We are excited to have Dr. Meredith Kapner and Samantha Allnutt, FNP join our team at Ob-Gyn Associates! Click here to learn more about these great new providers.
It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of Dr. Nancy Kator. She retired from medical practice as of April 1, 2018. We are deeply indebted towards Dr. Kator’s services as a provider at Ob-Gyn Associates.
It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of Dr. Claudia Taubman. She is retiring from medical practice as of December 31, 2016.
Ob-Gyn Associates and Advantia Health are concerned about your welfare and safety. Due to the recent outbreak of Zika virus, we urge all of our patients and their families to avoid travel to countries and areas affected by this dangerous disease.
Where is Zika virus found?
Zika virus is a mosquito transmitted virus that has been found in 27 countries, mostly in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. As of the date of this article, there have been 35 documented cases of travel-associated Zika virus in the United States -- all of these patients contracted the disease while outside of the continental United States. There has also been one documented case of sexually transmitted Zika virus in the United States.
What are the symptoms of Zika virus?
According to the CDC, only 20% of patients become symptomatic. Most of the time, the symptoms are mild. The most common symptoms include: fever, rash, headache, vomiting, joint/muscle pain, and red eyes. The symptoms usually present about 3-5 days after infection and last up to 7 days. Severe disease or hospitalization is uncommon.
Are pregnant women and unborn babies at risk?
The Zika virus can spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby. There have been several documented cases of infants born with a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly. There is still ongoing research being done to determine the exact connection between Zika virus and microcephaly.
Because of this increased risk to the fetus, pregnant women with a history of travel to a Zika affected area should be tested for Zika virus. If a patient tests positive, they will be monitored closely with ultrasound exams. In addition, consultation with maternal fetal medicine and infectious disease doctors is recommended.
There is no current evidence that the virus poses a risk of birth defects in future pregnancies.
How can you get tested for Zika virus?
Testing for Zika virus involves specialized blood testing. If you are pregnant and have traveled to a Zika affected region, you should call your doctor to arrange for testing. The blood is drawn in your doctor’s office. The sample will then go to a specialized lab for analysis.
During your visit, you will be asked questions regarding your travel dates, destinations, and symptoms (if any). This information is then passed on to the Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control who are in charge of testing the specimens and tracking the virus.
Is there a treatment for Zika virus?
Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment or vaccine available. For this reason, the CDC is recommending that all pregnant women or women planning a pregnancy postpone travel to areas of transmission. If you must travel to an area which has been affected by the Zika virus, please take the proper precautions. These include:
- Wearing long sleeve shirts and pants
- Using EPA registered insect repellent
- Using permethrin treated clothing
- Staying in screened-in or air conditioned rooms
In addition, because sexual transmission has been documented, men who have traveled to Zika affected countries and have a pregnant partner should avoid having intercourse or routinely use condoms during sex for the duration of the pregnancy.
You can find additional information on the CDC website: www.cdc.gov/zika/
We want all of our patients to be safe and have healthy newborns!
On October 20, the American Cancer Society released new breast cancer screening guidelines. Here is a summary of the changes, directly from the American Cancer Society:
The New Recommendations from American Cancer Society:
- Women with an average risk of breast cancer – most women – should begin yearly mammograms at age 45.
- Women should be able to start the screening as early as age 40, if they want to. It’s a good idea to start talking to your health care provider at age 40 about when you should begin screening.
- At age 55, women should have mammograms every other year – though women who want to keep having yearly mammograms should be able to do so.
- Regular mammograms should continue for as long as a woman is in good health.
- Breast exams, either from a medical provider or self-exams, are no longer recommended.
At Ob-Gyn Associates, we expect and understand that guidelines will be modified as new evidence is available to us. Recommended breast cancer screening guidelines should always be taken into consideration; however, adjustments should be made when appropriate to adequately serve each individual patient. When it comes to breast cancer screening, like most things in medicine, we believe medical care needs to be individualized to fit the specific needs of each patient.
Currently, there are 3 organizations which have published breast cancer screening guidelines. Each organization has differing opinions on when breast cancer screening should be initiated.
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
- American Cancer Society
- US Preventive Services Task Force
Currently, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists continues to support screening mammography every year for women aged 40 or older and emphasizes the importance of clinical breast exams. Hence, at Ob-Gyn Associates, we will continue to offer these services to our patients as we believe both are vital components of breast cancer screening.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it's a good reminder that breast exams can help to keep us healthy. Here's a quick guide to when and how often breast exams are recommended:
Women Age 40 and Older
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year.
Women In Their 20s and 30s
The ACOG also recommends that women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (an exam by a health professional) as part of a regular health exam preferably every 3 years. Starting at age 40, women should have a clinical breast exam by a health professional every year.
ALL Women Age 20 and Older
The American Cancer Society recommends regular breast self-exam (BSE) as an option for women starting in their 20s. Women should report any breast changes to their health professional right away.
If you are at high risk for breast cancer, speak with a health professional about planning a schedule for regular breast exams and mammograms.
Have questions about breast exams? You can make an appointment online or by calling our office: 301-681-6772.