Annandale Women & Family Center




What is a pap smear?
A pap smear is a screening test for abnormal cells that may indicate cervical cancer. You should begin having a regular pap smear about three years after starting sexual intercourse. A pelvic exam and breast exam are part of the annual exam. You should also be screened for sexually transmitted diseases if you are not monogamous.

Should I get the HPV vaccine?
Gardasil, the hpv vaccine, protects against certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer and genital warts. HPV has infected about 20 million people in the U.S., with more than six million new cases occurring every year. Only a few genital types can cause cancer. Gardasil is effective against four types of HPV, including the two that cause 90% of all genital warts. The other two strains cause 70% of cervical cancer cases. Gardasil is approved for women ages 9 to 26.

What do I do if I miss taking a birth control pill?
If you miss or are late taking one pill, take it as soon as you remember. If you miss two pills, take two pills per day until you are back on schedule. If you miss three or more, throw away the package and start a new package that day. ALWAYS use condoms for the rest of the month that you missed pills.

What were my test results?
You will be notified on all test results. We will always call you after the results have been reviewed by the physician or the nurse practitioner. Some abnormal results will require a follow up office visit with us.

Should I have a prescription for the morning after pill?
You do not need a prescription for Plan B. You may buy this at any pharmacy. Having the means to prevent a pregnancy in your home is an excellent idea. You should have this medication on hand for emergency contraception.

Can I talk to a nurse?
One of the best resources in the office of who it’s worth asking questions is the nurse. Our nurses are very experienced and knowledgeable and can provide a lot of information to you about your health care. You are able to get valuable advice about how concerned to be about a certain symptom, how to treat run of the mill ills, what the standard instructions are for medications, or which specialists you may wish to see. Nurses take care of pregnancy tests, UTI screens, and patient education for many of your health concerns. If you have a long list of concerns, a preliminary chat with the nurse is an ideal time to go over them and winnow them down to the most important to bring into the examination room. So ask the nurse! You will feel better and live healthier if you are an active partner in your health care.

What should I do about a vaginal discharge?
Most vaginal discharges are simple vaginal infections that are treated easily. If you are involved with risk taking sexual activities this could be a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease. It is important for you to come in for an exam and testing to determine the best treatment. Do not panic- most of the time it is a simple infection but if it is potentially more serious we can treat you or refer you to the appropriate specialist.

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