|Showing posts with category women's health. Show all posts|
Dr. Yarroch Talks About Endometriosis
Mar. 22, 2018 5:31 pm
Are you doubling over in pain during your period? Do you have cramps you just can't seem to shake throughout the month? For 1 in 10 women, these killer cramps are more than just your average visit from Aunt Flo, they're a symptom of endometriosis. Although endometriosis affects 176 million women worldwide, many go undiagnosed. Here's what you need to know about this painful disease and how to find out if endometriosis could be affecting you.
What is Endometriosis?
"Endometrial cells are what make up the lining of the uterine cavity," Dr. Yarroch explains. "In women with endometriosis, these cells are found in implants outside of the uterus where they cause inflammation."
This inflammation can result in pain and significant scarring to the surrounding tissue.
What Causes Endometriosis?
"There are various theories about what causes endometriosis, but the most accepted theory was first described in the 1920's and is referred to as retrograde menstruation," Dr. Yarroch says.
In this theory, it is proposed that there is a backflow of menstrual blood and tissue from the uterus through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvis.
"We do have evidence that there is an increased risk of endometriosis in women with heavy menstrual bleeding and longer or more frequent menstrual cycles," Dr. Yarroch says.
Doctors also know that estrogen plays a role and women who have a close female relative with endometriosis are 5-7 times more likely to have it themselves.
Spotting the Symptoms
Although it's a common misconception that endometriosis only occurs in women over the age of 20, the truth is that the disease can develop as soon as a girl gets her first period and can span the rest of a woman's reproductive years.
"The most common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain," Dr. Yarroch says. While this pain usually coincides with menstruation, some women can experience this symptom throughout their entire cycle.
Other symptoms to look out for include:
Pain during or after sex
Severe cramps that do not go away with NSAIDs or that impede the activities of your everyday life
A heavy menstrual flow
Periods that last longer than 7 days
Nausea or vomiting
Urinary and bowel disorders
Difficulty getting pregnant
Not every woman will experience all of these symptoms, but approximately 30%-40% of women who have endometriosis will experience issues with fertility.
Getting a Diagnosis
If you suspect that you may have endometriosis, we encourage you to speak with your doctor or make an appointment with one of the amazing providers at Women's Care. The only way to know for sure whether or not you have endometriosis is through a surgical procedure called laparoscopy.
Treating the Symptoms
There are a wide range of treatment options for endometriosis and your doctor may suggest a few less invasive methods before ordering a biopsy. At Women's Care, we work with you to choose a plan that fits your needs and your lifestyle. Some of the most common treatments include:
The use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (advil, motrin) and naproxen sodium (aleve). NSAIDs can help relieve or lessen the pain caused by endometriosis by stopping the release of prostaglandins, one of the main chemicals responsible for painful periods. While NSAIDs can help manage the pain-related symptoms of endometriosis for some women, it's not effective in every case.
Birth control methods such as the pill, the patch and the ring are often helpful to treat the pain associated with endometriosis because they reduce heavy bleeding. This method works best for women who only have severe pain during their period and not during the rest of their cycle.
Progestins are recommended for women who do not get pain relief from or who cannot take hormonal birth control that contains estrogen (such as smokers). This synthetic form of the natural hormone progesterone is available by prescription as a pill or an injection.
GnRH therapy uses medicines that work by causing temporary menopause. The treatment actually causes the ovaries to stop producing estrogen, which causes the endometriosis implants to shrink.
For some women, surgery may be the best treatment method. While there isn't a cure for endometriosis yet, it is possible to remove some of the the scar tissue and lesions with surgery.
If you have endometriosis, surgery could be an option if you:
Have severe pain
Have tried medications, but still have pain
Have a growth or mass in the pelvic area that needs to be examined
Are having trouble getting pregnant and endometriosis might be the cause
"It is important to note that there are other conditions that can cause many of the same symptoms as endometriosis," Dr. Yarroch explains. "An OB/GYN can help determine if endometriosis is the appropriate diagnosis."
So What Now?
"Endometriosis can have a significant impact on a woman's life. Fortunately, there are treatment options available to manage pain and minimize recurrence," Dr. Yarroch says.
If you have endometriosis or believe you could have endometriosis, we strongly encourage you to speak with your doctor or one of our highly trained providers. We want you to know that at Women's Care, we're devoted to you and your health. We're here to meet both your physical and your emotional needs each step of the way, from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.
Join our Circle of Care and request an appointment with us today! -
The Facts Surrounding Cervical Cancer
Jan. 23, 2018 12:06 pm
According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, even though the disease is almost always preventable with vaccination and regular screening. At Women's Care, we're devoted to keeping our patients healthy and we believe having access to the most up-to-date educational information is crucial to making important decisions about your well-being. That's why we sat down with Dr. Therese Yarroch to get the facts about cervical cancer prevention.
What Is Cervical Cancer?
Generally speaking, cancer begins when cells in the body start to grow out of control. Cervical cancer occurs in the cells "in the bottom portion of the uterus that we can see on a speculum exam through the vagina," Dr. Yarroch explains.
Almost any part of the body can become cancerous and that cancer can continue to spread to other areas of the body.
Are Certain Women At A Higher Risk For Cervical Cancer?
Unlike many diseases, Dr. Yarroch notes that family history does not normally increase your likelihood of contracting cervical cancer.
"In most cases, cervical cancer is caused by HPV, which is a very common sexually transmitted virus that suppresses the immune system," Dr. Yarroch says.
Women who have a suppressed immune system, including those who smoke, are typically at a higher risk for cervical cancer, but it's important to remember that this disease is very preventable with vaccination and regular screening.
If Cervical Cancer Is Preventable, Why Is It So Common?
"Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide, but it is less common than some other female cancers in the United States because we do have preventative measures in place," Dr. Yarroch explains.
Unfortunately, it still remains an issue because HPV is so prevalent.
"It's also important to keep in mind that not everyone is able or willing to follow all of the guidelines that are recommended to help prevent cervical cancer," Dr. Yarroch explains. That's why educating the public and providing access to affordable healthcare is so important.
Pap Smears And Pelvic Exams
"It used to be that women started getting Pap smears as teenagers and continued to get them every year," Dr. Yarroch says.
Now, screening guidelines recommend that women have their first Pap smear at age 21 and continue to have one every three years until age 30 when they can choose to get a Pap smear with HPV co-testing every 5 years instead.
Having regular Pap smears is crucial to preventing cervical cancer. During this portion of the exam, your gynecologist collects cells from the end of your cervix. Those cells are then looked at under a microscope to give your gynecologist a better indication of if cancer or pre-cancer is a concern.
"The important thing to remember is that even though you may not need a Pap smear every year, it is still strongly recommended that see your gynecologist and have an annual pelvic exam," Dr. Yarroch says.
"When we do a pelvic exam we are looking at the cervix and checking for any bumps or color changes on the cervix that would be concerning for cancer or pre-cancer," Dr. Yarroch explains.
"In the past, we didn't have any way to prevent the spread of HPV, which is the main cause of cervical cancer, but now we do." Dr. Yarroch says.
It is recommended that the HPV vaccination be given before a person even has the opportunity to become sexually active. While you can receive the vaccination later in life, it's important to note that most insurance companies do not cover the vaccination after age 27.
"We also find that the HPV vaccination is more effective in patients when it is given at a young age because the immune system is more robust and able to build up a stronger immunity against the virus," Dr. Yarroch explains.
"With this vaccination, the hope is that in the future we will be able to further reduce the incidents of cervical cancer," Dr. Yarroch says.
Schedule An Appointment
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our providers at Women's Care, you can call us at 920-729-7105 or click here.
Changes To Pap Smear Screening Guidelines
Dec. 20, 2017 8:58 am
If you're like most women who dread having to get a Pap smear done at your yearly wellness check, you're in luck! Changes in the Pap smear screening guidelines now advise against annual Pap smears for the majority of women. We sat down with Dr. Valary Gass at Women's Care of Wisconsin to discuss what guidelines have changed so you know what to expect at your next gynecologist visit.
First, Let's Talk About What A Pap Smear Is
Even though Pap smears are no longer a yearly requirement, they're still important! Pap smears are
used to screen for cervical cancer in women. The test itself is used to collect cells from your cervix
and it helps your gynecologist screen for changes in your cervical cells that indicate cancer may
develop in the future. Cervical cancer is a particularly aggressive disease, so catching it early on
through Pap smear screening is crucial!
How Often Do You Actually Need To Have A Pap Smear Done?
All of the recent changes to the Pap smear screening guidelines have caused a lot of confusion
about when women should be screened, but the real answer is that it depends on the age, health,
and family history of each woman.
"The new guidelines state that women should start screening at the age of 21," Dr. Gass says,
but most women don't need to be screened every year.
"Women over the age of 21 should have a Pap smear done every 3 years," Dr. Gass explains.
"At age 30, women can continue getting a Pap smear every 3 years or they can choose to get a
Pap smear with HPV co-testing every 5 years."
For women who cringe at the thought of getting their next Pap smear done, these new guidelines
are great, but it's important to remember that your health and family history are also factors when
it comes to determining how often you should be screened.
If you have had an abnormal Pap smear in the past, have a history of cervical cancer, are HIV+,
have a weakened immune system, or if you were exposed to diethylstibestrol (a synthetic form of
estrogen) in utero, you may need to be screened more frequently.
Dr. Gass also points out that women should not stop screening unless advised by their doctor.
"If you have questions about when you should be screened, how often you should be screened or
when you should stop screening, please have a frank conversation with your doctor," Dr. Gass
Keep Seeing Your Gynecologist Annually -- Even If You Don't Need A Pap Smear
Just because you get to skip your Pap smear this year doesn't mean you should skip your annual
wellness check too! For many women, their gynecologist is the only doctor they see each year.
Your annual wellness check is an opportunity to go over more than just your cervical cells -- plus,
it's covered by the Affordable Care Act! So do your body a favor and don't skip your annual
Schedule An Appointment
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our providers at Women's Care, you can
call us at 920-729-7105 or click here. -
The ART of Physical Therapy
Aug. 1, 2016 4:29 pm
For everything is connected, and just like dominoes, things can stand together and they can tumble down together.
Many times, my patients have questions about what I'm feeling or treating when I work with them. Most people know that physical therapists work with problems within the body, but in my line of practice, people are often befuddled about how and why they were sent to me in the first place. I am going to tell you a little bit about how we (physical therapists) view the patient, how we see and feel their problem and how we justify the treatments that we do.
The first thing physical therapists do is realize that we are treating a whole person, not just a hip, or a bladder, or a sciatic nerve, for example. We understand that the things going on inside your body - what is happening in all your organs and tissues - has influences on neighboring, regional and distant areas of your body (so please, do not be too put off if I'm intrigued by your big toe when you were referred to me for your low back pain). For everything is connected, and just like dominoes, things can stand together and they can tumble down together.
There is an ART to what physical therapists do, both literally and figuratively. Please let me explain: ART stands for Asymmetry, Range of motion and Tissue texture change.
Asymmetry means that your right and left sides don't match. So, when I'm evaluating a woman with any number of problems, I will check to see if her shoulders rest at the same height, if her arms are the same distance away from the body when she is standing up, if the hips are level, and/or if the feet are both pointing straight ahead. When there is a remarkable difference between left and right, I make a note of it and see if it may be part of a larger problem.
Range of motion refers to how much your joints move. When I evaluate someone with knee pain for example, I will measure how much her knee moves with an instrument called a goniometer. I will take that measurement and compare it the corresponding knee on the other side, and I will compare it to documented "normal" measurement for her age.
Tissue texture refers to the relative health of anything that I may be evaluating: muscle, nerve, fascia, ligament or tendons. Even bone has a particular texture or feel to it. In general, healthy tissue is soft and resilient (even bone has a softness to it). For example, if I am palpating (feeling with my hands) muscle tissue, I may be feeling something soft and then suddenly something hard. Depending on the anatomy, that particular finding could be completely normal, or it could be a problem.
Once I have evaluated the ART in my patient, I can put the pieces together, come up with a working diagnosis and explain to the patient what we are going to do to reduce pain, restore function, and get her on the path to living a happier, healthier life.
About PT Center for Women:
is a licensed physical therapist at PT Center forWomen
and has practiced the art of manipulative medicine for over 20 years. She specializes in a combination of modalities such as craniosacral techniques, myofascial release, joint manipulation, soft tissue and visceral mobilization, along with therapeutic exercise as an adjunct to manual medicine.
Michelle began her training at Marquette University where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Physical Therapy. She then completed the osteopathic manipulative medicine series of courses through Michigan State University and in 2008, she graduated from Concordia University with her Physical Therapy Doctorate. Recently, she finished the Barral Institute curriculum for visceral mobilization and continues to attend conferences to sharpen her skills at osteopathic manipulative treatment.
Michelle's interest in women's health came from her own experience as a patient during pregnancy. From her labor and delivery, to her postpartum stages, she found a passion for attending to the special needs of females. She recognizes the importance of understanding her patients' concerns and listens closely before evaluating and designing an appropriate treatment plan.