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Connection specialist, patient and new mom


In 2012 I started my job as a connection specialist, which allows me the opportunity to help our community get properly matched with great health care. I was able to use my job skills to match myself with excellent health care in 2014 when I became pregnant!

I’ll never forget the moment I found out I was pregnant. I had visited my OBGYN with complaints of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. I thought I was starting early menopause, and I laughed when the nurse asked if I was pregnant. But sure enough, the pregnancy test came back positive. I couldn’t believe that at 40 I could be pregnant again!

It took a little bit to let everything soak in. All of the questions of the pregnancy process began to swim around in my mind: who would I choose as an OB and what were the steps I needed to take to make sure both baby and I stayed healthy? Finding out you’re pregnant is an exciting time but very overwhelming time, no matter what your age. Thankfully, Affinity has a whole team of experts to guide moms-to-be, partners and your baby along the journey.

This is where I, as a connection specialist, became a patient again. Only you can decide what the most important considerations are for you. Before you choose a provider, your connection specialist will ask the following questions about: Continue Reading »

Signs and symptoms of menopause


Menopause can be an uncomfortable time, and for some an uncomfortable topic, but this normal, natural process is just one more phase of women’s lives. While it does mean the end of fertility, it certainly does not mean the end of an active, healthy lifestyle as a woman. Signs, which are mainly related to lowered levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, can be both physical and mental.

Menopause begins 12 months after a woman’s final menstrual period, which typically happens during a woman’s 40s or 50s. However, women can begin experiencing signs of menopause while still menstruating; this is called perimenopause and occurs in the months or years before menstruation ends. Signs include:

Irregular periods. Leading up to the end of menstruation, most women do not have a period on a regular monthly schedule, and the periods they do have may be heavier or lighter than usual, with occasional spotting. Since pregnancy is still possible during perimenopause, it is important to test for pregnancy if you are unsure if you’re transitioning into menopause. A missed period without pregnancy may be an indicator of perimenopause, but can also occur with physical or emotional stress, thyroid dysfunction, etc.
Vaginal dryness and more urinary tract infections (UTIs). Signs of vaginal dryness include stinging or burning, itching around the vulva and pain or light bleeding during sexual activity. It can occur at any age, but in perimenopause it is related to the lowered levels of estrogen and progesterone that signal menopause. This dryness can be soothed with a water-based lubricant or physician-approved vaginal moisturizer. Decreased estrogen and progesterone also account for more instances of UTIs due to a lack of hormonal influence on the urethral lining and may be characterized by a persistent urge to urinate or a burning sensation when urinating. Continue Reading »

5 reasons to attend No sweat, keep your cool: A menopause event

menopause eventOn Saturday Oct. 12, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bridgewood Conference Center in Neenah, Affinity providers are offering an informative and fun-filled day focused on taking control of menopausal symptoms. Not sure if you should go?

Here are the top five reasons you should attend this event:

  1. Hear from Affinity providers which symptoms are normal, and which ones you should talk to your provider about
  2. Learn about traditional and alternative approaches to control your menopausal symptoms
  3. Be in a safe environment to speak freely about menopause with people who understand
  4. Learn about weight gain and how to control it
  5. Get a chair massage and enjoy a pampering session from Affinity Integrative Medicine and Agea Spa and Salon

This is a great opportunity for perimenopausal and menopausal women to talk openly about menopause and share their experiences with each other. It’s a perfect time to create a strong relationship with your health care provider and learn more about the changes going on in your body.

If you’re nervous to come alone, call up your girlfriends and register together! To register, call 1-800-362-9900 or visit affinityhealth.org/menopause. The registration fee is $25.

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.