Gynecological FAQ's


  1. When should I have my first pap smear?

ACOG recommends annual pap smears at age 21 routinely. There are certain circumstances when one is needed earlier. We also recommend seeing an OB/GYN at a younger age to discuss birth control, vaccinations, preventive healthcare, and any problems.
 

  1. Can I have a Pap smear when I am bleeding?

Yes, if you are spotting. Please feel free to keep your appointment to meet with the doctor and discuss any other issues and defer the pap to a later date.
 

  1. When do I need my first mammogram?

At age 40. If you have a family history or and breast problems, it may be done earlier.
 

  1. What is HPV?

It is a very common sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

 

  1. Should I be tested for HPV?

It is generally recommended that women over age 30 be tested  at the time of the pap smear.  If any abnormal cells are seen the test is performed at any age.
 

  1. Who should get the Gardasil Vaccine?

It is recommended for all patients ages 9-26 to prevent cervical cancer and genital warts.
 

  1. What is Menopause?

Absence of menstruation for 1 year due to lack of ovarian hormone production.
 

  1. How do I know I am in menopause?

A simple blood test can be performed by your doctor.
 

  1. What are the symptoms of menopause?

Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia , night sweats, mood swings, decreased libido.
 

  1. What’s the difference between the Mirena and Paragard IUD?

Mirena-It lasts 5 years and has hormone in it to control cycles.
Paragard- It lasts 10 years and is made of copper, no hormones.

 

  1. What do I do if I miss a birth control pill?

 

  • If you miss one pill, take it as soon as you remember. Take the next pill at your regular time. This means you may take 2 pills in one day.
  • If you miss 2 pills in a row, take 2 pills on the day you remember and 2 pills the next day. Use a backup method for the next 7 days.
  • If you miss 3 pills, you need to throw out the pack and wait for a period to start the new pack. Use back up birth control for the rest of the month.
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