Women’s Health & Birth Control

Women’s Health: Women who are looking for help managing their health can trust the experienced doctors at San Marcos Family Medicine in San Marcos, Texas. From annual exams and breast cancer checks to help with birth control and hormonal issues, San Marcos Family Medicine provides a full list of women’s health services from a caring team of Central Texas doctors who put their patients first.

Women's Health Q & A

What happens at an annual exam?

An annual exam includes a full screening of a woman’s medical history. It includes a pelvic and breast exam to rule out a number of diseases. Women often have a pap smear at this annual appointment. The pap smear takes some cells from the cervix to test for cervical cancer and other diseases. Women should schedule an annual exam yearly, but may only need a pap smear every 3 years depending on age.

When does a woman need to start having annual exams?

Women need to start having annual exams when they start having intercourse. All women, even those who have not had intercourse, should start having exams at age 21.

What are some common women's health issues?

The doctors at San Marcos Family Medicine can help women with many problems, including:

  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Gynecological cancer
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Infertility
  • Menopause

Women dealing with one of these issues or who have questions about their health can make an appointment with San Marcos Family Medicine.

What is menopause?

Menopause is the process wherein a woman’s body transitions from being fertile to no longer being able to get pregnant, resulting in the cessation of menstruation. This typically happens between age 45 and 50, and a decline in reproductive hormones triggers the change.

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis causes the uterine tissue to grow outside the uterus. When it adheres to other organs, then breaks down during menstruation, it causes adhesions and scar tissue. This condition affects over 5.5 million women in America.

What is polycystic ovary syndrome?

PCOS is a hormone condition that causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts. It can cause acne and facial hair as well. Women with PCOS causes an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone, which can also disrupt menstruation, hurt fertility, and impact cardiac function. The doctors at San Marcos Family Medicine can help women manage their symptoms and reduce the impact of PCOS.

What is interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that causes bladder pressure and pain. Some women with this condition also experience pelvic pain. The symptoms are similar to the symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) but without an infection being present. With the help of the doctors at San Marcos Family Medicine, women can get relief for their symptoms.

Birth Control: Birth control gives women and men control over their fertility. With so many options available, patients in San Marcos, Texas, are often confused about which option is best for their needs. The Central Texas doctors at San Marcos Family Medicine can help with the choosing and prescribing birth control medications and materials.

Birth Control Q & A

What types of birth control are available?

Options for birth control include:

  • Ponges
  • Patches
  • Vaginal rings
  • Pills
  • Shots
  • Nexplanon implants
  • Condoms
  • Cervical caps
  • Diaphragms
  • Spermicidal applications
  • IUD

In addition, men and women who want permanent birth control can have sterilization procedures, including vasectomy for men and tubal sterilization for women.

How do birth control pills and implants work?

Birth controls contain synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones, which inhibit a woman’s body from entering the normal reproductive cycle. This prevents ovulation, which makes pregnancy impossible. To be effective, birth control pills must be taken daily at around the same time every day. If a woman misses a dose, she’ll need backup birth control to prevent pregnancy for that cycle.

Can birth control cause infertility?

Except for a vasectomy and tubal sterilization, all other forms of birth control are temporary. When they aren’t used, fertility is restored.

Can birth control methods protect against STDs?

Except for condoms, no birth control method protects against STDs. Patients who want to have protection against STDs need to use condoms.

Which birth control method is the most effective?

For those who absolutely must prevent pregnancy, highly effective birth control methods, include:

  • Birth control pills
  • Nexplanon implants
  • IUD
  • Condoms are the most effective way to prevent pregnancy

Barrier, spermicidal applications, and natural methods are the least effective. The doctors at San Marcos Family Medicine can help patients choose the right birth control method for their needs.

Do natural forms of birth control work?

No birth control method has a 100% success rate. Even the birth control pill has just a 92% effectiveness rating with regular use because people can make mistakes. That’s why San Marcos Family Medicine recommends and prescribes Nexplanon implants, which don’t rely on patients to remember to take pills or apply a patch. Non-hormonal forms of birth control have varying success rates with regular use. They are as follows:

  • Male condoms – 85% effective
  • Female condoms – 79% effective
  • Fertility awareness – 75% effective

The effectiveness percent goes up significantly with perfect use, but tracking fertile days and using condoms correctly every time isn’t easy for many patients. San Marcos Family Medicine can help patients find a birth control method that works.