Welcome Erin MacDonald, MD, to NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Center

We are pleased to announce the arrival of our newest obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Erin MacDonald

Erin MacDonald, MD,

Erin MacDonald, MD, is now available to see patients at NCMA Women’s OB/GYN Center in Santa Rosa. She is proud to join Northern California Medical Associates’ obstetricians/gynecologists and midwives medical practice. We could not be more thrilled to add a physician of her caliber and passion for women’s health.

Dr. MacDonald’s recent experience says a lot about her: Over the past year, she cared for patients at a specialty women’s health group for high-risk and underserved populations in Memphis, Tenn.

In addition to delivering OB/Gyn care at a Level 1 trauma center serving a diverse patient population, Dr. MacDonald has expertise in routine and high-risk deliveries, vacuum-assisted delivery, obstetric emergencies, maternal trauma, maternal ICU care, open abdominal/pelvic and minimally invasive surgery, annual health care/preventative health maintenance, routine and high-risk prenatal care. Call for an appointment today: 707-579-1102.

Welcome, Dr. MacDonald!

New Research: Women can reduce breast cancer risks predicted by genes

Women with a high risk of developing breast cancer based on family history and genetic risk can still reduce the chance they will develop the disease in their lifetimes by following a healthy lifestyle, new research led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.

White women who are at high risk but who had a low body mass index (a marker for obesity), who did not drink or smoke and who did not use hormone replacement therapy, had roughly the same risk as an average white women in United States, the researchers found. The average chance that a 30-year-old, white woman will develop breast cancer before she is 80 is about 11 percent.

The researchers found that roughly 30 percent of breast cancer cases could be prevented by modifying known risk factors — say, by drinking less alcohol, losing weight and not taking hormone replacement therapy. More importantly, the study found that a larger fraction of total preventable cases would occur among women at higher levels because of genetic risk factors, family history and a few other factors that cannot be modified.

Read the full story here …

Menopause: an ever changing journey through life

OBGYN picPeople speak about menopause as if it is a fixed thing, but in reality it is anything but. Not only does each woman experience it differently both in terms of actual symptoms and their severity but over time those symptoms may lessen, worsen, or change into something entirely new.

The hormone rollercoaster

We all know that at menopause the levels of oestrogen and progesterone start to drop and something many women notice is that their periods can be closer together or get longer or heavier. This is really common and due to the way that your hormonal balance is starting to change. At this point, your progesterone levels will be falling faster than your oestrogen, so your oestrogen just keeps triggering a menstruation and a bleed, particularly if you are very oestrogen dominant.

Hormones don’t stand still, they respond to the internal stimulus from our ovaries, but also to the external stimulus of stress, medications and environmental factors. That is why however well you may be taking care of yourself, not all factors are able to be under your control and your body cleverly prioritises what is the main thing to deal with. Unfortunately it is your body that decides, not you, so if you are dealing with illness, stress or infection the body diverts its resources to dealing with those.

Read the full story here ….

World Health Day: Getting an early start on a lifetime of good health

Women should be very careful and observant of any change in their body. Any kind of abnormal hair growth on the face, chest or neck, sudden weight gain or weight loss, hair fall, irregular periods – all of these are warning signs, alerting a women that it’s time to see a gynecologist.

Being a woman is not easy. Not only is today’s woman fulfilling her traditional duties, but also taking up much more onto her plate. She is a mother, an entrepreneur, a dreamer, an achiever and also a support system for her family. In the constant flux of striking a balance between all her worlds, most often, it is her health which takes a hit.

Age plays a huge role for women’s health and well-being. As we grow older, the body undergoes many changes. But like the saying goes, there’s nothing like starting early, therefore, health experts always advice that twenties is a crucial time for women to start thinking of their health.

A woman is in her prime during her twenties, a phase where she has a chance to build her reservoir of good health and brace-up for the many challenging experiences later on in life, such as childbirth. It is the time when she needs to start making careful health choices, as how she fares in her later years depends hugely on her twenties or even earlier. In fact, recent research studies have reported that our adolescence plays an equally crucial role.

Read the full story …

Other Reasons Women Take Birth Control Pills

woman-1541456You know that birth control pills can keep you from getting pregnant. But the pill can have other benefits, too. One survey found that more than half of women who take birth control pills do so for reasons other than avoiding pregnancy.

It can make your periods more regular. With the pill, you’ll know when you’ll have your period. With traditional birth control pills, you’ll take 3 weeks of hormone-containing active pills, followed by one week of inactive pills. You’ll get your period the week you the inactive pills. Read the full story … 

Every wonder why a yearly exam is important for women?

Do you need to get a yearly GYN exam?

If you’re over 21, the answer is yes.

Your yearly visit isn’t just about pap smears – it’s about checking in on your overall health. The physical exam and health assessment can help detect problems like diabetes, thyroid problems, and high blood pressure. Your doctor can help with contraception, screening for infections, and will make sure you are getting the right vaccines to keep you healthy. As you get older, your bone density will be monitored to keep you strong.

And the appointment gives you a chance to talk to your doctor. Share what’s new in your life and bring up any concerns, like a weird discharge or smell, new sexual partners, or a new sexual preference (lesbians and transgendered people need GYN exams too). Then you and your doctor can decide if there are any screening tests you might need. It’s also a great time to re-examine your birth control choices – you may want to switch to a different method that better suits your current needs. And make sure to bring up any problems you’re having with your period or pain during sex. These things are nothing to be ashamed of, but we can’t help unless you mention it. The appointment is also an opportunity to with your doctor talk about abuse. Whether you are experiencing abuse from your partner, or you are abusing alcohol or drugs, tell your doctor. Read the full article here …