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Early detection is very important to successfully treat any gynecological or reproductive issue that a patient may experience. As we have stated previously, the earlier a woman is aware of her condition, the more treatment options she will likely have available to her. That’s why we stress the importance of annual well woman exams for women of all ages. Today, we’ll be focusing on the pelvic exam, one of the central components of the well woman exam and why it is so essential.

What Makes an Annual Pelvic Exam so ImportantA standard pelvic exam at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett includes three elements. First we conduct an external examination to monitor the condition of the pelvic anatomy and check for skin lesions or palpations of the stomach area. Next, there is an internal examination to inspect the vagina and cervix with a speculum. We then examine the uterus (including the appendages of the uterus known as the adnexa) with a pelvic, or bimanual, exam. Lastly, we examine the abdomen by palpating the stomach, spleen, liver, and bladder.

We recommend annual pelvic exams to scan for the following female concerns:

  • Vaginal infections including yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis
  • Sexually transmitted infections including herpes, gonorrhea, or human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Various gynecological issues including uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, or uterine prolapse

Before your pelvic exam with a board-certified gynecologist, always make your doctor aware of the following factors to consider:

  • When your last period started and how long it lasted
  • If you have never had a pelvic exam before
  • If you are currently on birth control
  • If you are pregnant or think you might become pregnant
  • If you have had surgery or any other procedures performed on the vagina, cervix, uterus or surrounding areas
  • If you are experiencing any symptoms in the pelvic-area like itching, redness, swelling, or an unusual vaginal discharge 
  • Any changes you may have noticed throughout the year or during regular self-exams

Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, it’s our top priority to ensure peace of mind to patients during their gynecological examinations. Our entire staff will do everything within their power to ensure that all exams are performed with the utmost level of privacy, discretion and comfort that our patients deserve. To schedule your annual pelvic examination, contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more tips, news and updates.

When it comes to successfully treating cancer, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment are all extremely important. The sooner a patient’s cancer is treated, the less chance it has to grow and spread throughout the body. This is true of all forms of cancer, including gynecological cancer. Certain gynecological cancers may not show any signs or symptoms for some time after developing, so it’s highly recommended to go for annual screenings and well woman exams, or more regular screenings if you have concerns. Still, it’s important to be aware of the common signs of gynecological cancers should they occur. Hopefully this helps our patients keep an eye out for troublesome symptoms and catch them early.

cervical cancer warning signsCervical Cancer Warning Signs

  • Irregular bleeding, including bleeding after sex, bleeding after menopause, bleeding between periods
  • Longer or heavier than-normal periods 
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Painful, uncomfortable sex

Uterine Cancer Warning Signs

  • Irregular bleeding, spotting, or vaginal discharge
  • Menorrhagia, or abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), for premenopausal women
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain or discomfort in the pelvic area

Ovarian Cancer Warning Signs

  • Urinary symptoms including frequent urination
  • Bloating
  • Pain in the pelvis or abdomen
  • Trouble with eating or feeling full quickly

By getting more familiar with these warning signs, making regular visits to a board-certified gynecologist, and seeking medical attention if they notice anything irregular, women can dramatically reduce their risk of gynecological cancer spreading. For more information on gynecological cancer or if you would like to schedule a screening, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more tips, news and updates on our upcoming Health & Wellness events.

Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we are all about sharing our knowledge and expertise with our patients. Prevention is often a great tool for maintaining reproductive health & wellness, and education is an essential component of prevention. The more our patients understand about their bodies, the better chance they have to live a healthy lifestyle and avoid common gynecological health concerns. With that in mind, we’ve taken some time to answer some important questions on common gynecological issues and treatments.


best gwinnett gynecologistQ.) How do I know if I should undergo FemTouch™ Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation or a Labiaplasty procedure?

A.) FemTouch™ Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation and Labiaplasty are very different procedures with very different goals. Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation is intended to improve vaginal health internally, to help women who are experiencing painful or unsatisfying sex, or even urinary incontinence. A labiaplasty is a cosmetic procedure used to correct the appearance of area outside of the vagina canal.

Q.) Are pap smear results 100% accurate?

A.) Unfortunately, not always. Even though technological breakthroughs like liquid based Pap (LBP) have significantly increased the accuracy and effectiveness of Pap testing over the years, errors can still occur. That’s why at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we recommend that patients should be seen for annual Pap testing as part of a well woman exam in order to ensure that any abnormalities are caught as soon as possible.

Q.) Are there risks involved with undergoing a hysterectomy before I have gone through menopause?

A.) Women who have a hysterectomy only become menopausal if they have their ovaries removed as well. Hysterectomy alone doesn't lead menopause. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend concomitant removal of the tubes and ovaries for women over 45 at the time of their hysterectomy. This prevents future risk of cancer, especially for women close to natural menopause. Surgical menopause is much more abrupt than natural menopause, but not all women become symptomatic. 

Patients who undergo a hysterectomy before menopause will experience immediate menopause symptoms following their procedure. These patients may also have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. If this occurs, we recommend hormone therapy that can help limit menopause symptoms. Other medications meant to specifically treat osteoporosis are available as well for patients with especially high risk.

Don’t be shy if you have questions of your own in regards to your reproductive health & wellness. We pride ourselves on arming our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to enjoy the best gynecological health. If you have questions of your own or you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more tips, updates and our info on our upcoming Health & Wellness Events.

For women, menopause is unavoidable. Though every woman will eventually go through menopause, it may affect every woman differently. There is plenty of credible information online for women concerned about menopause, but there are also some common misinformation floating around as well. That’s why board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett has taken some time to debunk some of the more misleading myths about menopause.

Myth #1: Menopause Happens Suddenly

This is a pretty common falsehood. For women who experience natural menopause (instead of surgical menopause after a hysterectomy) menopause is a gradual process. During the perimenopause period, or pre-menopause, a woman’s estrogen production gradually begins to decrease and periods become irregular. Some women experience more symptoms during perimenopause due to a major fluctuation in the sex hormones. A woman has not technically entered menopause until she has not had a period for an entire year. 

Myth #2: Menopause will Eliminate Your Sex Drive

This too is incorrect. Sex can be just as desirable and enjoyable for women who have undergone menopause as anyone else. Though a decreased interest in sex is commonly associated with a hormonal imbalance that comes with the transition into menopause, this is temporary. For women who experience vaginal dryness after menopause that makes sex painful or unappealing, we recommend FemTouch™ Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation. FemTouch™ Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation treatments restore vaginal health to help improve these symptoms and make sex more satisfying again. 

Myth #3: Hot Flashes Mark the Beginning of Menopause

Hot flashes may be the most well-known symptom of menopause, but that doesn’t mean they will be a woman’s first indication of her transition. There are plenty of other symptoms including fatigue, anxiety, heavy or irregular bleeding, mood swings, hair loss, weight gain, diminished sex drive and more that can commonly serve as the first sign of entering menopause.

The truth is that menopause does pose certain challenges for women, but none of these challenges need to drastically alter a woman’s life. The better an understanding of their bodies women have, the better equipped they will be to handle the changes that occur with menopause. For more information on menopause and the various treatments we offer, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more tips and news on women’s health and wellness. Also check out our calendar of upcoming Health & Wellness Events.

 

Cervical Health Awareness Month at Gynecology Associates of GwinnettIn honor of the recently passed national Cervical Health Awareness Month, Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett is here to remind you of all you can do to both prevent cervical cancers and help spread awareness of potential prevention options. Each year, almost 13,000 women in the US alone are diagnosed with cervical cancer according to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC). By educating women about cervical cancer and what they can do to prevent it’s spread, it is our goal to drastically reduce this number in the years to come.

Though cervical cancer was once among the most common causes of cancer death for American women, the cervical cancer death rate has decreased considerably over the last 30 years. This is largely in part to the increased prevalence of cervical cancer screening tests. Regular screening can detect changes that occur in the cervix before cancer has a chance to develop. Screening can also detect cervical cancer early enough to treat it before it has a chance to grow and spread. 

Another great way for young women to significantly reduce their risk for cervical cancer is to get vaccinated for human papilloma virus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer. We highly recommend any woman between the ages of 9 and 26 receive their HPV vaccine before it is too late to do so. 

In addition to providing HPV vaccinations, Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett also offers pap smears and cervical cancer screenings. Doctors typically recommend that patients begin Pap testing at age 21 and continue every 3 years (at a minimum) until age of 65. However, here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we believe that most patients should undergo Pap testing annually to best keep an eye out for potential abnormalities. This is especially true for women who have not received the HPV vaccination. 

We encourage anyone reading this to help spread the word about cervical health awareness to the women in their life. Awareness and education can go a very long way in the fight against cervical cancer and HPV. For more information or if you would like to schedule a screening appointment, please contact Dr. Kristine Gould at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more stories, tips and updates.

 

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Contact Information


Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett
601 Professional Drive, Suite 330
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046   
Phone: 678.380.1980   
Fax: 678.380.7348

Our Hours

Monday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Tuesday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Wednesday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Thursday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Friday 8:30AM–12PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

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