Congratulations on your pregnancy!
The well woman exam is an important time to discuss your contraceptive needs, planning of a pregnancy, sexual concerns, sexually transmitted diseases, vaginal discharge or discomfort, menopausal symptoms, etc.
The relationship between you and your doctor is an important one. To get the best care, be prepared for your health care visit, know your medical and surgical history, including an accurate medication list and communicate your concerns with your doctor. Do not be afraid to ask questions or speak up if you are concerned about something. At Boston Ob-Gyn, we want you to feel comfortable with your doctor and feel comfortable with the care we provide.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your past medical problems. To understand your history, it is important to make sure your doctor is aware of all your medical problems, including non-gynecological issues. Your doctor will ask about medications, allergies, what surgeries you have undergone, any medical problems that run in your family, as well as ask questions about your occupation, relationship status, ethnicity, tobacco, alcohol and drug use. Your sexual habits are also an important part of properly taking care of your health that will be addressed during your visit. Please bring any past medical records, x-rays or test results that pertain to the reason for your visit.
You will have a general physical exam during your well woman visit, including your weight and blood pressure. The physical exam includes both a pelvic exam and a breast exam. We take the utmost care in making sure you are comfortable. The pelvic exam has three parts, looking at the vulva, looking at the vagina and cervix with a speculum and checking the internal organs with a gloved hand.
Routine pap smears are done every 3-5 years from ages 21-65. Ask your doctor if you want tests for sexually transmitted infections.
We offer many forms of contraception including:
- Intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs: Mirena, Paragard and Skyla)
- Contraceptive implants (Nexplanon)
- Injectable contraceptives (Depo-Provera)
- Birth control pill
- Vaginal ring (Nuvaring)
- Birth control patch
Other forms of contraception do not require a prescription or exam including condoms, spermicide, withdrawal, and rhythm or timed coitus.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Ask your doctor if you want screening for sexually transmitted diseases.
We offer three vaccines including those for:
- HPV (Gardasil)
- Pertussis or whooping cough (Tdap)
A colposcopy allows your doctor to do an in depth exam of your cervix, vagina or vulva with a microscope. This is usually done because of an abnormal pap smear, Type 16 or 18 HPV, or a lesion noted during a routine exam.
An infertility evaluation is recommended if you have not become pregnant after 1 year of regular sexual intercourse without using any form of contraception. If you are older than 35 years, an infertility evaluation may be performed after 6 months of trying to conceive.
During an infertility evaluation, both you and your partner may undergo tests to try to find the cause. The first visit usually involves a detailed medical history and physical exam. You will be asked questions about your periods, medications you are taking, medical problems and past surgeries, illnesses or birth defects in your families, past pregnancies and miscarriages, tobacco and drug use.
There are many causes of infertility and many treatments. Male factor infertility is the only cause of infertility in about 30% of couples and a contributing factor in another 20-30% of couples. Female factors include ovulation difficulties are present in about 15% of couples with infertility or anatomic issues. Sometimes a cause of infertility is not found, this is called unexplained infertility. Up to 15-30% of couples who undergo an infertility evaluation do not find a reason for their difficulty getting pregnant. There are many treatments for unexplained infertility.
Infertility evaluation for a woman
An assessment of whether you ovulate is done, usually by evaluating your menstrual cycle, basal body temperature assessment, ovulation predictor kits or progesterone levels. Various blood tests may be performed to assess thyroid disease, prolactin levels and ovarian reserve (the function of the eggs found in the ovaries), which can all disrupt ovulation. Tests of ovarian reserve must be done on the third day of your period. In addition, a hysterosalpingogram (special x-ray of the uterus) may be performed to assess the inside of your uterus and look at whether the fallopian tubes are blocked. Your doctor will discuss which tests you should have.
Infertility evaluation for a man
A semen analysis is a key part of the initial evalutation. This test is done to assess the amount and shape of sperm, and how well it moves. A semen sample is obtained by masturbation, usually at home. Your partner can then bring the sample in a sterile container (provided by your doctor) to an infertility specialist (by appointment only). Talk to your doctor about the specifics to have this test performed.
The appropriate treatment for infertility depends on the cause. If a cause is not found, there are still many treatments. Often, your doctor may start with a medication that stimulates ovulation, called ovulation induction. Depending on your situation, your doctor may refer you to a reproductive endocrinologist or infertility specialist.
Wondering what happens during menopause? What symptoms to expect? What treatments are available? Talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing.
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