Michigan Women’s Health

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an appointment if I think I have a UTI (bladder infection) or yeast infection?

Any time we, as healthcare providers, need to prescribe you a medication, we need to see you. This is because many times what we think is a bladder infection or vaginal infection, is wrong. If we have the wrong diagnosis we could prescribe the wrong medication, which could make your problem worse. You could also have a reaction to a medication that you didn’t even need to take. It is safer and you will get better faster if you let us examine you and do appropriate testing to ensure we are treating you correctly.

When should I go to the hospital?

If you are pregnant and have any questions relating to vaginal bleeding, loss of fluid, decreased fetal movement, contractions or other pain, you should call our offices 24 hours a day and we will direct you.

If you are not pregnant and think you have an emergency, such as bleeding so heavy you are lightheaded, dizzy, have shortness of breath or chest pain you should go directly to the ER but you can always call us first 24 hours a day.

Bladder infections and vaginal infections are not emergencies but if you cannot wait until the next business day to see us, you should go to an urgent care, not an emergency room. If you call during business hours we will always fit you into our schedule if you are having an urgent problem.

What is the difference between a yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis(BV), and why can’t I just use over the counter medication?

Yeast and bacteria are both present in the vagina from the age of puberty until menopause. If you have an overgrowth of one or the other you will have symptoms related to that. Typically, yeast infections are itchy, have thick white discharge and no odor. BV usually has a thinner discharge, burning at times and an odor, especially after intercourse. Over the counter medications are for yeast primarily and will only make BV worse. If you aren’t certain which one you have, make an appointment. If you are certain you have yeast you can try the over the counter anti-fungal medications such as Monistat.

I got a “call back” on my mammogram what does that mean?

About 15-20% of mammograms need additional views. This could be because the pictures were inadequate or because the radiologist saw something they want to take a closer look at. Of those whom are called back only about 5% need a biopsy and only a small percentage of those that are biopsied have breast cancer. There is no need to stress about the additional views: you want the radiologist to get as much information as they need. The purpose of a mammogram is not to prevent breast cancer but to diagnose it early so that even if you are diagnosed with it — and 1 in 8 women will be in their lifetime — you have a greater than 96% of being cured!

Frequently Asked Questions in Pregnancy

What can I do about nausea?

Nausea, especially in the first few months of pregnancy, is very normal. The rapid increase and change in hormones causes nausea or “morning sickness” to occur. However, this may occur at any time during the day or night, and may last minutes to all day long. Typically, nausea resolves by the second trimester.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Eat dry foods such as toast or crackers separate from liquids
  • Eat a few dry crackers 5-10 minutes before getting out of bed in the am, then move slowly.
  • Avoid eating large meals, but instead snack frequently.
  • Avoid an empty stomach.
  • Take your prenatal vitamin before bed.
  • Ginger, popsicles, mixing some water and juice, sea bands, Vitamin B6 all can be helpful for some patients with nausea.
  • If you are having trouble staying hydrated, chew on ice, make ice cubes of your favorite sport drink, try pedialyte popsicles.
  • If none of these suggestions help, call you doctor to discuss medication options.

What medications are safe in pregnancy?

As a general rule, we try to avoid medications, especially during the first trimester. But there are times when medications are necessary and the benefit of taking it outweighs any risk. It is difficult to go through all medications, but here is a brief list of those that are safe. As usual, any question, call you doctor.

Safe medications

Pain Relief

  • Tylenol

Common Cold/Allergies

  • Sudafed
  • Plain Robitussin
  • Mucinex
  • Benadryl
  • Zyrtec
  • Claritin

Nausea

  • Vitamin B6
  • Unisom

Avoid

  • Motrin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aleve
  • and Aspirin products

What should I avoid in pregnancy?

For the most part, you can continue doing and eating things you did prior to pregnancy. Here are a few recommendations of what you should avoid that patients frequently ask us about.

  • Alcohol, smoking, recreational drugs
  • Unpasteurized juice, raw meat, raw fish, raw shellfish, unpasteurized soft cheeses, some deli meats ( it is best to heat up deli meats)
  • Fish that may contain mercury or other contaminants (Shark, king mackerel etc.)
  • It is recommended to have 2 servings of fish a week – limit 12 oz. If you like canned tuna, eat the type in fresh water rather than oil.
  • Hot tubs and saunas
  • Cat litter and soil – Do not change the cat litter box, wear rubber gloves when gardening
  • Herbs/Some Herbal Teas (blue/black cohosh, buckthorn, cascara, ephedra, feverfew, mandrake, mugwort, senna, tansy, and yarrow etc.)

When should I call the office?

  • Fever over 100.4
  • Burning with urination
  • You are experiencing regular, frequent rhythmic, contractions
  • You have a gush of fluid from your vagina or think your water may have broken
  • You are experiencing vaginal bleeding
  • Baby’s movements have decreased in the third trimester
  • You are unable to keep food down for 24 hours
  • You have fainted
  • If you experience sudden swelling esp. in your face
  • Having blurry vision
  • Constant, new, changed, or severe headaches

If the office is closed, the answering service will contact the on call doctor for emergencies. If your question is not an emergency, please wait until regular office hours to call your doctor.