What is included in women’s health?
Women’s health is an important topic because women are presented with unique health issues. Some health issues that affect women and men can actually affect women differently. For example:
- Women are more likely to show signs of anxiety and depression than men
- Women are more likely to get urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Women are more likely to pass away following a heart attack
- Osteoporosis and arthritis is known to affect women more than men
- The effects of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be more serious among women than men
The most common medical concerns for women include menopause, pregnancy and conditions of the female organs. For a healthy pregnancy, early and regular prenatal care are extremely important. Screenings for breast cancer and cervical cancer are recommended, as are bone density tests for osteoporosis.
Which women’s health services do you provide?
At our medical practice in Fairbanks, Alaska, we provide well woman annual exams, birth control and general GYN (gynecologic) care.
Well woman annual exams
Well woman exams are annual preventive screenings for breast and gynecological diseases. Women of all ages can protect their health with these yearly check-ups. During the exam, your physician will discuss your health and lifestyle with you, and he or she will perform a physical examination of the pelvis and breast. A pelvic exam will check for ovarian or uterine abnormalities and cervical cancer. Depending on your age, a mammogram, bone density scan, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) test, or Pap smear may be ordered. If you are 40 or older, it is recommended that you schedule a clinical breast exam every year. For women in their 20s and 30s, a clinical breast exam should be scheduled every 2-3 years.
A well woman exam is extremely beneficial because women should be screened regularly for breast and gynecologic cancers (ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar). They also allow women to discuss additional screenings and concerns, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you need pre-pregnancy counseling, your doctor can also review options and information with you. Examinations should be performed annually starting at the age of 21. If you are in your mid to late teens, we recommend that you schedule your first well woman exam.
Birth control, or contraception, involves methods of preventing pregnancy. Birth control methods include medications, devices and procedures that decrease or eliminate the chances of bearing children after intercourse. It is also very important to remember that birth control (aside from condoms) will not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or infections. Popular forms of contraception include birth control pills, a vaginal ring, vasectomy, IUDs, shots, a diaphragm, implants, patches and condoms.
To learn more about these specific birth control methods, please consult Dr. Nick Sarrimanolis. Women in central Alaska area can benefit from his advice and expertise. With all of the available birth control options out there, it can feel overwhelming to choose one that is both effective and comfortable. Sexual health is extremely important, and our providers want you to get the best care and information available.
General GYN care
General GYN care and routine screenings are essential for the early detection and prevention of precancers, cancers and other health conditions. From contraception to menopause, gynecologic care covers a wide range of topics and your physician or OB/GYN will help you maintain your overall health as much as possible. Women should schedule well woman exams to properly screen for cervical, ovarian, uterine, vulvar and breast cancers. Your provider will evaluate the results and can help you ward off or treat gynecologic issues.
Pap smears, or Pap tests, are one of the most important screenings for women. The Pap test can save lives by detecting cancers and precancers in the cervix. Precancers are cell changes that could potentially become cancer if they are not properly treated. These tests are covered by most health insurance plans and they should be scheduled every three years between the ages of 21 and 65. Women with weakened immune systems may need to schedule tests more frequently.
Schedule your appointment in central Alaska
If you live in or around Fairbanks, Alaska, give us a call at (907) 451-1174 or fill out the form on our website. Schedule well woman exams, discuss birth control options and get general GYN care from our team of medical experts. If you have any questions or concerns relating to your health, please feel free to ask. We are happy to assist you in any way that we can.
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.