How your women’s health specialists in Woodbridge, VA, can help
If you are struggling with urinary incontinence, it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Fortunately, your women’s health and internal medicine specialists at Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, can help you feel better.
Episodes of incontinence can occur when muscles in the bladder tighten but the sphincter muscles can’t close the urethra, producing a strong urge to urinate. Problems with the nerves that control bladder muscles and the urethra can also cause incontinence. You can also lose small amounts of urine when you sneeze, laugh, or exercise.
Women suffer most from incontinence because it can be related to:
A woman’s pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, urethra, and other structures. These muscles can be weakened or damaged from the issues listed above. When the pelvic floor muscles are weak, the urinary tract muscles have to work harder to control urination. This extra stress can cause urine leakage.
There are several simple tips you can try at home to minimize incontinence. Consider:
- Doing Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
- Urinating at set times to train your bladder
- Increasing the time between urination by 15-minute intervals to train your bladder to hold urine
- Losing weight to decrease pressure on your bladder and bladder muscles
- Avoiding caffeine, carbonated drinks, and alcohol to help minimize symptoms
- Quitting smoking to improve your overall health and decrease symptoms
- Getting help for constipation, which can make incontinence worse
- Wearing pads or protective underwear to help control leakage
Your women's health specialists at Ridgeview Internal Medicine will do a comprehensive medical examination to help diagnose the cause of your urinary incontinence. If your symptoms are related to menopause, your doctor may recommend vaginal creams or other topical agents containing estrogen. Estrogen therapy can help strengthen the muscles of the urethra.
Other common treatments for urinary incontinence include introducing bulking agents like collagen, to help thicken the walls of the bladder and urethra for added support. A surgical procedure may also be recommended. Placing a sling under your urethra and bladder to hold these structures in place is a common surgical procedure for urinary incontinence.
Concerned? Give us a call
You don't have to let urinary incontinence control your life. To find out more about urinary incontinence and how your doctor can help, call your women’s health and internal medicine specialists of Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, Virginia at (703) 494-4116. Call today!
From acute to chronic health concerns, Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb, your primary care physician at Ridgeview Internal Medicine, has you covered. At our office in Woodbridge, VA, we emphasize the importance of annual women's health screenings, for they prove a time for blood pressure checks, immunization schedule updates, and cardiovascular disease screenings.
You're not a set of numbers
Don't think of your annual exam as just a measurement of medical variables: it's so much more. When you visit our Woodbridge office, you can discuss women's health issues as they pertain to you personally. Whether you are in your child-bearing years or post-menopausal, your physical, emotional, and mental health needs vary. Accordingly, our physician will partner with you in preventive, personalized care that will keep you in the best possible well-being.
What an annual exam includes
When you see your doctor, she will review your medical history and discuss any changes. Dr. Al-Khateeb will take your vital signs, height, and weight.
She will also update your immunizations and order screening tests as needed (mammograms, colonoscopies, bone density, EKG, and lung function as examples). Additionally, she orders blood work to include metabolic screening tests for blood sugar/cholesterol levels, thyroid function, blood count, and more.
Expect a simple examination of muscular strength, reflexes, abdomen, lymph nodes, and issues with the ear, nose, and throat. She will ask you about your last vision and dental examinations, and if you are over 50, she may refer you for a hearing test.
Finally, your annual physical is the opportunity for you to discuss any recurring or pressing health concerns—including mental and sexual health issues. Depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, and more are all problems that your physician can help you find professional help with.
Call us today
If it's time for your annual exam, please contact Ridgeview Internal Medicine for a convenient women's health appointment. Dial (703) 494-4116 today.
The Office on Women's Health estimates that up to 80 percent of women have uterine fibroids by the time they reach the age of 50. They are growths on or around the uterus that can become larger and more prevalent, especially in women who are in their reproductive years and menstruating. Get a better understanding of uterine fibroids, and what can cause fibroids in women when you visit a women’s health professional at Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
A fibroid is a usually benign muscular tumor that forms on the wall of the uterus. They are classified as submucosal (in the cavity of the uterus), intramural (within the uterus), and subserosal (outside the walls of the uterus). Fibroids are the reason why some women have bloated or larger bellies as they get older. Patients can have one or several fibroids of different sizes, and some can grow as large as a fist. Though fibroids are generally benign, they can cause discomfort and heavy bleeding when a woman is menstruating. They can also cause incontinence and pain in the lower back.
What Causes Fibroids?
While there is no definitive reason why fibroids form, there are a few possible contributing factors to consider:
- Many cases are genetic—it’s common for women in the same family, from different generations, to develop them.
- Hormonal imbalances may contribute to the development uterine fibroids.
- Diet, nutrition, and obesity may have an impact on fibroid formation.
Treatments for Fibroids
Fibroids can be treated by your Woodbridge, VA women’s health specialist in a number of ways. The treatment plan will depend on where the fibroid is located, its size, your symptoms, your age, and your desire to become pregnant in the future. These are some potential solutions:
- Medication to relieve pain, especially during periods of menstruation.
- Birth control to calm heavy bleeding or similar hormonal drugs.
- Surgical removal of fibroids (called a myomectomy) or removal of the uterine lining (endometrial ablation).
- A procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization, which deprives fibroids of their blood supply.
See a Women’s Health Doctor
At Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, a women’s health doctor will be able to evaluate and treat your case of uterine fibroids. Call the office today at (703) 494-4116 to set a time for your upcoming visit with Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb.
Find out the early warning signs so that you can detect and treat heart disease early on.
Heart disease refers to a variety of heart conditions that can affect everything from the blood vessels to the valves. Some forms of heart disease are congenital, which means that they occur at birth, while others can develop as a result of genetics or certain lifestyle factors. Our Woodbridge, VA, physician Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb wants patients to be armed with the tools they need to prevent heart disease; however, it’s also important to recognize the warning signs.
Symptoms will vary depending on the type of heart condition you are dealing with. Common symptoms include:
- Chest pain and tightness
- Pressure or discomfort in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Fluttering heart
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Irregular heartbeat or changes in heart rhythm
- Swelling in the legs, feet, ankles, or abdomen
- Being easily tired after exercise
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Heart disease is easy to detect if treated early on by our Woodbridge, VA, physician who can then refer you to a cardiologist for more specialized care and treatment. It’s also important to understand that heart disease is often preventable. If you have a family history of heart disease it is particularly important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Factors that can put you at increased risk for heart disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Poor diet high in saturated, trans fat, and/or sodium
Treating Heart Disease
If you have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease your doctor and cardiologist will work with you to create a treatment plan that will help manage your condition for the long run. There is no cure for heart disease but with the proper care we can help you manage your symptoms. Treatment options generally include:
- Lifestyle modifications: losing weight if overweight or obese, exercising, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking
- Medications: medications may be prescribed to reduce cholesterol levels or to correct arrhythmias
- Cardiac rehabilitation: this includes specific exercises to improve your cardiovascular health
- Surgery: this includes bypass or heart valve surgery
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms above? If so, it’s important that you have a heart doctor you can turn to for immediate and thorough care. Call your physician at Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, today.
At Ridgeview Internal Medicine in Woodbridge, VA, your physician, Dr. Deana Al-Khateeb, promotes your best health at every stage of life. This includes middle age, a period that for women poses a number of issues related to menopause. Read below to learn more about menopause and how we can help you more easily transition through it!
FAQS about menopause
What is menopause? Menopause is a natural part of the female aging process, and it indicates the finish of the childbearing years. Due to drastically reduced estrogen levels, women at this stage stop both ovulation and menstruation. Most doctors, including your Woodbridge, VA, physician, affirm that women are post-menopausal when they have not had a period for one full year.
What is the average age of menopause? In the United States, the average age is 51.
What are the symptoms of menopause? There are many symptoms, and they vary from woman to woman. Typically, symptoms begin several years before actual menopause and can include:
- Spotty, light, and infrequent periods
- Hot flashes (feelings of intense warmth and skin flushing)
- Mood swings
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Insomnia (trouble falling to sleep and staying asleep)
- Night sweats
- Vaginal and urethral dryness
- Painful sexual intercourse due to vaginal thinning
What is the relationship between bone loss and menopause? While both men and women lose bone and muscle mass as they age, this loss tends to accelerate in women after menopause. The thinnest areas are the hip, wrist, and spine. A test called a bone scan can determine if a woman has very weak bones (osteoporosis) and needs medication to strengthen them and reduce the risk of fracture.
What are the best strategies to deal with menopausal symptoms? Adequate rest, a healthy diet, and regular exercise maintain a woman's overall health and well-being during this time of transition. Other helpful interventions are:
- Vaginal lubricants to ease dryness and pain during intercourse
- Antidepressants to mitigate mood swings and hot flashes
- Herbal supplements to reduce hot flashes, headaches, and insomnia (black cohosh is commonly used)
- Seeing your primary care physician at Ridgeview Internal Medicine for an annual check-up and pap smear or as often as she advises
Stay healthy and happy
For answers to other questions about menopause, contact Ridgeview Internal Medicine for a consultation with Dr. Al-Khateeb and her team: (703) 494-4116.
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