Diagnostics & Treatment

Overview

Our practice takes an individualized, big-picture approach to gynecology and obstetrics. Ideally, our relationship with you will span multiple stages of your life and make significant transitions easier. But even if you only visit us once, we hope that you have the kind of positive experience that inspires you to demand more from your health-care providers. We have devoted a page of our website to Diagnostics and Treatment because we believe our approach makes us a special medical practice.

Diagnostics at Our Practice

Too often in modern medicine diagnostics gets sidelined and treated as a formality.  At Woodward & Associates, we believe you can only get the best treatment if you first get a spot-on diagnosis.

Though we’d like to believe it never happens, incorrect diagnoses lead to unnecessary expense, senseless surgeries, and a waste of your most valuable asset – time. We understand that the conditions we treat and the services we offer have a real impact on your life, so we take diagnostics very seriously. We are thorough, we demand attention to detail, and every member of our team believes in our mission of treating every patient like we would a member of our own family.

Treatment at Our Practice

You will likely find your treatment options at Woodward & Associates to be more flexible than you’ve encountered with other providers. From our point of view, if a treatment won’t work for your life, or if it conflicts with your personal priorities, then it’s not a realistic solution. It’s important to us that we know your perspective, that we prioritize the things that are most important to you, and that your treatment plan can realistically be carried out.

If you feel like your doctor isn’t listening to you, that your opinion doesn’t matter, or that you’re not getting the attention you deserve, visit Woodward & Associates. Our connection with our clients is something we’re proud to say makes us a different type of OBGYN practice.

Conditions

Ovarian Cysts

The ovaries are the organs from which eggs (ova) are released as part of a woman’s reproductive cycle. Ovarian Cysts are pockets of fluid that develop on or within an ovary. Most ovarian cysts are harmless, cause no pain, and go away on their own. Our role in treating ovarian cysts is to screen for them regularly, monitor any changes, and address any cysts that cause more serious problems. By keeping up to date with your regular examinations, you can keep ovarian cysts under control and minimize your risk for complications.

Abnormal Pap Results

The Pap Test, commonly called a Pap Smear, is a screening included in a woman’s yearly routine care. The Pap Smear is a two-phased test that examines the cervical cells AND tests for the presence of the Human Papilloma virus.  During a pelvic exam, cells are collected from the cervix and checked for changes. An Abnormal Pap Result means that there have been changes in the cervical cells. This could indicate inflammation, infection, or changes that could lead to cervical cancer. The Pap Test provides early detection for these serious problems. When a Pap Test returns abnormal results, more extensive testing is done to determine why the cells have changed and what kind of treatment, if any, should be used.

HPV

There are more than 100 different types of HPV, and many of them cause no symptoms. While up to 4 out of 5 people will contract some form of HPV at some point in life, its detection is very important. Certain types of HPV cause genital warts, while others create a higher risk of cervical, anal, or vaginal cancer. Today, the risk of spreading of HPV can be interrupted with vaccines, by practicing safe sex, or by quitting smoking.

Genital Herpes

Herpes is a common sexually transmitted condition that causes painful sores on the area where the virus enters the body. Detection of genital herpes is especially important because it can be spread even when no sores are present on the skin. Over 45 million people in the United States carry the herpes virus, but many people fail to manage it properly. Once inside the body, the herpes virus infects healthy cells. Painful sores and swelling can develop as the body tries to fight the virus. Herpes is a chronic condition that cannot be cured, but can be managed with medication and lifestyle adjustments.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or other organs of the female reproductive system. This complication can develop as a result of several sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia and gonorrhea. If left untreated, PID can damage the organs of the reproductive system and result in problems as severe as infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and improperly implanted pregnancy.

Since PID symptoms can be subtle and their impact can be severe, early detection is very important. Pelvic ultrasounds and other tests can be used to diagnose PID. This disease can be cured with antibiotics, but treatment cannot reverse damage caused by its symptoms. The longer PID is left untreated, the more likely it is to cause serious irreversible damage.

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids, formally called leiomyomas, are benign growths that form in the uterus. Most women will experience fibroids at some point in their lives, and most are painless and require no treatment. Uterine Fibroids occasionally cause problems because of their size, location, or number.

Uterine Fibroids can cause discomfort in many different ways, including severe cramps, pain during intercourse, difficulty urinating, or constipation. In severe cases, fibroids can cause infertility or miscarriage. Fortunately, fibroid symptoms are treatable and can be diagnosed by our doctors at Woodward & Associates.

Vaginitis

Vaginitis is an irritation of the vagina or vulva that nearly every woman will experience sometime in her life. This itchy, painful inflammation can be caused by a yeast infection or a number of other conditions. Vaginitis is not a serious condition, but it can be annoying and very uncomfortable. The root cause of this issue is an imbalance in the healthy bacteria that live within the vagina, often triggered by an infection.

A yeast infection is actually one form of Vaginitis. Other types include bacterial vaginosis (too much bacteria), Atrophic vaginitis (low hormone levels), and Trichomaniasis (an STD caused by a parasite).

The type of bacterial imbalance that leads to Vaginitis can be caused by:

  • A variety of antibiotics
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Menopause
  • Douching
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Any type of vaginal infection

If you are experiencing any type of vaginal discomfort, call your OBGYN. The doctors at Woodward & Associates are here to identify the source of your problem and find realistic results that actually work. If you do in fact have Vaginitis, we can help you take steps to prevent future infection.

Chronic pelvic pain

Chronic pelvic pain refers to any pain in the pelvic region that lasts 6 months or longer. This type of discomfort can be caused by a wide variety of conditions, and at times cannot be linked to any underlying conditions at all. If you experience chronic pelvic pain, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out potential causes that could be serious or require treatment.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. While it typically affects the ovaries or intestines, endometriosis can spread beyond the pelvic region. This condition can cause severe pain and infertility issues, but effective treatments are available.

Surgery

Gynecologic Ultrasounds

An ultrasound is a method of diagnostic imaging that uses sound waves to create a picture of the organs in the pelvic region. The sound waves are sent to a computer screen, which creates a visual image. For women, the organs pictured in a pelvic ultrasound include the cervix, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and bladder. Gynecologic Ultrasounds are conducted by our doctors, and are a noninvasive way to get a very thorough look at the anatomy of your reproductive system.

Dr. Woodward, Dr. Berich, Dr. Mantione, Dr. Segrave-Daly and Dr. Herchelroath are AIUM Certified in Obstetric and Gynecologic Ultrasounds. This powerful diagnostic tool allows us to identify conditions including ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids, and the causes of symptoms like abdominal pain and unexpected vaginal bleeding.

Laparoscopic Gynecology Surgery

Laparoscopy is the most common minimally invasive surgical method used today. In these less invasive surgeries, the surgeon makes a few very small incisions instead of larger incisions. A tiny camera gives the surgical team a constant and clear view of your surgery site, and long, thin surgical instruments are used.

Laparoscopic Surgery can be used to treat fibroids, cysts, and a variety of other conditions that have traditionally involved larger incisions. The benefits include less pain, a faster recovery time, less scarring, and lower risk of complications. If you’re concerned about an upcoming surgery, consult with our team to find out if you could be more comfortable, both before and after your procedure.

Robotic Laparoscopic Surgery

We are delighted to offer da Vinci Surgery as an additional minimally invasive option for women in need of certain gynecologic surgeries. This incredible system gives your surgeon greater precision and a much clearer view with just a few small incisions. Da Vinci Surgery is similar to laparoscopic surgery, with the addition of tiny robotic instruments and a 3D camera that creates a magnified image. With da Vinci Surgery you still get a smaller incision and faster recovery, but with even more precise surgical results. Two of our physicians, Dr. Stephen L. Segrave-Daly and Dr. Bridget F. Berich, are certified in DaVinci surgery.

If you have a gynecologic condition that requires surgery, Woodward & Associates can help you feel as comfortable as possible with your procedure and the care that follows. Surgery is always difficult to go through, but our personal care will make you feel like you’re in the most capable, caring hands.

Incontinence Management

Urinary incontinence is a problem that will affect half the women in our country at some point in their lives. At Woodward & Associates, we take this concern seriously, and we’re devoted to alleviating the inconvenience of incontinence. A specific examination for this condition involves questions to address the incontinence issue, as well as a bladder challenge evaluation to assess the physical characteristics of your specific incontinence. Minimally invasive surgery is one approach to managing urinary-stress incontinence, while frequency and urge incontinence may be treated with medications or an electrical impulse to the sacral nerves. The InterStim technique for stimulating the sacral nerves is available through our physicians.

The first step in any Gynecologic surgery is confirming an accurate diagnosis. Since surgery is typically used for stress incontinence, it’s important that we pinpoint what’s causing your unique issue. By discussing your lifestyle and priorities, we can ensure that our ultimate solution works for your current situation, as well as for your future plans.