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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between gynecology and obstetrics?

In general terms, gynecology focuses on women’s medical issues, specifically those related to the reproductive or urological organs. Obstetrics, on the other hand, is concerned with prenatal care, pregnancy, and labor and delivery. Because these two fields are so closely related, many physicians will study both and provide both types of care.

When should I have my first gynecological exam?

The answer to this question will depend. If you are experiencing problems or become sexual activity, you should see a gynecologist regardless of your age. Otherwise, you should consider scheduling your first pelvic exam around age 21.

What should I expect during my first visit to the gynecologist?

Typically during your first exam you will be asked to provide a detailed medical history and be given a few simple screening tests.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is a common screening procedure that looks for cancerous cells or tumors in the breasts. These tests can identify cancerous cells up to two years before they will be noticeable in self-examinations.

When should I get my first mammogram?

Women generally get their first mammograms around 40 years old. However, if there is a history of breast cancer in your family, or if you have reason to believe you may have breast cancer, you should be screened sooner.

When should I have my first prenatal visit?

If you suspect that you may be pregnant—if you have tested positive with a home pregnancy test, for example—you should call to set up an appointment right away. We will schedule a visit about eight weeks from your last menstrual period.

Should I eat or avoid eating any certain foods during pregnancy?

Yes. Expecting mothers should eat foods that contain high amounts of iron, calcium, and protein; increased fiber and water intake will also help with any digestive issues related to pregnancy. On the other hand, you’ll want to avoid any raw foods, fish (specifically those containing mercury), and soft cheeses, among others.

Are there any options for treating morning sickness?

Absolutely. Non-medical treatments may include eating something bland, like dry toast or crackers, before getting out of bed in the mornings. Foods that may be particularly difficult on the digestive system, such as greasy or spicy foods, should be avoided as they can exacerbate nausea. Try to take any medications with food rather than on an empty stomach, and drink plenty of water!

How should I care for the incision after my abdominal surgery?

After your abdominal surgery, you may have staples, stitches, or steri-strips to deal with. If you have staples or stitches, you doctor will probably remove them in-office three to ten days after your surgery, or before you are sent home. Steri-strips will usually be removed at home after about a week, but these strips may fall off on their own over time. When removing them yourself, soak the strips with warm water to help them come off easier. Once the sutures or strips have been removed, be sure to keep the incision clean with warm water. However, scrubbing the area should be avoided until it has had adequate time to heal.

Will I have much pain after my surgery?

While it’s true that many gynecological operations will result in some pain or discomfort afterwards, this will generally diminish over time. This pain will depend on the type of surgery, and will vary in severity. Often, this discomfort can be managed with pain medications.

Will I need to limit my activity after my surgery?

You may feel tired after your surgery, especially if anesthesia was used. We encourage you to get plenty of rest in the days or weeks after your operation, but also to balance this rest with very minimal exercise. It will be important for you to walk around at least two or three times a day after your surgery to promote healing and prevent complications. You may gradually resume your normal activities as you begin to feel better, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.