At Primary Care Partners of South Bend, we offer several gynecology services to care for women’s reproductive health. Regular gynecology appointments are essential to female health as we can detect and treat abnormalities early. We encourage you to voice any and all gynecology concerns and be honest with your doctor about your sexual history.
Cervical Cancer Screening
A cervical cancer screening is part of a woman’s health checkup. We advise that women start getting screened at 21 years of age. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus where a baby grows. This screening is meant to look for cancer before a woman starts to show symptoms. Importantly, detecting cancer in the early stages makes it easier to treat.
We carry out this screening with one of two tests. Both tests involve a doctor collecting cells from the cervix. There are HPV tests and Pap tests. For an HPV test, your doctor will check for an HPV infection, which is spread through sexual contact and can sometimes lead to cancer. The Pap test involves a doctor checking the cervix cells for any abnormalities that may lead to cancer.
If either gynecology screening shows abnormal cells, your doctor may perform further testing. In many instances, treatment is meant to prevent cervical cancer from developing in your body. If your tests come back as normal, your chance of getting cervical cancer in the near future is very low. We recommend testing every 3 years for those with normal results. To make your appointment for a cervical cancer screening, contact Primary Care Partners of South Bend online or give us a call at (574) 251-1200.
Gynecology STD Treatment
If you have contracted a sexually transmitted disease, it is important to seek medical attention. Do not try to treat it yourself, and call Primary Care Partners of South Bend for proper STD treatment. Many STDs like gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis require antibiotics. These STDs are treatable, although we recommend tests every three months to ensure you have not contracted it again.
Sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes and HIV are not curable, however, they are manageable. We may prescribe to you an antiviral drug. These types of drugs will reduce the number of breakouts and suppress the disease, but it will not be completely gone from your body. Keep in mind, even if you are on medication you can still transmit the disease to others. It is important to disclose any STDs to your sexual partners and use protection. If you think you have contracted an STD, or would like to schedule a routine STD test, call Primary Care Partners of South Bend at (574) 251-1200 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
A colposcopy is a gynecology test that allows the doctor to closely examine your cervix. A female’s cervix is the lower end of the uterus that forms a connection to the vagina. Usually, you will require a colposcopy when you receive abnormal results on a pelvic exam or a pap smear. The procedure is similar to a pap smear, however, colposcopies utilize a special magnifying tool called a colposcope. Colposcopies can be essential in diagnosing genital warts and cervical or vaginal cancers.
Importantly, we ask that you avoid using tampons, applying creams into the vagina, or having intercourse for 48 hours before your colposcopy. Additionally, if your period is exceptionally heavy on the day of your procedure, give us a call at (574) 251-1200 to reschedule. It is important to let us know if you are taking any blood-thinning medications, or if you are pregnant before we begin.
The entire procedure only takes about 5-10 minutes. First, you will lie down on an exam table, and we will use a speculum to open your vagina. Then, we will dip a cotton swab into a special solution and swab it throughout your cervical and vaginal area. This solution allows us to see any abnormal cells and will not harm you, but it may sting slightly.
Once the solution has been applied, the doctor will use the colposcope to examine your cervix and vulva. If the doctor finds any abnormalities in the skin, they may gently take a cervical skin biopsy for further examination. After your colposcopy, you will not require any recovery time and can return to work or school right away. To learn more about our colposcopy procedure or to schedule an appointment, contact us online or give us a call at (574) 251-1200.
Cryotherapy of Abnormal Pap
Cryotherapy is a gynecology procedure in which your doctor will use freezing temperatures to kill abnormal cells or small tumors in the cervix. If your Pap test results are abnormal and show possibly cancerous cells, your doctor can use cryotherapy to destroy those precancerous cells. By destroying the precancerous cells, normal cells are able to grow back in their place.
This entire treatment can take five minutes to an hour, depending on the size and location of the abnormal cells. Your doctor will use a tool called a cryoprobe and hold it at the cervix for a few minutes. The cryoprobe works quickly to freeze the cells. You may feel mild cramping or pressure during the procedure.
After the procedure, the frozen tissue inside the cervix thaws and your body’s immune system cleans up the dead cells. Some side effects may include bleeding, cramping, or pain. To schedule a Pap test, reach out to us online or call us at (574) 251-1200.
IUD Placement & Removal
An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a highly effective and safe form of contraception. The insertion and removal of an IUD is a quick procedure at Primary Care Partners of South Bend. An IUD is meant to prevent pregnancy long term and we can remove them at any time.
Before deciding on an IUD, talk to your doctor to discuss which one is best for you. There are two types of IUDs.
A copper IUD can be left inside the uterus for up to ten years and starts working immediately upon insertion. This type of IUD does not contain any hormones. Instead, there is a copper wire wrapped around the device that kills sperm, preventing pregnancy. This IUD is not for everyone. Do not use a copper IUD if you are allergic to copper, have uterine or cervical cancer, or have a pelvic infection.
Hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy and help with painful or heavy periods. The hormones within the IUD help to prevent pregnancy by releasing a tiny amount of the hormone progestin into your body over several years. This IUD keeps sperm cells away from the egg, not allowing the body to get pregnant. While there are different types of hormonal IUDs, most will last between 3-7 years. Consult your Primary Care Partners of South Bend doctor on which is the right choice for you.
IUD Insertion & Removal
For both copper and hormonal IUDs, your doctor will insert a small T shaped device through the opening of the cervix and into the uterus. The procedure usually takes less than five minutes. You may feel some cramping or pain during the procedure, but it only lasts a few minutes. After the procedure, you may feel back pain or cramps, so it is important to arrange for someone to drive you home.
You can choose to remove your IUD at any time. Once your IUD is about to expire, your doctor will have to replace it. If you are planning on getting pregnant or are experiencing pain or discomfort due to your IUD, call Primary Care Partners of South Bend to schedule an appointment to have it removed.
The removal itself only takes a few minutes. Your doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina, and gently pull out the IUD with a grasping tool. You may experience mild pain or pressure during the removal process. It is also common to have cramps or spotting during the first few weeks after the removal. You will be able to get pregnant immediately after the removal of an IUD. To schedule your IUD insertion or removal contact Primary Care Partners of South Bend or call at (574) 251-1200.
Nexplanon Placement & Removal
Nexplanon is a prescription medication used to prevent pregnancy in women. It is a small implant that is placed in your upper arm. At Primary Care Partners of South Bend, we will place Nexplanon in a discreet, hard to see place in your arm.
Nexplanon uses hormones that stop an egg from being released by your ovary and prevents sperm from reaching the egg. Nexplanon will provide you with up to three years of pregnancy prevention.
We can insert Nexplanon in just a few minutes with a minor surgical procedure. Your doctor will first numb the area and gently insert Nexplanon under your skin. You will then feel to make sure Nexplanon is in place. Following the placement, you will wear a pressure bandage for 24 hours and then a small bandage for three to five days. If at any point you cannot feel the Nexplanon implant, call Primary Care Partners of South Bend immediately.
There are many different types of contraception. Some examples include a birth control pill, IUD, NuvaRing, injection, or implant. At Primary Care Partners of South Bend, we know that contraception is a personal choice, and everyone may prefer different contraceptives that work best for them. If you are wondering which type of contraception is best for you or would like to discuss your options, schedule a gynecology appointment with us online or by calling (574) 251-1200.