Engaged in Patient Experience
Engaged in Patient Experience
Caring for a woman and her baby through her pregnancy and her baby’s birth is exactly what we all love to do in our practice. We encourage you to be a partner in your pregnancy care by communicating your thoughts and concerns so that together we can develop your individualized birth plan. Our goal is to nurture your confidence in your ability to give birth as well as provide excellent and compassionate medical care. We are proud to offer choices in childbirth preparation and care. We support a wide range of options from natural childbirth to the use of anesthesia and IV pain medications, depending upon your preferences and labor situation. Cystic fibrosis, neural tube defect and Down’s Syndrome screening is available. For your convenience, fetal monitoring, state-of -the-art ultrasound services and blood draw services are available in our office. We also have a mental health specialist available in our office to help with any mental health or counseling needs that may come up. Our physicians coordinate and monitor the care of expectant women.We provide care through pregnancy, during childbirth and up to six weeks following birth as well as primary care and gynecologic care when outside of this time period. In addition to birth support, services include family planning and education. We welcome the opportunity to have a pre-conception visit to ensure that you are aware of actions you can take to optimize your health. Your initial visit includes an extended review of your health history so that we may identify key points that will optimize your pregnancy. A physical exam and blood tests may be done. Throughout your pregnancy, routine tests will be performed. To make the process as simple as possible for you, blood tests, ultrasounds, non-stress tests, and biophysical profiles can be performed conveniently in our office. Our obstetrical ultrasounds are generally read by Dr June Murphy who is a high-risk MFM OB doctor from Great Falls who also comes to our office on a regular basis to help with High Risk pregnancies as needed. In addition to uncomplicated pregnancies, we care for women with high-risk
pregnancies accompanied by medical complications. When it comes time for your delivery, we believe that the care and facilities at St. Peter’s Hospital are ideal. The Women’s and Children’s department provides an intimate setting with private LDRP (labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum) rooms so that the place you have your baby is the place you remain. You will rarely be shuffled from one room to another. A well-trained staff, 24- hour anesthesia services, an operating room and recovery room on the labor and delivery floor complete the picture.
Our providers provide health care for the entire spectrum of women’s health issues, including preventative care as well as diagnosis and treatment of more complex gynecological problems. Some gynecological services provided are: contraception care, breast exams, annual exams, infertility treatment, treatment of uterine prolapse and incontinence, treatment of menopausal issues, gynecologic surgeries including minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic assisted surgical procedures and management of menopausal issues. We are willing to discuss all the post-menopausal hormone replacement options and have the Mona Lisa Touch laser available to help with vaginal dryness and incontinence issues for women who either are unable to take estrogen to help these symptoms or would prefer not to take these medications. Annual exams: Annual exams are recommended for all women. Pap smears are performed on any women who are over the age of 21 every three years, if normal, and high-risk HPV testing is also standard depending on your age. A breast exam is part of the annual exam. We encourage monthly self-breast exams and are happy to teach patients how to do this exam properly. In women over the age of 40 or at high risk for breast cancer, we refer for screening mammograms. Colposcopy/LEEP: in the case of an abnormal pap smear, we often need to perform a colposcopy. This is a more in-depth exam of the cervix during which we may take biopsies of abnormal areas on cervix. This can be done in our office and does not require anesthesia. In some cases, a LEEP procedure may be required to remove high grade precancerous areas or persistently abnormal cells on the cervix. This is usually done in the office under local anesthesia. It can also be done in the operating room under general anesthesia if needed. Biopsies: Uterine biopsies may be indicated for various forms of irregular bleeding or ultrasound abnormalities of the uterus. This is an office procedure requiring no anesthesia. Biopsies of the vulvar or vaginal areas can be done under local anesthesia if indicated. Birth Control: We are happy to provide counseling for the growing variety of birth control options. We offer several hormonal contraceptive options including birth control pills, extended use pills, the patch, the NuvaRing, progesterone IUD’s and Depo Provera shots. We also perform IUD insertions and removal and we also have the non-hormonal copper IUD available if desired. If you are certain that you are done with child-bearing, we also offer sterilization procedures. STD screening and treatment: We offer counseling and screening for a variety of sexually transmitted diseases. We can prescribe treatment for most STD’s and we perform office cryotherapy for genital warts.
With over 30 years of surgical experience, the medical team at Helena OB/GYN Associates are certified in minimally invasive robotic surgery. Using the DaVinci surgery robot allows the surgeon to make tiny keyhole incisions to perform most types of major surgery, while a laparoscope provides amazing precision and a magnified view of the patient’s anatomy.
Helena OB/GYN & Associates is proud to offer TOTAL WOMEN’S HEALTH. Denise Smigaj, FNP, works with our Physicians to offer primary care services for women. We take pride in being your partner for your wellness. We offer a full spectrum of primary care services including diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, colds, flu and sinus infections, thyroid issues, bladder infections, annual exams, hypertension, cholesterol screening and treatment, diabetes management, weight-loss management, behavioral health including medical therapy and counseling in office. Let us be your partner in health!
Helena OB/GYN and Associates recognizes the need to provide our patients with integrated health support at all stages of life. We often see patients at key transition times in their lives such as onset of sexual activity, decisions about when and how to become a parent, transitions to parenthood, dealings with loss, menopause and more. Many women feel embarrassed and ashamed when they do not feel “joyful” during their journey to motherhood. Often, these struggles are not addressed due to an unnecessary stigma of getting help.
Helena OB/GYN is now pleased to announce the integration of behavioral health services conveniently located within our office. Our licensed therapist, Kristen Enblom is now available to provide evaluation, counseling, and treatment for many challenges that affect women, including perinatal mental health concerns, anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, relationship concerns, trauma, perinatal loss and bereavement. These transitions present opportunities to provide accessible, compassionate support and care benefiting individual’s and families’ everyday functioning and quality of life.
Pre-Conception Counseling – We review current medications, supplements and lifestyle factors in preparation for attempting pregnancy. We also review time line for attempting pregnancy with menstrual cycles and guidance as to when it is time to pursue infertility therapy.
Infertility Work Up – It is important to evaluate both partners with infertility testing since, 40% of infertility is female related, 40% is male related and the remaining 20% of infertility is considered to be unexplained. For females, we will review a panel of blood work along with ultrasound evaluation of the uterus for possible uterine/ovarian defects and antral follicle count (egg count). We also evaluate partner labs consisting of a semen analysis.
Uterine and Fallopian Tube Evaluation – One-third of the time infertility issues can be caused by problems with fallopian tube blockage or abnormalities of the uterine cavity. We therefore, order studies to evaluate fallopian tube patency. We can also perform a saline infusion ultrasound at the office to evaluate the uterine cavity for abnormalities which can cause infertility or miscarriages.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – PCOS is a common cause of infertility. PCOS is hormonal imbalance that can cause irregular menstrual cycles and immature ovarian follicles which, leads to difficulty in achieving pregnancy. With PCOS, there are also short term and long term health implications. In order to diagnose PCOS, we evaluate clinical symptoms, review laboratory results and ultrasound imaging.
Establish an Infertility Plan of Care – After reviewing all of the available data, an individualized infertility plan of care can then be created to help the patient to conceive. During infertility medication therapy, we closely monitor patients using our in-house ultrasound for patient safety and efficacy of the medications. This is a vital component and allows us to make sure the follicle count is appropriate with growth and response to medication. Often times medications need to be adjusted or new medications given to enhance the probability of a successful pregnancy.
Ovulation Induction – The use of specific medications to help with follicular development. This is combined with either timing intercourse or intrauterine insemination.
Counseling Services – Attempting conception can be a very frustrating experience. At Helena OB/GYN we also have a Certified Mental Health Specialist in our office to help with any emotional or psychological support that may be needed.
Referral – For specialized infertility treatments not available in Helena, occasionally, we may need to refer patients to a more advanced infertility treatment center for either injections or in-vitro fertilization. We have a very close relationship with multiple reproductive endocrinologists for these more advanced treatments.
Pregnancy Care – Once the patient is pregnant, our OB/GYN Physicians closely monitor and manage the pregnancy through birth.
Infertility Cost – The cost of infertility evaluation and treatment can vary significantly. Insurance companies rarely cover infertility services. It is our office policy that infertility services are paid by the patient at time of service. The patient is then able to submit claims to the insurance company for personal reimbursement. Our office does not submit infertility claims to insurances.
If you are calling for a prescription refill we ask that you call during office hours so your chart will be available to make sure your refill is the best course of treatment. Please also have the phone number of your pharmacy available at the time of your call.
In order to provide you with the best possible care, we need the most up-to-date information about you. If you are a new patient, or an established patient who has not visited our office within the past six months, we will need an updated registration form at your next appointment. Please be sure to come 15 minutes early to your appointment to fill our all necessary paperwork.
When you come in for your appointment, you may be asked to sign a release form authorizing us to submit billing information to your insurance company. Please remember to bring your insurance cards with you. Please feel free to ask any questions not answered here at the time of your appointment. We look forward to seeing you.
We participate with the majority of PPO’s and traditional insurance plans. We accept Medicare assignment and welcome new Medicaid patients to our practices. If you are not sure about our provider status with your insurance company, please check with our clinic at 442-1914 to verify we accept your insurance.