We recommend annual pelvic exams and Pap smears (a test for cervical cancer) for women are sexually active or 17-years-old or older. Yearly screening for inflammation or abnormal cells can detect disease in the early, treatable stages, so it’s extremely important. In addition to the Pap smear (taking cervical cells for microscopic examination), your doctor will check your breasts and abdomen for changes.
Some women go through menopause relatively easily. Others deal with hot flashes, fatigue, night sweats, spotting and emotional ups and downs, all of which can seriously affect quality of life. We can help. Treatment options include lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) and hormone replacement therapy, which alleviates menopausal symptoms and also helps prevent osteoporosis (brittle bones.) Your doctor can discuss the pros and cons of the latest treatments with you and help you decide which is the best option for you.
PMS is no joke. Monthly cramps, bloating, insomnia, fatigue, moodiness and depression are miserable, even if they are expected. If PMS is a problem for you, we can offer solutions, including counseling about healthy eating, exercise, and reducing stress. For some women, birth control pills can reduce PMS symptoms. In extreme cases, such as PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), anti-depressant medication and/or psychological counseling can be helpful.
There are so many available birth control methods, you may feel overwhelmed or confused about the right choice for you. Your doctor will advise you about convenience, effectiveness and duration of various methods, taking into account your lifestyle, age and health. The choice is yours, but your doctor will make recommendations and give you the knowledge you need to make the right decision.
There are many different strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV), some of which cause genital warts or increase the risk of some cancers. HPV is sexually transmitted and can be prevented by the use of latex condoms. There is also a vaccine that prevents the two most serious forms of HPV. We recommend that our younger patients receive the vaccine. There is no cure for HPV once contracted, so prevention is important. Ask us if the vaccine is appropriate for you.
Sexually active women who have had multiple partners should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Many STDs don’t manifest obvious symptoms, so periodic testing is crucial. You can count on us for safe, confidential testing and treatment. Antibiotics cure some STDs and antiviral medications can help control (but not cure) HIV, HPV and genital herpes.