Frequently Asked Questions

Gynecology Practice

What is a pap smear?
A pap smear is a screening test for abnormal cells that may indicate cervical cancer. You should begin having a regular pap smear about three years after starting sexual intercourse. A pelvic exam and breast exam are part of the annual exam. You should also be screened for sexually transmitted diseases if you are not monogamous.

Should I get the HPV vaccine?
Gardasil, the hpv vaccine, protects against certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer and genital warts. HPV has infected about 20 million people in the U.S., with more than six million new cases occurring every year. Only a few genital types can cause cancer. Gardasil is effective against four types of HPV, including the two that cause 90% of all genital warts. The other two strains cause 70% of cervical cancer cases. Gardasil is approved for women ages 9 to 26.

What do I do if I miss taking a birth control pill?
If you miss or are late taking one pill, take it as soon as you remember. If you miss two pills, take two pills per day until you are back on schedule. If you miss three or more, throw away the package and start a new package that day. ALWAYS use condoms for the rest of the month that you missed pills.

What were my test results?
You will be notified on all test results. We will always call you after the results have been reviewed by the physician or the nurse practitioner. Some abnormal results will require a follow up office visit with us.

Should I have a prescription for the morning after pill?
You do not need a prescription for Plan B. You may buy this at any pharmacy. Having the means to prevent a pregnancy in your home is an excellent idea. You should have this medication on hand for emergency contraception.

Can I talk to a nurse?
One of the best resources in the office of who it’s worth asking questions is the nurse. Our nurses are very experienced and knowledgeable and can provide a lot of information to you about your health care. You are able to get valuable advice about how concerned to be about a certain symptom, how to treat run of the mill ills, what the standard instructions are for medications, or which specialists you may wish to see. Nurses take care of pregnancy tests, UTI screens, and patient education for many of your health concerns. If you have a long list of concerns, a preliminary chat with the nurse is an ideal time to go over them and winnow them down to the most important to bring into the examination room. So ask the nurse! You will feel better and live healthier if you are an active partner in your health care.

What should I do about a vaginal discharge?
Most vaginal discharges are simple vaginal infections that are treated easily. If you are involved with risk taking sexual activities this could be a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease. It is important for you to come in for an exam and testing to determine the best treatment. Do not panic- most of the time it is a simple infection but if it is potentially more serious we can treat you or refer you to the appropriate specialist.

Abortion Services

How safe is abortion?
Abortion is now one of the safest surgical procedures available. A first trimester abortion is considerably safer than childbirth. Complications are very rare. According to National Abortion Federation statistics, only 2.5% of women who have an abortion have even a minor complication. Medical and suction abortion are both safe and effective methods to end a pregnancy.

What about future child bearing?
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, no medical data exists to support the claim that abortion interferes with having a child in the future. An abortion now will in no way prevent you from getting pregnant or delivering healthy babies.

Is the procedure performed by a certified Medical Doctor?
Yes. We insist on any physician working with us to be board certified and experienced. Our Ob/Gyn surgeons each have over 20 years of experience and expertise in women’s health services.

Will I be embarrassed coming to the Annandale Women and Family Center?
No, we are located in a private medical office and we offer primary care to women and men. Abortion services are provided within the primary care setting and no one will be aware of the purpose of your visit. As in any other private practice we do our utmost to protect the confidentiality of your visits.

My husband/boyfriend is against my having an abortion.
Making the decision to terminate a pregnancy can be difficult. If you do not think you are ready to handle the responsibilities of raising a child, you should not be forced to have a baby by your husband or boyfriend. Ideally you and your partner should come to a decision together, but in the end the choice is yours.

Is the abortion procedure painful?
If you choose general anesthesia, asleep, you will feel no pain during the abortion. Some women feel no pain with the local anesthesia, awake, and others feel mild to moderate cramping that resolves in 10 to 15 minutes.

What is a medical or pill abortion?
This is a pregnancy terminated by taking medicine to cause a miscarriage in very early pregnancy. Mifepristone causes the pregnancy to detach from your uterus. Misoprostol causes the cervix to open, uterine contractions, and the expulsion of the pregnancy. The combination of drugs is 90-95% effective. If they do not work you will need to have a suction abortion as these medicines cause severe birth defects.

What restrictions do I have after an abortion ?
Most women go back to work or school the next day. You need to avoid putting anything in the vagina for 3 weeks to prevent infection. It is important to come back for your follow up check up in three weeks. This visit is included in your fee and is the only way to make sure the abortion was successful.

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