Patient Education

Georgetown Women's Wellness would like to be your partner in health care. Feel free to ask your questions and share your concerns with us. We will work with you to develop a wellness program for the care and treatment you need.

We welcome you to our practice and look forward to caring for you.

Georgetown Women's Wellness provides a full range of medical services including the following:


Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

Abnormal uterine bleeding is classified as any bleeding that occurs between regular menstrual periods. In some cases, abnormal uterine bleeding occurs after intercourse, or in women who are postmenopausal. Heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding that lasts for more than seven days is considered abnormal uterine bleeding. ...


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Abnormal Pap Smears

A Pap test, or Pap smear, is part of a woman's annual wellness exam. The Pap test involves extracting a small sample of cells from the cervix. These cells are examined, in a lab, for abnormal cell changes. The Pap test is used in diagnosing cervical cancer and human papilloma virus, or HPV. ...


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Adolescent Gynecology

Gynecological exams are valuable to adolescents in many ways. It is important for young women to be assessed early, especially if they are sexually active, and to begin a relationship with a doctor that may guide them through many important milestones in their lives. The adolescent gynecologist provides wellness consultations for adolescents with a goal of establishing a bond of trust and confidence with each patient. Adolescent gynecology is a subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology. ...


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Annual Gynecological Exam

The annual gynecological exam, also known as a gynecological well-visit, is a yearly preventative and diagnostic examination that serves to maintain the wellness of female patients, as well as to monitor any ongoing physical or hormonal conditions. This annual visit is an opportunity for doctors to counsel patients about maintaining healthy lifestyles and minimizing health risks. The examination includes a routine breast and pelvic exam, and may include a screening for sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. ...


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Breast Self-Exam

Breast cancer affects a significant number of women each year. Most breast cancers are slow-growing, but there are types that are aggressive, which is why early detection is essential. Regular screenings are the best way to detect breast cancer in its early stages. The most common recommended screenings are mammograms and doctor-performed clinical breast exams. ...


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Contraception

Contraception is any method of birth control used to prevent pregnancy. A woman has many birth control options; which are appropriate depend on her age, overall health and lifestyle. Contraception can be permanent or temporary. Some types of contraception are more effective than others, and it is up to each woman to decide which type is right for her. ...


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Colposcopy

Colposcopy is a diagnostic procedure used to examine, under magnifcation, certain areas of the body and determine abnormalities. A vulvar colposcopy typically examines lesions on the vulva and is used to identify cancer or genital human papillomavirus, also called HPV.

The procedure is done with a colposcope, a microscope that can help identify malignant lesions on the vulva. It is usually performed as a follow-up to an abnormal pap smear. The exam itself is similar to a pap smear in that a speculum is inserted into the vagina so that the cervix is visible. The colposcope is situated so that the physician may view the area in question with a magnification of 10 to 40 times its normal size. If any abnormal cells are noticed, a biopsy of the tissue may be done. ...


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Endometrial Ablation

Endometrial ablation is a surgical procedure used to treat women suffering from excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding and who have not responded to other treatments such as medication. Endometrial ablation removes or destroys the uterine lining, or endometrium, while leaving the ovaries and uterus intact. The endometrium heals by scarring, which reduces or stops future uterine bleeding. ...


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Endometrial Biopsy

An endometrial biopsy is a procedure to exam the endometrium, the inside lining of the uterus, for abnormalities or signs of cancer. The biopsy is performed by taking a sample of endometrial tissue and examining it under a microscope.

To perform the biopsy, a speculum is inserted into the vagina and a small plastic tube is inserted through the speculum to suction a sample of the lining. Anesthesia may be used but the procedure is usually painless. The biopsy is performed to determine the cause of abnormal menstrual periods, bleeding after menopause or to screen for endometrial cancer. ...


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Endometrial Polyps

Endometrial or uterine polyps form when the tissue lining the uterus experiences an overgrowth. The overgrowth causes endometrial polyps to develop. Although typically benign, these polyps can in some cases become cancerous.

Symptoms of Endometrial Polyps

Endometrial polyps are more common after menopause, although younger women may also be affected. Endometrial polyps may affect menstrual bleeding and may cause: ...


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Female Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine, is more common in women, especially during and after pregnancy, although it can affect people of all ages. While not usually a serious medical condition, incontinence can be embarrassing and can adversely affect quality of life. A symptom, rather than a condition, female urinary incontinence can range from mild stress incontinence to complete loss of bladder control. ...


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Hormone Replacement Therapy

As you age, your body slowly ceases to produce estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that thicken the uterus to prepare it for the implantation of a fertilized egg. These hormones also protect the body from developing uterine cancer and osteoporosis. The decrease of these hormone levels is also responsible for many of the symptoms of menopause. ...


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Bioidentical-Hormone-Replacement Therapy

Hormone-replacement therapy is a treatment for women going through menopause. Symptoms of menopause can vary from moderate to severe, and include a slowed metabolism, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, depression, memory loss, mood swings, weight gain and low libido. One way to treat the symptoms of menopause is to replace the hormones that a woman's body is no longer producing. Traditional hormone-replacement therapy uses synthetic hormones to treat the symptoms of menopause. Bioidentical-hormone-replacement therapy (BHRT) is an alternative treatment that uses hormones derived from plants. ...


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Hysteroscopy

A hysteroscopy is a procedure, using a tool called a hysteroscope to examine the lining of the uterus and identify, diagnose or treat abnormalities.

Reasons for a Hysteroscopy

A hysteroscopy may be performed to determine the cause of:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Infertility

It may also be used to diagnose and remove fibroids or polyps and find and reposition an intrauterine device. ...


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Laparoscopic Vaginal Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus and sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes as well. It may be performed for many reasons including fibroid tumors in the uterus, abnormal bleeding, endometriosis and genital prolapse.

A laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH) is less invasive than a traditional open vaginal or abdominal hysterectomy. While an incision is made deep inside the vagina to actually remove the uterus, a very small incision is also made in the navel to insert a laparoscope, a thin probe with a light and camera that allows the doctor to see the organs of the abdomen and pelvis while performing the procedure. ...


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Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)

Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is used to treat abnormal cells found on the surface of the cervix. During the procedure, the abnormal cells are removed to prevent development of cervical cancer.

Wire loops attached to an electrosurgical generator cut away the affected tissue, causing the cells to heat and burst. The tissue removed is sent to a lab for further evaluation, including ensuring that the abnormal area has been fully removed. An assessment as to the cause of the growth of abnormal tissue will also be done. The LEEP procedure takes 20-30 minutes and can be performed in the office. A local anesthetic is administered to minimize pain. ...


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Painful Intercourse

Dyspareunia is the medical term for painful sexual intercourse in women. Painful intercourse may be short-lived or may continue for a long period of time. It may occur just before, during or after intercourse, and the specific location and severity of the pain may vary. Women with dyspareunia may experience pain during penetration, pain with intimate touching or pain when experiencing orgasm. ...


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Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse (vaginal prolapse) is a common condition in women, occurring when a pelvic organ shifts from its normal position to push against the vaginal walls. This movement causes pressure, stretching and pain. Most frequently, pelvic organ prolapse occurs after childbirth, menopause, or a hysterectomy when the muscles and ligaments supporting a woman's pelvic organs become more lax. ...


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Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the period of time when a woman's body transitions towards permanent infertility, or menopause. During perimenopause, changes in hormone levels can affect ovulation and cause changes in the menstrual cycle. Menstrual cycles may become longer or shorter and other symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, sleep problems, and vaginal dryness may begin. Most of the changes women experience during perimenopause are a result of decreasing estrogen. This stage usually begins when a woman is in her 40s, although symptoms can start as early as the mid 30s. Some women may experience perimenopause at an earlier age because of family history, a past hysterectomy or previous cancer treatment. ...


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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Many women experience physical and emotional changes several days before menstruation begins. This condition is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Symptoms, which may include breast swelling or tenderness, headaches, fatigue, bloating, acne, anxiety, irritability, mood swings and depression, commonly subside a day or two after menstruation begins. When the symptoms of PMS are severe and disrupt daily activities, a diagnosis of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD) may be made. ...


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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine system disorder that commonly affects women in their reproductive years. Women with PCOS often have multiple small cysts on their ovaries and experience irregular menstrual periods. PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women and although the exact cause is unknown, it is believed to be the result of a hormonal imbalance. In women with PCOS, the ovaries produce more androgens than normal. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation, and may also cause troubling symptoms such as excess hair growth and acne. ...


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Uterine Artery Embolization

Uterine artery embolization, also known as fibroid embolization, is a minimally invasive procedure that blocks blood flow to uterine fibroids, shrinking or destroying the non-cancerous tumors that grow on the uterine walls.

While fibroids do not always cause symptoms, they may lead to future complications and usually require treatment. Traditional treatment can be done with surgery - either a myomectomy to remove the fibroids, or a hysterectomy to remove the entire uterus. Fibroid embolization is a less invasive procedure that is performed under sedation through a blood vessel in the upper thigh. A catheter is first inserted into the blood vessel. A contrast material is then injected into the catheter providing the physician with a visual field of the blood supply to the fibroid. Particles that cut off the blood flow to the fibroid are injected through the catheter which close off the blood supply to the fibroid. ...


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Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids (myomas) are tumors that grow in the uterine walls. They are usually benign, and vary in size and quantity. The exact cause of uterine fibroids is unknown, but their formation may be affected by genetics, with a woman being more likely to develop them if she has a family member similarly afflicted. Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms and do not require any treatment, although, in some cases, they lead to pregnancy complications. Uterine fibroids are most common in women older than 30, and during the reproductive years. ...


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Vaginitis

Vaginitis is a inflammation of the vulva and vagina that results in itching, pain and vaginal discharge. Patients may develop this condition as a result of a change in the vaginal bacteria levels, a yeast infection or, a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Yeast infections (Candida albicans) are the most common type of vaginitis. ...


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Vulvar Vestibulitis

Volvodynia is a condition that involves chronic pain and discomfort of the vulva and vaginal area. Vulvar vestibulitis is a form of vulvodynia in which pain occurs in the vestibule or vulva, the area around the opening of the vagina.This condition can produce a burning sensation that may be persistent or arise mainly when pressure is placed on the vestibule, such as during sexual activity. ...


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Rectocele

Rectocele occurs when part of the wall of the rectum bulges into the vagina. Also called "posterior prolapse," it can be caused by multiple or difficult childbirths, chronic cough, chronic constipation, and weakened vaginal muscles. Rectocele is more common in postmenopausal women, and in women who are obese and/or smoke. ...


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Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence is a common condition involving an involuntary loss of urine that occurs when a physical movement places pressure or stress on the bladder. Patients with this condition may experience a leakage of urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing, jogging or lifting something heavy. This condition usually occurs as a result of weakened sphincter and pelvic muscles that cannot adequately support the bladder or urethra. ...


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