Pelvic exam – a complete physical exam of a woman's pelvic organs. A pelvic exam helps a health professional evaluate the size and position of the vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries. It is an important part of preventive health care for all adult women. A pelvic exam is done to help detect certain cancers in their early stages, infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or other reproductive system problems. If this is your first pelvic exam, here is a link to a patient education pamphlet from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which can answer many of your questions: https://www.acog.org/womens-health
PAP test/smear – The Pap test is a screening test that has been very successful at finding signs of cervical cancer or cells that may turn into cancer cells in the future. During the pelvic exam, the doctor uses a special brush to gently scrape a few cells from inside and around the cervix. The cells are placed in a collection vial which is then sent to the lab for analysis. Our office has been using the ThinPrep Pap test for over 10 years. The Thin Prep Pap test is significantly more effective in detecting the abnormal cells that may turn into cervical cancer than the conventional Pap smear.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) test/vaccination – The HPV test is conducted at the same time as a PAP test for women age 30 or older as another early detection screening for cervical cancer. HPV is a common virus that is spread through sexual contact, with no symptoms. There are approximately 40 types of genital HPV. Some types can cause cervical cancer in women. An HPV vaccine, Gardasil, is available for adolescent and young adult women in certain age groups as prevention against cervical cancer. Your physician will provide counseling to determine if this vaccine is right for you or your daughter.
Breast exam – Your physician will perform a breast exam to look for any abnormalities that may require further tests, and, if you are 40 years of age or older, regardless of a normal exam, your doctor will recommend a screening mammogram. Women should not wait for their annual visit for a breast exam. It is important to do monthly breast self-exams (“BSE”). Here is information from the American Cancer Society on how to do a breast exam: https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/self_exam
Treatment of Menstrual Conditions/Disorders, such as: