How to Find a Good Doctor

by Mona Saint MD

I am moving out of state and am wondering if you have any recommendations on how to find a doctor?

It can be very difficult to find a good doctor. You might first check with your current physician, as sometimes they have colleagues in the town you’re moving to. Also, asking trusted neighbors, moms, and coworkers can often give you a good starting point if you have just moved to a new city. However, even if you get a recommendation, I would suggest doing a little more research  [click to continue…]

Many women struggle with menopausal symptoms and opt to take hormone replacement during this time. Hormone replacement consists of estrogen and progesterone and it can be taken orally, via patches, and as creams and gels. There are always many questions regarding hormones, given how difficult the perimenopause and menopause can be, and with the various risks and benefits of hormone therapy. The Women’s Health Initiative was a large study that found that women using Premarin 0.625mg and Provera 2.5mg of hormone replacement treatment had higher rates of breast cancer (26% increased risk) than those who did not use any hormones. After this study was released many women stopped hormone therapy [click to continue…]

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who start out their pregnancy obese have a significantly higher risk of having babies with birth defects. Some of these abnormalities include neural tube defects, spina bifida, heart abnormalities, cleft lip and palate, and brain abnormalities. Fortunately, the overall risk of any of these abnormalities even in obese women is pretty low, often about 1/1000.  [click to continue…]

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Too Tired For Intimacy

by Mona Saint MD

I am 36 and my husband wants to have sex a lot more than I do. Sometimes I pretend I’m sleeping because I don’t have the energy anymore after a full day with the kids. Is this awful?

Great question- this is such a common situation, that I get this type of question all the time.

I always start out with this question: when you are on vacation and have a night or two to catch up on sleep – how is your romance and sex life then? (I know many of us never get this opportunity to go on vacation and rest, but try to think back to this time or even imagine). For many, once they are away from all the stress and responsibilities and are no longer sleep deprived, the sex comes back and is nice again.

The good news is there are easy ways to improve it.  [click to continue…]

Two studies just released in the British Medical Journal both found ways to effectively treat and prevent postpartum depression without antidepressant medications. One study found that patients who received counseling from a trained nurse had significantly less postpartum depression at 6 months postpartum than the group that did not receive any special counseling. [click to continue…]

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Researchers in this study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that in overweight and obese women, weight loss of about 17 lbs significantly reduced urinary incontinence symptoms.  This study may help to ease some women’s fears about incontinence during exercise. Weight loss, of course, has many health benefits in those overweight, including reduction of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Subak LL, et al .”Weight loss to treat urinary incontinence in overweight and obese women”. New England Journal of Medicine 2009.

Trying to Conceive

by Mona Saint MD

I am 34 and we’ve been trying to get pregnant for about 6 months and I’m not sure whether to be worried. I had an early miscarriage 3 years ago and have a healthy 2 year old at home. Both times I got pregnant right away. Should I be concerned?

I can imagine your concern over the situation but I am optimistic for you given the information I have. You easily conceived a healthy child, a reassuring sign of your proven fertility. Even for those who have never had a baby, remember that the odds are on often your side. It can often take 6 months or longer to conceive — 85% of couples will conceive in 1 year. After that, 50% of the remaining couples will get pregnant on their own over the next 36 months, and the remaining 7% have a lower chance of conceiving naturally. Infertility is defined as 12 months of frequent intercourse without conception.  Everyone has friends who tell you that they got pregnant each time on their first try. These may be the same people who eat whatever they want and never gain weight. Don’t worry about their stories. People exaggerate, and comparing notes can add to your stress. Find a few supportive people whom you trust and confide in them.  [click to continue…]

Easy Ways to Get in Shape

by Mona Saint MD

Finding time to exercise and establishing a regular exercise routine is a challenge for many of us. Even though we can lose weight on a diet without exercise, for optimal health, regular exercise, even walking, at least 5 days a week should be the goal. I have found that for my patients and myself, the key to a consistent exercise routine is finding something that you love and is easy to do. Some may love the social aspect of group activities and classes while others may prefer individual activities as a time to recharge. For many busy moms, attending classes is not always practical, [click to continue…]

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A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that elective repeat cesarean delivery before 39 weeks increases the risks to the newborn. Risks can include respiratory problems, infection, low blood sugar, and prolonged hospitalizations. The good news is that the current standard of care is not to schedule elective cesarean deliveries before 39 weeks so this should not be an issue at many major medical centers.

Tita ATN, et al “Timing of elective repeat Cesarean delivery at term and neonatal outcomes”.   New England Journal of Medicine 2009.

Researchers found an association with sleeping less than 7 hours a night and an almost 3 times risk of catching the common cold virus than those who slept 8 hours or more. Those who slept less and had poorer sleep quality had the highest risk. Sleep may play a role in the body’s response to fighting infections among numerous other benefits.

Cohen S, et al “Sleep habits and susceptibility to the common cold“.  Archives of Internal Medicine 2009.