Start the new year off on the right foot by staying on top of your health with important women’s health screenings. Seeing a board-certified OB/GYN each year for key exams and health checks helps you stay on top of your wellness all year long.
At Darin Swainston MD. FACOG, in Las Vegas, Nevada, board-certified OB/GYN Daniel Richards, DO, offers important women’s health screenings as part of our comprehensive line of gynecology services. We tailor each exam to meet your specific needs based on age, stage of life, and any other factors that may put your health at risk.
Here’s a closer look at several key wellness exams and screenings to consider this year!
Cervical cancer screening
Every year, at least 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Getting a Pap smear, a quick test that detects precancerous cells, allows Dr. Richards to remove these abnormal cells before they become deadly cervical cancer.
Dr. Richards completes the Pap smear with a quick swab in the office, then sends the sample to a laboratory for analysis. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends getting your first Pap smear at 21, even if you’ve never had sex or are in a monogamous relationship.
STD and HIV check
Doctors and clinicians diagnose over 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the US each year. Most STDs, including HIV, don’t come with immediately obvious symptoms. As such, HIV and STD screenings are the most effective way to protect yourself and your partner from a life-threatening disease.
Over 25 types of STDs exist, each caused by different viruses and bacteria. Some STDs most frequently diagnosed include:
- Human papillomavirus / Genital warts
- Gonorrhea (“Clap”)
- Hepatitis B
- HIV / AIDS
- Genital warts
Dr. Richards discusses your lifestyle, age, medical history, and sexual health history to determine which tests and screenings you require and how frequently you need them. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued the following recommendations to women as a starting point for STD screenings:
- Sexually active women under 25: Annual gonorrhea and chlamydia testing
- Women over 25 with new or multiple partners or whose partner(s) have an STD: Annual gonorrhea and chlamydia testing
- All adults and teens 13 to 64: Testing for HIV at least once
- Pregnant women: Testing for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B in early pregnancy
- Anyone who has unsafe sex or shares needles: Annual HIV testing
Depending on your sexual activity and history, you may have an increased risk for STDs.
Breast cancer screening
Every year, over 270,000 American women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. In addition, doctors diagnose tens of thousands more women with early stage breast cancer each year. Dr. Richards checks for early signs of breast cancer with a physical breast exam and a check of your abdomen and thyroid glands.
In addition, Dr. Richards routinely asks patients to have a mammogram. Mammograms are a quick and painless screening that detect breast cancer and can help save your life. Dr. Richards recommends women aged 50-74 get a mammogram at least every two years, and more frequently if you have a family history of breast cancer or other elevated risk factors.
Addressing questions and concerns
Seeing your OB/GYN regularly offers you the opportunity to ask questions or address any symptoms or concerns you may have about your health and well-being. Dr. Richards can answer questions related to:
- Menstrual cycles
- Reproductive health and obstetrics
- Birth control
- STDs and HIV/AIDS
- Pelvic pain
- Abnormal bleeding
Start the new year right with important women’s health screenings from Dr. Daniel Richards and the team at the Las Vegas office of Darin Swainston MD, FACOG. You can book an appointment online, over the phone, or schedule a telehealth appointment now to get started!