“We focus not only on your health issues, but also on promoting your happiness and well-being throughout every stage of your life.”
Our philosophy is one that embraces you in the decision-making process.
Throughout human history, good health has been prized above everything. Today we know that our health can be enhanced and maintained with health care based on an understanding of our whole lives.
As a woman, you are biologically different from a man and have very special health care needs. Tremendous advances have been made in medicine and they have increased the need for communication between doctor and patient.
The best doctors now realize that they can now give you the most complete medical care only if you are well informed. This means taking adequate time to discuss the available treatment approaches, and providing the encouragement for you to make appropriate decisions concerning your health care.
Your First Gynecological Exam
Your first visit to the gynecologicalist doesn’t have to be filled with anxiety. First of all, you may be wondering how old you should be for your first gynecological exam. There is no answer that covers every situation.
Any teen who has not started menstruating by age 16 should be checked for possible hormonal abnormalities.
A woman who misses two or more periods for no apparent reason should also be checked.
Anyone who is sexually active, regardless of age, should have a gynecological examination. Many sexually transmitted diseases have no symptoms. It is important to discover their presence before the reproductive system is damaged. Birth control information can be given at this time also.
If in good health and not sexually active it is a good idea to have the first exam around 18 years of age. This way the doctor can examine the patient when no abnormalities are present. This will provide a basis of comparison if problems arise later.
At the time of the first exam our staff will ask some questions to determine your medical history. We will want to know about any previous illnesses, allergies or surgeries.
You will be asked about your family history too. Your answers can provide us with valuable information.
We will also need to know about your menstrual cycle and sexual history. These topics may be difficult for you to discuss but it is necessary. Be assured that your lifestyle or morals will not be judged.
Who is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist?
An obstetrician is a doctor who manages pregnancy and assists with child birth. A gynecologist treats female malfunctions and disease, especially those of the reproductive system. He may treat these malfunctions non-surgically or by performing surgery. He or she also works to maintain a level of good health throughout the patient’s life–from adolescence through menopause.
Women have experienced problems that involve physical issues associated with menstruation, pregnancy, motherhood, urinary tract problems, menopause, and the special problems of the adolescent. They also have emotional stress that is different from that of their male counterpart. Men usually experience the effects of their stress in the GI tract or cardiovascular system. Women express theirs in the reproductive system as evidenced by bleeding, problems associated with the cessation of their menstruation, infertility, and menopause.
As a means of maintaining good health in otherwise healthy women, a semi-annual examination is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology.
This examination includes an historical evaluation of the patient’s current medical status, a complete physical evaluation, breat examination and pap smear.
Understanding the Result of Pap Smear
The pap test, is used to detect abnormal and early cancer calls through microscopic examination of stained cells of female genital tract (vagina and cervix).
The test was developed by Dr. George Papanicolaou who was professor of anatomy at Cornell University Medical School, in the late 1920’s. Throughout the years the test went through a lot of improvement to become as sensitive as it is today.
The importance of the Pap is the ability to detect cancerous and precancerous lesions before the patient experiences any symptoms of them.
WHO SHOULD HAVE A PAP SMEAR
Every young lady should have a pap smear when she becomes sexually active, especially these days with the detection of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is a very common sexually transmitted virus and it’s proven role in causing abnormal pap smears and in the long run, cervical cancer. In general, every woman from the time she becomes sexually active until age 65 should have yearly pap smears done.
HOW IT IS REPORTED
The pap test is reported now under five class modifications, from Class I which is a completely normal pap test to Class V which indicates the presence of unequivocally cancerous cells. Obviously, the classes in between, as the number is raised, indicates the degree of the cells’ abnormality.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO
If you haven’t had a pap smear for a year of if you have a history of abnormal pap smears, please contact our office for a complete comprehensive gynecologic exam.
Remember, cervical cancer in early stages has no symptoms. The pap test is the only way we can discover it and treatment in the early stages are effective and successful. After treatment, most patients are free from the disease and can look forward to a normal, healthy life.