Gary M. Agena, M.D., LLC

Is it Time for Your Daughter’s First Visit to the Gynecologist?

Teen girl

Having 2 young daughters myself, this is a question that scares even me.  The fact is, puberty is happened earlier than ever for most girls.  The average age of the first menstrual cycle is down to 12!  Not to mention that your kids hear A LOT about sex and sexuality both at school and on the news.  It is recommended that healthy girls have their first visit with a Gynecologist between ages 13 and 15.

Unless your child is experiencing problems, the first visit should be a simple discussion.  I prefer to skip the exam altogether until the second visit so we can get to know each other.


Our three principles of the initial visit are Inform, Prevent, and Treat.


Educate children about body changes, menstruation, and boundaries in intimate relationships


Avoid illness (both sexual and nonsexual) and prevent unplanned pregnancies


Address any issues regarding health, development, or family history of conditions affecting reproduction

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Sleep Problems

The Evening Routine

You know the picture, smiling parents reading a book to their happy child adorned in new pajamas.  That is the dream of a calm evening leading into peaceful sleep.  Then there’s the reality, homework, dinner, clean up, TV, phone then commanding kids to finally turn off their lights and go to sleep.  You barely remember to brush your teeth before collapsing into bed only to wake up 2 hours later trying to recount what you forgot the day before.  For many families, the evening routine is filled with stress and leads to restless sleep. 

Sleep disorders have been consistently on the rise in the United States.  There are now a staggering 70 Million Americans who report trouble with sleeping.  While many turn to their doctor for help, the average medical school spends less than 2 hours IN TOTAL educating young physicians about sleep disorders and their treatment.  It comes as no surprise that many physicians’ knee-jerk reaction is to prescribe a sleep aid instead of discovering the underlying problem.  Sleep

So how much do you sleep?  The average adult requires 7-8 hours per night while infants and young children can need 10 or more hours per night.  Pregnant women also require more sleep, especially in the first trimester.

A good night’s rest is a key part of having a great day.  Set a schedule for going to bed and stick to it.  Daily exercise will help increase melatonin production and lower cortisol, both of which help people to sleep better.  Avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine for at least 6 hours before lights off.  Most importantly, RELAX before bed. 


If you are watching a TV thriller or surfing the internet before bed, your brain will race long after you start trying to fall asleep. 

If your sleep troubles continue to keep you up at night, see your doctor about the next step.  Some medical conditions may interrupt sleep.  Sleep apnea, reflux, and certain heart conditions are among the more common causes of sleep disruption.  Come see us for more help or information and check out this link for even more advice.

Consumer Reports Article

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By now most of us have heard of the Zika virus. Briefly, Zika is a virus spread by common mosquitoes. In healthy adults, symptoms include mild fever, a rash, joint pain and eye irritation.
Symptoms usually last 1-2 weeks and there are no long term effects. It has recently been suggested that the Zika virus may cause severe damage to the brain of an unborn child when pregnant women become infected. To date, there have been NO cases of mosquitoes infected with Zika causing illness in the United States. The CDC recommends women who are pregnant not travel to any area where the Zika virus is active. The map shows areas currently affected.
zika map
There  has been one case reported of Zika being transmitted sexually. If you are pregnant and concerned your partner may have Zika, you should abstain from sex until all symptoms are gone. There have been no cases of Zika in the state of Louisiana.  If you travel to an area involved in the Zika epidemic, follow this link to a poster with tips for protecting yourself CDC Poster
While the spread of the virus is expected, the rate and distribution cannot yet be predicted.  As information becomes available, we will continue to update our website and Facebook page.
For more information, go to

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Hello and welcome to our new blog!  Thank you for taking the time to visit our webpage.  Let me tell you a little bit about myself.  I was born in Chalmette, Louisiana.  My father worked for Kaiser Aluminum so we moved around a lot growing up.  From Africa to the Caribbean, we lived just about everywhere.  I finished high school at Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts in Natchitoches.  After the 5th grade, I and my 2 brothers were raised by our mother.  Growing up in a single parent household, I developed a deep respect and admiration for my mother.  I believe that seeing her strength through adversity fostered my interest in serving women and, ultimately, my becoming an Obgyn.

I completed my bachelors in Biochemistry aFamily photond attended medical school at LSU.  In case you didn’t know, I’m a huge Tigers fan!  That said, we still see Alabama fans and treat them almost as good as everybody else! J  I’ve been working on the Northshore since 2006.  I served at North Oaks in Hammond for almost 6 years before opening our new office between Covington and Madisonville.  My wife Dee is the nurse here in our office.  She has over 20 years of women’s health experience and is truly excellent at what she does.  She is a bright and gifted nurse and is the cornerstone of our practice.  And if she reads this I hope I get some brownie points!

We truly love serving the Northshore community.  With all the moving around I did growing up, it’s nice to finally have a place I call home.  We have a family philosophy at our practice.  Our community is our family.  The Northshore is our home.  When we meet people in our practice, we want them to feel at home.  We want you to feel like you are a part of our family.  Our promise to you is that we will treat you with the same consideration and compassion we extend to our own families.  I am a firm believer that we provide truly excellent care.  Thanks again for taking the time to read this.  We look forward to meeting you soon!


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