Annual gynecological checkups are essential in ensuring women enjoy optimal health as they get older. Before the exam begins, patients are asked to provide a complete personal and family medical history as well as a list of any medications or supplements they may be taking. Weight and blood pressure will be recorded and a clinical breast exam and other evaluations will be performed. A pelvic exam and Pap smear may also be conducted, and additional lab work and testing like urine or blood testing or mammograms may be performed or ordered. Finally, patients will receive guidance and care recommendations based on their health and lifestyle.
A Pap smear is a diagnostic test used to look for indicators of cancer or other medical issues. The test is performed during a pelvic exam and uses a long-handled swab to gently remove cells from the surface of the cervix and the surrounding tissues. The swab sample is evaluated under a microscope to look for evidence of cancer or other issues like human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, the most common cause of abnormal Pap test results.
A second Pap test may be performed or a special pelvic exam called colposcopy may be conducted using a magnifying device to examine areas of abnormal tissue and to take tissue samples for further evaluation.
STD testing begins with a visual examination of the genital area and the mouth if symptoms are present. A pelvic exam, blood tests, tissue samples or urinalysis may be performed as well. Most STDs can be successfully treated with antibiotics but some (including HIV and herpes) cannot be cured and must be managed with medication and other therapies. The US Department of Health recommends all sexually active people be tested for STDs at least once per year; those with riskier sex habits should be tested every three months or so.
Sometimes these can be an HMO, please call our office to verify: Medi-Cal and Medicare. For the following, we accept PPO and HMO (medical group needs to be Allied Pacific or Healthcare Partners): Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, HealthNet and United Healthcare.
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