General Gynecology Information
Here at Greenbrier Obstetrics and Gynecology we offer many types of office visits such as annual check ups, gynecological problems, and consultations for reasons such as menstrual disorders, infertility, birth control, and for female reproductive system abnormalities.
Annual Exams– Annual exams are an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Your physician or nurse practitioner will accommodate your annual exam to your current life stage and your medical history/needs. However, a usual annual exam consists of a pelvic exam, pap exam, and breast exam. If at the time of your exam if you are over 50 we will do a test to verify that you do not have blood in your stool.
- Vaginitis– This is a term that describes any disorder that causes swelling or infection both of the vulva and the vagina. The most common types of vaginitis are as follows:
- Yeast infection– This is an infection caused by the fungus Candida. The most common symptom of a yeast infection is a thick, white vaginal discharge. Some women also develop an irritated, red, itchy vagina. There are many over-the-counter and prescription treatments for yeast infections. It is important to talk to your health care provider if you think you have a yeast infection.
- Bacterial Vaginosis– This is an infection caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that are normally present in the vagina. This type of infection is the most common vaginal infection for women of the reproductive age. The most common symptom is a vaginal discharge, which is usually not thick and is milky; it may also have a “fishy” odor. It is important to talk to your health care provider if you think you have a BV infection.
- Sexually Transmitted forms of vaginitis– These types of vaginitis are most often spread through sexual contact and are also called sexually transmitted infections. Some types of sexually transmitted vaginitis are listed below:
- Trichomoniasis– This is a curable infection. Most common when women have this infection they experience no symptoms however some women do. Common symptoms include: vaginal discharge that is a greenish-yellow color and has an odor, itching and soreness of the vulva and the vagina, and burning when you urinate. This infection can be treated with an antibiotic therefore it is important to contact your health care provider right away if you feel you could have a Trichomoniasis infection.
- Chlamydia– This is a curable infection. Due to this infection not making people sick you can have the infection and not even know it. Some common symptoms are an abnormal discharge, pelvic pain, and/or painful urination. But these symptoms can be mild. This is infection that if left untreated can move inside the body and cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which can be serious. This infection can also cause complications in pregnancy and in birth. It is very important to contact your health care provider if you believe you may have a Chlamydia infection.
- Gonococcus (Gonorrhoea)- This is a curable infection however since it may not cause any symptoms in females or males it may go untreated. If there are symptoms they may be abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding, pelvic pain, and pain during urination. It is important to visit your health care provider if you feel you may have a Gonococcus infection.
- Pelvic Pain– Pelvic pain is a general term that health care providers use to describe steady pain, or pain that comes and goes. This pain occurs mostly or only in the lower abdomen area. There are cases where the pain might be severe and others where the pain may be dull and only occur during the menstrual cycle. In general, pelvic pain signals that there may be a problem with one of the organs in your pelvic area or it might be a symptom of an infection. Your health care provider will likely conduct a number of tests to find the cause of your pain and treatment varies by what the cause is. It is very important to contact your health care provider if you are experiencing pelvic pain at any level.
These are just a few of the reasons why a gynecological exam may be needed. If you fit any of the descriptions listed above or are concerned for any other reason related to a gynecology problem, please contact your health care provider.
- Birth Control– Birth control (contraception) helps prevent pregnancy. There are many safe and effective birth control methods. There are some important things to consider when thinking about birth control that can be discussed further with your health care provider. These are listed below:
- Personal Factors
- Health Factors
- Insurance Coverage
- Sterilization– This is a surgery or procedure. It makes a woman unable to get pregnant or a man unable to father a child. It is a permanent birth control method. Sterilization is a good choice if you are for certain you do not want any more kids. For females there are two types of sterilization:
- Tubal sterilization– The fallopian tubes are blocked or cut. This keeps the egg from passing into the uterus and sperm from reaching the egg. This works right away.
- Hysteroscopic sterilization (Essure)- The fallopian tubes are blocked with inserts. This keeps the egg from passing into the uterus and sperm from reaching the egg. Another form of birth control must be used until test results show that the fallopian tubes are completely blocked.
- Intrauterine Device (IUD)– The IUD is small, flexible, and is T-shaped. It is placed in the uterus by a trained healthcare provider. It is a very effective birth control method. It is reversible, meaning that it can be removed at any time by a trained health care provider. There are two different types:
- Copper IUD (Paragard)- This releases a small amount of copper into the uterus. This makes it harder for sperm to reach the egg. This IUD is good for at least 10 years.
- A progestin IUD (Skyla or Mirena)- This IUD releases progestin hormone. It keeps sperm from reaching the egg. It also causes changes in the uterus to help prevent pregnancy. Depending on the type of progestin used, it may work for at least 3 to 5 years. The five year IUD may be used to treat heavy and painful periods.
- Progestin-Only Birth Control– These birth control methods use progestin hormone. This hormone keeps an egg from being released or causes changes in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are four types of progestin only birth control options including the IUD discussed above.
- Implant (Nexplanon)- This implant is a thin, plastic rod that releases progestin. It works for up to 3 years. It is placed under the skin in the upper arm by a trained health care provider. It can be removed at any time.
- Injections– An injection (shot) of progestin is given by a healthcare provider in the arm or buttocks. It works for up to 3 months.
- Progestin-only pills- “mini-pills” These pills are taken daily at the same time. It is important to know what to do if you are late taking a pill or if you miss a pill. If this happens, a backup form of birth control may be needed for a week or more.
- Combined Hormone Birth Control– These birth control methods use progestin and estrogen hormones. These hormones keep an egg from being released to help prevent pregnancy. These methods are effective and reversible. Because they contain estrogen some women cannot use them.
- Birth Control Pills– Thse pills are taken daily to prevent pregnancy. There are many types of these pills. Some allow you to have fewer periods. The pills should be taken around the same time each day. It is important to know what to do if you are late taking a pill or if you miss a pill. If this happens, a backup form of birth control may be needed.
- Vaginal Ring– The vaginal ring is a thin, flexible, band that releases hormones. The ring is inserted in the vagina and replaced monthly. It can be removed during week 4 of each month. Speak with a healthcare provider to learn more.
-At the time of your annual exam you can choose to have screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections if desired.
Gynecological Problems– There are many frequent reasons as to why someone may need a gynecological problem examination. Some of the most frequent reasons are stated below.
Birth Control Options
Below is general information regarding birth control options that may be right for you. Further discussion of these options and whether or not it is a fit for you can be discussed with your health care provider.