Posts for category: Women's Health Care
By Associates in Women's Health
September 17, 2020
Tags: Pap smear
Chances are good, especially if you are a woman over 21 years old, that you’ve heard or already undergone at least one Pap smear during your lifetime. Maybe you are wondering whether you should get a Pap smear. Perhaps you don’t even remember when your last test was. Our OBGYNs understand that when it comes to certain diagnostic procedures, particularly Pap smears, that you may have questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Pap tests,
What is the purpose of a Pap smear?
A Pap smear is the best tool at our disposal for being able to detect precancerous cells within the cervix. By catching these cells early, we can remove them before they turn into cervical cancer.
When should a woman get her first Pap smear?
Women should start getting regular Pap smears from their OBGYN once they reach 21 years old, or once they become sexually active. Women will continue to get Pap smears until 65 years old.
How often should women get tested?
Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should get tested every three years. Once you reach age 30 you should get tested every five years (often alongside an HPV test). Women who have had abnormal Pap results in the past may need to come more often for testing.
Will it hurt?
While getting a Pap smear may feel a bit weird or maybe even a little uncomfortable (especially the first time when you’re not sure exactly what to expect), it shouldn’t hurt. You may notice a slight pinch but that’s usually about it. While a traditional OBGYN screening will usually take up to 20 minutes to perform, the Pap smear itself usually takes just a couple of minutes.
How quickly will I get results back?
It’s typical to get your results within one week after your test, but your OBGYN will let you know when results will be available to you.
Do abnormal or inconclusive results mean that I have cervical cancer?
Not typically. An inconclusive test just means that the sample that we collected wasn’t useable. This can happen if you’ve been sexually active or used tampons with two days before your test. Your doctor will usually recommend repeating the test.
Abnormal results, while stressful, could be due to inflammation, infections, trichomoniasis, HPV or herpes. If your tests are abnormal your doctor will discuss further testing with you or provide you with proper medication if an infection is found.
If you still have questions about Pap smears, don’t hesitate to call your OBGYN. We are here to make sure that you fully understand any and all care you receive at our office.
By Associates in Women's Health
September 03, 2020
When women reach their 40s and 50s their bodies begin transitioning into menopause. At this point, many women will experience hot flashes or other symptoms to alert them to these changes. While most menopause symptoms are manageable, sometimes they can still be severe or impact your emotional and mental wellbeing. This is why it’s so important to have an OBGYN that you can turn to for managing your symptoms and help you navigate this new transitional period in your life.
Have I Started Menopause?
Common symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Brain fog
- Trouble concentrating
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Decreased sex drive
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
If your symptoms are minor than you may choose just to ride out the occasional hot flash or night sweat; however, if these symptoms are affecting your quality of life then it’s time to speak with your OBGYN.
When it comes to managing menopause symptoms there are a variety of options. A lot will depend on the type of symptoms you are experiencing, how severe the symptoms are, and your current health. Lifestyle changes can go a long way to improving your symptoms. These changes may include:
- Eating a healthy, balanced, and whole diet that is free from processed or junk foods
- Getting regular exercise that includes weight-bearing exercises 2-3 times a week
- Finding ways to manage stress through deep breathing, meditation, etc.
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding alcohol
- Making sure you are getting enough calcium to support healthy, strong bones
If a woman’s symptoms are particularly severe your OBGYN may discuss the benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Hormone replacement therapy involves using a medication that mimics real hormones like estrogen to help balance out hormone levels and alleviate symptoms.
Women who are dealing with particularly intense and all-consuming hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness will often find incredible relief through hormone replacement therapy. Plus, hormone replacement therapy can also protect against osteoporosis, a condition that leads to bone weakness and fracturing.
If you are dealing with night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, and other symptoms associated with menopause, turn to an OBGYN to help you find ways to manage these symptoms effectively.
By Associates in Women's Health
August 18, 2020
A trip to the gynecologist is inevitable for all women. Regular gynecological visits, just like an annual doctor’s checkups, are crucial for keeping you healthy. So, when should you turn to a gynecologist for treatment and care? Here are the top reasons you should schedule an appointment with an OBGYN:
It’s Time for Your Annual
This is the most common reason women visit the OBGYN. Most women should start visiting their gynecologist once a year for checkups starting at 21 years old. These exams typically involve a standard pelvic exam to check for any symptoms or potential issues that could affect the uterus, cervix, and other female reproductive organs. Your doctor will also perform a breast exam and a Pap smear, which detects suspicious and potentially cancerous cells in the cervix.
You Think You’re Pregnant
Whether you just got a positive pregnancy test or you’re experiencing symptoms of being pregnant, it’s important to confirm your pregnancy with your OBGYN. By confirming your pregnancy as soon as possible, your OBGYN can provide you with the treatment and care you need to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
You are Concerned about STDs
If you are concerned that you might have been exposed to an STD, this is another reason to make an immediate appointment with your OBGYN. If you notice any unusual vaginal discharge, sores, or other symptoms, give us a call. Of course, many STDs don’t cause symptoms, so it is possible to have an STD and not even know it. This is why it’s a good idea to get regular STD testing, even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms.
You Want to Know Your Birth Control Options
There are so many different birth control options these days that you may feel a bit overwhelmed by your choices. This is when an OBGYN can talk you through the different options, weigh the pros and cons, and help you determine the best one for you based on your health and lifestyle.
You are Experiencing Symptoms of an Infection
Itching, discharge, and burning with urination are all signs of an infection. Whether you think you are dealing with a urinary tract infection, bacterial infection, bladder issue, or yeast infection, your OBGYN will be able to diagnose and treat it quickly and easily.
Your Periods are Out of Whack
If you are dealing with painful, extremely heavy, or irregular periods, you will want to discuss these changes with your gynecologist as these could be signs of an underlying problem such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, or nutritional deficiencies.
An OBGYN specializes in offering comprehensive care for all women’s reproductive health issues and can provide everything from routine checkups and Pap smears to STD testing and family planning options. Call your OBGYN to schedule an appointment for you or your teenager today.
By Associates in Women's Health
July 01, 2020
Tags: STD Test
The American Sexual Health Association reports that one in two sexually active Americans will contract an STD by the time they turn 25 years old. It’s crucial for people to understand the importance of getting an STD test, as well as understand how often they should get tested. If you are a sexually active woman who has never been tested before or has questions about STD testing your OB-GYN is the perfect person to talk to.
Here’s when you should get an STD test,
You are noticing symptoms
This might seem like the most obvious reason to get an STD test but it’s still important to acknowledge. If you notice any symptoms of an STD including any bumps or sores on the genitals, changes in discharge or other changes in your body then you should see your gynecologist as soon as possible to discuss your symptoms and to see if you should get tested.
You have a new partner
Before becoming sexually active with a new partner it’s a good idea to know both of your sexual health statuses. That’s why your OBGYN will always recommend getting an STD test before starting a new sexual relationship. There is nothing better than knowing that both you and your new partner are healthy and STD-free.
You aren’t practicing safe sex
While birth control pills can certainly protect against unwanted pregnancies, most forms of hormonal contraception will not protect against STDs. This is why you will still want to use a condom every time you have sex. If you aren’t practicing safe sex then you should get tested twice a year (or, at the very least, once a year).
You have multiple partners
If you or your partner have other sexual partners, it’s a good idea for both of you to get regular STD tests about every 3-6 months. There is a window period between getting the infection and when the results will appear on an STD test so it’s also important not to test too early. Here’s a great resource to show you when symptoms may appear and when to get tested for what STDs.
It’s a good rule of thumb to get tested at least once a year since many STDs do not produce any symptoms at all, so you could have an STD and not even know it. If you need to schedule an STD test, your OBGYN can often provide you with comprehensive testing right here in their very own office. This is a great option for many women because they have already established a rapport with their doctor and may feel more comfortable undergoing a more sensitive procedure such as an STD screening with a gynecologist they know and trust. Knowing your health status doesn’t just protect you, it also protects your partner.
By Associates in Women's Health
May 01, 2020
Tags: Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence happens when an individual can’t fully control their bladder, resulting in them experiencing leakage. Most women have experienced weakened bladder control at some point in their life. It’s especially common during pregnancy and for a while after. But when do a few accidents indicate a problem? An Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OBGYN) can help with all matters related to women’s sexual and reproductive health. Schedule an appointment with your OBGYN if urinary incontinence starts happening frequently or affects your quality of life.
Before Your Appointment
First, don’t be embarrassed about discussing this with your OBGYN. They are a medical professional designed to help you. There are also a few ways to be prepared for your appointment. Try to keep track or write down every instance of urinary incontinence. Record the amount, time of day, frequency, and what you were doing at the time.
Types of Incontinence
There are two main types of incontinence that a patient can experience: stress and urge. Stress incontinence happens when pressure is placed on the bladder, forcing leakage. This can happen from any sort of muscular contraction, like sneezing or laughing. Urge incontinence is an overactive bladder. A patient may constantly feel like they need to go to the bathroom. This makes it hard to determine when they do need to go or not, causing accidents to happen.
Other causes of urinary continence are also a possibility. Certain foods, drinks, and medications can temporarily affect bladder control. These are known as diuretics, and affect how much urine your body produces.
- Carbonated drinks
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Spicy, sugary, or acidic foods
- Chili peppers
- Blood pressure and heart medications
- Muscle relaxants and sedatives
You should also talk to your OBGYN about the possibility of overflow or functional incontinence. Overflow is caused by blockage of the urethra or poor bladder contraction. Functional incontinence is the result of other medical conditions that make going to the bathroom difficult.
Treating Urinary Incontinence
Talk to your OBGYN about a treatment that is right for you. There are many possibilities and combinations to try. Many women find success through retraining their bladders, using certain medications, or possibly surgical intervention.