• A Look at the History of Birth Control

    The strive for effective birth control started in ancient times, when women would mix up different concoctions that they believed would stop them from becoming pregnant. The forward progress to the multiple forms of birth control available today is a relatively new phenomenon, and many women still don’t have access to safe and effective contraceptives.

    Watch this video to learn more about this history of birth control. The birth control pill was introduced in 1960 and was a turning point for women. However, many women still struggle with a lack of reproductive rights, in the US and around the world.

    At Washington Surgi-Clinic , our gynecologists are committed to helping women take charge of their rights by providing access to multiple methods of birth control and access to pregnancy termination. Make an appointment with a gynecologist in Washington, D.C. by calling (202) 659-9403.

  • Understanding the Causes of Heavy Periods

    Heavy periods—also called menorrhagia—can have significant impacts on your quality of life. In some cases, they can also lead to health problems, such as anemia. Having persistently heavy periods is not something that you simply have to accept. Your gynecologist can help you pinpoint the cause and determine treatments that can help make your period more manageable. Here are some of the most common causes of heavy periods.


    Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus also grows outside the uterus. The tissue responds to hormonal fluctuations as the same way whether it is inside or outside, of the uterus, so it bleeds during menstruation. This can cause excessive bleeding as well as pain and severe abdominal cramping. There are treatments that can help manage the symptoms of endometriosis, so see your gynecologist to see if it could be affecting you.

    Uterine Fibroids

    Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that appear along the lining of the uterus. Doctors don’t know why uterine fibroids appear, but they may be linked to hormones, growth factors, and genetic changes. Heavy periods are a classic symptom of fibroids. Polyps, another kind of growth, can also cause heavy bleeding when they appear in the uterus. Medications and a range of minimally invasive procedures can treat uterine fibroids and polyps.

    Non-Hormonal IUDs

    IUDs are a popular form of birth control, but some women find that the non-hormonal versions lead to heavier periods. Not all women react this way to non-hormonal IUDs, but if your heavy periods started after getting one, it could be the cause. Your gynecologist can help you determine if your IUD is causing heavy periods and if another kind of birth control could be better suited to your needs.

    Washington Surgi-Clinic offers complete gynecology services , ranging from STD testing and treatment to period and birth control management. To make an appointment with a gynecologist in Washington, D.C., please call (202) 659-9403.

  • Caring for Yourself After an Abortion

    After an abortion, it is important to get adequate rest and follow-up care to ensure a healthy, fast recovery. Your gynecologist will provide you with extensive information about caring for yourself after a pregnancy termination . This information will also help.

    Plan to Rest

    Ideally, you should allow yourself a few days to simply rest after your abortion. During this time, you may experience heavy to light bleeding, as well as nausea, cramps, and breast tenderness, which can last for a few days to a few weeks. It’s common for symptoms, especially bleeding, to start and stop a few times before ending for good. You should avoid strenuous activity for the first few days after your procedure, and avoid sexual intercourse, tampon use, or douching to five days. If it’s not possible to take time off of work and school, listen to your body and take things as easy as you can.

    Attend Follow-Up Appointments

    You will likely need a follow-up visit with your gynecologist to ensure that the abortion was successful and that you are recovering without complications. These appointments are important to your health, so be sure to attend any follow-ups recommended by your gynecologist. If you experience any signs of complications before or active your follow-up, call your gynecologist right away.

    Pay Attention to Your Emotions

    Women often feel a range of emotions after an abortion. Some women feel relief, others feel sad, and others have mixed emotions. All of these feelings are completely normal. There is no right way to react to having an abortion. If you are struggling to cope with your emotions in the aftermath, your gynecologist can recommend resources that will help.

    At Washington Surgi-Clinic, we can help you make the right decisions about your abortion and provide the care you need before and after the procedure. To make an appointment for an abortion in Washington, D.C. , call us at (202) 659-9403. Our compassionate care is always confidential.

  • Here’s How Gynecologists Cope with Cramps

    During your period, your uterine muscles contract in order to shed the lining of the uterus. This causes the pain of menstrual cramps. Some women barely notice them, while others feel incapacitated by them. Since you shouldn’t have to suffer through the pain, and because severe menstrual pain may indicate a medical problem, you should make an appointment with your gynecologist. The doctor may recommend hormonal birth control, if you aren’t already using it. Hormonal birth control pills lessen cramping by thinning the uterine lining, which means there’s less of it to shed.

    If hormonal birth control doesn’t do enough for you, or you’d rather avoid it, try heat therapy. Gynecologists recommend keeping a heating pad nearby during that time of the month. Additionally, avoid salty foods, since dehydration can worsen the cramping. You could also try taking an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) shortly before you usually get cramps.

    Washington Surgi-Clinic is a trusted provider of gynecology services for women in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas. You can request an appointment by calling (202) 659-9403.

  • Hear Why April Chose Pregnancy Termination

    Women often find that the decision to have an abortion is a gut-wrenching one, especially when they desperately wanted to become mothers. When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear about April’s experience with abortion. She and her husband went through many cycles of fertility treatments to become pregnant.

    Initially, their son tested negative for common birth defects. At 18 weeks, an anatomy scan revealed a lethal diagnosis of skeletal dysplasia. It would prevent him from living longer than a few minutes. Had April been forced to carry her baby to term, she would have experienced the agony of holding her son as he died, knowing that he was in pain. April decided to share her story because she believes women should have the right to control their own reproduction and because she wants to break down the stereotypes about pregnancy termination.

    Washington Surgi-Clinic is a warm, welcoming place where women can receive thoughtful and personalized guidance . Call (202) 659-9403 to request a consult for pregnancy termination in Washington, D.C.

  • Non-Hormonal Birth Control Options

    Most birth control methods rely on hormones to trigger changes in the body that inhibit the fertilization of an egg or the implantation of a fertilized egg. But some women have health issues or concerns that discourage them from choosing hormonal birth control. Talk to your gynecologist about your options. He or she can recommend some appropriate choices, based on your health history, preferences, and lifestyle.


    Condoms are the barrier method of choice for many couples, and gynecologists recommend them because they protect individuals from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as well as unintended pregnancies. Even when couples do rely on hormonal birth control, doctors recommend using a condom too. The downside is that condoms aren’t 100% effective. Tiny rips in the latex can allow sperm transfer. Condoms can also interfere with sexual spontaneity, and if condoms aren’t readily available, couples may engage in unprotected sex.

    Copper IUD

    Another non-hormonal option for women is the copper intrauterine device (IUD). This is a tiny device that your gynecologist can insert into your uterus. It can stay there for up to 10 years, at which time you may choose to replace it or use a different birth control method. The copper IUD isn’t right for every woman, but for many, it’s a convenient, safe choice that doesn’t raise the risk of hormone-related side effects, like blood clots. Less than 1% of women who use this particular IUD will conceive within the first year of use , according to The Mayo Clinic. If this occurs, there is a high risk of ectopic pregnancy. However, the overall risk of ectopic pregnancy with the copper IUD is less compared to the risk for women who don’t use birth control.


    The diaphragm is another barrier method. A gynecologist must prescribe and fit it, and it should be used with spermicide. This silicone cup needs to remain in place for six hours after sex, but it cannot be left in place longer than 24 hours. Some women report vaginal irritation with it. The diaphragm doesn’t protect couples from STDs, and it has a relatively high failure rate.

    The gynecologists at Washington Surgi-Clinic guide women in making informed decisions regarding birth control methods. Call (202) 659-9403 to schedule an appointment. We also offer STD testing and morning-after pills in Washington, D.C.

  • Nutrition and Food Safety Facts for Recently Diagnosed HIV Patients

    Gynecologists recommend routine HIV testing for women and men, as early detection facilitates early treatment. Living with HIV isn’t easy, but thanks to medical advances, life with this disease can be better and longer than ever. Taking your medications as prescribed is just one component of your treatment plan. Your immune system needs you to follow a healthy diet, and to take precautions to prevent foodborne illnesses.

    Nutrition-Related Issues

    Talk to your doctor about any problems you’re having with your meal plan. Several challenges may affect HIV patients, including related infections that inhibit normal eating and swallowing. Metabolic changes can trigger weight gain or loss. Additionally, HIV medicine may cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. All of these issues can make it more difficult for you to eat well, but your doctor can help you. Don’t delay scheduling an appointment if you experience these complications, especially if you begin to unintentionally lose weight.

    Important Nutrients

    Patients with HIV need the same nutrients that everyone else does for good health. However, since you may have problems eating enough due to HIV-related complications, it’s even more important that the food you do eat is nutrient-dense. Consider talking with a registered dietician to make sure your meal plan includes sufficient amounts of:

    • Protein
    • Healthy fats
    • Vitamins and minerals
    • Complex carbohydrates

    Remember to drink plenty of water throughout each day.

    Food Safety Precautions

    HIV patients are highly susceptible to contracting infections, since HIV attacks the immune system. In other words, you’re more vulnerable to foodborne illnesses than the average person without HIV. Protect yourself by taking the following precautions.

    • Never eat raw or undercooked foods (including raw cookie dough and homemade mayonnaise)
    • Avoid unpasteurized dairy products
    • Cook all meat, poultry, and seafood to its safe internal temperature
    • Avoid raw sprouts
    • Refrigerate perishable foods promptly
    • Wash hands before and after preparing food
    • Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods
    • Use separate cutting boards for raw meat products and all other ingredients

    Remember to follow basic precautions when dining out and socializing. Don’t be shy about asking whether meat is well-done or if the milk is pasteurized. When traveling, consume bottled water.

    You can receive confidential HIV testing in Washington, D.C. if there’s a possibility that you’re at risk of this infection. Washington Surgi-Clinic is committed to maintaining the strict confidentiality of each of our valued patients. Call (202) 659-9403.

  • What Not to Do Before Your Pap Test

    Gynecologists recommend getting a pap test on a routine basis to screen for changes of the cervix that may indicate cancer or pre-cancerous abnormalities. Your doctor will let you know how often you should schedule these wellness appointments. Try to avoid scheduling your pap test for the week of your period.

    There is little preparation required, but your gynecologist will need you to avoid sexual intercourse for two days prior to the exam. You should also avoid using any vaginal products for the same time period. These include medications, douches, and creams. Avoid spray, powder, lubrication, and suppository products as well. If you do get your period before your exam, use sanitary pads instead of tampons for 48 hours prior. When you arrive at the clinic, don’t forget to visit the ladies’ room. A full bladder will make the exam more uncomfortable.

    Women are invited to call Washington Surgi-Clinic at (202) 659-9403 to request an appointment. Pap tests are one of the many gynecology services we provide in Washington, D.C.

  • Here’s What Bill Nye Says About Pregnancy Termination

    Few issues are quite as polarizing as a woman’s reproductive healthcare rights. In this featured video, renowned scientist Bill Nye urges viewers to learn about the science of reproduction in order to develop better informed views. In his opinion, abortion is a personal decision to be made by a woman with the guidance of her doctor.

    Bill Nye also addresses the commonly held belief that life begins at fertilization. Actually, countless fertilized eggs are naturally passed out of women’s bodies, without ever attaching to the uterine lining.

    Washington Surgi-Clinic is a respectful, compassionate place for women to receive reproductive healthcare services . Call (202) 659-9403 to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist if you’re thinking about getting an abortion near Washington, D.C.

  • IUD Insertion: What’s It Really Like?

    Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are very small, slender medical implants that can be placed into the uterus to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The IUD is a birth control method that is becoming more commonly requested at gynecology clinics, but it isn’t necessarily the best choice for every woman. Talk to your gynecologist about your health history and preferences before making an informed decision. If you do choose to get an IUD, it will be non-surgically inserted by your gynecologist during a normal office visit.

    What to Know Before You Go

    Your gynecologist may give you some advice on preparing for the insertion . Know that it can be an uncomfortable process, and some women do experience pain. However, it only takes a few minutes to insert the IUD. To minimize your discomfort, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever before your appointment. Your doctor might prescribe a medication intended to dilate the cervix, which can help make the procedure more comfortable and easier for you. Bring a sanitary pad to your appointment, as some bleeding can occur.

    What to Expect During the Insertion

    After you change into a gown, you’ll be asked to lie on the exam table and place your feet on the stirrups—exactly as though you’d be having a cervical cancer screening. A speculum is inserted, and then a special device is used to insert the IUD into your vagina, through the cervix, and into the uterus.

    What to Do Afterward

    It’s common to experience cramping, which can be fairly intense for some women. Although some women feel fine driving themselves home afterward, you might want to bring a friend with you, just in case. Rest at home with a heating pad for the remainder of the day. It’s normal to have some light bleeding or spotting for a few days afterward, so have a few extra sanitary pads on hand.

    The IUD is one of many birth control methods available in Washington, D.C. At Washington Surgi-Clinic, our gynecologists take the time to thoroughly counsel each of our patients about their reproductive healthcare options. Request an appointment by calling our friendly office staff at (202) 659-9403.