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Virtual doctors are making waves. Atlanta Medical Center (AMC) in Atlanta, Georgia, has closed its doors to two facilities this year, including the most recently closed downtown location. According to Wellstar, the organization that ran these hospitals, the closures are caused by a lack of revenue, a side effect of rising inflation.

Atlanta isn’t the only community affected by this trend. Even rural hospitals have seen an increase in facility closures. Are virtual doctors the solution or the cause?

Read below to find out how virtual doctors are changing healthcare.

Get Faster Access to Healthcare with Virtual Doctors

Telemedicine exploded during and after the pandemic. A new way to see your doctor on-screen became the norm. And it stuck. Here are a handful of reasons that virtual doctors are now preferred by patients over in-person visits, leaving hospitals and other in-person medical facilities hanging.

There is Little to No Wait to See a Virtual Doctor Online

Getting into your doctor for a preventative visit or even to solve a new health problem used to take an excessive amount of time.

First, you had to wait on hold to get an appointment, then you had to wait weeks or months for an opening, then you had to commute to the appointment, and when you finally arrived at your scheduled time—you had to wait a little longer until your doctor was ready to see you. That’s a lot of waiting.

Luckily with the recent developments in telemedicine, most of this waiting process has been completely eliminated. No waiting on hold for scheduling, you can get in the same day to see a doctor, and there’s no commute or waiting room to waste your time with.

Patients are Getting Treated Faster

Telemedicine solves the dilemma of delayed treatment. Telehealth provides an avenue for patients to be seen by doctors and specialists faster than ever before, which means—patients get faster treatment. Today, conditions get treated before they ever have time to fester into major health concerns that require hospitalization.

It’s safe to say that telemedicine cuts down on the need to hospitalize.

Virtual Doctors Erase Geographical Barriers

Every patient deserves access to medical care. Relying on the outdated infrastructure of brick-and-mortar buildings to meet the entire nation’s medical needs is no longer feasible. Especially when the technology exists to move certain care needs to the digital realm.

Stepping up to the plate, virtual doctors are here to help ease the demand on physical facilities so that they can serve their populations more effectively.

Telemedicine helps by spreading the load of care needs over a larger pool of providers. When a substantial portion of preventative care visits and other types of appointments that don’t require in-person exams can be transitioned online, it makes healthcare more accessible.

Additionally, virtual doctors open doors for access to patients who are affected by hospital or facility closures in their local communities. Physical distance is no longer an obstacle to overcome when it comes to getting medical care for non-emergency situations.

Related: Telemedicine Improves Access to Prenatal Care, But Can We Improve Access to Telemedicine?

So, Are Virtual Doctors the Cause or the Solution?

When it comes to answering the question posed at the top of this article, the answer is a little bit of both. While telemedicine certainly shifted patients out of hospitals, that’s not a bad thing. Hospitals can now focus on scaling down operations and focusing only on the emergency needs, such as surgical procedures, while leaving preventative and other simple appointments to virtual doctors.

While telemedicine is certainly not the only cause, it has played a part in the shift away from brick-and-mortar facilities. As far as being the solution to hospital closures, virtual doctors certainly proved their value during the pandemic. Telemedicine is here to stay by popular demand and will become the solution for patients who need to see a provider but have no nearby facility available.

My Virtual Physician’s Team

Our virtual doctors serve patients in all 50 states. Whether you need to see a primary care physician or a specialist, we’re here to help. Our mission is to provide access to healthcare. If your community recently experienced a shut down of a medical facility or you’ve heard rumblings of disruption, get established with our online doctors today so that you can always get care when the need arises.

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Imagine a world where you can’t get in to see your doctor for months or even years. Whether you simply need a prescription refill or help diagnosing and managing a chronic medical condition like diabetes, both can produce scary, or even life-threatening, scenarios.

Now, consider that the United States isn’t that far from this reality. In a 2021 report, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicted that a physician shortage is coming to the US. By 2034, the country will fall short of meeting the appropriate physician-to-patient ratios.

In fact, the AAMC believes that the US will fall between 40,000 to 124,000 doctors short in the next decade or so.

An Ideal Physician-to-Patient Ratio

It makes sense that densely-populated areas require more doctors in order to meet healthcare needs. That’s where the physician-to-patient ratio comes in. If you can measure this ratio, it tells you whether you have enough doctors to meet a geographical area’s healthcare needs.

Most states within the USA fall below the ideal physician-to-patient ratio. An ideal number is around 270 physicians per 100,000 people. This equates to about 370 patients per doctor. Many states hover around a rate closer to 200:100,000.

The governmental agency known as the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) works to increase healthcare access to vulnerable populations (geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable). Reports are available on their website. These reports show where vulnerable populations are located and where physicians are needed the most.

How Las Vegas Stacks Up

Nevada has been experiencing a physician shortage for some time. Currently, the state’s ratio remains around 200:100,000. Read more here about the OB/GYN Physician Shortage in Las Vegas.

HRSA reports displaying Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) show regions where there is a shortage of providers. Nevada shows 75 areas with a primary care physician shortage, plus numerous dental and mental health areas where there is a shortage of specialists to serve these populations.

A search on medically underserved areas from HRSA shows 25 regions within the state have underserved areas and populations. Specifically, these areas in Las Vegas are underserved:

My Virtual Physician is Increasing Access to Doctors & Specialists

It is My Virtual Physician’s mission to provide access to healthcare for men, women, and children. That’s why we offer online telemedicine visits for patients in any US state. This helps break down geographical barriers in order to increase the real physician-to-patient ratio. On top of that, we have taken it a step further with our hybrid clinic located in Las Vegas.

Read about our hybrid clinic’s opening here: My Virtual Physician Celebrates Las Vegas Hybrid Clinic Opening.

This clinic helps to serve populations who may not have access to the digital requirements of telemedicine. We provide a private room that our patients can use to meet virtually with our doctors inside the clinic located at 2217 Paradise Road in Las Vegas.

Additionally, the clinic provides immediate access for all populations. Walk-ins are welcome during business hours. Find out more here. Our doctors can provide primary care needs as well as specialty visits. In addition to our primary care doctors, we also have board-certified OBGYNs and Pediatricians ready to meet with patients.

 

As the number of monkeypox cases climbs in the United States during the 2022 outbreak, people are wondering if they should get the vaccine.

Data from today shows nearly 30,000 cases in the US, making up nearly half of the cases in the entire world (just over 75,000 total cases worldwide) this year. Although it’s not very deadly, it’s also not pleasant. So, what can you do to reduce your risk of contracting the monkeypox virus? One option is the monkeypox vaccination.

That brings us to our big announcement: we’re proud to announce that My Virtual Physician is in the process of becoming certified to dispense the monkeypox vaccine inside our Las Vegas Hybrid clinic located at 2217 Paradise Road.

Related: What is Monkeypox and How Can I Get Tested?

About the Monkeypox Vaccines Available in the US

Monkeypox is closely related to the smallpox virus, and there are two vaccines that are currently used to prevent monkeypox and smallpox. They are called JYNNEOS and ACAM2000. It’s important to note that certain groups should not get the ACAM2000 version, including:

The JYNNEOS vaccine is provided in a series of two doses, spaced 28 days apart. The injection site can be located in your forearm, shoulder blade, or shoulder muscle. The vaccine is considered effective 14 days after the second dose is received.

ACAM2000 is the alternate monkeypox vaccine, provided in a single dose using a special needle that administers multiple pricks. The injection site will form a lesion that will take several weeks to heal and requires special after-care attention to prevent spreading the live Vaccinia virus to others. This vaccine has a longer period of time to be considered effective, at 28 days after vaccination.

Who Should Get Vaccinated for Monkeypox?

Not everyone should get vaccinated for monkeypox. Right now, the CDC only encourages two major groups of people, who are at a higher risk, to consider vaccination. You should consider vaccination if:

  1. Someone you are intimate with tested positive for monkeypox
  2. You are at risk of exposure to someone who might test positive for monkeypox

Men who have sex with other men, transgender, and nonbinary people may also be at a higher risk of contracting monkeypox and should consider vaccination. Additionally, if you engage in sexual activity with multiple partners, you could also increase your chance of getting monkeypox.

Even if you’ve already been exposed, the CDC still recommends getting vaccinated as soon as possible to reduce the severity of symptoms.

Visit our Hybrid Clinic in Las Vegas for Monkeypox Vaccination

If you’re not sure whether you should get vaccinated for monkeypox, contact our doctors at My Virtual Physician, and we’ll help you determine which course of action is right for your situation. If it’s deemed that you qualify for the vaccine, we’ll notify you when it is available at our hybrid clinic on Paradise Road in Las Vegas. Contact us today for more information about the monkeypox vaccine.

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Many things in life take preparation. Sometimes couples have happy accidents, but other times, trying for a baby takes a little work upfront. If you’re in the second boat, you may be in the preconception planning phase.

So if you’re here to make sure you’re in good shape for pregnancy—then you’re in the right place. This post will cover a checklist of items you can tackle to ensure your best chances for conception.

What is Preconception Health & Preconception Planning

Pregnancy is hard on a woman’s body. There are steps that a woman can take to make it a little easier to prepare for this life-changing event. Preconception health happens before a couple tries for a baby; it looks at the overall health of a woman before conception to optimize her chances of getting pregnant. Preconception planning includes observing and adjusting diet, lifestyle, stress level, and other factors to set a couple up for success.

While these are great tips for any woman at any time, adopting these changes three months before trying for a baby can help improve preconception health.

Preconception Checklist

Use this preconception checklist to help boost your chances of pregnancy.

❒ Supercharge Your Diet

Your baby will depend 100% on your body for nutrition. That means that if you’re malnourished, then your baby will not be able to get the best nutrients through the umbilical cord. Here’s a list of FDA-recommended foods for future moms:

Make small changes to your diet to try to incorporate more variety into your diet. Avoid foods such as rice, which can contain naturally-occurring arsenic and certain types of fish that are high in mercury.

❒ Revisit Your Supplements & Medications

If you’re taking any natural supplements, prescriptions, or over-the-counter medications, be sure to reassess whether they are compatible with pregnancy. Consult your doctor before conception to make sure that you’re not taking any medications that could harm your baby or your fertility.

There are supplements that can help with fertility and embryo development. Folic acid, naturally occurring as folate, is the most well-known one. This vitamin is known to help prevent birth defects in the developing baby’s spine and brain. The CDC-recommended dosage is currently 400 mcg daily and has even mandated fortification of cereal grains to reduce deficiencies in this B vitamin.

❒ Break Bad Habits

Optimize your fertility by reducing your consumption of harmful chemicals such as alcohol, beverages, and sugar. Quitting bad habits before you try for a baby is one way to take action and let your body know you’re ready to nurture a baby in the womb. Drugs are detrimental to you and your baby’s health. Make a commitment to break the habit before you try to conceive.

Related: Naturally Boost Your Fertility at Home

❒ Get Active & Reduce Stress

Exercise releases endorphins and reduces stress. Now is a great time to develop a routine for regular exercise if you have not already been active. Simply adding more walking to your daily routine can be enough to get your heart pumping. Take this time for you now to establish healthy habits; because once the baby is born, getting out will have additional challenges.

❒ Track Your Cycle & Stop Taking The Pill

In addition to these changes you make while you are getting ready for pregnancy, you can also begin observing your body’s natural cycles. This is the perfect time to identify your fertility window. First, you’ll need to stop taking any hormonal birth control that you’ve been on. Next, you’ll observe the day that your period starts naturally. About 14 days after your period starts is when you are most fertile.

You can read more about tracking your cycle and identifying your fertility window in the article below that discusses the FAB method. While the related content is talking about preventing pregnancy, you can apply the same technique to identify your most fertile days for when you begin trying to conceive. Start tracking now so that you don’t have to guess later down the road.

Related: Natural Birth Control: Fertility Awareness Pregnancy Prevention

❒ Take an At-Home Fertility Test

Checking your fertility is easy today with at-home testing kits from organizations like Orchid, My Virtual Physician’s partner in at-home fertility testing. Not only can you have test kits sent directly to your home with a return label to send to a lab for full analysis, but the cost is affordable. You can get your results before stepping into a doctor’s office. At-home fertility tests are a quick way to rule out any fertility hiccups that may need to be addressed before conception.

Related: How Can I Test My Fertility at Home?

❒ Ask Your Partner to Take an At-Home Fertility Test

At-home fertility tests aren’t just for women! Orchid offers two types of fertility tests for men who want to make sure their sperm and reproductive potential are in good shape:

Read more about how to get an affordable at-home male fertility test done in these articles:

❒ Schedule a Pre-Pregnancy Checkup with Your Doctor

As complex and unique beings, sometimes other factors can affect your fertility. If you have a complicated health history that might interfere with your ability to conceive, bring it up in your pre-pregnancy checkup with your doctor.

Here’s a handful of health-related concerns to discuss with your physician:

Come to your pre-pregnancy checkup prepared to discuss your full medical history along with any ongoing conditions that may be impacted by your pregnancy (or vice versa). And if you’ve already taken an at-home fertility test, bring the results! Your doctor can help guide you to take the right corrective actions to make your dream of having a baby come true.

Go From Preconception to Baby Shower Planning

All that planning pays off. Making small adjustments now can increase your chances of success down the road. When you’re ready, reach out to the OBGYNs at My Virtual Physician to schedule your preconception planning visit, get your prenatals, and order your at-home fertility tests.

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Having pain “down there” isn’t normal. But it’s also not totally unheard of either; in fact, up to 16% of women may suffer from a specific type of pain in their vaginal region called vulvodynia. Vulvodynia is a condition that causes pain in a woman’s vulva, the outside part of the female’s lady parts. Unfortunately, many women suffer silently with their vaginal pain. In this blog, our Las Vegas gynecology team has taken the time to shed some light on this sensitive subject.

What are the Different Types of Vaginal Pain?

The female anatomy is complex, and there’s a lot of moving parts to consider. Vaginal pain isn’t the same for all women, and it may not even be in the same region of the reproductive organs for every patient. Let’s cover where vaginal pain often occurs by categorizing the types.

Vulvodynia

Vulvodynia is a chronic, burning pain of the vulva that continues for more than a quarter of a year. Others have described it as stinging, rawness, or throbbing. It’s sometimes accompanied by swelling. The symptoms vary greatly from person to person, and there’s no clear cause. However, suspected culprits may include:

Dyspareunia

Painful sexual intercourse that interferes with sexual function is called dyspareunia. While it can affect both men and women, here, we’re only talking about vaginal pain during sex. This is usually described as a sharp, intense pain that is tied to sexual activity, whether it’s during, or soon before or after the act. Others describe it as dull or aching. This pain in women can be located either in the vagina or the urinary organs. It’s sometimes accompanied by other irritating symptoms like burning and itching. There is a long list of possible causes for this condition:

Vaginismus

There’s a third type of vaginal pain that is called vaginismus. With vaginismus, the muscles inside the vagina spasm uncontrollably. It can interfere with sexual intercourse and cause severe pain, burning, and stinging, sometimes even making penetration impossible. The causes are often tracked back to physical trauma or emotional fears.

Vaginal Pain Caused by Another Illness

Sometimes, your pain won’t fit into any of the above categories. When that happens, it could mean that your vaginal discomfort is caused by something else. Current infections, genetics, hormonal changes, cancer, cysts, or polyps are all factors that increase your chances of experiencing vaginal pain. If you’re struggling to relieve your vaginal pain, our Las Vegas team of gynecologists at My Virtual Physician is here to help.

Self-Care Tips to Relieve Vaginal Pain

The first step to relieving your vaginal pain is to take detailed notes. Start a pain diary and write down your pain level throughout the day. You can use your pain diary to narrow down the pattern and cause of your vaginal pain. Take note of what helps versus what worsens your pain. Don’t forget to include the foods that you eat and the activities you participate in.

While you’re making your pain diary—you can try these tips to provide vaginal pain relief:

RELATED: Top 5 Tips to Maintain Vaginal Health: Things You Were Never Told

How to Cure Vaginal Pain

If documenting your vaginal pain and making small lifestyle changes listed above don’t work, don’t despair. There are still plenty of treatment options to cure, or at least manage, your vaginal pain.

Some women have found that biofeedback and physical therapy can help strengthen pelvic muscles, providing some vaginal pain relief caused by poor muscle tone.

If you need more immediate results, you might consider some medications that can bring vulvar pain relief, including topical anesthetics for numbing, hormonal creams, or even some antidepressants. Medications that treat vaginal dryness may also be helpful in treating dyspareunia. Some topical corticosteroid creams may also relieve vaginal pain. Talk with your doctor about what pain-relief method is right for you.

If physical therapy or medication is not for you, there is another option on the table. Believe it or not, sexual therapy is often an effective method to reduce vaginal pain, especially when it has a psychological component due to past trauma.

End Your Vaginal Pain

Nobody deserves to live in pain. If you’re suffering from any sort of vaginal pain, don’t keep it secret. Talk confidentially to our online board-certified OBGYNs to get help and relief. Schedule your appointment today.

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“You want me to do what?!” That’s a common reaction when a lady partner asks her man to get his sperm tested. With infertility being a valid concern affecting one in five couples, lovers are looking for ways to proactively identify fertility issues before they try to grow their families. This increases their chances of conceiving once they are ready.

Since men are half the equation when it comes to fertility, verifying potency is a critical step in confirming fruitfulness. And one of the best ways to test male fertility is through a sperm analysis. Unfortunately, that usually means an awkward visit to a facility where the holder of the sperm masturbates to produce a sample. This has been an inherent part of the process—until now. Today, you can get the job done at home.

Read on to find out more about at-home semen analysis.

What is a Semen Analysis?

Semen, also called seminal fluid, is the ejaculated fluid and its contents, which includes sperm. In order to identify whether your sperm are healthy, evaluating the seminal fluid is also important because it helps the sperm travel more easily.

A semen analysis measures and observes your semen and sperm characteristics. A lab looks at your semen under a microscope and writes down its characteristics, some of which include:

Compare your results to normal ranges so you can easily see if any sperm or semen qualities are out of whack. Having a semen analysis done helps couples identify whether there will be any hiccups when they try to conceive. Or, for other couples who have already been trying for a baby for a while, a semen analysis can help determine which partner needs help restoring their fertility.

How is an At-Home Semen Analysis Done?

If you’ve ever looked into getting your semen analyzed, you have felt nervous about masturbating in some private room of a facility in order to produce your sample. The days of awkwardly handing over your cup of semen to some technician in a medical facility are over. Now, you can get a semen analysis done at home. Here’s how it works:

When you collect your sample at home, you can expect to receive a collection cup, preservative, temperature control pack, and prepaid shipping label so that your precious goods make it to the lab safely.

Also, make sure to follow any instructions before you use your kit. Some things to know before you test:

How to Read Your At-Home Semen Analysis Results

You’ve done the deed, and now the results are in. What do they mean? Let’s take a look at normal ranges of characteristics for semen.

Sperm Shape Normal Range

The shape of sperm can affect its ability to travel and penetrate an egg. The shape includes the oval head as well as the midsection and tail. Some men who struggle with fertility may have abnormally shaped sperm. If more than 50% of your sperm are irregularly shaped, then it is an abnormal result that might be the cause of infertility.

Sperm Count Normal Range

Each load should contain a lot of sperm! A normal sperm count ranges between approximately 40 million to 900 million per sample, or a sperm concentration of 15 million to 260 million per mL. Even though it only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg, your chances drastically decrease if your sperm count is below 20 million during your at-home semen analysis.

Semen pH Normal Range

Semen should be slightly alkaline at between 7.2 and 7.8 on the pH scale. If your semen’s pH is off, it can affect your fertility. Abnormal seminal pH can also be a symptom of an infection or other malfunction with a man’s reproductive organs.

Sperm Movement Normal Range

Similar to the sperm shape, at least half of your sperm need to have normal movement. If your sperm isn’t moving, it will have a hard time making it to the target to fertilize an egg. Look for this result to be above 50% of sperm with normal movement.

Ejaculate Volume

A normal range for ejaculate volume is between 1.5 to 7.6mL. This is the amount of liquid measured from the sample. A high volume, along with a low sperm count, may mean that your sperm is diluted. Low volumes can also make it more difficult to conceive if there is not enough seminal fluid.

Get Your At-Home Semen Analysis Over With Today

Collecting your sample for your semen analysis is easier than ever today with at-home testing kits. If you’re ready to get your male fertility tested, you have the option to get it done with dignity from the comfort of your own home. Schedule an appointment with My Virtual Physician today to get your test ordered.

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Barrier methods are old school. There’s a reason for that–it’s because they provide a simple solution that can be effective without the major side effects of hormonal birth control.

Two of the oldest barrier methods that have been in use since the 1800s, and are still in use today, are the diaphragm and cervical cap. These two methods sound very similar, but they are a little different. Here, we will be covering those differences.

Shape & Size

If you’ve ever seen a diaphragm, you’ll notice it looks like a miniature version of the invisible dome in the Stephen King-based television series “Under the Dome.” It’s basically a half sphere with a sturdy, flexible rim.

What Makes up the Diaphragm Shape?

It takes two components to make up the diaphragm’s dome shape. First, a large, flexible spring or wire forms a circular structure about four inches in diameter. The second component is the latex or silicone material laid across the spring and encapsulating it so that the entire diaphragm is soft and rubbery.

A New Shape for the Old Diaphragm

In the past decade, a new shape has entered the arena. Caya is the first contoured diaphragm. This means that both the spring and the silicone material are shaped to fit a woman’s body, rather than forcing the traditional circular shape to fit.

Cervical Caps - What Do They Look Like?

So what do cervical caps look like? They are much smaller than diaphragms and cup-shaped. FemCap is the only cervical cap available in the United States, and its shape can be described as looking like a tiny sailor’s hat. The material is 100% medical grade silicone with no wire or spring required. FemCap was designed to use its special shape to trap sperm.

Why the different shapes?

The diaphragm covers a larger area which includes the cervix; it depends on the walls of the vagina to stay in place, and spermicide goes on the cervix-facing side. The cervical cap only covers the cervix and the “hat brim” touches the walls of the vagina to trap sperm inside a crevice. Spermicide is not always required, but it’s usually recommeded for the cervical cap on the outside facing side.

Related: Why You Might Want to Ask Your Online OBGYN about Diaphragms

Fittings & Range of Sizes Available

When it comes to getting fitted for your diaphragm or cervical cap, these both used to require an in-person exam and fitting by your doctor. That’s because both barrier methods previously came in

multiple sizes. Traditional diaphragms come in around eight different sizes!

One-Size-Fits-Most Option Comes to Town

However, the diaphragm has evolved to include the contoured option that is labeled as one-size-fits-most and therefore requires no awkward fitting, as mentioned earlier, this version is called Caya. Since we are all unique, if you find that this single size doesn’t fit you, there are still other barrier options available to you.

No Fittings Required

FemCap, the modern cervical cap available on the market, has three sizes. The great news is, despite the options, no in-person fitting is required by your doctor. You can get your prescription sized based on whether or not you have been pregnant and whether that birth was vaginal or cesarian.

Effectiveness of Pregnancy Prevention

Both the cervical cap and diaphragm are similar in doing the job of covering the cervix to prevent pregnancy when used properly; however, one of them is slightly more effective. Used with spermicide, the diaphragm has an average failure rate of 18%, and the cervical cap has a failure rate of 20%.

Spermicide Increases Effectiveness

Both methods become more effective when spermicide is used together with the devices. It’s also notable that the cervical cap may have decreased effectiveness for women who have given birth.

The modern version of the diaphragm, Caya, has a 14% failure rate with perfect use, and 18% with typical use. The modern version of the cervical cap, FemCap, has a failure rate of about 8% during clinical trials, meaning it actually might be even more effective at pregnancy prevention than a diaphragm.

Set it and Forget it (for 1 or 2 days)

It’s notable that FemCap can be left in place for up to 48 hours while the diaphragm must be removed every 24 hours. Both methods require a six-hour window after sex before removing the device. These timeframes are important to keep in mind when deciding which method will work best for your lifestyle.

Related: Hormonal Migraines: How Your Las Vegas OBGYN Can Help

Similar Side Effects

Both the diaphragm and cervical cap have very limited side effects when compared to hormonal birth control methods. The main side effects of a diaphragm are the possibility of irritation and increased urinary tract infections (UTIs). The cervical cap has listed irritation as a side effect, as well as allergic reactions and the possibility of abnormal pap test results.

The FemCap claims to have a lower risk of urinary tract infections, but traditional cervical caps have a history of some other side effects, including:

It’s also important to consider that spermicide can cause some side effects as well. Since both the cervical cap and diaphragm recommend adding spermicide to their devices, don’t forget to factor this into your decision as you’re choosing the right barrier method.

The Final Comparison

If you’re looking for a non-hormonal birth control method, both cervical caps and diaphragms are worthy options to consider. Using the information above, we hope that we’ve cleared up what the main differences are between the two.

At My Virtual Physician, we are here to support you in choosing the right contraceptive option for you. Set up an appointment today, and we’ll help you get the prescription that is right for your body and lifestyle.

 

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Disclosure: My Virtual Physician has partnered with Caya to make it easy to provide a simple, hormone-free contraceptive solution to our patients.

Childbirth and aging can both wreak havoc on a woman’s body. Several organs and tissues are all located in the abdomen, from the bladder and bowels to the reproductive organs—there’s a lot going on and a lot that needs to be held together. Although it’s natural that growing a child in the womb puts pressure on the female organs and tissues for a prolonged time during pregnancy, it can result in some long-term problems down the road.

It’s not uncommon for women to experience bladder incontinence after having children, especially as she approaches menopause. In fact, one in five women deals with a pelvic floor disorder. Pelvic floor disorders are a group of medical conditions that include both urinary and fecal incontinence, as well as pelvic organ prolapse. In this blog, our team of Las Vegas gynecologists at My Virtual Physician takes a look at pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that some of our patients face.

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse is similar to a hernia, where internal organs move through weakened tissues and out of their normal position. This leaves the organs vulnerable and may require surgery to correct. Women with pelvic organ prolapse have weakened muscles, tissues, and ligaments that are no longer able to hold organs, including the bladder, cervix, uterus, urethra, and rectum, in place. The result can be organs protruding into the vagina, and sometimes even out the opening.

There are different types of pelvic organ prolapse (POP), depending on which organ is bulging into the vagina. The most common prolapsed pelvic organ is the bladder; this type of POP is called cystocele, or dropped bladder. Other common types are rectocele, which involves the rectum, and uterine prolapse, involving the uterus. Although pelvic organ prolapse sounds extremely alarming, it’s not life-threatening.

There are four stages of pelvic organ prolapse:

Am I At Risk for Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

So now that we’ve defined pelvic organ prolapse, let’s talk about who is at a higher risk for the condition. By and far, it’s older women who have birthed children who commonly suffer this type of prolapse. Other than age and childbirth, a few other factors that increase your risk of POP include a family history, an existing connective tissue disorder, obesity, sustained heavy lifting, prior pelvic surgery, chronic cough, smoking, and frequent constipation.

Signs & Symptoms to Share With Your Las Vegas Gynecologist

Strangely, most women with pelvic organ prolapse don’t have symptoms. Often, the condition is identified by a gynecologist during a regularly scheduled pelvic exam. If it’s not caught during a regular exam, patients sometimes don’t notice anything until they are in stage three, when they notice tissue protruding outside the vagina.

Some women do have signs and symptoms of POP, such as:

If you notice any of the above signs of pelvic organ prolapse, get in touch with our Las Vegas Gynecology team at My Virtual Physician to discuss the severity and start a treatment action plan.

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Get Treatment for Your Pelvic Organ Prolapse

When discovered early on, pelvic organ prolapse can be treated without surgery. Common treatment plans include pelvic floor strengthening exercises, also known as Kegels. These can be done at home to increase vaginal muscle tone and keep organs in their place, preventing your prolapse from progressing further.

The other non-surgical treatment for POP involves a pessary. Pessaries are supportive medical devices that can be placed into the vagina in order to provide more structure and keep your anatomy properly aligned. These devices can also help with urinary incontinence. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in seeing if a pessary works for you. My Virtual Physician has partnered with Uresta, a type of pessary that helps patients with stress incontinence. Your doctor can help you find the best pessary for your particular prolapse.

If your pelvic organ prolapse cannot be corrected with pelvic exercises or a pessary, it may require surgery to restore your anatomy. Reconstructive pelvic surgery is recommended for women whose quality of life is affected by their prolapsed organ.

The Final Say on Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse can be an embarrassing condition; often kept in secret. But if you’re suffering from the condition at any stage, the first step is to notice the signs and talk with your doctor about your symptoms. My Virtual Physician has board-certified gynecologists standing by to help you correct your prolapse and get you on your way to getting your life back.

 

Headaches are inconvenient, but migraines? Those are debilitating. More than a headache, this special type of throbbing head pain often comes with a host of strange symptoms, including:

Experts still don’t know for sure what causes migraines, but they believe a number of triggers are involved. Some factors that may cause migraines include allergies, alcohol, dehydration, stress, certain foods, or changes in hormones. So what do migraines have to do with your gynecologist?

OBGYNs specialize in understanding the reproductive hormones in the body and how they function or malfunction. Our Las Vegas gynecologists can work with you to identify and minimize hormone-related migraines by correcting imbalances. In this article, we’ll talk about the role that hormones play in migraines.

What Do Hormones Have to Do with Migraines?

Since the odds of experiencing a migraine increase for women three to one, the cause of migraines must be biologically related. Reproductive hormones are what make the two biological sexes unmistakeably distinct. Two well-known reproductive hormones are estrogen in women, and testosterone in men, although each one is not exclusive to one sex.

Estrogen instability seems to be a common denominator for women with migraines. Throughout a woman’s reproductive lifespan, her estrogen levels will drastically change, creating periods of time where she is prone to increased migraine attacks. Some women have migraines on a recurring basis in sync with their menstrual cycles, further supporting the idea that migraines are tied to reproductive hormones.

Researchers suspect that it’s the sudden drops in estrogen that may be to blame. Estrogen levels drop just before the menstrual cycle and during the post-partum period after childbirth. That’s why some women get a break from their migraines while pregnant; their estrogen levels are higher and stable. Here are times when women are more susceptible to migraine:

While hormone fluctuations are not the only recognized trigger for migraines, they do seem to play a major role for women. That’s where your Las Vegas gynecology team at My Virtual Physician comes in. We’re here to help you understand your body and the role that hormones could play in your migraines.

The Role of Birth Control with Hormonal Migraines

It’s fair to say that many women have a love-hate relationship with their chosen contraceptive method. Birth control does the job of preventing pregnancy, but it often comes with inconvenience and side effects.

Take the pill, for example; it is a contraceptive option that changes your body’s hormones. The pill usually contains estrogen and progesterone. Some women experience increased migraines while taking hormonal birth control, and others actually find migraine relief when using the pill. Sometimes skipping the placebo pills under a doctor’s order can help prevent hormone fluctuations that cause migraines.

Women who suspect that their hormonal birth control is the cause of their migraines should consider alternative nonhormonal contraceptive options. You can read about alternative methods below:

If taking hormonal birth control is off the table for you, there are other treatment options available for hormonal migraines. One of the first steps in identifying the problem is to take a look at what your hormones are doing.

Can Lab Tests Be Used to Diagnose Hormonal Migraines?

Before you start taking hormonal birth control in an attempt to control your migraines, you can opt for hormone testing. There are at-home hormone test kits available that work with blood, urine, or saliva samples. If considering this type of testing, it’s important that you use a method that allows you to test your hormones throughout different days of your menstrual cycle. You will not be able to identify when the drop in estrogen occurs if testing only on a single occurrence.

Bringing your hormone test results to our online Las Vegas OBGYN team can help diagnose, treat, and even prevent future migraine disturbances if the culprit is hormonal imbalances.

How to Treat Hormonal Migraines

There is currently no cure for migraines. However, understanding whether your migraines are hormonal–or triggered by some other influence–can shed light on which way to go for prevention and treatment of symptoms.

Your online OBGYN can help identify whether your migraines are hormone-related. If you’re experiencing menstrual-related migraines, your doctor can help design a prevention plan and also prescribe medications for prevention and symptom relief.

If you’re ready to talk to your doctor about your migraines, the first step is to keep a log. Track your migraines on a calendar along with your menstrual dates. Track these activities to get insight into your migraine triggers:

Bring these logs with you when visiting your doctor. It helps to identify patterns and triggers so that your gynecologist can set up an appropriate treatment plan. Sometimes simple lifestyle changes can affect your hormones and reduce your migraines.

For perimenopausal women, doctors may treat severe migraines with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in order to stabilize estrogen. However, there are side effects, so this treatment is not for everyone.

Solving Your Migraine Problem

Your gynecologist isn’t exactly the first person you would think to call to solve your migraine problem. However, if your migraines are cyclical, they could be hormone-related. Ask the hormone experts for help and get migraine relief. Our clinics operate virtually online, so schedule your appointment today to meet with our OBGYN team. Alternatively, we have walk-in hybrid locations in Las Vegas where we can collect labs and vitals for our local patients.

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How painful are your periods? Most women don’t think twice about it. The pain they have during their menstrual cycle is reflexively deemed normal and accepted as part of “being a woman.” Maybe you have thought, is this abnormal? And even went as far as to ask your doctor about it during your annual exam. Often, women who complain about menstrual pain are told that it’s nothing to be concerned about and are given the advice to take an over-the-counter pain reliever–as if the thought never crossed their mind.

If you’ve experienced excruciating period pain, our doctors at My Virtual Physician are here to offer support and healing. Our Las Vegas gynecology team has decades of experience working with women who suffer from painful periods. In this blog, we tackle the topic of painful periods head on. We’ll cover the questions you have about your menstrual pain, including:

What’s Normal Period Pain?

Pain is a funny thing; it’s a sensation, and it can’t be objectively measured or observed like other symptoms, such as heavy bleeding or abnormal vaginal discharge. Instead, it’s up to you to notice if your pain is out of the ordinary.

This is usually done by using a pain scale. If you think your pain might be abnormal, start keeping track of where you’re at on the pain scale. If you find that you’re above a 5, or if your period interferes with day-to-day functioning and enjoyment, then it may be time to take a deeper look into the cause of your pain.

When it comes to menstrual pain, women usually experience some prolonged, dull muscle cramping along with sharp, quick spasms, both of which help shed the uterine lining each month. Here are some signs of abnormal period pain:

Related: Irregular Periods: What is Normal & When to See Your Online OBGYN

Is it Endometriosis?

If you’re experiencing abnormal period pain, then you may wonder if it’s endometriosis. Since over 10% of menstruating women suffer from endometriosis, it’s important to consider the possibility. Maybe you’ve heard of the condition–but what is it, and what’s it have to do with period pain?

Endometriosis is an abnormality that can cause serious period pain. The pain from endometriosis is described as stabbing, chronic, and unrelenting. It can also spread to different parts of the body. Doctors don’t know what causes endometriosis, but they do have an explanation for the cause of the pain that accompanies it.

The pain from endometriosis is caused by endometrial tissue growing in parts of the body where they don’t belong. These cells are only supposed to grow inside the womb, but with endometriosis, this endometrial tissue grows elsewhere. It grows on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other organs. This wreaks havoc on a woman’s insides because the tissue swells and bleeds, just like the tissue inside the uterus, except it has no way to leave the body.

Women with endometriosis often have chronic pain that doesn’t go away when their period stops; instead, they continue to experience discomfort in the lower back and pelvis throughout the month. Sex can also be painful for women with the condition because it can affect the abnormal endometrial tissue. Intestinal and bowel pain are also not uncommon in women affected by endometriosis.

Here’s a list of all of the chronic symptoms of endometriosis:

Diagnosing endometriosis can be challenging since it is an internal growth of tissues that cannot be observed through a typical pelvic exam. If you are experiencing the symptoms above, schedule an appointment to discuss them with your doctor. Our team of gynecologists is available to meet virtually online or through our hybrid clinics located in Las Vegas.

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Getting Period Pain Relief

Even normal period pain, called dysmenorrhea, can cause enough discomfort that you seek relief. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends treating the pain with medication such as NSAIDs, including ibuprofen or naproxen, since they affect the hormone involved in reproductive tissue formation.

A second approach for relieving serious period pain may be to begin using certain hormonal birth control medications to regulate your periods and encourage a reduction of pain. For endometriosis, a GnRH agonist medication may be used, but these medications come with side effects.

If you prefer not to use medications to manage your period pain, there are other treatments available. Some relief can come by incorporating exercise, heat, sleep, and relaxation into your routine during your period. Acupuncture, acupressure, physical therapy, nerve stimulation, and biofeedback techniques are other non-standard routes of treating chronic period pain.

Treatment for Endometriosis Period Pain

If your period discomfort is still debilitating after you’ve tried the pain management methods above, a doctor’s visit is in order. When you call our online gynecology team based out of Las Vegas, you can rest assured that our doctors will take your concerns seriously by providing a comfortable and welcoming environment to discuss diagnostic testing and treatment options.

Put an End to the Pain

The saying “no pain, no gain” fails to hold true when it comes to a woman’s period. We hope that by reading the material above, you can now decipher the “normal” period pain from something more serious. Don’t live your life dreading that time of month anymore; call our board-certified gynecologists today to discuss your pain and relief options.

 

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, nearly 2.5 million Americans are affected by hospital-acquired pressure ulcers each year. What is more concerning is that about 60,000 patients die annually as a direct result of a pressure injury. Pressure injuries are costly, painful, and dangerous. Those that develop while in the hospital may require special care when returning home.

hospital acquired pressure injury

What is a hospital-acquired pressure injury?

A hospital-acquired pressure injury is a skin injury or bedsore that occurs during a patient’s hospital or nursing facility stay. It is a pressure injury that is caused by a breakdown of the skin or underlying tissue. Pressure injuries may occur due to several factors, including:

While recovering in the hospital, you may get pressure sores from lying or staying in one position for a long time, especially over bony prominences

Common pressure sore locations include:

Pressure injuries and skin tears take a long time to heal. Thus, having a wound or pressure injury wound may prolong a hospital stay. Pressure injuries may become severe and cause infections or permanent muscle or bone loss. 

How to care for hospital-acquired pressure injuries at home

When it is time to return home from the hospital, you may still have open areas or ulcers. 

Here’s what to keep in mind when it comes to caring for your hospital-acquired pressure injuries at home.

How to care for broken skin at home

If you have an open wound but are unsure if it is a true hospital-acquired pressure injury, you must still take measures to help the skin heal and prevent further problems. 

To care for broken skin or wounds at home, you should:

When to see a doctor for a hospital-acquired pressure injury

While many injuries heal on their own with time, you should call your doctor if the area looks worse or if it doesn’t heal in 7-10 days. 

You should also call your doctor immediately to have a look at your wound if you notice these signs of infection:

Summary

Patients or caregivers must give special care to skin ulcers and hospital acquired pressure injuries to prevent complications. 

If you need to talk with one of our expert doctors or you want to learn more about virtual services, contact us now to find out about how to book a free or low-cost appointment. My Virtual Physician offers video consultations for pressure injuries and other wounds.  

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Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. The information, graphics, and images on this site are not intended to substitute diagnosis or treatment by a medical professional. Always seek the advice of a licensed physician for any questions you may have regarding a specific condition.

Sources:

"Bedsores (pressure ulcers)". mayoclinic.org. Accessed July 20, 2022.

"Dressing interventions to heal pressure ulcers". ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed July 20, 2022.

"Pressure Ulcers". aafp.org. Accessed July 20, 2022.

"Preventing Pressure Ulcers in Hospitals". ahrq.gov. Accessed July 20, 2022.

 

 

 

Sarah Falcone, BSN, RN, WCN-C, CSWD-C, is a certified wound care nurse, nursing consultant, and health content writer in Fort Worth, TX. She works with clients in home health, wound care, and telemedicine. Sarah is a passionate advocate for moving advanced levels of care to the home, where her clients can safely receive the medical treatments they need with greater satisfaction and comfort. She focuses on patient experience, outcomes, and advancing clinical models using innovative technology to serve patients better. Sarah draws from 15 years of practicing patient care and nursing leadership to share her own nursing experiences and expertise online. Connect with her on LinkedIn!

 

Do you have a doctor’s appointment coming up? What kinds of emotions conjure up when scheduling the appointment? Anxiety? Annoyance? Dread? For many, just the thought of setting up healthcare commitments can be overwhelmingly negative.

Not to mention the eventuality of going through with the actual appointment. There’s a lot that can and will go wrong if you tolerate bad behavior from your healthcare provider. If your healthcare experience has been a thorn in your side, then you might be considering leaving your doctor. And you may be wondering–what are my options?

We know what it’s like to begrudgingly drag yourself to the doctor only to have the same terrible experience over and over again–and we also know the temptation to skip checkups to avoid the discomfort altogether. But is it enough to warrant the drastic step of switching doctors? Well, the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and expecting different results. Why not give something new a try?

Whether it’s your primary care physician–or your gynecologist–that you’re looking to replace; our team of Las Vegas doctors are here to step in and provide the care you deserve. We want you to know that you do not have to accept sub-par healthcare services any longer. We created this reference to help you make the decision.

It’s Time to Switch Doctors if These Things Happen During Your Visit

If you’re unhappy with your healthcare experience, it’s likely that one, or a combination, of the below experiences has happened to you. Let’s cover some common reasons that patients decide to call it quits and find a new doctor.

Bad Vibes Between You and Your Provider

In relationships–whether personal or professional–communication is the keystone that holds everything together. In a doctor-patient relationship, both parties need to feel safe and comfortable to communicate openly. That way, the doctor can make a proper assessment and diagnosis because the patient shared all pertinent facts, symptoms, and concerns.

If you feel your doctor is doing any of the following during your visit, it’s a red flag:

A minor occurrence here and there may be excusable, but if you have an overall bad experience every time you see your physician that leaves you feeling deflated and drained, then it’s likely time for a change.

Is Your Doctor Incompetent or Unconcerned? Wrong Diagnosis or None at All

You’ve done your part and shared all the juicy details of your symptoms with your Las Vegas OBGYN, but you are still sick! If you’ve been prescribed medication that worsens or does nothing for your symptoms and your doctor isn’t willing to correct it or make suggestions for something better, that’s a problem. Make sure you’re working with a physician who is your advocate, who listens to your concerns, and who is competent enough to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Something that might be even worse than the wrong treatment is when your doctor tells you nothing can be done. If you feel like your doctor ignores your concerns, gives ambiguous answers to your questions, or is uninformed about the latest medical advancements and treatment options, then it might be time for a second opinion.

When Your Doctor is Not Considerate of Your Time

Seeing your doctor should not require you to use vacation time; but unfortunately, the traditional in-person experience at a doctor’s office still requires it. How much time do you spend on your appointment?

Depending on your personal factors, the whole process of a simple doctor appointment will take a minimum of two hours, and in worst-case scenarios, up to four hours out of your day.

It’s often a frustrating experience with little or no apology for keeping you waiting. If your doctor often runs behind and has no consideration for your time, it can be a damaging combination. Pile on top of that a doctor whose assistant calls to cancel and reschedule your appointment (that has been booked a month in advance) for no reason, and you are officially feeling violated.

Customer service should not go out the window when it comes to healthcare. Don’t allow your doctor or the facility to walk all over you and take advantage of your time. A recent study showed that 8 in 10 patients factor in customer service when they choose healthcare providers. If your provider won’t administer consistently good customer service, find another who will.

Your Doctor Refuses to Provide Transparent Pricing

And the last straw to cutting ties with your healthcare provider is when it affects your pocketbook. Healthcare costs can be vague, confusing, and mysterious, especially when health insurance factors in. If you’ve ever asked for the cost of your appointment beforehand, you’ve likely received a confused look and some jargon about not knowing which medical billing code will be used.

That explanation is becoming less and less accepted by patients as pricing transparency is in demand. If you need to know how much your healthcare will cost up-front, there are doctors who will provide it willingly. Your doctor should also be considerate of your financial situation when prescribing treatments and offer less expensive alternatives when appropriate.

What Are Your Options if You Dump Your Doctor?

If the above scenarios are recurring every time you see your doctor, you may be ready to move on. You’ve got three basic options to choose from:

  1. Switch to a different doctor at the same facility
  2. Find a new doctor at a different facility
  3. Find a doctor online

Option #1, switching doctors within the same facility, is viable if you believe it is strictly a personal shortcoming of your doctor, but won’t do much for facility-wide dysfunction.

Option #2, switching facilities and doctors, is a good choice if you prefer in-person visits but have reason to believe there are facility-wide functioning problems with the original clinic.

Option #3, finding a doctor online, will usually solve all of the concerns and inherent problems of traditional brick-and-mortar facilities. Here’s why:

Switch to My Virtual Physician and Experience Healthcare in a New Way

My Virtual Physician is proud to offer online gynecology, pediatrics, and primary care–along with hybrid healthcare options in Las Vegas. We strive to provide an excellent patient experience that meets you where you are. Check out our testimonials to see what our patients are saying about us and make the switch today!

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