Below is a list of many common symptoms that can be addressed in our office.
Abnormal Pap Smear
The PAP test is a very effective screening tool for Cervical abnormalities. However, the PAP test is not a diagnostic test. If the PAP is abnormal then additional tests or a plan of follow-up is necessary. Abnormal PAP tests are generally placed into one of 6 categories:
1) Low Grade Squamous Lesions: These include Atypical Squamous Cells and Mild Dysplasia. This group is the least serious but still need either additional testing or a plan for follow-up. If confirmed, this category does not generally need treatment and will most commonly return to normal on its own.
2) High Grade Squamous Lesions: This category includes Moderate and Severe Dysplasia. These are serious pre-cancer cells and most commonly need to be treated. A microscopic exam of the Cervix called Colposcopy is typically performed in the office to confirm the diagnosis prior to planning treatment.
3) Carcinoma-In-Situ: These represent true Cancer cells but ones that are superficial and have not invaded the body. A colposcopy exam is again performed prior to planning treatment.
4) Cancer of the Cervix: This is obviously the most serious category. Besides Colposcopy, these patients often need to have a wedge shaped biopsy performed called conization that helps determine the extent of Cancer.
5) Abnormal Glandular Cells: This is a less common result on PAP smears but can cover the same ranges as Squamous cells. The Glandular cells are further up in the Cervical canal. A colposcopy exam is recommended to determine the extent of the problem before planning treatment.
6) Infections of the Cervix can also be detected at times by the PAP test. Some of these infections can be treated and some need additional evaluation before treatment. An Abnormal PAP test is often very frightening. Please realize that the cells do not change rapidly. We will help make recommendations about how to appropriately evaluate the situation as well as discuss follow-up and/or treatment options.
The average cycle for women occurs every 21 to 35 days and menstruation usually lasts for 3 to 7 days. Sudden changes in your bleeding pattern can indicate problems. See your practitioner for bleeding in between cycles, bleeding more than 7 days or extremely heavy bleeding. Bleeding after Menopause as well as frequent spotting after sex should always be evaluated. If you are not sure if your bleeding is abnormal then call to discuss your concerns with one of our nurses.
Pelvic or Lower Abdominal Pain
Endometriosis is one of the most common causes of pain and bad cramping that women have to deal with. It can occasionally also create difficulty in becoming pregnant. Endometriosis is the presence of the normal lining tissue from inside of the Uterus (endometrium) spreading outside of the Uterus. Commonly it will be on or near the Ovaries. There are medical as well as surgical options available for diagnosis and treatment.