Yearly pelvic exams and Pap tests are important in monitoring your gynecologic health. The Pap test will screen for infection, inflammation or any abnormal cells that may indicate disease. Early detection is important in the treatment of disease and especially important in diagnosing cervical cancer and other potentially life-threatening diseases.
Annual gynecological exams are recommended for women who are sexually active or over the age of 18. During the exam, the doctor will examine your breasts and pelvic organs for any abnormalities or changes. During a Pap test, your doctor will remove some tissue from the cervix to culture. An annual exam is one of the most important steps you can take in preventing disorders of the pelvic organs.
Gynecological exams are valuable to adolescents in many ways. It is important for young women to be assessed early, especially if they are sexually active, and to begin a relationship with a doctor that may guide them through many important milestones in their lives. We provide wellness consultations for adolescents with a goal of establishing a bond of trust and confidence with each patient.Our doctors promise to provide special care and confidentiality to their younger patients.
A typical adolescent exam includes a consultation, a full medical assessment and a minimally invasive exam. Annual pelvic exams and pap smears are recommended for all women over the age of 18, but younger patients may receive a modified exam. If the patient is not sexually active, a pelvic exam may not be required. As a gynecological exam may be overwhelming for a teenager, our doctors will carefully and thoroughly explain the exam process. Patients will have the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns about their bodies as they enter adulthood. Our doctors are especially sensitive with their younger patients and want to develop a long lasting relationship based on trust.
Many women going through menopause experience a wide range of symptoms including:
- Irregular bleeding
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
There are several treatment options available to help relieve these symptoms, and our doctors can help you decide which option is best for you.
Prescription medication with estrogen and progesterone, known as hormone replacement therapy, is a treatment available for women to treat the symptoms of menopause and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Patients seeking treatment for their individual symptoms should try to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Counseling & Treatment
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) are common conditions that are associated with symptoms related to menstrual periods and can include bloating, cramping, fatigue, moodiness, sleep irregularity and depression. PMS is experienced by most women, but symptoms of PMDD can and should be treated professionally. There is no official diagnosis of these conditions, but if they are affecting your ability to function in your everyday life, they can be considered serious.
Chronic PMS and PMDD can be treated through a variety of solutions. Behavior modification has been found to be effective and includes exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, dealing with stress and not smoking. Birth control pills can often help reduce these symptoms. For PMDD, anti-depressants or counseling may be prescribed.
Abnormal Pap Smear Evaluation & Management
An abnormal Pap smear doesn't necessarily indicate a condition like HPV or cervical cancer. Pap smears are constructed to detect any changes within the cervical cells, and abnormal results may indicate other conditions such as inflammation, hyperkeratosis, or atypical squamous or glandular cells. False positives are also common from Pap smears, but we take every precaution we can to ensure your health.
Your doctor may perform a colposcopy after abnormal cells are found in order to examine the cervix more closely and take a biopsy of any abnormal tissues. Any necessary treatment will be performed after further examination.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Testing & Prevention
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that causes genital warts. There are more than 100 different kinds of viruses and some of them may increase the risk for cancer. While some types can cause genital warts, others will show no symptoms but can eventually lead to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina and anus. Contracted through sexual contact, the risk of infection can be reduced by using latex condoms.
While there is no cure for HPV, treatment for the symptoms caused by HPV, such as genital warts, cervical changes and cervical cancer, is available.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Testing & Procedure
Most sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have no symptoms, so it is difficult to know if you have been infected. Periodic testing is recommended for anyone with multiple sexual partners, even if they are having protected sex, using condoms. It is important to ask your partner if they have or have ever had an STD. We offer safe and confidential STD testing and treatment.
If you are diagnosed with an STD, most can be treated effectively. Many, however, cannot be cured. Antibiotics are prescribed for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis and patients usually respond well. There is no cure for genital warts, but flare-ups can be shortened with antiviral medications.
Choosing a method of contraception is an important decision that will impact a woman's daily life. Your doctor can help you find a successful method of protection for you and your partner. You will be provided with information about the different types of contraceptives and their respective advantages and disadvantages.
Birth control methods have many different variables including frequency, convenience, permanence and effectiveness. It is important to take into consideration your life, age, health and previous experience. The decision is ultimately yours, but using our knowledge and experience can help you make the right choice.
Full Service Lab
At Ob-Gyne Associates of Lake Forest, Ltd., we provide a Full Service Lab. We use lab tests as a medical tool to analyze a sample of blood, urine, stool or bodily tissue. They can be valuable in identifying potential health issues before symptoms even arise. Labs may also be helpful in securing a diagnosis when symptoms are present. They can aid in the monitoring of a condition and in the evaluation of how well it is responding to treatment, too.
Infants are protected at birth from certain diseases because of antibodies passed to them from their mother's placenta. Breastfed children continue to receive protection against disease through breast milk. This protection, however, is temporary.
Immunization from certain diseases may be achieved through a series of vaccinations. Vaccinations use a small amount of the killed or weakened microorganisms that cause the disease. These viral or bacterial microorganisms cause the infant's body to defend itself against the disease, building up immunity for the future.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children receive a combination of vaccines whenever possible to reduce the number of injections a child may receive.
Operative & Diagnostic Laparoscopy
Diagnostic laparoscopy involves the insertion of a thin camera-tipped instrument called a laparoscope through a small incision to examine a patient's abdomen or pelvis. This includes the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, small and large bowels, appendix, liver and gallbladder. A diagnostic laparoscopy is typically done to confirm the presence or absence of a condition when noninvasive tests, such as X-ray or ultrasound, prove inconclusive, and to help the surgeon determine the proper course of treatment. There are situations in which a diagnostic laparoscopy may be contraindicated, as, for example, when the patient has a swollen bowel, fluid in the abdomen, or another serious medical condition.
Surgeries for Ovarian or Uterine Issues
Complex gynecological surgeries that once required large incisions and long recovery times are now being performed as minimally invasive procedures due to innovations as laparoscopy and robotic assistance. These advances allow surgeons to perform their procedures through tiny incisions, using a camera and small instruments. This provides surgeons with a clearer and more magnified view as well as more precise control than a traditional open procedure. Today's technology makes procedures like hysterectomies and myomectomies shorter and safer, and greatly reduces recovery time.