|Showing posts with category STI. Show all posts|
Dr. Valary Gass Talks About STI's
Apr. 11, 2018 2:38 pm
With the spread of STI's on the rise, we want to make sure every woman in our Circle of Care has the information she needs to live a safe and healthy life. That's why we're breaking down the most effective ways to prevent contracting an STI and what symptoms require a prompt visit to your OB/GYN.
What are STI's?
Sexually transmitted infections (STI's) are infections or viruses spread from person to person by intimate physical contact or through sexual intercourse. Common STI's include chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, genital herpes, and syphilis.
Aside from colds and the flu, STI's are the most common contagious (easily spread) infections in the United States. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that there are millions of new cases each year, so it's important to know the facts when it comes to protecting your body.
How Can I Protect Myself?
The good news is, there are a lot of different ways you can protect yourself. You can reduce your risk by of contracting an STI by:
- Limiting your number of sexual partners.
- Using protection (such as condoms) every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
- Making sure you are up to date on all of your immunizations. Vaccinations are available for hepatitis B as well as some forms of HPV.
Regular screening is also key to catching an STI early if you do contract an infection.
"It's recommended that sexually active women between the ages of 15 and 25 have at least an annual gonorrhea and chlamydia screening," Dr .Gass says.
There are some STI's that can be cured, but early detection is important.
"Additional screening can be offered for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis C, and other STI's," Dr. Gass says.
What are the Most Common Symptoms of an STI?
Some of the most common STI symptoms to look out for include:
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Sores, bumps, rashes, or blisters in the genital or anal area
- Abnormal discharge
- Redness or swelling in the genital area
- Pain in the pelvic or abdominal area
- Pain, soreness, irritation, or other discomfort during intercourse
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Recurring yeast infections
If you believe you are at risk for contracting an STI, it is very important to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.
"Sexually transmitted infections can have an impact on future fertility," Dr. Gass says.
During pregnancy, STI's can also cause harm to the fetus. If you are pregnant and you or your partner have had -- or may have -- an STI, be sure to inform your doctor so you can work out a treatment plan that will decrease the chances of your child getting the infection.
Schedule An Appointment
"If you have concerns about STI's or believe you could need screening, please talk to your healthcare provider," Dr. Gass says.
At Women's Care, our providers are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information, and a compassionate, caring staff.
To schedule an appointment with one of our providers to discuss STI screening or any other health related topic, please call us at 920-729-7105 or click here.
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.
"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.