Ginger Burton, ARNP-C
Partnering with Parents
“I see a tremendous need for early reproductive health intervention in our adolescent young women,” says nurse practitioner Ginger Burton. “The fact that our high schools have day care centers in them tells me we could be doing so much more in terms of pregnancy prevention and sexual-health counseling.”
Burton, who obtained an M.S. in Nursing from the University of Central Florida, practiced women’s health at Hibiscus OB/GYN and the Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Center for Women before joining Melbourne Internal Medicine Associates (MIMA) OB/GYN in March 2010. “With personal as well as professional experience in reproductive endocrinology, I have advanced knowledge of female reproductive disorders such as infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome and premature ovarian failure,” she says.
Reversing the Statistics
Although Burton has over 11 years’ experience treating women of all ages, her passion is for educating and treating adolescent young women ,and she believes parents, especially mothers, can play an active role in reversing the current staggering statistics of teenage pregnancy and STD contraction. According to Burton, mothers who act as positive role models with respect to caring for their health and consistently visit their OB/GYN yearly, can positively impact their adolescent daughters.
“I recommend bringing your daughter(s) with you to one of your appointments and also encourage your daughter to establish a positive rapport witha provider from an early age to reinforce healthy reproductive choices,” says Burton.
School systems also must play a greater role in the education of young women on sexual and reproductive health, and help to prepare parents on what topics to discuss, according to Burton. “Continual assessment of young females’ knowledge and its accuracy to ensure the media is not having a negative effect is imperative. Pregnancy prevention begins with education,” she explains. Specifically, young women shouldbe informed of the various types of contraceptive methods including birth control pills, the vaginal ring(Nuvaring), injectables (Depo-provera), as well as long-term contraception options including intrauterine devices (Mirena and Paraguard) and the implantable rod (IMPLANON®).
Education on STD prevention also is essential for young females. Gardasil, perhaps the most controversial advancement targeted at adolescent females, is a quadrivalent vaccine produced by Merck for prevention of HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 – two of which may cause genital warts and two of which are associated with cervical cancer. Cervarix, a bivalentvaccine, is also used to treat HPV types 16 and 18.