Comprehensive Women’s Health Care

Our physicians care for women of all ages from adolescent, reproductive age, menopause and peri-menopausal. We are always learning about new procedures and the most advanced technologies to provide the most up-to-date patient-centered care experience.

Gynecologic Annual Screenings

An annual gynecologic exam provides valuable screening tests. It gives you the opportunity to be proactive with your health and have open discussions with your doctor regarding any health concerns relevant to your age and general health. The typical yearly exam involves a thorough medical history along with your detailed physical examination and a recommendation for any screening tests and immunizations.

Preventative care within your annual exam may include a PAP test (to determine any changes that may lead to cervical cancer), pelvic exam and breast exam. Many times a stool test may be requested for woman over 40 along with a mammogram, bone density studies and hormone testing.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are necessary throughout your life to prevent unnecessary illnesses. Vaccinations vary by age and can include some of the following:

Ages 13-18:

  • Diptheria and reduced tetanus toxoids and acelluar pertussis vaccine booster (Tdap)
  • Hepatitis B – for those previously not immunized
  • Human papillomavirus – for those not previously immunized up to age 26
  • Influenza – annually
  • Measles, mumps, rubella – for those not previously immunized
  • Meningococcal conjugate – for those not previously immunized
  • Varicella – one series for those without evidence of immunity

Age 19-39:

  • Influenza – annually
  • Diptheria and reduced tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine booster (every 10 years)Tdap
  • Others may be necessary if have not been previously immunized

Age 40-64:

  • Influenza – annually
  • Herpes zoster – single dose at age 60 years or older
  • Diptheria and reduced tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine booster (every 10 years) Tdap
  • Others may be required for those without evidence of immunit

65 and older:

  • Influenza – annually
  • Diptheria and reduced tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine booster (every 10 years) Tdap
  • Others may be required for those without evidence of immunity

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) refers to a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms that typically occur about 5-11 days before a woman starts her menstrual cycle. The most common symptoms include: headache, swelling of hands and feet, backache, abdominal cramps or heaviness and abdominal pain. These symptoms usually stop once menstruation starts or shortly thereafter.

An exact cause of the PMS symptoms has not been identified but may be related to hormonal, biological or psychological factors. Hormone levels change prior to the beginning of menstruation that trigger changes in brain chemistry and renal function. These changes are responsible for many of the symptoms of PMS.

Since there are no physical findings or lab tests to diagnosis PMS it is important that you work with your physician to provide a complete history of your symptoms. Many times a symptom calendar can help a woman identify the most troublesome symptoms.

There are some treatments and medications that can be used to reduce the effects of PMS and should be discussed with your doctor.

Contraception

If you are not planning to have a baby at this time it is important to either refrain from sexual intercourse or use the correct form of contraception (birth control) which will greatly reduce your risk of an unplanned pregnancy. The most common methods of contraception include birth control pills, vaginal rings, Depo-Provera (injection) and intrauterine devices. It is best to speak to your physician to determine the appropriate form of contraception for you based on your medical condition and desire for future fertility.

Menopause

Menopause is when a woman stops naturally having menstrual periods. Your doctor can confirm the diagnosis of menopause when a woman has missed her period for 12 consecutive months with no other obvious cause. It occurs when the ovaries stop making estrogen, marking the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It can occur between the ages of 40 and 58, the average age being 51.

Perimenopause is the time period leading up to menopause when the estrogen production fluctuates, typically in a woman’s 30’s and 40’s. A common sign is a change in the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle can be shorter, longer or the menstrual flow can be affected. Skipped cycles may also occur. The transition phase of perimenopause may last four to eight years.

As each woman experiences menopause differently, it is best to discuss all your symptoms with your doctor. When the symptoms of menopause interfere significantly with your daily life your doctor may recommend medications that can help.

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Women's Health