Pelvic organ prolapse: How a pessary changed my life

Pessaries and pelvic organ prolapseI’ve heard pelvic organ prolapse described as a silent epidemic.  Why so hush hush for a condition that affects possibly 50% of women over 50?   I had heard of a prolapsed uterus.  But, my very large, uncomfortable, growing, fleshy protrusion in the fall of 2010 was my bladder.  Why me?  I am thin, fit and active.  A gynecologist and urologist performed the corrective surgery in 2011. Since the gynecologist believed that the uterus contributed to pushing the bladder out of place, I opted for a hysterectomy in addition to having mesh sewn into the vaginal wall to keep the bladder in place. Although I had more than 400 stitches, recovery was painless and quick.  All was well for 18 months.

In August 2012, I returned to the urologist due to spot bleeding and feeling the rough edges of the mesh protruding into the vagina and out.  He dismissed my concerns by saying that, as we age, we have weak areas of our body.  What?  I was angry, incredulous and confused.

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Are you getting enough calcium?

Information about women and calciumWhen we’re young, we’re often told to drink our milk. That’s good advice for adults as well. Whether it’s drinking milk or getting calcium from other food sources, it’s important for adult women to get 1,000 mg of calcium daily. That number jumps to 1,300 mg daily for women over the age of 71, possibly due to lower estrogen levels or because poorer utilization makes it harder for their bodies to store and use calcium.

You can get the amount of calcium you need daily by drinking three glasses of milk (8 ounces each), or the equivalent of soymilk fortified with calcium, or eating 3 ounces of cheese or about 1 1/2 cups of tofu. There are other foods that contain calcium, but these are the three most common sources. For example, kale contains calcium, but you’d have to eat about 15 servings to get enough calcium.

Look at your daily diet and if you’re not getting enough calcium through your food choices, add a calcium supplement. You may only need to supplement 60 to 100 mg of calcium daily.
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Another path to Motherhood: I thought not giving birth to my own babies would make me less of a mom

After two kidney transplants and multiple miscarriages, IVF with gestational surrogacy brought Sarah the family she dreamed of

Sarah and Brian Scantamburlo with son Gianluca.

Sarah and Brian Scantamburlo with son Gianluca.

The 2-year-old boy who calls me mommy has big, brown eyes, his dad’s curly Italian hair from his own youth and is a lover of all things Nick Jr.

Many people say children are gifts but Gianluca is so much more than that in many ways – he is the blessing we feared would never be possible.

Being his mom means joining him on his little boy adventures, watching his face light up with wonder when he spots a big truck and giggling with him when he feels Play-Doh in his hands. He is the amazing light at the end of the years-long tunnel of infertility.

And on Tuesday, May 27, Gianluca became a big brother to our newborn son Paolo.

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Talking openly about vaginal prolapse

Five years ago during an annual exam by my gynecologist, my doctor told me I had vaginal prolapse and should go to the University of Michigan Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital for a consultation. I wasn’t experiencing any symptoms and hoped that living a healthy life and exercising would control the situation. Three years ago, I started to experience some symptoms, but they weren’t bad, so I continued with positive thinking and a healthy lifestyle. I did not want to interrupt my workout routine with surgery. I work out six or seven days a week taking a weight-lifting class, doing Pilates and walking.

By April 2013, I knew I had let it go on too long. Continue reading

Are people really that divided over mandated health coverage of birth control?

OB/GYN talks about new poll showing that 7 in 10 Americans support universal contraceptive coverage

BLOGBirthControlAs Obamacare’s contraceptive coverage is challenged in the Supreme Court, we’ve been hearing a lot about the issue from the media, lawmakers and policy experts. Our team of researchers wanted to hear from the general public: What do Americans support when it comes to health plan coverage?

In a recent national poll, we asked people to share their opinions about whether health plans should be required to cover different types of health services, including mammograms, colonoscopies, vaccines, dental care, mental health services, screening for diabetes and high cholesterol, and birth control medications.

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Pregnancy and Weight Gain

Eating for Two You

pregnancy weight gainSeems like the minute you discover you are pregnant, people start reminding you that you are eating for two and to take it easy. While decades ago that was the advice given to women (and is still what many of those around you may be saying), research has shown that a healthy diet, appropriate weight gain and staying active during pregnancy is the best approach for both you and your baby.

Guidelines for how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy were most recently updated in 2009. Continue reading