Voted "Best OB-GYN" in Towne Lake, Woodstock and Canton Voted "Mom-Approved OBs" by Atlanta Parent magazine readers


February 16, 2016


pregnant-woman-with-pain picPain, pressure, and fullness are very common complaints during pregnancy. But when those pesky symptoms don’t subside after birth, you may be dealing with Pelvic Organ Prolapse.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse, or POP, occurs when your pelvic floor suffers damage from pregnancy and childbirth. The weight of carrying your baby for nine months, as well as a difficult or traumatic birth, can tear the ligaments and connective tissue of your pelvic floor. As a result, your injured pelvic floor may have difficulty holding your organs – such as your uterus, intestines, rectum, urethra, and bladder – in place, and they fall downward. If you have POP, you may experience: urinary issues such as incontinence or difficulty urinating, bowel movement issues such as constipation or straining to use the bathroom, painful sex or intercourse, and lower back pain.

POP is usually diagnosed after birth when the symptoms persist; the complications can range from mild to severe. Every prolapse is different and will require a specialist’s approach in both diagnosing and treating your prolapse. Though childbirth is the most common reason women develop POP, there are other risks that make a woman prone to the condition.

Listed below are some common causes of POP. Are you at risk for developing a prolapse?

  • Childbirth
  • Genetics
  • Smoking
  • Chronic coughing
  • Straining
  • Heavy lifting
  • Menopause
  • Obesity
  • Nerve or muscular damage

If you experience any symptoms related to Pelvic Organ Prolapse, or want to discuss risk factors, schedule an appointment with your doctor. If you do have POP, there are options available to you so that you don’t have to endure the effects of your prolapse long-term.

A Urogynecologist specializing in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery can assist you in choosing the right treatment plan for you. POP doesn’t have to rule your life. Take control and start the conversation with your doctor, today!

woman-with-stomach-pains pic…and other things you might say if you have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction:

  • My cervix hurts during sex.
  • Sex is painful.
  • It feels like something is stuck in my vagina.
  • I pee when I stand/sit/lean forward/exercise.
  • There is a bulge in my vagina.
  • I have to stick my finger in my vagina to have a bowel movement.
  • I always have the urge to pee.
  • I can’t empty my bladder completely.
  • I am always constipated.
  • There is intense pressure/pain in my pelvic area/lower back.

A strange, new sensation has taken over your body. Simply put into words: it feels like your bottom is falling out. You may be hesitant to share this information with just anyone, but you can’t help but wonder what could be causing this unsettling symptom. Women who suffer from Pelvic Floor Dysfunction have used this description and the others above to explain exactly what is happening down there.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, or PFD, is a set of conditions that cause women to experience unpleasant urinary and bowel disorders or Pelvic Organ Prolapse, also known as POP. Symptoms of these disorders include urinary or fecal incontinence, pain, pressure, or constipation.

So, how exactly did your bottom end up this way? Over time, your pelvic floor muscles have endured some damage or weakness that has caused your organs to sag into your vagina, or rectum, hence the feeling that something is “falling out”. Childbirth is a very big factor that plays into PFDs, but there are other causes as well including genetics, heavy exercise, straining, and other health impairments.

Every woman has a different experience with PFD and you should always keep this in mind when discussing treatment plans with your doctor. The effects of PFD can range from mild to severe, but there are treatment options that may work for you. Sometimes treatment includes simple lifestyle changes, physical therapy, an intravaginal device called a pessary, or surgery, including the placement of transvaginal mesh.

Take back your body! Make an appointment with one of our board certified Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery specialists to start the conversation about PFD.

woman-doing-yoga picSometimes suffering with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, or PFD, can make you feel like you are limited in what you can do. If you’ve been diagnosed with Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Urinary Incontinence, or Bowel Control Issues, it can be confusing or frustrating for you as you try resuming your normal daily routine without irritating your symptoms. Being able to lead a full, satisfying life with PFD is important, but engaging in activities which aggravate your disorder can cause your symptoms to worsen. Here are some things to keep in mind about PFD as you go about your daily life.

1. DO Exercise.
DON’T choose a workout that includes heavy-lifting such as crossfit, or will put intense pressure on your pelvic floor such as running, or plyometrics. The straining in those types of activities can cause your PFD to get worse over time. Choose exercises such as Restorative Yoga, walking, and other low impact exercise that will not put pressure on your pelvic floor. Looking for something specific? Check out Hab-It, or Pfilates™

2. DO Pelvic Brace
DON’T Sneeze Pee. Forgetting to engage your transverse abdominus (your lower abdomen) and your Kegel muscles when you sneeze, cough, or laugh can cause urine leakage to occur. Brace yourself and save a trip to the bathroom and a change of underwear. When you engage these muscles, your pelvic floor will not feel the downward pressure that results from these everyday movements.

3. DO Retrain your Bladder
DON’T head to the bathroom every time you feel the slightest urge to pee. Your bladder needs retraining to stop triggering frequent restroom breaks out of habit. To start retraining, avoid taking bathroom trips less than two hours apart. Over time, you will you find that you have the urge to urinate less frequently and you will be urinating larger amounts. Not sure if you’re releasing a full bladder? Count how long you urinate for. A full bladder should be a stream of at least ten seconds long. Don’t forget to count with a “Mississippi” in between each number! Tell your bladder who’s in control and retrain yours!

4. DO Seek Treatment
DON’T suffer from the interfering symptoms of PFD. There are treatment options available that will fit your lifestyle and diagnosis. The first step is finding a Urogynecologist who can assess your needs and suggest a treatment that will work for you. Some of those choices may include: Physical Therapy, Pessaries, Medicines, or Surgery.

5. DO Live your Life
DON’T let your PFD slow you down or dampen your spirits. Modify your activities, but not your life to adjust to your diagnosis. Consider joining an online support group to help you cope with the struggles of PFD. Visit Voicesforpfd.org for more information about how you can reach out to others who are suffering from PFD, as well.

pregnant woman with heart

This February, Cherokee Women’s Health celebrates American Heart Health Month. After all, moms-to-be aren’t just keeping one heart healthy. From the first time you hear your baby’s heartbeat, your own is racing with anticipation, joy, and more than a few nerves. Keep your heart strong during pregnancy by taking care of your body and your health.

Nutrition During Pregnancy
Every pregnancy is different, and as a mom-to-be, you need your own, doctor-recommended diet to ensure you and your baby get all the nutrients you need. But refocusing on diet and exercise helps you maintain your weight, limit the effects of post-partum, and keep your baby growing strong.

Eat high fiber grains and nuts
Get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids from olive oil and pregnancy-safe fish like salmon
Avoid salt, which can increase blood pressure
Do several low-to-moderate intensity workouts each week, unless your doctor recommends rest
Avoid eating or drinking caffeine, which can cause irregular heartbeats

Avoid Consuming Caffeine
Caffeine increases your blood pressure and heart rate — bad news for both your pregnancy and your heart health. Not only can it lead to dehydration, caffeine crosses the placenta to your baby, who can’t yet metabolize it . Most women know to avoid major sources of caffeine like coffee during pregnancy, but you may not realize how many of your favorite craving snacks sneak caffeine into the mix.

Caffeine is found in:

  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Coffee (even decaf!)
  • Chocolate
  • Energy-enhancing foods and drinks (such as energy water or fortified foods)
  • Coffee or chocolate flavored ice cream
  • Some over-the-counter pain relievers like Excedrin

While it’s considered safe to consume small amounts of caffeine during pregnancy, it’s easy to lose track. Talk to your doctor about how much caffeine is safe for you and your baby during your pregnancy.

Heart Disease and Pregnancy
If you’ve ever been diagnosed with heart disease, high blood pressure, or have had cardiac symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or palpitations, alert both your cardiologist and your OB-GYN. List all medications you’re taking, and make sure none of them will have adverse side effects on your baby’s development.

For more information on health during pregnancy, contact Cherokee Women’s Health.

Pregnancy Image

February 4, 2016

RED-HEARTDid you know heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year? That’s approximately one woman every minute so it’s important to know the symptoms and how you can take control of your risk factors.

Following are the most common heart attack symptoms in women:
Shortness of breath
Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest.
Nausea, vomiting, cold sweat or lightheadedness
Pain or discomfort in any of the following: jaw, neck, stomach, arms (one or both).

How can you help prevent it?
There are many things you can do to control heart disease and with the right information and care, heart disease in women can be treated, prevented and even ended. Studies show that healthy choices have resulted in 330 fewer women dying from heart disease per day.

Here are a few lifestyle changes you should make:
Don’t smoke
Manage your blood sugar
Get your blood pressure under control
Lower your cholesterol
Know your family history
Stay active
Lose weight
Eat healthy

Trust your gut
Women are less likely to call 9-1-1 when experiencing symptoms of a heart attack themselves so trust your gut. If you aren’t feeling normal or are experiencing any of the symptoms above, call 911 or head to your local emergency room.

Northside Hospital-CherokeeSince 1993, Cherokee Women’s Health has delivered more babies at Northside Hospital-Cherokee than all other OB practices combined. Readers of AroundAbout magazines and Family Life Publications have voted Cherokee Women’s Health “Best OB-GYN” in both Canton and Woodstock.

Most recently in 2017, the practice was voted #1 “Reader’s Choice” in all three locations of Towne Lake, Woodstock, and Canton.


A Powerhouse OB Team: High-risk Pregnancy Management, Holistic Nutrition and Midwives

Pregnant women who come to Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists find a truly holistic practice, combining a significant depth of knowledge with technological advances. All the physicians have the expertise to manage high-risk obstetrics as needed. Ultrasound services are nationally accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and headed up by our Chief Ultrasonographer Brenda Peters. Four-dimensional ultrasounds are available when needed for diagnostic purposes, and healthy pregnancies are confirmed with advanced technologies for noninvasive testing including Nuchal Translucency or Cell Free DNA testing.

Dr. Gandhi part of the Best OB-GYN team in Canton and Woodstock.

Dr. Gandhi with a baby delivered at Northside Hospital-Cherokee

Additionally, Drs. Hale and Crigler are experts at noninvasive muscle floor pelvic strengthening options, including Apex and Intensity devices. Both vegans, they build on the mind-body-spirit approach of the practice, with Dr. Hale recently achieving certification in plant-based nutrition from T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Her election to the National Medical Honor Society Alpha Omega Alpha is a distinction shared by Drs. Litrel and Gandhi.

Our Midwife Team Teaches Other Midwives at Multiple University Programs

Certified Nurse Midwife Susan Griggs and Ruth Roser round out this team of providers to complete the picture of a practice with total dedication to the health of their patients, before and after childbirth. Susan earned her Masters of Nursing with a specialty in Midwifery at Emory University and has served as a clinical preceptor for midwife students at multiple university programs, including Emory University and Kennesaw State.

The Center for Disease Control made headlines this week when they announced that sexually active women of childbearing age should never drink alcohol unless they’re on birth control. The recommendation met with both support and backlash: many women agree that it’s not worth the risk, while others argue that telling 3.3 million women not to drink isn’t feasible. What do you think?

Are You Expecting?

pregnant woman with wineYou probably know that consuming alcohol during pregnancy can negatively impact a baby’s mental, physical, and behavioral development. What you may not know is whether or not you’re expecting. Some moms-to-be take 4 to 6 weeks to realize they’re pregnant. And as many moms of lovable broods know, about half the pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. Even women actively trying to get pregnant might continue drinking. According to the CDC, only 1 in 4 women stops drinking alcohol when they go off birth control. Exposure to even minimal alcohol during pregnancy may affect the baby’s health. So is the risk worth it?

The Effect of Alcohol on Developing Babies

Whether you’re happily expecting or simply trying, we know your baby’s health is your #1 consideration. But you may not realize just how much damage drinking during pregnancy can cause. Even small amounts of alcohol can cause:

FASDs can affect a child’s development both before and after birth. Symptoms can include anything from abnormal facial features and underdeveloped growth to poor memory, attention or hyperactivity disorders, learning disabilities, speech and language problems, and low IQ. Many people suffering from FASDs also have impaired hearing or vision and problems with their hearts, kidneys, or bones.

Make the Healthy Choice

At Cherokee Women’s Health, we advocate for the health of mothers and their babies. All expectant mothers should refrain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy. If you’re trying to get pregnant, we recommend that you stop drinking alcohol until you go back on birth control. If you discover you’re pregnant unexpectedly, stop drinking immediately. Inform your doctor about any alcohol you may have consumed in the early stages of your pregnancy.

Cherokee Women’s Health has a team of obstetricians, certified nurse-midwives, and board certified surgeons on staff. We specialize in normal and high risk pregnancies, with expert care providers trained in both natural and standard births. To learn more about how to ensure a healthy pregnancy, call today to make an appointment with one of our providers.

Wine and Pregnancy Image

Dr. Sara Bolden picDr. Sara Bolden is a Women’s Health Physical Therapist, board certified Women’s Health Clinical Specialist, owner of Women First Rehabilitation in Woodstock, GA, and author of What a Girl Wants: The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.

Adopting a Higher Quality Obstetrical Care Model for Women in the United States

If you’ve ever had a baby, witnessed one being delivered or heard of someone’s detailed labor and delivery story, one thing’s for sure, there was pain involved. We’re not talking about a little discomfort here, folks. We’re talking about deep, intense, I-could-kill-the-man-that-did-this-to-me pain. Quite honestly, we’ve come to expect extreme bodily pain during a situation like this. It would be absolutely crazy to think otherwise. I mean, we’re talking about a small melon exiting out of an opening the size of a child’s sock. Yes, the sock will stretch, the melon will emerge, but not without some repercussions…sometimes big repercussions. Often, these consequences can be serious and have lasting musculoskeletal effects. So what’s a girl to do?

Physical Therapists are NOT Massage Therapists
Many would say, childbirth trauma is inevitable so proverbially “push” through the pain and try to get over it quickly. Unfortunately, this is frequently the default response to childbirth in the United States. There is little to no preparation of the pelvic floor muscles, the low back, the abdomen, nor education for proper breathing, delivery positioning, energy conservation or anything, for that matter, that adequately prepares the body’s musculoskeletal system for the delivery of a small human being. However, for many years now, international countries, such as England, Germany, Australia, Brazil and South Africa (to name a few), have taken proactive measures to assist women with labor and delivery and thus lower the risk of long-term musculoskeletal injuries or urogenital dysfunctions. One way they have elevated the standard of obstetrical care is to include physical therapists throughout pregnancy, during labor/delivery and for post-partum recovery. You might be saying to yourself, “Physical Therapists? Don’t they just give massages?” Brace yourselves…wait for it…no, they don’t. Physical therapists are not massage therapists. They are, however, musculoskeletal experts that have unique knowledge of the evaluation, assessment, treatment, disease/injury prevention and general wellness of the human body.

The Difference a Women’s Health Physical Therapist Makes
In other countries, the physical therapists that assist with prenatal and post-partum women are called obstetrical physiotherapists and have advanced skill and training in women’s health. In the United States, we call them women’s health physical therapists. I know, ingenious. They, too, have advanced knowledge and extensive training in women’s health; however in the U.S., their services have only been considered for the prenatal patient with abnormal or life-altering pain or for the complicated post-partum patient with pain and/or pelvic floor dysfunction (i.e. urinary incontinence, organ prolapse or pain with intercourse).

Higher Standards of Obstetrical Care
If the U.S. adopted a more comprehensive standard of obstetrical care, every pregnant women would be evaluated by a women’s health physical therapist. During the prenatal phase, she would get education and training on pelvic floor stabilization, core strengthening, body mechanics, birthing positions, perineal massage, breathing, relaxation and proper Valsalva for effective pushing, etc. Then, a women’s health physical therapist would be included in the delivery room to help with pain management, assist with birthing positions that open the pelvis and decrease risk of vaginal tearing, perform perineal massage to allow adequate room for the decent of baby, provide biomechanical support and coach the patient on the when’s and how’s of proper pushing…just like obstetrical physiotherapists are doing right now in other countries!

After the birth of the baby, post-partum women would follow up with their women’s health physical therapist to assess healing of vaginal and/or abdominal tissues, be educated on scar management and facilitated tissue recovery, learn mechanics for lifting baby as well as for breastfeeding and restoring pelvic strength. Of equal importance, women’s health physical therapists would help new moms get their bodies back in shape, set realistic goals and expectations of motherhood and restore her vibrant, sexual health. Yes, I said “vibrant!” Who wouldn’t want that?!

Good news! You belong to a cutting-edge OB-GYN practice and are hearing about women’s health physical therapists! I invite you to do a little research and see for yourself how effective this type of physical therapy is for pregnancy, labor, delivery and post-partum. Don’t be shy: ask your doctor to include physical therapy as part of your prenatal and post-partum experience.

Company bio:
Women First Rehabilitation is an elite healthcare practice devoted exclusively to treating individuals with pelvic pain, urogynecologic disorders and pelvic floor dysfunction in all phases of life. All of our practitioners are licensed women’s health physical therapists with advanced knowledge and training in women’s health. For more information, visit www.WomenFirstRehab.com.

February 3, 2016

For ten years, without fail, Ann and I kept our razors side by side in the shower. Then I switched to the Mach 3 triple blade razor, and suddenly the ever-present disposable pink lady razor disappeared. I didn’t give it much thought at the time. I figured such a sissy razor was an embarrassment beside my macho marvel of modern technology.

The truth was more horrific. One morning I walked into the bathroom while Ann was in the shower, and I discovered that my Mach 3 triple blade marvel was being used to shave her legs. It didn’t take much to surmise that it might be getting some time under her arms, too.

I kept my mouth shut until our morning coffee.

“Doesn’t it repulse you,” I said calmly, “to know that the razor you’re using under your arms is the same one that I’m using on my face?”

Ann laughed, and then quickly reached for my hand. “Sometimes…” she replied with a serious voice. “But love is a strange and wonderful thing.” She gave me an angelic smile.

All was forgiven.

Disagreement between a husband and wife occurs in the best of marriages.  Sometimes this manifests as open argument.  Other times, marital conflict can be more subtle, an unspoken tension permeating the relationship for years, like an uncomfortable humidity.

When I met Ann at that fraternity costume party, she was supposedly dressed as a Greek goddess, in a skimpy toga no father would have permitted his daughter to wear in public.

I fell in love.

After our three years apart, there was nothing I looked forward to more than marriage and spending my life with Ann. My attraction to her was more than just her physical beauty; I admired her talent, kindness, intelligence and discipline.

I still admire her. But after twenty-five years of marriage, the intelligence and discipline thing sometimes gets on my nerves.

Ann has tendencies towards frugality that do honor to her Scottish heritage. She also endeavors to be environmentally aware. These two qualities are evidenced in the temperature settings Ann prefers for the household thermostat. During the hot Georgia summer the air conditioning is set at 80. During the cold of winter the heat is set at 65. In January when I am cold, Ann tells me to put on a sweater. In July when I am hot, Ann tells me to take my sweater off.

thermostatLast year it was another hot, humid summer. So one day when Ann wasn’t looking, I sneaked to the thermostat and deftly dropped the temperature five degrees.

It didn’t take Ann long to notice. “Who turned the air conditioning so low, Michael?”

“Those kids,” I responded, shaking my head disapprovingly. I was not lying. I was simply making a declarative statement designed to misdirect.

“The boys say they didn’t touch the thermostat, Michael.”

“Those kids,” I repeated, shaking my head disapprovingly.

Ann laughed and moved the thermostat back to “where it belongs.” I didn’t argue. I could understand her perspective: why burn fossil fuels to lower the temperature of my house just so I could be a tad bit more comfortable?

But sometimes it was annoying. It was like I was married to Al Gore, and every time I touched the temperature control I was sinking an axe into the trunk of the last giant redwood.

Over the years, Ann had successfully colored our “thermostat decision” in spiritual terms. With artful language she conveyed to me sophisticated thoughts about the needs of the body versus the needs of the soul. Essentially, her argument boiled down to this:
Jesus didn’t have air conditioning, so why don’t you spend more time praying for strength, and less time whining about the heat?

One summer Ann left town to visit her sister for a week. It was like Dorothy’s house had plopped down in Oz, and ding dong, you-know-who was dead!

I ran to the thermostat like an unsupervised teenager and lowered it not five degrees, but ten. I was going to get all the air conditioning that compressor could muster. That night my house was so cold I needed another blanket from the closet. Immobilized by comforters, I slept like it was the dead of winter.

Condensation covered all my windows when I awoke. I shivered when I sat down to my morning coffee. Now this was what July in Georgia should feel like!  I thought about getting out that dang sweater. Maybe I should light a fire too?

But after an hour of reflection, I simply turned the air conditioning off.

I missed Ann. Morning coffee was more fun with her. It’s far better to have a home that is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter than to suffer again through the fires and chills of a long distance relationship.
A prescription for tolerance is an occasional few days apart. In our human struggles, we can sometimes fixate on small problems.

Absence gives God a chance to direct our focus on the big picture –

Excerpted from Dr. Litrel and his wife Ann’s book of “he-said, she-said” stories about love and family.  A MisMatch Made In Heaven: Surviving True Love, Children, and Other Blessings In Disguise is available in the office, and online at www.createspace.com/4229812

Dr. Crigler photo

An Interview with Britton Crigler, MD, FACOG 

What made you want to become a vegan? 

My wife and I made the decision together. She was a vegetarian in the past, and studied nutrition in college, so she has an understanding of how meat is processed and the affects it has on the environment and our health. I grew up in a southern cooking meat and potatoes family so if I can make the change, anyone can!

Our path toward a plant-based diet started on a medical mission trip to Ecuador while I was in medical school.  I volunteered at a women’s health hospital while Lauren volunteered in the physical therapy department of a military hospital.  We lived with a family for a month and were fed a mostly plant-based diet.  In Ecuador, a typical meal consists of vegetable soup, a cooked whole grain, one or two cooked vegetable dishes and maybe a small (3 ounces or so) side of meat. They had very limited access to fast food chains and processed foods. Their small portions of meat may have stemmed from lower economic means, but they were eating healthier meals than most Americans! That’s when the idea of limiting our meat and dairy intake first began. During my residency in Tampa, we decided to switch to a completely plant-based diet.

Dr. Crigler photo

What’s the key to making dietary changes such as switching to a vegan diet work? (Especially in a family with two small children?)

One key step is to recruit people around you to help you make the change:

It’s important to include the whole family. My kids eat everything we eat: carrots, broccoli, spinach, hummus, whole grains and legumes. We expose them to everything we eat, so they eat different types of cuisine including Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, South American and African. (I am also lucky that I have a wife who cooks really well and tries new dishes!) We eat a larger variety of food now than we did before we switched to a plant-based diet.  That exposure to different foods in childhood is important, although I think my 3-year-old son would be a fruitatarian if he were given the choice. My oldest son is five and in kindergarten so we pack his lunch.  It takes my wife about five minutes each morning, which we consider to be a small investment in our child’s health. We’re also not really strict if they attend a birthday party and eat cake or something like that.

Another key is: don’t keep unhealthy food in the house.

Eating a whole food plant-based diet is relatively easy for our family because healthy food is the only option we have.  There’s no processed food in our house, so we don’t have an opportunity to eat it!

My other advice is to make changes that are sustainable to your budget.

We focus on buying food we know we’ll eat, and we tend to waste very little food. Choosing things like dried beans, legumes and whole grains will last much longer in your pantry and are a lot cheaper than buying meat every week.

Dr. Crigler's children photo

February is American Heart Month. What are some of the easiest ways women can take better care of themselves with a focus on their hearts?

Lowering cholesterol has a huge positive impact on heart health, and anyone can decrease their cholesterol by avoiding or eating less animal products. Also, cardiovascular exercise at least 3-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes can really improve heart health. The key is to choose an activity that you enjoy so you’ll want to continue. The added usage of technology like Fitbits and pedometers can help encourage you to move more and make small changes every day.

What’s the best way to go about choosing a physical activity?

You need to choose an exercise type and intensity level that’s right for you (if you’re arthritic, for instance, long distance running may not be the best option). Whether it’s biking, running, swimming, or something else, making attainable goals can help to improve your motivation. Then update your goals as your reach them. Also, having somebody to hold you accountable is helpful. It can be a friend, spouse, workout partner or personal trainer. My brother-in-law is a real inspiration to me. He has run at least a mile every single day for the last eight years, rain or shine. His dedication is a reminder to me to always stay active, no matter what. (Fun fact: My brother-in-law is a track coach and was inspired by my wife to begin his running streak.  She beat him in a 5K and he started his streak the very next day!)

Dr. Crigler and wife photoYou and your wife Lauren are big fans of running to keep physically fit. Do you have any marathons or other events you’re planning on participating in this year?

We did the Atlanta half marathon for the past two years and will continue this tradition for as long as we can. We also really enjoy supporting local 5Ks so I’m sure we’ll be running with our jogging strollers through a few of those.

What is the best way anyone could compliment you about your work? 

I want my patients to feel comfortable and cared for like a member of my family.  Our patients often share some of the most significant events of their lives with us.  So, to have them tell me that they felt cared for means the world to me.  Also, when they send their family members and friends to me, it’s a huge compliment.

What was the most unusual job you ever had? 

I was a nanny for a six-month old through his second birthday right after college, in between college and medical school (it helped pay my rent). I was also a lifeguard and waited tables. Waiting tables was a skill that turned out to be helpful as far as being able to multitask and keep track of all the patients we have in one day. (We’re sensing a theme here – Dr. Litrel said the same thing about his time waiting tables!)

If you won the lottery and never had to work again, how would you spend your time?

Traveling. I’d love to visit Australia, South America, and Europe; pretty much everywhere.


Would you rather skydive or hang glide? 

My wife would never let me skydive, haha. I think I would prefer hang gliding anyway. I think I’d like the sensation of flying as opposed to just falling. Hang gliding also lasts longer and you’d get to see more stuff.

What category on a quiz show would you select at the best chance of winning?

After medical facts and cool baby names, probably anything related to cars. Either “Name That Car” or “Random Facts About Sports Cars.” (I drive an electric car because I’m a bit of an environmentalist, but a guy can dream!)

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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