Since the 1970s, the number of women who have died from cervical cancer has diminished dramatically. One of the reasons for this is that more women are getting Pap smear tests and other women’s health check-ups regularly, because primary care doctors like Dr. Lentzou of Healthonomic Primary Care in Orland Park, Illinois offer them, too. If you are due for yours, then make an appointment over the phone today.
Women's Health Q & A
Is it time for me to have a Pap smear?
Regardless of your sexual or family history, one of the most important tests you can have done as a woman is a Pap smear.
It’s done using a device known as a speculum to widen the opening of your vagina. Dr. Lentzou then collects cells from your cervix and sends them to a lab so that they can be studied under a microscope.
Pap smears should be performed at least once every three years after you turn 21. However, if you have three cancer-free results in a row, and are over the age of 30, then you can hold off for five years.
What happens during a breast exam?
During the same visit that you get your Pap smear, Dr. Lentzou also performs a breast exam and educates you on how to conduct a self-exam at home. Breast exams are vital because breast cancer is currently the number one fatal cancer amongst women.
It is of utmost importance that you have this done and monitor your breasts at home if you have a family history of the disease, as early detection helps to improve your odds of survival.
What about contraception?
You have a variety of choices when it comes to preventing pregnancy. Many types of birth control can also be used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and help with other health issues you may be having.
Deciding on a method is a personal choice that Dr. Lentzou can help you with. She will help you take into consideration your medical history, the medical history of your partner, how often you have sexual relations, the status of your relationship, and if or when you would like to have a family in the future.
She can also help if there is anything else you would like your birth control to do, including help with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), or acne.
For those looking to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, you should use a condom, diaphragms, or contraceptive sponges. However, if you know you will not contract an STD, or you have additional health issues related to your hormones, then you should ask about the pill.
If you’re looking for a long-term birth control option that you don’t have to think about daily, ask about an implanted device. If you aren’t planning on adding to your family, you or your partner can look into sterilization.
Call today or go online to make your women’s health appointment at Healthonomic Primary Care.