Your Trusted Leader for Women’s Health & Gynecology
Our team of four gynecologists and a nurse midwife at Riverwood Healthcare Center is dedicated to providing exceptional care for women. We provide healthcare for the entire spectrum of women’s health issues—from preventative care to diagnosis and treatment of more complex gynecological problems. Gynecological services provided include annual exams, breast exams, contraception and infertility treatment, minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, management of menopausal issues and much more.
Service Spotlight: Incontinence
“Involuntary loss of urine is a common problem for many women. There are several types of urinary incontinence; each with its own cause and treatment options. Unfortunately, incontinence is not a problem that gets better with time. The good news is the vast majority of women can now be helped with this debilitating problem.” – Dr. Michael Cady, OBGYN specialist
Our Trusted Team for Women’s Health & Gynecology
At Riverwood Healthcare, patients have access to a team of three highly skilled OB/GYN physicians and surgeons with the Minnesota Center for Obstetrics & Gynecology who serve women’s health needs from adolescence through postmenopausal years. A nurse midwife offers another option for primary care, annual well woman exams, preventive healthcare and counseling, gynecologic issues, and menopause.
Our Women’s Health Surgical Specialties
What sets our team of gynecologists apart as regional experts is their high degree of laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgical skills combined with a compassionate approach to women’s health concerns, such as pelvic pain or urinary incontinence. For example, they perform 99 percent of hysterectomies with a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure. They also offer an innovative, high-tech procedure called InterStim to treat urinary urge incontinence or fecal incontinence. Similar to a pacemaker, an implanted device uses electrical pulses to stimulate the sacral nerves that control the bladder and muscles related to the urinary function.
Frequently Asked Questions
Vulvodynia may cause different types of pain. This pain is often described as burning, stinging, irritation, and rawness. Other words that may be used include aching, soreness, throbbing, and swelling. Pain may be felt over the entire vulva or only in one place, such as the clitoris. Symptoms can start and stop without warning, or they may occur only when the area is touched. Inserting a tampon, having sex, or wearing snug underwear can be triggers for some women.
“If you have vulvar or vaginal pain, please seek help. As a gynecologist, I see these conditions frequently. It’s more common than you think and there is no need to be embarrassed. A brief exam can help determine a cause for your pain. Most importantly, I can offer you treatment options to lessen your discomfort and help you get better.” – Dr. Jennifer Tessmer-Tuck, OBGYN specialist
Pelvic pain can be acute or chronic depending on the cause. Acute (sharp) pain starts over a short time (a few minutes to a few days). Chronic pain can either come and go or be constant. Pelvic pain can result where scar tissue (adhesion) forms. In evaluating the cause of pelvic pain, your doctor may ask you questions about the pain and its effect on your daily life.
All causes of pain should prompt a visit to your doctor. Your medical history will be taken and you will have a physical exam. Some tests also may be done to find the cause. Your doctor may then be able to suggest treatment.
There are three types of incontinence, including urge, stress and overflow. The most common type is urge incontinence, which occurs when the muscle wall of the bladder is overactive. Stress incontinence occurs when the pressure inside the bladder is greater than the pressure in the urethra. It causes loss of urine during coughing, laughing, sneezing or physical activity. In overflow incontinence, the bladder does not empty all the way, which causes steady leaking of small amounts of urine.
Drs. Michael and Rachel Cady and Dr. Christina Kramer, obstetrics and gynecology specialists who practice at Riverwood, are among only a few surgeons locally offering a new high-tech solution to help women regain bladder control. They can implant a nerve-stimulating device called InterStim, which stimulates and quiets the nerves of the bladder.
If you’re having urinary incontinence issues, seek medical care right away as there are many effective treatment options.
Abnormal uterine bleeding can have many causes. They include: pregnancy, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, adenomyosis, use of some birth control methods such an intrauterine device (IUD) or birth control pills, infection of the uterus or cervix, fibroids, polyps, problems with blood clotting, endometrial hyperplasia, certain types of cancer, and polycystic ovary syndrome. Sometimes, abnormal uterine bleeding is caused by too much or not enough of certain hormones. If can be caused by growths such as polyps or fibroids. Medications such as birth control pills can cause abnormal uterine bleeding.
If you are having abnormal bleeding, see your healthcare provider. Abnormal bleeding can have many causes. Once the cause if found, it often can be treated with success.
Treatment options include:
• Hysteroscopic resection of fibroids: Women who have fibroids growing inside the uterine cavity may need this outpatient procedure to remove the fibroid tumors.
• Uterine artery embolization: This procedure stops the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to die and shrink. Women who may want to become pregnant in the future should discuss this procedure with their healthcare provider.
• Myomectomy: This surgery removes the fibroids. It is often the chosen treatment for women who want to have children, because it usually can preserve fertility.
• Hysterectomy, a surgery to remove the uterus, is the only permanent solution for fibroids that keeps them from growing back. It may be an option if medicines do not work and other surgeries and procedures are not an option.
A woman with endometriosis may have painful periods, pain in the lower abdomen before and during menstruation, cramps for a week or two before menstruation and during menstruation, pain during or following sexual intercourse, pain with bowel movements, pelvic or low back pain that may occur at any time during the menstrual cycle.
Treatment for endometriosis depends on the extent of the disease, your symptoms and whether you want to have children. It may be treated with medication, surgery or both. If you have symptoms of endometriosis, see your healthcare provider to discuss treatment options.
Several lifestyle changes can help prevent hot flashes and improve sleep. Get regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walks or working out with a DVD. Limit caffeine—found in coffee, tea and chocolate—which is a stimulant that can take as long as 8 hours to leave your body and trigger hot flashes. Skip having an alcoholic drink before bedtime as it’s another hot flash trigger.
Estrogen treatment is considered the most effective treatment for symptomatic vaginal atrophy. One type of estrogen therapy used for postmenopausal symptoms is systemic estrogen. It restores estrogen in the body to treat symptoms, but it affects the whole body because it is absorbed into the blood. Local estrogen therapy is applied directly to the vaginal tissue to alleviate symptoms; it can be given as tablets, pessaries, cream, or a vaginal ring.
Uterine prolapse feels like you’re sitting on a small ball. Heavy lifting or coughing could be dangerous. Weight loss is recommended in women with uterine prolapse who are obese.
Most women with mild uterine prolapse do not have bothersome symptoms and don't need treatment. Vaginal pessaries can be effective for many women with uterine prolapse. Surgery usually provides excellent results; however, some women may require treatment again in the future.
Surgery should not be done until the prolapse symptoms are worse than the risks of having surgery. The specific type of surgery depends on the degree of prolapse, desire for future pregnancies, other medical conditions, desire to retain vaginal function, and a woman's age and general health. Often, a vaginal hysterectomy is used to correct uterine prolapse.
A vaccine is available that can prevent infection with HPV. The vaccine protects against the HPV types that are the most common cause of cancer, precancer, and genital warts.
Girls and boys should get the HPV vaccine as a series of shots. Vaccination works best when it is done before a person is sexually active and exposed to HPV, but it still can reduce the risk of getting HPV if given after a person has become sexually active. The ideal age for HPV vaccination is age 11 years or 12 years, but it can be given starting at age 9 years and through age 26 years.
Most ovarian cysts are small and do not cause symptoms. Some go away on their own. Some may cause symptoms because of twisting, bleeding and rupture. They may cause a dull ache in the abdomen and pain during sexual intercourse.
Most cysts are benign—not cancerous. A few cysts may turn out to be malignant (cancerous). For this reason, all cysts should be checked by your doctor.
If you have any symptoms, see your doctor. If ovarian cysts are found early, many of the problems caused by them can be treated.