Visiting the gynecologist is a crucial aspect of your overall health. However, knowing what to expect during your well-woman examination, how often they should occur, and other information like when you should begin seeing your gynecologist can help you feel comfortable and understand why these appointments are so important. Find out more about genealogical care in your 20's with your OBGYN at Women’s Medical Center in Dothan, AL.
What does gynecological care involve?
Gynecology focuses on the disorders and diseases specific to women and their reproductive systems. Routine preventative gynecological care includes regular examinations and screenings for conditions which, if caught early, are treatable with help from your doctor. In addition to testing for conditions, your doctor will talk to you about your reproductive and sexual health and ensure that you receive answers to any questions and help with any concerns you may have.
What can I expect from a well-woman examination?
There are four main aspects of a well-woman examination: external genital examination, internal pelvic examination, Pap smear test (cervical cancer screening), and bimanual examination. Your doctor will also perform a breast examination and ask you to provide a urine sample. The examination takes place right in your doctor’s office and takes only a few minutes. During your appointment, you can also talk to your doctor about STD testing, birth control, or other family planning topics.
Gynecological Care in Your 20s in Dothan, AL
For many women, their first gynecological exam takes place in their early 20s. Though most women are in good health at this age, these early visits are important to build a good foundation for your reproductive and sexual health. Building a solid and trustworthy relationship with your doctor now helps you stay in touch with your health and ensures that you get the help, advice, and treatment you need under any circumstances.
For more information on gynecological care in your 20's, please contact your gynecologist at Women’s Medical Center in Dothan, AL. Call (334) 793-3900 to schedule your appointment with your doctor today!
What your doctors in Dothan, Alabama want you to know about sexually-transmitted disease testing.
Sexually-transmitted diseases, also known as STDs, can attack your body, causing symptoms that range from annoying to painful. Fortunately, thanks to modern medicine, there is effective testing that can be done to identify an STD so you can get appropriate treatment. Your doctors at Women’s Medical Center in Dothan, Alabama want to share why STD testing is important for you.
STD testing is important if you are just beginning a sexual relationship. You and your partner deserve to have a healthy, happy relationship. You should also consider STD testing if you or your partner:
- Practice unprotected sex
- Have sex with multiple partners
- Use intravenous drugs
- Have had sex with an intravenous drug user
You should also have STD testing if you or your partner are beginning to show symptoms. Some of the signs and symptoms to look for include:
- Sores, lesions, or warts on your genitals
- Itching or burning when you urinate
- Discharge from your penis or vagina
STDs may or may not show any symptoms. It is only through STD testing that you will know for sure whether you have an STD. At Women’s Medical Center they offer several effective screening and testing services including:
- A blood test which checks for herpes, HIV/AIDS, PID, hepatitis B, cytomegalovirus and syphilis
- A cell test which checks for gonorrhea, chlamydia, scabies and genital warts
- A discharge test which checks for chlamydia, vaginosis, PID, herpes, gonorrhea and syphilis
You and your partner deserve a healthy sexual relationship and STD testing can help. Early diagnosis of an STD means early treatment and a faster, better outcome for you and your partner. For more information about STD testing call your doctors at Women’s Medical Center in Dothan, Alabama. STD testing can keep you healthy, so call today!
Find out the best birth control option that’s right for you and your needs.
Choosing the right birth control is a serious decision and one only you can make. Of course, you may not know about the various types of birth control out there. Our Dothan, AL, OBGYNs want you to be able to make an educated and informed decision regarding your sexual health.
Here are the overarching birth control options available to you:
- Non-hormonal birth control
- Hormonal birth control
- Implant/intrauterine device
Non-Hormonal Birth Control
While abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancy and STDs, if you are sexually active you’ll want to consider the best birth control for you. Of course, when many women think about birth control they often think about hormonal options like the contraceptive pill, patch, or injection. While this certainly works for countless women it isn’t the only available option.
Non-hormonal birth control includes condoms and barrier methods (such as sponges, diaphragms and cervical caps). These methods are usually found over-the-counter at your local drugstore. It’s important that you follow the directions exactly as it reads on the packaging to prevent pregnancy.
We know that non-hormonal birth control can be a great option for those who experience unpleasant side effects from hormonal birth control options. Before deciding on a non-hormonal birth control method you may want to consult one of our Dothan, AL, gynecologists to make sure it’s right for you.
Hormonal Birth Control
This is the most common type of birth control used by women. Oral contraception is a great way to prevent pregnancy as long as you take your pill at the same time every day. There are a myriad of different kinds of oral contraceptives out there so it’s a good idea to talk to us to find out which one will meet your personal needs. Hormonal birth control also comes in the form of a patch, vaginal ring, or injection.
Commonly referred to IUDs, these small birth control devices are implanted into the uterus to provide long-term birth control (for up to 12 years). There are different kinds of IUDs out there; some are hormonal while others, like the copper ring, are not. Plus, the device can easily be removed at any time if you decide you want to get pregnant.
Women’s Medical Center is proud to provide comprehensive women’s health services to the Dothan, AL, area. Whether you want to chat about birth control options or you are looking for prenatal care, we are here for you and your health.
Menopause is a natural part of a woman's life, but managing the physical and emotional changes of the transition can be difficult and overwhelming for many women. Every woman's body is different, and as such no two women will experience menopause in the same way, or experience the same exact symptoms. The gynecologists and women's health professionals at Women's Medical Center in Dothan, AL, offer a range of services in a caring and compassionate environment.
Menopause Management and Support in Dothan, AL
Menopause refers to the post fertility stage (usually a full year after last menstruation). The process typically begins several years before the end of menstruation, and is accompanied by a number of symptoms including:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Night sweats
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Changes in metabolism
Although the exact age when fertility begins to decline and menstruation ends varies from woman to woman, it generally spans the ages between 45-50+ (the average age of menopause for women in the United States is 51). Not every woman will experience every symptom, and some are more intense than others. But there are a number of ways for women to manage and cope with menopause symptoms in order to stay healthy, active and comfortable as the body transitions to a new stage.
Managing Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is a natural part of life and the aging process, and as such there is no "cure," but the symptoms can be managed. The first step is to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist to discuss your symptoms and the best management options for you. Treatment options vary and depend on the severity of the symptoms, but may include medication, topical creams to relieve dryness, and lifestyle modifications to diet and exercise.
Find an OB/GYN in Dothan, AL
For more information on how to manage and find support for your menopause symptoms, contact Women's Medical Center by calling 334-793-3900 to schedule an appointment today.
How often should you be getting a breast exam?
Did you know that about 1 in 8 US women will develop breast cancer at some point during her lifetime? With statistics such as these it’s important that you are taking the preventive measures you need to keep yourself healthy and to promote early detection. Find out how often you should be visiting our Dothan, AL, OBGYNs for a breast exam.
Women of any age should be performing self-breast exams at least once a month. If you aren’t sure how to properly perform a breast exam on yourself our Dothan, AL, gynecologists would be happy to show you during your next visit. These exams are important because it’s the best way to detect changes or issues early on, so this is a habit that every woman will want to adopt.
Of course, these self-exams should not negate coming in at least once a year for a proper medical breast exam. After all, we are thoroughly trained to look for any issues that you may have missed during your own self-exam. Most of the time these breast exams are performed during your annual appointment.
What should you expect during your breast exam?
When we perform an exam we are looking for any visible or palpable changes to your breasts. We will check the texture, shape and size of your breasts and look for any warning signs such as pain, swelling, lumps or dimpling. If symptoms are detected, do not automatically assume that you have cancer. There are a lot of other non-serious issues that could be causing these symptoms.
If we do find any problems during your breast exam we will talk to you about the next step and whether we will need to perform further testing to figure out what’s causing your symptoms.
If you are noticing any changes or symptoms that give you pause, you should also give us a call, even if you don’t need to come in for your annual breast exam. It’s always best to play it safe rather than sorry when it comes to your health.
Regardless of whether or not you have risk factors, all women should be getting regular breast exams. Call Womens Medical Center in Dothan, AL, today to schedule your next visit with us. Preventive care can go a long way to promoting good health for the future.
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