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Frequently Asked Questions

For your convenience, we offer helpful patient resources, including several informational handouts related to women's health and wellness. Answers to many commonly asked questions are provided below. Call us at 785-832-1424 for more information or to schedule an appointment with Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists.

General Questions

Where are you located?

Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists is conveniently located on the third floor of the Lawrence Health Plaza at 330 Arkansas Street. Our practice is adjacent to the Family Birthing Center at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Do you accept my insurance plan?

Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists contracts with major insurance carriers and files claims with all insurance companies. To confirm that we are contracted providers with your plan, please call your insurance carrier or visit their website. For more details, contact our billing office at 785-840-0505.

How do I make an appointment at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists?

For appointments and general information, call 785-832-1424. Our phone lines are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

How far in advance should I schedule my annual check-up?

Although it varies, routine appointments are usually booked approximately 1-3 months in advance. If you are an established patient, we will send a reminder by mail when it's time to schedule your annual exam. Our staff includes certified nurse midwives and certified women’s health care nurse practitioners to provide more options and minimize wait times for our patients.

I'm a new patient. How should I prepare for my first appointment?

The best way to come prepared for your first appointment is to complete our new patient forms in advance and bring them with you. New patient forms are available online in our Patient Resources section. We also recommend arriving 15-20 minutes early for your first visit so all your paperwork and insurance information can be processed before your scheduled appointment time. If you are coming in for a pelvic exam and/or pap test, please do not use any vaginal products or have sex for 24 hours prior to your visit.

How can I reach my OB-GYN provider after office hours?

We always have a provider on call for emergencies. If you need to reach your doctor or certified nurse midwife after regular office hours, call our main office at 785-832-1424 and speak to our after-hours answering service. An operator will contact our on-call provider if the nature of your call is deemed urgent.

I have a question about my bill. Who should I contact?

For all questions related to billing, please call our business office at 785-840-0505.

Gynecology/Women's Health FAQs

What can I expect at my yearly check-up?

A standard annual check-up at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists consists of a brief physical exam, a clinical breast exam, tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) if necessary and a pap test.

What is a pap test?

During a pap test, also known as a pap smear, loose cells are scraped gently from the opening of the cervix. The cells are then tested for cervical or vaginal cancer, abnormal hormone activity and certain infections or changes that may require treatment. Any female adult or teenager who is sexually active should have a pap smear once a year, including some women who have had hysterectomies.

How can I prevent an abnormal pap test?

While you cannot completely prevent an abnormal pap test, there are certain healthy choices you can make to reduce your risks. These include regular check-ups, not smoking (although the reasons are still uncertain, studies have shown that women who smoke are at higher risk for cervical cancer), using condoms and refraining from sexual activity with multiple partners or with someone who has other sexual partners. Vaccines are available to guard against the human papillomavirus (HPV)—talk to your provider at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists for more information.

At what age should gynecological exams begin?

Although circumstances can certainly vary, our general recommendation is to begin annual gynecological exams at the start of adolescence, typically around age 13-15. It may be sooner or later depending on the level of sexual activity or if you or the patient has questions about birth control or STDs.

What is a certified nurse midwife, and do they provide gynecological services?

Certified nurse midwives are primary health care providers to women throughout the lifespan. In addition to obstetrical care for pregnant women, certified nurse midwives also provide comprehensive gynecological care: routine annual exams, family planning, treatment of GYN problems (such as vaginal/urinary tract infections), prescribing medications (including contraceptive methods), hormone replacement therapy, health education and counseling to teens and women of all ages, and more.

At Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists, our certified nurse midwives work collaboratively with our OB-GYN physicians to provide high quality health care and highly satisfying experiences for every patient.

Can I choose a certified nurse midwife as my provider even if I’m not pregnant?

Yes. A common misconception about certified nurse midwives is that they only provide obstetrical care. While pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum care are certainly integral parts of midwifery, certified nurse midwives also provide comprehensive gynecological care for women of all ages. From adolescent GYN care to preconception counseling, OB and even post-menopausal care, the certified nurse midwives of Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists – just like all our providers – are here to care for women for life.

Will my health insurance cover GYN care provided by a certified nurse midwife?

In most cases, if your insurance covers OB-GYN care by a physician, it will also cover nurse-midwifery care. As an affiliate of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists accepts most major insurance plans. Please check with your insurance company to determine coverage based on your policy.

Do you screen patients for breast cancer?

During your check-up, we will perform a clinical breast exam (CBE) to check for lumps or other indicators of potential breast health problems. Women should have their first mammogram between ages 35 and 40, depending on risk factors. After 40, they should have mammograms annually. We recommend the Breast Center at LMH, where you will be screened with state-of-the-art technology in a spa-like atmosphere. Other services available at the Breast Center include breast MRIs and ultrasounds, bone density tests for osteoporosis, and more.

What are my choices for birth control?

You have many choices when it comes to birth control, and each type of contraception has its own pros and cons. To find the right method for you, learn about your birth control options – including emergency contraception, natural family planning and permanent sterilization – and discuss the matter with your OB-GYN provider. Our physicians, certified nurse midwives and certified women’s health care nurse practitioners can provide detailed information and prescribe the contraceptive that’s right for you.

Learn more about using birth control pills properly to minimize the chance of an unexpected pregnancy. If you are seeking a permanent birth control solution, we can help. In addition to sterilization-tubal ligation, we also offer two minimally-invasive options: Essure® and Adiana®.

Learn more about birth control for teens.

What STDs can you test for during a routine gynecology exam?

During your regular annual exam, your Lawrence OB-GYN provider may screen for gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital warts, herpes and syphilis.

What if I need OB-GYN surgery?

Our highly skilled physicians perform a range of OB-GYN procedures and surgeries in the surgical suites at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, including minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotically assisted GYN procedures. In addition to the exceptional care you will receive while you're in the hospital, we also provide important information to assist in your recovery at home.

If I'm recovering from OB-GYN surgery, what problems should I watch for and when should I contact my doctor?

Some bleeding after OB-GYN surgery is normal, but if you experience heavy bleeding, contact your doctor as soon as possible. A fever can be a sign of infection, so you should also contact your doctor if your temperature reaches 100.4°F at any time, or stays above 100°F for two consecutive days or more. Other issues to report to your doctor after OB-GYN surgery include foul-smelling discharge and severe pain or cramping that is not relieved by your prescribed medication.

For more home care instructions related to specific procedures and surgeries, read our home care instructions for the following:

What is endometriosis and how is it treated?

For more information on endometriosis and other women's health conditions, please visit our gynecological services page. There are both conservative and surgical options for this condition.

If I have concerns or questions involving sex, can my provider at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists help?

It is not uncommon for women to experience sexual problems ranging from fear of intimacy to sexual dysfunction, and our providers are here to help. It's important to feel comfortable discussing all issues pertaining to women's health, including sexual concerns, with your gynecologist. At Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists, we want all our patients to know they can openly discuss any women's health concern with us, no matter how personal or private. Your health and well-being is our top priority.

Getting pregnant is harder than I expected. Should I consult my provider at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists about it?

Yes. Our OB-GYN physicians, certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners can provide detailed information regarding fertility awareness methods, which involve attempting to conceive at your most fertile monthly stages. You may be experiencing infertility issues, and our OB-GYN physicians and certified nurse midwives can run some basic infertility tests to help determine why you have not been able to get pregnant. Common reasons to consider infertility testing include irregular menstrual cycles or ovulation periods, difficulty conceiving when birth control has not been used for at least one year (for women ages 20-35) or at least six months (for women over 35).

Can hormone replacement therapy cause breast cancer?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can alleviate many symptoms associated with menopause, but it's a complex issue. Recent findings by the Women's Health Initiative suggest a potentially elevated risk for breast cancer and other serious health conditions.

At Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists, we follow the latest studies and discussions to provide the most up-to-date information available. We urge you to talk to your provider at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists about risks, benefits and alternative treatments before making any decisions about whether or not to seek HRT.

Obstetrics/Pregnancy FAQs

What can I expect at my OB-GYN visits during my pregnancy?

During your first prenatal visit, we will discuss your medical history, conduct a physical exam, order lab tests, calculate your due date and arrange your prenatal care plan. We will also provide a new OB packet that explains your pregnancy and your baby's development in depth, and you will be given the opportunity to watch an introductory video for more information.

Unless otherwise instructed, you can expect to make monthly visits throughout your first 28 weeks, then every 2-3 weeks until your 36th week, when you will need to be seen weekly for the remainder of your pregnancy. During each visit, we will evaluate your progress thoroughly.

What is a certified nurse midwife, and what kind of obstetrical care do they provide for pregnant women?

Certified nurse midwifes are primary health care providers to women throughout the lifespan. In addition to gynecological services, our certified nurse midwives provide comprehensive obstetrical care, including prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care for women with low-risk pregnancies.

What’s the difference in OB care between a certified nurse midwife and an OB-GYN physician?

Simply put, the differences are minor – both are trained to provide high quality obstetrical care. Certified nurse midwives work with low-risk patients, while OB-GYN physicians see patients across all pregnancy risk levels. All our OB providers – certified nurse midwives and OB-GYN physicians alike – support patient involvement in the decision-making process when it comes to the birthing experience. Studies indicate that births attended by midwives generally have fewer interventions (such as continuous electronic fetal monitoring, epidurals, episiotomies, etc.) without impacting outcomes for women and their babies.

Is my pregnancy “low-risk” enough to consider a certified nurse midwife for my care?

We can help you determine at your first prenatal visit if midwifery care is appropriate for you. If midwifery care is deemed appropriate for your pregnancy, and you choose midwifery for your care, your certified nurse midwife will work to help you stay healthy and low risk throughout your pregnancy. If complications arise such as gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced hypertension, your certified nurse midwife will work collaboratively with our OB-GYN physicians to co-manage your prenatal care.

If I choose a certified nurse midwife for OB care during my pregnancy, can I deliver my baby at home?

No. For the safety of mother and baby, our certified nurse midwives deliver exclusively in the Family Birthing Center at LMH. When it’s time for you to have your baby, your midwife from Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists will meet you at the hospital to guide and oversee your delivery, checking in frequently throughout your labor, and remain available after delivery to assist you and answer your questions.

If I choose a certified nurse midwife, can I still get an epidural during labor?

Absolutely. While certified nurse midwives are advocates for women who want natural childbirth or minimal intervention, they also encourage women to make their own informed choices, and they fully support and serve women who prefer to have epidurals or other interventions (such as episiotomies, continuous electronic fetal monitoring) in their birthing plans.

What happens if I choose a certified nurse midwife, but end up needing a Cesarean (C-section) delivery?

For new and expectant moms, our certified nurse midwives provide personalized prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care for patients with low-risk pregnancies. They are trained and certified to treat pregnant women with common complications like gestational diabetes or hypertension as well. If complications arise that require a Cesarean delivery during labor, a physician from our practice will perform the procedure, with the patient’s certified nurse midwife serving as a “first assist” to the physician.

Will my health insurance cover obstetrical care provided by a certified nurse midwife?

In most cases, if your insurance covers OB-GYN care by a physician, it will also cover nurse midwifery care. As an affiliate of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists accepts most major insurance plans. Please check with your insurance company to determine coverage based on your policy.

What medications can I take during my pregnancy?

As a general rule, you should try to avoid or minimize medication during your pregnancy. However, certain drugs are considered safe, and over-the-counter (OTC) meds will usually indicate on the label if they are okay for pregnant women.

  • View or download a list of OTC medications that are safe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

It is not considered safe to take any drug containing phenylephrine at any time during pregnancy. Products containing pseudophedrine are considered safe during the second and third trimesters, but some studies indicate risks associated with pseudophedrine use in the first trimester. Always check OTC medications for alcohol or aspirin and avoid any products that contain these ingredients as well. Medications should be taken as directed and for no longer than seven days. If you are diabetic, check with your provider before taking any medications, even if the label indicates it's safe for use during pregnancy.

How much weight gain is normal during pregnancy?

Typically, pregnant women need around 300 more calories per day than women who are not pregnant. As always, the amount of weight you will gain is dependent on several factors including diet and exercise, but as a general rule, gaining 25-35 pounds is considered healthy and normal during pregnancy (more for twins and other multiples).

Is it safe to travel during pregnancy?

The primary concern about travel while pregnant is being away from your chosen OB-GYN provider and hospital or birthing center if any emergencies occur. Commercial air travel is not considered unsafe for women with healthy pregnancies, but changes in air pressure, oxygen levels and humidity can increase the risk of complications like clotting, dehydration and more. You should drink plenty of fluids, flex your leg muscles and walk the aisles occasionally to prevent problems. Repeated exposure to radiation at security points is another concern, so talk to your provider if you must fly frequently during your pregnancy.

Is it safe to swim or use hot tubs during pregnancy? What about tanning beds?

Swimming in cool or warm water is safe, and it's considered a great way to get exercise during pregnancy. However, hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas and tanning beds are considered unsafe due to their extreme heat, which can cause your blood pressure to drop and your baby's heart rate to become irregular. Pregnant women should avoid temperatures over 100°F.

What causes "morning sickness" and how can I relieve it?

Hormonal surges and changes during pregnancy can cause nausea to occur at any point in the day, but it is often worse in the morning due to lower blood sugar levels. To relieve or prevent nausea and vomiting, get plenty of protein, fiber, rest, exercise and water. Avoid greasy, spicy, very sweet and strong-smelling foods. Although not all pregnant women experience it, nausea is not cause for concern unless severe—at which point, dehydration may occur. Contact your provider if you're experiencing persistent, severe nausea during your pregnancy.

What foods, drinks and dietary supplements should I avoid during pregnancy?

As always, a healthy, balanced diet and plenty of water is recommended. Avoid consuming too much mercury by limiting fish to two meals per week, and only low-mercury fish like salmon, tuna or catfish. Low levels of caffeine are okay, but avoid drinking too much coffee or soda. You should not drink alcohol or use tobacco products while pregnant. Unless otherwise instructed by your provider, do not take any supplements other than your prenatal vitamins.

What kinds of problems should I report to my OB-GYN provider?

We are here to help you throughout your pregnancy, so contact us if you notice anything out of the ordinary, particularly if you experience any of the following:

  • Vaginal bleeding at any time (the only exception being right after a pelvic exam, when slight bleeding is normal)
  • Fluid trickling or flowing from the vagina
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Dizziness or blurred vision
  • Severe, persistent headache that's not relieved with acetaminophen, food or rest
  • Persistent vomiting for more than 24 hours
  • Swelling in your hands and face

How soon can I find out if my baby is a boy or girl?

We can determine the baby's sex with confidence in the middle of the second trimester. Most patients typically have a sonogram around that time.

Can I continue to have sex during pregnancy, even in my third trimester?

Yes. Pregnant women can safely have sex through the ninth month, although women at high risk of preterm labor should consult their OB-GYN provider for additional guidelines.

How will I know when I'm in labor?

If your contractions come at regular intervals and steadily get stronger despite making changes in your movements and positions, you are likely in labor. No matter what, however, if you are experiencing pain and feel you might be in labor, you should contact us at 785-832-1424. If it is after office hours, your call will be directed to our on-call OB-GYN provider.

Where can I find more information about pregnancy and childbirth?

Information on a variety of topics related to pregnancy is available in our patient resources. For more in-depth information about what you can expect during pregnancy and childbirth, visit the Family Birthing Center at LMH online. You'll also find more information to help guide you in your early parenting choices.

What can I expect after my baby is born?

The postpartum period lasts for six weeks after childbirth, and your body will undergo many changes as it accommodates early motherhood while also returning to pre-pregnancy "normal." Sometimes these changes can be challenging for new moms, so talk to your OB-GYN provider if you experience depression or other concerns. For your convenience, we provide all new moms with a postpartum patient guide, and additional information about postpartum care and recovery is available online through the LMH Family Birthing Center. As always, we also encourage you to ask questions and speak openly with your provider at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists.

Will I need a postpartum exam even if I'm not experiencing any problems after delivery?

Yes. To make sure your body returns to normal naturally, postpartum visits are an important part of all pregnancy care plans at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists. No matter what type of delivery you experience we recommend an office visit at 1-2 weeks as directed by your provider and then another routine postpartum exam at 6 weeks after your delivery. For C-sections, we will want to check your wound for proper healing about two weeks after surgery, then see you again four weeks later for the routine postpartum exam.