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Annual Gynecologic checkup
Annual gynecologic exams are an essential part of maintaining long-term health and preventing illness before it occurs. Every day at OBGYN North, Austin, we see women of all ages for their annual gynecologic exams. Each gynecological visit includes a full medical history, physical exam (general, breast and pelvic), and discussion of health maintenance strategies.
The doctor usually begin the gynecologic checkup with a breast exam to check for lumps that may be a sign of cancer, then will check the external genital area for irritations, cysts or other problems. Next, the physician examine the cervix and vaginal walls. During this time, the doctor will also conduct a pap smear to check for cancerous and pre-cancerous cells. The last step in the annual gynecologic exam is for the physician to check the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Appropriate mammograms, colonoscopies, and blood work (cholesterol screening) are then ordered, if needed.
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not allow us to address significant gynecologic problems on the same day as a well-visit, therefore these problem appointments must be scheduled as separate gynecologic visits.
Abnormal bleeding, whether irregular, heavy, or absent, is a common gynecologic problem for women. It can be caused by hormonal problems (low thyroid function, polycystic ovarian syndrome, diabetes), anatomic issues (uterine fibroids, polyps), blood abnormalities (Von Willebrands disease), and gynecologic infections (sexually-transmitted diseases).
It is essential for us at OBGYN North to fully evaluate the source of the problem rather than just masking the gynecologic symptoms with birth-control pills, as we believe the treatment should be directed at the true cause. We complete the gynecologic evaluation in an organized, prompt manner in order to provide understanding to the woman experiencing these gynecologic symptoms and to provide education to allow her to choose the treatment plan that best fits her lifestyle and beliefs.
Pelvic pain with and between menstrual cycles can impair a woman’s quality of life and ability to work or attend school. Endometriosis is a gynecologic condition that occurs in women when the inner uterus lining starts to grow outside of the uterus and can be a common cause of such gynecologic symptoms. However, other causes for pelvic pain can include fibroids, adhesions, infection, etc. It is important for us to find out the real cause of the problem, therefore the pain is evaluated with a variety of exams including pelvic exam, ultrasound, trial of medications, and ultimately explorative surgery. At OBGYN North, we believe that long-term pain medications are never the ideal solution given issues of addiction and therefore, we always attempt to identify the source of the gynecologic pain and treat it directly. If long-term pain medications are required, we work in conjunction with pain management specialists to find the appropriate regimen. Our ultimate goal is to relieve the gynecologic symptoms and return each woman her quality of life.
At OBGYN North, pre-pregnancy counseling is recommended to give your baby the best start in life. Think about preconception counseling as preventive medicine for you and for the child you’re planning to conceive and to get your own health squared away before you get pregnant. As a matter of fact, a complete medical history, physical and gynecological exams a few months to a year before you start trying to conceive will help you determine what steps you may still need to take to become physically and emotionally ready to have a baby. At OBGYN North we also recommend Pre-pregnancy counseling for those women with chronic medical problems that might have complications in pregnancy and that can be prevented with advanced planning.
Are you looking for the best birth control option? At OBGYN North, we can assist you to find out the right treatment for you.
There are diverse today, and no longer include just birth-control pills. Traditional birth-control medication (combined estrogen/progesterone) can be administered also through a skin patch or vaginal ring. Progesterone-only birth-control is still available in pill and injection (depo Provera), but now also in a 3-year implantable option (Nexplanon).
- Intra-Uterine Devices (IUD) are another long-acting contraceptive that can either contain hormone (Liletta, Mirena, Sklya) or not contain hormone (Paragard). These are placed into the uterine as a simple office procedure and can stay in place for 3-10 years depending on the IUD chosen.
- Permanent sterilization through tubal Ligation is a procedure that seals off a woman’s fallopian tubes that carry an egg from the ovaries to the uterus. It can be done immediately after childbirth, laparoscopically through telescope into the abdomen, or hysteroscopically through a telescope into the uterus.
- Laparoscopic tubal ligations are now done frequently with complete removal of the fallopian tubes which has been shown to reduce risk of ovarian cancer. Of course, at OBGYN North we always encourage our patients to discuss vasectomy with their partners given that this is the simplest, lowest-risk procedure to achieve permanent sterilization.
Infertility affects up to 15% of the population. Not all infertility is due to female problems – in fact, 40% has a male source, 40% has a female source, and 20% has no identifiable source. After 6 – 12 months of trying to conceive without success, at OBGYN North we begin the evaluation with blood work, ultrasound, and hysterosalpingogram (HSG) for the female partner and semen analysis for the male partner. Based on these results, medical (metformin, clomid, etc) and surgical (laparoscopic removal of endometriosis or adhesions) treatments are then initiated.
If injectable medications, intrauterine insemination (IUI), or in-vitro fertilization (IVF) are necessary, at OBGYN North, we refer all patients to one of the fellowship-trained reproductive endocrinology/infertility physicians in central Texas.
Abnormal Pap Smears/Colposcopy
The Pap smear is a gynecological screening test for pre-cancers and cancers of the cervix. Most abnormal pap smears are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is a virus transmitted through sex. At OBGYN North, when a Pap smear returns abnormal, the cervix is then examined in detail using a colposcopy (microscope for the cervix) to look for these lesions. Such gynecologic lesions are then biopsied to assess whether a true precancer or cancer exists. Further treatment is then based on these biopsy results – repeat pap smear in 12 months for low-grade lesions, LEEP (loop electrocautery excision procedure) for high-grade lesions, and hysterectomy for cancers. At OBGYN North, we understand that this can be a very anxiety-provoking experience, therefore we schedule these appointments quickly and report results to patients as soon as they are available to reduce our patient’s stress.
Menopausal Care/Bioidentical Hormones
Some women gracefully enter menopause while others find this transition torturous. For those with significant symptoms, much can be done to reduce these symptoms – both with hormonal, non-hormonal, and herbal treatments. At OBGYN North we like to explore all of these options with our patients and decide which treatment best suits them.
Bioidentical hormones are one example of treatment which has become very popular today to take care of the menopausal symptoms. This type of hormone is identical in molecular structure to the hormones that women make in their bodies and are normally derived from plants.
If you looking for an OB/GYN in Austin, Texas committed to providing high quality, up-to-date OB/GYN care to women from adolescence through menopause, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Also, check out how we are up to in the OBGYN news and see what people think about our services.