Colposcopy is a procedure used to magnify the cervix and help diagnose abnormalities. A vulvar colposcopy typically examines lesions on the vulva and is often used to identify cancer, HPV, and vulvar pain causing conditions. The colposcope is a microscope that can help analyze small abnormalities. The exam itself is similar to a pap smear in that a speculum is inserted and the cervix may be cleaned. The colposcope is then placed to view the area at 10 to 40 times its normal size. If any abnormalities are noted, a biopsy of the tissue may be done. A colposcopy is a very safe procedure with few complications. Light bleeding or discharge for up to a week after the exam is normal.
Dilation and Curettage (D&C)
Dilation and curettage is a procedure done to scrape and collect endometrium, which is the tissue inside the uterus. Dilation is the widening of the cervix which allows instruments to pass into the uterus, while curettage is the scraping of the uterine walls. This procedure is performed to diagnose uterine cancer or other conditions, remove tissue after a miscarriage, treat heavy bleeding, perform an abortion or investigate infertility. It is performed under general or local anesthesia. A speculum is inserted into the vagina to hold it open, while a metal rod widens the cervix. A curette is then inserted to gently scrape the tissue, which is then analyzed by a pathologist.
An ectopic pregnancy is abnormal pregnancy in which the fetus develops outside of the womb (uterus). Development most commonly begins in one of the fallopian tubes, but can also take place in the ovary or cervix. The fetus cannot survive in an ectopic pregnancy. Most cases are caused by a blockage that keeps the fertilized egg from moving into the uterus. Past infections or surgery of the fallopian tubes can cause this condition. An ectopic pregnancy can also be caused by birth defects, results of a ruptured appendix or endometriosis.
Symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include abnormal vaginal bleeding, and pelvic pain. Both medical and surgical treatments are available to handle this very serious and dangerous complication of pregnancy.
Endometrial biopsy is a common procedure that exams the endometrium (the inside lining of the uterus) for abnormalities or signs of cancer. The biopsy is done by taking a tissue sample of the endometrium and having a pathologist evaluate it. A speculum is inserted in the vagina, followed by a small plastic tube that suctions a sample of the lining off. Local anesthesia may be used.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a type of virus that causes genital warts. There are more than 100 different kinds of HPV and some of they may create a higher risk for cancer. While some types can cause genital warts, others will show no symptoms but will eventually lead to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina and anus. The virus is contracted through sexual contact. The risk of catching HPV can be reduced by latex condoms.
While there is no cure for HPV, treatment for the symptoms caused by HPV, such as genital warts, cervical changes and cervical cancer is available. A new vaccine, Gardacil®, is now available to prevent the problems caused by HPV. Please ask your doctor if this is appropriate for you.
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is used to treat abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix. During the procedure, the cells are removed to prevent progression of cervical cancer.
Wire loops attached to an electrosurgical generator remove the affected tissue, causing the cells to heat and burst. The removed tissue is then sent to a lab for further evaluation, including ensuring full removal and assessing the cause of the abnormal area. The procedure takes 20-30 minutes and can be performed in the office. A local anesthetic is administered to minimize pain. Side effects are rare.
Paragard® is a hormone-free intrauterine contraceptive (IUC) that is effective for up to 10 years. It is a T-shaped piece of plastic coated in copper that is inserted into the uterus by a doctor. It is 99.4% effective. Side effects of Paragard® are minimal but can include abdominal cramps or longer and heavier periods for the first few months.
Treatment of PMS and PMDD
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) are common conditions that up to three out of four women may experience at some point in their life. These conditions are associated with symptoms related to menstrual periods and can include bloating, cramping, fatigue, moodiness, sleep irregularity and depression. PMS is often expected by most women, but chronic symptoms and symptoms of PMDD can and should be treated professionally. If they are affecting your ability to function in your everyday life, they can be considered serious and deserve attention.
Chronic PMS and PMDD can be treated through a variety of solutions. Modifying natural behavior is often the most effective treatment and includes exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, dealing with stress and not smoking. Birth control pill can often help reduce the symptoms. For PMDD, anti-depressants or counseling may be prescribed.
Traditional and alternative approaches to gynecological issues
- Abnormal paps & HPV
- Breast health
- Education in healthy lifestyle and self-care
- Evaluation of Pelvic Pain & Symptoms
- Family Planning/birth control methods
- Hormonal balance
- Irregular bleeding
- Menopause alternatives
- Pelvic floor
- Routine Gyn Exams & Pap smears
- Sexual health
- Treatment of Pelvic Infections