Visiting your OBGYN can lead to a lot of questions. Here are the simple answers to a few of the most frequently-asked questions at Women’s Medical Associates of Nashville.
1. What Is A Pap Smear For, And Why Do I Need One?
Pap tests or “smears” as they’re known, are part of a routine pelvic exam. They are intended to find and identify abnormal cervical cells, which could indicate the presence of cancer. This helps ensure that, if present, the cancer is confined only to the cervix.
Cervical cancer, when identified early before it spreads, has a 5-year survival rate of up to 90%. This is why routine Pap testing is very important, along with other pelvic exams and tests.
2. How Can I Treat Recurring UTIs?
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can be caused by any trauma or irritation to the urethral opening, and are more common in women with menopause or a weakened immune system. Occasional UTIs can simply be treated with oral antibiotics.
However, if you get more than 2 UTIs within 6 months, or 3+ UTIs within a year, your OBGYN may prescribe you with a low-dose preventive antibiotic, which typically reduces recurrent UTIs by 95%.
3. What Is A Kegel Exercise? Do I Need To Do Them?
Kegel exercises are used to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles can weaken due to age, childbirth, and obesity, which can result in bladder control issues. Kegel exercises consist of tightening the pelvic muscles for 10 seconds, then relaxing them. This is done in sets of 10 repetitions, 5 times per day. Regular Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
4. Do I Need To Get The HPV Vaccine?
The HPV vaccine (Gardasil) protects against 4 types of HPV, including those that cause the majority of genital warts and cancer. It’s recommended for both males and females who are between 9-26 years old.
However, it’s not FDA-approved for women over 26. This is because older women who are sexually active may already have one or more of the HPV strains that Gardasil protects against, making it less effective.
5. What Are The Signs Of Cervical Or Ovarian Cancer?
The most common signs of cervical cancer include:
Ovarian cancer has different symptoms, which include:
If you notice any of these above symptoms, see your OBGYN for a routine test to ensure that you do not have cervical or ovarian cancer.
Got More Questions? Come To Our Office!
The best way to get answers for frequently-asked questions related to your reproductive system is to see an experienced OBGYN at Women’s Medical Associates of Nashville. Contact us now to schedule an appointment.