About Karen Callen, MD

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Your baby’s kidneys: Hydronephrosis/Pelviectasis

A common source of stress and anxiety in pregnancy is an abnormal finding on a prenatal ultrasound examination. One of the more common findings we deal with is dilatation of the renal collecting system, or hydronephrosis, in the fetus. Hydronephrosis is seen in 1-4% of all pregnancies and occurs more commonly in males. As part […]

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Coping with Early Pregnancy Loss

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Miscarriage, or early pregnancy loss, is defined as a pregnancy that ends on its own within the first 20 weeks of gestation. One of the most common forms of miscarriage is called a “missed miscarriage”. This relates to the fact that it is often discovered early in pregnancy without any obvious symptoms of loss. Other […]

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Ultrasounds: Are They Really Necessary?

When I joined our practice in 1988, most obstetricians did not have ultrasound machines in the office. The first prenatal visit occurred at 8 or 9 weeks gestation, and included both a thorough history and a physical exam with a uterine evaluation. If everything was in order, patients left with an appointment for a four-week […]

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Going past your due date

It can be frustrating and uncomfortable to go past your due date and I am often asked “won’t the baby come when he or she is ready?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. Babies can be born prematurely for reasons that are unclear and sometimes labor doesn’t start when it should. Even in […]

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Should We Bank Our Baby’s Cord Blood?

Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and the placenta once a baby is born and the cord is clamped. Your baby’s cord blood is a rich source for stem cells, the most primitive human cells. Current research involves developing these cells so that they might be used to treat a variety […]

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Placenta Encapsulation-What Should You Know?

Placentophagy is the practice of consuming placenta after childbirth. Steaming the placenta, drying it, then grinding and preparing into capsules appears to be the current favorite method of placentophagy. Consuming raw or cooked placenta is also advocated by those who extoll the benefits of this increasing but still rare practice. The placenta is a fascinating organ that serves […]

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What Shakespeare knows about bioidentical hormones

  “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet“,  and would still have thorns. So don’t be misled by popular media that “bioidentical hormones” are special formulations of estrogen only available at compounding pharmacies, or that they provide added benefit and safety over non-compounded estrogens. The term bioidentical is used to describe hormones […]

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The Rh Factor and Rhogam

Along with the different blood groups such as A, B, and O, there is the Rh factor. The Rh factor is a type of protein found on the surface of blood cells in about 85% of the general population. 15% of the population does not have this protein on the surface of their blood cells […]

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Estrogen Replacement Therapy: What Would I Do?

During the last 28 years, I have had the privilege of sharing the most intimate life experiences with my patients. By “sharing” I mean that I’ve been there, providing medical care and advice, as they’ve moved from their reproductive years to menopause and beyond, experiencing all of the changes that accompany those transitions. At the end of the day, […]

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Coping with the Aches and Pains of Pregnancy

For many women, the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy can be accompanied by physical discomfort and even intense pain. Sometimes we have a good explanation for the symptoms and sometimes we don’t. Here’s a guide to the most common aches and pains, and when you should call your doctor. First-Trimester Cramping During the first […]

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