Women’s Health Services

The Women's Health providers at IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians offer a variety of obstetric and gynecological services for women of all ages. We strive to be a partner in our patient's health seeing them through their first gynecological exam to pregnancy to menopause and beyond.

Pregnancy (obstetrics)

Our offices provide comprehensive maternity care and high-risk pregnancy management throughout south central Indiana. As soon as a woman finds out she’s pregnant, we recommend setting up an appointment with one of our providers to begin prenatal care. IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians has physicians and certified nurse midwives who care for women throughout their pregnancy.

During a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy, we typically see patients once a month through the 28th week of pregnancy, and then once every two weeks until week 36. From week 37 until delivery, we’ll schedule an appointment on a weekly basis to check on mom’s and baby’s health and development.

Throughout pregnancy, our goal is to ensure the health of both mom and baby as well as educate the new parents on what to expect during pregnancy and delivery. During prenatal visits, we monitor the baby’s growth and development and evaluate how mom is handling the pregnancy. We typically check mom’s weight and blood pressure, measure the uterus to check on the baby’s growth, listen to the baby’s heartbeat, and gather a urine sample to measure sugar and protein levels. Additional tests or screenings will vary based on mom’s and baby’s health.

At each appointment, we provide educational materials so new moms and their partners know what to expect in between visits and during the upcoming trimester. A sampling of our educational materials includes our Beginning Pregnancy Guide and Mid Pregnancy Guide. In addition, we recommend new moms participate in childbirth classes. IU Health Bloomington offers a variety of classes as well as other community organizations, such as Bloomington Area Birth Services (BABS).

Preventive healthcare (Gynecology)

Our providers see women of all ages, from teens to seniors, to provide preventive healthcare and can help manage conditions affecting the female reproductive system. We recommend all females see a gynecologist by the age of 21 or earlier if they’re sexually active.

During a typical visit, the gynecologist will examine the woman’s reproductive system and breasts, will take weight and blood pressure, and will discuss the woman’s menstrual cycle, and sexual and reproductive health.

We know that these annual exams can cause anxiety for some patients. Our providers are all very experienced and do their best to explain the exam and what they’re doing along the way. We suggest our patients write down any questions they may have ahead of time so they remember to ask during the visit.

Bone density testing

Bone density tests are used to see how thick your bones are and if you have signs of osteopenia or osteoporosis. Both conditions lead to a weakening and thinning of the bones, which can cause them to break or fracture more easily. Densitometry is a quick, inexpensive, low radiation, and precise test to scan the bones and determine any causes of concern.

Densitometry is an inexpensive, low radiation, precise test to determine bone density. Deficiencies in bone density include Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. Aegis Women's Healthcare is currently the only site in Indiana that has ISCD Facility Accreditation for Bone Densitometry and Vertebral Fracture Assessment.

Risk factors of Osteoporosis:

  • Advanced Age
  • Family History
  • Small or Thin Build
  • Low Calcium and Vitamin D Intake
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Medications such as:
    • Corticosteroids
    • Thyroid Medications
    • Anticonvulsants
    • Anticoagulants
  • Smoking, Excessive Alcohol, Excessive Caffeine, Chronic Diseases of Kidney, Lung or Stomach
  • Undiagnosed Low Levels of Testosterone
  • Early Menopause
  • Abnormal Absence of menstrual periods
  • Anorexia nervosa or Bulimia

We have the GE Lunar Prodigy Advance Dexa machine, which completes a scan in less than a minute. This greatly improves the convenience to the patient because the visit can typically be completed in less than 30 minutes. Work in appointments are usually available the same day as your regular annual exam appointment (provided that the patient meets criteria to be scanned same day. Patient should be encouraged to call prior to their appointment for additional details).

Andy Stafford MD, Alice Wood MD and Miala Oliger, NP-C are all ISCD Certified Clinical Densitometrists overseeing the Densitometry Department. We are pleased to offer a FLS (Fracture Liaison Service) program with a goal of secondary fracture prevention and osteoporosis management. Miala Oliger, NP-C is our FLS coordinator with appointments available for osteoporosis consultation.  

Our McIntire Drive office is the only site in Indiana that has International Society of Clinical Densitometry Facility Accreditation for Bone Densitometry and Vertebral Fracture Assessment.

To make an appointment, call 812-335-7373. The bone densitometry department is located at 2920 McIntire Drive, Suite 201, Bloomington, IN 47403.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is often thought of only during pregnancy, but OB/Gyn’s use ultrasound to help diagnose a variety of conditions. During pregnancy, ultrasound is used to confirm pregnancy, check the baby’s growth and development, and screen for birth defects.

For women who are not pregnant, ultrasound is used to look at the ovaries, uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and bladder. An ultrasound may be done for many reasons, including finding the cause of pelvic pain, looking at the shape and size of the uterus lining, or checking the ovaries during infertility treatments.

Most commonly we use transabdominal ultrasound and transvaginal ultrasound. During a transabdominal ultrasound, the woman lies on her back and the transducer, which uses sound waves to create the images you see on the computer screen, is moved across the stomach. A transvaginal ultrasound uses a smaller, thinner transducer that is inserted through the vagina and allows the provider to view the patient’s uterus and ovaries.

Ultrasound is a valuable tool that allows our providers to see the patient’s anatomy and determine the cause of any health conditions. Our ultrasound technicians are skilled and have done thousands of ultrasound exams for both pregnant women and those with other health concerns.

Minimally-invasive and robotic surgery

If surgery is needed, several of our physicians are trained in minimally-invasive techniques as well as robotic surgery at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. Conditions that may require surgery and may be candidates for minimally-invasive or robotic surgery include endometriosis, fibroid tumors, cancer and pelvic prolapse. Minimally-invasive surgery may also be an option for women undergoing a hysterectomy or ovary removal.

The surgical options available will vary by patient and the patient’s individual needs. The physician discusses specific options with each patient to determine the least invasive, most effective course of treatment for any condition.