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Well Woman Services

Empowerment and Choice for Every Woman

Our practitioners provide comprehensive care, offering the most up to date medical techniques as well as alternative health choices.

Some services that we provide include:

*Pap Test:  The pap test detects changes in the cells of the cervix.  The pap test helps find these changes early so they can be treated before the become serious.  A pap test can help prevent cancer of the cervix.  A pap test is painless.  A small brush is used to gently remove cells from the cervix.  The cells are sent to the laboratory.  The results take a couple of weeks.  If there are abnormal cells, further evaluation by coloposcopy or biopsy may be needed.

Some abnormal Pap findings are:

  • ASCUS (Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance): changes were seen in cells lining the outer cervix.
  • AGUS (Atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance): Changes were seen in the cells lining the inner cervix.
  • LGSIL (Low Grade squamous intraepithelial lesion): includes mild changes linked to human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease.  Low Risk HPV has been linked to genital warts.  High Risk HPV has been linked to cancer of the cervix.
  • Cancer:  The abnormal cells have spread into other tissues.
*Genetic Breast Cancer Screening/ BRCA 
 

*Colposcopy:  Viewing of the cerix, vulva, or vagina using magnification with a special instrument.

*Biopsy:  A minor surgical procedure to remove a small piece of tissue that is then examined under a microscope.

*Treatment of Vaginal Infections:  Vaginal infections are characterized by discharge, itching and/or burning.  Some vaginal infections are sexually transmitted while others are not.  Some common non-sexually transmitted infections are:

  • Bacterial Vaginosis(BV):  A thin watery, grey-white discharge with a fishy odor is usually present.  BV may occur simultaneously with other vaginal infections.  Though it is not clear why some women develop BV, some causes may be: the use of perfumed soaps or sprays, douches, prolonged use of tampons, vaginal contraceptives, a change in sexual partners, or irritation from intercourse.  A culture can be performed to test for BV.  BV is treated with oral antibiotics.
  • Candida (yeast):  Candida is a fungus.  It is the most common type of vaginal infection.  Typical symptoms include a thick, white, cottage-cheese like discharge and intense itching, or burning.  Yeast infections are common among women who are pregnant, diabetic, or obese.  Use of antibiotics can also cause a yeast infection because it changes the body's metabolic balance of vaginal acidity and disrupts the balance of "good" bacteria to "bad" bacteria.  Some women find that taking oral "Acidophilus" capsules   (a "good" bacteria commonly found in yogurt) helpful in preventing an overgrowth of Candida.  Your local healthfood store can recommend a good brand.

*Contraception:  Most women can become pregnant from the time they are teenagers until they are in their late 40s or early 50s.  This means that for 30-40 years of a woman's average lifetime, she is exposed to the possibility of becoming pregnant.  Contraception gives a woman the option to decide when she wants to become pregnant.  Your provider will help you choose a method of contraception that works best for you.

 *Premenstral Syndrome:  For a woman to be diganosed with PMS her doctor must confirm a pattern of symptoms that occurs the same time in the woman's cycle month after month.  Treatment can help relieve certain symptoms of PMS.  It may involve lifestyle changes, medical treatment or both.

*Treatment of Vulvodynia:  Vulvodynia is chronic pain of the vulva.  Symptoms may include burning, stinging, rawness, itching, aching, soreness or throbbing.  To diagnose vulvodynia, your doctor will do an exam with tests.  There are many treatments that may relieve your symptoms.

*Fibroid management:  Uterine fibroids are benign (not cancer) growths that occur in about 20 - 25% of all women.  Fibroids may or may not cause symptoms and usually do not require treatment.  If you have fibroids or have had them in the past, you should be checked by your doctor on a regular basis.  Getting regular checkups and being alert to warning signs will help you be aware of changes that may require treatment.

*Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID):  PID is the infection of a woman's uterus, fallopian tubes, or other pelvic structures.  It is caused by bacteria, including Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.  PID can damage or destroy the delicate fallopian tubes.  Symptoms often involve severe abdominal pain, fever and tenderness of the uterus and ovaries.  Other symptoms may include abnormal discharge; longer, heavier, more painful periods or bleeding between periods; fatigue; weakness; nausea; vomiting; and painful intercourse.  When Chlamydia is the cause of PID infection, symptoms may be mild or none at all.

*Endometriosis treatment:  Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue that looks and acts like the inner lining of the uterus is found outside of the uterus in the lower abdomen.  The tissue is affected by female hormones as if it were in the uterus.  This tissue bleeds, but since the fluid cannot be flushed out of the body, it builds up inside.  It causes pain that begins several days before the beginning of menstrual bleeding.

*Infertility management:  Couples are considered infertile if they have been unable to conceive after 12 months of having sex without the use of any form of contraception.  More than one factor may be causing the infertility.  A woman may be infertile because of hormone imbalances or problems with the reproductive tract.  A man may be infertile because he does not have enough sperm; because the sperm are not active enough; because the passage is blocked; or due to problems with ejaculation.  Some causes are easily diagnosed and treated, while others are not.  Infertility treatments are expensive, but it is covered under some insurance plans.

*Menopause and Perimenopause management:  At menopause, a woman's body makes less hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and she stops having menstrual periods.  These hormones can be replaced after menopause.  Women who have a uterus need to take both hormones, and those who have had their uterus removed can take just estrogen.  Hormone replacement therapy can relieve the syptoms of low estrogen - hot flashes and vaginal dryness.  The major benefits of therapy is that it prevents osteoporosis and protects against heart disease.  The average age of menopause is 45-55.

*Osteoporosis prevention and management:  Osteoporosis is a potentially crippling disease characterized by the loss of bone tissue and a susceptibility to fracture.  It afflicts an estimated 25 million Americans, 80% of whom are women.

*Urinary incontinence management:  Incontinence does not always mean that a woman leaks often.  Tell your doctor if you have ANY leakage of urine.  Proper diagnosis and treatment may correct your problem and ease your symptoms.  Here is a worksheet that you can complete and bring with you to your appointment.

*Depression: A common medical disorder that affects many people and, in most cases, can be treated with success.  Depression has many possible causes.  There is nothing "wrong" with being depressed.  Symptoms may include hopeless and negative feelings, worry, anxiety, headaches or other aches and pains, digestive or sexual problems.

We have a large variety of informational pamphlets.  Please feel free to visit our patient information areas in our office.  In addition, our staff is always happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Finding Her Here

(a poem by Jayne Relaford Brown)

I am becoming the woman I've wanted, 
grey at the temples, 
soft body, delighted, 
cracked up by life 
with a laugh that's known bitter 
but, past it, got better, 
knows she's a survivor- 
that whatever comes, 
she can outlast it. 
I am becoming a deep 
weathered basket.

I am becoming the woman I've longed for, 
the motherly lover 
with arms strong and tender, 
the growing up daughter
who blushes surprises.
I am becoming full moons and sunrises.

I find her becoming 
this woman I've wanted,
who knows she'll encompass, 
who knows she's sufficient, 
knows where she's going 
and travels with passion. 
Who remembers she's precious, 
but knows she's not scarce- 
who knows she is plenty,
plenty to share.