A gynecologist can handle numerous conditions, including:
Gynecological care consists of regular recommended examinations, including breast and pelvic exams and Pap smears. In recent years, the guidelines for routine tests have changed, as they may, as well, in the future. Currently, the recommendation is that all women, regardless of sexual orientation, begin Pap smear diagnostic testing at the age of 21. A Pap smear, which takes a small sample of cells from the cervix, is designed to identify abnormalities that may indicate pre-cancer or cancer.
Visits with your gynecologist are designed to monitor your reproductive health. However, your physician has a wealth of knowledge that can help you find answers to questions you may have regarding birth control, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, menopause, sexuality, and more.
In addition to maintaining yearly well woman visits with your gynecologist, it is important to schedule an appointment if you experience symptoms such as:
- Severe or unusual menstrual pain
- Severe or unusual pain in the vagina, pelvic region, or abdomen
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Swelling or pain of the vulva or vaginal area
- Itching, lumps, or sores on the vulva or vagina
- Changes in the breast such as puckering, dimpling, or thickening
Uterine FibroidsUterine fibroids may develop at any age, but are most commonly seen in women aged 30 - 50. Though fibroids are typically benign, their presence inside the uterus, within the uterine wall, or on its outer surface may cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. The complications of fibroids include pain and heavy menstruation, bleeding outside of menstruation, anemia, enlargement of the abdomen, miscarriage, and more.
There are several treatment options for fibroids, which may be considered in the instance of persistent symptoms like pain or heavy bleeding. Bleeding, in particular, may be controlled with certain hormone-altering medications such as birth control pills. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists may be used to halt menstruation and shrink fibroids in preparation for other treatments. If necessary, fibroids may be removed in the myomectomy procedure. This surgery removes existing fibroids while preserving the uterus. Should new fibroids develop, further surgery may be needed. In some instances, hysterectomy, which removes the uterus, is most appropriate.
Fibroids, may be starved through uterine artery embolization, or treated with resection in the hysteroscopy procedure.
Ovarian cystsOvarian cysts, which may be detected during a routine pelvic examination or via specific symptoms, are quite common amongst women of childbearing age. One or more of these fluid-filled sacs can form on the ovary, causing mild discomfort, sharp pain in the abdomen, or bleeding, which requires prompt medical attention. In many cases, especially if the cyst is small, no symptoms occur.
Symptomatic or not, most ovarian cysts are benign (non-cancerous). In women past menopause, ovarian cysts may be evaluated with an ultrasound as well as a specific blood test to measure the level of CA 125, a substance associated with ovarian cancer in the postmenopausal years. Due to mitigating factors in premenopausal women that can cause false positive elevated CA 125, this test is less accurate in women who are still menstruating.
Treatment of ovarian cysts will vary based on symptoms, the size of cysts, the age of the patient, and her desire to have children in the future. In many cases, it is possible to treat ovarian cysts without removing the entire ovary. In some instances, birth control pills will be prescribed to prevent the development of additional cysts if one or more exists. In cases where symptoms are more severe, a cystectomy may be performed using laparoscopic surgery.
Northwestern Women’s Health Associates offers prompt attention for your medical needs. Contact us today for your appointment.
At Northwestern Women's Health Associates
your unique needs are our highest priority.Making use of advanced technology and staying on the cutting edge of women’s healthcare, our team of experts is dedicated to providing every woman who visits our office with the highest level of sensitive, specialized care. At our office in Chicago, you can receive exceptional obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) services from any one of our highly skilled doctors, including Stanley Friedell, MD; Marc Feldstein, MD; Abbie Roth, MD; Regina Belmonte, MD; Sharon Wise, MD; Julianne Morton, MD; Whitney Dunn, MD; Aleena Lakhanpal, MD ; and Margaret Kistner, MD. With their combined expertise, this team of board-certified doctors at Northwestern Women's Health Associates makes it possible for you to receive efficient, personalized care from the preeminent women’s hospital in the Midwest.
"Wonderful experience with Dr. Julianne Morton @ NW Women's Associates. I've recommended her to countless girlfriends. Being a first time mom, I went through many physical symptoms and emotions that accompany pregnancy. She is extremely thorough, patient, and has wonderful bedside manner. I felt confident going into delivery with Dr. Morton taking the lead with my delivery. Wonderful practice!"
"Dr. Morton is absolutely amazing. She cared for me throughout my first pregnancy and we found her to be kind and caring and straightforward - could not have asked for a better experience! Dr. Dunn ended up being on call during my delivery and she was great as well. I have always found the nurses and office staff to be friendly and on top of things - very happy with the practice!"
"I had to have a laproscopic hysterectomy done by Dr. Friedell and all went fabulously! They were very detailed in pre-op which made a lot of difference. I came out of surgery feeling great and post op I was back to work within two weeks. Everyone at the practice, at the hospital, at pre-op were incredible."
"Dr.Julianne Morton is amazing! I was recommended by a friend when I moved to the Chicago area and was looking for an OB-GYN. I have seen her for two years in Chicago for my yearly exam. She is beyond kind and great at what she does. Dr.Morton makes you feel very comfortable and is such an incredible doctor! I have recommended her to all of my friends as well who need a new gyno/OB-GYN."