If you are a 21-year old female, who hasnâ€™t been to her gynecologist yet, regardless of sexual activity, you should schedule a gynecological check-up as soon as you can. A popular misconception amongst women is that visits to the gynecologist need only occur once a woman becomes sexually-active. This, however, is not the case. Even if she is not sexually-active, it is recommended that females get their first gynecological check-up by the time they are 21 years of age; some schools of thought recommend that women get their first gynecological check-up as early as the age of 12 or 13. Of course, no matter what age, if you are sexually active, you should get regular checkups by your gynecologist.
Â What are Gynecological Services?
Gynecological services are characterized by treatment, care, and other services for womenâ€™s reproductive health, as well as general health. Many people think that gynecological services simply describe the procedures involved in annual gynecological exams, namely the pelvic exam and the Pap smear. But, gynecological services and care actually extend far beyond the pelvic exam and the Pap smear; although the pelvic exam and the pap smear are two very crucial components to comprehensive gynecological care.
TheÂ pelvic examÂ is an examination of a womanâ€™s uterus, ovaries, cervix, and fallopian tubes; in other words, a pelvic exam is an inspection of a womanâ€™s internal reproductive organs. The purpose of a pelvic exam is to ascertain whether or not the womanâ€™s internal reproductive organs are healthy and with no presence of abnormalities, such as potentially cancerous tumors or growths caused by STDs.
In order to do the pelvic exam, the doctor or nurse practitioner will first examine the outer vagina- or as it is technically known, the vulva- and then use one hand to insert two lubricated fingers into the vagina to provide an upward pressure so that the other hand can feel the uterus, ovaries, cervix, and fallopian tubes with the other hand through the outside of the lower abdomen. This is done so that the doctor or nurse practitioner can feel for any irregularities, such as enlarged or sensitive areas, as well as allowing the patient to indicate any feelings of discomfort, pain, or tenderness. Sometimes, the rectum may also be examined during a pelvic exam.
TheÂ Pap smearÂ often performed during the middle of a pelvic exam. The doctor or nurse practitioner will insert a speculum into the vagina. The speculum is a medical instrument that holds open the vaginal opening just wide enough that the doctor or nurse practitioner can look at the cervix- to look for any visual abnormalities- and then physically take a sample of cells from the cervix using a small, soft brush. It is this sampling that is known as the Pap smear, or the Pap test.
The purpose of the Pap smear is to test for indications of cancerous cervical cells. A second swab may be taken after a Pap smear in order to test for sexually transmitted diseases as well as other infections.
The pelvic exam and the Pap smear are both the first, main steps in comprehensive gynecological care. They will indicate whether or not further, specialized gynecological treatments and care will be needed as well as what types of gynecological treatments and care may be needed.
In the presence of abnormalities or irregularities, one or more distinct gynecological tests or treatments may be performed. These types of gynecological tests and treatments include, but are not limited to:
- Abnormal Pap Smears
- Evaluation and Diagnosis of Causes for Pelvic Pain and/or Abnormal Bleeding
- Treatments for Urinary Incontinence
- Evaluation and Treatment of Infertility
- Birth Control Evaluations
What is the importance of Gynecological Services?
Obtaining regular, comprehensive gynecological services is incredibly important for maintaining female reproductive health. The vast array of gynecological services available to patients can address a number of questions and issues that can arise- questions and issues about topics such as:
- Family Planning
- Menstrual Irregularities and Abnormalities
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- The Pill and other forms of Birth Control
- Sexual Dysfunction
Making gynecological exams a regular part of your health care is the single most important thing a woman can do to ensure her reproductive, as well as physical and sexual, well-being. Not only can comprehensive gynecological health care treat any present gynecological problem, but it can also prevent gynecological problems from getting worse, or future gynecological problems from forming.
Gynecological Services at Complete Healthcare for Women
At Complete Healthcare for Women / Mervyn J Samuel MD, Inc., we have focused our efforts to develop gynecological services that will address the many needs and concerns of todayâ€™s woman. (See our complete list of Gynecological Services)
Our approach has always been simple and practical: Offer a one-on-one approach, where we can evaluate most patients in our comfortable setting of a friendly and well-equipped clinic. Whether the patient is a young woman who needs family planning or a menopausal woman with complains of incontinence and menopause, we will address all gynecological issues with a full, personalized evaluation.
At Complete Healthcare for Women, we make it easy for you to obtain board-certified, trusted care, for a lifetime of good health. Our gynecologic ultrasounds are performed on-site by your physician who will discuss any pertinent findings during your visit; no need to wait weeks to hear the results. Our modern facilities offer evaluation or treatment of gynecological issues, such as heavy periods, abnormal pap smears, urinary incontinence, and permanent contraception, without the need to travel to a hospital.
It would delight us to care for you, whether you are a young girl with early onset puberty, orÂ a mature woman with concerns of menopausal therapies and osteoporosis. Call us now to schedule a gynecological evaluation. Same-day appointments available!