Your First Exam
Whether it’s your first annual exam, your first child or your first signs of menopause, we want your initial visit to OBGYN West to be the first of many. That’s why we take special care to give you first-class treatment, every time. From babies to bladder issues, mood swings to menopause, the topics you discuss with us are decidedly delicate. In fact, next to your partner or a very close friend, there is no more intimate relationship than the one you share with your OBGYN. We value that candor and know that the bonds we build take time. Just trust that if it’s on your mind, you can share it with us. We look forward to working with you.
Just like snowflakes, we’re all different…and so are our menstrual cycles. There are big variables for what is considered “normal”. But it’s helpful to know that a typical period comes every 28 days (counting from the first day of one period to the first day of the next) and the average flow is five days long. Then what’s atypical? A cycle that is abnormal is 21 days or shorter with a flow lasting 7-10 days or more. As you can see, there are a lot of different definitions of a normal period. But if you’re out in the “atypical” range, you may want to make an appointment.
It’s called menorrhagia. But you know it as excessive bleeding. If your menstrual bleeding lasts seven days or more or if it’s so heavy you have to change protection nearly every hour, you may have menorrhagia. Not only is it potentially embarrassing, but it can also cause anemia, fatigue and it can definitely disrupt your life. The good news is, for women who are through with childbirth, there are many options that can lessen the severity of your discomfort…and many do not involve major surgery.
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Finding the method that’s just right for you means having plenty of options. That’s why we offer a full range of choices, including pills, IUD’s, injections and permanent techniques. To discuss this important decision with one of our doctors, please call for an appointment.
It’s widely accepted that women should have an annual gynecological exam. But when should they begin? The American Cancer Society recommends cervical pap smears approximately three years after the onset of vaginal intercourse or no later than 21 years of age. We also believe, as does the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), that “get acquainted” visits are a good idea for girls, starting around age 15. These annual exams are an important way to catch up with what’s new with you and address any other personal concerns.
The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. Sometimes, tissue like that which normally lines the inside of the uterus grows in other parts of the body, like the ovaries, bowel or bladder. The problem is, this special tissue, which is designed to grow and thicken each cycle to prepare the body for pregnancy, also grows and thickens and even bleeds like the uterine wall (even when it’s not in the uterus!), during the period. For women with endometriosis (most of whom are in their 30’s and 40’s), this can cause pelvic pain, pain during sex, even pain during bowel movements or urination. If you have any of these symptoms, please make an appointment t so we can talk about it. While endometriosis is a long-term condition, please know that you have treatment options that can lessen the severity of your symptoms and help you cope. And we’d like to help.
Fibroids are a benign (non cancerous) growth in the uterus. And if you’re a woman over 35, there’s a one in four chance you’ve got some. No reason for alarm, though. For most women, these fibroids, even if they’re large ones, cause no ill effects. However, for other women, the fibroids’ size, number and location in the uterus can generate great discomfort and inconvenience. They can disrupt menstruation (causing heavy bleeding and cramps), cause pain during sex and even can be responsible for miscarriages and infertility. The good news is, fibroids don’t have to rule (or ruin) your active life. At OBGYN West, we specialize in treating this common, but often debilitating problem.
Pelvis Support Problems
Many women’s pelvic organs change as they age. These support problems can include the bladder, small intestine, rectum, uterus and vagina. The symptoms depend upon which organ is involved, but include a pelvic heaviness or fullness or an uneasy feeling that something is falling out of the vagina. The causes of all this grief? The two main ones: childbirth and aging (although some pelvic support problems occur in women who’ve never had children). So how can we help improve the quality of your life? The key is to start with a proper diagnosis…and that will require our doing a full pelvic exam and asking you lots of questions. We’ll also examine you both lying down and standing up. Plus, we’ll test your bladder function. The good news is, there are treatments, exercises, diets and medication that can make you feel more like yourself again. We’d love to discuss your options.
HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)
For young women, ages 15-26, we now offer the HPV vaccination to protect against a common virus that may cause cervical cancer. Studies have shown that the non-mature cervix of an adolescent is more susceptible to HPV than a more mature cervix of a woman in her 20’s who engages in vaginal intercourse. Since an early onset of sexual activity increases the risk of an abnormal pap smear, which can potentially lead to cancer, we feel this vaccination is a worthwhile consideration for young women.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s)
The list of STD’s is long and their symptoms range from the uncomfortable to the downright dangerous. If you fear you may have contracted an STD, please make an appointment with us at your earliest convenience. Please contact us for an appointment.