Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we provide answers to commonly asked questions about reproductive issues, menopausal issues, having a baby, genetic testing, incontinence and pelvic disorders, and gynecologic cancers.


Questions about Reproductive or Menopausal Issues

  • What is a reproductive endocrinologist?
  • What tests should I ask my doctor for if I think I am going through early menopause?
  • What about getting an ultrasound of my ovaries?
  • I am still getting periods, but I have a lot of symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Is this normal?
  • How long will my symptoms last?
  • Does going through menopause early mean I am aging more quickly?

Questions about Endometriosis

  • What is endometriosis?
  • What causes endometriosis?
  • Does endometriosis cause infertility?
  • Will any medical or surgical treatment cure endometriosis?
  • I have been diagnosed as having endometriosis. Do I have a greater chance of developing ovarian cancer?
  • I have been diagnosed as having advanced endometriosis. Will I need hysterectomy?
  • I am 32 years old and have been trying to conceive for two years. I have been diagnosed as having advanced endometriosis. I have never been pregnant, and my partner's sperm count is excellent. Should I be optimistic that I will conceive?
  • I have advanced pelvic endometriosis and severe pelvic pain. What chance do I have of pain relief after resection of endometriosis?
  • What about holistic treatments?

Questions about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

  • How common is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
  • What are the symptoms of PCOS?
  • Why do some people call it polycystic ovarian disease and others call it polycystic ovary syndrome?
  • Are there other names for PCOS?
  • What are the effects of PCOS?
  • What causes PCOS?
  • Is there a cure for PCOS?

Questions about Having a Baby or Genetic Tests

  • I am on prescribed medications for a chronic medical condition. Should I stop them all before I get pregnant or as soon as I have a positive pregnancy test?
  • I know that vaccination is an important part of ongoing healthcare. Are vaccines safe during pregnancy?
  • What is your cesarean rate?
  • I had a cesarean section with my last baby. Should I attempt vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)?
  • What about diabetes and pregnancy?
  • Why is folic acid important for women?
  • Is exercise safe during pregnancy?
  • What is genetic counseling?
  • Should I consider prenatal testing?
  • What will I learn from prenatal testing?
  • Why is prenatal care important?
  • What types of prenatal testing and screening are available?
  • What causes a woman to have a preterm birth?
  • Will my baby have a birth defect?
  • Should I be screened for cystic fibrosis? Will I be a carrier?
  • I am of Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish decent. Should I be worried about genetic diseases?

Questions about Childbirth Pain

  • Does being nervous affect the delivery process?
  • How can I avoid being anxious and afraid about having my baby?
  • When does the pain of labor begin?
  • Does abdominal pain signal the beginning of labor?
  • Why must I not eat or drink upon going into labor?
  • How can I manage pain that occurs before I go to the hospital?
  • What are intravenous medications and infusions?
  • What is the difference between analgesia and anesthesia?
  • Is anesthesia bad for childbirth?
  • What is an epidural?
  • Must I have an epidural?
  • How safe are epidurals?
  • Is having an epidural painful?
  • How long does it take to perform an epidural?
  • How long does it take for the epidural to be effective?
  • How long does an epidural dose last?
  • How does one feel after having an epidural?
  • Does an epidural make one feel numb?
  • How does one know when the epidural medication is wearing off?
  • Why are epidurals so popular?
  • Why do some hospitals use more epidurals than others?
  • Why is there so much conflicting information about epidurals?
  • If epidurals are so good why doesn't everyone have one?
  • Is there anyone who should not or cannot have an epidural?
  • What medications are used in an epidural for childbirth?
  • What if I'm allergic to local anesthetics or narcotics?
  • Are there side effects associated with epidurals?
  • How early in labor can one have an epidural?
  • How late in labor can one have an epidural?
  • Do epidurals sometime produce incomplete or one-sided relief?
  • Must I remain in bed after having an epidural?
  • Will it be difficult to urinate after having an epidural?
  • Do epidurals slow labor?
  • Do epidurals lead to c-sections?
  • Do epidurals cause fevers in some mothers?
  • Do epidural medications reach the baby?
  • Do epidurals cause backaches?
  • Can a person who has had back problems or surgery receive an epidural?
  • What are the worst complications that can happen due to an epidural?
  • What are some advantages to having an epidural?
  • What are some disadvantages to having an epidural?
  • Are there conditions that can make anesthesia risky?
  • If I do not need anything for labor and delivery, is there anything available for an episiotomy?
  • What is a spinal or saddle block?
  • Do spinals cause headaches?
  • If I need a c-section, will an additional anesthetic be necessary?
  • If I have had a c-section for a previous delivery but wish to try vaginal birth for my next, can I have an epidural?
  • What are the chances of an epidural wearing off before surgery has ended?
  • What will I feel during a c-section under epidural anesthesia?
  • Why is it considered better to remain awake during a c-section?
  • When might a general anesthetic be necessary?
  • Is a breathing tube necessary with a general anesthetic?
  • Can husbands remain in the operating room when general anesthesia is given?
  • How much pain is there after a c-section?
  • Will there be any lingering effects from my anesthesia?
  • Will my insurance pay for epidural pain relief?
  • From whom will I receive a bill for my epidural?

Questions about Incontinence and Pelvic Disorders

  • What is urinary incontinence?
  • What causes urinary incontinence? Are there different types?
  • How can urinary incontinence be treated?
  • What is pelvic muscle rehabilitation?
  • What is ExMI?
  • What is urodynamic testing?
  • What is anal incontinence?
  • What causes anal incontinence?
  • How is anal incontinence treated?
  • What is anorectal physiology testing?
  • What is pelvic organ prolapse?
  • How is prolapse treated?
  • How can I choose the right doctor?

Questions about Gynecologic Cancers

  • What are gynecologic cancers?
  • Why do women get these cancers?
  • What are the warning signs of gynecologic cancer?
  • What is a gynecologic oncologist, and when should I see one?