Midlife brings many important changes to a woman's life, including menopause. This normally occurs on average at age 51 for women in the U.S. Your gynecologist in Upper East Side, NY Dr. Sharon Diamond, will help you manage your menopausal symptoms, which can include hot flashes or night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings and other symptoms, allowing you to feel your best and to embrace this new and exciting transition.
What is Menopause?
This refers to the time of life after a women’s menses have permanently stopped. Typically, when a woman hasn't gotten a period for 12 months in a row, she is in menopause and may need help managing the various symptoms associated with this change.
According to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), due to fluctuating hormone levels, women often experience menopausal symptoms starting in their early 40s. The average age for the last period is around 51 although some women become menopausal years earlier or as late as 58 or 59.
Symptoms of Menopause
At middle age, a woman may expect to have menopausal symptoms such as:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Mood swings
- Spotty or extra-heavy periods
- Urinary urgency and frequency
- Vaginal and urinary tract infections
- Painful intercourse
- Vaginal dryness
- Weight gain
Symptoms vary in intensity and duration. No two women experience menopause in the same way, and that's why Dr. Diamond makes careful menopause management available in her Upper East Side practice.
Your physician will carefully tailor your menopause treatment plan according to your specific preferences and health care needs. Dr. Diamond may recommend simply keeping active with regular exercise and a diet that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, flax seed, iron, and calcium. Women also should limit caffeine and spicy foods if they find that these trigger hot flashes, night sweats or other symptoms.
For vaginal dryness and atrophy, Dr. Diamond may prescribe vaginal hormone cream or an innovative procedure using the Mona Lisa Touch laser. Performed in the office, the Mona Lisa Touch laser treatments stimulate the body's natural collagen, thus improving the thickness, elasticity, and moisture of vaginal tissues. A total of three treatments, six weeks apart, usually achieve the desired effect with minimal discomfort and no downtime.
Feel Your Best!
With expert and compassionate menopausal management with Dr. Sharon Diamond and her caring team, you can tackle menopause with comfort and confidence. Please contact our Upper East Side, NY office for an appointment at (212) 876-2200.
What your doctor in Upper East Side, NY, wants you to know about birth control counseling
Birth control is a vital part of family planning and you should consider carefully which method is best for you. Your doctor can help you make the right choice. Dr. Sharon Diamond in Upper East Side, NY, wants to share some information with you about several of the birth control options available.
Popular birth control choices are hormonal contraceptives including:
- A birth control pill; a small pill taken daily which releases hormones to prevent pregnancy
- A skin patch; a small patch attached to your skin which releases hormones gradually to prevent pregnancy
- A vaginal ring; a flexible plastic ring inserted into your upper vagina which releases hormones to prevent pregnancy
- A birth control shot; an injection of hormones which is administered every 3 months
- An implant; a small rod-like device which releases hormones to prevent pregnancy. The implant is placed into your upper arm and can last up to 3 years.
Another option is an intrauterine device, commonly known as an IUD. An IUD is inserted into your uterus and remains inside for varying periods of time. The insertion is a minor procedure which is done in Dr. Diamond’s office. There are IUDs which contain hormones and can be left in place for 3 to 5 years. The advantages of these are that they commonly reduce the amount and duration of menstrual flow as well as cramping that may accompany the period. There is also a non-hormonal IUD which can be left in place for up to 10 years.
Other birth control options include condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, sponges, and spermicide. In addition to offering protection from pregnancy, condoms also help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases or STDs.
Selecting a method of birth control is an important decision and one you don’t need to make alone. You deserve to know all of your options and your doctor will be happy to discuss them with you. For more information about birth control counseling and other gynecological services, call Dr. Sharon Diamond in Upper East Side, NY. Make an appointment for birth control counseling by calling (212) 876-2200 today!
Every woman will experience menopause. The average age for women in the U.S. 51 years, though it can occur earlier or later and peri-menopause, the time leading up to the complete cessation of menses is extremely variable in duration and can last from months to years. Some women seem to go through this transitional period with only minor and fleeting changes while other women deal with very unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness and other issues. These can be a bit more challenging to tackle. Our Upper East Side, NY, gynecologist Dr. Sharon Diamond has some answers to help manage your menopause and peri-menopausal symptoms.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Once women reach menopause the amount of estrogen and progesterone the body produces is dramatically reduced, and during peri-menopause the production of these hormones can be very erratic – reaching record highs and lows. These changes can lead to a variety of symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches and night sweats. For some women a short course of hormone replacement therapy might be appropriate to combat the symptoms and restore or improve quality of life. For these women our Upper East Side, NY, OBGYN will provide you with the hormone replacement best for you, usually bio-identical treatments (hormones identical to those your own body produced during reproductive years). Treatment can come in the form of oral medication, gels, implants or patches which modestly increase estrogen or progesterone levels to successfully reduce and even eliminate your symptoms.
For some women, for example those with a history of, or at high risk for certain malignancies, hormone therapy would not be appropriate. For those women, or for those who choose not to take hormones, there are also simple measures you can take to reduce symptoms of menopause in your day-to-day life:
Treating Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
If you deal with intense hot flashes it’s a good idea to wear lighter, loose-fitted clothing of natural fibers, and to dress in layers. Turning down the temperature at night before going to bed or placing a fan next to your bed while you sleep can also help. Also, document which foods might also be causing your hot flashes. You may find that caffeine, spicy foods, or alcohol are triggers for you. Avoiding or reducing your intake of these foods and drinks can help reduce the frequency of your hot flashes and night sweats.
Treating Mood Swings
If you suddenly feel like you have a short fuse with those around you or you are finding yourself dealing with depression or anxiety, it is important that you talk to your doctor about these issues. There are certain non-medicinal approaches you can take to reduce stress and anxiety. Finding an outlet for your anxiety such as taking up yoga, meditation or even being referred to a therapist can help with your anxiety and negative feelings and help you find a sense of balance.
Menopausal women are also more likely to report sexual issues including discomfort or pain at this time. This is usually due to the decrease in estrogen that results in vaginal and vulvar dryness, thinning, and loss of elasticity. If you find that you are suffering from these changes, there are many options to help including vaginal products such as hyaluronic acid gels, or prescription local estrogens such as creams, suppositories, or rings. The MonaLisa Touch laser treatment is another option as are the use of special lubricants to help improve these uncomfortable symptoms.
Menopause may be a challenging time in a woman’s life but our expert gynecological team here in Upper East Side, NY, can help. We are happy to sit down with you and figure out a treatment plan that truly works.
Pap smears are an important part of the gynecologic examination and Dr. Sharon Diamond in the Upper East Side of New York, NY, urges her patients and all women to make sure they see their doctors regularly. How frequently to have a Pap test is determined by an individual woman’s history and risk factors and is an important part of the healthcare discussion with her physician. The incidence of advanced cervical cancer in the United States has decreased by about 50 percent in the past 30 years in large part because of widespread screening with the Pap test and so having this important test is an integral part of well women care.
The Pap test involves analyzing the superficial cells of the cervix for abnormalities and should be performed for women starting at the age of twenty-one. The doctor will sweep a plastic spatula across the cervix and use a tiny soft brush called the cytobrush to obtain some cells from the external part of a woman's cervix and from the internal, lower part of the cervix. These will then be examined under the microscope in a laboratory. If no abnormal cells are found, the results will come back as negative. An important additional test is also run on smears from women over the age of thirty or on smears from women of any age if the Pap is abnormal- this is testing for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is a virus that, although often not significant, may have the potential to cause serious abnormalities in the cervix including cervical cancer, especially if present for many years.
Abnormal Pap Smear Classification System
Dr. Diamond uses the standard Pap classification system in her Upper East Side office in New York. This system analyzes patients' results so that they can better understand them:
- Normal/Negative: This means there are no cancer or pre-cancer cells.
- Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significant (ASC-US): this is one of the more common abnormal results and is usually not significant unless also accompanied by the presence of HPV. Depending on whether or not HPV is present, the Pap may just be repeated in 6 months or a year or additional testing may be needed – colposcopy. Colposcopy is an examination performed with the use of a binocular magnifier that enables abnormal areas to be seen and biopsied.
- Squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL): There is a low-grade form (LSIL) which is caused by HPV cells that typically go away on their own, and a high-grade (HSIL) form which means there may be a more serious problem present. Depending on the age of the patient and other risk factors colposcopy may be performed for women with LSIL but is always warranted when HSIL is present.
- Atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude HSIL (ASC-H): Further testing including colposcopy is needed at this stage.
- Atypical glandular cells (AGC): This is indicative of the presence of pre-cancer cells within the cervix or uterus and colposcopy, sonography and biopsies of the lining of the uterus may also need to be performed.
- Cancer: a very rare finding in women who have been having regular Pap smears but which must be addressed immediately.
For more information on Pap smears, just call Dr. Diamond at her Upper East Side, NY, office at 212-876-2200 and arrange for an office consultation and examination.
Dr. Sharon Diamond offers birth control counseling for women at her Upper East Side Manhattan, NY gynecological practice. Young women often have a lot of questions when it comes to their sexual health and preventing pregnancy. Here are a few of the most common FAQs that women have about birth control.
What Are the Benefits of Birth Control and Why Is It Important?
Women often wonder about the benefits of birth control. The obvious benefit is that you get to have control over your reproductive process and you decide if and when you’re ready to have children. There are other benefits as well, including the following:
- Birth control pills can help some women have more manageable, less painful, and more regular periods.
-Certain IUD’s can also reduce the amount and duration of menstrual flow and also decrease cramping
- Condoms, another popular contraceptive, can help you avoid or lower your risk of certain STDs.
- Becoming pregnant when she wants to helps increase the likelihood that when a woman does choose to get pregnant, she has the resources and support she needs for a healthy pregnancy.
- Some contraceptive devices are designed to prevent pregnancy for up to 12 years (however they can be removed whenever requested).
What Birth Control Methods Are Now Available?
Prior to the 20th century, women had very limited options when it came to safe birth control. Today, there are numerous birth control methods to choose from. Here are a few offered at Dr. Diamond’s Upper East Side birth control counseling office:
- Birth control pills and rings and emergency contraception (Plan B, also known as the morning after pill).
- IUDs (intrauterine devices).
- Condoms, diaphragms, and sponges.
- Contraceptive patches.
- Vaginal rings.
- Tubal ligation for patients who have decided to stop having children.
Is Any Birth Control 100 Percent Effective?
While no birth control method is 100 percent effective, many are highly reliable. Birth control pills have a 99 percent rate of success when used exactly as prescribed. The IUD also has a 99% rate of effectiveness. The patch rate is 91 percent and condoms have an 82 percent rate of reliability in preventing pregnancy (estimates by Planned Parenthood). Discuss these rates more with your gynecologist.
Ask More Questions at Your Appointment
Make time for birth control counseling with Dr. Sharon Diamond at her Upper East Side Manhattan, NY office. It’s crucial to your sexual health, overall wellness and family planning goals. Call 212-876-2200today to schedule an appointment.
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