WellStar GYNs Caring for You
Busy schedules can make it difficult to find the time you know you need to take care of yourself as well as you take care of your family. WellStar makes it easy for you, with convenient locations across Northwest Georgia, so you’re never far from physicians and staff expert in meeting women’s unique health needs. From mental health to reproductive health and everything in between, our comprehensive services help you get well, live well and stay well.
The first gynecologic exam is recommended for women between the ages of 18 and 21, or earlier if a woman becomes sexually active or at the first sign of a possible gynecologic disorder. The exam, which includes a pelvic exam and a Pap smear to test for cervical cancer, is recommended annually to diagnose possible gynecological disorders early.
Pap smears screen for cervical cancer caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) or other causes. Whether you have had the HPV vaccine or not, WellStar recommends following these guidelines for Pap smears:
- Age 21 – Have your first Pap smear
- Ages 21 through 29 – Have a Pap smear every two years
- Ages 30 and older – Women with three normal Pap smears in a row should have a Pap smear every three years.
- Ages 65 through 70 – Women who have had three normal Pap smears in a row can stop having them.
- If you’ve had a hysterectomy for non-cancerous reasons and don’t have a history of abnormal Pap smears, you no longer need to have them.
- If you’ve had a hysterectomy and still have your cervix, continue getting Pap smears.
In addition to the pelvic exam and Pap test, your WellStar physician will perform a breast exam to check for signs of breast cancer, cysts or other breast disorders. You should also follow guidelines for regularly scheduled mammograms to maintain breast health and screen for early signs of cancer.
Current recommendations for mammograms are:
- Women over 40 – Have a mammogram every 1-2 years.
- Women who have had breast cancer or a family history of breast cancer should have mammograms before age 40 or have them more often based on recommendations by their WellStar physician.
WellStar offers advanced digital mammography, which provides shorter exam times, more comfort, fewer callbacks for additional imaging and reduces the need for biopsies and ultrasounds.
Your annual exam is also an opportunity to discuss other health-related issues, including:
WellStar physicians offer a variety of essential screenings to help you stay well and live well. Your WellStar physician will determine the screenings that are best for you, based on your preferences and medical and family history. These screenings may include:
Breast Cancer Screening
- Mammogram/physician breast exam
- Annually for women ages 40 and over
- Breast self-exam
- Monthly for women ages 20 and over
- Lipid Panel, including LDL
- Beginning at age 20, then every 5 years if test is normal, or more often, depending on results and cardiac risk
Colorectal Cancer Screening
- Every 10 years for women ages 50 and over
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy
- Every 5 years for women ages 50 and over, with an
- Occult blood test
- Fasting plasma glucose (preferred) or random plasma glucose
- Every 3 years for women ages 45 and over
- Blood pressure measurement
- Every 1-2 years for women of all ages
- DEXA Scanning (Bone-Density Testing)
- For women ages 65 and over, or after menopause in women with additional risk factors
WellStar offers the most up-to-date treatments for gynecological disorders, including advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques that use smaller incisions for less discomfort, faster healing and shorter hospital stays. These include:
- Uterine Fibroid Embolization, a revolutionary way of treating fibroid tumors of the uterus using a catheter in uterine arteries to inject small particles to block the blood flow to the fibroids, leading to shrinkage and relief.
- The da Vinci® robotic surgical system, state-of-the-art laparoscopic surgery that can be used for gynecological disorders to reduce scarring, blood loss and discomfort.
One of the best things you can do for your overall health is to maintain a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, along with calcium supplements to help with strong bones. WellStar nutritionists can work with you to design a nutrition plan to help you reach your health and weight goals.