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Women's Center at Westover Hills
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(210) 858-1101


If our FAQs do not answer your question please feel free to call our office anytime at (210) 858-1101.

1. I am spotting in the beginning of my pregnancy, is that normal?

During the first couple of weeks of pregnancy spotting can occur due to implantation of the egg into the wall of the uterus. Many women experience some degree of bleeding or spotting in the first trimester. You can use panty liners for spotting. Never use tampons as they can transfer bacteria into the vaginal region.

If you have bleeding or spotting during the first trimester, or anytime during the pregnancy, lasting longer than 24 hours that is severe or accompanied by abdominal pain or cramping please call the office.

2. What medications are safe during pregnancy?

Please follow this link to our provider approved medications: Safe Medications.

3. How many kicks should I count when doing kick counts after 28 weeks?

Sit down at the end of your day after a meal or sweet drink. Count kicks, any movement no matter how small, for 1 hour. If you reach 4 movements in the first hour you counts are completed. If not drink something really cold and keep counting for a goal of 10 movements in 2 hours. If you do not reach your appropriate number of kicks call the office for further instruction.

4. I am pregnant and have this pain in my lower abdomen and groin area, is this normal?

Round ligament pain is a sharp, sudden pain in the groin area caused by the uterus stretching to accommodate the growing baby. This pain can occur with standing up, coughing, sneezing, or other maneuvers which change the direction of stress on the uterus. Move carefully and avoid sudden movements. Roll over carefully when while in bed or getting up. Get off your feet when possible. There are abdominal support belts, which might help as well.

If the pain you feel is recurrent, such as 5-6 in an hour before 36 weeks the do not resolve with rest or water please call the office.

5. Are varicose veins during pregnancy in the vaginal area normal?

Varicose veins occur during pregnancy for several reasons, including increased blood volume and relaxation of blood vessels, combined with an inherited tendency to develop them. They are usually not hazardous, but can be quite uncomfortable and can occur in the vaginal area as well as the legs. Moderate exercise, elevation of the legs, and full-length support hose can help somewhat. Try to avoid standing for long periods of time, crossing your legs at the knee, and constrictive clothing. Please notify us if you have severe calf or leg pain, especially if there is a specific area of tenderness or redness.

6. I am pregnant and my feet and legs are swollen, should I be worried?

Some swelling of the lower extremities, especially during the third trimester, is perfectly normal, and by itself causes no problem more hazardous than discomfort. If you are not uncomfortable, no measures need be taken. Elevation of the lower extremities, decreasing salt intake, and increasing fluid intake all seem to help. While swelling is almost always innocent, you should let us know if it becomes severe, or is accompanied by facial swelling, headache, visual changes or nausea. We will need to at least check your blood pressure if these occur. If swelling is one-sided or associated with pain in the deep muscles of the leg, this could be a blood clot. Please call our office to arrange an evaluation.

7. I have sciatic nerve pain during my pregnancy, what can I do to relieve the pain?

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, providing sensory and motor function to the lower extremities. This nerve provides sensation to the back of the thigh, lower part of the leg and the sole of the foot. Sciatic nerve pain is a periodic severe pain that occurs throughout your legs. The sciatic nerve runs under your uterus to your legs. The cause of sciatic nerve pain is thought to be associated with pressure on the nerve caused by the developing baby. The simplest remedy is to lie on your side, opposite of the pain. This may help relieve the pressure on the nerve. Avoid heavy lifting and minimize standing for long periods of time. You may experience relief by applying heat or cold to the troubled area. Your health care provider may recommend acetaminophen to relieve the pain.

It is important to contact your health care provider if the pain becomes constant, or increases in severity or frequency.

8. When do I start new birth control pill?

For most oral birth control the correct time to start taking the pill is on the first Sunday after you start your period. If you start on a Sunday you may begin taking the pill that day. For a few oral birth control pills the pill pack will come with a days of the week sticker. You may start those pills on the first day of your period and label the pill packs accordingly with the sticker.

9. What do I do if I forget to take one of my birth control pills?

If you forget to take one of your birth control pills you may take two pills the next day at your scheduled time.

10. What do I do if I forget to take two birth control pills in a row?

If you forget to take two birth control pills the next day take 2 pills at your scheduled time and the following day take two pills at your regularly scheduled time. You will need to use condoms for birth control for the next seven days because you will not be protected. Never take more than two birth control pills in the same 24 hour period.

11. What if I forget to take my birth control pills for three or more days in a row?

If this occurs you will need to stop taking your birth control pills until you start your period. At that time open a new pill pack and restart your birth control. You will need to use condoms until you restart your birth control pills.

12. Why do I have spotting between periods if I am on birth control pills?

Birth control pills and other hormonal birth control products, such as patches and injections, release hormones into a woman's body, altering the balance of hormones that are naturally present. Often, hormones used in birth control are similar to those already present in the woman's body. Birth control solutions may simply release more of these hormones than normal or release them at times that differ from the body's natural schedule. When a woman on birth control has spotting between periods, it is often referred to as breakthrough bleeding. This bleeding, typically caused by fluctuating hormones, isn't usually as heavy as a full period. It's typically light and requires only the use of a panty liner to protect the underwear and clothing. The spotting may last for one day or several, and it may come and go. It may include bright-red blood or brownish discharge. For some women, the solution to birth control-induced spotting may be waiting for the body to adjust or get used to the hormones. For women who continue to have breakthrough bleeding sometimes switching pills to a higher dose of estrogen may help.

Some women spot when they miss a birth control pill or two or take a dose later than suggested. Though forgetting pills may not harm your body, it can lead to unplanned pregnancy. Make sure to take your pills at the same time every day. Some women find it helpful to set a reminder alarm on their cell phones.

13. I have an IUD (Mirena, Paragard) why do I have spotting?

A small amount of light IUDbleeding is typically normal for a few days immediately after an IUD is inserted. For most women, this light bleeding is actually just mild spotting, and it should go away within two or three days at the most. If it does not resolve in 3-4 days and is equal to a period please call the office. Some women might also notice some spotting in between periods during the first few months of IUD use. Additionally, heavier menstrual periods are also common for the first several months after an IUD is inserted.

It can take the body several months to get completely used to an IUD, and for this reason, some women have bleeding in between periods for a while after they first get their IUDs. This bleeding is typically not severe, and many women describe it as mild spotting. After three of four months, most women report that their IUDbleeding in between periods has disappeared and that their menstrual periods are much lighter than before they got their IUDs.

14. I just started Depo-Provera or Nexplanon why am I having spotting between periods?

Birth control such as the Depo-Provera shot, Nexplanon, or birth control pills release hormones into a woman's body, altering the balance of hormones that are naturally present. Often, hormones used in birth control are similar to those already present in the woman's body. Birth control solutions may simply release more of these hormones than normal or release them at times that differ from the body's natural schedule. Breakthrough bleeding may occur at any time, but it is more likely to occur during the first few months after a woman starts birth control in any form. Most spotting or breakthrough bleeding will resolve after 90 days but occasionally it will be a side effect of the birth control.

From Our Patients
“Dr. Akonye has been amazing to our family. She’s was my doc through all 4 of our pregnancies & I couldn’t have asked for a more down to earth person to walk us through every one of them.” – Priscilla Terrazas