Showing posts with category Gynecologist. Show all posts

The Facts Surrounding Cervical Cancer

Jan. 23, 2018 12:06 pm

According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition, nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, even though the disease is almost always preventable with vaccination and regular screening. At Women's Care, we're devoted to keeping our patients healthy and we believe having access to the most up-to-date educational information is crucial to making important decisions about your well-being. That's why we sat down with Dr. Therese Yarroch to get the facts about cervical cancer prevention.

What Is Cervical Cancer? 

Generally speaking, cancer begins when cells in the body start to grow out of control. Cervical cancer occurs in the cells "in the bottom portion of the uterus that we can see on a speculum exam through the vagina," Dr. Yarroch explains.

Almost any part of the body can become cancerous and that cancer can continue to spread to other areas of the body.

Are Certain Women At A Higher Risk For Cervical Cancer?

Unlike many diseases, Dr. Yarroch notes that family history does not normally increase your likelihood of contracting cervical cancer.

"In most cases, cervical cancer is caused by HPV, which is a very common sexually transmitted virus that suppresses the immune system," Dr. Yarroch says.

Women who have a suppressed immune system, including those who smoke, are typically at a higher risk for cervical cancer, but it's important to remember that this disease is very preventable with vaccination and regular screening.

If Cervical Cancer Is Preventable, Why Is It So Common?

"Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide, but it is less common than some other female cancers in the United States because we do have preventative measures in place," Dr. Yarroch explains.

Unfortunately, it still remains an issue because HPV is so prevalent.

"It's also important to keep in mind that not everyone is able or willing to follow all of the guidelines that are recommended to help prevent cervical cancer," Dr. Yarroch explains. That's why educating the public and providing access to affordable healthcare is so important.

Pap Smears And Pelvic Exams

"It used to be that women started getting Pap smears as teenagers and continued to get them every year," Dr. Yarroch says.

Now, screening guidelines recommend that women have their first Pap smear at age 21 and continue to have one every three years until age 30 when they can choose to get a Pap smear with HPV co-testing every 5 years instead.

Having regular Pap smears is crucial to preventing cervical cancer. During this portion of the exam, your gynecologist collects cells from the end of your cervix. Those cells are then looked at under a microscope to give your gynecologist a better indication of if cancer or pre-cancer is a concern.

"The important thing to remember is that even though you may not need a Pap smear every year, it is still strongly recommended that see your gynecologist and have an annual pelvic exam," Dr. Yarroch says.

"When we do a pelvic exam we are looking at the cervix and checking for any bumps or color changes on the cervix that would be concerning for cancer or pre-cancer," Dr. Yarroch explains.

HPV Vaccinations

"In the past, we didn't have any way to prevent the spread of HPV, which is the main cause of cervical cancer, but now we do." Dr. Yarroch says.

It is recommended that the HPV vaccination be given before a person even has the opportunity to become sexually active. While you can receive the vaccination later in life, it's important to note that most insurance companies do not cover the vaccination after age 27.

"We also find that the HPV vaccination is more effective in patients when it is given at a young age because the immune system is more robust and able to build up a stronger immunity against the virus," Dr. Yarroch explains.

"With this vaccination, the hope is that in the future we will be able to further reduce the incidents of cervical cancer," Dr. Yarroch says.

Schedule An Appointment

If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our providers at Women's Care, you can call us at 920-729-7105 or click here.

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When Should My Daughter Have Her First Gynecologist Visit?

Jan. 15, 2018 4:29 pm

For many young women, the thought of seeing a gynecologist for the first time can feel scary or even embarrassing, but this should be a time when your daughter feels comfortable and is able to ask questions about her developing body. We talked with Dr. Valary Gass of Women's Care to provide you with the information you need to help your daughter feel more positive and less stressed out about her first gynecologist visit.
What Age Should I Schedule My Daughter's First Gynecologist Visit?
"The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that girls between the ages of 13-15 visit with a gynecologist," Dr. Gass explains.
For many parents, a reasonable time to talk with your daughter about scheduling her first appointment is after her first menstrual period. The real purpose of this appointment is to establish a relationship between your daughter and her gynecologist so she can feel comfortable asking questions and learn about what changes she can expect as she develops.
Preparing For Your Daughter's First Gynecologist Visit
The most important thing you can do to help ease your daughter's nerves is talk to her. Explain to her why this visit is important and help her understand what she can expect. Having an open dialogue with your daughter will encourage her to ask questions and feel more comfortable about the experience.
It is also a good idea to have your daughter create a list of questions she may have for her gynecologist before the visit. Sometimes being nervous can cause us to be forgetful, so writing these questions down on a piece of paper will help her make sure she doesn't leave anything out. Common topics for questions include periods, hormones, birth control, sex, and sexually transmitted infections. These are all normal topics for your daughter to have questions about. Remind her that anything discussed with her gynecologist is protected by privacy laws, so she shouldn't feel embarrassed about asking these questions.
What Your Daughter Can Expect During Her Visit
"Most of the time, a girl's first gynecologist appointment does not involve a pelvic exam," Dr. Gass says, "but it should include taking a careful medical history, addressing any concerns like bad periods, and considering things like HPV vaccinations."
During your daughter's first gynecologist visit, she can expect to have a general physical exam where the nurse will record her height, weight, and blood pressure. Her gynecologist may then check for common health problems and talk with her about her medical history.
While her gynecologist will probably not conduct a pelvic exam during her first visit, it is likely that your daughter will have an external genital exam. During the external genital exam, your daughter's gynecologist will exam her vulva and may use a mirror to help her identify parts of her own body that she has yet to discover.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that this visit is an opportunity for your daughter to speak openly with her gynecologist and ask questions.
When Is a Pelvic Exam Necessary?
"The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests that most women begin regular Pap smear screening at age 21," Dr. Gass says. At that point, women should continue regular screening every three years until age 30 when they can switch to having a Pap smear with HPV co-testing every five years.
Your daughter most likely will not need a pelvic exam during her first gynecologist visit, unless she has expressed complaints of lumps, bumps, pelvic pain, or abnormal discharge. In these instances, her gynecologist may decide a pelvic exam is necessary.
When Should My Daughter Stop Seeing Her Pediatrician?
Once your daughter is seeing a gynecologist regularly, you may wonder if she needs to continue seeing her pediatrician. This is largely up to you and depends on the specific needs your daughter has as well as her gynecologist's preference for their practice. It is perfectly normal for your daughter to continue seeing her pediatrician well into college and it can be helpful if she has a complicated medical history. Just make sure your daughter continues her annual gynecologist visit as well.
Schedule An Appointment
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our providers at Women's Care, you can call us at 920-729-7105 or click here.

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What Is Nitrous Oxide and How Does It Work?

July 19, 2017 12:34 pm

Nitrous oxide, often called "laughing gas", has been a common practice to help cope with pain for many years. While it's mainly used in dental offices, Women's Care of Wisconsin is happy to offer you the option of patient-controlled nitrous oxide to assist with pain relief and anxiety during gynecological procedures.

Women's Care's Registered Nurse, Tanya Henry, explains that the nitrous oxide "helps relax you and helps you manage your pain" so that in-office procedures like getting a Pap smear or having an IUD placed are more comfortable.

When nitrous oxide is used for gynecologic procedures, it is a mixture of 50% nitrous gas and 50% oxygen. This gas is inhaled through a mask for about 30 seconds before the procedure begins and is self-administered by the patient, so you can breathe it in as you feel necessary.  

"Some people do find relief from the gas, however some people don't see that the pain goes away, but they're much more relaxed and allow us to do the procedure better because of it," Tanya explains.

Nitrous oxide is cleared from the body through the lungs, so as soon as you pull the mask away, the nitrous effect starts to fade. Within a few minutes, the nitrous oxide will have left your system, making it a great option for women who need to drive after their procedure.

"Essentially, what it's doing when we give you the nitrous is allowing you to relax so the doctor can do what they need to do and in the meantime you're not feeling as much pain or discomfort," Tanya says.

If you would like more information about how to request nitrous oxide for your next procedure, please call our office at 920.729.7105.

You can also learn more about nitrous oxide on our website by clicking here.

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Meet Preston and Kristy!

May 10, 2016 9:49 am

Watch their video and learn how the team of specialists at Women's Care of Wisconsin worked together to bring their baby safely into the world.

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