Courtesy of NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan hospital, some of the finest doctors in the city provide us with great health-related tips and general things to know or look out for on different topics on a regular basis. This week, we spoke to Dr. Szilvia Nagy, a Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the hospital.
What do you hope to bring to this community and what do you like about downtown?
I really enjoy living and working in the same environment. Downtown Manhattan is going through a population explosion and it is really nice to be part of the community I serve. There are a lot of young families and I feel that I am in a unique position to make a positive impact on our community by being able to care for these young women and young mothers.
What can we expect from your practice?
In my current practice I see both obstetrical and gynecologic patients. I really enjoy the mix of patients and even though I currently have a larger obstetrical practice, I am also committed to taking care of the gynecologic needs of my patients. I am dedicated to providing a high quality of care in a friendly and supportive environment to women of all ages.
My clinical interests include management of abnormal pap smears and HPV, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and counseling on safe-sex practices, contraceptive counseling, medical and surgical management of abnormal uterine bleeding and general and high-risk obstetrical care.
What are some tips to help a woman find the best OB-GYN for them?
Obstetricians/gynecologists have the unique opportunity to care for women of all ages. A great way to find a physician who fits with your philosophy is by word of mouth. Having a friend, colleague or acquaintance refer you to an OB-GYN they trust is a really good reflection upon that physician. Trust is very important in the doctor-patient relationship, so I think it is crucial to find a physician you feel comfortable with.
What are the best safety tips for a woman who becomes pregnant after 40?
Women who become pregnant after the age of 40 are at higher risk for complications in their pregnancy. It is really important to have prenatal care from the beginning of the pregnancy and establish a plan for close monitoring. Most women who are pregnant after 40 do very well but women should talk with their OB-GYN about their particular risks.
What are the best foods to help battle or ward off yeast infections?
Yeast infections are common and there are some ways we can prevent them.
In general, eating well-balanced, nutritious meals and taking time out to relax helps to boost your immune system and prevents infections of all kinds, including vaginal yeast infections. I also like to recommend to my patients that it is helpful to limit sugar, beer and stress. Managing stress is an important part of staying healthy in general.
Eating yogurt that contains live cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus or taking probiotics may also help prevent yeast infections.
Other preventative measures include: wearing cotton underwear, avoiding panty liners, avoiding wearing tight-fitting pants and shorts, avoiding wearing nylon pantyhose or synthetic leotards every day, changing out of wet workout clothes or a wet swimsuit as soon as you can, NOT using douches, scented powders, scented tampons, and feminine deodorant sprays are all other ways you can prevent yeast infections.
What is the best advice for attempting to conceive after a miscarriage?
Talk with your OB-GYN after a miscarriage to get advice on how and when to try to conceive again. Each case is unique. Miscarriages most often occur randomly and are not related to any specific event. However, there are tests that can be done to try to explain why a miscarriage might have occurred in cases of recurrent miscarriages. You and your doctor can talk about these and decide what tests are right for you.
What are the side effects of birth control and how can a woman best avoid them?
Early side effects of birth control pills with estrogen and progesterone include bloating, headaches, nausea, and breast tenderness. These side effects usually subside within a couple of months. Breakthrough bleeding is the most common side effect and this is due to tissue breakdown as the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) adjusts to a new thin state in which it is more fragile. This also usually resolves within a few months. Every woman responds to hormonal birth control differently so it is best to discuss any side effects a woman experiences with her gynecologist. Dose adjustments or changes in the type of progesterone that is in the pill or other changes can be made to help avoid further side effects.
Why do women tend to gain weight after menopause?
The reason women tend to gain weight after menopause is multifactorial and probably related to menopause itself and as well as aging.
We know from lab studies that estrogen appears to help control body weight. With lower estrogen levels, lab subjects tend to eat more and be less physically active. Reduced estrogen may also lower the rate of metabolism. In menopause it is possible the same thing happens with women when estrogen levels decrease. The lack of estrogen may also cause the body to use starches and blood sugars less effectively, which would increase fat storage and make it harder to lose weight. In addition, as women age they are less likely to exercise, they lose muscles mass (which also lowers resting metabolism), and the rate at which energy is used during exercise decreases. All of these factors contribute to weight gain after menopause.
When should a woman have her first mammogram?
The American College of Obstetricians/Gynecologists, the American Cancer Society and the American Society of Breast Surgeons all recommend that a woman have her first mammogram at age 40, unless she has a family history of breast cancer or some other reason why she may need them sooner. Some organizations also recommend a “baseline” mammogram sometime between ages 35-39, but a woman should discuss her individual case with her gynecologist to decide if this is necessary.
Her office is located at NYP/Lower Manhattan Hospital at 170 William St., First Floor. For an appointment with Dr. Nagy, please call (646) 962-2620.
-by Jackie Hart