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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UMHS patient room service gets big thumbs up

Patients can now order what they want, when they want it

U-M room service program

The goal of U-M’s patient room service is to deliver the ideal patient experience.

The University of Michigan Health System’s patient room service program is all about creating the ideal patient care experience — and that’s making a lot of people happy. Joyce Kerestes, director of Patient Food and Nutrition Services, answers a few questions about the program.

Q. Is the room service system-wide?

A. Yes, it’s available throughout the entire Health System — including University Hospital, Frankel Cardiovascular Center, C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s hospitals.

Q. What’s behind the service?

A. The goal is to offer our patients fresher food choices prepared to order. For example, we’re able to prepare salads or deli sandwiches the way a patient requests, similar to a restaurant operation. We conducted surveys and focus groups to find out what patients desired and incorporated many of the suggestions into our program. Continue reading

Is there a link between polyps, breakthrough bleeding and getting pregnant?

ann arbor fertilityThe short answer is that we think pregnancy rates are improved when polyps that are found are removed. If a woman is planning to become pregnant, and we find a polyp as part of a fertility evaluation, we will remove it.

Polyps are on the list of things that can cause breakthrough bleeding during a woman’s cycle. Some other causes of breakthrough bleeding are fibroids and not ovulating regularly or well.

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Breastfeeding Basics

Support and resources for moms who plan to breastfeed

breastfeeding ann arborEach woman’s breastfeeding experience is different (even from her first baby to her second), but the one constant is that there are a variety of supports in place to provide answers and encouragement. At no point should you feel like you have to do this alone, because there is a team of people and resources to support you.

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Prenatal exercise: Listen to your body

prenatal exerciseOne of the questions I ask all of my patients during their first trimester is if they currently exercise and what their plans are for prenatal exercise.

Exercise is vital to the health of a pregnant woman, not only for her physical health, but also for her mental well-being. The numerous benefits of exercise include helping to maintain your body weight during pregnancy and helping to prevent and control gestational diabetes. Exercise is also powerful in preventing depression.

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Your birth plan

Creating a plan, getting your questions answered, and being prepared for the unexpected

birth plan blog post - birthing ball picA “birth plan” is like a game plan for your baby’s arrival.  You have little control over when your labor starts, but a birth plan ensures that you, your partner, and your care team are all aware of your wishes on some key things like pain meds, the people involved, episiotomies and cord cutting.

When to start your plan:

Usually I discuss the birth plan with my patients at the beginning of the third trimester.  Often it is the childbirth classes she takes that help a woman make decisions about the type of birth she wants. If a woman has not taken classes, I suggest other resources available online or at the library that will help her make choices regarding her baby’s birth.

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