Routine exams, diagnostic tests and treatment options to maintain GYN health.
The OB-GYNs and staff of Hoffman and Associates in Baltimore, Maryland offer patients comprehensive gynecologic care, providing a number of routine exams, services and diagnostic tests for each stage of a woman’s life. Our physicians encourage patients to take part in their overall gynecologic health by scheduling routine well-woman exams.
The doctors of Hoffman and Associates introduce and guide young women through the beginning stages of adolescent gynecologic care. Our approach for adolescents is focused on prevention and care through the introduction of routine examinations and education. Initial GYN visits for adolescents may not necessitate a physical examination and may not target any one specific condition or symptom other than those natural to the physical maturity of a young woman, but these visits remain an important time for patients to establish a comfortable, long-term relationship with their gynecologist.
Gynecologic wellness refers to the routine physical care of a woman’s reproductive system after her transitional stage of physical maturity known as puberty. Generally, this refers to women reaching the end of their teenage years and older.
Scheduling regular visits with your gynecologist is the most important step in maintaining gynecologic wellness. Visits should be completed annually, but may depend on your age and condition, as well as family and personal health history. The gynecologists of Hoffman and Associates strive to tailor gynecologic visits to fit the needs of the individual woman at each stage of her life.
Patients who experience abnormal symptoms, such chronic pelvic pain or an irregular period cycle, should address these issues with their gynecologist. Additionally, it is also very important to discuss any changes in your overall health and lifestyle with your gynecologist.
The gynecologists of Hoffman and Associates perform a variety of gynecologic screenings and examinations based on patient age, health and medical history. Typical screenings and examinations may include the following:
- Review of your medical history and menstrual cycle
- Physical exam of the breasts and genital area
- Pelvic exam including the vagina and cervix
- Pap test (Pap smear) as age appropriate
- HPV vaccine with parental consent
- Abnormal pap test management, including colposcopy and LEEP procedure
- Endometrial ablation
- Endometriosis diagnosis and treatment
- Sexually transmitted disease screening and treatment
- Uterine fibroid diagnosis and treatment
Pap tests are recommended every 2-3 years for women starting at age 21. If you’re over 30, have never had an abnormal Pap test, and are in a monogamous relationship, you can consider having a Pap test every 3-5 years. The recommended frequency of a Pap test may depend on several factors and patients should consult their doctor.
It generally takes 2-3 weeks to get results from a Pap test. You will receive a phone call informing you of the Pap test results. If you do not receive a call within 4 weeks, please call the office to follow up.
Most abnormalities on Pap tests are caused by the human Papilloma virus, or HPV. This is sexually transmitted and very common. Half of all women who are sexually active have the virus at some point in their lives. Different strains of the virus cause genital warts or precancerous changes. If you have a precancerous change on your cervix, a colposcopy may be recommended. This is an office procedure where we look at your cervix with a microscope to see if any areas look abnormal. If we see abnormalities, we will do a biopsy (take a small piece of tissue). The pathologist then confirms whether or not there is an abnormality.
Frequently your body will heal itself, and we keep a close eye on your Pap tests until you have had several normal Pap tests in a row. Sometimes we will need to do a LEEP procedure, which is performed in the hospital. The LEEP procedure removes the area that is prone to cancerous changes. After a LEEP procedure you will need to have frequent Pap tests for about two years.
Fibroids are very common growths that many women develop in their uterus. They are not cancerous. They can cause heavy bleeding or pelvic pain, but most women don’t even know they have them. They grow during a woman’s reproductive years and may shrink when she goes into menopause.
Symptoms caused by fibroids can be controlled with medications such as oral contraceptives or anti-inflammatory medications. Sometimes we give medication that will shrink the fibroids for a short period of time. Sometimes a radiologist will perform a uterine artery embolization, and clot off the blood vessels that feed the uterus and fibroids. This will shrink the fibroids, but may cause pain. If the symptoms cannot be controlled by medication, we may recommend removing the fibroids or removing the uterus if you don’t plan on having any more children.
Yes. Even if you don’t have a uterus anymore, the check-up with the gynecologist includes more than just a Pap test. We perform a breast exam as well as a general physical. We look for other kinds of cancers that can develop, such as cancer of the vagina or ovaries.