Primary Care For Women

Janet R. Schwartz, MD -  - Women's Medicine Physician

Janet R. Schwartz, MD

Women's Medicine Physician located in La Jolla, CA

Finding the right primary care physician is the most important step in your healthcare. Women's Medicine includes medical and gynecologic exams (Pap smears, breast and pelvic exams) mammograms, contraception, and menstrual problems. Dr. Janet Schwartz supports women in the San Diego area in their pursuit of good health. Give her office in La Jolla, California a call to meet with Dr. Schwartz to get on the road to good health.

Primary Care for Women Q & A

What is involved in primary care for women?

Women need the general care involved in internal medicine, including blood pressure, thyroid, heart, and blood sugar tests. But you also need care for the unique needs of your body and reproductive health. Well-women care involves annual gynecological exams, breast examinations and mammograms, and discussion of specific age-related concerns such as menstrual cramps, contraception, or menopause symptoms.

What gynecological services are available?

Dr. Schwartz offers numerous gynecological services. These include:

  • Pap smears and Pelvic Exams
  • Breast exams, Mammograms, and Breast Ultrasounds
  • Evaluation of abnormal Pap smears
  • Evaluation of abnormal bleeding
  • Contraception

What happens during an annual pelvic exam?

During an annual GYN exam, Dr. Schwartz performs a general physical, as well as examines your external vulva and vaginal opening to look for abnormal discharge, genital warts, or irritation. She then uses a speculum to separate the vaginal walls and look at your cervix and perform the Pap smear as well as any tests for sexually transmitted infections.

Dr. Schwartz also performs a bimanual exam, during which she places one to two gloved fingers into your vagina, while gently pressing on your lower abdomen to feel your uterus size and shape.

What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear screens for cervical cancer. During your annual pelvic exam, Dr. Schwartz uses a small brush or swab to collect a sample of cells from your cervix, which she then sends to a lab for analysis. The procedure itself takes just a few seconds and may produce brief discomfort, but is generally well-tolerated.

You should have your first Pap smear at 21, and annually thereafter. If you’re older than 30 or in a long-term monogamous relationship and had three normal Pap tests in a row, Dr. Schwartz may recommend you have a pap just every two to three years.

What is an abnormal Pap smear?

An abnormal Pap smear is not a diagnosis of cancer. Some abnormal cells could be precancerous, but others may simply be a sign of aging or infection with HPV (human papilloma virus).

Dr. Schwartz may recommend having another Pap smear in three to six months; often the abnormal cells disappear on their own. You may also need a more intensive examination of your cervix in a procedure called a colposcopy. During this procedure, Dr. Schwartz uses a light and magnification to look closer at the vaginal and cervical tissues.

What is abnormal bleeding?

If you are bleeding too heavily, between periods, or after menopause, Dr. Schwartz may use pelvic ultrasound or an endometrial biopsy to evaluate the cause.