Physicians for Women provides complete gynecological care for women of all ages. We offer a wide range of services and procedures, many of which are not offered at every OB/GYN clinic.
Physicians for Women recommends that women over age 21 have an annual gynecological health assessment, often called a “Well-Woman Visit.” The exam consists of two portions:
The purpose of a yearly pelvic exam is to check that the health of your vulva, cervix, vaginal wall, and internal reproductive organs (including your uterus) are healthy.
Your exam will begin with a visual examination of your external genitalia. Your gynecologist will then use a device called a speculum to examine the inside of your vagina and cervix. He or she will also perform a bimanual examination, which checks the health of your uterus and cervix. In this exam, your gynecologist will place two fingers inside of your vagina and place their other hand on top of your abdomen. The exam should not be painful.
For patients ages 19 and above, a yearly clinical breast exam is recommended. Your gynecologist will manually examine your breasts for lumps.
Additionally, women ages 40 and above should have a yearly mammogram as well as a clinical breast exam. A prescription will be given to you or sent to your radiologist for your mammogram. During your mammogram, an x-ray image will be taken of each breast, which can help your doctor detect cancer early.
We also recommend that our patients also perform regular breast self-examinations at home.
Your gynecologist will usually ask questions about your menstrual cycle, as well as your sexual history. We invite our patients to be completely honest and open about their sexual histories - we aren’t here to judge. We’re here to make sure that you receive the best care possible, whatever your needs may be.
A Pap test (also called a Pap smear) screens for cervical cancer. The American College of Gynecology recommends a Pap test every three years for women ages 21-65. Pap smears are not necessary for women under 21 or over 65. If abnormal or unusual cells are discovered during a Pap, the result is considered positive. A positive Pap test does not indicate cervical cancer. It’s important to speak with your doctor about further testing.
Women with a family history of breast cancer are eligible for BRCA gene mutation testing. Mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes means that some of the natural DNA damage that occurs in a human body over time may not be repaired properly, which can lead to cancer. Specific inherited mutations in these genes increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers. Talk to your gynecologist about BCRA testing.
Our team includes female physicians who specialize in working with teenaged patients. We understand the stress and apprehension that a young adult may feel before her first gynecology visit. We’re here to support our younger patients during their first visit, explain what to expect at each stage of the process, and address any questions to make sure that they’re as comfortable as possible.