Girl Talk With Dr. Barbie Sullivan, March 29

Ob/Gyn Dr. Barbie Sullivan will be online Tuesday, March 29, 2011 from 8 to 9 p.m. CST to answer your questions. Post your questions at any time. Check back Tuesday to ask a question while she is online.

To ask a question, submit a comment on this page in the "Leave a Reply" box.

Dr. Sullivan earned her medical degree at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she also completed her residency and internship in obstetrics and gynecology. She is board certified by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Sullivan and her husband have three children. 

Note: The following is a transcript from the original Q&A posted March 29, 2011.

22 Responses to “Girl Talk With Dr. Barbie Sullivan, March 29”

  1. Dr. Barbie says:

    Is it OK to let my daughter pierce her belly button?
    From a medical standpoint there is a risk of infection. The belly button can be difficult to keep clean and it is important that the instruments used are sterilized.

  2. Dr. Barbie says:

    A typical yeast infection will cause itching and irritation usually with a white colored, odorless discharge. It is caused by candida which is in the environment. Many times when a person gets a yeast infection it is because the Ph of the vagina is abnormal. This can be caused by taking antibiotics, diabetes, douching, stress and excess moisture. Sometimes yeast infections can be prevented by eating yogurt with active culture or taking Acidophilous tablets daily. It helps to keep as dry as possible also.

  3. Dr. Barbie says:

    You need to make an appointment with your OB tomorrow. Usually a breast cyst is tender, smooth and easy to move. A cancerous mass tends to be nontender, irregular bordered and not easy to move. Sometimes the opposite will be true so it is important to have it checked by your physician. You may need a mammogram, ultrasound and evaluation by a breast surgeon even if these tests are normal.

  4. Dr. Barbie says:

    As long as you do not have any medical issues and you don’t smoke then it is generally OK to stay on birth control for many years. Fertility returns to normal within 3 months of stopping birth control.

  5. Dr. Barbie says:

    Hi Jessie, this sounds like a muscle spasm especially since it happens with activity. If it doesn’t go away within a few minutes of not walking or if it worsens you need to have it checked by a physician.

  6. Susan says:

    I have irregular periods. Sometimes, my period skips a month or two or three. My OB/GYN says this is normal. What can be done to stop this?

  7. Dr. Barbie says:

    Irregular cycles can be caused by stress, weight loss or gain, diet changes, not ovulating, hormones, pregnancy and some medical issues like thyroid dysfunction. If you are on birth control pills then the lining of the uterus may not be thick enough to bleed-this is not a problem unless it bothers you. Many times we regulate menstral cycles with birth control pills.

  8. Dr. Barbie says:

    Would love to answer any questions you have!

  9. Tonya says:

    Hi. I had a complete hysterectomy in august and am currently on hormone pills but recently i get some light cramps and get tired very easy is this normal?

  10. Dr. Barbie says:

    After a hysterectomy you can still occasionally have some cramps. This could be related to bowel or bladder. You should discuss your symptoms with your physician, sometimes adjusting your hormones can help with energy.

  11. Dr. Barbie says:

    Mastitis is inflammation of the breast tissue most commonly related to breast feeding. The tissue can be swollen and tender without necessarily being infected. Flu like symptoms are typical. Relieving engorgement, heat before nursing and cold packs after can relieve symptoms. If you have fever then there is probable an infection and you need antibiotics. Thanks for the question!

  12. Jo says:

    I have been spotting 2 weeks after my regular period. I am not on birth control or taking any type of medicine. I exercise up to 2-3 hours a day, but have been for 3 years now. I was wondering if what this could be caused by and also if I should go see a doctor.

  13. Dr. Barbie says:

    Spotting can be related to heavy exercise but can also be because of infection, cervical bleeding, precancerous lesions or cancer of the uterus so it is important to see your physician.

  14. Dr. Barbie says:

    There is a prescription cream that helps to eliminate genital warts. It is used every other day for 6 weeks. Other options are acid we use in the office and laser in the operating room.

  15. Jo says:

    At what age should you start seeing a gynecologist?

  16. Dr. Barbie says:

    Genital warts can be transmitted by skin to skin contact. Condoms give partial protection. The Gardisil vaccine does protect against several strains of the HPV virus that causes warts and I do recommend the vaccine. Good overall immunity is important after you have genital warts to prevent recurrence. This means low stress, exercise, antioxidant vitamins and healthy diet.

  17. Dr. Barbie says:

    If a young girl has menstral problems I recommend she see her pedicatrician first who will send her to a GYN if necessary. Between 15-20 a young lady needs to come in for an evaluation but will not necessarily have a pap smear at that time. Some Gynecologists start pap smears at 18 YO and some at 21 YO depending on the situation. Then yearly.

  18. Courtney says:

    Is it ok to skip my pap smear this year if the last 3 or 4 I’ve had have been

  19. Dr. Barbie says:

    Hormone replacement is interesting. Some women never have a symptom and don’t ever need hormones. Some women need hormones to alleviate menopausal symptoms for just a short time. I try to keep patients on the lowest dose that still alleviates symptoms and slowly wean them if possible. Of course, it is very important that you have a full physical and that you do not have risk factors that make you at high risk for breast cancer or blood clots. The answer is as long as you need them and as long as they are not a health risk for you!

  20. Dr. Barbie says:

    Pap smears are recommended every 1-2 years depending on risk factors. If you have ever had dysplasia or have risk factors for dyspasia then I would recommend at least yearly pap smears.

  21. Leisa says:

    We have been trying to get pregnant with our first child for months but nothing is happening. What can I do ?

  22. Dr. Barbie says:

    When a couple is trying to get pregnant we try to answer these questions: Is she ovulating?-if she has regular predictable 28-30 d cycles then she likely is (there is also a test we can do in the office at a certain point in your menstral cycle). Are her tubes open?-If she has never had a pelvic infection, surgery or endometriosis then they probably are. Does he have plenty of sperm?-An easy test can determine this. Once we answere these questions there may be treatments that can be started or you may need more tests or a fertility specialist. If you have been actively trying for a year then it is time to look further!



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