We provide routine gynecologic care, menopausal services, and reproductive endocrine services. Many of our gynecological procedures are performed in the office setting at El Rio OB/GYN Associates.
Your satisfaction is our goal. We appreciate the confidence that you’ve placed in our practice. Here is a listing of a few of our services.
Well-Woman Annual Examination
Your well-woman annual examination includes a clinical breast exam and a pap smear.
It usually takes one to two weeks to obtain a pap smear report. If normal, we will send you your results by mail and remit a report to your primary care physician. If an abnormal pap smear report is received, we will attempt to contact you by phone in order to inform you of the results and discuss your follow up care.
Abnormal Pap Smear
Pap smear screening is performed to identify those women who may be at risk for developing cervical cancer later in life. An abnormal result does not mean that you have cancer. An abnormal smear requires additional evaluation to determine if you have a pre-cancerous condition known as “dysplasia”, caused by the HPV virus (Human Papilloma Virus), which, if left untreated, could develop into cervical cancer.
An appointment will be scheduled to perform a colposcopic evaluation of your cervix. During this exam, we will use a magnifying instrument (colposcope) to look for signs of dysplasia on your cervix. A small biopsy is taken to confirm the diagnosis. The biopsy is relatively painless but may cause some cramping sensation.
When we receive the biopsy report, we will contact you and discuss the treatment options available. If the biopsy does not find dysplasia, then a repeat pap smear is usually performed in six months. In cases where mild or moderate dysplasia is found, cryotherapy is used to remove the abnormal cells from your cervix. Cryotherapy entails placing a cold metal probe against your cervix for three to five minutes. It usually causes mild menstrual-like cramping, that subsides when the procedure is over.
For more advanced dysplasia (moderate to severe), we remove the involved area of the cervix with a wire loop procedure called LEEP. This procedure is also done in the office using local anesthesia. We have a pamphlet available in our office which thoroughly explains dysplasia and its treatment.
Clinical Breast Exam
A clinical breast exam (CBE) is performed by a provider who will examine your breasts to determine if there are any unusual lumps, redness or rash. They will let you know at the time of your exam if everything appears normal. If a lump is found, the provider will likely request that you have additional tests to determine if the lump is benign (non-cancerous) or if it is breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, accounting for 30 percent of all cancer diagnoses in women. Hereditary breast cancer makes up approximately 5% to 10% of all breast cancer cases. Most providers feel that early detection tests for breast cancer save thousands of lives each year.
If the provider feels an abnormal lump in the breast, they may suggest that you have a mammogram. If the mammogram confirms there is abnormal tissue, then it may be necessary to remove a small piece of the tissue and look at it under the microscope to determine if there are any cancer cells. This procedure is called a biopsy. Sometimes the biopsy is done by inserting a needle into the breast and drawing out some of the tissue. If the biopsy shows that there is cancer, then a follow-up care plan will be designed for you.
Women should perform monthly breast self-examinations between their annual exams. A doctor should be consulted immediately if you notice any unusual changes in your breasts.
How to Examine Your Breasts
It is normal to have some lumpiness or thickening in the breasts. By examining your breasts once each month, you will learn what is normal for you, and you will notice if any changes do occur. Some women find that doing a daily or weekly self-exam works better for them. You should become familiar with your breasts at all phases of your menstrual cycle. The more you examine your breasts, the better you can learn what is normal for you. Your “job” isn’t just to find lumps, but also to notice if there are any changes in your breasts by following these simple self-examination techniques:
In the shower — with your fingers flat, move gently over every part of each breast. Use your right hand to examine the left breast and your left hand to examine the right breast. Check for any thickening, hard lumps or knots.
In front of a mirror — check your breasts with your arms at your sides. Then raise your arms overhead. Look for any changes in the shape of each breast, swelling, dimpling or changes in the nipples.
Lying down — to examine your right breast, put a pillow under your right shoulder. Place your right hand behind your head. While keeping the fingers of your left hand flat, press gently in small circular motions around an imaginary clock face.
Begin at the outermost top of your right breast for twelve o’clock, then move to ten o’clock, and so on, until you return to twelve o’clock . Each breast will have a normal ridge of firm tissue. Next, move in one inch increments toward the nipple. Keep circling to examine every part of your breast, including the nipple.
Repeat the procedure on the left breast with a pillow under the left shoulder and your left hand behind your head.
Finally, squeeze the nipple of each breast gently between the thumb and index finger. Any discharge, clear or bloody, should be reported to your physician immediately. Continue to perform monthly breast self-examinations.
A mammogram is a special x-ray of the breast that may find tumors that are too small to feel. Recommendations for mammograms include a screening mammogram once between the ages of 35 to 40. From ages 40 to 50, a mammogram should be done every two years. From age 50 and up, a mammogram should be done every year.
El Rio offers free pregnancy testing at any of our health center locations. You can make an appointment to discuss your individual needs for family planning or cover this topic with our OB/GYN providers in conjunction with your well-woman exam.
Menopause is natural part of a women’s life and many women go through this stage of life without concern. Many other women find that symptoms interfere with their daily life. We will evaluate your treatment options based on your individual needs. Common symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Memory problems
- Vaginal dryness
- Problems sleeping
We offer many other services, including; infertility evaluations as well as treatments for irregular bleeding, pelvic pain and sexually transmitted diseases. Please contact our office with any questions that you may have concerning the services our practice offers and the procedures we perform at our health center.
If you want to research any other OB/GYN topics these websites contain valuable information:
- The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology