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May 18, 2016

By James Haley, MD, FACOG, FPMRS

Vaginal rejuvenation can help improve a woman's pelvic health.It’s never too late for vaginal rejuvenation. Women should not have to feel insecure about the appearance and feel of their vagina. Yet, many women suffer in silence with embarrassing symptoms such as vaginal looseness because they accept it as part of the natural aging process. In addition to vaginal laxity, decreased sexual sensation with sexual intercourse can put undue strain on a woman’s self-confidence with intimacy. The causes of these uncomfortable symptoms result from damage sustained during childbirth, alongside the effects of aging. Through vaginal rejuvenation surgery, women can regain a positive self-image and a better sense of intimacy.

What is Vaginal Rejuvenation?
Cherokee Women’s Health serves the Atlanta Metro and offers two types of Vaginal Rejuvenation surgeries. Vaginoplasty and labiaplasty are two genital rejuvenation procedures that can improve vulvar tone, vaginal laxity, and vaginal looseness. Both Vaginoplasty and Labiaplasty can be performed in an hour and have full recovery times between 6-8 weeks. Women may choose to have both procedures performed together, or choose the surgery that will offer them the benefits they are seeking.

Vaginoplasty – This procedure is a tightening and rejuvenation of the vagina. The purpose is to reduce the opening of the vagina and tighten the vaginal canal that may have widened after childbirth. Benefits of the procedure can lead to a more satisying sex life. A 60 minute surgery, vaginoplasty can be performed with general or local anesthetic in a hospital setting, or in the office.

Labiaplasty – This genital rejuvenation procedure reduces the size of, or reshapes the labia minora, or labia majora. This process can help decrease the pain and discomfort of enlarged labia, or correct an irregularity of the labia. It improves the aesthetics and appearance of the external tissues and produces optimal vulvar tone. Labiaplasty also takes approximately 60 minutes to perform. Sedative options include general or local anesthesia.

Dr. Haley photo

Vaginal Rejuvenation Surgeons in Atlanta
Because vaginoplasty and labiaplasty require precise skill in the highly specialized field of vaginal surgery, it is important to seek out a surgeon with experience in this area. At Cherokee Women’s Health, board certified doctors who specialize in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery understand a woman’s needs when it comes to entrusting a doctor with her vaginal health and appearance. They offer expertise in the field of pelvic medicine because they have years of practice in the understanding vaginal anatomy and routinely perform these surgeries. More than a cosmetic procedure, our doctors consider all facets of pelvic medicine when performing surgery, leading to optimal results and satisfied patients.

With offices located in Canton and Woodstock, Cherokee Women’s Health is ready to answer all your questions about vaginal rejuvenation. Take the next step and call to make an appointment to discuss surgical options. Restore feeling, function, appearance, and find yourself more confident about your body with vaginal rejuvenation.

May 17, 2016

woman with incontinence photoOne in five women endures the symptoms of Urinary Incontinence. Yet often, a suffering woman does not acknowledge it as an issue. She may be self-conscious about mentioning the condition to her doctor, or she may assume it’s a normal part of being a woman. Two of the most commonly accepted situations are incontinence after pregnancy and incontinence during exercise.

The truth is, although urinary incontinence is common, it is not considered normal. Needing to urinate frequently, as well as urinary urgency, are signs that one may be dealing with Urinary Incontinence. Fortunately, for a woman experiencing these symptoms, she can find both surgical and non-surgical options in treatment to minimize or even eliminate these symptoms permanently.

What is Urinary Incontinence?
Weakening of the pelvic floor can affect bladder control and urethra function, causing issues with urination. Women suffering from Urinary Incontinence find themselves running to the bathroom frequently. Strong urges to use the restroom, even after urinating, is another sign that a woman may be dealing with Urinary Incontinence. It is important to not brush off the occasional leak experienced while exercising or shifting position, because there are treatments available for women dealing with Urinary Incontinence.

One important step in the diagnosis process is identifying the type of Urinary Incontinence, in order to find the best treatment option.

  • Stress Incontinence
    This type of incontinence occurs when urine leaks out of the bladder during certain strenuous activities. Jogging or other exercising can cause urine leakage. Coughing and laughing can also bring on an unexpected leak. More severe symptoms of Stress Incontinence may include urine leakage during low stress activities such as changing position or walking. Many pregnant women can experience Stress Incontinence as the growing uterus puts pressure on their relaxed pelvic floor and the organs shift to make room for baby. Sometimes the symptoms are dismissed as an annoying pregnancy symptom, but if they do not subside after delivery, they may need medical assistance to prevent symptoms from worsening.
  • Urge Incontinence
    Commonly referred to as Overactive Bladder, or OAB, Urge Incontinence is a continued sensation of needing to urinate. This sensation is often an overwhelming, powerful urge which sends women dodging for the nearest restroom. Urge Incontinence is different from Stress Incontinence in that it occurs suddenly, without pressure on the bladder from strenuous activity. In addition to strong urges to urinate, women with Urge Incontinence may find themselves waking up at night to use the restroom, interfering with a full night’s rest. Sometimes, there may be an underlying condition that is causing the undeniable urges to urinate. An honest discussion about symptoms with a doctor can help them determine any underlying conditions so they can better treat you.

Preventing Urinary Incontinence:
Many situations can result in Urinary Incontinence. There are some factors that do make a woman more prone to the condition, including pregnancy and childbirth. Women who want to lessen the chance of experiencing Urinary Incontinence can follow the advice below:

  • Quit smoking- those who smoke are at a greater risk of developing Urinary Incontinence.
  • Maintain a normal weight-carrying excess weight can cause more problematic symptoms because of the pressure on the pelvic floor.
  • Exercise- regular exercise improves body function. Exercising the pelvic floor as well can keep symptoms at bay.
  • Regular Bowel Movements- pressure from waste can put unnecessary pressure on the organs of the pelvic floor. Women can lessen symptoms by maintaining regular bowel movements.

Leaky Bladder Remedies:
Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to mention your symptoms to your doctor. Treatment options will be chosen based on the severity of the symptoms but can include:

  • Changes to diet and fitness lifestyle
  • Physical Therapy
  • Medications
  • Minimally-invasive surgical procedures

Don’t accept the meddlesome symptoms of Urinary Incontinence as part of your life. Seek out the advice of one of our specialists in Urogynecology, and discuss treatments options today.

The birth of a child is a time of joy and excitement, but for many new moms, it can also be a time of anxiety, stress, and inexplicable sadness. Postpartum mood disorders affect 10-15% of all new mothers. Postpartum depression can develop in the weeks after birth, and some begin women showing signs as late as 6 months post-labor. If you’re experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression, it’s important to realize that your feelings are valid. Reach out to get the help you need for the sake of you and your baby.

depressed woman pic

Signs You May Be Suffering Postpartum Depression

The postpartum blues, or “baby blues,” are feelings of stress, depression, anxiety, and frustration that many mothers experience in the days after childbirth. The baby blues rarely last longer than 1-2 weeks, and don’t require medical treatment. Postpartum depression, however, is a more serious condition that usually requires medical care. Signs of postpartum depression include:

  • Difficulty bonding with your newborn
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of motherhood
  • Withdrawing from your spouse, family members, and friends
  • Guilt about your shortcomings as a mother or feelings of shame and worthlessness
  • Loss of appetite or increased eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Feeling numb or disconnected from the world around you
  • Inability to enjoy activities you used to love
  • Cloudy thoughts and an inability to concentrate
  • Anxiety and/or panic attacks
  • Mood swings
  • Feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Fear that if you reach out, your baby will be taken away

Every mother experiences postnatal depression differently. Some women may have each of these symptoms at one point or another, while other mothers may experience only a few. If your symptoms last longer than two weeks or become a barrier to living life normally, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. If you have thoughts of suicide or of harming yourself or your baby, seek immediate assistance.

If you think you may be experiencing postpartum depression, there is hope. Postnatal depression and anxiety are both temporary and treatable. Call Cherokee Women’s Health to schedule an appointment today.

Postpartum Depression

May 10, 2016
Zika Virus pregnant woman photo

The recent Zika virus outbreak is frightening, especially for expectant mothers. Though the virus itself has mild symptoms, the transmission of the virus from mother to fetus is linked to birth defects in infants. Carried by Aedes mosquitoes, it can also be transmitted by sexual contact.

Protect Yourself from Zika
No vaccine exists for Zika, but by taking precautions, you can minimize your risk of contracting the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging pregnant women and their partners to take strong precautions against mosquito bites.

What Bug Repellent Is Safe to Use When You’re Pregnant?
No repellent is right every time, and no repellent is 100% effective. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), which specializes in research on toxic chemicals, has published a complete guide to Bug Repellents in the Age of Zika.

Check out EWG’s Guide to the safest BUG Repellents

Avoid Travel to Certain Areas
The Zika virus has not spread to most of the US; however, all known cases of Zika in the United States are due to travel. The CDC recommends that pregnant women avoid travel, especially to areas with known outbreaks of the Zika virus. If you’re trying to get pregnant, both you and your partner should avoid travel.

If you have recently traveled, schedule a visit with your OB-GYN. Your healthcare provider can test for the virus, even if you’re not symptomatic. The Zika virus stays in the blood for about a week, and in semen for slightly longer.  Based on current information, Zika causes no risk to future pregnancies once it has run its course.

Zika Safety
The CDC recommends special precautions for the following groups:

  • Women who are pregnant: Check the CDC recommendations for travel to specific areas such as: Cape Verde, Mexico, The Caribbean, Central America, The Pacific Islands and South America.
  • Women who are trying to become pregnant: Before you or your male partner travel, talk to your doctor about your plans to become pregnant and the risk of Zika virus infection.
  • You and your male partner should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during your trip.
  • If you have a male partner who lives in or has traveled to certain areas, either use condoms or do not have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) during your pregnancy.
  • See CDC guidance for how long you should wait to get pregnant after traveling to specific areas.
  • Men who have traveled to an area with Zika and have a pregnant partner should use condoms or not have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) during the pregnancy.

Symptoms of Zika Virus
The symptoms of the virus are fairly mild in adults, typically only lasting a few days, but can cause developmental defects in infants. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint Pain
  • Red eyes
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache

Contact your doctor immediately if you may have come in contact with the Zika virus.

At Cherokee Women’s Health, we’re dedicated to keeping you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy. Please contact our offices if you think you may have been exposed to the Zika virus.

May 5, 2016

Because preeclampsia only affects women during pregnancy and the postpartum period, many first time mothers are unaware of the effects and symptoms of preeclampsia. Proper prenatal care with a certified obstetrician or CNM is typically enough to catch the early signs of preeclampsia; however, new mothers should be aware of the symptoms and notify their doctor about any changes in their health. 

What Is Preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is pregnancy induced hypertension that affects mothers and infants during late pregnancy. Symptoms typically develop after week 20, and can show up as late as 6 weeks postpartum. Researchers have yet to isolate the cause of preeclampsia, but the disorder affects 5-8% of all pregnancies. Preeclampsia is most common in first time mothers. It is one of the leading causes of illness and death in mothers and infants, but identifying the problem in its early stages allows for the best possible outcome.

Recognizing the Problemfotolia_104899014

Although some women show few symptoms of pregnancy induced hypertension, preeclampsia is typically characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Your obstetrician will monitor your pregnancy for signs of preeclampsia, but it’s important to tell your physician if you’re experiencing any symptoms.

Symptoms of preeclampsia may include:

  • Swelling
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Stomach or shoulder pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Headaches
  • Changes in vision
  • Anxiety
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or Vomiting

Preeclampsia develops rapidly, so it’s important to notify your doctor as soon as you experience symptoms. But with early detection and proper care, your physician can provide the best possible outcome for you and your baby.

To learn more about preeclampsia or to schedule a prenatal appointment with a certified OB or CNM, contact Cherokee Women’s Health in Canton.

Blood Pressure Test

labiaplasty-womanLabiaplasty is not a plastic surgery fad; it can be a medically necessary procedure with functional benefits. Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that can correct enlarged or asymmetrical labia. By changing the shape or size of the labia, a woman can eliminate the aggravating symptoms she experiences due to her large labia and restore her confidence in her body. Many women dealing with large labia have difficulty with comfortable or satisfying sexual intercourse because of an increase in friction. In addition, exercising can induce painful chafing because of increased labia size. Even wearing certain clothing such as a swimsuit, or other skin-hugging apparel can be an embarrassing or painful experience for women with sagging labia. Whether the need is reconstructive or cosmetic, Labiaplasty can help women decrease these unpleasant symptoms and restore comfortable function.

Understanding Labiaplasty
Labiaplasty has two reasons for being performed. Each outpatient procedure takes about 60-90 minutes and can be performed under general or local anesthesia. Whether you are considering reconstructive or cosmetic Labiaplasty, it is important to choose a vaginal surgeon who specializes in Gynecology. Though a plastic surgeon may offer labiaplasty as part of the scope of their services, they may be unfamiliar with the entirety of the vagina and its structures. It is important to find a vaginal surgeon who is highly skilled and certified to perform labiaplasty or any other reconstructive surgery.

Reconstructive Labiaplasty – This type of Labiaplasty improves the functionality of labia. By resizing or reshaping the labia, patients will experience an ease in painful friction caused by large labia.
Cosmetic Labiaplasty – This procedure changes the aesthetics by correcting an irregularity of the labia and improving appearance.

Labiaplasty Surgeons
Cherokee Women’s Health specializes in labiaplasty. Our doctors are board certified, highly skilled surgeons who understand the intricacies of vaginal anatomy. Because they specialize in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, they have the highest credentials to perform the delicate procedure. Serving the Atlanta Metro area, Cherokee Women’s Health can help you determine if labiaplasty is the right procedure for you.

Labiaplasty can help you restore comfortable function and gain confidence in your appearance. Call our offices to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons and discover how labiaplasty can transform your life.

May 3, 2016

thermiva-woman

By Britton Crigler, MD, FACOG

ThermiVa is a ground-breaking office treatment that helps women address common problems with their sexual health. As an OB-GYN, I’ve seen symptoms such as incontinence, difficulty or pain with sex, and vaginal dryness interfere with my patients’ lives.  The natural aging process, childbirth, and menopause affect vaginal function. ThermiVa is a new technology that has become the standard for in-office, non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation – with no downtime.

Harnessing the power of thermal energy, ThermiVa helps to reduce or eliminate a wide range of the unpleasant symptoms of aging. I’ve witnessed my post-menopausal patients, as well as those who miss their pre-baby body, regain confidence when treated with this innovative system.

I’ll say this directly: ThermiVa means you do not have to accept the effects of aging. It helps you reclaim a more youthful vulvovaginal structure – while lessening any unpleasant symptoms you may be experiencing.

WHAT IS THERMIVA?

ThermiVa is a temperature-controlled radio frequency system, designed to tighten the internal and external tissues of the vagina. The procedure, which is non-invasive and non-surgical, uses a slim “S” shaped wand to deliver gentle heat to areas of the vagina. This heat restores and tightens vaginal tissue both internally and externally.

A unique feature of the treatment is that you control the level of heat for a comfortable and virtually painless experience. ThermiVa treatments stimulate your own body’s production of collagen, even helping to heal tissue or nerve damage sustained during childbirth.

A typical treatment takes place in the office. It requires no anesthesia, so you can go about your day afterward. There is no stinging or burning: the effects of the procedure are mostly painless.  A bonus feature is its affordability; it’s suited for many lifestyles.

BENEFITS

ThermiVa treats the external and internal tissues of the vagina. The result is tighter, smoother skin and a restoration of the vagina’s functionality. ThermiVa is not just an aesthetic procedure: it combats losses and damage from aging or childbirth. I’ve seen symptoms ranging from vaginal laxity to stress incontinence to vaginal dryness, be reduced or eliminated with ThermiVa treatments.

These benefits greatly enhance your basic quality of life – no longer do you have to deal with the negative effects of menopause. Some of the powerful benefits of ThermiVa include:

Vaginal Tightening: Patients suffering from vaginal looseness find that ThermiVa improves vaginal tightness as it shrinks the tissues of the vagina, lending itself to a better sex life.

Vaginal Lubrication: Women who have lost interest in sex due to pain and dryness will find that ThermiVa increases their natural lubrication – making daily life and intercourse more comfortable without any added hormone treatments.

Urinary Leakage: ThermiVa treatments, coupled with Kegel exercises, can help strengthen the vaginal walls. Tighter vaginal walls can help to stop inconvenient or embarrassing urinary incontinence, along with a reduction in urgency and frequency.Dr. Crigler photo

Labia Majora Rejuvenation: ThermiVa treatments result in smaller, smoother, less “saggy” skin. Patients often experience more comfort with sex and less embarrassment with their appearance.

With ThermiVa, you can reclaim your body and enjoy your life to the fullest. At Cherokee Women’s Health, my colleagues and I specialize in delivering ThermiVa to obtain the most benefits from the procedure for our patients. Call or make an appointment to discuss questions and concerns about thermal energy treatments.

You can restore your confidence and youth with ThermiVa!

April 27, 2016

Dr. Haley pic

What Sets FPMRS Apart and What is ALCAT Testing?
– An Interview with Dr. Haley

How has being a FPMRS (Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery) specialist changed how you practice medicine?
In order to become board certified, and have that distinction, you have to do a tremendous amount of studying. In a sense, the certification forces you to become an expert. Generally speaking, OB-GYNs are trained in pelvic floor complications, but not nearly to the extent that’s required for FPMRS certification. Going through the sub-specialty training makes you realize what you didn’t know. It really advances not just your knowledge, but also makes you a much better surgeon in regards to your approach and your ability to take care of even the most difficult situations.

Having three of us as FPMRS specialists distinguishes us as the go-to for women who need pelvic surgery.

When you offer patients pelvic repair procedures such as Vaginal Rejuvenation, how does that compare to ThermiVa, which is a less invasive?
ThermiVa is a non-surgical procedure for vaginal tightening, performed in the office. I think of ThermiVa as an option for women that may have issues with vaginal dryness or sexual dysfunction, some leakage, or some loss of support. However, when comparing the ThermiVa procedure to some aspects of vaginal reconstruction, they are not the same. If a patient’s issues aren’t too bad, ThermiVa can be a good option. The worse the problem, however, the more extensive surgical reconstruction the patient may require.

Is there a trend in GYN Surgery?
Over the next few years, it looks like reconstructive pelvic surgeries will no longer be performed by general OB-GYNs, either because they don’t want to or because they won’t be qualified. Instead, they’ll refer their patients to a specialist who has earned this board distinction. This trend has already happened in a number of fields, with the sub-specialty of FPMRS being one of the most recent ones.

Additionally, as the population ages, we’re seeing pelvic floor problems more and more. The number one reason for issues with prolapse is delivering babies vaginally and having them come out through the birth canal. These aren’t necessarily births that have complications, but it’s just fallout from regular deliveries where babies come through and stretch–and often damage–the muscles and tissue.

In addition to childbirth, there are other things that contribute to loss of pelvic floor support, including jobs that involve lots of lifting and/or heavy straining. Other people who have experienced the loss of pelvic floor support include long-term smokers, people who are overweight and even athletes who compete extensively in high-performance activities.

Recently, you have gotten interested in ALCAT [food sensitivity] testing. What is it, and what drew you to learning more about ALCAT?
The ALCAT test (antigen leukocyte antibody test) measures negative reactions to the food we put in our bodies. I got interested because I was seeing patients having health issues, and no amount of regular testing was showing any kind of helpful results. Becoming a subspecialist in Female Pelvic Medicine has factually pushed me to a new level of knowledge for my patients –surgically, and in other areas as well.

Is there a correlation between food sensitivity picked up from an ALCAT test and gynecological issues?
A lot of “hormonal” issues can actually be related to food sensitivities.

I hear patients discuss things like hormone imbalances, weight gain and depression all the time. Sometimes there’s a gynecological cause. But sometimes, there’s an interplay of other things. And what I’ve come to realize is it’s often the combination of underlying issues that’s the source of the problem.

Dr. Haley with patient picAs an OB-GYN, I see women every day who tell me the problems they’re experiencing, and yet sometimes there hasn’t been this simple, easy resolution. This is especially the case with patients who use their OB-GYN as their primary care provider and don’t see an additional doctor. A woman will come in for her yearly exam and mention she’s just not able to lose weight, or that nothing she’s tried is working. If we check standard things and find nothing is working, what’s missing? Then I know it’s time to move onto something else.

An ALCAT test is the only reliable test that can discover these types of things in the blood. They are used worldwide, and a lot of athletes use ALCAT tests to try to give themselves an edge in performance.

What exactly is a food sensitivity?
Here’s a little backstory:
Our bodies react when they come in contact with toxins in our food, such as chemicals, dyes, or pesticides. When you talk about our immune system, there are two parts: one is when our bodies come into contact with a particular food; there can be an immediate allergic reaction that many people are familiar with. (For example, peanuts, shellfish, etc.) But the second part, called the Innate Immune System, is when we come into contact with foods that create a delayed response. This response can occur within a day, several days, or even a week. We don’t realize the connection, and sometimes we don’t even notice.

So, if we’re putting things into our body, and the body recognizes it as an “intruder,” our bodies send out an “attack” response to this particular type of food or substance. Food responses are responsible for numerous related health issues.

Some of the biggest health issues have been linked to these types of responses, including heart disease, diabetes, complications with weight and obesity, chronic fatigue, bowel issues, depression, ADHD, and it just goes on and on. The commonality behind a lot of those diseases is inflammation. The body mounts an inflammatory response when it comes into contact with something it doesn’t recognize, and over time, that causes issues in the body.

Years ago, we thought our bowel was responsible for only 20 percent of the immune function. Now they realize 80 percent of our immune system is related to the bowel. So now, the bowel is the primary immune function. Given that change in percentage, a lot of problems can be connected to that.

How does the ALCAT test work?
A patient can choose by picking up a number of panels what they want to be tested for. The panel gets sent off and they get a very detailed result indicating what foods are okay to eat, what foods are triggering a mild reaction, and what foods are triggering a severe response and should be avoided. The company that administers the ALCAT test will also help the patient with a rotation diet to help their body recover from the inflammatory-triggering foods.

Are there any references you recommend to patients if they’re interested in learning more about it?
Patients can visit the ALCAT website. It’s pretty helpful. I actually created my own brochure about ALCAT testing so that when patients ask about it, they can read the information and get a much better understanding of what the test involves and what might be a result of what they’re experiencing. If a patient shows interest in the test, I’m happy to sit down with them and send them home with additional information.

“Down Time”
You’re a big participant in marathons, and even a few triathlons. What else do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like traveling and spending time with my family. I also enjoy golfing and hiking.

 

 

April 12, 2016

Stay fit during pregnancy.

Regular fitness is one of the best ways for women to stay healthy during pregnancy. Staying active during pregnancy can improve mood, reduce pregnancy pains, and boost overall health. If you’re training for a marathon, you’d better leave it for your baby’s first birthday. Otherwise, it’s time to get active!

Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy:

  • Staying active keeps both mom and baby healthy and strong.

Regular fitness during pregnancy:

  • Decreases the risk of gestational diabetes and long-term obesity
  • Reduces backaches, bloating, and swelling
  • Contributes to faster postpartum recovery
  • Improves energy levels
  • Increases endurance, strength, and muscle tone
  • Improves posture

How to Stay Active While Pregnant
Whether you’re a CrossFit champion or a full-on couch potato, it’s important to find the right level of fitness for your pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends moms-to-be exercise for at least 30 minutes most days. For fitness newbies, this can work just as well broken into three 10-minute sessions throughout the day. Try a brisk walk after each meal (don’t forget to give yourself time to digest). Other safe pregnancy workouts include:

Swimming
Dr. Crigler tries to keep fit no matter what!
Water makes your body feel lighter, so it’s easier for pregnant moms to get moving. Bonus: swimming can help reduce nausea, swollen joints, and sciatic pain.

Running
Hardcore runners don’t have to go from 60 to 0 when they get pregnant. Speak to your obstetrician about adjusting your training during pregnancy. But pay close attention to what your body tells you; pregnancy loosens joints, increasing risk of injury.

Low impact aerobics
Don’t be afraid to sign up for that dance fitness class. Just don’t ignore your body when it says, “Ok, enough is enough!”

Indoor cycling
A good workout that’s easy on the joints, indoor cycling adds stability during a time when a growing stomach makes balance a daily struggle.

Weight training
Choose lighter weights and increase your reps to weight lift safely with a baby on board. To protect yourself from injury, consider using a weight machine, which limits your range of motion.

Pilates and prenatal yoga
Both exercises improve flexibility and strength while promoting relaxation. They also improve posture, which relieves back tension from a burgeoning belly. As you grow, ask the instructor to modify moves and make certain poses safe for you. And whatever you do, avoid Bikram yoga (commonly known as hot yoga).

It’s important that pregnant women listen to their bodies when finding the right pregnancy fitness routine. Use common sense – if the exercise makes you feel energized, it’s likely healthy. If the activity results in discomfort, it’s more likely unhealthy!

If you have further questions about the right kind of exercise during your pregnancy, call Cherokee Women’s Health and schedule your appointment to discuss with one of our board-certified OB-GYN’s.

March 31, 2016

Cherokee Women's Health works to achieve and maintain national ultrasound accrediation.The Ultrasound Practice Accreditation Council of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine is pleased to announce that Cherokee Women’s Health Services has been awarded ultrasound practice accreditation.

Cherokee Women’s achieved this recognition by meeting rigorous voluntary guidelines set by the diagnostic ultrasound profession. All facets of the practice were assessed, including the training and qualifications of physicians and sonographers; ultrasound equipment maintenance; documentation; storage, and record-keeping practices; policies and procedures to protect patients and staff; quality assurance methods; and the thoroughness, technical quality and interpretation of the sonograms the practice performs.

Dr. Michael Litrel FACOG, FPMRS of Cherokee Women’s Health said “our guiding mission is to maintain the best standards in health care to help our patients achieve the best possible outcomes. Meeting AIUM standards may seem like a ‘nice-to-have’ feature, but for our practice, it is a must have. Our patients deserve the very best from us whenever they step through our doors.”

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“Dr. Litrel was a fantastic doctor. I had my first exam with him, although at first I was skeptical about a male doctor for my GYN. But after I met him I’m glad I kept an open mind, and I couldn’t have dreamed up a better doctor. He cares about you as a person and not just a patient. The front desk ladies and nurses were very friendly and it’s a great office, very clean and not intimidating. I highly recommend Cherokee Women’s Health.”
– Vicki