A pap smear is a routine test typically performed during a gynecological exam. It’s a test to determine the presence of abnormal or cancerous cells, specifically cervical cancer. Pap smear testing is important because cervical cancer is a type of cancer which often doesn’t have any warning signs or symptoms until the cancer is in the later stages.
During a pap smear, cells are collected from the cervix and sent off to a laboratory for testing. Most test results come back negative, however, there are a few instances where you may have an abnormal pap smear.
Reasons for an abnormal pap smear include:
- Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Early cell changes which need monitoring
- Early cell changes which need to be treated early
If you have an abnormal pap test result, your OBGYN doctor will consider these factors when developing next steps:
- Your previous pap test results
- Your previous treatments for cervical cell changes
- Your personal health factors including your age
Your OBGYN doctor may recommend these next steps after an abnormal pap smear:
- Having a repeat pap test in 1 to 3 years
- Having a colposcopy and biopsy
- Receiving treatment for high grade cervical cell changes
When your OBGYN doctor recommends a colposcopy, during the exam, your OBGYN doctor will apply a vinegar solution to the cervix to highlight abnormal areas. A colposcope is then used to light and magnify the cervix and check abnormal areas. A tissue sample can be taken for a biopsy to diagnose cervical cancer.
If your OBGYN doctor recommends receiving treatment for high grade cervical cell changes, treatment may include:
- Loop electrosurgical excision to electrify and remove abnormal tissue
- Cold knife conization to remove abnormal tissue
- Laser therapy to destroy abnormal tissue
- Cryotherapy to freeze abnormal tissue
- Total hysterectomy for severe cases of cervical cancer
To learn more about the importance of pap smear testing and management of an abnormal pap smear result, call your OBGYN doctor today.
When you suffer from pelvic pain, it can be a scary experience. It’s only natural to wonder what is causing your pelvic pain. There can be a simple, benign cause, or pelvic pain can be caused by a more serious condition.
Pelvic pain can be caused by your reproductive system, digestive system, or urinary system. There are some types of pelvic pain that can be caused by muscles or ligaments surrounding your pelvis.
Fortunately, your OBGYN doctor can determine the cause of your pelvic pain and treat it so you can get relief.
Some simple causes of pelvic pain include:
- Bladder infection
- Urinary tract infection
If you have extremely painful or heavy periods, your OBGYN can prescribe medications, including birth control, to help regulate your periods.
If you think you might be pregnant, your OBGYN doctor will have you take a pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy. If you are pregnant, your doctor will perform an initial examination, which may include imaging to determine a potential due date. Your OBGYN doctor provides a wide range of prenatal services to help you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
If you have a urinary tract or bladder infection, your OBGYN can prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection.
Some more serious causes of pelvic pain include:
- Uterine cysts
- Ovarian cysts
- Ectopic pregnancy
Your OBGYN doctor may require imaging studies to diagnose your condition. Imaging tests include:
- An MRI
- A CT scan
- An abdominal or pelvic ultrasound
If you have uterine cysts, ovarian cysts, or fibroids, your OBGYN doctor can prescribe medication and offers procedures to remove the cysts.
If you have an ectopic pregnancy, which is a pregnancy occurring outside the uterus, your OBGYN doctor may discuss surgical options with you.
If you have endometriosis, your OBGYN doctor may recommend taking birth control or your doctor may discuss a partial or full hysterectomy to relieve symptoms.
Your OBGYN doctor is an expert at the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic pelvic pain. To learn more about what can cause pelvic pain and how your doctor can help you get relief, call your OBGYN doctor today.
Your hormones handle a lot of important tasks to keep your body functioning. Unfortunately, there are a few life events which can cause your hormones to be out of balance, so you feel out of balance too.
Fortunately, hormone replacement therapy can keep you feeling like yourself. If you are considering hormone replacement therapy, you need to know the facts. These are a few frequently asked questions and answers about hormonal imbalance and hormone replacement therapy:
What Causes a Hormonal Imbalance?
A hormonal imbalance can be caused by natural changes or stages in your life, including puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause. Hormone levels can also dramatically decrease after a partial or full hysterectomy.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Hormonal Imbalance?
You might have no symptoms at all, and still have a hormonal imbalance. You might also experience signs and symptoms which can become severe. These signs and symptoms include:
- Irritability and fatigue
- Mood swings and depression
- Skin dryness and loss of elasticity
- Water retention and weight gain
- Osteoporosis and joint pain
- Less interest in sex
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Memory issues and difficulty concentrating
How Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Help?
Hormone replacement gives you back your hormones at stable levels, so you look and feel like yourself again. You will experience:
- Better sleep
- Increased energy
- Enhanced memory
- Increased ability to concentrate and focus
- An elevated mood with less mood swings
- Smoother, more hydrated skin
- Increased interest in sex
- Better weight regulation and less water retention
- Joint and bone protection and increased strength
What Are the Different Types of Hormone Therapy?
Hormone therapy has made several advances in recent years. You now can choose from:
Systemic hormone therapy, which is in pill form, or patches, rings, gel, cream, or spray.
Low-dose vaginal products, which focus on vaginal and urinary symptoms, not your entire body. Low-dose comes in cream, tablet, or ring forms.
Bio-identical hormone replacement, which is a product identical in structure to human hormones. Bio-identical hormone replacement may have less side-effects than traditional hormone replacement therapy.
Your OBGYN doctor can help you choose the hormone replacement therapy best for you. To find out more about hormonal imbalance and how hormone replacement therapy can help, call your OBGYN doctor today.
If you and your partner have been trying to have a baby, but you are unsuccessful, have you thought about treatment for infertility? Your OBGYN doctor is an expert at infertility issues and can help you both have a baby.
If you have infertility issues, you are not alone. Infertility affects 10 to 15 percent of couples. Infertility issues affect both men and women equally.
If you and your partner have been regularly trying to get pregnant for at least one year, you could have infertility issues. There are many causes of infertility, including:
- Having a long menstrual cycle of over 35 days
- Having a short menstrual cycle of less than 21 days
- Experiencing missing or irregular periods
- Having a low sperm count
Your OBGYN doctor will begin with testing to determine what is causing infertility. When your doctor determines the cause, treatment can begin.
Infertility treatment can take several paths, including:
- Restoring fertility
- Assisting reproduction with medical techniques
If your doctor is trying to restore fertility, your treatment might include:
- Clomiphene citrate, to stimulate your ovaries to ovulate
- Gonadotropins, to stimulate your ovaries to increase production of eggs
- Metformin, to treat infertility caused by insulin-resistance
- Letrozole, to induce you to ovulate
- Bromocriptine, to treat ovulation problems resulting from excess pituitary function
For medically assisted fertility, treatments may include:
- Surgery, to remove growths which are preventing your ability to get pregnant
- Surgically reversing a tubal ligation or to open blocked fallopian tubes
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI), which involves placing sperm inside the uterus
- Assisted reproduction (IVF), which involves combining the sperm and eggs in a laboratory setting and then implanting the embryo into the uterus
If you and your partner want to have a baby, but you have been unsuccessful, don’t despair. Your OBGYN doctor can help you succeed, so you can enjoy the family you want. To find out more about infertility treatment and other OBGYN services, call your OBGYN doctor today.
A woman’s reproductive health requires special care, and that’s what an obstetrics and gynecology doctor does. These specialists, commonly known as OBGYN doctors, can help protect you from breast cancer, cervical cancer, and other serious conditions affecting the reproductive system.
One of the most important services your OBGYN provides is the annual wellness exam. This exam, performed every year, includes:
- An examination of your pelvic area
- An examination of your reproductive system
- A pap smear to check for signs of cervical cancer
- An examination of your breasts to check for lumps and early signs of breast cancer
Your OBGYN may recommend further testing, which can include:
- Blood tests and other lab work
- A mammogram or breast MRI
- An ultrasound or other imaging studies
A woman should have her first annual wellness visit when she begins menstruating, and these wellness visits should continue every year after that. Visits to the OBGYN may be more frequent if you are:
- Sexually active
- Going through menopause
- Experiencing signs or symptoms of disease
You should visit your OBGYN as soon as you can if you:
- Notice a gray, yellow, or green, discharge from your vagina
- Experience pelvic or abdominal cramping that doesn’t go away
- Feel a lump in one or both of your breasts
- Have breast tenderness that doesn’t go away
Your OBGYN doctor provides many more important services in addition to annual wellness exams. These are some of the other popular services your OBGYN provides:
- Birth control options
- Pregnancy counseling
- Prenatal care
- Birth and delivery
- Treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
If you are premenopausal or going through menopause, your OBGYN can help with that by providing relief from hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, thinning bones, skin, and hair, and night sweats. For menopause, your OBGYN may recommend:
- Medication to limit mood swings
- Medication to keep your bones strong
- Hormone replacement therapy to balance your hormone levels
- Lifestyle and exercise modification to help you maintain a healthy weight
Your OBGYN can do a lot to help you stay healthy, and it all begins with an annual wellness exam. Protect your health by calling your OBGYN today.
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