What GYN Services Does Turner Medical Arts Provider?
At Turner Medical Arts, we provide routine GYN services. Dr. Turner is a board certified OB/GYN who provides Well Woman Care and preventative screenings. Our gynecology services include Pap smears, pelvic exams, contraceptive counseling, ultrasounds, and blood work. Dr. Turner and the staff are here to answer any questions you have about reproductive health, sex, pregnancy, infertility, menopause, and other GYN-related topics.
What Are Pap Smears?
Pap smears, or Pap tests, are procedures that use a small brush or spatula to gently remove cells from the cervix. Once removed and collected, the cells are checked under a microscope for cervical cancer or cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer. Pap smears can also identify other health conditions, including infections and inflammation. This procedure is often done at the same time as a pelvic exam.
How Often Should I Schedule a Pap Smear?
Women between the ages of 21 and 65 should get Pap smears as part of their routine health care. Even if you are not currently sexually active, have gone through menopause, or got the HPV vaccine, you should still get regular Pap tests. We recommend:
- Women 21-29: schedule a Pap smear every 3 years
- Women 30-65: schedule a Pap smear every 3 years
- Women over 65: schedule a Pap smear if you’ve never been tested or if you have not been tested after the age of 60
You do not need to schedule regular Pap tests if you are older than 65 and you’ve had three normal Pap tests in a row within the last 10 years. Women who do not have a cervix and women who do not have a history of cervical cancer or abnormal Pap test results can also stop receiving tests. In general, always talk to your doctor or nurse before stopping regular Pap tests.
When Will I Get My Pap Results?
It usually takes 1-3 week to get Pap smear results. Once the results come in, we will give you a call or schedule a follow-up appointment to go over them. More often than not, the test results come back normal. If abnormal cells are found, we will discuss the next steps with you.
What is a Pelvic Exam?
A pelvic exam is a physical examination of a woman’s reproductive organs. These exams are a normal part of gynecologic care and should be included as part of your Well Woman visit (when you turn 21). If you are under the age of 21 and are experiencing a medical problem, a pelvic exam may be scheduled. In general, the exam only takes a few minutes and it does not hurt.
What Can I Expect During a Pelvic Exam?
During a pelvic exam, the vulva and internal reproductive organs (vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes) are examined.
There are usually 3-4 parts to the exam:
- External exam – the vulva and opening of the vagina will be examined. Your doctor will check for signs of cysts, genital warts, abnormal discharge, irritation, and other issues.
- Speculum exam – a metal or plastic speculum will be gently inserted into the vagina to separate the walls. If you feel any discomfort at this point, let your doctor know so that the speculum can be adjusted. Next, a tiny brush or spatula will be used to wipe a small sample of cells from the cervix. This sample will be sent to a lab for resting, as part of a Pap test to check for cervical cancer or pre-cancer. If you are also being tested for STDs (i.e., gonorrhea, chlamydia), a cotton swab will be used to take a sample of the discharge from your cervix. This sample will also go to a lab for testing.
- Bimanual exam – at this stage, your doctor will put 1 or 2 gloved and lubricated fingers into the vagina, while gently pressing on the lower abdomen with their hand. This helps to check for: the shape, size, and position of your uterus, enlarged ovaries or fallopian tubes, ovarian cysts, tumors, and any tenderness or pain (which might indicate an infection or other condition).
- Rectovaginal exam – your doctor may also check the muscles between the vagina and anus by inserting a gloved finger into the rectum. This also checks for tumors behind the uterus, on the lower wall of the vagina, or in the rectum.
How Often Will I Need to Get a Pelvic Exam?
This answer varies from patient to patient. The number of exams you will need also depends on your medical history and whether you have any health issues. Frequent pelvic exams may be necessary if you have a:
- History of abnormal Pap test results
- Family history of certain kinds of cancer
- Sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- Recurrent case of vaginitis (an irritation of your vagina or vulva)
- History of sexual health problems
What is Contraceptive Counseling?
Given the variety of contraceptives (birth control products) that are available, it can be very beneficial for a board certified OB/GYN, like Dr. Turner, to counsel you on which method of birth control is the right fit for you.
What Can I Expect From Contraceptive Counseling?
When you come in for your appointment at Turner Medical Arts, we will discuss your medical history, the ease of use of particular forms of birth control, the risks and side effects, and other factors that may influence your choice of contraception. We will also discuss the costs of different birth control so that you can find the birth control that fits your budget. We will then take the time to make sure that all of your concerns and questions are answered so that we can help you make the most informed choice possible. If you don’t end up liking a particular contraceptive, you can come back in for another appointment to try a different option.
What Are Some of the Most Common Contraceptives?
Common birth control methods for women include:
- Birth control pills
- Intrauterine devices, or IUDs (a tiny device that is put into the uterus)
- Vaginal ring
- Birth control shot
- Birth control patch
- Vaginal sponge
What is an Ultrasound?
An ultrasound exam is a painless procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to scan a woman’s abdomen and pelvic cavity. Although typically associated with pregnancy, ultrasounds have many different uses.
An ultrasound can help to:
- View the ovaries and uterus during pregnancy
- Examine breast lumps
- Evaluate blood flow
- Check the thyroid gland
- Assess joint inflammation
- Review metabolic bone disease
- Guide a needle for a biopsy
- Diagnose diseases of internal organs
What Can I Expect During Ultrasound GYN Services?
The traditional ultrasound procedure involves placing gel on your abdomen to work as a conductor for the sound waves which return back to the transducer to generate an image of inside the uterus. The procedure is quick and pain-free.
A transvaginal ultrasound is an internal examination of the female reproductive organs. Unlike a pelvic or abdominal ultrasound, where the transducer rests on the outside of the pelvis, a transvaginal exam involves the insertion of the transducer 2-3 inches into the vaginal canal.
Schedule GYN Services in Santa Barbara, California
Schedule GYN services at Turner Medical Arts today. Our providers will treat you with the kindness and compassion you deserve. Call (805) 962-1957 or fill out the form below to get started.