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Early Pregnancy

First Trimester of Pregnancy: What to Expect

First Trimester of Pregnancy: What to Expect

First Trimester of Pregnancy: What to Expect

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful and exciting moments in a woman’s life. The pregnancy is classified into three trimesters. The most difficult and yet more exciting is the first trimester.

Normally, after the fertilization the egg spends 3 -7 days traveling from fallopian tubes toward the uterus. Once the egg reaches the uterus it will float for several days until it gets implanted into the uterine wall.


1 to 3 Month Pregnancy Symptoms

During the first trimester many women are not aware that they are carrying a child. Once the pregnancy is confirmed, a lot of changes will occur in a short period of time, both for the mother and the zygote.

The main symptoms of pregnancy include: fatigue, mood changes, dizziness, morning sickness, breast tenderness, food cravings, etc. Nausea and vomiting will more than likely stop by the end of the first trimester, though rare, it may continue throughout pregnancy.


First Prenatal Appointment and Tests

Once the pregnancy is confirmed, the first prenatal appointment is very important. A total check –up as well as a deep medical history are necessary. Once a woman finds out that she is carrying a child, a full physical examination is routinely performed. Other tests which are performed include:

  • Blood type, Rh factor and antibody screening
  • Complete blood count
  • Rubella immunity
  • Screening for Hepatitis B
  • Screening for Syphilis
  • HIV testing, etc.


Physical Changes During the First Trimester

  • Vaginal bleeding – About 25% of pregnant women experience slight bleeding during their first trimester. Early in the pregnancy, light spotting may be a sign that the fertilized embryo has implanted in the uterus. However, if you have significant bleeding, cramping, or sharp pain in your abdomen, call your doctor. These could be signs of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
  • Enlarged Breasts – result due to hormonal changes and high levels of progesterone and estrogen.
  • Breast tenderness – result from high levels of progesterone and estrogen. The nipples may darken 1-2 shades, white bumps may appear, an increase in blood flow to the area may also bring out blue lines in the breast, which are actually blood vessels.
  • Shortness of breath is usually caused by an expanding uterus or the hormone, progesterone.
  • Fatigue – results from the stress that an growing infant puts on a female body.
  • Irritability and mood swings – occur due to fatigue and surging hormones.
  • Morning sickness and nausea – are very common during pregnant women. These symptoms usually go away after the first trimester.
  • Frequent urination – occurs due to a rapid growth of the uterus, which puts pressure on internal organs, including the bladder.
  • Constipation – occurs often during pregnancy as the high levels of progesterone relax the smooth muscles, causing the intestines to slow down.
  • Discharge – thin and milky white discharge is normal during early pregnancy. If you notice any possible change in your vaginal discharge please consult your doctor.
  • Heartburn – it is normal to experience heartburn during pregnancy as the body produces more progesterone. It is known that progesterone relaxes the smooth muscles, including the muscles of the esophagus, which allows the acid to get back from the stomach to your esophagus. To avoid the heartburn, eat frequent, smaller meals throughout the day, don’t lie down right after eating, and avoid greasy, spicy, and acidic food. You can also try raising your pillows when you sleep.
  • Weight gain – during the first trimester it is normal to gain about 3-6 pounds. Be careful and don’t overdo it. You don’t need to eat for to. The most important thing is to eat healthy and various types of food in order to make sure your baby is getting all the nutrients he/she needs. Only 150 calories are needed extra during the first trimester of pregnancy. Get those calories the healthy way, by adding extra fruits and vegetables, milk, whole-grain bread, and lean meat to your diet.


Vaginal Candidiasis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Vaginal Candidiasis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Vaginal Candidiasis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Vaginal candidiasis is an extremely common fungal yeast infection of the vagina. This condition is also referred to as vaginal thrush, candidal vulvovaginitis, and vaginal yeast infection. These infections are named after the Candida albicans fungus, as that’s what causes them. Normally, the Candida yeast or fungi are a part of the usual vaginal flora just like the healthy lactobacilli. However, the lactobacilli help keep the Candida in very small numbers to maintain a healthy pH and environment in the vagina. The problem arises when this balance tips towards the Candida and they grow in abnormally high numbers, thus resulting in the vaginal irritation, itching, and odorless discharge, classic signs of a vaginal yeast infection.

This is one of the most common and frequent vaginal infections in women. As many as 20% of the women experience a vaginal yeast infection every year and around 5% are affected by this infection at least thrice in a year, while a significant 75% are likely to experience it at least once in their lifetime. Most women experience a worsening in their symptoms or a new vaginal thrush infection around their periods.


Causes of Vagina Candidiasis

Vaginal yeast infections are a direct outcome of excessive colonization or growths of Candida albicans. However, the actual causes or factors that result in an increased growth of this fungus are yet unknown. Even so, several risk factors likely to help Candida thrive in the vagina to attain abnormal levels have been acknowledged. Taking note of these factors is also important in the prevention of recurrent vaginal yeast infections in women who are susceptible to them.

* Medications:

Antibiotics and particularly broad-spectrum antibiotics destroy the good bacteria or the lactobacilli subsequently causing the Candida to thrive. Hence, a course of antibiotics is very likely to result in a vaginal yeast infection. In fact, nearly 30% of the women, who undergo treatment with oral antibiotics, end up with this infection.

* Pregnancy:

Pregnant women are usually at an increased risk of developing vaginal candidiasis, mainly because of increased estrogen levels. This hormone allows the Candida to flourish leading to frequent vaginal yeast infections in pregnancy.

* Underlying diseases:

Diabetes Mellitus and conditions like HIV/AIDS and chemotherapy that may result in a compromised immunity often result in frequent vaginal yeast infections too. Poor sugar control among diabetics is a common risk factor for frequent candidial infections. As for the conditions that result in a compromised immunity, the frequent vaginal yeast infections mainly arise because the body isn’t capable to fight the infections thanks to a poor immune system.


Symptoms of Vaginal Candidiasis

The symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are characterized by itching in and around the genitals. This is the most common and most frustrating of its symptoms. However, a woman may also experience one or more of the following symptoms when affected by a vaginal yeast infection.

* Vulval and vaginal itching

* Soreness and irritation of the vulva

* Painful urination

* Pain during intercourse

* Translucent or white discharge that is generally odorless. The discharge sometimes also appears thick and lumpy like curd or cottage cheese

* Very rarely, severe vaginal thrush infections may also cause swelling or edema of the vulva with severe redness and cracked skin


How is Vaginal Candidiasis Treated?

The treatment regimen for vaginal candidiasis is quite straightforward. It mainly involves topical or local application of anti-fungal ointments sometimes coupled with oral administration of anti-fungal medications. Genreally, treatment with azoles topically is much more successful than using nystatin for this purpose. Butoconazole, miconazole, clotrimazole, tioconazole, and terconazole are some of the azoles that are frequently found in the topical suppositories, creams, and ointments used to treat vaginal candidiasis. A single dose of flucanazole taken orally along with the local applications is often used successfully to get rid of these infections too.


Stay Fit While Pregnant- Ten Antenatal Advices

Stay Fit While Pregnant- Ten Antenatal Advices

Stay Fit While Pregnant- Ten Antenatal Advices


Though pregnancy is considered as a physiological event, pregnant woman differs in various physiological aspects than a non-pregnant one. There occur gross hormonal and biochemical changes in a woman’s body after conception. Thus, it imposes some restrictions in different aspects of life as well as needed some form of additional care to stay fit while pregnant. Few health-tips are mentioned here to ensure your pregnancy-period safe.


Diet To Stay Fit While Pregnant

Pregnancy-diet is a bit different:  All that is required is a balanced diet and care should be taken that it contains the necessary vitamins and minerals. Of course along with it, your diet should be light, nutritious and easily digestible.2500 Kilocalories/day intake appeared adequate throughout the pregnancy. Practically, in addition to the principal food to stay fit while pregnant, you should drink half a liter, if not, one liter of milk, green leafy vegetables and fruits. Supplementary nutritional therapy with iron is needed for all pregnant women from 16 to 20 weeks onwards.

Change in your Bowel and bladder habit is natural: Constipation is a rule as well as increased urinary frequency. Try to eat as much as water and dietary fiber for regular bowel movement to stay fit while pregnant.


Rest and Sleep Needs During Pregnancy

Ensure adequate rest and sleep: You require 10 hours sleep to stay fit while pregnant. It may be 2 hours in day-time and 8 hours at night. In late-pregnancy you will feel comfortable to sleep in side-posture. You may continue your normal work-schedule, but should avoid hard and strenuous occupation.

You can opt for light exercises : Swimming, cycling or walking and other forms of light aerobic exercises are recommended , provided your pregnancy does not fall into a high risk category. Stop weight lifting, scuba diving, body-contact sports and other harder exercises. Consult your physician if you have respiratory difficulty or palpitation during light exercises.

Travelling should be planned accordingly: Travelling should be planned depending upon current pregnancy status. You should avoid long on road journey in the first trimester and last six weeks. Train route is preferable. Travel in pressurized aircraft offers less risk. Air travel is not allowed if you are suffering from severe anemia, hypertension or sickle-cell disease.

Clothing, shoes and belts should be comfortable: You should wear loose but comfortable garments. High heel shoes should better be avoided in advanced pregnancy when the center of balance alters.


Health Care To Stay Fit While Pregnant

It is the time to care of your breasts: If your nipples are automatically normal, nothing is to be required beyond ordinary cleanliness.  If the nipples are retracted, you may require some manipulation to correct it in later months.

Stop Smoking and alcohol. Be careful about medications: All types of addictions have a deleterious effect over the growing fetus. Heavy smokers have smaller babies and there are also more chances of abortion. So stop smoking to stay fit while pregnant. Likewise, alcohol consumption is to be drastically curtailed or stopped as it also causes fetal malformation and small babies.

Likewise, all most all the drugs given to mothers will cross the placenta to reach the fetus. So keep it in mind if you are on some form of medication or will going to have due to any reasons. Please inform or remind your physician regarding your pregnancy status while prescribing any drugs to you.

Immunizations should be chosen carefully: Sometimes you need to be vaccinated, even if you are pregnant. Vaccines are of two forms. Live vaccines and killed. All live vaccines [Rubella, measles, mumps, chicken pox, yellow fever] are contraindicated in pregnant woman while requiring for travelling to endemic zone. However, killed vaccines [Rabies, Hepatitis A and B or tetanus toxoid] can be given as in non-pregnant state.

Coitus is recommended in low-risk pregnancy: You may have it except your pregnancy is at a risk of abortion or preterm labor. Some recommend avoiding it straight away in first three months and last six weeks of pregnancy.

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This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.