Greenville Womans Care logo
Schedule an Appt Request a Refill

xIf you need a refill on a current prescription, please contact the pharmacy where you filled your prescription, even if there are zero refills remaining.

Greenville Womans Care logo

Category: Greenville Women’s Clinic Blog

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be approximately 19,710 new ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2023. Though this number is high, ovarian cancer is diagnosed in about 1.3% of women with roughly 50% of those women being over the age of 63. Ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages, so knowing the signs, symptoms, and being open and honest with your doctor is important.

One of the reasons ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose is because the symptoms tend to be broad. However, it’s still important to look out for them and mention it to your doctor. Symptoms can include:

  • Persistent Bloating.
  • Pelvic and Abdominal Pain.
  • Difficulty Eating.
  • Feeling Full Quickly.
  • Frequent Urination.
  • Heavy Feeling in the Pelvis.
  • Vaginal Bleeding.
  • Weight Gain or Weight Loss.
  • Abnormal Periods.
  • Unexplained and Worsening Back Pain.
  • Loss of Appetite.

There are two ovaries in the pelvis, one on the left side and one on the right. They surround the uterus. Ovarian cancer originates in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or peritoneum. These cancerous cells are able to invade your healthy body tissues and rapidly multiply. Though most people diagnosed with ovarian cancer are not high risk, there are factors that can increase your risk for getting ovarian cancer.

  • Middle-Age or Older.
  • Family History of Ovarian Cancer.
  • Having BRCA1 or BRCA2, or a Mutation Associated with Lynch Syndrome.
  • Having Breast, Uterine, or Colon Cancer.
  • Having Endometriosis.

These risk factors don’t mean you will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but they are important to mention to your doctor. The American Association for Cancer Research is currently researching and raising awareness about ovarian cancer through conferences, research presentations, and grants. Greenville Women’s Care is here for all of your OB/GYN needs. To schedule an appointment with one of our staff members, visit or call 252-757-3131.

How to Take Care of “Down There”

Our goal is to promote healthy vulvar skin and decrease or relieve vaginal and vulvar symptoms. This can be accomplished by the avoidance of potential contact irritants, chemicals, moisture, or rubbing (friction). These guidelines are based upon past success!

Laundry Products

  • Use a detergent free of dyes, enzymes and perfumes. Use a “Free and Clear” detergent on any clothing that comes in contact with your vulva such as your underwear, exercise clothes, towels, or pajama bottoms. Baby detergents are usually scented and should not be used.
  • Do not use a fabric softener in the washer or dryer on these articles of clothing. If you do use dryer sheets with the rest of your clothes, for any loads, you must hang dry your underwear, towels, and any other clothing that comes in contact with your vulva. White vinegar can be used in the washer as a natural softener, and dryer balls can help combat static.
  • Limit stain removing products. Bleach or stain removers are not recommended for your underwear.


  • Wear all cotton underwear with a white crotch, not nylon with a cotton crotch. Cotton allows air in and moisture out. Nylon underwear with a cotton crotch is acceptable ONLY if you are able to cut away the nylon covering the cotton crotch.  Thong type underwear is not recommended on a daily basis.  Sleeping without underwear is advised, loose fitting pajama pants or boxers are acceptable.
  • Avoid full pantyhose. If you wear them, cut out the diamond crotch (be sure to leave about ¼ to ½ inch of fabric from the seam to prevent running) OR wear thigh high hose.
  • Avoid tight clothing, especially clothing made of synthetic fabrics.  Remove wet bathing and exercise clothing as soon as you can. Limit use of Spanx-type garments.

Bathing and Hygiene

  • Avoid bath soaps, lotions, gels, etc. that contain perfumes. These may smell nice but can be irritating. This includes many baby products and feminine hygiene products marked “gentle” or “mild”. Do not use body washes! We suggest any of the following soaps in a bar form:  Dove-Hypoallergenic, all-natural olive oil soap, Neutrogena, Basis, or Pears.
  • Hand soap dispensers: Use a liquid fragrance-free soap.
  • Hand sanitizers:  Before touching the vulvar skin, wash with a recommended soap to avoid irritation from the alcohol and chemicals in the hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid all bubble baths, bath salts and scented oils.
  • Do not scrub vulvar skin with a washcloth, loofa or net sponge. Washing with your hands is adequate for good cleaning.
  • Do not use hot water while bathing or showering.  Use only lukewarm to cool water.
  • Pat dry rather than rubbing with a towel or use a hairdryer on a cool setting to dry the vulva.
  • Baking soda soaks:  Soak in lukewarm (not hot) bath water with 4-5 tablespoons of baking soda to help soothe vulvar itching and burning. A sitz bath that goes on the toilet is best.  Soak 1-3 times a day for 5-10 minutes when you have vulvar symptoms.  A sitz bath tub is available without a prescription at your pharmacy or medical supply store.
  • Use white, unscented toilet paper. Avoid “ultra soft” or “ultra strong” products, they are overly processed with chlorine and formaldehyde.  Use a basic toilet paper such as Angel Soft, Scott or 7th Generation.  Avoid “wiping” after urinating, blot, dab or rinse with tap water only.
  • Avoid all feminine hygiene sprays, perfumes, adult, or baby wipes.  Pour lukewarm water over the vulva after urinating if urine causes burning of the skin.
  • Avoid the use of deodorized pads and tampons. Tampons should be used when the blood flow is heavy enough to soak one tampon in four hours or less. Menstruation cups are also acceptable. Use only pads that have a cotton liner that comes in contact with your skin (no dry-weave pads).
  • Do not use over-the-counter creams or ointments until you ask your health care provider. When buying ointments, be sure that they are paraben- and fragrance-free.
  • Small amounts of extra virgin olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, or solid shortening may be applied to your vulva and vagina as often as needed to protect and moisturize the skin.  It also helps to decrease skin irritation during your period, and when you urinate.
  • DO NOT DOUCHE. Baking soda soaks will help rinse away extra discharge and help with odor.
  • DO NOT SHAVE, wax or laser the vulvar area (the bikini line is okay).
  • Some women may have problems with chronic dampness. Keeping dry is important.
    • Do not wear pads daily, as they block the free flow of air and rub on the tissue.
    • Choose cotton fabrics whenever you can. Keep an extra pair of underwear with you in a small ban and change if you become damp during the day at work/school.
    • A non-talc containing powder such as Zeosorb Powder may be applied to the vulva and groin area one to two times per day to help absorb moisture.
  • Dryness and irritation during intercourse may be helped by using a lubricant.  Use a small amount of a pure vegetable oil/olive oil/shortening. The vegetable products contain no chemicals to irritate vulvar /vaginal skin, and will rinse away with water and will not increase your chances of infections.  Water-based products, like K-Y Jelly, tend to dry before intercourse is over and also contain chemicals that can irritate your vulvar skin.  It may be helpful to use a non-lubricated, non-spermicidal condom, and use vegetable oil as the lubricant.

Birth Control Options

  • All hormonal contraceptives effect vaginal secretions, but should not cause vaginitis.
  • Lubricated condoms, contraceptive jellies, creams, or sponges may cause itching and burning. Ask your health care provider for help.
  • The use of latex condoms with vegetable oil as a lubricant is suggested to protect your skin. Oil-based lubricants may affect the integrity of condoms when used for birth control or prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Our experience has not found this to be a problem with vegetable-based oils. However, the Centers for Disease Control recommend that condoms not be used with any oil-based lubricants for birth control or prevention of sexually transmitted disease.

Interprofessional Collaborative OB Care: What does this mean for me?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) are both professional organizations that provide practice guidelines for health care professionals. They also are a resource for educational materials for patients. Both organizations strive to improve women’s health and support healthcare providers in their efforts to optimize maternal health.

ACOG and ACNM believe health care is most effective when it occurs in a system that facilitates communication across care settings and among clinicians. Ob-gyns and CNMs are educated, trained, and licensed independent clinicians who are experts in their respective fields of practice and work in mutual collaboration to optimize care for individuals they serve. Practicing to the full extent of their education, training, experience, and licensure, ob-gyns and CNMs support team-based care. ACOG and ACNM recommend utilization of interprofessional education to promote a culture of team-based care. Ob-gyns and CNMs, working collaboratively according to the needs of the patient, can optimize equitable care of patients and improve obstetric, sexual, and reproductive health outcomes.

What does this mean for you at Greenville Women’s Care?

This means that our Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and Obstetricians will be working together to make sure that you and your baby both receive safe and personalized healthcare to ensure both a healthy mom and baby during your pregnancy. Other healthcare team members could include Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists, Nutritionists, Endocrinologists, Registered Nurses, and others depending on you and your baby’s specific needs during pregnancy.

Your OB team should have skills, resources and experiences that complement one another. At Greenville Women’s care we believe that collaboration amongst team members is essential to healthy birth outcomes for ALL!

Call us today at 252-757-3131, to schedule an appointment with our Certified Nurse Midwife, Sarah Sears.

Showing Love: The Importance of Self Care

Self-care is important for your overall well-being, but it goes much further than just facemasks and a bubble bath (though that can absolutely be a part of it). Self-care is a part of your emotional, psychological, and social well-being, also known as your mental health. Not only does practicing self-care keep you more connected to yourself, but it can also prevent illnesses, help with stress recovery, and strengthen your ability to handle stress.

Though we typically think of self-care as an every-now-and-then thing, it should be included in our daily schedule. Some examples of ways you can practice self-care include…

  • Turning your phone on “do not disturb” and taking time just for you.
  • Eating in a way that keeps your energy levels up and focus levels sharp.
  • Drinking enough water! It’s recommended that you drink 60 – 62 ounces of water a day but increase your intake on especially hot days.
  • Spend at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Whether it’s yoga, the gym, or walking the dog, exercise can help to clear your mind.
  • Set time aside to do some stress-releasing activities. This can be journaling, crafting, napping, listening to music, or whatever else works to relax you.
  • Get a full night’s sleep. A full night means 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night. Avoiding blue light from phones and computers can help you fall asleep faster.
  • And, of course, facemasks and bubble baths. A little self-pampering can go a long way.

Remember that everyone doesn’t practice self-care in the same way, so what works for some may not work for you. Self-care should make you feel relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated. If you’re struggling to find a place to start, take a minute and reflect on things that you enjoy doing, what makes you feel good about yourself, or what’s something you’ve wanted to try. Take steps to start incorporating some of those things in your day-to-day life.

Call Greenville Women’s Care if you want to talk to a doctor about the best way to practice self-care or your mental health. We’re here to help you with all aspects of your physical and mental health. You can reach us at 252-757-3131 or visit to set up an appointment.

Packing Your Hospital Bag: A Comprehensive List 

When you’re on the way to deliver a baby, the last thing you want to do is scramble around and pack your hospital bag. We’re here to give you a list of things you should consider bringing to the hospital. Keep in mind – everybody is different and wants their own birth experience. You’re always welcome to pack more or less than our list.

For Labor and Delivery:

  • Paperwork, IDs, and Insurance cards – ensure that your medical records are easily accessible for medical staff to review and that you can check into the hospital.
  • Your birth plan – if you’ve created a birth plan, bring it with you so medical staff can reference it if they have any questions. If you don’t have one, no worries. It’s not required.
  • Bathrobe/Labor Dress – this can make the hospital feel more at home while you’re waiting to go into labor.
  • Socks – nobody likes cold feet.
  • Slip-on shoes and flip-flops – slip-on shoes are great for when you want to walk around the hospital ward. You’ll want some flip-flops to use as shower shoes.
  • Lip Balm – nobody wants chapped lips, especially if you’re going into labor. This simple thing can make you feel much more comfortable.
  • Lotion – Itchy, dry skin is the last thing you want when you’re about to have a baby. Lotion can help your skin stay hydrated and keep you focused on the task at hand.
  • Comfy pillows – hospital pillows aren’t anything to call home about, so consider bringing your own. If you’re the type who likes to sleep with a specific pillow, we recommend getting it (just remember to bring it home).
  • Eye mask and earplugs – you deserve to rest, but sometimes the hospital isn’t the best place to sleep. An eye mask and earplugs can help you sleep peacefully.

After Delivery:

  • Nightgowns/PJs – you’ll want something comfy to sleep in after delivery. If you plan on breastfeeding, we recommend wearing something that’s front-opening.
  • Maternity pads – the hospital will provide you with maternity pads, but it’s always good to be prepared. You’ll probably change them every couple of hours for the first few days after giving birth, so we recommend heavy-duty pads.
  • Underwear – several pairs of underwear are recommended. Bring something you’ll be comfortable in and can easily hold your maternity pads.
  • Toiletries – a hairbrush, comb, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hair ties, skincare, and lotion can make a huge difference in how you feel after labor. We also recommend a bag to put your dirty clothes in.
  • Clothes – you may want some comfy clothes to wear around the hospital while you’re there.

To Share with Your Partner:

  • Snacks and water – you can have some of these too. Labor can be a long process, so having something to eat and drink along the way can be nice.
  • Charger – we recommend an extra-long charger.
  • Entertainment – a book, a tablet, headphones for music, whatever you prefer.

For Your Baby:

  • Bodysuits – different hospitals have different policies, so make sure you ask. But bringing something for your baby to wear is a good idea.
  • Socks and booties – newborns get cold easily, so it’s a good idea to bring something to keep them warm.
  • Blanket – the hospital will give you a blanket, but if you have a special blanket in mind for them, then it’s a good idea to bring it.
  • Going home outfit – think about the weather when packing what your baby will come home in; they get cold easily!
  • Car seat – you’ll need a car seat (already installed) to take your baby home safely.

Remember that this birth is yours. We want you to have things with you to help you be more comfortable during your stay. If you have any questions about different policies, want to create a birth plan, or are curious if there are other things you should pack for the hospital, call Greenville Women’s Care at 252-757-3131 to talk to our Midwife, Sarah Sears, or make an appointment.

Debunking 5 Common Breastfeeding Myths

Whether you heard it from a friend or read it on the internet, there’s a lot of misinformation about breastfeeding. So straight from the gynecologist’s mouth, we’re debunking the most common misconceptions about breastfeeding.

1. If you have smaller breasts, you won’t produce enough milk.

Breast size doesn’t affect how much milk you can produce. The amount of time you spend nursing your baby, the demand from your baby, and practicing healthy nursing habits will affect your production. There are many small-breasted women who produce enough milk to donate to milk banks.

2. Breastfeeding always hurts.

If you’ve never breastfed, or if it’s been a while since you breastfed, then your nipples may be a bit sore when you begin. However, this should go away after a couple of days. If your baby isn’t latching onto your nipple properly, the soreness can become debilitating. However, there’s an easy fix! With practice and assistance from a lactation consultant or midwife, you can achieve pain-free breastfeeding within weeks.

3. Some babies can’t latch.

It’s important to develop healthy nursing habits as soon as possible with a proper latching technique to avoid your baby getting into the habit of latching incorrectly. About 4% of the time, there’s something called “tongue-tie,” which can cause problems when latching – something that can easily be corrected in your doctor’s office.

4. You should wean your baby off breast milk after 12 months.

Interestingly enough, American culture is one of the few that pressures you to start weaning your baby at 12 months. Most babies will naturally begin to wean themselves between 12 and 24 months as they start walking and eating normal foods. Breastfeeding may become a ritual saved for waking up, taking a nap, going to bed, or for comfort. How long you choose to breastfeed is entirely up to you and your baby; however, experts recommend exclusively breastfeeding for at least four months.

5. Breastmilk doesn’t have enough water, vitamin D, or iron.

The beauty of breastmilk is that it contains everything your baby needs at that time in its life. Your body does this amazing thing where it changes with every feeding to match your baby’s needs. For example, if it’s hotter, your breastmilk will be more water-based. If your baby is growing, your breast milk will have more fats and proteins. Your baby is getting exactly what it needs from your breast milk.

6. It’s illegal to breastfeed in public.

Actually, there are laws in place in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rice, and the Virgin Islands to protect people who breastfeed! You have the right to breastfeed in public and private locations, so don’t feel pressure to hold off feeding or use a public restroom. You can read more about breastfeeding in public here:

7. Breastmilk and formula are essentially the same thing.

While formula is made to mimic breastmilk, it doesn’t have the antibodies or versatility that breastmilk does. Breastmilk is able to adapt to your babies’ specific needs, whereas formula cannot. For most babies, breastmilk is the best source of nutrition and can provide antibodies that formula cannot. This past June, the American Academy of Pediatricians updated their guidance and recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months of life and encourages breastfeeding for up to 2 years. There are situations where breastfeeding isn’t possible or is contraindicated. Formula and donor milk are viable options when breastmilk is unavailable. You can read more about breastmilk verses formula here:

8. If you’re taking medications, you should either “pump and dump” or not breastfeed at all.

Contrary to popular belief, most medications are considered to be safe while breastfeeding. Usually, medication levels are much lower in breastmilk than they are in your bloodstream. However, it’s advisable to contact a healthcare provider if you’re on medications while pregnant and/or lactating. You can read more about taking medications while breastfeeding here:

If you have any questions about breastfeeding, what breastfeeding could look like for you, or any concerns, call Greenville Women’s Clinic at 252-757-3131 or visit our website to schedule an appointment with our midwife Sarah Sears. We’d love to help you focus on the joys of breastfeeding rather than the fears.

What You Should Know About Group B Strep

July is Group B Strep Awareness Month, but do you know what it actually is? The bacteria that cause Group B Strep (GBS) is Streptococcus, and commonly lives in the gastrointestinal and genital tracts. GBS is fairly common and comes and goes naturally in your body. It is typically not harmful but can cause serious illness in adults of all ages, so it is important to understand what it is and take preventative measures to avoid potential infection.

GBS can cause:

  • Bacteremia (infection in the bloodstream)
  • Sepsis (extreme reaction to infection)
  • Bone infections
  • Joint infections
  • Meningitis (infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord)
  • Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)
  • Skin Infection
  • Soft-tissue infection

GBS is not spread through food, water or general contact. If you live with someone who has GBS, you are not at risk of getting it and it is unknown how people get or spread GBS.

However, we do know that the genital tract is a part of the body involved with reproduction. Therefore, GBS  can be spread by pregnant women to their babies during child birth. Approximately 1 in 4 pregnant women have the GBS bacteria in their body, making newborn babies at high risk for a GBS infection. When they have the infection, newborns are typically diagnosed with bacteremia, sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis. These diagnoses can cause long-term complications, such as deafness, developmental delays, or disabilities.

Fortunately, there are ways to help protect your baby during birth. If you are pregnant, your doctor or midwife will make sure that you are tested for GBS between 36 and 38 weeks. GBS can come and go, which is why testing so late in a pregnancy is crucial. If you test positive for GBS, you are given antibiotics (called beta-lactams) which will help protect your baby. However, these antibiotics cannot be given before labor because the bacteria grow too quickly.

Early-onset GBS means that the infection starts in the first week of their life. Most babies who get GBS disease within the first week of their life are exposed to the bacteria through delivery. Late-onset GBS means that your newborn can seem healthy at birth and through the first week of their life, but symptoms can appear shortly after. The newborn could have gotten the bacteria from the mother during birth or from another source.

Here are some of the symptoms to look for in newborns:

  • Fever
  • Trouble feeding
  • Irritability, continued fussiness
  • Lethargy (limpness and/or difficulty waking up your baby)
  • Difficulty breathing

Each year, approximately 930 babies are diagnosed with early-onset GBS and 1,050 with late-onset GBS.

Group B Strep can also affect adults who:

  • Have diabetes
  • Have heart disease
  • Have congestive heart failure
  • Have cancer or a history of cancer
  • Are obese
  • You are over 65 years of age

This blog is for informational purposes and does not serve as a consultation with a physician at Greenville Women’s Care. If you have questions about Group B Strep or any other questions regarding you or your baby’s health care, please schedule an appointment with us.

Call us at 252-757-3131 or visit our website to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians and advanced providers.

References: and

What is a Midwife?

The term midwife means “with woman”. Midwives are known for being present with women typically during labor and childbirth, but many people do not know that midwives are trained to care for women throughout the lifespan.

Historically and traditionally, women were present with other women during childbirth. This began to change when childbirth was moved into hospital institutions after Obstetrics as a medical practice began. Today, most midwives in the U.S. practice in hospitals, continuing to be with women during childbirth. Midwives have prescriptive authority, so YES, you can still get medications and/or an epidural with a midwife. And if you choose to have an unmedicated birth, the midwife is well trained on techniques to assist you.

The shortage of Obstetrical providers including midwives can be felt in many areas throughout NC, especially rural areas. I’m proud to say that I’m a graduate from ECU’s midwifery program, the only program for midwives in the state. I believe in the role of midwives in meeting the needs of the community. Eastern NC has such a gem in ECU, producing much of the midwifery care of NC and surrounding states.

Midwives typically function in a collaborative role with Obstetricians, working together as part of the healthcare team. This collaboration is essential in helping to reduce the cesarean rate, reducing infant and maternal mortality rates, and bridging the gap in healthcare. Midwives routinely are available for prenatal and postpartum care, annual exams, primary care, STI screening, Contraception and Gynecological evaluations.

As a midwife provider, and as a woman who has received midwifery care, my desire is to be with women, acting as an advocate and a bridge in helping them in meeting their healthcare needs. That may be in providing safe, professional and comfortable exams, or being in the labor room for one of the most monumental moments of a family’s life. It may be in providing education on contraceptive options or holding a hand when it’s needed. The role of a midwife isn’t defined by the task of the moment but by being present.

If you’d like to have a consult or schedule an appointment, call the Midwife, Sarah Sears, CNM at Greenville Women’s Care 252-757-3131.

If you would like to learn more about Midwives visit,

Ovarian Cyst Warning Signs

Ovarian cysts are solid or fluid-filled sacs that form within your ovaries. Many women develop ovarian cysts at some point in their lives. These cysts typically form during ovulation, which is the time during your monthly cycle when one of your ovaries releases an egg.

Ovarian cysts sometimes cause pain and other symptoms, but sometimes they don’t cause any symptoms at all. Often cysts form and then go away on their own in a few weeks or in one to three months.

Although most ovarian cysts are benign — meaning they are not cancerous — in rare cases cysts are a sign of ovarian cancer. For this reason, it is always wise to tell your doctor about any symptoms that might suggest the presence of ovarian cysts.

The physicians at Greenville Women’s Care recommend calling our office for a checkup if you experience any of the following warning signs of ovarian cysts.

1. Pelvic pain.

You feel pelvic pain in your lower belly. Ovarian cysts are one of many possible causes of pelvic pain. The pain from ovarian cysts may feel sharp or dull. You may feel pain for extended periods of time, or it may come and go.  Ovarian cyst-related pain tends to be worse during your menstrual period. The hormones produced during your period can cause ovarian cysts to form or enlarge, triggering pain. When a cyst ruptures, you may feel sudden, severe pain in your pelvic region.

2. Referred pain.

Pain from ovarian cysts can travel beyond the pelvic area to your low back or even your thighs. This is called referred pain.

3. Bloating.

Like many women, you may experience bloating during your period, but watch for unusual bloating that can result when an ovarian cyst grows larger.

4. Nausea and vomiting.

Nausea and vomiting may sometimes occur when an ovarian cyst causes one of your ovaries to become twisted.

5. Changes in urination or passing stools.

Occasionally ovarian cysts can affect the action of your bladder or bowels so that you have trouble emptying them. You may also find that you need to urinate more often.

6. Fever.

If an ovarian cyst becomes infected, you may develop a fever.

7. Unexplained bleeding.

Ovarian cysts can sometimes cause bleeding when you do not expect it. Call our office without delay if you have unexplained bleeding — it can be a sign of a medical condition that requires attention.

8. Unexplained weight gain.

In rare cases, ovarian cysts can grow surprisingly large. Their size, along with the bloating that can occur, may make a difference in the numbers on your bathroom scale.

9. Pain during sex.

Ovarian cysts can occasionally result in pain or discomfort during sex. This is especially likely if you develop a type of ovarian cyst known as an endometrioma, which occurs most commonly in women with endometriosis, a condition in which uterine tissue grows outside the uterus.

10. Trouble getting pregnant.

In women with a condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), many ovarian cysts form over time. Sometimes women with PCOS can have trouble getting pregnant.

Although many ovarian cysts go away on their own, some require surgical removal. The doctors at Greenville Women’s Care have extensive experience with the surgical methods used to remove ovarian cysts. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed here — or if you need other gynecological care — call us for an appointment. Our team of women’s health care providers can help you with all of your gynecological needs.

Five Topics to Always Talk to Your Gynecologist About

When you visit your gynecologist for routine check-ups, you may look at it like a chore for getting a clean bill of health and then move onto the next item on your to-do-list. But it is important that you pay attention to your body throughout the year and make a list of questions that you may have. Take the time to ask your gynecologist questions, so you have a better understanding of your body. If any of these 5 topics apply to you, you should never leave the gynecologist’s office without discussing with your physician.

Pregnancy and Fertility

Your obstetrician is an excellent resource for you to talk with about fertility, becoming pregnant or if you are currently pregnant. Your obstetrician can offer advice on topics ranging from ovulation kits, pregnancy tests, early signs of pregnancy and also early signs of infertility.

While you might want to keep that you are trying to get pregnant a secret from friends and family, you should never keep that fact from your doctor. Not only will they be able to provide helpful information about lifestyle changes that help promote conception, but they will also understand the emotional stress that can occur when trying to get pregnant.

Painful Intercourse

If  having intercourse is uncomfortable and causes you pain, you may need to talk to your doctor. Even if you are uncomfortable discussing your sex life with your doctor, or you are embarrassed to talk about it with anyone other than your best friend, painful intercourse should not be ignored. You may even want to call your physician before your visit and let them know this is going on so they will remember to bring it up during your appointment.

Your gynecologist can also help answer questions or find the cause of pain during intercourse. Pain during sex does not just happen during menopause, it can be a symptom of birth control, endometriosis, or other underlying medical issues. Bleeding during intercourse should also be discussed with your gynecologist. Bleeding can be caused by dryness, infections or other underlying issues and talking about this during your visit can help your gynecologist help you effectively.

Heavy, Painful, and/or Irregular Periods

As women, we are often discouraged to discuss our menstrual cycle. Because of this, it can be hard to know if your period is “normal”, or if something you are experiencing is due to an underlying medical issue. Heavy periods can mean different things to different women, so it is important that you talk to your gynecologist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Heavy periods can be caused by a number of things such as uterine fibroids, hormonal imbalance, polyps, uterine hyperplasia or cancer. Painful periods may also be a sign of endometriosis, uterine fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease. Your gynecologist can help you figure out why your periods are abnormally heavy and painful and recommend treatment that can provide you relief.

Irregular periods can be normal in the adolescent years, but not as you mature. A typical menstrual cycle is anywhere from 21 to 35 days. As with heavy bleeding, every woman is different, but if you have a hard time predicting when you are going to have your period, be sure to speak with your gynecologist.

If your periods are irregular. Even if you are used to some periods lasting a week and being extremely heavy, and other months having a two-day menstrual cycle that is lightweight, you need to talk to your doctor about the topic. It could be the sign of a more serious problem.

Depression After Childbirth

If you do not feel like yourself after childbirth and suffer from signs of depression and negative thoughts, contact your doctor immediately. These feelings are not uncommon and are nothing to be ashamed of or brushed under the rug. Your gynecologists can work with you to find the right treatment to get you back to your happy and healthy self.

Menopausal Concerns

Going through menopause is a very challenging time in a women’s life. And to make matters worse, it comes with a slew of side effects like hot flashes, restlessness when trying to sleep, weight gain and mood swings. Your doctor can work with you to reduce the symptoms and let you know what is normal, and what is not. If anything can be done to relieve the symptoms of menopause, you should definitely consider them.

Whether you are going to the OBGYN for the first time, or if you have been going for many years, it can be uncomfortable to share private information about your body with your gynecologist. Our office has the most female physicians – and like you, as women, we have been in your shoes. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our gynecologists.