Gynecological Lab Tests Needed for Women’s Health
Every female should have her first gynecological exam at age 13. This begins an early medical history that can be very valuable for any gynecological issues that may occur later on. Also, the first exam may reveal issues or conditions that need monitored or treated. Every woman remembers her first pap test. The thought of the procedure to complete the exam is an uncomfortable memory to some women and quite painful for others even though the exam is over in seconds. The few moments of discomfort are worth it considering that avoiding pap smears is the number one reason for cervical cancer occurrences.
Gynecological Exams and Lab Tests
An annual pelvic exam is appropriate. A woman should have a pap smear evaluated every year until she reaches age 30. Thereafter, a year may be skipped if it is okay with her doctor. A pap test can be completed during a regular pelvic exam.
Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There is a test for HPV, but it is not needed to receive a vaccination. There are many variants of the virus and even if a person has a few of them, the vaccine will protect against the rest of them. There are two standard vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) currently in use and are recommended for females 13 or older. It is also not necessary to have had a pap smear before being vaccinated.
For sexually active females who suspect they may have been exposed to any sexually transmitted disease (STD), it is crucial to get tested as soon as possible. The fear is usually bigger for HIV, but there are many other STDs that can lead to severe symptoms and even death. Chlamydia is an STD that may only have mild symptoms. The patient is tested for the STD and then diagnosed, the treatment is just a short course of antibiotic therapy that can resolve the disease and the associated symptoms.
Do not put off visiting a gynecologist for routine exams and lab tests. Give a complete history and answer questions about sexual activity truthfully. Simple lab tests that confirm or deny a condition leads to proper treatment. Everything from overall health and vigor to the ability to bear children rests on good gynecological health.