We offer evaluation for a wide variety of gynecologic disorders and complaints including abnormal Pap smears, abnormal or absent menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), uterine fibroids, vulvar disorders, infertility, endometriosis, pelvic pain disorders, sexual dysfunction, pelvic organ prolapse, and urinary incontinence, as well as hereditary cancer screening and counseling for breast, ovarian, and colon cancer.
Irregular or absent menses and abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) can indicate underlying problems including fibroid tumors, polyps, hormonal imbalance, cancers, and pre-cancers. If your periods are irregular, absent or heavy, we take your medical history, perform a physical exam, run blood tests, and order any other necessary tests to determine what is causing your menstrual disorder before choosing the appropriate treatment.
Our physicians recommend that an adolescent girl have her first gynecological visit when she becomes sexually active, or by the age of 21, whichever comes first. If a young woman has been sexually active, a pelvic exam and screening for sexually transmitted diseases should be performed. A Pap smear should be performed by age 21. Girls having gynecologic issues before this age are encouraged to make an appointment at any time. A pelvic exam does not need to be performed unless symptoms warrant it.
While we encourage open communication between our patient and her parents, many adolescents are hesitant to discuss sensitive topics such as sexual activity. Because of physician-patient confidentiality and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) regulations, our medical practitioners cannot discuss any health issues with parents of adolescent patients without the patient’s permission, unless there is a serious threat to the patient’s health. Similarly, if any testing is performed in the office, we are unable to give results to anyone but the patient. Rest assured that we have the best interests of your child in mind, and we are constantly encouraging good health practices and open communication with parents.
Annual exams are recommended for all women who are sexually active or plan on becoming sexually active, or who are 20 years old. During the exam, the gynecologist will examine your breasts and pelvic organs for abnormalities that might indicate cancer or other problems. If you have a Pap smear, he or she will brush some cells from your cervix, and the sample will then be tested for the presence of pre-cancerous cells. In some situations, guided by national recommendations, a second test for human papilloma virus (HPV) is also performed. The combination of these 2 tests allow your doctor, in many instances, to perform them less frequently than every year. Your care will be individualized based on your history. However, annual wellness exams are still recommended.
A DEXA scan is a low dose x-ray—typically of the spine, the hip, and/or the wrist—that checks for signs of mineral loss and bone thinning. A DEXA scan delivers a minute amount of radiation. It is a simple, painless procedure that takes about 15 minutes.
The best time for women to have a DEXA scan is around menopause, when the estrogen production in your body starts to decline and you become susceptible for bone loss and fractures. It is also a good time to establish a baseline measurement for future comparison.
BRACAnalysis® screening assesses a woman’s risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer based on the detection of mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. This test has become the standard of care in identifying individuals with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The following questionnaire was developed by the physicians at Advocare Burlington County Obstetrics & Gynecology and is based on recommendations of The Society of Gynecological Oncologists and The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Feel free to make an appointment to discuss this and determine if testing is right for you.
Choosing a method of contraception is an important decision that will impact a women’s daily life. Talking with your doctor about the right method for you is essential to successful protection for you and your partner. At Advocare Burlington County Obstetrics & Gynecology, our providers will answer your questions and provide you with information about the different types of contraceptives and their respective advantages and disadvantages.
Birth control methods have many variable factors including frequency, convenience, permanence, and effectiveness. Before choosing a method of contraception, it is important to consider your life, age, health, and previous experiences. The decision is ultimately yours, but patients trust our knowledge and experience to help them make the right choice. Our office offers diaphragm fitting; oral contraceptive pills; contraceptive patches and rings.
A yearly pelvic exam and Pap smears at recommended intervals is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. A Pap smear is performed by collecting cells from your cervix to determine the presence of infection, inflammation, and most importantly, abnormal cells that may indicate cervical cancer. HPV testing is also recommended at different time intervals, based on your age and history. Together, Pap smears, HPV testing, and pelvic exams can detect benign and pre-cancerous conditions early, increasing the likelihood of successful treatment.
Most abnormal Pap smears require minimal testing. Usually observation over time is all that is required. Colposcopy is often the first test done to evaluate an abnormal Pap smear. Colposcopy is an office procedure visualizing your cervix with a microscope in which very tiny biopsies are taken. There is usually minimal or no discomfort during this procedure.
At a certain time in every woman’s life, the ovaries cease producing eggs and the menstrual cycle ends. A woman is born with a limited number of eggs that cause the menstruation and ovulation process. Once the eggs run out, those processes end as well. This event affects women physically and emotionally as their bodies adjust to these biological changes. The average age of the menopause is 52 in the United States. Early menopause can occur as a result of certain disorders, some types of diseases, or damage to the ovaries.
Menopause is diagnosed when a menstrual period has been absent for 12 months. However, the entire process takes several years and begins when the ovaries start producing less estrogen. This stage, known as perimenopause, is when symptoms may begin. Menopause symptoms include:
Not all women experience symptoms of menopause, and those who do may find their symptoms to be mild or severe. These symptoms may last from the perimenopause stage through several years after menopause. The loss of estrogen production also increases the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
We offer effective treatments for most menopause symptoms and for reducing the associated risks. Your doctor can help decide which options are best for you.