When to Consider Non-Hormonal Birth Control

Contraception, or birth control, is the most popular way to prevent pregnancy. However, not all contraception is the same. In general, birth control falls into two main categories: hormonal and non-hormonal. Every female body is unique, and it is important to choose the best form of contraception that fits your needs and goals. For many women, this means weighing the risk of pregnancy against the side effects of hormonal birth control.

Birth control that contains hormones carries a very high success rate in preventing pregnancy, especially when compared to condoms or diaphragms. Hormonal birth control methods release hormones that alter the body’s chemistry to prevent pregnancy. This can involve thinning the uterine lining, preventing ovulation or other hormonal deviations that will prevent the natural conception process from occurring. While hormonal birth control typically involves taking a daily pill, there are other forms of hormonal contraception including rings, patches, shots or IUDs.

The hormones that are released into your body to prevent pregnancy can agree with you and even help your condition, such as when you have bad acne or heavy periods. However, not all women can tolerate the addition or hormones that come from this type of birth control. In fact, the side effects can be rather rough for some females, even after the initial adjustment period.

The Potential Setbacks of Hormonal Contraception

While there are various strengths and hormone combinations to choose from, there are some very common side effects that can occur with hormonal birth control. For women who experience the following risks and downsides from birth control, a non-hormonal version may be better:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of blood clots and high blood pressure 
  • Irregular periods
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Sore breasts
  • Spotting between periods
  • Weight gain
  • Failure to protect against STDs

Non-Hormonal Birth Control Options

Non-hormonal forms of birth control provide on-demand protection from pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases. They work by creating a physical barrier that stops sperm from entering the uterus. Hormone-free birth control options include condoms, diaphragms, sponges, cervical caps, cervical shields, IUDs, spermicide and an acid-based vaginal gel. It is important to note that these options may not work as well as hormonal birth control, and they are not nearly as convenient (“in the moment”). However, for females who do not tolerate the extra hormones or want to deal with the side effects, non-hormonal contraception may be the better choice.

At North Pointe OB/GYN, we are here to help you choose the best contraception for you. Our physicians are highly knowledgeable when it comes to the latest and most effective birth control options available. We consider personal health profile, your sex life and your family-planning goals. Call our Cumming clinic today for expert advice.

The Big Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a very natural process, but it doesn’t come easy for every mother and baby. It may also not be a feasible feeding solution for some families. While breastfeeding has numerous benefits, the decision to breastfeed your baby is a personal one. At North Pointe OB/GYN, we support moms who want to breastfeed as well as those that prefer formula feeding. Our clinicians, however, are always available to help you determine what method is best for you and your baby. In doing so, we like to outline the pros and cons of each. When it comes to breastfeeding, we explain the astounding benefits for both mom and baby.

According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), breastfeeding provides not only the best possible nutrition, but also protects your baby by increasing their immunity against many childhood diseases.

Benefits for Baby

When breastfeeding exclusively until your baby is six months old, you’ll reap the following rewards for your baby:

  • Provides all nutrients for physical and mental development
  • Helps build immune system
  • Prevents infections caused by germs that contaminate artificial feeding bottles
  • Reduces the risk of developing obesity and allergies
  • Creates healthy bond between mother and child through skin-to-skin contact

Advantages for Mom

The benefits of breastfeeding aren’t solely for your baby. As a new mom, you’ll be able to take advantage of the following if you choose to nurse your child:

  • Supports faster recovery from childbirth
  • Delays returned ovulation/fertility after birth to foster wider child spacing and safer childbearing
  • Helps uterus return to pre-pregnancy size
  • Lowers risk of ovarian and breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease
  • Releases Prolactin hormone to relax the body and produce peaceful sensation
  • Releases Oxytocin to enhance the sense of love and attachment

At North Pointe OB/GYN, we don’t stop caring for you at childbirth. In fact, your experience as a new mom is very important to us, which includes how you feed your baby. To learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, please call our Cumming clinic today.

Labor Induction: Evaluating Risk and Necessity

The end of pregnancy can be tough. Not only are you ready to meet your baby, but you may also be getting very physically uncomfortable as the third trimester nears its end. Whether it is out of discomfort, excitement or scheduling convenience, many pregnant moms want to know their options for inducing labor. Labor induction involves a scheduled medical intervention to induce or provoke labor earlier than the full 40-week term of a pregnancy. The rate of induction of labor in the U.S. has risen from 9.6% in 1990 to 25.7% in 2018, including 31.7% of first-time births.

Inducing labor, however, should not be a flippant or casual decision. Labor induction comes with notable risks that must be clearly understood – especially if it is performed without medical cause.

The Danger of Elective Labor Induction

Labor induction involves interventional therapy to stimulate uterine contractions and promote labor before the body naturally does so on its own. This can be achieved with pharmaceutical medicines that ripen the cervix and typically involves a physician breaking the water sac. While labor induction can be done safely and successfully, it does not come without risks. A baby needs the full 40-week term of pregnancy to fully develop, especially in terms of the lungs and mental development.

Elective labor induction, or inducing without medical cause, poses the following risks to both mother and baby:

  • Increased risk of NICU admittance
  • Higher chance of prematurity
  • Higher chance of jaundice
  • Low heart rate
  • Umbilical cord complications
  • Increased risk for a C-section birth
  • Uterine rupture
  • Bleeding after delivery
  • Infection risk for mother and baby

When is Labor Induction Necessary?

There is a time and reason for labor induction. In fact, there are medical situations in which inducing the labor prior to 40 weeks offers more benefits than risks. The following are situations in which there is medical necessity for labor induction:

  • Decreased fetal movement
  • High blood pressure (preeclampsia)
  • Hypertension gestational diabetes
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Placental abruption
  • Broken water bag while not being in labor
  • Beyond 41+ weeks of pregnancy (post-date induction)

At North Point OB/GYN, our providers put the health and safety of you and your baby as our highest priority. When it comes to schedule labor and delivery, we use our expansive knowledge and expertise in obstetrics to make the best decision for the timing of delivery.  If intervening with labor induction is necessary, you can trust us to perform this step with unrivaled care. Call today to learn more about whether labor induction is right for you.

Breast Cancer Screening: Doing Your Part at Home

As a woman, you can’t always rely on your physician or annual imaging to detect abnormal breast tissue. While these scheduled mammograms and breast exams are highly recommended and effective when detecting early breast cancer, it doesn’t mean you can dismiss your part in between visits. When it comes to breast cancer detection, you have a job to do. This includes breast self-exams at home. How well do you know your breasts? Could you detect changes if they occur?

Here are some general guidelines for this type of do-it-yourself breast cancer screening:

  • Know what your breasts should look like. Any change in shape, size and color or seeing bulging skin, nipple position changes, redness or soreness could be a clue to go get checked.
  • Look in the mirror straight on and from both sides. Then raise your arms and look for the same changes in tissue or skin.
  • Lie down and feel the breast tissue. Use the opposite hand for the breast you are checking. Using your fingertips, massage in small circular motions to check for any lumps on the entire breast. 
  • Be comprehensive when you perform a breast self-exam, include the breast tissue around your collarbone, abdomen, armpit and cleavage area. 

Repeat this same self-exam while standing, since your tissues will naturally shift into a new position.

Do you notice changes in the way your breasts look or feel? Don’t ignore it. We want to see you at North Pointe OB/GYN Associates when you need breast cancer screenings. This is a prevalent and deadly cancer that can be treated when it is in the early stages. To learn more about your personal risk for breast cancer or to schedule a breast cancer screening at our Cumming office, please call us today.

Call us at 770-886-3555 to request your appointment today!

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Our Cumming Office

The office of North Pointe OB/GYN Associates is located on the Northside Hospital-Forsyth campus, and we perform deliveries at the Women's Center at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

  • Address

  • 1800 Northside Forsyth Dr.
    Suite 350
    Cumming, GA 30041
  • Office Hours

  • Monday - Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
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