Category Archives: Women’s Health

What Can Cause Chronic Yeast Infections?

What Can Cause Chronic Yeast Infections?

Most women get an occasional yeast infection which is usually no big deal, but chronic yeast infections are much more worrying. A yeast infection becomes chronic when it persists despite several treatments. But what can cause chronic yeast infections?

What Is A Vaginal Yeast Infection?

A vaginal yeast infection is a condition caused by an overgrowth of yeast (candida) in the vagina. Most women experience discharge, irritation, itching, soreness, and burning, with a yeast infection.

What Can Cause Chronic Yeast Infections?

Chronic yeast infections are a clear indication that the underlying cause of the infection remains untreated. Although anti-fungal medication is commonly used to treat yeast infections, it is not beneficial for chronic infections.

Frequent yeast infections typically occur due to a shift in the bacterial milieu in the vagina, which results in secretions that are conducive to growing yeast. Yeast is normally present on the skin at the opening of the vagina. They rarely gain access to the vagina unless their are conditions making it easier for yeast to grow in the vagina. When lactobacilli no longer dominate the vagina, yeast can multiply and cause an infection.

Treating Chronic Yeast Infections

Chronic yeast infections can be treated by restoring balance to the vaginal microflora. Board-certified gynecologist Dr. R. Stuart Fowler of Fowler GYN International has developed the vaginal fluid analysis (VFA) test to evaluate the vaginal fluid.

The VFA test is a superior technique of wet preps that provides a quantitative analysis of the vaginal fluid. It identifies the type and quantity of microflora to determine if there is an altered vaginal microflora state.

If the VFA test confirms an altered microflora pattern, patients are put on a customized treatment protocol, to move the microflora towards normal. This will resolve the symptoms of chronic yeast infections.

Do you need help with chronic yeast infections? Contact Fowler GYN International, Phoenix, AZ, for a consultation. It was established by former Mayo physician, board certified Dr. R. Stuart Fowler. You can reach them at www.fowlergyninternational.com/contact-us, or by calling (480) 420-4001.

How To Stop Recurring Vaginal Yeast Infections

How To Stop Recurring Vaginal Yeast Infections

Most women experience an occasional vaginal yeast infection, which is normally nothing to be concerned about, but if the infection keeps coming back, it usually indicates a deeper problem. But how can you stop recurring vaginal yeast infections?

What Is A Vaginal Yeast Infection?

A vaginal yeast infection is an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. Symptoms include discharge, itching, pain with urination, and irritation. A vaginal yeast infection is normally treated with anti-fungal medication, and while this may ease symptoms for a time, the infection will recur if the underlying problem is not addressed.

How To Stop Recurring Vaginal Yeast Infections

Recurring vaginal yeast infections are usually caused by a shift in the dominant bacteria in the vagina. This is known as an altered vaginal microflora pattern. The vaginal ecosystem consists of 30+ strains of bacteria and includes a small number of yeast cells. The microflora is normally dominated by lactobacilli, which is the ‘good’ or beneficial bacteria, but if there is a disruption in this delicate balance the vaginal pH is impacted and yeast can multiply.

Restoring normal vaginal bacterial balance requires an evaluation of the constituents of the vaginal secretions. This type of quantitative analysis is done using an advanced diagnostic tool known as a vaginal fluid analysis (VFA) test.

The VFA test was developed by board-certified gynecologist Dr. R. Stuart Fowler, of Fowler GYN International, Phoenix, AZ.

The VFA test is a superior technique of wet preps that determines if the vaginal microflora is a normal pattern or an altered vaginal microflora pattern.

If a patient has one of the altered microflora patterns a treatment protocol is designed to restore the microflora towards normal. When this is done, pH levels return to normal and yeast no longer thrive, so symptoms of the vaginal yeast infection will resolve.

If you would like to learn more about recurring vaginal yeast infections, contact Fowler GYN International, at fowlergyninternational.com, or by calling (480) 420-4001.

What Is Vaginal Microflora And the VFA Test

What Is Vaginal Microflora And the VFA Test

Nowadays, women are more comfortable talking about vaginal issues and are learning about vaginal microflora. Vaginal microflora is integral to vaginal health so if it is thrown off balance, the risk of developing infections increases. That’s where the VFA test comes in. But what is vaginal microflora and the VFA test?

What Is Vaginal Microflora

Vaginal microflora refers to the different strains of bacteria that are present in the vagina. The vagina is home to more than 30 strains of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. The ‘good’ bacteria or lactobacilli generally predominate and protect the vagina from harmful microorganisms. However, there are times when the natural balance of bacteria is disrupted, resulting in an altered vaginal microflora pattern.

Irritation, itching, burning, odor, and urinary frequency or urgency are symptoms of an altered vaginal microflora pattern.

What Is The VFA Test

The Vaginal Fluid Analysis (VFA) test is an advanced diagnostic technique that is used to evaluate the constituents of the vaginal fluid. It identifies the characteristics and quantity of the microbes in the vagina and determines if an altered vaginal microflora pattern is present.
The VFA test was developed by board-certified gynecologist Dr. R. Stuart Fowler. Dr. Fowler was a Consultant in Gynecology at the Mayo Clinic for 22 years then subsequently founded Fowler GYN International (FGI) in 2013.

The VFA test provides details on vaginal constituents including 1) the maturation squamous cells, 2) the relative concentration of each types, 3) the concentration of wbc’s, 4) the predominate type of wbc’s, 5) the relative concentration of lactobacilli, 6) the quality of lactobacilli, 7) the relative concentration of non-lactobacilli, and 8) the presence of tease as pseudohyphae, blastospores or both. Knowing the type and concentration of the vaginal constituents allows the vaginal experts at FGI to create a customized treatment protocol for each patient, to restore balance to the microflora.

If you would like to learn more about microflora and the VFA test, contact Fowler GYN International at www.fowlergyninternational.com, or by calling (480) 420-4001. FGI is located in Phoenix, AZ.

What are the best questions to ask about altered vaginal micro-flora patterns?

Are There Side Effects To Non-Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation?

Are you experiencing issues such as vaginal laxity, vaginal dryness, and stress urinary incontinence? These concerns are often linked to changes in the vaginal tissue brought on by childbirth, hormonal fluctuations, or aging. Although surgery can addresses these issues, non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation is now an option. But are there any side-effects to non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation.

What is non-Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation?
Non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation is a procedure that uses energy-based devices to restore the health and vitality of the vaginal tissue. These devices typically utilize laser or radiofrequency energy to stimulate collagen regeneration, and revitalize the vaginal tissue.

FemiLift non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation
FemiLift is a breakthrough treatment that uses fractional CO2 laser technology to restore tone and strength to the vaginal tissue. It is a minimally invasive procedure that takes only 15-20 minutes to complete.

FemiLift works by heating the inner layers of the vaginal tissue, and the resulting thermal effect promotes collagen production, which enhances the tone and elasticity of the vaginal tissues. There is no downtime, so patients can resume regular activities right away.

After treatment patients will notice increased sensation in the vagina, as well as improved lubrication. In addition, women with stress urinary incontinence will experience better bladder control.

Are There Side Effects To Non-Surgical Vaginal Rejuvenation?
Non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation treatments are generally safe, comfortable,andvirtually painless. Since these treatments are non-surgical, the side-effects are minimal. Patients may experience a slight watery discharge or spotting for a few days after treatment, but there are no major risks.

Are you interested in non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation? Search our directory to find a practice in your area.

If you are in the Plymouth Meeting, PA area, Pennsylvania Center for Plastic Surgery is our featured practice.

You can reach them at www.phillyfemilift.com/femilift/, or by calling (267)-687-2180.

What are the best questions to ask about altered vaginal micro-flora patterns?

Are Vaginal Rejuvenation Results Permanent?

As more women seek to alleviate vaginal issues and improve overall well-being, vaginal rejuvenation is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand procedures. This surge in demand is linked to the increasing number of non-invasive vaginal rejuvenation treatments now on the market that require little or no downtime. But are vaginal rejuvenation results permanent.

Vaginal rejuvenation
Vaginal rejuvenation refers to procedures that are done to correct changes to the vagina that take place over time, due to factors such as aging, childbirth, and hormonal imbalance.In addition to traditional surgical vaginal rejuvenation, there are now several non-surgical technologies that use laser and radiofrequency (RF) energy to rejuvenate the vagina.

FemiLift is a revolutionary new FDA-cleared procedure that uses fractional CO2 energy to tighten the vagina. FemiLift restores tone and elasticity to the vaginal wall, and relieves related issues such as urinary incontinence, pain with intercourse, and vaginal dryness. Treatment takes 15-20 minutes, and 3 sessions are recommended for optimal results.

Are vaginal rejuvenation results permanent?
The results gained with vaginal rejuvenation are not permanent, because the vagina will continue to age, so additional changes may take place in the following years.Vaginal childbirth can also negatively impact the results of vaginal rejuvenation treatment.

The results achieved with surgical vaginal rejuvenation are usually long-lasting, but the effects of non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation last for about 12 months. It’s for this reason doctors recommend annual maintenance treatments with non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation solutions such as FemiLift.

Are you interested in FemiLift vaginal rejuvenation treatment? Search our directory to find a practice in your area.

If you are in the Plymouth Meeting, PA area, The Pennsylvania Center for Plastic Surgery is our featured practice.

You can reach them at www.phillyfemilift.com, or by calling (267)-687-2180.

Male Breasts and regain your confidence

How is a visit with Dr. Fowler different than with other gynecologists?

Do you have a troubling vulvovaginal condition that you’ve been unable to resolve despite visits to various gynecologists?  Dr. R. Stuart Fowler may be able to help. Dr. Fowler is a board certified gynecologist who spearheads Fowler GYN International, located in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Perhaps you’re wondering how a visit with Dr. Fowler is different than with other gynecologists.

What makes Dr. Fowler different?
There are some vulvovaginal conditions that are not easy to diagnose or treat, and unfortunately most gynecologists don’t like treating these difficult cases. That’s because they are not willing to invest the time to do the necessary research, nor do they have the diagnostic tools needed for a proper diagnosis. But Dr. Fowler is very different, because he’s willing to treat these women.

Dr. Fowler was trained at the Mayo Clinic and worked there for over 20 years. He opted to take early retirement, because he wanted to use his knowledge and expertise toassist those women with chronic vulvovaginal conditions, who are unable to get help elsewhere.

While at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Fowler specialized in vaginal disorders, and conducted research and clinical observation into conditions such as vulvodynia.  As a result of this work, he has successfully helped thousands of women in the US with vulvovaginal conditions.Many of them had already visited other specialists, but failed to get any relief from their symptoms.

Dr. Fowler uses advanced microscopic techniques to accurately diagnose vulvovaginal conditions, so that he can recommend the most suitable treatment protocol.

If you are have a recurrent gynecological condition that doctors have not been able to resolve, contact Fowler GYN International for help.

Call (480) 420-4001to schedule a consultation, or request a free pre-registration call online at www.fowlergyninternational.com/contact-us.

What are the best questions to ask about altered vaginal micro-flora patterns?

What are the best questions to ask about altered vaginal micro-flora patterns?

Burning, itching, odor, discharge, and a sense of urinary urgency & frequency, are some of the symptoms that can accompany altered vaginal micro-flora patterns. However, these conditions are not easily diagnosed, so it’s best to consult with a vulvovaginal specialist for treatment. But what are the best questions to ask your physician about altered vaginal micro-flora patterns?

Here are 5 important questions to ask your specialist:

1.    What are altered vaginal micro-flora patterns? The bacterial flora in the vagina is a complex mix of bacterial species, which is normally dominated by the lactobacilli or good bacteria. However, there are conditions that can disrupt this delicate balance, and lead to the proliferation of the 30+ more harmful bacteria. This shift in the healthy state of the vaginal flora is referred to as an altered vaginal micro-flora pattern.

1.    What causes altered vaginal micro-flora patterns? The condition may be due to several factors, referred to as vaginal insults. These include the use of antibiotics, low estrogen, foreign body presence, occasionally the use of combinational hormonal birth control, excessive douching, and history of chemotherapy or pelvic radiation therapy.

1.    Are recurrent yeast bacterial infections a sign of changes in the vaginal microflora? Bacterial and yeast infections are often an indication that there is a problem with the vaginal ecosystem. However, the underlying cause must be treated, in order to gain long lasting relief. Treatment with antibiotic will often result in transient response just to be followed by relaps within 2-4 weeks. Also the antibiotic will just perpetuate the problem by killing the bad and the good bacterial strains. Treatment with various antifungals are just bandaide therapy.

1.    How is the condition diagnosed? Alterations in the vaginal micro-flora are best diagnosed with a vaginal fluid analysis (VFA) test, which is offered at Fowler GYN International (FGI). This involves an evaluation of the quality and quantity of the vaginal constituents, to determine if there are variations from the normal vagina micro-flora.

1.    What is the most effective way to treat altered micro-flora patterns? Vaginal rejuvenate therapy is the technique used by FGI to restore balance to the vaginal ecosystem. This consists of vaginal medications that act as fertilizer for the cells lining the vagina that contain the nutrients needsd by the good bacteria known as lactobacilli to proliferate.

Fowler GYN International of Phoenix, AZ, offers top vaginal health care and can answer all your questions about altered vaginal micro-flora. Call 480-420-4001 today, and schedule an appointment with expert gynecologist Dr. R. Stuart Fowler.

What are effective treatment protocols for Lichen Sclerosus (LS)?

Dealing with lichen sclerosus can be very frustrating, especially when it affects the vaginal opening caliber. First of all, some women go for years without a proper diagnosis, because it often takes the trained eye of a vulvovaginal specialist to accurately diagnose lichen sclerosus. Once confirmed, it must be efficiently managed in order to avoid itching, cracking and then burning. Bit also vaginal senosis must be addressed to relieve pain and/or tearing with penetration. So what are the most effective treatment protocols for lichen sclerosus?

Lichen Sclerosus Signs and Symptoms
Lichen sclerosus is a intrinsic skin disorder in the dermatosis group. It is chronic and once it has been diagnosed it requires life time treatment. The signs of LS include wrinkly, shiny and sticky skin of the labia minora, peri-clitoral tissues perneal body which is the bridge of tissue between the vagina and rectum. As the condition progresses the tissues stick together where they lie adjacent to each other, and become thinner and shiny. The tissues often develop a whitening that can be  symmetric or splotchy. When the tissues are subject to traction, the fused areas can pull apart causing fissures or cracks/paper-like cuts. If neglected the tissues can thicken and turn precancerous and then become squamous cell cancer.

In the early stages women experience vaginal itchiness and external dryness, along with the need to scratch the tissues.  Left untreated, the symptoms can intensify to include burning and stinging when fisures develop.

Medical researchers are not sure of the precise cause of lichen sclerosus, but the condition has a weak link to the autoimmune conditions.

Treatment
Lichen sclerosus cannot be cured, but it is possible to effectively manage the symptoms. At Fowler GYN international, this is done with the help of a customized treatment protocol. This may include the use of a Class I corticosteroid, to get the symptoms under control.  The initial treatment is then followed up by intermediate potent, class III corticosteriod use then maintainance therapy with a class VII  corticosteroid. The problem is that most practitioners just provide episodic potent corticosteriod treatment and the second problem is that rarely do they address the potential vaginal caliber narrowing caused by those who have midline fusion either above or below the vaginal opening. Without addressing this problem, intercourse will remain painful with recurrent tearing, usually at the base of the vagina.

Women that have received treatment for lichen sclerosus at Fowler GYN International report experiencing significant improvement in symptoms, within 2-3 months of starting treatment.

If you are experiencing symptoms that you think may be the result of lichen sclerosus, contact Fowler GYN International, Phoenix, AZ. Call 480-420-4001 to schedule an appointment with board certified gynecologist Dr. R. Stuart Fowler. You can also request a free pre-registration call online at www.fowlergyninternational.com/contact-us.

What is vulvodynia and Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome?

There are a number of female conditions that women have had to endure for years, without being able to get long-term relief. This includes disorders such as vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis syndrome. However, thanks to continuous research, the medical community now has a greater understanding of these once ‘mysterious’ conditions. Consequently, they can now answer questions such as – what is vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis syndrome.

What is Vulvodynia?

Chronic pain in the vulva is known as vulvodynia. The condition makes the genitals extremely sensitive, often rendering activities such as sitting for extended periods or exercising, uncomfortable and painful.   Other symptoms of vulvodynia include itching, rawness, and stinging. Symptoms are often mild, but can also be very severe.

What is Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome (VVS)?

VVS also refers to pain in the vulva region, but in this case, the pain is localized in the area of the vulvar vestibule. It is therefore a type of vulvodynia.  Women with VVS often find sexual intercourse painful, and even inserting tampons can cause extreme discomfort.

Vulvodynia and VVS are similar, but not the same, as the pain often has diverse causes and is located in different parts of the vulva. It is these subtle differences that often make treating these conditions difficult, as there is no one remedy that can be used to treat every woman that has the symptoms.  Accurate diagnosis of the location of the pain is therefore important, in ensuring effective treatment.

At Fowler GYN International (FGI), they utilize an advanced diagnostic approach to determine the etiology of vulvodynia and VVS. As a result of this, they are able to design an individualized treatment plan that targets the affected vulva region.

If you’d like to find out more about vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis syndrome, call FGI at 480-420-4001. You can also set up a consultation with Dr. R. Stuart Fowler online, at www.fowlergyninternational.com/contact-us.

How to effectively treat Lichen Sclerosus

How to effectively treat Lichen Sclerosus

Lichen Sclerosus is a skin condition that is characterized by itchy, sticky skin mainly in the genital area. It typically affects post-menopausal women, but it can also trouble younger women as well.  Unfortunately, many physicians are not familiar with the condition, how to recognize it ort how to trea it, and as a result, lichen sclerosus particularly in the subtle to mild stages is often overlooked (click here).

Facts about lichen sclerosus

Some women have a genetic predisposition to Lichen Sclerosus, but most have never heard about the disorder.  Women may notice subtle whitening on their vulva, but this does not show up in all the cases. As it advances many women develop tissue cracks and paper-like cuts commonly in the inter-labial areas, periclitoral area or at the base of the vagina. This makes the latter area is prone to tearing with intercourse.

In addition to itching which is the predominate symptom, lichen sclerosus can cause burning pain when the tissues crack or fissure. In advanced cases, the vulva skin may shrink causing irritation to the clitoris and evening narrowing the opening of the vagina. These changes to the genital area can result in difficulty with intercourse over time. Also, if the condition is not properly suppressed, about 5% of women go on to develop vulvar squamous cell cancer of the vulva.

Researchers are not sure what causes lichen sclerosus, but they believe it may be an autoimmune related disorder. There is no cure for the condition, but it can be managed and controlled. Is is in the same class as other more common dermatoses including ezcema, psoriasis, and seborrhea.

How to Treat Lichen Sclerosus

Traditional treatment for lichen sclerosus was progesterone cream then testosterone cream and now replaced by more effective topical corticosteroid ointments. These are particularly effective if used in the proper potencies and duration. Too many physicians just use a superpotent corticosteriod for brief periods of time then nothing to be followed by relapse.

The experts in vaginal disorders at Fowler GYN International (FGI) point out the need for for proper potency use to get the condition under suppression and then low dose maintenance therapy to keep it suppressed. Maintenance therapy is particularly important as it will help prevent the reoccurrence of symptoms, and reduce the risk of developing cancer.

If you are interested in understanding more about how to treat Lichen Sclerosus, contact Dr. R. Stuart Fowler at FGI. You can set up an appointment by calling 480-420-4001, or go online to http://www.fowlergyninternational.com/contact-us.