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FAQ

Gynecology

At what age should I have my first gyn exam?
Unless there is a medical problem, you should have your first pelvic exam around the age of 21 years or sooner if you begin sexual activity.

When should I get my first mammogram?
Women age 40 and older should have mammograms every one or two years. However, the likelihood of developing breast cancer is higher if a close blood relative has been diagnosed with the disease, especially if they were diagnosed before the age of 50. Likewise, women who began having their periods before the age of 12 or who went through menopause after the age of 55 are at higher risk, as are women who had their first child after age 30 or who never had a child. If you believe you may be at a higher risk, ask your physician when you should start being examined.

What do I do if I missed one or two days of birth control pills?
First, read the instructions that came with your pill. Generally speaking, if you miss one pill, take two pills the next day. If you miss two pills, take two pills on each of the next two days. It’s best to use a backup contraception method such as condoms for the remainder of the month.

Is the patch safe?
The Orth Evra patch releases a higher estrogen level than what is received from oral birth control pills. Please discuss with your doctor whether the patch is a good choice for you.

Can I have a pap smear if I have my period?
You should try to schedule your annual exam for when you are not having your period. However, you can have a pap smear during your period as long as the flow is not very heavy.

How much calcium do I need?
Adults under the age of 50 should get 1,000 mg of calcium every day. Over the age of 50, the amount goes up to 1,200 mg. The best way to get your calcium is in your food.

I have gone through menopause but am experiencing spotting or staining. What should I do?
Call the doctor’s office and speak with the nurse or doctor about your symptoms

What should I do if I think I have a vaginal infection or a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
Call our office to schedule an exam.

Should I be tested for HPV?
If you are sexually active, you are at risk of exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV, or genital warts). Please discuss HPV testing with your doctor during your visit. When your Pap smear is performed the cells can be tested for HPV.

Should I get the HPV vaccine?
The HPV vaccine is recommended for adolescent girls who are not sexually active. Females who are sexually active may also benefit from the vaccine. The HPV vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women.

What should I do if my partner has been diagnosed with genital warts?
Call our office to schedule an appointment.

Obstetrics

When should I schedule my first prenatal visit?
If you’ve tested positive with a home pregnancy test, give us a call. We will schedule an appointment for you approximately eight weeks from your last menstrual period.

What foods should I avoid during pregnancy?
During pregnancy you should avoid fish that contains Mercury (including swordfish, tile fish, mackerel and shark). Also avoid saccharine, alcohol, deli meats, unpasteurized cheeses, and meat, poultry and fish that have been under-cooked.

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?
For most women, there is no medical reason not to have sex during pregnancy. Unless your pregnancy is classified as high risk or if there are other safety concerns, you and your partner can have sex without fear of harming your baby.

Is it safe to exercise when I’m pregnant?
It is safe to exercise in moderation during pregnancy, unless your obstetrician advises against it. Some exercises can help with childbirth.

Is it safe to travel when I’m pregnant?
It is usually safe to travel by airplane up to 35 weeks into your pregnancy. If you need to travel after 35 weeks, check with your physician. To reduce your chances of getting a blood clot during a flight, get up to stretch your legs several times.

What medications can I safely take when I am pregnant?
Prenatal vitamins, which are now available without a prescription, are safe to take during pregnancy. For any other medications, vitamins, herbal remedies or supplements, check with your physician.

What medications can I take for a cold during pregnancy?
If you are pregnant and you get a cold, check with your physician before taking any over-the-counter cold or cough medications, especially if they contain aspirin or ibuprofen. In most cases, it is safe to take Tylenol (acetaminophen) for minor aches and pains. Saline nasal sprays or steam inhalation may help with congestion. Remember to drink lots of fluids.

Should I get the flu shot when I am pregnant?
We recommend that you get a flu shot if you are pregnant during flu season. It’s safe to get a flu shot even if you are in the first trimester.

What do I do if I am exposed to someone with Fifth disease?
Most pregnant women experience no serious complications if they are exposed to the Fifth disease virus. However, anemia or miscarriage is possible, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. If you suspect or know you’ve been exposed to the Fifth disease virus, contact your health care provider. If you have the virus, your physician may decide to monitor you more closely.

Is it safe to get my hair colored during pregnancy?
Since very little of the chemicals in hair dye are absorbed into your system, it’s probably safe to dye your hair during pregnancy. However, if you’re concerned, you might consider waiting until the second trimester, when your developing baby is less vulnerable. You might also consider streaking, highlighting, frosting or other options in which the chemicals have little or no contact with your scalp.

Is it safe for me to be around paint fumes?
Exposure to paint fumes has not been shown to harm developing fetuses. However, you may wish to avoid prolonged exposure if the smell bothers you.