Gynecology FAQs at Houston Obstetrics & Gynecology
Houston Obstetrics & Gynecology is a leader in gynecological services, providing care to patients throughout Houston, TX and the surrounding area. Dr. Arturo Sandoval leads our team of trained professionals, who are committed to the health and wellness of each patient who visits our practice. We will help you understand what to expect during your visit, when gynecological exams are necessary, and what tests we will perform. Contact our office with any questions you may have before or between appointments, and feel free also to peruse answers to some of the frequently asked questions about gynecology we hear at our office in Houston.
When should a woman have her first gynecological exam?
Women need to begin a routine of annual gynecological exams between the ages of 13 and 15. Houston Obstetrics & Gynecology tailors our well-woman exams for each patient. During each exam, you will have the opportunity to discuss topics including birth control, your menstrual cycle, and STD prevention and testing. We aim to help prevent health problems through gynecological exams. As part of your yearly check-up, we will perform a breast exam, pelvic exam, and any necessary blood or urine tests. By visiting our office at the dawn of their teenage years, young women gain valuable insight and information regarding their changing bodies. The first visit may simply entail a conversation about sex, menstrual cycles, STDs, and pregnancy. For other young women, we may perform a brief physical exam. However, barring any noticeable problems, we do not recommend internal pelvic exams before the age of 21.
How do I prepare for a visit to the gynecologist?
It is normal to be nervous ahead of your first visit to Houston Obstetrics & Gynecology. But you can rest assured that our professional staff will treat you with the care and attention you deserve. There are a couple of things to remember before your gynecological exam. Do not schedule your appointment while you are on your period. Bleeding may affect the accuracy of your test results or make it difficult to perform the necessary exams. We also ask that you do not douche within 24 hours of your appointment, have sex the night before your visit, or groom your pubic hair ahead of an exam. Each of these activities can make an exam more challenging.
Before your gynecological exam, prepare any questions or concerns you would like to discuss. The beginning of your visit will include a conversation about you and your habits, so be ready to let us know of any problems you might be having. There is no reason to be embarrassed by anything. It is better to let us know of your concerns right away so that we can treat your condition rather than wait until it becomes a full-blown problem. Let our expertise ease your discomfort about any personal topics.
What tests does a gynecologist perform?
When you visit Houston Obstetrics & Gynecology for your annual appointment, we will perform a series of tests to ensure you are healthy and attempt to spot any problems before they worsen. The tests you can expect include:
- General health check – This may comprise blood and urine tests, as well as weight and blood pressure measurements.
- Physical exam – Our medical staff will listen to your heart and lungs and check for signs of tenderness in your abdomen, among other tasks.
- External genital exam – Your doctor will examine your vulva to make sure there are no sores, swelling, or problems.
- Pelvic exam – If necessary, women who are at least 21 years of age may have a pelvic exam. During this test, our gynecologist will observe the outside of the vagina before then examining the reproductive organs. We will use a speculum to conduct the internal exam and check your cervix.
- Pap smear – Your doctor will remove cell samples from your cervix with a small brush. The sample is then taken to a lab where it is checked for cervical cancer and abnormalities. If abnormal cells are discovered, we may perform a cervical biopsy.
- Breast exam – We will check for lumps or abnormalities within your breasts.
- STD tests – For sexually-active patients, we will check for sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV using a swab of tissue obtained during the pelvic exam or through blood tests.
At what age does one stop visiting the gynecologist?
Women of all ages should visit Houston Obstetrics & Gynecology for gynecological services. The nature of each visit may change over time, but visits are nevertheless necessary. Women aged 55 and older may encounter hormone changes or vaginal dryness that can be addressed by our team of medical experts. Additionally, we will examine the vulva more closely for older women because aging can cause painful or irritating symptoms. We will also continue to perform cancer screenings. Women in their 60s and 70s are at a much higher risk for ovarian, breast, and uterine cancer than their younger counterparts.
Visit Houston Obstetrics & Gynecology Today
Gynecological appointments are essential for any woman beyond the age of 12. The team at Houston Obstetrics & Gynecology is proud to treat women of all ages with expert, individualized care. We will help you understand your body and how it changes over time, and treat any problems that arise. Our team will also carefully screen for issues to ensure your overall health and wellness. Furthermore, we provide compassionate care. We do not want you to be embarrassed by any question or situation, so please be open with us. We will be better-equipped to help you if we get the full picture. Contact us today to schedule your next gynecological appointment.