Routine Wellness Exams
An annual checkup is the single best thing a woman can do to protect her health. Our patients receive a comprehensive examination that includes:
- Pap smear (we use only “thin prep” smears and HPV testing because of their superior accuracy)
- Clinical breast exam
- Mammogram and ultrasound breast exam referral (routinely starting at age 35); MRI may be recommended if further clarification is needed
- STD screening
- General health screenings for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, anemia and high cholesterol.
Today, “the pill” is just one of many safe, reliable contraceptive methods including “the patch,” vaginal ring, IUD, Depo injection, diaphragm and in-office Adiana/Essure treatments. Each method has its own unique advantages. We take the time to explain all of the options so each patient can choose the method that’s best for her.
For a young woman, the first gynecological visit is an emotional experience. For a physician, it’s the first opportunity to create a trusting doctor-patient relationship. We start with a general introduction to the office & staff and then move on to a discussion of the young woman’s monthly cycles. If she is sexually active, we discuss STD prevention and contraception options. If she is not sexually active and there are no indications of problems with her cycle, we forgo the first pelvic exam until a future visit when her comfort level is higher. The first visit is recommended at age 17, or sooner if the young woman is sexually active.
Until recently, menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, irritability) had been routinely treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a method that has come under much scrutiny because of research linking HRT to certain types of cancer. We now provide alternative treatments, but reserve HRT as a temporary option for patients who have truly disruptive symptoms.
Menopause is an important time for osteoporosis detection (we recommend a DEXA bone density scan) and prevention (calcium, exercise and, if needed, medication therapy).
We also screen our menopausal patients for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, STD, anemia and high cholesterol.