For more than 25 years, the OB/GYN physicians at Academy Women’s Healthcare Associates in Colorado Springs have been providing expert, compassionate, and mission-based women’s health care. Whether you need care for menstrual pain, fertility issues, pregnancy, or menopause symptoms, you can rely on our experienced, highly trained obstetricians and gynecologists to be there for you. Our OB/GYN physicians are committed to listening to you, and to providing personalized care throughout your life to help you achieve your best health.
At Academy Women’s Healthcare Associates, our obstetricians and gynecologists take pride in cultivating lifelong relationships, one patient at a time. We consider it our mission to provide women’s health care that combines medical expertise with empathy and compassion. We believe in partnering with each patient to provide care that benefits her physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Our OB/GYN doctors excel in all aspects of women’s health care, from well-woman checks to pregnancy care to menopause management. We are among the region’s most experienced OB/GYN surgeons performing minimally invasive and robotic gynecologic surgery. We are committed to providing the highest level of service to our patients and to the community. Many of our physicians donate their time to serve a variety of organizations and missions dedicated to improving the health and lives of the women in El Paso County and beyond.
At Academy Women’s Healthcare Associates, every member of our team — from our physicians, nurse practitioner, and triage nurses, to our front desk staff — considers it an honor to provide excellent, compassionate care to women of all ages. We offer comprehensive women’s health care at all ages and stages, including well-woman checks, family planning, prenatal and delivery care, and menopause management. We also offer gynecologic surgery, when needed, including minimally invasive robotic surgery for GYN conditions, including fibroids, incontinence, pelvic pain, endometriosis, and vaginal prolapse.
At Academy Women’s Healthcare Associates, we have been privileged to assist in bringing more than 32,000 babies into the world. We work with women from the moment they begin planning their pregnancy through delivery. We respect and honor women and their partners, and work with them to support the experience they choose.
From the first ultrasound, throughout your pregnancy, labor, and delivery, we are at your side helping you understand the changes your body and your baby are going through — and helping you make choices that ensure the healthiest experience possible for mom and baby.
Our OB/GYN doctors and nurses offer comprehensive physical and behavioral health services in our pregnancy care center, including:
- Family planning
- Fertility consultations
- Prenatal care
- Diagnostic testing
- Lab tests
- In-office ultrasounds
- Nutrition counseling and education
- Breastfeeding counseling/lactation consulting
- Postpartum care
We also provide specialized care for women experiencing pregnancy complications, including:
- Pregnancy with twins or triplets
- Premature labor and delivery
- Incompetent/short cervix
- Autoimmune disorders such as hypothyroidism, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
In addition, we work closely with the specialists at Southern Colorado Maternal Fetal Medicine, who are located in the same building, to care for women who have high-risk pregnancies.
When a baby comes into this world, it is one of God’s most miraculous events. We honor this time, and we will work with you to help achieve the birth experience you desire. At the same time, however, our foremost duty is to keep you and your baby safe. In the vast majority of deliveries, these two goals align. To support you, we offer the following:
- Unmedicated labor and delivery: We want this to be a special day for you, your partner, and your baby. Many women prefer the greater mobility and freedom of laboring without medication. We are happy to honor your wishes regarding pain relief and monitoring during labor and delivery — as long those choices remain safe for both you and your baby.
- Epidurals: When safe, we offer pain relief during labor through epidurals for women who request them.
- Cesarean section: Planned and emergency. We know from medical research — and from our own experience — that vaginal births are more beneficial to a newborn and mom. In some cases, however, a vaginal birth may jeopardize the health of the baby or the mother and we need to perform a C-section. We perform C-sections with the utmost caution, and we are proud to maintain an 11 percent C-section rate for first-time deliveries, compared with 28 percent statewide.
Our obstetricians support a woman’s choice to consider a trial of labor after a cesarean section, or TOLAC (also known as VBAC). However, TOLAC can have risks of its own. Your Academy Women’s Healthcare Associates obstetrician will work with you to evaluate your individual risks and benefits of attempting a TOLAC delivery. Generally, vaginal birth carries lower risk of infection, excessive bleeding, and complications of surgery. An individual woman’s chance of success can go up or down, depending on many factors that include:
- The reason for the initial C-section
- Interval time from her last C-section
- Her age at delivery
- If she is overweight or obese
- The type of incision made for the initial C-section
If your goal is a vaginal birth, your Academy Women’s Healthcare Associates obstetrician will sit down with you and carefully evaluate your personal risks and potential benefits, and help you make the decision that is best for your health and your baby’s.
As a woman, your gynecologic health needs change as you move through life. At Academy Women’s Healthcare Associates, we understand that, and we are committed to providing you with comprehensive women’s health care — from the first adolescent GYN visit through pregnancy to menopause and beyond. Whether you need gynecologic surgery, a menopause specialist to manage your symptoms, or simply an annual gynecologic exam, our compassionate and dedicated team of OBGYN doctors will work with you to provide comprehensive, expert care that fits you, and your life at every phase.
We provide a wide range of gynecology services, including treatment for:
- Irregular or heavy bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Breast health
- Urinary incontinence
- Ovarian cysts
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Pain with intercourse
- Menopausal/hormonal concerns
In addition to diagnostic testing and treatment for those gynecologic disorders, we offer Pap testing, in-office ultrasound, STI screening, and free pregnancy testing.
Your annual gynecological exam is an opportunity to check your health before problems arise, schedule preventive tests, and discuss any changes you may be experiencing. At a well-woman check, our OB/GYN specialists will perform a thorough physical exam, including a breast and pelvic exam. Much like with a primary care doctor, we also will monitor your heart, breathing, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Our goal is to identify any potential health problems and remedy them before they become major issues.
At Academy Women's Healthcare our gynecologists recommend that women have an annual/well-woman exam, which may include a Pap smear depending on the patient’s age and/or history, every year.
We may recommend Pap smears more often if you have a history of sexually transmitted infections, vaginal infections, cervical dysplasia, or a family history of cervical and other reproductive cancers. Other screening tests may be ordered depending on the patient’s individual history or risk factors.
The teenage years in a young woman’s life, can be marked by change and uncertainty. A young woman’s first gynecology visit is important and parents can help by noting it as a step toward adulthood and independence. We encourage you to considering making an appointment for your daughter in her mid-teens.
We find that scheduling the first visit before a teen girl needs a gynecologic exam allows the opportunity for us to build a relationship of trust. We use this visit as an opportunity for the teen patient to ask questions and bring up any concerns she might have.
Unless there are specific concerns to be addressed, that first visit will not include a physical exam. Rather, we discuss with a young woman common concerns among teens, such as menstrual pain and cramping, sexually transmitted diseases, smoking, vaping, emotional health, and eating disorders.
We recommend a woman receive her first full well-woman gynecologic exam at 21.
When hormones begin to change in midlife, it affects all aspects of a woman’s life, including physical, mental, and emotional health. Our gynecologists work closely with a woman to help her recognize and talk over signs of perimenopause (the period before menopause) so that we can help ease this transition. During and after menopause, our menopause experts evaluate a woman’s entire health, from physical changes such as weight gain, vaginal dryness, fatigue, and hot flashes to mental and emotional issues such as depression, mood swings, and mental fogginess. We also closely review a woman’s personal health history, family health history, and health risks, and incorporate those into our treatment plan.
Our gynecologists will discuss the use of hormone replacement therapy, as well as bioidentical hormones, and other treatments to help ease menopause symptoms. The decision to use hormone replacement therapy is based on a personalized health assessment as well as a woman’s thoughts on the issue. We provide every patient with the latest research-based information so that she can make an educated, informed decision about when, if, and for how long to use hormone replacement therapy.
In addition, we explore with each woman additional options to manage symptoms. Options may include estrogen patches or vaginal estrogen creams to address vaginal dryness. We also discuss alternatives to traditional HRT and individual care. For some women, antidepressants may help with mood swings and emotional challenges, while for others, journaling about their moods and feelings can be helpful.
Academy Women’s Healthcare Associates pioneered the use of minimally invasive techniques in Colorado Springs for a variety of gynecologic surgeries, and we are proud that physicians throughout the region look to us for guidance and training in these techniques.
Our leadership in these techniques reflects our commitment to offering our patients the most up-to-date and beneficial care. We know that our patients lead busy lives as working women, mothers, daughters, wives, and friends. And we understand that it’s important to get back to life as soon as possible after surgery. Minimally invasive robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery enables our surgeons to perform surgery using tiny 1- to 2-centimeter incisions, allowing for greater precision and control. Minimally invasive surgery reduces blood loss, lowers the risk of incision-site infection, reduces pain, and lessens recovery time — in many cases our patients are able to go home the following day. If minimally invasive surgery an option in your case we are able to offer:
- Myomectomy for fibroid removal, having menstrual bleeding or to improve fertility.
- Excision of endometriosis
- Sacrocolpopexy for uterine or vaginal prolapse
- Ovarian Cystectomy/Oophorectomy for removal of ovarian cysts or ovaries
Many women, especially those who are older or who have given birth, experience urinary incontinence. For some, that means leaking urine when they sneeze, laugh, or during exertion — a condition called stress incontinence. For others, it takes the form of urge incontinence — a sudden and uncontrollable need to urinate.
Many women believe this is a part of aging. But in fact, there are many treatments our gynecologists can offer, including:
- Physical therapy
- Behavior/diet modification
At Academy Women’s Healthcare Associates, our gynecologists are experienced at diagnosing and treating urinary incontinence. We offer extensive in-office diagnostic testing to pinpoint the cause of the problem in order to provide the exact treatment that is right for you. Diagnostic tests include:
- Detailed pelvic exam
- Neurologic testing
- Cough stress tests
- Urodynamic tests
We understand the emotional pain that being unable to conceive a child can cause, and we are committed to helping couples who are struggling with infertility. If you and your partner have tried unsuccessfully to conceive for three to six months or more, you may be frustrated, and you may have many questions. Several members of our team are experienced at addressing fertility issues and can help provide you with information. We will sit down with you to carefully and sensitively review the health histories of both partners, and we may be able to make suggestions for lifestyle changes that may increase your odds of conception.
We also can perform a number of diagnostic tests to help determine what is causing you to have difficulty conceiving. If tests reveal low sperm count or low sperm motility, we work closely with local urology practices, and can refer your partner for treatment.
Sometimes, tests reveal that a woman is not ovulating or is not producing an expected number of follicles during each cycle. In that case, we may prescribe medication to help stimulate an increase in hormones. We will carefully monitor you, performing in-house ultrasound at specific days during your cycle to gauge whether the medication is effective. We can alter the medication dose based on your body’s response. In addition, we work closely with practices that specialize in more complex infertility treatments and can offer referrals when necessary.
In addition, we work closely with practices that specialize in more complex infertility treatments and can offer referrals when necessary.
In-office Ultrasound policies
At Academy Women’s Healthcare Associates, we use AIUM certified ultrasound units. We can also provide digital images and video clips of your ultrasounds directly to you via email or on your smartphone. All ultrasound images are stored securely in the Cloud. Access to these images will be emailed and/or texted to the patient after the ultrasound. Please note that we do not allow videotaping of the examination.
Please be aware that during your ultrasound, you are allowed two guests (which include children age 5 and older). All children under the age of five must be accompanied by an adult other than the patient. An ultrasound is a medical procedure and we do have your best interest in mind. If you do not have another adult with you to care for your child, we will have to reschedule your appointment. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 719-571-4500.
What to expect during your pregnancy
Your first prenatal visit will be one of the longest visits — but also one of the most exciting. The visit will include:
- Education. We will answer questions and offer information about diet, nutrition, exercise, and optional testing.
- A physical exam. Your physician will do a breast, abdominal and pelvic exam and, depending on your age, possibly a Pap smear.
- Blood and lab work. We routinely check for anemia, Hepatitis B and C, HIV, and syphilis. In addition, we determine your blood type and perform a urine culture and vaginal cultures for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
- Prescriptions. If necessary, we will provide prescriptions for prenatal vitamins or other medications.
While not routine, an ultrasound may be ordered to help establish a due date and confirm the viability of the pregnancy. We offer in-office ultrasound for your convenience. You can also register for MyCenturaHealth, an online patient portal where you can view test results and email your doctor.
At 11 or 12 weeks, a doppler ultrasound device will be used to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.
Beginning at 12 weeks, you will see your obstetrician every three to four weeks, through week 32. You more than likely will see your obstetrician for every visit; however, you may need to see one of the other physicians or our nurse practitioner if your obstetrician is unavailable or out of the office.
15 to 20 weeks: You will be offered optional screening for several anomalies, including Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13, and neural tube defects.
20 weeks: A routine fetal anatomy ultrasound will measure and evaluate your baby’s organs and gender, and the length of your cervix and the volume of amniotic fluid.
24 to 28 weeks: You will be tested for gestational diabetes and anemia
From your 32nd to your 36th week of pregnancy, your obstetrician will see you every two weeks. At 36 weeks, your visits will become weekly.
31-34 weeks: You’ll want to preregister at the Birth Center at St. Francis Hospital, take a tour, and complete a birth preference sheet. You also should be taking any birthing or breastfeeding classes now. We also can help you choose a pediatrician for your baby. The Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine is now recommended by the pediatric community during every pregnancy to reduce the risk of the newborn being exposed to pertussis (whooping cough) once the baby goes home.
35-37 weeks: You will be tested for Group B streptococcus, a common type of bacteria. If it is present, you will receive antibiotics during labor to protect the baby.
36 weeks: You may be checked to see if your cervix has begun dilating.
Birth classes & breastfeeding
We partner with St. Francis Hospital to offer comprehensive birth, baby care, safety classes and breastfeeding support to all expecting moms and dads.
St. Francis Hospital offers a full complement of breastfeeding resources, including:
- Lactation consultants while you are in the hospital as well as after you go home
- Breastfeeding classes
- Breastfeeding Mom Support Group
- Mother’s Milk Bank (where moms can donate or obtain breast milk)
- The Lactation Center Boutique, specializing in breast pump rentals and sales, and items centered on making breastfeeding comfortable and convenient
Learn more about the St. Francis Hospital Birth Center.