Essential Facts to Know About STDs and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, part of protecting the health of your baby is protecting yourself from sexually transmitted disease, or STDs. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing STDs with your maternity care provider, you can visit a walk-in clinic for anonymous STD testing . Here is a look at what you need to know about STDs during pregnancy. STD - pregnancy

You can contract an STD during pregnancy.

Some women mistakenly believe that pregnancy offers protection from contracting an STD, but it does not. You have the same risk of developing an STD if you are exposed to one as you would if you were not pregnant. The difference is that STDs can be more aggressive during pregnancy, and they can pose a risk to both you and your baby. If you are not in a mutually monogamous relationship during pregnancy, you need to use protection during every sexual encounter to protect yourself and your baby from STDs.

STD testing may not be part of your standard maternity care.

In most cases, STD testing is not automatically performed as part of maternity care. If your doctor does not perform STD screenings as part of your care, consider having a conversation about your risk factors and asking for testing. You can also opt to have anonymous STD testing performed at a walk-in clinic. Keep in mind that the early treatment offers the best protection for you and your baby, so don’t delay getting tested.

STD treatments are available during pregnancy.

The way your STD is treated during pregnancy depends on the type of STD you have. Bacterial infections, including gonorrhea and syphilis, can be treated with antibiotics that can be taken during pregnancy. Although viral infections, such as HIV and herpes, can’t be cured, antiviral medications may protect your baby from contracting the disease.

At Perimeter Clinic, we offer walk-in STD testing in Atlanta to help you get the peace of mind you need for your own health and that of your baby. Visit us any time to begin the confidential testing process, or learn more about anonymous STD testing by calling (678) 904-5611.

How to Talk to Your Primary Care Physician About Weight Loss

Making the decision to lose weight is easy, but achieving weight loss isn’t always as simple as calories in versus calories out. Your primary care physician can be an ideal resource when you are trying to overcome your weight issues. Here are some tips for starting this important conversation with your doctor during your appointment for your annual physical . weight - loss

Start the Conversation

If your primary care physician doesn’t bring up your weight in your appointment, don’t hesitate to start the conversation yourself. Sometimes, physicians avoid talking about weight unless the patient initiates it because some people are not receptive to the conversation. Tell your doctor directly that you would like to talk about your weight, how it is affecting your health, and what you can do to manage it.

Know Your Goals

It is helpful to have a goal in mind when you start your conversation. For most people, a healthy starting point is losing 5 to 10% of their body weight. Your primary care doctor can tell you if your weight loss goal is realistic and healthy and help you create a plan for achieving it. Your doctor can also help you set a long-term goal weight to achieve if you feel like you will have more weight loss after reaching your initial, short-term goal.

Consider Bringing a Food Diary

Reviewing a food diary with your primary care doctor can be especially helpful, because he or she can see exactly what you are eating and make specific suggestions about changes you should make to your diet to see results. Consider keeping an activity journal with your food diary and talking to your physician about starting a new exercise plan.

Perimeter Clinic offers the convenience of walk-in primary care for urgent needs and fast, appointment-based physicals from board-certified primary care physicians in Atlanta. To make an appointment, please call (678) 904-5611.

What Happens During an EKG?

If you visit a walk-in clinic in Atlanta and the physician is concerned that you are having problems with your heart, then he or she may recommend an EKG. EKGs record the electrical activity of your heart to look for abnormalities. The test is painless and noninvasive and can be done onsite at an urgent care clinic.

During an EKG, your healthcare provider will attach a series of electrodes to the different locations on your chest, arms, and legs. These electrodes are hooked up to a machine that creates a record of your heart’s activity. You will need to stay very still for the five or 10 minutes it takes to complete the test.

After the EKG, your urgent care clinic physician will examine the record to look for indications of a problem that could explain your symptoms, such as an arrhythmia. Depending on the results, the physician may recommend that you get additional tests or that you begin treatment to address a heart problem that is apparent on the EKG.

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What All Women Need to Know About Ectopic Pregnancies

An ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition for women that requires urgent care. Because many women may not have yet even realized they are pregnant when an ectopic pregnancy occurs, it is important to know the symptoms and react quickly, regardless of whether or not you think you could be pregnant. Seek urgent care at a clinic near your Atlanta home if you think you could be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. Here are the facts every women needs to know. ectopic - pregnancy

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg does not travel from the Fallopian tubes to the uterus as expected but instead implants somewhere else in the abdomen. If the ectopic pregnancy is not diagnosed and treated, it can lead to the rupture of your Fallopian tube, which may cause serious internal bleeding that can be life-threatening.

What are the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy?

Typically, unexpected vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain are the first signs of an ectopic pregnancy. As the condition worsens, you may experience nausea, vomiting, sharp cramping, dizziness, and weakness. Some women have pain on one side of their body, while others experience pain in the rectum, neck, or shoulder. Many of the symptoms, particularly the location of the pain, depend on where the egg has implanted. If you experience symptoms, seek urgent care right away, where your doctor can use diagnostic imaging tests to determine if you have an ectopic pregnancy.

How are ectopic pregnancies treated?

Ectopic pregnancies can’t be successful, so the fertilized tissue has to be removed. In very early stages of an ectopic pregnancy, an injectable medication can stop the cells from getting larger so that your body can reabsorb them. If the pregnancy has grown too large, then your doctor may need to surgically remove the cells. If your Fallopian tube has ruptured, it may need to be removed as well.

Why Yearly Physicals Are Important

Yearly physicals are the foundation of preventative medicine. They can reduce your risk of suffering from many common illnesses and allow your primary care physician to diagnose problems in their early stages, when they are most treatable. If the limited hours at most medical practices have been keeping you from getting the physical you need, then you should know that you can get an annual physical at an urgent care clinic in Atlanta with extended hours, so your appointment can fit into your schedule. If you’re doubting the importance of adding time for a physical to your busy calendar, here is a look at some of the ways that physicals can impact your health. yearly - physical

Find out information about your current health

One part of your physical is a thorough assessment of your current health. During your exam, your physician will evaluate your weight, blood pressure, respiratory health, heart health, and skin health. He or she may also order lab tests to determine your cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood counts. This information creates a picture of how healthy you are today and whether you need to begin any treatments to control emerging health issues, such as medication for high blood pressure.

Get a picture of your future health risks

The information about your current health that is collected during your physical also creates a picture of what health problems you could be at risk for in the future, so you can take steps to protect your health. For example, if your weight has crept up and your blood glucose numbers are climbing, your doctor may tell you that you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. With this knowledge, you can adopt a healthy eating plan to reduce your weight and cut your chances of developing diabetes.

Ask questions about your health needs

A physical is the perfect time to ask your doctor any questions that are on your mind about your health, such as whether you should consider STD testing or if you should consider travel vaccinations for an upcoming trip. Take advantage of this time when you have your doctor’s complete attention to address any health issues that are on your mind.

What to Expect During a Physical

One of the easiest and most impactful things you can do for your health is to have an annual physical . Physicals are free for everyone under the Affordable Care Act, and you can get one conveniently at a walk-in clinic in Atlanta at an appointment time that fits into your schedule.

Watch this video to find out what to expect when you go to a walk-in clinic for a physical. The family physician will listen to your lungs and heart, look at your ears, nose, and throat, and test your reflex times. He or she may also examine your abdomen by pressing on it. Most physicals also include blood work to test your cholesterol levels and to look for other indicators of illness. Depending on your needs, your physician may recommend additional exams and tests, such as a well woman exam or discreet STD testing.

Preventive Medicine: Saving Lives and Cutting Costs

In every instance, preventing a health problem is better than treating it. Preventive medicine helps to do just that by screening patients for risk factors and signs of various conditions and educating them about ways they can be proactive in protecting their health. Under the Affordable Care Act, physicals are available free of charge, putting access to preventive care within everyone’s reach. At Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta , we offer fast appointments for adult physicals with our primary care physicians. Here is a closer look at the benefits of preventive medicine. urgent - care

Lower Medical Costs

During a physical, physicians can provide education about reducing the risk of certain health conditions and treatments that prevent conditions from becoming worse. These preventive services can add up to significant savings. Consider these statistics from the Surgeon General that demonstrate the cost-saving benefits of preventive care:

  • Reducing high blood pressure by 5% would decrease health spending by $25 billion in 5 years.
  • Preventing tobacco use can save $9,800 per person over the course of a lifetime.
  • Every time an HIV infection is prevented, $355,000 in lifetime medical costs are saved.

Fewer Lost Work Days

Poor health is extremely costly for employers. People with chronic medical conditions that are poorly managed miss more days of work than healthier workers and may be less productive when they are on the job. Making a direct investment into employee health can be approximately two to three times less expensive than the indirect costs of lost productivity due to poor health. Further, healthy employees have fewer financial concerns caused by lost time at work, particularly when they are hourly employees.

Better Quality of Life

When allowed to progress untreated, many manageable health conditions can have a significantly negative impact on quality of life. For instance, if a person who is at risk for diabetes doesn’t get preventative care and develops the condition with getting the proper treatment, he or she may suffer from vision loss, kidney disease, and painful neuropathy. People with uncontrolled high blood pressure can suffer from a stroke or heart attack that could lead to lifelong disability and even loss of life, which could have been prevented with the appropriate care.

Signs of Bladder Infections

Bladder infections require urgent care to prevent the bacteria from spreading and the infection from worsening. By recognizing the signs of a bladder infection, you can get to an urgent care clinic in Atlanta quickly for a diagnosis and to begin treatment.

The most common sign of a bladder infection is painful urination, or cystitis, that most patients describe as a burning sensation. If you have an infection, you may also feel like you need to urinate more often than normal but only release a small amount of urine each time. You may also notice that your urine is cloudy, smells strong, or contains blood. Pain in the pelvic region may also occur. Some people with bladder infections develop fevers, which can also mean that the infection is moving into the kidneys.

At a medical clinic, the physician may test your urine for signs of bacteria and prescribe antibiotics to stop the infection. If you have a condition that could make the infection slow to heal, such as diabetes, you may need to take antibiotics for a longer period of time to completely cure it.

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