pregnancy, depending on the results and information that is desired. Most women have an ULTRASOUND between 18-22 weeks.