What the New Pelvic Exam Guidelines Mean for You

Not every woman needs a pelvic exam every year, according to new guidelines from the American College of Physicians (ACP). However, you may want to hold off on canceling that appointment. Experts say skipping your pelvic exam could still have some unintended negative consequences on your health. The pelvic exam has important benefits, says OB/GYN … Read More

What to Expect After an Abnormal Pap Smear

When doctors want to do a careful evaluation of an abnormal Pap test, they usually recommend a colposcopy. This complicated word really means a fairly simple procedure — examining the cervix in detail with a pair of high-tech binoculars. The whole thing usually takes less than 10 minutes.

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Did Your Gynecologist Say ‘SIS?’

Maybe you’ve had an ultrasound and something came up abnormal. Or experienced some irregular, heavy, or postmenopausal bleeding. Or you could be struggling with infertility. To better diagnose the problem, your doctor orders an SIS, or saline-infusion sonography. This is a special ultrasound for imaging the uterus. But what is it, exactly, and what does … Read More

Women in Their 30s: Key Tests and Screenings (Video)

For your 30s, Holly L. Thacker, MD discusses the addition of another test to your Pap smear screenings: the HPV test. Depending on your HPV status, we can extend the time for your Paps to every five years rather than every three. But you’ll still need to see a women’s health physician every year, even if you don’t need a Pap. Fertility begins to decrease during this period of your life, so it’s important to talk about your childbearing plans with your doctor.

My Pap Is Abnormal. How Worried Should I Be?

It’s never a good feeling to get a call from your doctor’s office telling you about an abnormality on your Pap test. But most of the time, there’s not much to worry about. Paps can pick up subtle abnormalities in the cells of the cervix. Officially, a Pap is looking for cervical cancer and its … Read More