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Hearing a baby's heartbeat for the first time is one of the most exciting moments for expecting mothers and their partners. A fetal heartbeat tells the mother the baby is alive. Beyond that, a baby's heartbeat can also tell the healthcare provider a lot about the baby's health.

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When does your baby have a heartbeat?

A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as the fifth week of gestation. At that time, the baby's heart tube begins to beat, although you cannot hear it.  Only a vaginal ultrasound can pick it up.

However, it can be better picked up between the 6½th to 7th week of gestation. In some cases, you may not hear it till later. Depending on the medical practice and your history, your doctor may schedule your abdominal or vaginal ultrasound to assess your pregnancy around this time.

You may be asked to have an early ultrasound if you:

The ultrasound will:

When can you hear a baby’s heartbeat?

Timing may vary, depending on your doctor, his medical practice, and other factors. Some doctors may ask for your first ultrasound early in the 7th to 8th week of pregnancy and then ask for another a week or two later.

At other times, your doctor may schedule your ultrasound in the tenth week. You may hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. However, the Doppler may find it challenging to pick the heartbeat. Don't panic. It may be that:

Give it a couple of weeks. The Doppler will be able to pick your baby's heartbeat perfectly by the 12th week of gestation. After 8 to 10 weeks, you can hear your baby's heartbeat with a stethoscope. This should be around the twentieth week of pregnancy. 

It is almost impossible for the human ear to detect a fetal heartbeat. However, some women claim they hear their baby's heartbeat. This may be possible in the late second and third trimesters.

Normal fetal heart rate

At 6 to 7 weeks, the normal fetal heart rate is between 90 to 110 beats per minute. 

By the ninth to tenth week, your baby's heart rate should beat between 150 to 170 times per minute. However, this should reduce to around 140 beats per minute by week 20.

During labor, your baby's heart can beat 110 to 160 times per minute. But there may be slight variations due to several reasons, some of which are perfectly normal. 

Can you use apps to hear a baby’s heartbeat?

Your doctor may warn against using at-home fetal apps and devices. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also warns against using such unless you’re under the supervision of a medical professional.

These apps and devices are mostly substandard and may either not pick up a baby's heartbeat or give you an inaccurate reading, resulting in unnecessary fear and worry. Also, using some of these devices like the at-home Doppler requires training to avoid wrong readings.

Your doctor will monitor your baby’s heartbeat at each prenatal visit. If you are worried about your baby’s heartbeat, talk to your doctor. They will schedule an ultrasound and check your baby's heartbeat. If your baby's heartbeat is too fast, too slow, or irregular, the doctor may assess some others things and order more tests to diagnose the problem. 

Rarely, if your baby has a heart condition, your doctor may schedule a fetal echocardiogram to examine your baby’s heart further.

Pregnant? We're here to help you

A visit to us helps you get your prenatal care started while you await your appointment with your local OB doctor. Your virtual physician can help to electronically order prenatal care labs and/or send an order to the nearest radiology facility for you to get an ultrasound.

At My Virtual Physician, we are available to help guide you through your pregnancy and answer any questions that may arise. We are in-network with many insurance health plans, including Medicaid, Medicare, United HealthCare, and Blue Cross. 

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A leaky bladder can put a damper on life. The never-ending cycle of bathroom breaks tempts you to hold back from enjoying a full-bellied laugh with your friends or an intense group workout at the gym. You’re not alone┈bladder control problems are common in women–but you shouldn’t have to limit your life like this. And the good news is, you don’t have to; urinary incontinence is a treatable condition.

My Virtual Physician’s team of Las Vegas gynecologists wants to help provide the solution to your leaky bladder situation. In this blog, we’ll cover the basics of stress incontinence, its causes, and provide our recommended remedy.

What Is Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)?

Urinary incontinence is a medical condition that affects your ability to hold or control your bladder and the flow of urine. There are many types of urinary incontinence:

Each type of urinary incontinence has a different cause and treatment. In this article, we are focusing on one type: stress incontinence. Stress incontinence happens when you abruptly leak urine as you:

Stress urinary incontinence, or SUI for short, affects more women than men. The woman’s urinary system is more prone to weakening of the pelvic muscles that keep the bladder sealed. Some of the reasons that women have a higher prevalence include anatomy, childbirth, and hormonal changes which are all unique to women. Risk factors that tend to lead to stress incontinence include obesity, neurological conditions, trauma, certain medications, and childbirth.

How Can I Manage a Leaky Bladder?

Many women believe that there is nothing that can be done to prevent or treat stress incontinence. They manage the condition by wearing pads or protective underwear just in case. Pelvic exercises are an inconvenience and surgery seems too extreme without a guarantee to fix the issue, so many women accept leaky bladders as part of aging–but it doesn’t have to be.

There are insertable devices that can be used to strengthen and support the urinary organs, muscles, and tissues; these are called pessaries. They are usually made of silicone or another medical-grade material and are used to reposition the urethra and help prevent incontinence. Traditionally, these devices are selected and fitted by your physician. However, today, there’s a new product on the market that is making pessary access available to more women, more easily: it’s called Uresta.

Uresta is a reusable bladder support device that can be self-fitted by you, the patient. It is comfortable, easy to insert, and comes in five different sizes, with three common sizes included in the starter kit for initial fitting. If the starter kit sizes are not a perfect fit for your body, the other sizes are available to you for free at your request. Uresta has proven effective for the majority of women who have tried it. The numbers speak for themselves:

How Can I Get Uresta?

My Virtual Physician’s Las Vegas OB GYNs are strong believers in providing patients with the tools they need to manage their women’s healthcare needs–without jumping through hoops. That’s why we advocate for the Uresta pessary device. You don’t have to come into an office for an awkward fitting appointment; you can self-fit from the privacy of your own bathroom.

If you struggle with stress incontinence and would like to see if Uresta is your solution, we’d like to help. Schedule a virtual appointment today with a Las Vegas gynecologist at My Virtual Physician to discuss your options, get your Uresta prescription today, and get your life back.

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Telemedicine gained a foothold during the pandemic. By the end of 2021, digital doctor visits had increased by 63% over two years, according to a government study. And the trend seems to be holding strong, with many physicians and facilities–Las Vegas gynecologists included–continuing to provide telehealth access, post-pandemic.

While telemedicine has proven valuable and trends show that it’s here to stay, there are some limitations. In this blog, we’ll briefly cover some obstacles inherent to telehealth along with our proposed solution: hybrid clinics.

Limitations of Telemedicine-Only

While telemedicine was literally a life-saver throughout the pandemic, it comes with its limits. The most glaring limitation is the lack of a hands-on physical exam. For standard consultations, this is usually not an issue; but if certain diagnostic services are required, like pelvic exams or getting labs done, it gets a little trickier.

Another problem that telemedicine presents is patient access. Telemedicine requires some expensive equipment that not all patients have on hand; that we often take for granted. A virtual visit requires the following:

Even if you do have this equipment, you still must count on many factors to be in working order to participate in telemedicine appointments.

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

A third limitation of telemedicine is simply that some patients prefer the traditional visit to a doctor’s office. An in-office visit to a clinic where a real person is physically present to assist is preferable to some, especially those who are technology-illiterate, have certain disabilities, or struggle with the English language.

For those who feel telemedicine is not suitable to meet their comprehensive healthcare needs, hybrid clinics provide another pathway. My Virtual Physician is embracing this new solution, which offers our patients a new healthcare experience where they can have their gynecology or other healthcare needs met right there on the Las Vegas strip.

What is a Hybrid Medical Clinic?

A hybrid medical clinic is a physical building that offers some of the same services that you would expect from a traditional in-person doctor’s visit while also providing the equipment to meet virtually with your doctor. My Virtual Physician’s hybrid clinics are located at:

Our hybrid clinic will open its doors to walk-in patients as well as those who schedule an appointment. As you enter the clinic, our Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) will welcome you, take your vital signs, and collect any urine samples, if required. You’ll then be guided into a private room where the telehealth equipment is set up for you to meet virtually with our board-certified physicians. Our staff is here to help in the event that you need any further assistance.

Just a handful of the additional services that we can provide inside our hybrid clinics include the following:

*by appointment only when a nurse or specialist is required

Related: My Virtual Physician’s List of Women’s Telemedicine Services

The Value of In-person Healthcare Services

My Virtual Physician is excited to offer this new hybrid option to patients who prefer the in-person experience or who do not have access to the special equipment required for virtual visits or special services. While we understand that the hybrid clinic is not for everyone, or maybe just not for every visit, we have made it a priority to provide a physical alternative to the fully digital world of telemedicine.

Our intention is to provide value to our patients by offering in-person services as an option at our hybrid clinics. We deliver this as a solution to the limitations we find in telemedicine alone. Our hybrid clinic provides a nearby physical hub for specimen collection, as well as ultrasound, for prompt confirmations and diagnoses.

Our hybrid clinics will provide a safe, private, and well-equipped place for you to meet virtually with your OBGYN in Las Vegas to discuss your health needs. Come visit our friendly staff at our two hybrid locations today!

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One of the exciting moments expecting mothers look forward to is when their baby starts kicking. These baby kicks help moms bond with the life growing inside them and track the growth of their babies. 

When should I start feeling the baby move?

Usually, you should feel the first fetal movement, also known as quickening, around weeks 18 to 22. Depending on your pregnancy, it may be sooner or later than that. You may feel them as late as the twenty-sixth week if it's your first pregnancy. In subsequent pregnancies, you may feel them as early as the thirteenth to fourteenth week.

How and when you feel your baby's first movements depends on different factors. These include may include your weight, position of the placenta, etc.

What do baby kicks feel like?

Different women feel their baby's movements differently. Pregnant women have described their baby's kicks as a flutter, a nudge, a twitch, a tumbling motion or roll, gas bubbles, a tickle, hunger pangs, or waves.

As the baby grows, the movements become stronger and can feel like a punch, jab, or kick, especially in the 6th and 7th months of pregnancy. 

Towards the middle and end of the third trimester, you may feel your baby turning and wiggling.

How often should I feel my baby's movements?

In your first trimester, you may feel movements, especially flutters, occasionally. However, you should feel more rhythmic, frequent, and stronger movements towards the end of the second trimester. By the third trimester, you can feel your baby move about 30 times or more in an hour.

Babies can also be active at certain times. This doesn't necessarily mean you have a super active baby. You may feel your baby kicks more when you are nervous, are about to go to bed, have just eaten, or when it has hiccups. Your baby can also respond to sound or touch. 

Should I monitor my baby's movements?

Yes, you should. Usually, a baby's movements are well established early in the third trimester. By week 26 to 28, you can start a fetal movement counting or fetal movement assessment. This means keeping track of your baby's kicks, punches, and jabs. Obstetricians often recommend this to know if your baby is still growing as it should.

If you are pregnant with twins or more babies, doing a fetal movement count may be difficult. You may get confused as to which baby is moving.

Keep in mind that there are times your baby might be calm and not move so much. Don't be worried. To keep track of your baby's movements, pick a time your baby is most active, get into a comfortable position, and count how long it takes to make ten movements. Usually, you should count at least ten movements in 2 hours. Chart your measurements each time.

If your baby is not moving as often as they should, or you can't feel ten movements in 2 hours despite a trigger such as eating a snack, contact your doctor or health care provider.

What should I do if I don't feel my baby moving? 

You may not be able to distinguish your baby's movements in time. So, if you haven't reached week 25 and you do not feel your baby move or cannot describe what you are feeling, don't be worried. 

Also, some babies move less frequently than others, and some only get active when something makes them. There are times they may be asleep or have lesser room to move around, especially towards the end of your pregnancy.

However, if you notice that your baby's movements have significantly reduced or you do not feel at least ten movements in 2 hours, call your doctor.

What we can help you do

A visit to us helps you get your prenatal care started while you await your appointment with your local OB doctor. Do you have questions about your baby's movements? Do they seem too much, or have they significantly reduced? At My Virtual Physician, we are available to help guide you through your pregnancy and answer any questions that may arise.

We are in network with many insurance health plans, including Medicaid, Medicare, United HealthCare, and Blue Cross. 

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There is one thing that all women have in common: periods. But every year, over a million of those women enter a new stage in their life when their periods cease to exist–a certain special interlude called menopause.

While menopause marks a new phase in life, getting there isn’t quick or easy. The process of going through the menopausal transition takes around four years on average and can bring with it a roller-coaster of emotions.

Every woman deserves to know what to expect in menopause and how to endure the change as pleasantly as possible. Our team of Las Vegas gynecologists is here to help. Here, we will cover the basics of menopause and how your doctor can assist during this important progression of your reproductive lifecycle.

What is Menopause?

You’ve probably experienced a mature woman talking about hot flashes, an uncomfortable symptom experienced by 75% of menopausal women. And you probably understand that menopause is the stage when a woman’s body stops ovulating permanently. But other than hot flashes and the end of fertility, what is menopause really? Menopause is commonly defined as “the cessation of menstruation.” Well yes, but there’s a little more to it than that.

There are three major phases of menopause that take years to complete:

Menopause is the natural and gradual process that every woman experiences when her ovaries reduce the production of reproductive hormones and stop releasing eggs.

How Do I Know if I’m Entering Menopause?

It’s the changes in hormones that cause menopausal symptoms. During perimenopause, your body will gradually decrease estrogen production. Here are some common symptoms that could be signs you are entering perimenopause:

Your age, along with the above symptoms will help you and your Las Vegas gynecology team identify if you’re experiencing the first signs of your menopausal transition. Most women’s bodies begin the process between the ages of 45 to 58 years old, reaching menopause at age 52 on average.

Your doctor can order lab tests that measure hormones in order to determine whether you are entering menopause. Hormone levels during perimenopause can be very unpredictable. These tests are usually only needed if you suspect early menopause.

Caring for Yourself During and After Menopause

More than two-thirds of women say that their menopausal symptoms have interfered with their quality of life. Here are some natural tips to help during your transition:

If you’re still experiencing discomfort, our Las Vegas OBGYN team is available to provide guidance as well as additional options to manage your menopausal symptoms. Some treatments include hormone therapy, mood-stabilizing medications, and prescription supplements.

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Life after periods begins a whole new era. While you won’t have to worry anymore about getting your period or using birth control to prevent pregnancy, postmenopausal women tend to have a higher risk for osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems due to the changes in hormones. Prepare for menopause early and take care of your body along the way so that you can continue to enjoy every moment of your life post-menopause.

Fibroids are abnormal, noncancerous growths within the uterus of a woman. They are common in women aged 30 to 40 but can occur at any age. The risk of having fibroids increases with age.

A woman can have multiple fibroids of various sizes. Fibroids can grow within the uterine wall, inside the uterine cavity, or outside the uterine wall. 

Fibroids can be present during pregnancy, although detecting fibroids during pregnancy can be tricky. Most times, fibroids do not cause problems for women or their babies. Women with fibroids can go on to have normal and safe pregnancies. In some cases, however, they can cause challenges.

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Challenges associated with fibroids during pregnancy

First trimester

Usually, fibroids do not grow while you are pregnant. Instead, they remain the same size or shrink. However, there are cases where fibroids increase in size during pregnancy, especially in the first twelve weeks.

Fibroids need estrogen, a female reproductive hormone, to grow. When you become pregnant, estrogen is produced in higher amounts. Increased levels of estrogen may make fibroids grow during pregnancy. When that happens, it may cause the following:

Your chances of having problems in your first trimester increase with the number and size of fibroids you may have. In other words, the more fibroids you have or, the larger your fibroids are, the more your chances of having challenges during pregnancy.

Second and Third Trimesters

As your baby grows, your uterus expands to accommodate your baby better. As your uterus grows, it can push against your fibroids and bring about the following problems:

Delivery and Childbirth

Having uterine fibroids increases your risk of having a cesarean section. The reason is that fibroids can prevent the uterus from contracting. 

In rare cases, large fibroids can block your birth canal and hence, the need for the baby to be delivered via cesarean birth.

Another potential challenge is breech birth, where the baby's butt or feet is born first. Typically, a baby is positioned with his head down and hence, born head first. 


Usually, fibroids decrease in size after pregnancy. As the uterus remolds into its pre-pregnant state, it helps reduce or shrink fibroids. According to a study, about 70% of women experience more than 50% reduced fibroids size. 

Treatment of fibroids during pregnancy

Usually, fibroids do not need to be treated during pregnancy. The baby and fibroids can coexist in the uterus throughout pregnancy. In most cases, fibroids move out of the baby's way as the uterus expands.

If you have problems with fibroids, such as pain, discomfort, or bleeding, you may be placed on bed rest. Your doctor may admit you and ask you to rest in the hospital for a while. Where the pain is mild or without bleeding, pain relief medications may be given.

In rare cases, surgery 'myomectomy' may be required to remove the fibroids. If a pregnant woman has surgery to remove fibroids, she may need a cesarean section.

Cesarean section is also performed for pregnant women at risk of uterine rupture. This may also be due to previous uterine surgeries or cesarean sections.

What we can do to help

A visit to us helps you get your prenatal care started while you await your appointment with your local OB doctor. Have you been diagnosed with fibroids and already having symptoms? At My Virtual Physician, we are available to help guide you through your pregnancy and answer any questions that may arise.

We are in-network with many insurance health plans, including Medicaid, Medicare, United HealthCare, and Blue Cross. 

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cash in woman's hands

How much are you paying for your healthcare? Healthcare in the United States is expensive. In fact, it’s so expensive that over 90% of Americans purchase or apply for medical insurance just to offset the cost of care.

If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to the traditional model, we have great news for you–it is possible to get affordable OBGYN care in Las Vegas–even without health insurance. Let’s review the traditional model of healthcare expenses that we’ve all begrudgingly accepted up until now, and then we’ll cover the new path forward.

The Traditional Cost of Medical Care

Do you know how much your next doctor appointment will cost you? If you’ve ever called ahead to get a quote, you likely got a confusing answer or none at all. Seeing your doctor in the traditional sense can be expensive and many factors influence your out-of-pocket cost, even for a simple diagnostic exam with your Las Vegas gynecologist, such as:

All factors considered, without health insurance, you’ll likely pay between $200 to $500 after all is said and done for just a simple appointment at a brick-and-mortar facility. Even with health insurance, you’ll still be on the hook for paying a large sum of cash until you exceed your deductible. That’s just for one appointment; imagine if you had an ongoing condition requiring regular physician monitoring–this paints the picture clearly of why health insurance came into existence.

Related: No Health Insurance? No Problem.

The Cost of Health Insurance

Health insurance was originally designed to help offset the patient’s out-of-pocket costs for medical expenses. It generally works like this:

  1. You pay a monthly premium to the insurance company
  2. You receive care from a participating doctor at a discounted rate
  3. You pay 100% of the care until meeting a deductible amount agreed upon with the insurance provider
  4. You pay a portion (for example, 20%) of qualified medical bills after your deductible is met
  5. Your insurance covers 100% after you meet your out-of-pocket max

While you can get health insurance on your own, if you’re working a traditional job, you probably depend on your employer for your health insurance. Many employers offer to subsidize a portion of a health insurance plan as an employee benefit. If this isn’t an option for you, you may have looked into the government marketplace.

If you’ve checked out the plans and pricing, you’ll quickly realize how unaffordable medical insurance has become. Family premiums are over $400 per month for plans with a high out of pocket max and high deductibles–both exceeding $8,000 per year. That means you could spend as much as $5,000 per year on premiums plus another $8,000 on healthcare for a total of $13,000 per year. This model has become unsustainable.

Telemedicine Brings an Affordable Option to the Table

Luckily, there is a new model for affordable healthcare and technology is paving the way. The acceptance and advancement of telemedicine, a new way to see your doctor, has been drastically accelerated by the pandemic. Virtual doctor visits are creating a new alternative to the traditional model of unaffordable medical care. There are many reasons telemedicine makes healthcare more affordable, including:

Besides the cost savings, there are countless other benefits to moving healthcare visits online including time savings, elimination of the commute, less disruption to your routine, privacy, comfort, and much more.

Related: Telemedicine: An Advantage for Patients & Providers of Prenatal Care 

My Virtual Physician’s Las Vegas OBGYNs

So how much will an appointment with one of My Virtual Physician’s Las Vegas OBGYNs cost you? Our pricing is simple and transparent. We offer appointments as needed for a flat rate for quick things like renewing your annual prescription or getting a UTI treated. If you have ongoing care needs, we offer individual, family, and employee membership levels that allow unlimited visits for a flat fee. You can explore our current rates here, where you’ll find all of our pricing transparently available to you.

With My Virtual Physician, you won’t need to pay insurance premiums and there are no surprises about how much the appointment will cost. We promise our patients affordable access to the best Las Vegas gynecologists right from the comfort of your own home.

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Healthcare doesn’t have to be unaffordable. The old model is breaking down and being replaced with one that works for both patients and providers. My Virtual Physician is proud to be a quality Las Vegas OBGYN provider that anyone can afford.


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), otherwise known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that are spread by having sex or any sexual activity with a person with an STD. STDs can be transmitted through any sexual activity involving the mouth, vagina, or anus.

STDs include:

STDs should be taken seriously and urgently attended to, whether or not you are pregnant. However, if as a pregnant woman, you suspect you have or have been exposed to an STD, tell your doctor immediately. Prompt treatment is needed to protect you and your baby. 

During pregnancy, having an STD is more harmful, because you are not the only one at risk, your baby can be affected. A pregnant woman with an STD can infect her baby before, during, or after childbirth.

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Symptoms of STDs

There are cases where an infected person doesn't experience any symptoms. Sometimes, symptoms may mean the disease has progressed and is worsening or the infected person's immunity is low.

Symptoms of STDs include:

Effects of STDs on Pregnancy

STDs in pregnancy can affect you and/or your baby before, during, and after childbirth. 

STDs and how they affect you and/or your baby are highlighted below:


Note: Transmission of HIV infection from mother to child can be prevented.



Genital herpes 


Trichomonas vaginalis

Hepatitis B

Note: Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent the disease in the mother. Medications can also be given to newborns to prevent mother-child transmission.

Treatment of STDs

During pregnancy, treatment of an STD depends on how bad the infection is and how far along you are in your pregnancy.

  1. Medications




Genital Herpes


Genital Warts (HPV)

Trichomonas vaginalis

Hepatitis B

  1. Adhere to your drug regimen, especially if you are given antibiotics. Do not stop taking them even if symptoms go away.
  2. Do not share medications or use another person's medications.
  3. Get yourself retested after 3 months to see if you still have the infection.
  4. Learn about STDs

Prevention of  STDs?

  1. Abstinence from sex
  2. Safe sex using a latex condom especially if you have more than one sex partner.
  3. Have just one sex partner. If married, practice monogamy.
  4. If you have more than one sex partner, limit them. The more you have, the higher your risk for an STD.
  5. Get screened for STDs

Pregnant? We're here to help you

A visit to us helps you get your prenatal care started while you await your appointment with your local OB doctor. Your virtual physician can help to electronically order prenatal care labs and/or send an order to the nearest radiology facility for you to get an ultrasound.

At My Virtual Physician, we are available to help guide you through your pregnancy and answer any questions that may arise. We are in network with many insurance health plans including Medicaid, Medicare, United HealthCare, and Blue Cross. 

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So you’ve heard the acronyms OB and OBGYN, but have you put much thought into what the terms mean? In this blog, we’ll cover what an OBGYN is exactly, what an OBGYN does, and then we’ll share some details about our team of Las Vegas OBGYNs.

What is an OBGYN?

OBGYNs are doctors who specialize in the female reproductive system. The acronym can be written several ways:

All of these are acronyms for “obstetrician-gynecologist.” Let’s break that down. Obstetrics and gynecology are broken into separate terms to describe whether the woman under the physician’s care is pregnant or not. In other words–if you’re pregnant, you’re going to your OBGYN for obstetrics care; if you’re not pregnant, you’ll go for gynecology.

What is an Obstetrician?

The obstetrician part is where we get the acronym OB. Obstetrics is the practice of meeting the medical needs of women during pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery. Obstetric care also includes prenatal monitoring of the baby while in the womb. At birth, newborn care is handed over to a neonatologist and soon thereafter, medical care of the infant is transitioned to a pediatrician. Obstetrics requires close monitoring of the growing baby from a few weeks after conception to birth, including:

An OBGYN will continue to care for the new mother during the postpartum period to monitor that her body heals and that postpartum depression, if present, is managed.

Related: Telemedicine in Prenatal Care: What to Know About Seeing a Virtual Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB-GYN)

What is a Gynecologist?

The second part of the OBGYN acronym is the gynecologist. A gynecologist specializes in caring for women’s reproductive systems. This can include diagnosing and managing ongoing conditions, such as painful or irregular menstrual cycles, or short-term needs such as regular STD testing. Gynecology also includes the implementation of contraceptives such as IUDs or birth control pills. Here’s a list of gynecological services that My Virtual Physician’s Las Vegas Gynecologists provide:

As the breasts are a part of the woman’s reproductive system, gynecologists also conduct cancer screenings.

The Training Behind the OBGYN

There is a lot that goes into becoming an OBGYN. A bachelor’s degree plus four years of medical school is the basic requirement for medical doctors. OBGYNs must complete an additional four years of residency, to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. That means your OBGYN has at least 12 years of training and education under his belt before licensure.

Once all education and residency requirements are met, OBGYNs must pass state-specific licensure exams. The exact requirements vary depending on the state. Board certification by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology is not required, but this endorsement shows your OBGYN’s competence and commitment. In order to maintain voluntary certification, your OBGYN has to take a maintenance exam every six years.

Our Team of Las Vegas Gynecologists

At My Virtual Physician, we currently have two board-certified OBGYNs ready to see patients. Let’s get to know them a little better.

Dr. David Howard, M.D., Ph.D., CEO, OB/GYN

Dr. David Howard is the CEO and founder of My Virtual Physician. He is a board-certified OBGYN licensed in several states including:

Dr. Howard, a Jamaican native, achieved the following education and credentials:

  1. Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Johns Hopkins University)
  2. M.D. and Ph.D. in Epidemiology (Medical Scientist Training Program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine)
  3. Internship (New York-Presbyterian Hospital)
  4. Residency in OBGYN (University of Missouri-Kansas City)
  5. Post-doctoral fellowship in epidemiology (North Carolina Chapel Hill)
  6. Board-Certification

In addition to his training, Dr. Howard has been named a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Read more about our doctors.

Dr. Radihka Sharma, OB/GYN

My Virtual Physician is proud to have Dr. Radihka Sharma serving our patients with their obstetrics and gynecology needs. Her education was completed at Saba University School of Medicine with residency at Aultman Hospital. She is board-certified and specializes in pelvic floor disorders and reconstruction.


OBGYNs provide essential healthcare services for women. With this blog, we hope that you have a better understanding of the services that your Las Vegas OBGYN can provide for you, whether it’s gynecology or obstetrics.

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Before you became pregnant, some medications may have been safe for you to take. However, when you become pregnant, you cannot just take any medications including painkillers. This is because some of these medications are not safe for you or your baby during pregnancy. In some cases, the effects may be unknown.

So, it's best you ask your physician or healthcare provider what meds are okay and what meds you may need to find alternatives for. Your local doctor will weigh the risks and benefits to help you know what's safe. 

Also, let your pharmacist or other doctors know you are pregnant if they are prescribing any medications for you.

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What Medications Are Safe to Take During Pregnancy?

First of all, if you are using any medications while pregnant, write them out and give your healthcare provider. This includes over-the-counter (OTC) medications, prenatal vitamins, nutrition supplements, herbal medicine, alcohol, and illegal drugs.

Prenatal vitamins are safe and must be taken when pregnant. Take extra precautions before taking other vitamins, herbal remedies, and supplements. Ask your doctor before taking any of the aforementioned substances.

Certain prescription drugs may pose more risks than benefits if you take them. On the other hand, some potential risks may be overlooked because not using a certain medication may pose a greater risk to you and/or your baby.

Illegal or street drugs are injurious to your health and even worse during pregnancy. These substances can be passed to your baby through the placenta and umbilical and can affect its life, growth, and development in utero and when delivered. No amount of street drugs or alcohol is proven to be safe when pregnant.

Your baby can be born with congenital problems due to illegal drugs and alcohol. Examples of these drugs include cocaine, heroin, angel dust, marijuana, crack, and LSD.

Other problems include premature birth, low birth weight, birth defects, fetal alcohol disorders, placental abruption, miscarriage, stillbirth, and developmental problems.

Safe Medications to Take During Pregnancy

The following medications below are proven safe to take during pregnancy. Please note that no drugs can be considered 100% safe to use during pregnancy. Hence, check with your doctor before taking these drugs, especially during the first trimester. There's no harm in being extra sure.


Acetaminophen (Tylenol)


Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)

Loratadine (Claritin®)

Steroid nasal spray (Rhinocort®)

Cetirizine (Zyrtec®)

Cold and Flu

Acetaminophen (Tylenol®)

Saline nasal drops or spray

Warm salt/water gargle

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)

Mentholated or non-mentholated cough drops

Nausea and Vomiting

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Vitamin B6


Loperamide ([Imodium®] 


Docusate (Colace®)

Psyllium (Fiberall®, Metamucil®)

Methylcellulose fiber (Citrucel®)

Polycarbophil (FiberCon®)


Aluminum hydroxide/magnesium carbonate (Gaviscon®)

Aluminum hydroxide/magnesium hydroxide (Maalox®)

Famotidine (Pepcid AC®)

Ranitidine (Zantac®)

Calcium carbonate (Titralac®, Tums®)

Calcium carbonate/magnesium carbonate (Mylanta®)


Diphenhydramine (Unisom SleepGels®, Benadryl)

First Aid Ointment


Neomycin/polymyxin B/bacitracin (Neosporin®)



Diphenhydramine cream (Benadryl)

Hydrocortisone cream or ointment

Caladryl lotion or cream

Oatmeal bath (Aveeno®)


Phenylephrine/mineral oil/petrolatum (Preparation H®)

Witch hazel (Tucks® pads or ointment)

Yeast Infection

Miconazole (Monistat®)

Insect repellant

N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET®)

What Medications Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?

The following substances are not considered safe for use in concentrated amounts. They can harm your baby, and cause premature birth, and birth defects.

Oral supplements

The following oral supplements should be avoided in pregnancy:

Essential oils

You should avoid the following aromatherapy essential oils if you are pregnant:

What we can help you do

A visit to us helps you get your prenatal care started while you await your appointment with your local OB doctor. At My Virtual Physician, we are available to help guide you through your pregnancy and answer any questions that may arise, including concerns about medications. 

We are in-network with many insurance health plans including Medicaid, Medicare, United HealthCare, and Blue Cross. 

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High blood pressure (hypertension) has negative effects on persons living with the condition if left untreated or poorly managed. However, having high blood pressure during pregnancy can pose a higher risk for complications for both mother and baby. Hence, it is and should be taken seriously if diagnosed.

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What is high blood pressure (hypertension)?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the blood vessel. The heart pumps blood into the arteries-blood vessels that carry the blood from the heart to all the parts of the body. A person is said to have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, when the pressure in the arteries is above the normal range.

According to the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA), the ranges of blood pressure and what they indicate are as follows: 

Normal: < 120/80 mm Hg

Elevated: 120 to 129/< 80 mm Hg)

Stage 1 hypertension: 130 to 139/80 to 89 mm Hg

Stage 2 hypertension: ≥ 140/90 mm Hg

Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy 

Hypertensive disorders refer to the several different types of high blood pressure during pregnancy. These types vary in severity and impact on the body. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:

Chronic hypertension

High blood pressure which is present before pregnancy or before 20 weeks gestation. 

Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia

Preeclampsia, which develops in someone who has chronic hypertension (high blood pressure before pregnancy).

Gestational hypertension

High blood pressure that first develops and is diagnosed during pregnancy, typically after 20 weeks of gestation. In this type, there are no other signs or symptoms of preeclampsia present. 


A serious condition only found in the latter half of pregnancy with the following signs and symptoms:

It can progress into eclampsia and cause seizures.

Risk factors of high blood pressure (hypertension) in pregnancy?

The following risk factors can increase a woman's risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension) during pregnancy:

Complications of high blood pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) during pregnancy can affect both mother and child in serious ways. 

In the baby, it can lead to poor placental development, affecting the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the baby in the womb. This can result in:

In the mother, it can result in:

Treatment of high blood pressure in pregnancy

Treatment of high blood pressure depends on the severity, cause, and time of onset. Generally, women with hypertensive disorders will need close monitoring. This could include more prenatal visits, ultrasounds and other tests, and intense fetal monitoring.

To prevent complications, women with any type of high blood pressure in pregnancy are expected to:

How can we help you?

As a telemedicine platform, My Virtual Physician is available to help guide you through your pregnancy and answer any questions that may arise. We also help with electronically sending orders for tests and examinations while you wait for an appointment with a local OB doctor.

We are in network with many insurance health plans including Medicaid, Medicare, United HealthCare and Blue Cross. 

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woman with laptop standing at dresser with coffee cup

So you’re living in Las Vegas and looking to get established with an OBGYN to get your annual gynecologist appointment out of the way. In the past, this meant a phone call to a clinic, an assignment of a doctor by the facility or answering service, and the promise of an appointment scheduled a month or longer down the road. You really did not have much choice in the matter.

Today–the landscape of choosing your healthcare team is changing–and you have options. Despite the anticipated physician shortages, you can still find an experienced and competent OBGYN in Las Vegas. But that’s not all you should be looking for when choosing your gynecologist. Let’s explore your options.

Why do I need a gynecologist?

Throughout a woman’s life, she will need to see a doctor that specializes in the female body and its reproductive system. The frequency required may change depending on the life stage and any ongoing conditions. Starting at puberty, if a young woman has any complications with menstruation, or later on seeks prescription contraception for pregnancy prevention, it’s often her gynecologist that helps with those needs.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends annual screenings for sexually active women under 25 and exams every three years for women over 21.  However, you don’t necessarily need a pelvic exam every year.

Here are some of the reasons you might decide to schedule an appointment with a Las Vegas gynecologist:

Seeing a gynecologist is a life-long obligation in a woman’s life and it’s a relationship that sees through some of life’s biggest milestones together–from puberty to having your first baby. You might as well make the most of it and spend some time shopping around and hand-selecting your own OBGYN in Las Vegas that meets your needs and criteria.

Getting Established

Once you’ve decided that it’s time to schedule your first appointment with a Las Vegas OBGYN, you might go one of two ways. Traditionally, you might decide to go online and find a nearby clinic, and call to set up an appointment; it’s a shot in the dark. While this may work for some women, there are many downfalls to the old-fashioned method including:

Luckily, there is now an alternative to the traditional way that puts the power back into the patient’s hands. You can take control and establish a relationship with a Las Vegas OBGYN of your choosing; one that you trust. Here is the new way to shop online for your gynecologist.

See your Las Vegas OBGYN entirely from the comfort of your own home through telemedicine virtual appointments. We encourage you to look around and compare your online options. We’ve done some searching of our own and we know that our patient’s testimonials speak for themselves. Read on to see what factors to consider when looking for a good gynecologist.

Related: Not All Online Women’s TeleHealth Websites Are Created Equally

Factors to consider when looking for your Las Vegas OBGYN:

Your relationship with your gynecologist is a very unique one. You have to be able to trust your doctor with very private, personal, and even taboo information. Our physicians prioritize professionalism along with connection. Generally, when you see a doctor in-office, you’ve invested so much time and effort that you will settle for less than great experiences with your OBGYN. When you expand your possibilities to include online gynecologists, you accomplish a few things at once to your benefit:

  1. Spend less time invested in scheduling, commuting, and waiting
  2. No obligation to stick with a doctor with poor bedside manner because you’re less invested
  3. Drop financial burden and insurance requirements
  4. Eliminate anxiety about pelvic exams

Providing a comfortable environment is natural when you can speak with your physician online from the comfort of your own bathroom or office. Your comfort level is essential when seeing your gynecologist; if you’re not comfortable discussing your health concerns or needs, it may prevent you from being able to articulate all the information to the doctor for a properly informed assessment.

When you schedule an appointment at a physical office setting, you’ll have to consider the office hours and whether the clinic is open when you’re available–or if you’ll need to take time off work. You’ll also likely be left in limbo regarding the cost of the visit with traditional doctors who rely mostly on insurance contracts with variable care rates. When you choose your OBGYN online, you’ll know the cost of your care up-front and we’ll work with your insurance if you have it, and we’ll work with you if you don’t. We also have hours more conducive to working women.

Finally, choose your Las Vegas Gynecologist based on competence. You need to be able to count on your OBGYN to listen to your healthcare needs and get your diagnosis and treatment right. You can check credentials, such as which college they attended and board certification, and search their license status to see if there are any marks against their record. Testimonials or reviews are another great way to determine competence before you commit to a visit. A pattern will emerge from testimonials to help you gauge the physician’s competence.

About our Las Vegas Gynecologists

At My Virtual Physician, we are excited about the changing landscape that telemedicine brings to the healthcare realm and we exist to provide solutions to our patients. We currently have two board-certified OBGYN Las Vegas doctors: Dr. David Howard and Dr. Radihka Sharma. Dr. Howard is passionate about research in the field and is dedicated to finding the best outcomes for his patients. Dr. Sharma specializes in pelvic floor disorders and she is also a certified Life & Wellness coach. Both of our gynecologists have a track record of providing quality care. Learn more about our doctors or read testimonials here.

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