As a woman, you have questions about your OB-GYN care. We provide answers to many commonly asked questions below – just click on a question to view the answer.
What can I expect for my yearly check-up at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists?
A standard annual check-up consists of a brief physical exam, a clinical breast exam, tests for sexually transmitted infections if necessary, and a pap test.
What is a pap test?
During a pap test, also known as a pap smear, loose cells are scraped gently from the opening of the cervix. The cells are then tested for cervical or vaginal cancer, abnormal hormone activity and certain infections or changes that may require treatment. Any female adult or teenager who is sexually active should have a pap smear once a year, including some women who have had hysterectomies.
How can I prevent an abnormal pap test?
While you cannot completely prevent an abnormal pap test, there are certain healthy choices you can make to reduce your risks. These include regular check-ups, using condoms, and refraining from sexual activity with multiple partners or with someone who has other sexual partners. You should also refrain from smoking (some studies have shown that women who smoke are at higher risk for cervical cancer). Vaccines are available to guard against the human papillomavirus (HPV) – read more about the HPV vaccine here, and talk to your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife for more information.
At what age should gynecological exams begin?
Although circumstances can certainly vary, we generally recommend that annual gynecological exams begin at the start of adolescence, typically around age 13-15. It may be sooner or later depending on the level of sexual activity, or if you or the patient has questions about birth control or sexually transmitted infections.
Do certified nurse midwives provide gynecological services?
Certified nurse midwives are primary health care providers to women throughout the lifespan. In addition to obstetrical care for pregnant women, certified nurse midwives also provide comprehensive gynecology services: routine annual exams, family planning, treatment of GYN problems (such as vaginal/urinary tract infections), prescribing medications (including contraceptive methods), hormone replacement therapy, health education and counseling to teens and women of all ages, and more.
At Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists, our certified nurse midwives work collaboratively with our OB-GYN physicians to provide high-quality health care and highly satisfying experiences for every patient.
Read our FAQs on Certified Nurse Midwives to learn more.
Can I choose a certified nurse midwife as my provider even if I’m not pregnant?
Yes. A common misconception about certified nurse midwives is that they only provide obstetrical care. While pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum care are important parts of midwifery, certified nurse midwives also provide comprehensive gynecological care for women of all ages. From adolescent GYN care to preconception counseling, OB and even post-menopausal care, the certified nurse midwives of Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists are here to care for women for life. Learn more about the personalized care available from our certified nurse midwives.
Will my health insurance cover GYN care provided by a certified nurse midwife?
In most cases, if your insurance covers OB-GYN care by a physician, it will also cover nurse midwifery care. As an affiliate of LMH Health, Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists accepts most major insurance plans. Please check with your insurance company to determine coverage based on your policy.
Do you screen patients for breast cancer?
During your check-up, we will perform a clinical breast exam to check for lumps or other indicators of potential breast health problems. Starting at age 40, we encourage all women to have a screening mammogram every year. With 3D mammogram technology available through LMH Health, you have access to advanced breast cancer detection tools and expertise. Other services available at the LMH Health Breast Center include breast MRIs and ultrasounds, bone density tests for osteoporosis and more.
What are my choices for birth control?
What sexually transmitted infections can you test for during a routine gynecology exam?
During your regular annual exam, your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife may screen for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital warts, herpes and syphilis.
What if I need GYN surgery?
Our highly skilled OB-GYN physicians perform a range of surgeries in the surgical suites at LMH Health, including minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotically assisted GYN procedures. In addition to the exceptional care you will receive while you’re in the hospital, we also provide important information to assist in your recovery at home.
If I'm recovering from GYN surgery, what problems should I watch for, and when should I contact my OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife?
Some bleeding after GYN surgery is normal, but if you experience heavy bleeding, contact your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife as soon as possible. A fever can be a sign of infection, so you should also contact your provider if your temperature reaches 100.4°F at any time, or stays above 100°F for two consecutive days or more. Other issues to report after OB-GYN surgery include foul-smelling discharge and severe pain or cramping that is not relieved by your prescribed medication.
For more home care instructions related to specific procedures and surgeries, read our home care instructions for the following:
What is endometriosis and how is it treated?
Endometriosis is a problem many women have during their childbearing years. It means that a type of tissue that lines your uterus is also growing outside your uterus. This does not always cause symptoms, and it usually isn't dangerous. But it can cause pain and other problems, such as abnormal bleeding and fertility issues. Our expertise includes diagnosing endometriosis and a variety of treatment options to help you return to the life you love without endometriosis pain getting in the way. There are both non-surgical and surgical options for this condition. Our OB-GYN physicians perform endometrial ablation and endometriosis resections regularly, and robotically assisted surgery is an option for endometriosis resection. For more information on a range of women's health conditions, please visit our gynecology page.
If I have concerns or questions involving sex, can my provider at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists help?
It is not uncommon for women to experience sexual problems ranging from fear of intimacy to sexual dysfunction – and yes, we are here to help. We want you to feel comfortable discussing all issues pertaining to women’s health with us, including sexual concerns. As your partner for lifelong health, our top priority is your health and well-being.
Getting pregnant is harder than I expected. Should I consult my provider at Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists about it?
Yes. We can provide detailed information regarding fertility awareness methods, which involve attempting to conceive at your most fertile monthly stages. You may be experiencing infertility issues, and our OB-GYN physicians and certified nurse midwives can run some basic infertility tests to help determine why you have not been able to get pregnant. Common reasons to consider infertility testing include irregular menstrual cycles or ovulation periods, difficulty conceiving when birth control has not been used for at least one year (for women ages 20-35) or at least six months (for women over 35).
Can hormone replacement therapy cause breast cancer?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can alleviate many symptoms associated with menopause, but it is a complex issue. Some findings do suggest a potentially elevated risk for breast cancer and other serious health conditions.
At Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists, we follow the latest studies and discussions to provide the most up-to-date information available. Before making any decisions about whether or not to seek HRT, we urge you to talk to your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife about risks, benefits and alternative treatments.
How can I reach my OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife after office hours?
We always have a provider on call for emergencies. If you need to reach your OB-GYN physician or certified nurse midwife after regular office hours, call our main office at 785-832-1424 and speak to our after-hours answering service. An operator will contact our on-call provider if the nature of your call is deemed urgent.