Parkview Health OBGYN Services

What is a gynecologist?

A gynecologist is both a surgeon and doctor who received special training in treating diseases of the female genitalia and reproductive system. 

What makes up the female reproductive system?

The female reproductive system includes:

  • Uterus
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Ovaries
  • Cervix
  • Vagina
  • Vulva

Why would I see a gynecologist?

Young women should first see a gynecologist around the age of 13-15 and then yearly to maintain good health.  Most women will not need a pap smear until they are 21. If you are pregnant – or think you are pregnant – you should schedule an appointment with a gynecologist.

You should also see a gynecologist if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal bleeding from the vagina
  • Heavy bleeding between periods or bleeding after menopause
  • Painful menstrual cycles/periods
  • Unusual vaginal secretions – yellow, green or gray in color with or without odor
  • Periods that last longer than a week
  • Periods that soak through a tampon or sanitary pad every 2-3 hours
  • Missed or irregular periods
  • Feeling weak or dizzy during your period
  • Itching or burning in the vagina
  • Painful sex
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Problems urinating (either you can’t urinate or you have leaking)
  • Problems having bowel movements
  • You are having problems getting pregnant
  • Questions regarding sex
  • You suspect you may have a sexually transmitted disease

What does a gynecologist treat?

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding – any problems with menstrual cycle – too heavy, infrequent, irregular, postmenopausal, etc.
  • Amenorrhea –  six or more missed periods or periods that never begin
  • Cervical cancer – cancer that starts in the cervix
  • Cystocele – bladder prolapse
  • Dysmenorrhea – painful periods
  • Dyspareunia – painful sexual intercourse
  • Ectopic pregnancy – pregnancy that develops outside the uterus usually in the fallopian tube
  • Endometriosis – tissue that looks and acts like the lining of the uterus grows in other areas of the body, such as on the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the pelvic sidewall or even in the bladder or bowel
  • Endometiritis – a condition in which endometrial tissue becomes inflamed
  • Endometrial cancer – cancer that begins in the lining of the uterus, which is called the endometrium
  • Endometrial hyperplasia – thickening of the lining of the uterus, which is called the endometrium
  • Enterocele – prolapse of the small intestine into the vaginal canal after a woman has a hysterectomy
  • Fibroids – uterine fibroids are growths made up of muscle cells and other tissue that grow in the uterus
  • Genital warts – a sexually transmitted disease, human papillomavirus (HPV), causes soft growths on the skin and mucus membranes of the genitals
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – there are different types; HPV can cause genital warts or cervical cancer
  • Interstitial cystitis – inflamed or irritated bladder
  • Infertility – inability to become pregnant
  • Ovarian cancer – cancer that starts in the ovaries
  • Ovarian cysts – fluid-filled sacs located on or in the ovary
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – an infection caused by bacteria entering the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of female sex hormones causing the ovaries to not release mature eggs during a woman’s period
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – a group of symptoms, acne, bloating and mood swings that start one to two weeks before a woman’s period
  • Rectocele – prolapsed (fallen) rectum into the vagina
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) – an infection that a person can get from having sex with someone that has an infection. STDs include genital warts, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV
  • Toxic Shock Syndrome – this is rare, but serious illness is caused by a bacterial toxin/infection
  • Urinary incontinence – loss of urine control or the inability to hold your urine until you reach a bathroom
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) – occurs anywhere in the urinary tract – the bladder, kidneys, the urethra or the ureters
  • Uterine polyp – a mass or growth that is attached to the inner lining of the uterus
  • Vaginitis – inflammation of the vagina can cause itching, pain and/or abnormal discharge
  • Vulvitis – inflammation of the vulva, which are the soft folds of skin on the outside of woman’s genitalia
  • Yeast infection – a vaginal infection usually caused by a fungal organism called Candida albicans

What procedures does a gynecologist specialist do?

  • Cryoablation – a procedure that uses extreme cold to destroy tissue.
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C) – surgical removal of the lining of the uterus
  • Hysteroscopy – a thin, lighted telescoping camera that is inserted into the uterus to view its lining
  • Hysterectomy – removal of uterus
  • Myomectomy – removal of fibroids
  • Oophorectomy – removal of ovaries
  • Salpingoophorectomy – removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes
  • Salpingectomy – removal of fallopian tubes
  • daVinci® robotic-assisted hysterectomy – a minimally invasive surgery to remove the uterus using a specialized robot
  • Laparoscopic hysterectomy – a minimally invasive surgery to remove the uterus
  • daVinci® robotic-assisted sacrocolpopexy – procedure to repair a vaginal prolapse using a specialized robot
  • Endometrial ablation – a procedure that permanently removes a layer of tissue inside the uterus
  • Tubal ligation_a type of female sterilization where the fallopian tubes are cut or blocked
  • Ovarian wedge resection – removal of part of an ovary most often used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome

Do I need a referral from my primary care doctor to see a gynecologist?

Every insurance company is different. Some require that you have a referral to see a specialist and some do not. Call your insurance company and ask what the requirements are to make sure that they will cover the cost of your appointment.

How do I make an appointment to see a gynecologist specialist?

To make an appointment with a gynecologist, call Parkview Physicians Group – OB/GYN at (260) 422-7455.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

During your first appointment you will need to bring your:

  • Insurance card
  • Driver’s license or other state/federally issued identification
  • List of medications
  • Any paper work that you received

What can I expect during my first appointment?

  • To better understand your needs, your gynecologist will ask you many questions about:
  • Your symptoms (if any)
  • Past or recent illnesses
  • Surgeries that you may have had in the past so that the specialist can better understand your gynecological problems. 

If you are under 21, have not been sexually active and have not had any problems, the gynecologist will most likely only look at the external genitalia. If you are over 21, sexually active or experiencing problems, your gynecologist will conduct an external and internal pelvic exam.