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If you are trying to conceive, one of the best ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant is to monitor your ovulation cycle. If your periods are regular, keeping track of your ovulation cycle is a fairly straightforward process, but if your menstrual cycle varies from month to month, it can be difficult to know when your body is at its most fertile. Ovulation calculators that record your fertility each calendar month, and ovulation predictor kits that measure your hormone levels, can be useful aids in the quest to conceive.

What is Ovulation?

Every month, an egg cell matures in an ovary. When the egg is mature, it is released into the fallopian tube and guided into the uterus where it can be fertilized by sperm. Once the egg is in the uterus, it is available for fertilization for about a day. This brief window is the only time in a given month when it is possible become pregnant. However, since sperm can remain active and viable inside the female body for between three and five days, a couple increases their chances of conceiving if they have intercourse in the days just prior to and following ovulation.

IUD Shape Illustration


IUD is an acronym for Intrauterine Device, and it is one of the most convenient and effective forms of birth control. There are different types of IUD, but in its most basic form it is a small T- shaped apparatus that, when placed into the uterus by your ob/gyn, prevents pregnancies from occurring.

How Does an IUD Work?

Hormonal IUDs

There are two main types of IUD: hormonal and non-hormonal. Hormonal IUDs are made out of plastic and they release a constant low dose of a synthetic hormone called progestin which prevents the ovaries from releasing their eggs. The hormonal IUD further increases its effectiveness by causing cervical mucus to thicken. This adds an additional layer of defense against sperm.

Menopause is often regarded in the broader culture as a mysterious condition that afflicts all middle aged women with mood swings and dramatic hot flashes. But that is a simplistic caricature of an important and normal biological process in every woman’s life.

The word “menopause” is often used as an umbrella term for a natural condition that is comprised of several distinct stages which commonly take place over the course of a few years. In its simplest terms, menopause describes the permanent cessation of a woman’s menstrual cycle, but the entire process of menopause is about more than just the end of periods. It is helpful to think of menopause as the inverse of puberty. If puberty marks the beginning of a woman’s reproductive years, menopause marks its end.

Mature Woman Experiencing Menopause Symptoms

young-woman-gynecological-examThe thought of having your first gynecology exam might be nerve wracking, but it is a straightforward and quick procedure that is an important part of maintaining your overall health. Once you understand the purpose of the annual well woman exam and what it involves, you will realize that there is nothing to worry or be embarrassed about.

The purpose of your routine annual gynecology exam is to allow a health care provider to check your female organs to ensure and maintain good gynecological health. The physical portion of the exam takes about 10 minutes and there is a time before and after the exam to ask and answer any questions you and your health care provider might have.

Weight gain is a sensitive subject for everyone. And it can feel even more sensitive and complicated in the context of pregnancy when your body is changing quickly, and in ways that are beyond your control. It is perfectly normal and even healthy to gain weight in pregnancy, but how much weight should you expect to put on, and at what rate?

Eating for Two? 

Pregnancy is the one time in a woman’s life when she might feel like she is finally able to stop watching her weight and indulge in every late night craving. On the other hand, it may be a time of anxiety for other women as they watch their bodies change and the number on the scale rise.

The overall goal for any pregnancy should not be about a particular number on a scale or comparing your baby bump to anyone else’s baby bump. It should be about achieving or maintaining your personal level of optimum health. This is best for you and for your baby.

Pregnancy Weight Gain Over Time

pregnant-woman-taking-prenatal-vitaminsTaking a daily prenatal vitamin is one of the easiest things you can do to help encourage a healthy pregnancy. When combined with a well-balanced diet, prenatal vitamins help ensure that you and your baby are receiving the vital nutrition that is necessary throughout every stage of pregnancy.  

Why Prenatal Vitamins Are Important

During your pregnancy, your body’s nutritional requirements are different than at other times, and prenatal vitamins are designed for the specific needs of pregnant women. For example, prenatal vitamins have more iron, calcium, and folic acid than regular multivitamins. Folic acid, in particular, is an important part of any diet, but it is imperative for the pregnant woman. Folic acid is proven to be a crucial factor in preventing neural tube birth defects, which is why it is recommended that all women of child bearing age take a folic acid supplement, and also why pregnant women need to take more than the general population.

Every day, there seems to be some new gimmick that emphasizes weight loss and “high-school skinny.” There are thousands of advertisements, drinks, supplements and programs that prey on women’s insecurities.

While having a fit body does have its perks, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have achieved balanced well-being. A healthy lifestyle comes from feeding both the mind and the body through positive and sustainable habits and experiences.

Get At Least 7 Hours of Sleep Per Night

While this may seem like a no-brainer, seven hours of deep, restful sleep can be difficult for a lot of women to get. According to Women’s Day, 35 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep every night. You already know that lack of sleep can lead to exhaustion, but did you know that it can increase your risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes?

abbie-martin-arnpKansas City ObGyn in Overland Park, Kansas is thrilled to welcome Abbie Martin, Nurse Practitioner, to the staff! We are so excited to have her on board helping us serve the women’s health needs of the Kansas City metro area.

Ms. Martin is dedicated to her work as a Nurse Practitioner and considers it an honor to work with women and provide them with excellent care. Patients love Ms. Martin because she brings both experience and enthusiasm to her work and she prioritizes their needs and comfort above all else.

“I am passionate about empowering women to take charge of their health and enjoy every experience I am able to have with each and every patient,” Martin said.

Zika Virus and Your PregnancyBy now you’ve heard the news about the Zika virus and if you’re pregnant, you may be worrying for two (or more!). We’ve been getting a lot of questions from expecting mothers about the nasty-sounding bug, and we wanted to address your concerns and give you some tips to avoid the dangerous Zika virus.

What is Zika virus?

The Zika virus is contracted from Aedus -- the mosquitos that also carry yellow fever and dengue mosquito bites. In 1947, scientists found monkeys that carried the disease in the Zika Forest of Uganda. For most people the symptoms of the Zika virus are relatively mild.  It should be noted that severe illness or death from the Zika virus is extremely rare, but the potential complications for pregnancies and babies is quite serious.