Obstetrics & Gynecology: Women's Health

Get Informed about Women's Health

BRCA (Breast and Ovarian Cancer) gene testing

A BRCA gene test is a blood test to check for specific changes (mutations) in genes that help control normal cell growth. This test is done for women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Women who inherit these BRCA gene changes have a higher-than-average chance of getting breast or ovarian cancer. For more information to help you decide if this test is right for you follow this link and as always, speak to your doctor: BRCA 

Mammography and Breast self-exam

The most effective way to detect breast cancer is by mammogram. The breast self-exam is a way that you can check your breasts for changes. Any unusual changes noted when you perform the exam should be reported and discussed with your provider.


Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation, a turning point in a woman's life. Symptoms vary, learn about them, complications and how to cope with the effects of each. If you have any of these symptoms it is important to discuss them with your OB/GYN.


Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that causes them to become weak and brittle. It affects men and women of all races but white and asian women - especially those who are past menopause are at the highest risk. Medications, dietary supplements and weight-bearing excercise can help strengthen your bones.  Talk to your doctor to find out what course of action if any is needed to ensure your bones are as healthy as possible.

Birth control choices:


  • IUD (Intrauterine Device) that contains copper, which is slowly released into the uterine cavity. The copper stops the sperm from making it through the vagina and uterus to reach the egg, thus preventing fertilization
  • Condoms: Condoms are the only form of birth control that can prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STD's).
  • Nexplanon is an implant the size of a matchstick which are inserted under the skin of the upper arm by a medical professional  They can prevent pregnancy for up to three years.
  • IUD (Intrauterine Device) is a small, plastic T-shaped device placed in the woman's uterus for birth control.
  •  "The Pill" is an oral contraceptive method of birth control. Taken correctly, it is 99.9% effective. Some pills help with PMDD, mentrual cramps and some are safe for breast feeding mothers.  You should speak with your provider to determine which one is best for you and to discuss the side effects associated with each.
  • Patches are a band-aide like patch that releases hormones through your skin for 7 days.
  • Depo Provera is an injection given by your provider.  It protects against pregnancy for up to 14 weeks but must be given once every 12 weeks to remain fully protected.
  • NuvaRing is a small contraceptive ring that contains the same hormones as the pill. 

Irreversible (permanent)

  • Essure a surgery free, permanent birth control option available at RiverBend. Contact your OB/GYN to see if this is the right choice for you.
  • Vasectomy is a permanent birth control option for men available in the Urology department at RiverBend. 
  • Tubal ligation often referred to as "having your tubes tied," is a surgical procedure in which a woman's fallopian tubes are blocked, tied or cut.

Miscellaneous methods

  • Spermicides are foams, jellies, tablets, creams, suppositories, or dissolvable films used by women to prevent pregnancy. Chemicals within the spermicide destroy the sperm, preventing it from fertilizing an egg
  • Rhythm Method or natural family planning is when a woman learns to recognize the days she is fertile and does not have sex before or during those days.

Emergency Contraception

  • Emergency Contraception sometimes called the "morning after pill" can be used up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, the sooner the better. Available (OTC) over-the-counter at local pharmacies.

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