Well Woman Exam and PAP
After you are sexually active, you should start seeing an OB/GYN on a yearly basis for well woman exams. After you turn 21, your OB/GYN will start talking to you about getting Pap smear testing.
A Pap smear is a screening procedure for cervical cancer. It tests for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix, the opening of the uterus.
You should still get regular Pap smears even if you’re in a monogamous relationship. The HPV virus can be dormant for years, and then suddenly become active.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that has many different strains. Some strains are benign only causing warts. Unfortunately, other strains can cause cervical cancer in women. A Pap smear doesn’t test for HPV specifically, but it can identify cellular changes caused by the virus. By early detection of cervical cell abnormalities with a Pap smear, treatment can start before it spreads and becomes a bigger problem.
** We also offer other exams for women experiencing menstrual irregularities, adverse vaginal symptoms, breast problems, miscarriages, UTIs, etc.**
A colposcopy is a special type of diagnostic exam that is done after certain abnormalities are detected on pap smears. If you have had an abnormal smear, then by using colposcopy, our provider can examine in detail each part of your cervix and vagina and look for areas with abnormal appearing cells. A colposcopy is a type of cervical cancer test. A colposcope, a microscope designed specifically for aiding the naked eye by magnifying the cervix, vagina, vulva and anus, is used to perform this exam.
How is a colposcopy done?
It is done in much the same way as your regular gynecologic exam, but the only difference is that our provider looks at your cervix and vagina through the colposcope after he or she has inserted a speculum. Our provider can identify warty lesions or do a more extensive exam which may include a cervical biopsy.
What is a cervical biopsy?
A cervical biopsy is the removal of a tiny piece (or pieces) of tissue from the cervix using a special instrument. The tissue is then sent to a laboratory for examination.
Does the exam hurt?
The colposcope does not touch your body and therefore does not hurt. If a biopsy is needed, you may feel a small pinch each time a piece of tissue is taken. There is a small amount of bleeding following a biopsy. If bleeding continues after a few minutes it can easily be treated.
Post Abortion Exam
Often after an abortion, a follow up exam is not performed by the abortionist to make sure you are healing correctly and there are no complications. We offer a post abortion exam with one of our providers who will ensure that you are healing correctly and help you assess any follow-up needs.
After an abortion there may be serious complications such as:
- Heavy or persistent vaginal bleeding
- Infection or sepsis
- Damage to the cervix
- Scarring of the uterine lining
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to other organs
Go to the ER immediately if you have any of these symptoms after an abortion:
- Severe vaginal bleeding. Both medical and surgical abortions usually cause bleeding that is different from a normal menstrual period. Severe bleeding can mean:
- Passing clots that are bigger than a golf ball, lasting 2 or more hours.
- Soaking more than 2 large pads in an hour, for 2 hours in a row.
- Bleeding heavily for 12 hours in a row.
- Signs of infection in your whole body, such as headache, muscle aches, dizziness, or a general feeling of illness. Severe infection is possible without fever.
- Severe pain in the belly that is not relieved by pain medicine, rest, or heat application
- Hot flushes or a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher that lasts longer than 4 hours
- Vomiting lasting more than 4 to 6 hours
- Sudden belly swelling
- Rapid heart rate
- Vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells bad
- Pain, swelling, or redness in the genital area
Call us if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Vaginal Bleeding (not spotting) for longer than 2 weeks
- New, unexplained symptoms that may be caused by medicines used in your treatment
- No menstrual period within 6 weeks after the procedure
- Signs and symptoms of depression. Hormonal changes after a pregnancy can cause depression that requires treatment. Read about our support group