Seasons Women's Care Gynecology

Q. At what age should a woman see a gynecologist?


A. Teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 15 should set up an appointment to see an OB/Gyn. Though pelvic exams are usually not required during the first visit, this will allow your teen to become familiar with the doctor and establish a medical and sexual history. This is a good opportunity to educate teenage girls about contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases. Once a woman is sexually active, she should get her first exam – or the age of 21 – whichever comes first.


Q. How often do I need a Pap test?


A. According to the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, women from 21 to 29 should have a Pap done every year. Ages 30 to 64 should see their OB/Gyn every other year. If you have certain risk factors, your doctor may recommend more frequent visits.


Q. What is a pelvic exam?


A. A pelvic exam lets your doctors look for signs of abnormalities in organs before, during, and after menopause. During the exam, your doctor may examine your:

  • Cervix (opening from uterus to  vagina)
  • Uterus (or womb)
  • Fallopian tubes (these carry eggs to the womb)
  • Rectum
  • Ovaries (glands that produce eggs)
  • Bladder


Q. How often do I need a Pelvic exam?


 A. Most doctors recommend pelvic exams every one to two years depending upon your age and health.


Q. Do I need to be tested for STDs?


A. If you are experiencing problems such as an unusual or smelly vaginal discharge, then you should see your doctor. Also, if you are bleeding between periods, bleeding excessively or after intercourse, see a physician. With each new sexual partner, your risk of HPV increases by 15%.


Q. Why do I need a Pap smear?


A. A Pap smear can detect cervical cancer. Women diagnosed with cervical cancer usually have not had a Pap smear in over five years. Early detection is the best method for complete recovery from cervical cancer.


Q. When does menopause occur in most women?


A. Menopause normally occurs one year after a woman’s last period. The ages can vary a great deal depending upon your health and medical history, but in many cases a woman is in her 50’s when this process begins.


Q. What does Perimenopause mean?


A. This is the time of transition that begins several years before the actual onset of menopause.  Ovaries gradually produce less estrogen. Women are normally in their 40s when they first experience Perimenopause. This stage lasts until the onset of menopause, when the ovaries stop releasing eggs, and menstrual cycle ceases.