Gynecological Services & Procedures
Regular gynecological care is essential to the long term health of women from adolescence to post-menopause. Annual gynecological exams serve as a preventative healthcare measure for women throughout all stages of life. Annual exams can help detect problems early when treatment is most effective. Women’s Health of Central Virginia offers a full range of gynecological services including:
The most important part of preventative health care is your routine yearly exam. Women’s Health of Central Virginia offers gynecologic preventative screening visits for girls and women of all ages.
The Pap test, which can be performed during a pelvic exam, collects cells from the cervix to examine. This test screens for cervical cancer as well as other conditions that may cause abnormal results.
Cervical cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells grow in the cervix. The Pap test, which is collected every 1-3 years depending on a woman’s age and history, is the method by which we test for cervical cancer. The Pap test collects cells from the cervix and they are sent to our lab to be analyzed. Not every abnormal Pap test result indicates cervical cancer, but getting a yearly examination allows us to catch any issues early and investigate further.
Breast cancer screenings may be performed at each yearly examination during the clinical exam. Your provider may palpate the breast tissue to check for lumps or other changes. Women’s Health of Central Virginia recommends all women perform regular monthly breast checks at home. The risk of breast cancer increases with age. Women over the age of 40 can start getting mammograms (x-rays) yearly to check for changes in breast tissue. Those with family history of breast cancer are recommended to receive mammograms earlier and more frequently.
Ovarian cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow in or near the ovaries. At your annual wellness exam, our doctors will palpate your ovaries during the pelvic examination. Any questionable findings will lead to further investigation through ultrasound, blood test and biopsies. As with all diseases, early detection and treatment is the key to more successful outcomes.
An STD screening is an important part of preventative health care for a sexually active person and can protect the health of you and your partner. We encourage open communication with our providers about your lifestyle and symptoms to help determine if you need STD testing.
The normal symptoms of PMS include cramps in the abdomen or low back, headaches, bloating, being short tempered, a lack of energy and mood swings. Occasionally, women can have severe symptoms of PMS that may require treatment. Women’s Health of Central Virginia offers lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise that can help improve they symptoms of PMS.
There are many options for birth control today and we can help guide you in choosing the option that will best suit your lifestyle and needs. The options span from birth control pills to patches, intrauterine devices, vaginal ring, diaphragms, tubal ligation (permanent sterilization) and the rhythm method. If you would like to discuss your birth control options, please don’t hesitate to call us at (434) 239-7890.
Endometriosis, most commonly diagnosed in child bearing years, is a condition where the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grows outside of the uterus, possibly behind the uterus, and on the bowels and bladder. Endometriosis can be an uncomfortable or painful condition for women. We can help you determine the best way to treat and manage the symptoms of endometriosis.
We are proud to offer genetic screening to our patients. This screening may be done secondary to a family history of cancer and can be discussed during your annual exam. Additionally, some patients may want to pursue preconception screening or genetic screening during their pregnancy. We are pleased to offer the most current non invasive prenatal screening panels.
Women’s Health of Central Virginia offers advanced diagnostic ultrasound to help diagnose many gynecological conditions such as pelvic masses, uterine fibroids, pelvic pain, congenital uterine abnormalities and pelvic floor imaging. The advanced ultrasound is an excellent diagnostic tool for both obstetrical and gynecological healthcare.
The providers of Women’s Health of Central Virginia offer compassionate care for individuals suffering with infertility issues. We are pleased to introduce Dr. Laura Smith and Dr. Chris Williams as new associates of Women’s Health of Central Virginia. These two physicians from Reproductive Medicine and Surgery Center of Virginia (RMSCVA) are experts in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) and will be on rotation every Tuesday in our office to serve new patients of Women’s Health of Central Virginia. We can coordinate an appointment for you to see an expert in fertility issues.
The providers at Women’s Health of Central Virginia in Lynchburg are highly trained in performing minimally invasive gynecological surgeries to treat common and often benign conditions of the reproductive system. There are several approaches to minimally invasive surgery such as hysteroscopic, laparoscopic and da Vinci® robotic surgery.
A colposcopy procedure is performed by your gynecological specialist to closely examine the cells in the cervix through a magnification device called a colposcope. The colposcopy allows your doctor to carefully inspect the tissues in your vagina and cervix and look for problems that may not be caught with the naked eye.
Women who are experiencing abnormal bleeding whether it is heavier than normal, or outside of the regular menstrual cycle, may need to undergo a procedure called a dilation and curettage, or D & C. The doctor will remove some of the endometrial tissue from the uterus to determine the cause of bleeding abnormalities. The tissue is sent to the lab for analysis. This procedure can help determine the cause of irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding.
The LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) may be offered to patients who have had an abnormal pap test result. Gynecologists use this procedure to remove abnormal cells from the cervix for diagnostic and treatment purposes. The cells are analyzed at our lab facility to determine if further testing or treatment is needed. The body is then able to heal the cervix and create an immune response to help prevent the HPV virus from causing future problems.
As women age, urinary incontinence can become an issue that affects your daily life. Symptoms can vary from inability to prevent leaking urine when exercising, coughing or sneezing to experiencing an urgent need to urinate that can cause urine to leak before getting to the bathroom. If you are experiencing urinary incontinence and it is affecting your daily life, please call us at (434) 239-7890.
Women’s Health of Central Virginia in Lynchburg, VA offers simple, natural lifestyle changes that may help reduce and alleviate some symptoms. There are other measures that we can offer to help with menopause management such as low-dose hormone therapy. If menopause is disrupting your life, please don’t hesitate to call Women’s Health of Central Virginia at (434) 239-7890.
Both minimally invasive procedures, laparoscopic surgery requires small incisions in the belly to insert cameras and tools to treat conditions such as endometriosis, adhesions, infections and to find cysts. Hysteroscopic surgery utilizes a thin, lighted, flexible tube inserted into the cervix and uterus to help determine the cause of abnormal bleeding, bleeding after menopause, to biopsy tissue, remove endometrial lining and perform endometrial ablations.
Women’s Health of Central Virginia is pleased to offer a vaginal rejuvenation procedure known as FemiLift for post menopausal women. This non-surgical, quick and safe procedure addresses vaginal dryness due to loss of estrogen after menopause that can result in pain with intercourse. This procedure encourages the vaginal wall to heal itself to make intercourse more comfortable. Mild symptoms of urinary tract incontinence and lichen sclerosis may also be improved. We encourage women to inquire about how this pain-free procedure can make a huge difference in their lives. Check out Dr. Marraccini’s video on FemiLift Vaginal Rejuvenation.
Endosee is an in-office procedure where a tiny camera is inserted through the cervical opening and into the uterus to visualize the endometrial lining. This procedure is helpful to diagnose conditions that cause abnormal uterine bleeding such as polyps, fibroids and cancer.
What Should I Expect at My Annual Exam?
At Women’s Health of Central Virginia, we understand that women’s healthcare needs change throughout their life. One of our top priorities is to educate and empower women to make positive health choices. At your annual gynecological exam, you will meet with your doctor to discuss any changes or concerns you may have regarding your reproductive health.
A yearly gynecological exam is a vital aspect to a woman’s overall health. The yearly exam can help:
- Recognize risk factors for disease
- Review healthy lifestyle choices
- Minimize health risks
- Identify medical problems
- Establish a long-term clinician – patient relationship
In general, the components of the physical examination will depend on the age of the patient and if they have had a hysterectomy. Most physical examinations include:
- Collecting vital signs including blood pressure, weight and a urine sample
- Discussion about menstrual cycle, birth control and any issues you may be having with yeast infections, sexual intercourse, bladder infections or hemorrhoids
- Clinical breast examination
- Pelvic examination including a PAP smear, if needed and to palpate ovaries and uterus
- Palpating the abdomen
- Assessing patient’s overall health
- Mammogram for patients 40 and over, or sooner for those with a family history of breast cancer
It is important that you make and keep your annual checkups with your gynecologist so that any health issues you may have will be identified early and treatment can begin. Prevention and early detection are the best ways to increase the length and quality of your life.
A colposcopy procedure is performed by your gynecological specialist to closely examine the cells in the cervix through a magnification device called a colposcope. This procedure is generally recommended when a Pap test yields abnormal results. The colposcopy allows your doctor to carefully inspect the tissues in your vagina and cervix and look for problems that may not be caught with the naked eye.
A colposcopy can be used to diagnose:
- Precancerous changes in the cervix
- Genital warts
- Inflammation of the cervix
The results of the colposcopy will take about a week to return. A colposcopy will give you and your doctor more information to help you make the best health care choices.
Menopause is a natural, gradual transition time in a woman’s life when the hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone begin to drop. Women transition out of the reproductive years and the monthly cycle starts to become irregular and eventually stops. Although most women typically enter menopause in their late 40s, the average age of menopause is about 51. Menopause can be confirmed when a woman has not had a period for a year, however signs and symptoms of menopause can begin years before the last period. Fluctuating hormone levels are usually the cause of symptoms that women experience during perimenopause (before menopause). The severity of symptoms can vary between women, but some of the more common symptoms include:
- Changes in menstrual cycle: For many women, the first sign of perimenopause is a change in the length of menstrual cycles. Periods can be shorter or longer and they can also be heavier or very light.
- Hot flashes and night sweats: During perimenopause, women may begin to notice hot flashes. Most women will experience hot flashes during menopause as the hormone levels fluctuate. Hot flashes can be triggered by tight clothing, stress, consuming alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods.
- Changes in sleep patterns: Insomnia is often a common symptom of menopause. The core body temperature needs to drop at night in order to sleep, and hot flashes and night sweats suddenly raise the temperature in the middle of the night, causing sleep disturbances and restlessness.
- Changes in mood and memory: Mood swings, similar to PMS symptoms, often occur during menopause. The declining hormone levels can leave women feeling sad, depressed, irritable, anxious and short tempered. Mood disorders may be helped by eating healthy, exercising and getting adequate rest.
- Vaginal dryness: As estrogen declines, the lining of the vagina becomes thinner and drier. This can cause pain during intercourse. Be sure to consult your doctor at Women’s Health of Central Virginia to help you manage menopausal symptoms.
It is not medically necessary to treat the symptoms of perimenopause unless they are bothering you. Women’s Health of Central Virginia in Lynchburg, VA offers simple, natural lifestyle changes that may help reduce and alleviate some symptoms. There are other measures that we can offer to help with menopause management such as low dose hormone therapy. If menopause is disrupting your life, please don’t hesitate to call Women’s Health of Central Virginia at (434) 239-7890.
Am I In Perimenopause?
The changes in hormones during perimenopause and menopause affect women differently. A physical exam as well as a discussion of your symptoms and medical history are valuable clues that you are entering perimenopause. After menopause, the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer can increase. During this transition phase, it is important to keep your annual physical exams so you can discuss any changing symptoms with your doctor.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
The providers at Women’s Health of Central Virginia in Lynchburg are highly trained in performing minimally invasive gynecological surgeries to treat common and often benign conditions of the reproductive system. Advancements in technology have enabled doctors to treat a broad range of conditions including:
- Uterine fibroids
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Abnormal and heavy menstrual bleeding
- Ovarian cysts
- Postmenopausal bleeding
Minimally invasive surgery is shown to cause less pain, reduce recovery time, leave smaller scars, lower risk of infection and heal more quickly. There are several approaches to minimally invasive surgery such as hysteroscopic, laparoscopic and da Vinci® robotic surgery system.
Hysteroscopic surgery utilizes a thin, lighted, flexible tube called a hysteroscope inserted through the vagina to examine the cervix and uterus. Hysteroscopy is indicated for patients that have abnormal pap test results, abnormal uterine bleeding, bleeding after menopause, biopsy tissue from inside the uterus, remove endometrial lining and endometrial ablation.
Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that inserts a small tube with a video camera into an incision made in the belly. The procedure is used to examine abdominal and pelvic organs such as the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. A laparoscopic procedure can be used to treat endometriosis, find cysts, adhesions, fibroids and infection.