ACOG’s 2018 Annual Meeting Recap
Hello everyone! I’ve recently returned from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)’s annual meeting in Austin, TX and I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you some of the things I learned through their professional development seminars and hands-on practical workshops.
About the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
I’m proud to be a member of ACOG as it’s the premier professional organization dedicated to the improvement of women’s health. Founded in 1951, ACOG has more than 58,000 members from around the globe, and the organization produces best practice guidelines and other educational materials for doctors.
In addition to providing professional development opportunities for OB-GYNs, ACOG also offers a robust selection of videos and educational materials designed for patients. These are excellent, trustworthy resources that can be used to start discussions with your doctor during your annual Well Woman Exam or check-in appointment. Topics range from preparing for your annual exam to the Zika virus (and every letter of the alphabet in-between!) Visit their website at https://www.acog.org/Patients to see their extensive list and be sure to speak with us during your next appointment about any questions or concerns you may have.
ACOG’s Annual Meeting
While I attended numerous workshops throughout the conference, my “top three” favorite sessions covered topics of great importance and interest to the patients I see every day at A Woman’s Healing Center (you!). These topics are endometriosis, breastfeeding, and postpartum care.
Here’s a video summary of key takeaways from ACOG’s Annual Meeting; additional information below.
The latest standards in endometriosis diagnosis and treatment were presented for ACOG Annual Meeting attendees. Endometriosis is an often painful disorder where the tissue that lines the inside of the endometrium (the inside of the uterus) begins to grow outside the uterus.
Why Endometriosis is Concerning
This displaced tissue acts as it should — it becomes thick, and then breaks apart and bleeds with each monthly period. Because it is unable to leave the body (due to its location outside of the uterus), this build-up of tissue can cause pain, especially during the menstrual cycle.
When endometriosis affects the ovaries, cysts may form, and the surrounding area can become irritated, resulting in scar tissue and adhesions that can stick to the pelvic tissues and organs. In either form, endometriosis can impact your ability to conceive a child and carry it to term.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Pelvic pain is the primary symptom of endometriosis, especially if it’s pain associated with your monthly period. You may also have abdominal or lower back pain, pain during or after sex, or painful urination or bowel movements. You may also experience occasional heavy periods or bleeding between periods.
Some women with advanced endometriosis may experience minimal amounts of pain, while other women with mild endometriosis experience intense pain. The severity of the diagnosis is not always indicative of the level of discomfort a woman will experience.
Fortunately, treatment options are improving every year, and women no longer need to suffer from pelvic pain from endometriosis. At A Woman’s Healing Center we follow the Gold Standard guidelines set out by ACOG for diagnosis, treatment, and pain management so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands!
If you’re having pelvic discomfort, you can call our office at (970) 419-1111 to schedule an appointment with me or one of our other Fort Collins OB-GYNs. We’ll partner with you to identify the cause and create a treatment plan that works!
At the ACOG Annual Meeting, I had the opportunity to learn a lot more about breastfeeding, a new area that I am working to expand my knowledge in. Research studies continue to show the benefits of breastfeeding for both women and their newborns.
Current Breastfeeding Recommendations
ACOG recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, and if possible, breastfeeding along with the introduction of foods through the child’s first year. Breastfeeding after the first year is supported when it is mutually desired by the mother and her baby. Any amount of breastmilk that you can provide to your baby has immense benefits!
ACOG makes a variety of educational materials available to help OB-GYNs help their patients to achieve their breastfeeding goals. There are also patient-focused breastfeeding resources available on the ACOG website here.
At A Woman’s Healing Center, we are here to support your breastfeeding relationship from your baby’s first day until weaning. We have a number of these resources available in our office as well as on our website (click here for AWHC’s breastfeeding resources).
A big focus of this year’s annual meeting was improving postpartum care in America. You may have seen news articles about this.
ACOG stands behind the medical studies that show how the events (medical, physical, emotional, psychological) that occur during pregnancy can affect a woman’s health throughout her life.
Integrating prenatal care and postpartum care is essential especially with conditions such as hypertensive disorders. The use of enhanced screening measures, as well as identifying at-risk patients and educating patients and their family members, is essential for long-term health and well-being for both mother and her baby.
At A Woman’s Healing Center we take a holistic approach to women’s healthcare and that includes postpartum care. I was excited to see a large emphasis placed on this by ACOG.
Wrapping It All Up
Overall, attending the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)’s annual meeting is always a great experience and learning opportunity. At A Woman’s Healing Center we strive to always provide the best, most up-to-date gynecological and obstetrics care, and to stay on top of new research and standards through participation in continuing education opportunities.
In addition to providing continuing education, ACOG’s Annual Meeting is also a fun event – I was able to met up with two other doctors with whom I was a resident at the University of Connecticut.
I hope you’ve found this recap as interesting and useful as I found the annual meeting! Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions and don’t hesitate call us and schedule an appointment if you need support in one of the areas described above.