What you may not know to ask your gynecologist
Many women assume pains and annoyances that come with monthly periods or menopause are something they simply need to tolerate. But if any woman has a new or worsening issue that is affecting her quality of life, it should be brought up to her doctor during an annual exam.
Some women worry a change in their menstrual cycle or pain could be associated with a serious or untreatable illness like cancer, says Dr. Marsha Bornt with Apple Hill Gynecology in York, Pa. Others simply think they can’t do anything about the symptoms.
“It seems that many women think issues such as bad cramps or heavy periods are just part of being a woman,” Dr. Bornt says.
But many health issues can be cared for through medication and other treatment, and mentioning those issues to your doctor is important in case they’re linked to a disease that could impact fertility or other future health.
When should I talk to my doctor about pain?
Some cramping is normal during a woman’s period, but a gynecologist should be consulted if cramping arises outside of menstruation or is excessive.
Pain can cause a dip in quality of life, especially for preteens and teenagers who are still getting used to their cycle. Dr. Bornt says that when girls are not able to participate in activities like sports because of their symptoms, she looks at ways to improve their quality of life.
Especially in teenagers, gynecologists should be vigilant in checking for underlying causes of excessive pain and bleeding, such as conditions like endometriosis, a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.
Because teenagers often don’t know the amount of pain and bleeding that is normal for their cycle, it’s the responsibility of parents and doctors to pay attention to symptoms.
Endometriosis affects an estimated six to 10 percent of female Americans of reproductive age, or 5 million people in the United States, according to the National Institute of Health. However, the actual number of affected women is likely to be much higher because endometriosis is vastly underdiagnosed, Dr. Bornt says.
It’s important to mention these symptoms to your doctor so she can not only manage them but can properly diagnose the disease or issue associated with them, Dr. Bornt says. Diseases like endometriosis can have impacts on future fertility.
“If not picked up when the patient is a teenager, it can go on to cause infertility, and that patient might choose to have children earlier than initially planned,” Dr. Bornt says. “It’s important to get[symptoms under control and caught early.”
Is bleeding a normal part of being a woman?
In addition to pain, bleeding is the other common issue Dr. Bornt hears about from patients at her York, Pa., gynecologist office. The birth control pill was originally created to help women treat pain and excessive bleeding during menstruation and is often what doctors continue to prescribe to patients.
Although some women of reproductive age may have a heavier monthly period than others, women should let a doctor know if their flow gets heavier over time. This could be a sign of a treatable medical condition like polyps or hormonal imbalances.
Many issues evolve over time, and Dr. Bornt asks her patients to compare any issues to how they felt 10 years ago. Often, women don’t realize things are getting worse because they happen so gradually.
Women should also speak to their doctors if they have bleeding or spotting outside of their period. Post-menopausal women should never have any vaginal bleeding or spotting and should consult their doctor if this ever happens, Dr. Bornt says.
Can anything help my hot flashes?
Common menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes can often be treated by medication. Just because this change of life is associated with uncomfortable adjustments doesn’t mean those symptoms can’t be treated, Dr. Bornt says.
“Women accept it as normal,” she says. “But they don’t have to live with it. This is a quality of life issue, and we want women to be able to sleep and go through their daily activities.”
With all symptoms and issues women may have, Dr. Bornt and her staff of gynecologists at Apple Hill Gynecology in York want to make sure their patients have an open line of communication to help their patients live their best lives.
“Feel free to mention anything that seems different or abnormal,” she says. “I know I can help my patients best when I have a good understanding of how they feel.”
York gynecologist’s trips to Ghana offer relief to thousands of women
Dr. Marsha Bornt knows how most women feel about visiting the gynecologist. At her York Township gynecology practice, she strives to make her patients feel comfortable no matter how routine the procedure.
More than 5,000 miles away in Africa, women face much different health problems.
“I have never seen anything in the U.S. like the patients I see in Ghana,” she says.
That’s why Dr. Bornt has taken 14 trips there since 2007, performing life-changing surgeries to thousands of women. And her goal overseas is the same as it is at Apple Hill Gynecology: Give women the care they deserve.
Waiting for help
Developing countries like Ghana often have only one doctor who treats entire communities.
When Dr. Bornt first started traveling to Apam – a small, coastal town on the west side of the continent just north of the equator – there was no gynecologist at the local hospital.
“Some of these women have waited years to even meet someone capable of performing surgeries,” Dr. Bornt says.
One of the most common procedures needed there is a hysterectomy, which is a surgery to remove all of the uterus. The operation alleviates painful periods, helps with excessive bleeding or provides comfort when the uterus has shifted after childbirth.
Many of the women in Apam requiring help have massive fibroid tumors, some of them so large that the women look pregnant with twins or triplets.
In the United States, it’s relatively easy for a woman to get a hysterectomy.
“In Ghana, these women don’t have a choice but to carry the tumor until someone comes to help them,” Dr. Bornt says. “They truly feel relief, joy, comfort – so many emotions – in knowing it’s gone.”
Sanitation and hygiene
Dr. Bornt’s service in Ghana doesn’t end in the operating room.
As a longtime member and past president of the Rotary Club of York, Dr. Bornt strives to live by the organization’s mission of “service above self.”
With more than 35,000 clubs around the world, Dr. Bornt’s Rotary connection put her in touch with the Rotary Club of Apam, where a water, sanitation, and hygiene project has become the local focus.
Because Apam lacks proper sanitation facilities, toilets, and clean water, the Rotary clubs felt the easiest way to teach young children about the importance of toilets and handwashing was to put toilets and showers in the Salvation Army Primary School and Junior High School.
Committed to service
Dr. Bornt says her service to those in Apam reflects the whole reason she got into medicine more than 40 years ago.
“I feel that we have so much in the United States, and along with that comes a responsibility to share it and to train others,” she says. “You gain much more than you give.”
Her stories about the service trips she’s taken focus on other people – the people who live in Ghana, the team she works with and those who donate money to help their cause.
“She is utterly committed to service,” says the Rev. Patrick Rooney, the president of the Rotary Club of York. “And she does it in a self-effacing way.”
Jean Ayers understands why some women struggle to be confident in their sexuality or comfortable in their bodies.
“Our society makes it difficult for so many women to talk openly about their bodies or to even take the time to care for themselves,” says Jean, a Certified Physician Assistant at Apple Hill Gynecology in the Apple Hill Medical Center. “It shouldn’t be that way. Women deserve a safe place to speak freely and receive care.”
As the newest addition to the gynecologist office in York, Pa., Jean wants women of all ages to be comfortable with coming to their doctor’s office.
“We experience a lot of body-shaming in our culture,” Jean says. “Being comfortable in one’s skin is important, and sometimes patients avoid the doctor because they are not comfortable.”
Individual health needs
Patients come to Apple Hill Gynecology in York for various female health concerns, says Jean, who joined the practice in January.
Many women are unaware that issues such as uncomfortable menstrual cycles or painful sexual experiences are often successfully treated by a medical professional. The practice also provides solutions for older women experiencing menopausal symptoms.
Apple Hill Gynecology’s medical staff is well-equipped and wants to help females learn about their individual health needs.
“It’s important to have an environment where women can have meaningful conversations with medical professionals without shame, fear or embarrassment,” Jean says.
Helping women of all ages
Having spent three years in a family practice before coming to Apple Hill Gynecology, Jean is following her dream to pursue specialty medicine in gynecology.
She sees multiple patients for consultations during the day, which usually include annual exams, contraceptive inquiries, Pap smears and minor outpatient surgical procedures.
Jean strives to teach basic reproductive health to teenagers and young adults so they can learn about sexuality without being ashamed or scared.
In turn, many older adults can neglect their health because they are busy taking care of aging parents or young children. Jean wants to provide guidance for these women who may have questions or need care after prioritizing their family’s health over their own.
Finding her niche
Before becoming a physician assistant, Jean practiced as a clinical psychologist and professor for 17 years.
She returned to school in 2008 to train for the next chapter in her career, which would take her from Baltimore County in Maryland to York County.
“In cities like Washington, D.C., or Baltimore, there are specialists on every corner,” she says. “In rural and town areas, there aren’t as many gynecological resources. We end up being a conduit for people, and I’m excited to have that opportunity.”
A safe space for patients
Jean strives to bring personal care to every woman who walks through the doors of the practice, creating a safe space for patients to voice fears, concerns and thoughts about their health.
Along with Dr. Marsha Bornt and a team of caring professionals at the York gynecologist practice, Jean cares for the diverse demographic of women from York County and the surrounding area, creating a secure space for all women regardless of their age or background.
“It’s important for women to take care of their gynecological health,” Jean says. “I’m really excited to be part of a team that provides that.”
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Our practice has been chosen for Patient Choice Award 3 times and most recently as a Top 10 Doctor:
Dr. Marsha Bornt Selected For Top 10 Doctor Award
To be honored as a Top 10 Doctor, Dr. Bornt:
- was selected from among a significant number of highly-rated physicians practicing the same specialty within a neighborhood
- ranked in the top ten among eligible physicians practicing the same specialty within a neighborhood
- has an active medical license and no sanctions
Dr. Marsha Bornt Selected For Patients' Choice Award 2011
Dr. Marsha Bornt of York, PA has been ranked among the top physicians in the nation based on patient reviews.
York, PA (PR NewsWire) October 25, 2012-- A select few physicians were honored with the prestigious 2011 Patients' Choice Award, and this year they include Dr. Marsha Bornt.
Only doctors who have received top scores by their patients and pass other quality measures are awarded the Patients' Choice Award. In fact, of the nation's 720,000 active physicians, just 5 percent were accorded this honor in 2011.
Every month, millions of patients across the U.S. access websites like Vitals (http://www.vitals.com) to share feedback about their experiences with their doctors. Patients rate various components of the care they receive, such as the accuracy of their diagnosis, the amount of time they spent with the doctor, and the doctor's bedside manner and follow-up care. Patient's Choice ranks the top reviewed physicians and looks at other quality measures to compile its yearly list.
Dr. Marsha Bornt commented on the recognition: "This is quite an honor for me. I am very pleased to have been selected and grateful to my patients who went out of their way to rate me and give me positive reviews."
For more information on this Patients' Choice Award winner, please visit Dr. Marsha Bornt's profile on PatientsChoice.
Following the publication of Dr. Marsha Bornt's selection for the Patients' Choice Award, American Registry seconded the honor and added Dr. Bornt to The Registry™ of Business Excellence. An exclusive recognition plaque has been designed to commemorate the honor. The doctor's custom wall plaque is shown here.
For more information on Dr. Marsha Bornt, located in York, PA please call 717-741-0857.
This press release was written by American Registry, LLC with approval by and/or contributions from Dr. Bornt and was distributed by PR NewsWire, a subsidiary of UBM plc.
Patients' Choice provides in depth information on doctors in your area who have been recognized and awarded for outstanding patient care and expertise. The Patients' Choice Award is the honor roll of physicians who have received the highest ratings by their patients.
American Registry, LLC, recognizes excellence in top businesses and professionals. The Registry™ includes over 2 million significant business and professional recognitions. For more information, search The Registry at http://www.americanregistry.com.