Gynecologic Care: What to Expect
Most healthy women require GYN healthcare visits once or twice a year, while women with certain gynecologic health problems may require additional appointments. The frequency of your gynecologic visits, and the type of care you receive at each visit, depends mainly upon your overall health and wellness.
Scheduling a regular GYN appointment is extremely important, especially when you consider the following facts. In 2010, an estimated 12,200 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer. Additionally, approximately 10–20% of American women of childbearing age have endometriosis, one of the three major causes of female infertility. Furthermore, sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), including HPV, are on the rise.
A woman should start gynecologic healthcare visits when she first becomes sexually active, or by the time she’s 21, regardless of sexual activity status. During the visit, our patients receive full pelvic and breast examinations, as well as a pap test to check for any cervical abnormalities. In order to detect or treat any current health problems, and to prevent future ones from developing, we will evaluate current health status by performing a standard physical exam. We will also discuss nutrition, physical activity, sexual practices and any concerns that you have. We can recommend and supervise various medically managed weight loss options, which are tailored to your specific needs and medical conditions.
If you are over the age of 40 you should expect to receive a referral for a yearly or bi-yearly mammogram. We may recommend starting to have mammograms earlier if you have a high risk of developing breast cancer, and may recommend a Halo Breast Paptest.
Your GYN exam provides the perfect opportunity to discuss any changes in your period including irregular bleeding, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort, or are going through menopause.
Unfortunately, since Pap test guidelines have recently changed, some women have the misconception that if they don’t need a Pap then they can skip their annual GYN exam. However, annual well-woman visits with us are an important step in preventative care to ensure overall health and wellness. Please remember: since early stages of breast, cervical and ovarian cancer exhibit few symptoms, an annual exam can help detect these conditions early, and give patients a much better chance of survival.
In addition to providing routine well-woman gynecologic healthcare we also provide expert management of more complex GYN problems. We evaluate and treat abnormal bleeding, abnormal Pap tests, vaginitis, sexually transmitted diseases, urinary incontinence, and specialize in menopausal management including bioidentical hormone replacement therapies.
Embarrassment, finances or fear should never prevent you from scheduling your gynecologic healthcare visit. We will take the time to discuss, diagnose and treat any problems or concerns you may have about your gynecologic or overall health.