Urgent Care for Women’s Health Services
The female reproductive system consists of the vagina, cervix, ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. This system also produces the hormones that make it possible for a woman to menstruate, maintain a pregnancy, or go through menopause. If you have vaginal bleeding, irregular menstrual periods, or other symptoms of reproductive problems, make an appointment to see one of our physicians. You should also schedule an appointment if you are overdue for your annual female pelvic exam or Pap smear.
Routine Pelvic Exams
During a female pelvic exam, a healthcare professional examines the reproductive organs. The physical examination makes it possible to identify signs of infection or other reproductive problems. Before starting a pelvic examination, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history and conduct a general examination to make sure you are in good health. During the external exam, the doctor examines the vaginal opening and the vulva to see if there is any irritation or discharge. This examination also helps diagnose vaginal irritation, genital warts, and other conditions.
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After completing the external exam, the doctor uses a lubricated speculum to spread the walls of the vagina. This makes it possible to collect a sample of cells from the cervix. Your doctor will also do a bimanual exam, which involves inserting a gloved finger into the vagina and using the other hand to press on the pelvis. This makes it possible to determine if there is any swelling of the fallopian tubes or if you have an enlarged uterus. Your doctor will also estimate the size and shape of your uterus, which can be helpful if you want to have a baby or start a new type of birth control.
The Pap smear is a laboratory test conducted on the cells the doctor takes from your cervix during the speculum exam. It is used as a screening test for cervical cancer because the test can detect abnormal cell changes. After the age of 21, you should have a Pap smear every two years. Once you reach the age of 30, you may be able to start having Pap smears every three years if your previous tests have been normal.
Every woman has normal vaginal discharge that is clear, white, or yellowish. If you have foul-smelling discharge, or your discharge is a different color than usual, tell the doctor about your symptoms. The laboratory can analyze abnormal discharge and determine if there are any bacterial or fungal organisms present. These organisms cause pelvic infections such as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
If you have a pelvic infection, the doctor may recommend an antibiotic or anti-fungal medication. An experienced healthcare provider can also recommend preventive measures to reduce your risk of developing the same infection in the future. If the doctor prescribes medication, make sure you use it exactly as prescribed.
At Physicians Now, we make it easy for women to get the medical care they need. Whether you need a routine checkup or you have symptoms of a pelvic infection, one of our courteous medical professionals can examine you and determine what is causing your symptoms. Call us today to schedule an appointment in our urgent care clinic.