Office Closed July 3rd

In observance of Independence Day, our office will be closed July 3rd.

Enjoy your 4th of July weekend and stay safe! 

If you have a life threatening emergency please call 911 or go to the nearest ER.

If you are pregnant and need medical attention please call our office (703) 642-7522 to speak to the doctor on call or go to the OB ED at Inova Fairfax (3300 Gallows Road Falls Church, VA 22042, Park @ the Green Garage)

 

 

Importance of an Annual Wellness Exam

What is an annual well woman exam and why is it important? 

Getting an annual exam is vital to staying healthy. They are opportunities for women to be screened for breast and gynecological cancers and sexually transmitted infections. Annual exams are also a great time to discuss contraception methods or to receive preconception counseling if you are trying to get pregnant.

I heard that I don’t have to get a pap smear every year. Do I still have to come in for an annual exam?

Yes, we recommend getting an annual exam so that your provider can perform a thorough breast and pelvic exam. We also recommend a yearly exam if you are on birth control, have a family history of breast, ovarian, or uterine cancer, have a new sexual partner, if you have had an abnormal pap smear or unsure of when your last pap smear was.

We Are Members of Privia Medical Group

As of January 7, 2020, we are proud members of Privia Medical Group!

What is Unexplained Infertility, and Can it Be Remedied?

Infertility is a couple’s inability to get pregnant even after they’ve had 6-12 months of well-timed, unprotected sex. Infertility also describes the situation for a woman who has multiple miscarriages. About 12% of couples have trouble getting pregnant or staying pregnant.

Infertility has many causes, such as polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis in women, and poor sperm quality or quantity in men.

About 30% of infertility is due to male factors, 30% is due to female factors, and 20% is caused by problems in both partners. However, even after going through a thorough medical work-up, approximately 20% of couples have no explanation for the cause of their infertility. This is known as unexplained infertility.

Unexplained infertility can be excruciatingly frustrating. However, treatment options can help couples with unexplained infertility to still conceive a baby and have a successful pregnancy. Dr. Anna Le and our team at Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care in Annandale and Alexandria, Virginia, have extensive experience helping patients with infertility.

First, a thorough evaluation
If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, your first step is to make an appointment with Dr. Le. Many causes of infertility are treatable, but it’s important not to wait longer than six months (if you’re over 35) or a year (if you’re under 35) to consult Dr. Le. The earlier you seek help for infertility, the better, especially if you’re over 35.

We give you a thorough evaluation to determine whether you have a diagnosable cause for infertility. If we discover a problem such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids, or uterine cysts, we can provide you with treatment for these conditions.

For example, Dr. Le may recommend minimally invasive surgery to treat endometriosis or uterine fibroids.

We can also advise your partner on testing available for men.

Lifestyle and age
We also talk with you about lifestyle factors that could affect fertility. For example, stress can impact your ovulation patterns. Other lifestyle conditions that could contribute to infertility include being overweight, smoking cigarettes, or taking certain medications.

Unexplained infertility is more likely to occur in women over 35. As a woman ages, her ovaries release fewer healthy eggs.The risk of miscarriage also goes up in older women.

Treatments for unexplained infertility
If we find no medical causes for your infertility, we talk with you about your treatment options. They include:

Medications
Dr. Le can prescribe medications that stimulate your ovaries to ovulate (release an egg). A variety of medications are available that work through different mechanisms; Dr. Le recommends the one that’s best for you.

IUI
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a treatment that involves injecting your partner’s sperm into your uterus. Although this procedure is typically used for women whose infertility is caused by problems with cervical mucus, it can also help in cases of unexplained infertility.

IVF
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a treatment in which your partner’s sperm is combined with your egg(s) in a laboratory. After an embryo develops, it is transferred into your uterus.

Learn more about unexplained infertility
If you have questions about infertility, Dr. Le and your care providers at Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care can help. Call one of our offices in Annandale or Alexandria, Virginia, or book an appointment online.

Why Nexplanon is an Increasingly Popular Birth Control Choice

If you’d like to use a “get it and forget it” type of birth control, you may want to consider the Nexplanon® implant.

Nexplanon is a long-lasting, low-maintenance form of birth control that is increasingly popular among women who don’t want to have to think about taking pills, inserting diaphragms, or using condoms.

Dr. Anna Le and our team at Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care in Annandale and Alexandria, Virginia have extensive experience inserting Nexplanon. We’d like to share the following information with you about this low-maintenance birth control option.

A simple solution
Nexplanon is a thin, flexible piece of plastic about the size of a matchstick (1.6 inches) that contains hormones.

Dr. Le inserts Nexplanon under the skin of your upper inner arm. Once inserted, Nexplanon begins to release a steady, low-dose hormone (progestin) that prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs each month.

Highly effective
With an effectiveness rate of over 99%, Nexplanon is one of the most effective types of birth control available. Because no eggs are released, fertilization can’t occur, and you don’t get pregnant.

The hormone in Nexplanon also causes your cervical mucus to thicken, which prevents sperm from traveling through your cervix.

Long acting and reversible
Your Nexplanon implant offers protection against pregnancy for three years. After that, you’ll need to have it replaced with a new implant to continue the birth control treatment.

Although the Nexplanon implant prevents pregnancy for three years, if you decide you would like to get pregnant sooner than that, you can ask Dr. Le to remove it. Nexplanon offers fully reversible contraception. You can get pregnant as soon as one week after the implant is taken out.

Easy insertion
Before inserting Nexplanon, Dr. Le gives you a pregnancy test to make sure you’re not pregnant.

To insert the implant, she numbs your arm with medication. Then she uses a specially designed surgical applicator to insert it into the skin of your arm. Insertion takes less than a minute.

After insertion, you wear a pressure bandage for 24 hours and an ordinary bandage for several days.

Depending on where you are in your menstrual period, pregnancy protection begins either immediately or within a week. Dr. Le will let you know whether you need to use condoms or another form of birth control temporarily.

Safe for most women
Although most women can use Nexplanon safely, it’s not for everybody. For example, Dr. Le may suggest a different kind of birth control if you have blood clots, liver disease, unexplained vaginal bleeding, or progestin-sensitive breast cancer.

Certain medications and herbal products could make Nexplanon less effective, so be sure to tell Dr. Le about all of the prescription and over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and herbal products you’re taking.

Potential side effects
Most women have no side effects from Nexplanon. However, some women experience changes in menstrual bleeding, such as less bleeding, more bleeding, spotting between periods, or no bleeding at all. The time between periods may vary also.

It’s also important for you to remember that Nexplanon does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you are concerned about STDs, condoms may provide better protection.

To learn more about whether Nexplanon is the right form of birth control for you, call one of the offices of Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care, or book an appointment online.

Your Summer Pregnancy Survival Guide

Summertime is lots of fun, with trips to the beach, swimming in the pool, and picnics in the park. But when you’re pregnant, the heat and sun of summer can pose a few extra challenges.

Don’t worry. Even though you’re pregnant, you can still have lots of fun this summer. Just keep the following recommendations in mind.

Stay in the shade
Practicing sun safety makes sense all the time — you always want to reduce your risk of skin cancer and premature aging of your skin. But it’s especially important when you’re pregnant.

The hormones of pregnancy can cause a temporary darkening of the skin on your face. This is called the “mask of pregnancy” because it can appear on your forehead, around your eyes, or on your nose.

Darkening on your face can get worse with sun exposure, so stay in the shade, wear a hat, and apply sunscreen when you’re headed outdoors.

Choose sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and apply it at least 30 minutes before you go outside. Reapply at least every two hours, or more often if you’re sweating or swimming.

For best coverage, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects your skin from UVA and UVB radiation.

Protect yourself from mosquitoes
Mosquitoes can spread viruses that might harm you and your baby, such as the Zika virus and the West Nile virus.

To avoid mosquitoes, stay inside when mosquitoes are active, install screens on windows and doors, and use mosquito repellants when needed. Pregnant women can use mosquito repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, IR3535, and 2-undecanone.

Enjoy summer produce
During pregnancy, you and your baby need lots of the wonderful nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. Delicious summer produce provides a wealth of important nutrients — for example, you get vitamin A from cantaloupe, vitamin C from bell peppers, vitamin B6 from carrots, folic acid from strawberries, and iron from spinach.

Take advantage of the summer bounty and enjoy plenty of produce every day.

Stay hydrated
Your body needs extra water during pregnancy. It helps you regulate your body temperature, your blood volume, and your amniotic fluid.

Although it’s important for everyone to stay hydrated, it’s especially crucial for pregnant women. Dehydration can lead to neural tube defects, low amniotic fluid levels, and premature labor.

To stay hydrated, drink 8 to 12 glasses of water daily.

Keep cool
Your body temperature is slightly higher during pregnancy than it was before you conceived, so you’ll feel the summer heat even more than everyone else.

Avoid overheating by staying in the shade, wearing loose-fitting clothing, and drinking plenty of water. And when temperatures soar, head for an air-conditioned room.

Keep an eye on swelling
You can expect some swelling during pregnancy, especially when the temperature and humidity rise. You may notice swelling in your face, hands, legs, feet, and ankles.

To relieve swelling, avoid standing, rest with your feet up, seek a cool place, drink water, avoid salt, or soak in a cool bath or pool.

Although some swelling is normal, excessive swelling can be a sign of preeclampsia, a potentially serious pregnancy complication. Call us right away if you have sudden swelling, especially in your face or hands.

Exercise safely
Unless your providers here at Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care have told you not to exercise, stay active during the summer months. Aim for about 30 minutes per day of moderate-intensity exercise such as walking or swimming.

Regular exercise benefits you and your baby. It can help you avoid excess weight gain while improving your sleep, helping you feel less stressed, and easing some of the common discomforts of pregnancy, such as back pain, constipation, and swelling in your legs and feet.

It also can lower your risk of pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia (high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy).

When you exercise in warm weather, avoid overheating and drink plenty of water.

Plan a summer getaway
If you and your partner can manage it, make time for a relaxing vacation or weekend away. The baby will arrive before you know it, and your life will turn much busier!

Don’t forget your check-ups!
Regular check-ups help keep you and your baby healthy and safe throughout your pregnancy, so make sure you keep all of your appointments.

Our team at Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care, with offices in Annandale and Alexandria, Virginia, can answer your questions, give you important advice, and catch any health problems and pregnancy complications early.

Can Pelvic Prolapse Be Prevented?

Pelvic organ prolapse is fairly common among women, but it’s something most don’t focus on until they, or someone they’re close to, experience the frustration and discomfort of this condition. The good news is that you may be able to prevent or at least reduce the effects pelvic prolapse has on your life by understanding your risk factors and making a few changes now in your daily routine.

What is pelvic prolapse?
More often referred to as pelvic organ prolapse, it occurs when the muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissue structures of your pelvic floor weaken and lose their ability to hold your pelvic organs in place. This can cause your bladder or uterus to drop or protrude into your vagina or your rectum to fall and create a bulge in the back wall of your vagina.

What are the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse?
Bladder prolapse (cystocele) is the most common type and often results in unexpected urinary leakage (incontinence), the feeling that you can’t empty your bladder completely, or the need to urinate frequently.

Depending on the organ or organs affected and the severity of the prolapse, symptoms may also include:

  • The sensation of a bulge in your vagina
  • Pain and pressure in your lower back and pelvic region
  • Feeling as if you’re sitting on a ball
  • Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse
  • Constipation or the need to strain to have a bowel movement

The condition can develop slowly over years and you may not notice symptoms until the prolapse is moderate to severe. Often your gynecologist is the first to note prolapse or weakening of your pelvic floor during your annual checkup. When she asks you to bear down during a manual pelvic exam, for instance, she can gauge whether your uterus moves out of its expected position when stressed.

How can I prevent pelvic organ prolapse?
You can’t always prevent pelvic organ prolapse, but you can help decrease your risks of developing the weakened muscles that lead to this disorder by making some lifestyle changes.

Obesity, for instance, increases your risk by placing added stress and strain on your pelvic floor muscles, and tendons. A nutritious diet and healthy exercise routine that helps you maintain your ideal weight or promotes weight loss, when necessary, can help reduce your odds of developing pelvic organ prolapse. It’s also great for your overall health.

Other ways to reduce strain on your pelvic floor muscles include:

  • Treating and preventing constipation by drinking plenty of fluids and including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other high-fiber foods in your diet
  • Avoiding heavy lifting when possible, and otherwise lifting correctly with your legs instead of from your waist or back
  • Preventing the strain coughing places on your pelvic floor muscles by getting treatment for a chronic cough or bronchitis and not smoking
  • Performing Kegel exercises regularly

What are Kegel exercises?
Kegels are movements that focus on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. Women who’ve had a vaginal birth are likely familiar with these exercises since your obstetrician may have recommended them as part of your recovery after delivery. Continuing with Kegels, or starting them before you have children, can help keep your pelvic floor muscles toned and strong.

You can perform Kegel exercises at any time by tightening and releasing the same muscles you use to hold back gas. Start with tightening and holding for 2-5 seconds and then relaxing for 2-5 seconds, working up to holding for 10 seconds before relaxing for 10 seconds. Repeat this movement 10 times for each session with the goal of completing three sessions per day.

Ask your gynecologist for further instructions if you question whether you’re performing the right movement since Kegel exercises are only effective if they’re performed correctly.

If you’d like more information about pelvic organ prolapse, or you have symptoms you think may be related to this condition, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your Annandale Ob-gyn specialist. Many effective options exist for treating this uncomfortable disorder.

Author: Dr. Anna Le

The Benefits of Walking During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, your energy level may lag. You are, after all, creating a human being, and that’s hard work! But in spite of the fact that your low energy level and growing belly may make you feel more like lounging around, you should be doing the opposite — at least for about 30 minutes a day.

Exercise during pregnancy is important for your overall health and the health of your baby. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that healthy women get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, ideally spread out across the week.

Do you know what makes an ideal moderate-intensity activity for pregnant women? Brisk walking.

Why you should walk during pregnancy
Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be done almost anywhere and any time. You only need a good, comfortable pair of sneakers and a water bottle, and you’re ready to walk around your neighborhood, a park, or around the block outside your office.

Our team at Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care knows that walking is a great way for many pregnant women to exercise. We’ve pulled together a list of the many benefits for you.

Walking during pregnancy:

  • Reduces the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery. Studies show that women who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing gestational diabetes or having unplanned cesarean sections.
  • Helps you burn calories so you keep your weight in check. Less weight during pregnancy means its less likely you’ll deliver prematurely and more likely you’ll return to your pre-pregnancy weight sooner.
  • Boosts your mood and energy levels. One study found significant improvement in the moods and fatigue levels of pregnant women who walked about 30 minutes four times a week.
  • Eases back pain and other aches. Back pain during pregnancy is common and can often interfere with daily activities and sleep. Walking can help keep your back muscles strong and warm up so that they can support your growing belly and not become stiff.
  • Helps you sleep better by burning off excess energy so that you’re tired and can doze off to sleep more easily. Just make sure you exercise well before bedtime, or walking may have the opposite effect.
  • Relieves constipation which is a common symptom during pregnancy. Exercise helps move food through the digestive tract faster, so less water is absorbed in the colon, making stools softer and easier to pass.
  • Makes or keeps your muscles strong, making delivery and recovery easier. Delivering a baby is no walk in the park and having the strength and endurance to get you through it can only help.

Safety tips for walking during pregnancy
If you were active before, staying active during your pregnancy should be fairly simple. If not, then you should start slowly, walking for five minutes and day, for example, and building up to 30 minutes or more. Always consult your Annandale obstetrician before embarking on any type of exercise routine during pregnancy.

Some general tips include:

  • Stay hydrated. Take a water bottle with you and drink often. And if it’s hot weather, it might be better to walk inside, so you don’t get overheated.
  • Listen to your body. Don’t overdo it. Exercise is important, but now is not the time to push yourself. If you’re feeling tired, rest. You can break your walk into two sessions if you need to.
  • Look where you’re going. With your belly getting bigger and your sense of gravity shifting, it’s important to be sure to look out in front of you. You don’t want to trip or fall.
  • Stop walking if you feel dizzy, have vaginal bleeding, or trouble breathing. Call your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms.

Walking can be a wonderful way to stay fit while you’re pregnant. If you have questions about exercise, give us a call or ask at your next prenatal visit.

Author: Dr. Anna Le

Start Laser Hair Removal Now and Be Silky Smooth for Swimsuit Season

If you’re tired of the endless struggle against body hair — it seems to grow back immediately after shaving, plucking, or waxing — it’s time to explore laser hair removal treatment. Here’s some information that’s sure to have you ready for swimsuit season if you get started today.

A simple approach to a hairy problem
Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care offers laser hair removal, a cosmetic treatment that uses concentrated beams of light to destroy your unwanted body hair directly at the source: the root. When you damage a hair’s root or follicle, you permanently eliminate the potential for hair growth in the area.

The precise nature of laser technology means your Annandale provider can customize the laser settings specifically for your hair and skin type to get you the best results regardless of your hair coloring, texture, or your skin tone.

Laser hair removal is also safe to use on your entire body from delicate locations like underarms and bikini areas to larger surfaces like backs, legs, and thighs — and there’s no risk of skin damage.

Plan on multiple sessions for smoother, silkier skin
While laser hair removal can permanently prevent hair growth, it takes several sessions to destroy all of the hair follicles in your treatment area. Why? Your hair follicles have a three-part life cycle, including:

  • Growth (anagen)
  • Regression (catagen)
  • Rest (telogen)

An entire hair shaft is produced from root to tip during the growth cycle. Throughout the regression and rest cycles, hair growth resets, and stem cells wait for the signal to grow a new hair shaft. Only a hair follicle in the growth cycle can be permanently disabled.

While it may seem like your hair grows at the same rate, your hair follicles are in various growth cycle stages, so you need multiple treatments to permanently damage all of the follicles in the area.

Depending on the treatment area as well as your hair and skin coloring, you may need six to eight sessions to achieve permanent results.

It takes time to get results
When you’re undergoing multiple laser hair removal treatments, your skin needs time to rest between appointments. Certain areas like your face generally require six to eight weeks between laser treatments, while body hair on your legs or back might require as many as 10-12 weeks.

Fortunately, you can have multiple areas of your body treated at the same time without taking time off in between. Your provider at Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care works directly with you to create a treatment strategy and schedule that provides optimal hair removal results as quickly as possible.

Be prepared for your appointment
When you’re looking for permanent solutions for unwanted body hair, the last thing you want to do is show it all to the world. However, to prepare for your appointment, you have to stop all methods of hair removal for the six weeks leading up to your appointment, whether it’s plucking, waxing, or shaving.

Before treating the entire hair removal location, your provider tests a small area to check your reaction to the laser. Sessions can take 20-60 minutes depending on the size of the hair removal area.

The discomfort associated with laser hair removal varies with each person’s sensitivity. You might experience tingling in the area or a sensation similar to the snapping of a rubber band.

Following your treatment, it’s common to have mild redness, irritation, or tenderness in the area, but you can expect this to fade within a few days. If you’re uncomfortable, applying an ice pack or cool compress can provide relief. Your skin will be sensitive, so you should avoid sun exposure and stay properly hydrated.

You can expect to see benefits of laser hair removal immediately, but best results occur within three months after having multiple treatment sessions.

Get your body ready for swimsuit season. Call Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment to learn more about laser hair removal.

Author: Dr. Anna Le

How Do I Tell If I Am Pregnant?

One of the most important signs is that you haven’t had your menses. If you usually have your period every 28 – 30 days like clockwork, and have recently missed it, the easiest way to tell is to purchase a pregnancy test from a pharmacy. Depending on different products, you may be able to detect pregnancy even 5 days before your expected period.

Many home pregnancy test kits claim to be 99% accurate. However, for the most reliable results, you can wait to take or repeat the test one week after your missed period. These test kits detect pregnancy based on the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) which is produced after a fertilized egg implants on the wall of your uterus.

If you have a positive result, why not come over to our doctors at Annandale OBGYN to have the pregnancy confirmed and have a scan done?

Author: Dr. Anna Le

DIY Firming Breasts after breast feeding baby

Breast feeding is a joy however, the number one down side to breast feeding is that it loosens breast tissue and makes them sag. Having a solid plan to minimize breast tissue relaxation will help get you back feeling like yourself faster and boost confidence. Here are a few tried and true at home remedies for firming breasts postpartum.

Massage– regular breast massage at least 3 times weekly with olive, almond oil, egg yolks or cucumber or Aloe Vera. All of these are readily available in the kitchen pantry or on Amazon. These natural products increase the tone and elasticity of tissue. Massage increases blood circulation which, stimulates muscle growth and cell repair.

Exercise– Breast exercises that build the pectoralis muscle are the best way to lift breast tissue. Try doing push-ups, planks, weight training such as arm curls, chest presses and dumbbell flys.

Yoga– Yoga poses that focus on the upper body, specifically the chest and chest muscles and upper arms. Try these simple but highly effective poses -Forward bend, Cobra, Triangle, Bow, Bridge and warrior yoga poses.

Running and jogging, are great ways to lose weight but can counteract efforts to firm breast if proper sports bras that prevent jostling movements are not worn each time.

Author: Dr. Anna Le

Night sweats and other unpleasant symptoms of Menopause

Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when she stops having menstrual periods. The years leading up to this point are called perimenopause, or “around menopause.” Menopause marks the end of the reproductive years that began in puberty. It can take up to 10 years before one actually becomes menopausal and after that, the symptoms may lessen but may not completely disappear.

Although not completely without risks, hormone replacement with estrogen continues to be the most effective treatment for menopause symptoms. For women who have breast cancer or have a strong family history of breast cancer, there are non-hormonal medications available that can help.

Some women only notice symptoms such as vaginal dryness and pain or discomfort with during intercourse. Using vaginal estrogen such as Estrace or Premarin cream prescribed by a physician may be helpful. Coconut oil, Vitamin E and glycerin have been known to help with these symptoms as well. For some women, especially those who are not able to use hormones or prefer not to use estrogen, there is a non-surgical option that can strengthen, rebuild vaginal wall collagen and improve sexual health.

Check in with the doctors at Annanadale OBGYN to learn about the latest solution to vaginal dryness and discomfort symptoms.

Author: Dr. Anna Le

Summer time Pregnancy and Zika Virus

It’s summer again and soon beautiful and not so desirable insects will be prominently among us again. If you are planning on getting pregnant this summer, the Zika virus and mosquitoes will undoubtedly be on your mind.

There is still so much we do not understand about Zika virus and its effect on pregnancy however, staying informed and up to date on recommendations surrounding women and pregnancy is paramount.

We know that Zika is spread by the Aedes mosquito species.

An infection with the virus is defined by a bite from a mosquito and at least one symptom such as fever, rash, joint pains, pink eye, and laboratory confirmation of Zika virus infection, however 4 out of 5 people who are infected do not show any symptoms.

Possible Zika virus exposure is defined as travel to or residence in an area of active Zika virus transmission or sex without a condom with a partner who traveled to or lived in an area of active transmission.

WE recommend you use EPA-approved bug spray with DEET, covering exposed skin, staying in air-conditioned or screened-in areas, and treating clothing with permethrin. IR3535 or Avon made “Skin So Soft” is also effective and easily absorbed.

Consistently and correctly using condoms during sex or abstaining from sex for the duration of the pregnancy is recommended if you have a sex partner that has traveled to or lives in an area with active Zika virus transmission.

Women who have been exposed to Zika virus should wait 8 weeks before trying to conceive however if a male partner has been exposed to the virus, a 6 month waiting time is recommended before unprotected sex.

The CDC and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) keep updates on areas with Zika outbreaks. As of March 2017, these are the areas with known Zika infections. The next update will be sometime in June.

Please feel free to book an appointment with our doctors at Annandale Obgyn to have your questions answered.

Author: Dr. Anna Le


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Why is Planning Your Pregnancy Important?

Pregnancy is an important event in life as it means that you are creating life. If you have plans to conceive, planning your pregnancy is important to ensure that both you and the baby’s health will be the best it can be. It is vital that you start adopting a healthy lifestyle before you become pregnant.

By planning, you can:

  • Ensure your body is ready to carry a baby
  • Allow your doctor to anticipate any complications you may have (e.g.: gestational diabetes)
  • Plan ahead for medications if you have an existing condition (e.g.: high blood pressure, diabetes)
  • Lower the risk of defects in the baby

Once your health is in order, you can discontinue your contraception. Depending on the type of birth control you use, it may take some time before you are fertile. Register as a member at Annandale OBGYN to gain 24/7 access to your healthcare team and get advice whenever you need it!

Author: Dr. Anna Le

Predicting Your Fertility Window

This will be based on your menstrual cycle and revolves around when ovulation (release of the egg) occurs.

  • During your menstrual cycle (follicular phase), maturation occurs in the ovaries.
  • In the second week, one dominant follicle develops. Estrogen in the body builds the lining of the endometrium for implantation and production of cervical mucus that protects the sperm
  • Estrogen then triggers the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) that leads to ovulation that typically occurs between days 11 to 21.

Due to modern technology, there are now more reliable and convenient tools that can help to predict ovulation.

  • Ovulation kits – can be found in any pharmacy. It identifies the LH hormone in the urine.
  • Electronic fertility monitors – has a hand-held monitor, oral, and vaginal sensor.
  • Make appointment and talk to our doctors at Annandale OBGYN today!

Author: Dr. Anna Le

Pregnancy and Postpartum Hair Management

Pregnancy can often be a healthy time for the hair, but not always. Most pregnant women are concerned with how pregnancy will affect their hair. Hair loss after pregnancy is known as postpartum hair loss. More than 80 percent of women suffer from this condition for about six to eight months after child birth.

What causes postpartum hair loss?

On average, a person loses about 100 hair strands a day. After child birth, women begin to lose more than 200 hairs a day. During pregnancy, hormones keep the hair on the head. When hormonal levels begin to go down after child birth, so does the hair. This is a common occurrence. In most cases, the hair is regained after the hormone levels in the body return to normal, typically within 6 to 8 months after child birth.
Postpartum hair loss occurs due to the sudden change in the estrogen level in the body. During pregnancy, the body produces high levels of hormones, mainly estrogen. These hormones help the hair remain in the growth phase, also called the Anagen phase, so there is actually an increased hair growth during pregnancy.

There are three stages for the hair cycle: Anagen (the growth phase), Catagen (the intermediate phase), and Telogen (the shedding phase). During the Anagen phase, the follicle produces new Hair. This phase can last from three to as long as seven years. The period and the density of hair growth may vary from one individual to the other depending on genetic factors, exposure and diet. Catagen, the intermediate phase, immediately follows the Anagen phase. This period lasts between two and four weeks. During this period, the base of the follicle moves upwards towards the surface of the skin. During the Telogen phase, which lasts for three to four months, the new hair begins to grow from the hair follicle. As the new hair grows, the old hair is pulled out naturally and comes out during combing or shampooing.
After child birth, the hormone level in the body goes back to normal, leading to Telogen Effluvium – the excessive shedding of hair. This occurs between one to five months after child birth and affects 40-50 percent of mothers after child birth. Hair growth rate typically returns to normal rate within six to 12 months after delivery.

What do you need to know about postpartum hair loss?

The postpartum hair loss process will not begin until after breastfeeding is over. At this point, it is important that postpartum women are assured that they will not go bald and that their hair will return to its normal state. This process however, can take from six months to one year. For some women however, the hair never returns to its pre-delivery state as a result of the fluctuating estrogen level in the body which greatly affects women’s hair. This condition is most commonly found in women in the premenopausal stage who also experience a shorter hair growth cycle.

What you can do about postpartum hair loss?

The following measures help alleviate postpartum hair loss:

  • Prenatal Vitamin
    Incorporate prenatal vitamin supplements in your diet.
  • Nutrient rich diet
    Incorporate healthy foods in your diet, to include lean meat, leafy green veggies, dairy, beans and eggs.
  • Hydrate your hair
    Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. It is vital to hydrate the hair from inside out.
  • Nurture your hair along with your baby
    Be extra gentle with your hair during this particular time. Use gentle shampoos that have a natural base. Use a wide tooth comb to separate the tangles and knots.
  • Zinc and iron are your best friends
    Incorporate a zinc and iron supplement. You can also consume food loaded with zinc and iron such as apples, red beans and meat.
  • Heat is your worst enemy
    Skip heat styling, skip steamy showers and embrace your natural hair texture. Learn a few heatless hair styles.

Visit our clinic.

At Annandale Ob/Gyn, we provide consultation for hair loss prevention and treatment. While skin changes are often noticeable within a few weeks after conception, changes in the hair are not. The sebum changes in the sebaceous glands are a good indicator of the state of the hair. Accordingly, by measuring the sebum fluctuations and other indicators, we can propose the proper treatment for hair loss. An over-oily scalp can also give the hair a heavy, limp and lank feel, and it is the acidity of the sebum that smooth down the hair’s cuticle. When less sebum is produced, the hair appears drier and may have more body, so it feels thicker. Furthermore, estrogens extend the growth phase of hair, so it stays in the scalp and grows longer.

Please visit us anytime for a free consultation.

Author: Dr. Anna Le

Welcome to the new experience!

Over the past 9 months, we have been trying our best to redefine quality healthcare and patient experience. Featuring a newly remodeled office, a redesigned website with a clean while intuitive user interface, on site lab, and most importantly, being able to provide you the ultimate convenience of same day appointment scheduling along with a 24/7 connection with your healthcare team who are fully trained, friendly, and experienced, we hope to set the highest standards in patient care. We also sincerely hope that we will be able to bring you the best experience there is with our excellent doctors. We believe that with the capabilities of our team, we will be able to bring you the best there is. We hope that you enjoy your journey with us.

Author: Dr. Anna Le

DIY Stretch Mark Relief Scrub

Making a baby is a wonderful and priceless journey but often, it takes a toll on the body. One thing many moms fear during pregnancy is their bodies growing too fast and forming stretch marks. While some of this depends on genetics, there are simple ways to reduce the chances and severity of stretch marks. Applying cocoa butter, shea butter or coconut oil seem to help the most. Mixtures of any of these creams and Aloe Vera can provide even better results. If your body does stretch and stretch marks form, the best chance for optimal results is soon after delivery. There is a tried and proven recipe for fading stretch marks.

Take equal parts coffee grounds, Honey, coconut oil and brown sugar and mix in a bowl. Gently rub on affected areas for 10-20 minutes before taking a bath or shower every evening for 12 weeks. Strivectin, a patented stretch mark cream, and laser treatments can also help.

Author: Dr. Anna Le

Witty at home pregnancy hacks when you are ready!

So you are finally ready for a baby but…Getting frustrated with how long it’s taking actually get pregnant?

Here are some witty at home pregnancy hacks that may help.

Deciding the appropriate time and making the decision to have a baby can be laborious and a complex decision but once the decision is made and you are mentally ready, most couples find that the pressure builds fast and it doesn’t take much for frustration, doubt and angst to set in.

Here are a few tips that can give you a head start and set you up for success.

1. Manage your expectations. You have probably heard the stories from friends about how they got pregnant the very first month. While this is true for some lucky couples, it’s not the norm. Most planned pregnancies take anywhere from 3 to 12 months. The chance of getting pregnant with each month of trying is about 20%.

2. Ideally you want to continue to use whatever birth control method you are using until you are ready to start trying. Using oral contraceptives and intrauterine devices do not prolong the trial time. Depo Provera, the 3 month shot on the other hand can prolong the trial time anywhere from 3 to 24 months!

3. Start eating healthy and exercise regularly and take prenatal vitamins, vitamin D and DHA. Get your sleep schedule straighten out. Working long shifts at night can disrupt our cycles to try to work a day time schedule if you can and go to bed at a reasonable time.

4. Take a Yoga or Pilates class or try some form of meditation regularly to keep your stress levels low. Stress can affect chances of pregnancy forming so do whatever you have to do to keep calm and balanced.

5. Get an App for tracking your menses and use ovulation predictor kits (OPT) during the week that the App has you ovulating to pin point exactly when it’s happening. P-Tracker is a good one.

6. Once you have a good sense when it’s happening, have timed intercourse every other day during the week of ovulation.

7. Missionary position and doggy style are better for conception than most other position. Don’t jump out of bed as soon as it’s over. Continue lie down and put a pillow behind you butt to elevate or bend your knees and bring your legs up to your chest for 15 to 20 minutes.

8. Sometimes the reason for delay or difficulty conceiving is due to an issue with sperm so having a partner who is a nonsmoker, vested and ready to eat healthy, cut back on alcohol and keeping the precious jewels loose and at room temperature (no hot tubs) helps.

9. When here is suspicion or concern that there may be an issue with the sperm, such as low count or motility, some women have had success using Conception cups (a cervical cup much like the Diva cup) filled with up by a partner and inserted at the time of ovulation.

10. If there is no success after 6 to 12 month of trying, consider seeing an Obstetrician/Gynecologist for help. Depending on your age and your timeline, you may choose to do this sooner.

The awesome doctors at Annandale OB/GYN are here to help!

Author: Dr. Anna Le

How Normal Are Your Periods

How normal are your periods?… Did you know the normal about of blood expected for a whole menses is 80 ml fluid. So how much is 80ml visually? Well it turns out to be about half a glass of a small glass of wine or just about 3 ounces! Many women go on for long periods of time not knowing that they have abnormal uterine bleeding. This is especially the case in women between ages 40-55. If you have bleeding between your periods, excessive days of bleeding > 7 days, or profuse bleeding during the first few days of your menses, you don’t have to suffer silently. Get in touch for help. Abnormal bleeding can be due to changes in hormones (perimenopause), thyroid dysfunction, infection, fibroids or polyps. These are simple solutions that can help.

Author: Dr. Anna Le