Toxic Chemicals During Pregnancy

Decreasing the Exposure for Your Baby

Julie Dohr MDby Julie Dohr, MD

The US Environmental Protection Agency has a chemical inventory of over 10,000 chemicals.  To focus efforts on reducing exposure of ones that could affect your baby’s brain development, Project TENDR (Targeting Environmental Neuro-Developmental Risk) was started.  

Possible potential toxic chemicals: 

  • Organophosphate pesticide (OP) - found as residues on some foods, and pesticides used at home
  • Polybrominated dephenyl ether (PBDE) - Found in house dust (old foam furniture), and in plastics for electronics and some fatty foods

  • Combustion-related air pollutants - Air pollution

  • Lead - In older homes and water and soil and in some ethnic products such as herbal remedies.
  • Mercury - Found in fish (usually larger fish
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) - found in foods, some fish (bottom feeders), meat and dairy products.

  • Phthalates - found in plastics


Tdap Vaccination In Pregnancy

Helpful to Your Baby and Studies Confirm it’s Safe

Julie Dohr MDby Julie Dohr, MD

Numerous studies have looked at Tdap vaccination in pregnancy. This vaccine is given in your third trimester to help prevent pertussis in your baby after delivery. The vaccine boosts your immune system and those antibodies cross the placenta so the baby has them as a newborn.

Many people are worried about a relationship between autism and vaccines. A study was performed to follow babies who were born to moms who were vaccinated during pregnancy. This was a very large study – over 80,000 children were followed. After following the children up until age 6, the risk of autism was actually slightly less in the children whose moms were vaccinated.

We strongly recommend vaccinating against the flu and pertussis during your pregnancy. Ask us about it at your next visit.


Cancer prevention/early detection screening offered at Novas, Dohr, Coll & Gadson Ob/Gyn Associates!


By Jeanne Novas, MD 

I recently attended a University of Chicago sponsored Genetics conference with the goal to improve early cancer detection and prevention. Thanks to changes in insurances and pre-existing conditions, and a Supreme Court ruling denying patent rights to lab companies, genetic testing is now affordable and may be covered by insurance. It also may change your health care management of menopause and cancer screening. 

Family history of breast, brain, thyroid, colon, uterine, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic cancer, infertility, and multiple myeloma are a few cancers and patient histories that may increase your risk. Knowing your testing for currently 64 different genes may increase early detection and prevention of these cancers, for you and your family.


Orilissa™ for Endometriosis

Julie Dohr MDby Julie Dohr, MD

Do you have pelvic pain, bad menstrual cramps or pain with intercourse?  Do you think you may have endometriosis?  There is a new drug that is very successful in treating endometriosis and its not a shot!  It is called Orilissa™, and is a daily pill. It has less side effects than some of the other drugs used to treat endometriosis. 

Make an appointment with us to discuss the treatment options.  You do not have to live in pain.


Vaginal Health and Menopause


By Jeanne Novas, MD 

In menopause, patients often experience vaginal dryness with intercourse, pain with intercourse, urinary urgency, incontinence and vaginitis due to the vaginal dryness and atrophy caused by lack of estrogen. Sex drive can be lowered just because of the pain that can occur with vaginal dryness in intercourse.

Many of us need to treat vaginal dryness in order to prevent urinary symptoms, vaginitis and to continue having a satisfying sex life.

Many over-the-counter treatments can at least give lubrication:

  • Coconut oil
  • Replens®
  • Neo-gyn® cream — also may help repair tissue

More effective prescription medications given vaginally add estrogen directly to the vagina without being absorbed throughout your body, with the only side effect of increased vaginal discharge. There is no risk of cancer or systemic side effects. The FDA still labels these medications with “risks”, and various organizations are trying to have these warnings removed after extensive research has demonstrated their safety. Patients who have breast cancer may not be able to use these products. Here are the products available:


What is " Vaginal Rejuvenation"?

Julie Dohr MDby Julie Dohr, MD

Dryness and pain with intercourse affects women in menopause due to the loss of estrogen in the vaginal area.

Companies are promoting laser therapy to treat this problem.  Laser therapy has shown to improve collagen and blood flow to the area and may be promising, however we don't know what the risks are to patients.  The FDA issued a safety warning in 2018, as there are not enough studies to show that there is no harm to women.

At this point, we at Novas, Dohr, Coll & Gadson Ob/Gyn Associates recommend vaginal estrogen, oral osphena and vaginal DHEA help diminish these symptoms.  Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss what option is best for you.

We will continue to follow the newest data and update our patients!


Coordination of Primary Care


By Jeanne Novas, MD 

A recent study shows poor coordination of primary care in the US, twice as high as in other countries. This is thought to be due to the growing use of “institutions” to provide care, as opposed to a personal physician who knows you and your history. Another reason we encourage annual check-ups for our patients, and diagnose and treat many general medical conditions, often earlier than the general doc. And if you ask us about your 16 year old daughter who is having trouble with their cycles, that's OK too.

We are here for you and your family, and we encourage continuity of care, including emergencies. Be wary of those practices being “bought out” by larger institutions or those who use other groups for coverage. They will not follow through in that time of need – and ordered services are often ordered through the hospital and thus more expensive.

Keep your annual visit with Novas, Dohr, Coll & Gadson Ob/Gyn Associates, and keep your doctor for better continuity of care.

– Jeanne Novas MD



Delivery at 39 weeks is better!

 By Jeanne Novas, MD 

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine strongly supports getting delivered at 39 weeks, even if your cervix is not so dilated.  After hearing so many negatives on “Pitocin,” and online medical sources promoting midwives and even home births, we now have good support that medical intervention and active management of your pregnancy promotes less complications, less cesareans, and better outcomes for baby as well.

We have offered that to our patients, despite some pushback from “online medicine”  and supporters of "Natural” childbirth.  Now we have even more evidence to support 39 week delivery.  We individualize your care, so be sure to talk to your doctor about this if you find yourself still pregnant at 39 and 40 weeks!

– Jeanne Novas, MD


New Recommendation Regarding Fish Consumption For Pregnant Women and Young Children

By Jeanne Novas, MD 

The FDA and EPA just came out with a new recommendation regarding fish consumption for pregnant women and young children. Eating fish is the only PROVEN beneficial source of DHA, for those of us who try supplements as a second choice.

It is recommended that pregnant women AND young children eat 2-3 servings per week of the following fish: shrimp, pollock, salmon, canned light tuna, tilapia, catfish and cod.

Fish to be AVOIDED due to high mercury levels are: tilefish, shark, swordfish, orange roughy, big eye tuna, marlin and king mackerel.

Fish consumption has been shown to be beneficial in neural development, as long as fish high in mercury are avoided.

We urge our patients at Novas, Dohr, Coll & Gadson Ob/Gyn Associates to follow these recommendations.


Patient Wait Times

 By Jeanne Novas, MD 

We at Novas, Dohr, Coll & Gadson Ob/Gyn Associates work very hard to keep our patients’ wait times to a minimum.  We combine services such as ultrasounds, bone scans, dietician consults, medications and blood draws together with the doctor visit for patient convenience.

However, we also have many emergency visits, and sometimes patients who just need a bit more time unexpectedly.  As OBGYNs, we are here 24/7 for our patients.  We strive to provide the most thorough and compassionate care, and do it in a timely manner.  Sometimes, that may mean a delay.


Let Us Help You Track Your Endometriosis Pelvic Pain

Julie Dohr MDby Julie Dohr, MD

The burden of endometriosis affects a woman's livelihood. Studies show that women with pelvic pain from endometriosis may lose a quarter of their work week. If you are unable to go to work because of pelvic pain during your period and other times of your cycle, it may be due to endometriosis. The pain may be so severe that it is difficult to get out of bed, let alone go to work and be productive. In 2010, US endometriosis patients were hospitalized for 105,123 days for their disease.

1 out of 3 patients have a hard time expressing how much pain they are in.

If you experience: severe cramps at the time of your period, pelvic pain at other times of the cycle, or pain with intercourse, you could have endometriosis.

These symptoms can disrupt work and home lives and contribute to emotional suffering.

Please talk to one of your doctors about your pain and we can help pinpoint the cause.