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Vaginal Discharge…. How do I know if it is normal?

It is normal to have some vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge is your body’s way of cleaning and moisturizing your vagina. A healthy vagina will secrete fluids made by glands inside the vagina and cervix to carry away Read more

WCJC - Your Partner in Health and Well-Being

There is a lot of confusing information out there right now. For instance, what are the current guidelines for Pap smears and mammograms? Why does my doctor have an HPV test run with my pap if I am over Read more

Pregnancy Nutrition and Weight Gain

Many of our patients are concerned with finding out what is an appropriate amount of weight gain during pregnancy. Did you know that ‘eating right for two’ depends not just on the types of foods you are eating, but on Read more

Vaginal Discharge…. How do I know if it is normal?

WCJC Gynecology, Uncategorized, Vaginal Health Leave a comment   , , ,

It is normal to have some vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge is your body’s way of cleaning and moisturizing your vagina. A healthy vagina will secrete fluids made by glands inside the vagina and cervix to carry away dead cells and bacteria. This small amount of discharge helps the vagina to clean and lubricate itself, similar to your mouth secreting saliva. A healthy vagina remains acidic which helps suppress the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast. It also contains “good bacteria” that keeps the environment acidic and balanced. It is normal for the amount, color and consistency of your discharge to vary throughout the month depending on where you are at in your menstrual cycle. For example, you may notice an increased amount of discharge when you are ovulating, breastfeeding, or sexually aroused. Normal vaginal discharge can be clear, white, cloudy, yellowish or even contain mucous. These can all be normal variations and there is no need to worry if you have no other symptoms. However, if the smell, consistency, or color changes significantly it may be signs of an infection or other condition.

Signs that your discharge may be abnormal and you may need to see your doctor are:
• A foul strong “fishy” odor
• Change in color to green, gray, pus like discharge
• Vaginal itching, burning, swelling, or redness
• Vaginal bleeding or spotting after intercourse

These signs may indicate you have a vaginal infection such as bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis (yeast infection), or a sexually transmitted disease. BV (bacterial vaginosis) and yeast are both common vaginal infections, and can occur with or without sexual activity. You can’t always prevent vaginal infections or irritation, but there are steps you can take to help keep your vagina healthy.

• Some vaginal discharge is normal and is necessary for good vaginal health. The discharge helps to keep the vaginal area clean, lubricated, and removes dead skin cells from the vagina.
• Normal vaginal discharge is usually clear/white with no noticeable odor. Discharge varies throughout your cycle. Certain times of the month you may notice some white “mucous” around the time of ovulation and this is normal.
• In a perfect world, our vagina stays acidic which helps to suppress the growth of yeast and bacteria
• We are a society that LOVES to clean. We have more antibacterial products than our mothers and grandmothers ever had! Many times the products we use cause “over cleaning” of the genitals and disrupts this balance.
• There should be a balance of “good” bacteria and “bad” (odor causing) bacteria at all times. By washing away the “good guys” that help maintain this balance we disrupt our bodies natural protective flora that can lead to more frequent vaginal infections.
• Even though we are a society that LOVES to “clean”- avoid ANY antibacterial soaps in that area that can kill or wash away the “good” protective bacteria in your vagina.
• DON’T DOUCHE…Just like these soaps, douches wash away lubricants and good protective bacteria leaving your vagina defenseless against yeast and bacteria.
• Unfortunately many of these “feminine hygiene” products are marketed for women and contain fragrances that are NOT good for that area. It is MARKETING girls!!! They want your money! A gentle, fragrance free soap is all you need. There are MANY out there some common examples are DOVE sensitive skin body bar, cetaphil body wash (generic works great), or any other

Steps you can take to protect vaginal health- protect your PH balance:

• Avoid ANY scented soaps, body washes, or feminine washes that have fragrances. If it smells “NICE,” it has fragrance. These products “wash” down your body and can irritate the vaginal tissue and alter your vaginal PH.
• Avoid letting shampoo or hair products run down your body in the shower. These products are great for hair, but contain harsh chemicals that can cause irritation.
• Use unscented laundry detergent and no fabric softener on undergarmets
• Change out of wet bathing suits or sweaty exercise clothing as soon as possible
• Use unscented tampons, pads, and toilet paper
• Wear cotton underwear and loose fitting clothing when possible
• DO NOT douche- douching can interfere with your bodies natural good flora and reduce acidity allowing yeast and harmful bacteria to flourish
• Practice safe sex to prevent transmission of harmful bacteria and sexually transmitted disease. If you think you may have a sexually transmitted infection, it is important to see your gynecologist because not treating them can lead to reproductive health problems.

*** See next article(s) on vaginal infections: vulvovaginitis

WCJC – Your Partner in Health and Well-Being

WCJC Gynecology Leave a comment   , , , ,

There is a lot of confusing information out there right now. For instance, what are the current guidelines for Pap smears and mammograms? Why does my doctor have an HPV test run with my pap if I am over 30 years old? What is HPV anyway, and why would I be checked for an STD when I haven’t had a new partner in years? How do you keep up with what is current, and what is really the ‘right’ thing to do, especially if it seems to keep changing? Your physician is the best person to discuss not only what the best and most current recommendations are, but how these apply to YOU personally.

What you may not know is that an annual “Well Woman” exam is recommended yearly, whether a Pap smear is performed or not. This exam gives us the opportunity to provide much more than simply a ‘Pap smear’ (which is only a small part of the exam that screens for cervical pre-cancer or cancer).  An annual pelvic exam is recommended to evaluate the entire female reproductive tract and surrounding areas. The majority of this exam goes far beyond the Pap smear. This includes visualization of the cervix (for polyps, infection or other abnormalities), and palpation of the uterus and ovaries. This helps to rule out possible causes of uterine enlargement such as fibroid tumors, uterine cancer or other types of issues which may result in abnormal bleeding or pain. Ovarian masses may be felt during a pelvic exam which include many types of cysts or other benign tumors as well as ovarian cancer. The vagina is examined for possible evidence of infection or other abnormalities. The external genital area, also know as the vulva, is surveyed for evidence of irritation, rashes, growths, and even pre-cancer or cancer. Did you know that melanoma can occur here even though there may be no sun exposure to this region? The bladder and its opening, the urethra, are inspected during a pelvic exam. Your OB/GYN can evaluate and treat for many common bladder problems, or may refer you in some cases for additional treatment if needed. For women over 50, a rectal exam is often performed to look for the presence of hemorrhoids, masses or other problems. And finally, a breast exam is performed yearly to look for masses, cysts, and skin or nipple changes or problems.

In addition to discussing and providing birth control options, your OB/GYN may review recommendations for vaccinations and periodic screening tests depending on your age group. Consideration of STD testing is generally recommended for those who are 26 or under or potentially later in life after obtaining a new partner or in cases of possible STD exposure. Other recommended screening tests may include blood work such as cholesterol and lipid screening, thyroid testing, evaluation for anemia, low iron or vitamin D deficiency, diabetes screening, genetic cancer screening and more. We may use this exam as a chance to provide you with healthy reminders for exercise, nutrition and vitamin supplementation or to review health risks such as domestic partner violence, smoking, alcohol or substance abuse, risky sexual behavior and risky driving habits such as texting or failure to wear a seat belt. We often discuss and treat women for mood disorders such as symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood swings, PMS and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (really, really bad PMS!). We may discuss problems with intercourse such as pain or lack of desire. Menopausal symptoms can be treated with hormonal or nonhormonal medications depending on your needs and risk factors. Bone density, or DEXA scanning may be ordered for menopausal women or those at high risk for osteoporosis. Colonoscopy will be recommended at age 50 and every five to ten years thereafter. Your doctor may find that you need to undergo further examination or testing as a result of discussion of any of these issues at your exam.

As you can see, much of your whole clinical health picture is part of a Well Woman exam!

At Women’s Clinic of Johnson County we want to…
  • be there for your prenatal care and delivery. We’ll help you prepare for having a healthy pregnancy for both yourself and your baby.
  • provide for your routine gynecologic office care. We treat everything from heavy or irregular menses to menopausal symptoms and bladder problems.
  • provide for your gynecologic surgery needs. We perform major surgery, minimally invasive and minor surgery depending on your symptoms and your needs.
  • allow you to actively participate in your preventive healthcare. The number one way to allow us to help you to do this is to schedule your annual Well Woman exam.
We look forward to seeing you soon!!


Pregnancy Nutrition and Weight Gain

Sharon Maturo Pregnancy/Obstetrics Leave a comment   , , , , ,

Many of our patients are concerned with finding out what is an appropriate amount of weight gain during pregnancy. Did you know that ‘eating right for two’ depends not just on the types of foods you are eating, but on how much weight you gain?

Read on to find out what you need to know about changing your normal eating habits and how many extra calories you should be consuming.

Different guidelines for weight gain depend on pre-pregnancy weight. Underweight patients will need to eat more than patients who are overweight to begin with. You can easily determine what your weight expectations are for your height by using an online body mass index (BMI) calculator. Simply plug in your height and pre-pregnancy weight. (If you are athletic and particularly muscular, these calculators may not be as accurate.) For overweight or obese patients, weight loss prior to pregnancy can help to reduce risks of problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure in pregnancy and their associated complications.

Weight Category                               Appropriate weight gain (pounds)
Underweight BMI < 18.5                                     28-40
Normal weight BMI = 18.5-24.9                          25-35
Overweight BMI = 25-29.9                                 15-25
Obese BMI = 30 or more                                    11-20

Approximately 300 extra calories a day are recommended to achieve a normal weight gain in a patient with a normal weight. This should be adjusted accordingly up or down depending on the desired weight gain. Your physician can help you to determine what is right for you.

It may be difficult to gain weight in early pregnancy due to nausea. Some patients even experience weight loss. If you are unable to hold down food, vomit more than 2-3 times a day, or have significant nausea that interferes with everyday activities, you should discuss with your doctor whether a medicine for nausea should be prescribed. Ginger can be soothing, and small frequent meals throughout the day are usually easier to digest. Bland foods and carbohydrates may be easier to tolerate early on. It may be difficult to maintain adequate nutrition, since vegetables and protein sources may be less appealing. A prenatal vitamin will help fill in some of the missing gaps. Your physician can help you find a prenatal vitamin that you may be able to tolerate. Some prescription vitamins appear to be more tolerable for some patients. Liquid, chewable and gummy forms are also available. Meal supplement shakes may contribute to overall nutrition, and these may be especially helpful for underweight patients when used as in-between meals snacks.

If you already have a healthy diet – an extra snack or so a day will easily provide 300 extra calories. In order to stabilize blood sugar levels, try spreading out your calories into smaller, more frequent meals. Eating more protein and avoiding overly sweet foods, or foods that are very high in carbohydrates will also help to minimize the ‘up and down’ feelings that may be more common during pregnancy.

Nutritional choices should include each of the food groups, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Overly-processed foods, excessive sodium and saturated fats should be avoided. Adequate dairy intake can help to provide the extra calcium your developing baby’s needs. Folic acid is an important B vitamin that is found in green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, peas and fortified breakfast cereals. It has been shown to reduce neural tube defects, (such as spina bifida) and should be consumed regularly both before and after conception – especially during the early developmental stages of pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins contain folic acid. Certain prescription prenatal vitamins now contain folic acid that may be more readily absorbable for certain patients. Iron-rich foods such as lean red meat, spinach and fortified whole grains and cereals can help to prevent anemia which is common during pregnancy. Fiber and water should be increased when increasing iron to avoid constipation, and stool softeners can be taken when needed. Vegans need to especially concentrate on making sure that protein and calcium intake is adequate. This can be accomplished by incorporating bean, nuts, leafy greens and vegetables and considering food choices like tofu and soy milk.

Seafood should be limited to less than 12 ounces weekly due to potential for mercury exposure. Certain fish, such as tilefish, swordfish, shark and mackerel should be completely avoided. Fish however, do contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids which have been found to promote healthy brain and spinal cord development. This is why DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid which is found in fish oil has been recommended daily in pregnancy. Fish oil is processed to eliminate mercury, and therefore can be safely consumed during pregnancy. (There are plant sources of DHA available as well.) Fish and shellfish that tend to contain lower mercury levels include salmon, shrimp, clams, pollock, catfish and tilapia.

Avoid unpasteurized food products which may include certain kinds of milk, juices, apple cider, deli meats and soft cheeses. Refer to product labels which usually provide this information. Doing so can reduce the risk of listeriosis, a significant bacterial illness. When in doubt, heating these items can reduce this risk. Wash vegetables and produce thoroughly and avoid uncooked or undercooked seafood, meat and fish. Avoid alcohol completely and limit caffeine to 1-2 six to eight ounce servings or less daily. Water is always the healthiest beverage choice and 6-8 eight ounce glasses daily will help to avoid dehydration that can commonly occur in pregnancy. Dehydration is a common well-known cause of preterm contractions.

Let us know if you have questions about your nutritional requirements in pregnancy. We are here to help!

What’s New for 2014?

WCJC WCJC Happenings Leave a comment   , , , , ,
WCJC 2014
What’s new for 2014?
The physicians and staff at WCJC are looking forward to making this our best year ever!

We are proud to introduce our new and updated website. We hope it reflects the level of commitment and quality that we strive to provide at WCJC. Come explore the site and see what’s new! Find out more about our physicians, their special interests, and the services that they provide. Contact us online for appointment requests and locate us more easily with online maps. Read about what’s new on our Provider Page and check out our upcoming new online blog posts. Post-surgical patients may now also access their postoperative instructions online.

Our helpful expanded hospital information page contains multiple links to available resources like pregnancy registration, prenatal classes, hospital tours and more. Here, you may also access a list of medications that are safe for pregnancy and our online OB booklet for detailed pregnancy information.

We have grown recently and expanded to include an Olathe Medical Center office location. We also welcomed our newest physician, Dr. Alison Blevins – who has joined Dr. Eric Peck in offering OB/GYN services at WCJC Olathe. Please refer to individual Provider Pages to match each physician with their office locations.

If you haven’t checked out our Facebook page, we invite you to take a look. We think you’ll be glad you did! Access our Facebook page via our website or simply search for us online there. Our vision is to highlight a wide variety of pregnancy-related topics that are both fun and informative. These range from proper diet and exercise in pregnancy to Apps designed to make getting through pregnancy and caring for your baby a bit easier, and much more. Use the helpful search function at the top of the page to easily find posts related to your needs.

To follow us on Facebook, click on the ‘Like’ button on our page, or text like wcjcobgyn to FBOOK (32665).

Finally, visit our WCJC Online Store – an easy place to explore our doctor-recommended products. These include maternity items like Medela breast pumps and supportive belts to ease discomfort both during and after pregnancy. You’ll have access to specialized health supplements that are perfect for pregnancy, women’s overall health, bone protection, menopause and more. Additionally, a comprehensive line of SkinMedica products is also available. Many of these products may also be purchased in our office. A WCJC physician favorite – ‘SkinMedica’s TNS Recovery Complex System’ received Allure’s Editor’s choice award and has been mentioned on Oprah as an alternative to plastic surgery.

As always – we want to hear your ideas. Let us know your thoughts and what we can do to make your online experience even better!
Happy New Year from WCJC!!

Same-day appointments for Nurse Practitioners

WCJC Provider News Leave a comment   , ,

150Quist_Pro_1150Kearney_Pro_1Nurse Practitioners now offer same-day appointments

Our nurse practitioners Glenna Quist and Beth Kearney now offer same-day appointments! These appointments generally are used for patients with an acute issue or someone who needs to get their annual appointment in due to time limitations.


You may also see the nurse practitioner if you are unable to get in sooner with your regular OB/GYN . You will undergo an initial evaluation and she will make sure to get you scheduled with your provider in a timely fashion (or another physician if applicable) according to the nature of your problem.

Please note that same day appointments are limited in number so call now to reserve your time.


New Olathe Medical Center Campus

WCJC Provider News Leave a comment   , , , ,


We are excited to announce the opening of our new
 WCJC Olathe Medical Center Campus location!

Visit us at 20375 West 151st Street, Suite 409, Olathe, KS 66061 or call us at 913-829-5656.



Drs. Eric Peck and Alison Blevins are offering OB/GYN services from this new WCJC Olathe location.

Dr. Maturo now offers hours at Leawood Family Care

WCJC Provider News Leave a comment   , ,


Dr. Sharon Maturo now offers Wednesday afternoon office hours
 for gynecology patients at Leawood Family Care.

These appointments include gynecology problems, pre- and post-surgical evaluations, annual exams/birth control, pre-pregnancy planning, and more.

Dr. Maturo’s office interests include evaluation and treatment of heavy periods, pelvic pain, fibroids, urinary incontinence, pelvic floor prolapse, abnormal pap smears, vaginal and urinary infections, painful intercourse, and other conditions.

Her surgical expertise lies in specialized treatment of heavy periods, uterine fibroids and pelvic pain, minimally invasive surgery/hysterectomy, uterine endometrial ablation, pelvic floor reconstructive surgery for pelvic organ prolapse (including urinary incontinence procedures), laparoscopy and hysteroscopy.

Schedule your gynecologic appointment at Leawood Family Care through our office at 913-491-4020. Leawood Family Care is located approximately one mile south of our Menorah office between College Boulevard and 119th Street on Nall at 11301 Ash, behind the bank building at 113th and Nall. Click here for a detailed map.

Of note, obstetric care other than confirmation of pregnancy will need to be scheduled with Dr. Maturo at either our Menorah or Shawnee Mission campus. Call 913-491-4020 to schedule your obstetric appointment.