Basic care and maintenance for female reproductive health
Gynecology focuses on the health of the female reproductive system. As family nurse practitioners, we can provide contraceptive counseling and treat common gynecology problems. If you need birth control, our very own Bob Smithing, FAANP is an expert on intrauterine devices (IUDs) for long-term pregnancy prevention.
Vaginal infections, abnormal Pap smears, and HPV testing and vaccination are among the most common reasons why women in Kent, Washington come to us. Details about these conditions and procedures are below. For more information, please contact us.
Birth Control / Pregnancy
We consult with young women who are trying to get pregnant and want to make sure they are as healthy as possible. We can take a look at your current health profile and review your prescriptions and nutrition to make sure you are fit for pregnancy.
Vaginitis (infection of the vagina) is one of the most common gynecologic conditions we take care of in our office. The symptoms include abnormal discharge, vulvar or vaginal discomfort, or all three. A cervical inflammation called cervicitis may also cause a discharge.
The most common causes of vaginitis are bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and trichomoniasis. Nevertheless, many women with vaginitis may remain undiagnosed. Care must be taken to distinguish these conditions from other infectious and noninfectious causes. Our nurse practitioners use gynecology testing to identify the cause. Treatment of vaginitis varies by cause and should be directed at the underlying cause.
Abnormal Pap Smears
Abnormal Pap smears are a common problem in gynecology. Our nurse practitioners can perform a colposcopy and/or cervical biopsy to determine the degree of disease present and the next step to be taken if you have an abnormal Pap result. Testing on Pap smear samples for the presence of multiple types of HPV can be done, along with identification of high-risk HPV species.
Testing for HPV (human papilloma virus) is combined with your Pap smear at FamilyCare of Kent. The HPV result is equivalent to the Pap result, but a woman who tests positive for HPV and has an abnormal Pap has an even greater risk of cervical cancer. The strain of HPV (human papilloma virus) can also help us determine how aggressive the treatment plan should be in the early pre-cancer stage.
A common treatment for pre-cancerous (abnormal) cells in the cervix is called cryotherapy. In this procedure, part of the cervix is frozen in order to destroy and stop the abnormal cells from multiplying. Cryotherapy is a simple procedure that can be done in the office with very little, if any, discomfort. Your health care provider will discuss cryotherapy with you if necessary.
HPV and Gardasil®
HPV can infect the mouth, throat, cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, and perianal areas. It is sometimes (not always) associated with an STD. Our nurse practitioners use a gynecologic colposcopy to magnify and evaluate potential sites for infection. Once identified, the appropriate treatment for HPV can begin.
If you test negative for HPV and want to prevent infection in the future, consider getting vaccinated for HPV with Gardasil®. This vaccine is available for men and women. Gardasil protects against HPV as well as meningococcal disease.
Please visit FamilyCare of Kent’s patient education library to find other gynecology conditions, or visit our page on Women’s Health.
Need to see a gynecologist? Our family nurse practitioners can provide many of the same services. We see women of all ages and stages of life.