Basic gynecological care is essential for women, even more so for women who are sexually active. While painful or uncomfortable symptoms are one reason to seek medical care, it’s important to visit a doctor on a regular basis even when you feel healthy. With the constant risk of undetectable conditions like cervical cancer and some sexually transmitted diseases and infections, frequent STD screenings and Pap smears are among the most important ways you can protect yourself from future health problems. Barbara Lynne Gray, MD, provides top-quality care and can perform any of these services at A Healthy You in Austin, Texas. Call the office or set up an appointment online today.
Gynecologists are doctors specially trained to treat problems associated with the female reproductive system. At A Healthy You, you can get access to the all the basic services provided by a gynecologist, including Pap smears, ultrasound scans sexually transmitted disease (STD) screenings and treatments, and a variety of other diagnostic procedures.
A Pap smear is a test that Dr. Gray can perform in just a few minutes to detect signs of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer can become quite advanced before you see any noticeable symptoms, and the prognosis is immensely improved when the cancer is caught early. Regular Pap smears are the first line of defense against the disease.
In a Pap smear, Dr. Gray will need to collect a few cells from the cervix. You’ll be asked to sit on an exam table with your legs in the stirrups, and Dr. Gray will use a device called a speculum to hold the vaginal walls apart. This allows her to use a soft brush and scraping device to gather a sample of cervical cells. While the speculum can be an uncomfortable sensation, this typically doesn’t hurt at all and is over in minutes.
After the procedure, you’ll be able to return to your day as normal, and Dr. Gray will have your results in a matter of days.
Anyone sexually active should get regular screenings for STDs, especially for the following:
HPV is by far the most common STD in women, as nearly all women contract some strain of it at some point. HPV can cause cervical cancer, so it’s important to get regular screenings for it as most people with HPV experience no symptoms. A vaccination is available to protect against HPV.
Some of the most common symptoms of STDs in women include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek help from Dr. Gray as soon as possible, and schedule an STD screening.
If you’re interested in the gynecology services available or in being screened or treated for an STD, call the helpful staff at A Healthy You today or make an appointment online.