How often should you see us?
You should us at least once a year for a well woman exam.
What should I bring with me to my appointment?
- Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time
- Driver's license or Picture ID
- Insurance card
- List of medications currently being taken
- Name and phone number of your pharmacy
- Medical records that are required for your visit
- Bring your form of payment for any charges not covered by insurance that are due on the day of service.
Do I need to fill out any information before my visit?
All of your information can be reviewed and updated on your patient portal. We encourage you to review this information and make the appropriate changes for every appointment so your records are up to date and accurate. You may also print these forms and bring them with you to your appointment.
Do you do blood work at your office?
We do have a lab/drawing station at Capital Health OB/GYN - Lawrenceville.
Do you do ultrasounds in your office?
We have the ability to schedule ultrasounds in our office based on your insurance.
What insurances do you accept?
We accept most health insurance plans. Click here for a complete list of accepted insurances or call our office to inquire about a specific plan.
How do I get my prescription refilled?
Most Prescriptions written by our providers will have refills available. Please check with your pharmacy first before requesting a refill. If you have changed your pharmacy or do not have an additional refills the easiest way to request a refill is to log on to your patient portal. Please contact us via the portal one week prior to needing your refills.
How to I ask my provider a question?
Please enter the Patient Portal, and you will be instructed on how to privately obtain your results or ask your provider a question.
How will I receive my test results?
Please understand that our staff is not authorized to release test results unless they have been reviewed by one of our physicians. If the staff will not reveal your test results, it does not mean that the test is abnormal. A nurse or physician will contact you, often via your patient portal, concerning test results after the physician has reviewed the results. Laboratory tests often take several days to be processed and are often posted to your patient portal.
Can I still be seen if I am on my menstrual cycle?
It depends on why you are being seen at the time of appointment. Please contact us if this is the case.
How do I obtain a copy of my medical records?
To request a copy of your medical records you will need to fill out and complete our Medical Release Form. Once we receive this form we will contact you as soon as your records are available. This process normally takes 10 business days. If you are not requesting a complete medical record please be specific as to the testing you need.
What does a gynecological exam consist of and what is a PAP smear?
The yearly exam consists of a general examination, breast and pelvic exams. A speculum is usually used to look at the cervix and vagina. Your doctor may not always need to do a pap test but will still need to do a pelvic exam every year to check the uterus and ovaries.
A pap test is a screen for cervical cancer. The latest guidelines recommend a pap test every 2-3 years for those who have not had any abnormal pap smears previously. Your doctor will discuss your individual case and how the new guidelines will affect you.
How often should I be getting mammograms?
Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40, and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health. Some women will start their mammograms earlier based on medical and family history.
When should a woman get her first GYN examination?
PAP smears are recommended to begin at the age of 21 but if a woman is in need of contraceptives, has menstrual issues, pelvic pain, vaginal discharge or desire STD testing, an earlier visit is recommended.
Are there doctors in the practice who perform da Vinci® robotic surgery?
Yes, we have many doctors in our practice that are highly skilled in performing DaVinci robotic assisted surgeries. These surgeries are performed at Capital Health at Hopewell.
What are fibroids?
Uterine leiomyomatas or fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) growths of the uterine muscle. They can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pressure, as well as painful periods. If you have any of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment and we are happy to discuss the multitude of management options of fibroids.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition where cells of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grow in other areas of the body. This abnormal growth can cause pelvic pain, irregular bleeding and in extreme cases, even infertility. If you have any of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment and we are happy to discuss the multitude of management options.
Birth Control Questions
When do I start my new birth control?
You may either start the first pill on the first day of your menstrual cycle, or do the “Sunday start” and start on the very next Sunday that falls on the calendar after your menses has started.
What should I do if I miss more than one birth control pill?
Use backup protection for the remainder of the pill pack until your next period begins.
How can I obtain emergency contraception?
Plan B is sold over the counter.
Will being on birth control pills increase my chances of cancer in the future?
On the contrary, studies have shown that being on the pill for greater than 5 years can decrease your risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer.
What are some common side effects of birth control pills?
Nausea-usually decreased by taking the pill at night or with food, weight gain/loss, changes in sexual desire or mood, headaches and break through bleeding. More serious risk factors such as blood clots occur in women ages 15-34 at a rate of 1/12,000 and women 35-44 at a rate of 1/2500.
Genetic Testing Questions
What is Genetic Carrier Screening and why is it beneficial?
Genetic tests are done by analyzing small samples of blood or body tissues. They determine whether you, your partner, or your baby carry genes for certain inherited disorders. Genes are made up of DNA molecules, which are the building blocks of heredity. They're grouped together in specific patterns within a person's chromosomes, forming the unique "blueprint" for every physical and biological characteristic of that person.
Humans have 46 chromosomes, arranged in pairs in every living cell of our bodies. When the egg and sperm join at conception, half of each chromosomal pair is inherited from each parent. This newly formed combination of chromosomes then copies itself again and again during fetal growth and development, passing identical genetic information to each new cell in the growing fetus.
Current science suggests that every human has about 25,000 genes per cell. An error in just one gene (and in some instances, even the alteration of a single piece of DNA) can sometimes be the cause for a serious medical condition.
Why is genetic testing important?
Getting tested once you become pregnant (if you hadn't done so ahead of time) can help you and your doctor decide the right prenatal tests for your baby, and what to look for if you choose to have them. If you know that your baby's at an increased risk for having cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease, for instance, these tests can reveal the presence, absence, or malformation of genes or chromosomes.
Genetic testing results give you an idea of your risk for passing along genes that can trigger certain diseases in your baby. Here are a few things to note:
- If neither you nor your partner is a carrier, your baby will not inherit the condition.
- If you are a carrier, but your partner is not (or vice-versa), your baby will not inherit the condition.
- If you and your partner are both carriers, your child has a 25 percent chance of inheriting the condition.
- You and your partner only need to be tested for your first pregnancy. There is no need to repeat the test for future pregnancies.
Genetic testing can give you and your partner more information into your health history and your chances for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Additionally, it can help identify some of the mutations in the genes that cause certain conditions.
What are the main tests you screen for?
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening condition that causes lung damage and digestive problems. About 30,000 people in the U.S. have the disease, which mostly affects Caucasians of Northern European descent. CF affects many different organs in the body, including the lungs, pancreas, and liver, lining them with abnormally thick, sticky mucus. CF may cause chronic breathing problems and lung infections. CF patients may have a lower life expectancy.
Sickle cell disease, most common in people of African and Mediterranean backgrounds, causes a blood disorder that leads to anemia, a weakened immune system, and other health complications.
Tay-Sachs Disease, which mainly affects people of French Canadian and Eastern European Jewish descent, is a disorder of the central nervous system that's usually fatal in early childhood.
Fragile X Syndrome, a condition that can cause developmental problems, including learning disabilities and mental retardation, is not linked to a specific ethnic background. Reviewing your family's health history with a doctor or genetic counselor may help you decide whether you should be screened for Fragile X.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disease that results in progressive muscle weakness and paralysis. The condition occurs in 1 in 10,000 live births and affects both males and females. There are varying types of SMA. The most severe type is usually diagnosed within the first few months of life. Affected children have severe muscle weakness and typically do not survive past the age of 2. The other two types of SMA, which are less common than the severe type, involve a lesser degree of muscle weakness. Those with the mildest form of SMA are expected to have a normal lifespan. If both parents are carriers there is a one in four (25 percent) chance that both will pass on the non-functioning gene, which would result in a pregnancy affected with spinal muscular atrophy.
Is genetic testing covered by health insurance?
Capital Health OB/GYN - Hamilton follows the recommendation of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. We offer Genetic testing to all of our patients. Testing options may be covered by your insurance plan however; we cannot guarantee coverage by your health plan. Deductibles or co-insurances may apply. Since our office does not know whether or not your insurance plan will cover the testing, you will be provided with contact information for a lab billing representative to determine coverage. Then you can talk with your provider to see if you would like to proceed with testing.
Insurance companies will mistakenly tell patients that our office can provide documentation or a prior authorization for testing, which is not something we do. We offer genetic testing to all patients, not just the ones with a family history, to give them the option if they would like to know their carrier status, however, our recommendation or being pregnant is not a medical condition. The patient or family member must have a known medical condition for a prior authorization to be performed.
Is genetic testing right for me?
Your doctor may be able to recommend a genetic counselor, or you can find one through the National Society of Genetic Counselors (nsgc.org) or the American Board of Genetic Counseling (abgc.net). Your ethnic background and family history are the main factors that determine if genetic testing is right for you.
When should I schedule my first appointment for my first OB visit after finding out that I am pregnant?
Ideally you should schedule your first appointment around 6-7 weeks from your last menstrual period. However, if you have a history of high risk pregnancies or have pain or bleeding please contact us for a sooner appointment.
What will happen at my first prenatal visit?
Most first prenatal visits include a general examination including a pelvic exam, blood work and a discussion of high risk factors. We will address common concerns and/or questions regarding pregnancy and the practice. An ultrasound will then be further scheduled after this visit.
How many ultrasounds will I have?
You may have an ultrasound in the first trimester to assess how far along you are, and whether there may be more than one fetus. We offer an ultrasound for genetic testing around week 12. There is an extensive ultrasound scheduled at 20 weeks to assess fetal anatomy. Some patients may require additional ultrasounds depending on fetal and/or maternal conditions.
How often are my visits?
In a normal, low risk pregnancy initially most visits are every 4 weeks until 28-30 weeks. At that point, visits increase to every 2 weeks until 36 weeks where you are seen on a weekly basis. Some patients may require additional visits depending on fetal and/or maternal conditions.
Why do I have to rotate between the different practitioners during the visits & can I pick which provider I want to deliver me?
Ideally, meeting as many providers as possible is helpful for some patients who may be uneasy with the notion of meeting a physician for the first time at delivery.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that one specific doctor that you regularly see in the office will deliver your baby. This is why we hope you meet all practitioners and become comfortable with us all.
Which hospital do you deliver your patients?
We deliver our patients exclusively at Capital Health Medical Center - Hopewell.
If I have a concern after hours, who can I contact?
Our practitioners are available 24/7 for medical emergencies and you can contact us via our office number (609) 896-1400. Ideally if it is a non-emergent question that can be answered during the office hours, you can either message us via the portal or call us from 8-4pm.
Does your practice offer TOLACs (trial of labor after a C-section) or VBACs (vaginal births after a C-section)?
Yes, our practice encourages TOLACs after one prior uncomplicated C-section.
Should I exercise in pregnancy?
Being active and exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can be very beneficial and help to avoid some unwanted pregnancy side effects. Activity during pregnancy helps reduce backache, constipation, bloating and swelling; helps with sleep and mood; helps prepare for labor by strengthening your muscles and your endurance.
What should I avoid eating in pregnancy?
Women are strongly urged to avoid alcohol during pregnancy, and to limit caffeine to no more than 200 mg per day. For perspective, an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine, an 8-ounce cup of brewed tea contains about 47 milligrams and a 12-ounce caffeinated cola soft drink contains about 29 milligrams. Women are also encouraged to avoid UNPASTURIZED deli meats, raw meats and fish, as well as UNPASTURIZED cheeses.
If I have a cold in the pregnancy, what medications can I take?
If you are out of the first trimester, you may take Tylenol, Robitussin, Mucinex, Sudafed, and any over the counter lozenges or throat sprays. Please avoid aspirin and ibuprofen products. Please consult your practitioner, regarding any other medications.
What are some of the routine tests that are done in a low risk pregnancy?
In all pregnancies, we evaluate for anemia, infectious diseases that can be passed down to the fetus, most common genetic diseases that can be passed down to the fetus-including cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease and your blood type. Around 10-13 weeks, we offer you testing for Down's syndrome. At 16 weeks, there is a test to evaluate for spina bifida. Twenty weeks is the full, extensive ultrasound to evaluate the fetal anatomy. It is during this ultrasound, that if you so wish, the gender may be able to be determined. However the purpose of the ultrasound is for full anatomical evaluation. At 26-28 weeks, we test you for gestational diabetes and at 36 weeks we evaluate you for Group B Streptococcus.
Can I choose to not do testing for Down's Syndrome?
Yes. We as a practice can offer and guide you to the number of non-invasive testing that are available for Down's syndrome, but ultimately it is up to you to decide whether you would like the test done or not.
Do I have to call you if I am heading to the hospital and/or in labor?
Yes. Please call us if there are any problems you are experiencing in the pregnancy or if you are experiencing signs of labor. It is our desire to guide you through the pregnancy.
What are the signs of labor to see if I am ready to go to the hospital?
For an uncomplicated first pregnancy, the usual signs of labor include regular contractions every 5 minutes for an hour or if you break your water. Cramping, pressure and irregular contractions are common approaching your due date. Please CALL US so we may guide you through the process.
I'm pregnant and may have been exposed to Fifth Disease (Parvovirus B19). What should I do?
Please call our office. Your provider may order a blood test to check to see if you are already immune to Parvovirus B19. Approximately 50% of adults are immune from past infection. If you are not immune and are found to be infected, we will monitor the pregnancy for signs of infection.
Should I get a flu vaccine when I'm pregnant?
The Centers for Disease Control and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend influenza vaccine for all women who will be pregnant through influenza season (October-May). Vaccination is important because pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness due to influenza. Administration early in the flu season is optimal and vaccination is safe in any trimester.
Should I get a Tdap vaccine?
Pertussis (also called whooping cough) is a highly contagious disease that causes severe coughing. In newborns, pertussis can be a life-threatening illness and can be prevented with a vaccine called Tdap (tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis). If you have never received a Tdap vaccine before, you should receive it late in your second trimester (after 20 weeks gestation) or during your third trimester. It can also be safely administered to breastfeeding mothers if it was not given during pregnancy. Getting your Tdap vaccine is an effective and safe way to protect yourself and your newborn from whooping cough.