James E Dopson, M.D - Obtetrics, Gynecology & Infertility
For more information or Questions answered please visit http://www.acog.com
....So You're Pregnant...
Q. I am pregnant-when should I have my first visit?
A. Unless you are having complications, your first OB visit should be between 8-10 weeks of pregnancy. Gestational weeks are counted beginning with the first day of your last menstrual period. We typically schedule your first obstetrical visit during 10-12 weeks of gestation, however if you are unsure of your last menstrual period or have had any prior history of miscarriage, we would like to see you for a “confirmation of pregnancy” visit. Please call our office to schedule this appointment during the time that you think you will be 8-10 weeks pregnant. 
Q. Do I need to bring in my old records and how do I request them sent?
A. Your prior records can be helpful, especially if the doctor’s medical decision-making will be based upon information contained in your medical history. You can contact your previous doctor’s office before your visit with us and have the records sent to our office, or you can complete a form at your visit with us and we will fax it to the other office for release of the records (you will need to provide their fax number).
Q. Why do you recommend that I arrive 15-20 minutes before my schedule appointment time?
A. Arriving early allows you time to complete any necessary paperwork and gives our receptionists time to process your chart and make any changes to your information. We strive to keep your wait time to a minimum and this makes it easier to keep our schedules running on time to better accommodate our patients
Q. What dietary recommendations do you give your patients?
A. Call the office for a list of foods to avoid during pregnancy and a list of  recommendations that help with nausea. 
Q. What do you suggest if my prenatal vitamin makes me nauseous?
A. Many patients have found that Flintstone’s Vitamins are tolerable. Taking two Flintstone’s Vitamins per day will suffice as a supplement. 
Q. How often will I come in and what test will I have done during my pregnancy?
A. We are a full-service obstetrical office providing all the prenatal testing you will need for a typical pregnancy. If you have special problems we will refer you to the perinatologists, with whom we work closely with to manage your pregnancy.
Q.  How do I know when I am going into labor?
A.  Call the office if you are at or near 37 weeks and you are experiencing
      strong contractions every five minutes within a one hour period, fluid leakage,
      vaginal bleeding, and or decreased fetal movement
Q.  What are Braxton-Hicks contractions?
A.   Braxton-Hicks contractions are very mild irregular contractions that may feel like menstrual cramps they may or may not occur in the late second trimester between 26 and 40 weeks.  If you should experience five or more of these within an hour before you are 36 weeks call the doctor.
Q.  Is it normal for my hands and feet to swell?
A.  Swelling of the hands and feet may commonly be seen during pregnancy, however you should discuss this with your doctor to determine if this is normal for you.  Swelling does not occur in all pregnancies and should go away soon after delivery. The doctor will monitor you during the pregnancy if swelling should occur to make sure that the swelling is not accompanied by high blood pressure which can be a concern.
Q.  What Is Pre-Eclampsia or Toxemia?
A.  Pre-eclampsia or toxemia is high blood pressure and protein in your urine. This is a serious medical condition that can lead to seizures called eclampsia.  Pre-eclampsia or toxemia only occurs in the late second trimester. There is no cure for this disease except for delivery. A patient may have no symptoms, but some may have severe headaches, visual spots or blurred vision or upper abdominal pain.  If you experience any of these symptoms, call the doctor immediately.   
Q.  What should I do if I cannot feel the baby move?
A.  If you notice decreased movements or no movements, drink something sweet like orange juice, and lie down on your left side.  You should feel movements within the hour.  If not, call the office.
Q.  Can I have sex during pregnancy?
A.  Yes you may have sex unless the doctor has told you not to.
Q.  Can I exercise during pregnancy?
A.  Yes you may exercise unless the doctor says not to exercise.  Do not start any new strenuous exercises you were not doing prior to your pregnancy.  Walking and swimming are good options.
Q.  What can I take for a cold or illness during my pregnancy?
A.  Call the office for a list of common over the counter medications that are generally considered safe during pregnancy.
 Q. Where will I deliver my baby?
A. NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL (Atlanta Campus Only).
....Time To See My  Gynecologist ...
Q.  How soon can a female see a gynecologist?
A.  From Pre-Puberty through Menopause.
Q.  How Often should I see my gynecologist?
A.  Preventive care, which would include a pelvic exam, a breast exam and a pap smear are performed to determine overall gynecological health is recommended annually.
Q.  What is a Pap Smear and when do I need a pap smear?
A.  A simple screening procedure for cervical cancer and pre-cancer cells. Our office recommends that a woman should have a first pap smear annually beginning at age 21 or when she becomes sexually active.  The recommended frequency of pap smears is determined by whether a patient has high risk factors that would require a pap smear more frequently.
Q.  What is the HPV virus?
A.  Cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).  HPV is a common sexually transmitted virus and usually has no symptoms or warnings.  HPV testing may also be done with the pap smear.
Q.  What Is A Breast Exam?
A.  The doctor examines your breasts for unusual discoloration, dimples, puckering of the nipple, and gently examines the breasts to feel for any lumps or irregularities.
Q.  What types of birth control options are available to women seeking to prevent pregnancy.
A. Oral contraceptive pills, diaphragms, nuva rings, IUD (intrauterine devices), Depo Provera injections, Lupron therapy
                               ...WHAT ARE IN-OFFICE PROCEDURES...
Q.  What Procedures are performed In The Office?
A.        (Colposcopy, Endometrial Biopsy, LEEP)
Colposcopy:  Takes about 15 minutes; A small biopsy of the cervix using local anesthesia, mild cramping, light bleeding can resume normal activities immediately. 
Endometrial Biopsy: Tissue samples obtained from the lining of the uterus, mild cramping, spotting afterwards, normal activities resumed same day.
LEEP: Brief procedure, local anesthetic where abnormal cells and some of surrounding cervical tissue is removed. Some discharge, bleeding cramping for a few days, must refrain from sexual intercourse 2 weeks following procedure.
Q.  What is a Fibroid Tumor?
A.  Most fibroids are benign tumors that are rarely malignant.  Fibroids grow in the uterus and may cause symptoms such as pelvic pain, increased or heavy menstrual flow, infertility, bloating or constipation.
                                        ...IN-HOSPITAL PROCEDURES 
Q.  What Types Surgical Procedures are done "in-hospital"?
A.  (Myomectomy):  Surgical removal of fibroid tumors
     (Hysterectomy):   Surgical procedure to treat a variety of conditions that may
                                  include symptomatic fibroids, heavy bleeding, severe 
                                  endometriosis, prolapse and chronic pelvic pain and various
                                  cancers of the reproductive organs
     (Hysteroscopy):    Minor Surgical Procedure to evaluate and treat the cause of
                                   abnormalities in the uterus or abnormal bleeding. A sterile 
                                   telescopic device attached to a camera is inserted through the
                                   cervix, into the uterus to sere if there are any growths or
                                   abnormalities. Performed along with a D&C.
     (D&C):                 This procedure is to obtain a sample of lining of the uterus
                                   for examination.  The cervix is dilated and the lining of
                                   the uterus is scraped with a curette.  This is sometimes
                                   done after a miscarriage.
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