Wellness Care | Breast Exam | ThinPrep Pap Test | HPV Test | Gardasil Vaccine | Pregnancy Care | STD Testing | Herpes | Vaginal Infections | Genetic Testing for Cancers | Infertility | Contraception | Painful Periods | Pain During Intercourse | Premenstrual Syndrome | Menopausal Symptoms | Hormone Replacement Therapy | Osteoporosis | Leaky Bladder | Urinary Tract Infections | Endometriosis | Pelvic Inflammatory Disease | Ovarian Cysts | Uterine Fibroids | Colposcopy | Endometrial Biopsy | Bartholin Gland Cyst | Excessive Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia) | Endometrial Ablation (Hysterectomy) | Gynecological Surgery
You should see your gynecological healthcare provider regularly once a year for preventive health care. This can help detect problems early or prevent them before they occur. Preventive health care includes a breast and pelvic exam and screening tests such as a pap test, mammography, bone density test and blood tests that look for problems before you are sick, and includes immunizations that help prevent certain diseases. Together with your provider, you will be able to plan a healthy lifestyle, decrease risk factors, prevent diseases and watch for signs of problems that are common in women of your age group. Problems detected early are easier to treat and less likely to pose serious risks to your health.
A yearly clinical breast exam by your gynecological provider is recommended in addition to a mammogram. Beginning at age 20 or earlier, examine your breasts monthly – if you have any questions about the correct way to perform breast self-examination ask your provider. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women have regular mammogram screenings starting at age 40. Your healthcare professional may advise earlier screenings based on your breast cancer risk.
A screening test that has been successful in finding signs of cervical cancer or cells that may turn into cancer cells in the future. Even though you may feel fine you should have a Pap test on an annual basis so that any problems can be caught and treated before they become serious.
A test that can be done in conjunction with the Pap test to screen for Human Papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted virus that can cause small growths, called condylomas or genital warts, on or about the genital area.
The vaccine that may help guard you against diseases caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) Types 16 and 18, which cause 70% of cervical cancer cases, and HPV Types 6 and 11, which causes 90% of genital warts cases.
While pregnancy and birth are a natural part of the life process, problems can arise. All pregnant women should receive prenatal care as early as possible, allowing your provider to closely monitor you and your baby’s health.
Throughout your pregnancy you will see your provider on a regular basis – these visits provide an opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns and learn more about your pregnancy.
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that are spread by sexual contact. Often there are no symptoms so people with an STD may not know they have it and it can be affecting your health, even causing severe damage to your body. Even if there are no symptoms, a person with an STD can pass it to others by contact with skin, mouth, genitals, rectum or bodily fluids. Tests can be done to detect infection – even if there are no symptoms. Types of STD’s include; AIDS, Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B Virus, HIV, HPV, Syphilis, and Trichomonas
A viral infection, genital herpes is spread through sexual contact. More common in women, it affects one in five adults. The herpes virus can pass through a break in the skin during vaginal, oral or anal sex and enters the moist membranes of the vagina, urinary opening, cervix, penis or anus. While there is no cure for genital herpes, there are oral medications to control the disease. Symptoms of herpes vary among people from no symptoms at all to painful attacks with many sores. If you suspect you may have herpes, schedule an appointment with your provider for testing to confirm a diagnosis.
There are different types of vaginal infections that require different treatment. With so many over-the-counter products readily available, many women are quick to misdiagnose and mistreat their condition, while others will ignore their symptoms that can lead to other problems and more serious complications. Vaginal infections range from yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis to even more serious infections such as trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite. See your provider first to make sure you get the right treatment for you.
BRACAnalysis and COLARIS - a simple blood test that detects mutations in genes for individuals thought to be at high risk of developing cancer due to family history. A test that can help estimate your risk for cancer so that you and your physician can create a personalized cancer risk reduction plan.
Infertility is the condition of being unable to conceive a child or to bring a pregnancy to full term. Though it is one term, infertility can cover a wide range of causes and conditions, in both the male and female partner. Primary infertility, for example, refers to a couple’s inability to conceive their first child, while secondary infertility refers to an inability to conceive after a pregnancy has already been brought to term. Subfertility is a couple who is having trouble conceiving a child (usually trying unsuccessfully for more than 12 months) but is not biologically incapable of doing so. Infertility can be caused by conditions in a woman such as endometriosis, fallopian tube damage, uterine fibroids or imbalance of hormones. Infertility in men can be due to a vasectomy, low sperm count and varicocole, a condition in which blood veins near the testicles become swollen and/or twisted. And infertility in either sex can occur due to age, genetic factors or diseases. And yet still, in roughly 15% of cases of infertility, there is no as-yet-identifiable cause of infertility. While infertility can be emotionally stressful and damaging, there are medical treatments that can give many couples hope of conception. Infertility treatments usually begin with medication, designed to increase the fertility of either the woman, man or both. Failing that, there are also other procedures, such as in-vitro fertilization, which can attempt to complete the fertilization outside the human body, and artificial insemination, which attempts to complete fertilization inside the body. While the field of infertility treatment grows every day, medical treatments are still an invaluable resource: a little more than half of the couples that seek medical intervention for infertility can expect a successful pregnancy.
There are many different types of birth control to choose from including, condoms, oral contraceptives known as birth control pills, vaginal ring, injection, patch, sponge, diaphragm, Intrauterine Device (IUD) and sterilization - tubal ligation. Deciding on what method is best for you will be determined by you and your medical provider at the time of your appointment, based on your medical history and personal needs.
While it is normal that most women will have some mild pain for a day or so during each month during menstruation, some women have severe pain that keeps them from normal daily activity, known as dysmenorrhea. To determine the cause of dysmenorrhea, your provider will review your medical history, symptoms and menstrual cycles, and perform a pelvic exam. Based on findings, you and your provider will determine the best treatment for you.
When a woman experiences pain while having sexual intercourse, it is called dyspareunia. Painful sex can be fairly common and range from mild to severe. During sex a woman may feel pain at the opening of the vagina, within the vagina or deep inside. Different types of pain have different causes and can be an indication there may be a problem. Talk to your provider about the pain so the cause can be found and treated.
Most women feel physical or mood changes during the days before menstruation and when these changes affect a woman’s normal life, they are know as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Premenstrual syndrome can affect menstruating women of all ages and while the exact cause is unclear, the symptoms can be managed in many women. Common symptoms of PMS can be emotional, behavioral or physical and include: depression, angry outbursts, crying, anxiety, confusion, sleep disturbances, irritability, changes in thirst and appetite – food cravings, tender breasts, headaches, swelling of the feet or hands, and aches and pains. To diagnose PMS, your provider must confirm a pattern of symptoms. A record of your symptoms can help your doctor diagnose if you have PMS.
All women go through menopause at some time in their lives. It can occur naturally with age or as a result of illness, treatment of a disease or surgery. The absence of menstraul periods is usally a sign, although an evaluation by a doctor is recommended to rule out other medical issues. Women may notice other changes and symptoms such as night sweats, difficulty sleeling, mood changes, vaginal dryness and hot flashes. The onset and severity of these symtpoms vary from woman to woman and can range from mild to severe. Our goal is to provide you with a variety of tools that will ease these symptoms and make the transition a more comfortable one. Together, you and the provider will design a custom course of treatment from a wide range of options that include biodentical hormones, creams, natural products, and prescription HRT.
HRT is a form of drug therapy that helps replace the hormones your body no longer makes. Estrogen not only affects a woman’s reproductive system, but it can also have an effect on her overall health. One example being, a drop in estrogen after menopause may result in a rapid, painless loss of bone mass. When bones become thin and weak, a condition known as osteoporosis, they can break easily, and in some cases result in disability. Your provider will assess and determine the course of therapy most appropriate for you.
Bone loss threatens millions of women and can remain undetected until a bone is broken. The best defense against bone loss is to know how it occurs and how to prevent it. By having your bone health checked on a regular basis, you can remain active and healthy. Women who have gone through menopause often lose bone mass, making bones weak and brittle, and more likely to break, and 40% of women over age 50 will break a bone due to postmenopausal osteoporosis. Some women may lose height, develop a curved spine and become hunched. Safe, simple and painless bone density testing (DEXA) measures bone mineral density and tells your provider if you have osteoporosis or may be at risk for developing it.
The Continence Center at Women’s Medical Specialty – A specialized, convenient in-office program for women with urinary frequency and or bladder or bowel control issues. It offers behavioral interventions such as pelvic muscle re-education known as kegels, bladder retraining, stimulation therapy and education for the treatment of incontinence. Over 13 million adults suffer with urinary leakage, frequency of urination or painful urination. Bladder control problems often begin after childbirth; however, there are many other risk factors associated with bladder control problems, including; medications, high impact physical activity, pelvic muscle weakness, and drinking certain types of fluids. Many women wait years before seeking treatment, often embarrassed or more afraid of the treatment than living with the problem, only to find it to be a simple and painless method of testing and treatment that produces significant results and improvement of symptoms.
Most women will have a urinary tract infection at sometime during their life and some will have repeat infections and often. Most urinary tract infections are not serious and can be treated with antibiotics, relieving symptoms quickly. There are many reasons a woman may get a UTI with the most common causes being bacteria from the vagina and rectum, sex, or abnormalities in the urinary tract. Other certain factors may increase your chance of getting a UTI, such as having diabetes, pregnancy, a history of UTI in childhood and post-menopausal. Symptoms associated with a UTI such as pain or burning as urine flows, a strong urge to urinate that cannot be delayed or pain in the abdomen or lower back could also be caused by other problems and tests will be needed to confirm the diagnosis. Always let your provider know if you have any of these symptoms, especially if you are pregnant.
Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue, the tissue that lines the uterus and sheds during menstruation, grows outside the uterus on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the ligaments that support the uterus, and other organs in the pelvic cavity. Other possible sites of endometriosis include the bladder, bowel, and vagina and can occur in other places in the body. The major symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain that can range from mild to severe. Such pain may also occur with sex, during urination or bowel movements or just before or during your menstrual cycle. Menstrual bleeding may occur more than once a month and severe endometriosis may cause infertility. If you have symptoms of endometriosis, your provider may do a pelvic exam or perform a laparoscopy. Endometriosis may be treated with medication, surgery or both. Treatment depends on the extent of the disease, your symptoms and whether you desire to have children.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of the upper reproductive organs, specifically the fallopian tubes and ovaries. It is a common and sometimes serious illness that is diagnosed in more than 1 million women each year, many of them being teenagers. Different germs mostly stemming from sexually transmitted diseases cause PID, with the most common being bacterial infections of gonorrhea and chlamydia. PID can lead to serious long-term problems including infertility, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain. Symptoms of PID may present in the form of vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, painful urination, nausea and vomiting, painful sexual intercourse, or abnormal menstrual bleeding. PID can be difficult to diagnose and your provider may need to do a pelvic exam, obtain samples of cells from your cervix, blood tests or ultrasound. PID can be treated and often cured. Early treatment of PID may prevent problems such as infertility.
The ovaries are two small organs, one on each side of a woman’s uterus. Often a small cyst (fluid filled sac or pouch) may develop on the ovaries. Most of the time, these cysts are harmless and will go away on their own and other times, cysts may cause problems and require treatment. Ovarian cysts are common in women of childbearing age and are often found during your routine annual pelvic exam. A woman may develop one or multiple cysts that may vary in size. There are many different types of ovarian cysts and while most are not cancerous, some cysts may be cancerous. Because of this, it is best to have all cysts evaluated by your provider.
Often referred to as fibroids, myomas, or leiomyomas, are common, benign growths of the uterus. A woman may have only one fibroid or many that may occur on the outer surface of the uterus, within the wall of the uterus or on the inside surface and can vary in size from that of a grape up to that of a melon. Little is known about the cause of fibroids, but evidence suggests that their growth is tied to the amount of estrogen in a woman’s body. Because uterine fibroids affect each woman differently, ultimately you and your provider will decide on the best choice of treatment.
A Colposcopy is a fairly common procedure performed in the office, using an instrument that provides magnification to evaluate abnormal areas of the vagina and cervix, often recommended if you’ve had an abnormal pap test or if an abnormality of your cervix was identified during your physical exam.
During an endometrial biopsy, a small sample of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) is removed and examined under a microscope to help the doctor identify problems in the endometrium. This procedure is performed for several reasons. If the results of a pap smear are abnormal, an endometrial biopsy may be performed to determine the cause. When a woman is having a difficult time getting pregnant, a doctor can complete an endometrial biopsy to see if the lining of the uterus can support a pregnancy. The procedure can be completed in a doctor’s office. Typically, no anesthesia is required.
Bartholin glands are pea-sized organs located on each side of the labia (vaginal lips), close to the opening of the vagina. These glands are under the skin, thus they are typically not seen or felt. The bartholin glands produce a small amount of fluid that lubricates the vulva (the outer area of the vagina). If the opening of one of the glands becomes blocked, fluid backs up; causing a cyst to form.
Cysts can be the size of a penny or grow larger than an orange. However, typically they don’t grow larger than a golf ball. While cysts can be tender, in most cases, they are not infected. But they can develop as a result of an infection, or become infected. You may feel a small, painless lump in the vulva area, and have redness or swelling. Generally, non-infected cysts do not require treatment.
In a few cases, cysts will become infected. Infected cysts are called abscesses and can be very tender, or in extreme cases, very painful. If the cyst is infected you will need treatment, which varies depending on the size of the cyst, the degree of pain, and whether or not it’s infected.
If your bleeding lasts 7 or more days per cycle, or it is so heavy that you need to change protection nearly every hour, you may have menorrhagia. About 1 in 5 women experience unusually heavy menstrual bleeding - women suffering from menorrhagia can experience fatigue, anemia, embarrassing accidents and restricted activity. There are numerous treatment options available – you and your provider will decide which works best for you.
A simple, safe procedure that has been proven to help control heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) without any need for hormones or a surgical hysterectomy, that puts an end to the embarrassment and awkwardness that heavy bleeding can cause.
Tubal Sterilization, Laparoscopy & Hysteroscopy, Hysterectomy, Cone Biopsy.