Women’s Health Needs at Every Stage of Life
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Women’s health demands special care. With a full spectrum of integrated programs encompassing every stage of life, from childhood to the senior years, Crozer-Keystone Health System’s highly skilled, compassionate providers make women’s wellness a priority.
The Tots to Teens Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology practice in Springfield attends to girls before and through puberty, specializing in female health problems specific to this age group, from irregular menstruation to polycystic ovary syndrome to sexual health issues.
The program’s co-medical director, Rima Himelstein, M.D., (along with Karen Simon, M.D.) often sees girls dealing with heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, a relatively common problem. “We usually do a workup to rule out anemia as well as hormone or bleeding problems,” Dr. Himelstein says. “We can control the bleeding through medication and make the periods ‘regular.’ So many of these girls are frustrated and stressed by their menses. A mother recently told me ‘you changed my daughter’s life.’”
Tots to Teens provides an invaluable resource, as many gynecologists and general pediatricians are not trained to deal with these issues. What’s more, given the sensitive nature of the conditions, the patient population needs to be treated with the utmost compassion and delicacy. “It’s very different talking to a 12-year-old, a 15-year-old or an 18-year-old—each developmental stage demands a different approach,” Dr. Himelstein says. “Many times I ask to talk to my patients alone and find that they have never had the chance to talk to a doctor directly. We help educate patients and their parents about their health and how to communicate openly about these topics.”
Mothers and Babies
Pregnancy and childbirth are unforgettable landmarks in a woman’s life, and the providers at Crozer-Keystone attend to this very special time by offering a wide array of options for care and delivery.
Our expert staffs of obstetricians, family physicians, midwives, perinatologists, neonatologists, anesthesiologists and nurses care for you and your baby, responding to your varied needs with the highest degree of skill, professionalism and compassion.
The physicians and midwives at Crozer-Keystone offer routine maternity care, as well as maternal fetal medicine, genetic counseling, perinatal testing and other services to ensure that mothers and babies are happy and healthy.
“Often, people assume that if you’re working with a midwife you’re giving birth at home, or can’t have an epidural during labor, but many midwives practice in a hospital setting and support women in their choices during pregnancy and labor,” says Carli Young, CNM, a Crozer-Keystone midwife.
With an emphasis on holistic care and treating routine pregnancy as a normal life event —not a medical condition—Young and her colleagues collaborate with their patients on their care during pregnancy. “Sometimes we will see a patient who had a difficult experience with their first delivery and have fears or concerns in future pregnancies. Our focus is to encourage and support women with the goal of having a safe, healthy and empowering birth experience,” Young says.
“It’s an important time and we want to give women all the support they need,” Young says.
At the onset of menopause, women often struggle with a new set of health concerns. “Symptoms can range from irregular periods and bleeding to hot flashes and night sweats, among others,” says Lloydia Reynolds, M.D., Crozer-Keystone obstetrician/gynecologist. “It’s not uncommon for many of these women to be here for a regular checkup. It’s only during our discussion that they mention these symptoms, as they don't realize that we can address the source of their discomfort.”
Dr. Reynolds counsels patients about hormonal therapies, dietary changes and other alternatives that can help make the road to menopause an easier journey. She particularly values this work because women in this age group tend to get overlooked. “This is a large population we’re talking about. Many women say, ‘I haven’t been here since I had my last child 15 years ago,’ and they don’t think these issues are important enough to be addressed,” she says. “Yet the benefits treatment can have on their lives are much greater than curing symptoms. We can help women sleep through the night, feel more intimate with their partners and improve the general quality of their lives.”
Osteoporosis disproportionately affects older women and is the number-one risk factor for women over 50 in the United States. As the medical director of the Crozer-Keystone Osteoporosis Center of Delaware County, Barry Jacobson, M.D. has two main goals: to prevent patients ever suffering from bone loss and to protect those patients who do have osteoporosis from further injury. In his outpatient clinics, that involves evaluating patients for early diagnosis with DEXA scans and laboratory tests and determining the best course of action, if needed, to decrease future risk. “We give them therapy to make sure they never reach the point of fracture,” he says.
Dr. Jacobson also treats hospital inpatients who have suffered multiple fractures in a short period of time. “The risk of a fracture is 20 percent within a year of the first osteoporosis-related injury; 50 percent within five years and 80 percent within a patient’s lifetime,” Dr. Jacobson says.
However, the bone therapies Dr. Jacobson and his colleagues apply to such cases can reduce the chance of new fractures from 20 percent to zero—a hugely significant difference for his older female patients. “These therapies allow people to go on with their lives,” he says. “Our ultimate goal is to make sure we never see osteoporosis patients in the hospital and we will do everything we can to get there.”