Women's Health

Women's Health Specialists
The experienced healthcare providers at Seacoast Medical Associates in Newburyport, Massachusetts, offer women’s health services, including routine pelvic examinations, breast exams, pap smears, diagnosis and treatment of gynecological issues, and patient education.

Women's Health Q & A

Seacoast Medical Associates

How often should a woman get a pap smear?

The healthcare providers at Seacoast Medical Associates recommend getting a pap smear every 3 years if you are between 21-65 years of age. Patients with a family history of cervical cancer, personal medical history of cervical cancer, a positive HPV test, or prior abnormal screenings should consider screenings at a more frequent interval, such as every 6-12 months. Patients rely on their healthcare provider’s recommendations to determine how often to be screened. It’s important to keep in mind that although you might get a pap smear every 3 years, an annual pelvic exam is still recommended.

What does an abnormal pap smear mean?

An abnormal pap smear result simply means that some of the cells found on the patient’s cervix look abnormal under a microscope. In most cases, the human papillomavirus (HPV) causes this, and the changes often go away on their own over time. In some cases, the abnormal cells result from a yeast or bacterial infection. And other times, the abnormal cells may indicate cancer, in which the healthcare providers at Seacoast Medical Associates notify the patient and schedule further testing.

What are the signs and symptoms of a problem?

Females seek care from the medical experts at Seacoast Medical Associates if they notice signs and symptoms of infection, including:

  • A change in the color, smell, amount, or texture of vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal bleeding or post-coital (after sex) bleeding
  • Pain, itching, or burning during sex or urination
  • Warts, rashes, or blisters on the genital area

These symptoms may indicate an infection or underlying condition requiring medical treatment.

When should women see a doctor for a lump in the breast?

Breast lumps are very common and harmless in most cases, especially during certain times in a woman’s menstrual cycle. The medical experts at Seacoast Medical Associates always welcome women seeking medical treatment for a lump that causes them concern. Generally speaking, however, lumps that don’t go away after 3 weeks should be evaluated by a professional.

Can women choose a female medical provider?

At Seacoast Medical Associates, the provider who focuses on women’s care is female. Many patients prefer a female healthcare provider when visiting a doctor for gynecological reasons. Patients seen in the walk-in clinic for gynecological reasons may not be able to choose the gender of their provider.

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