If I had to give an award for the “Most Popular” question of 2014, the winner would be:
“How often do I really need to have a pap smear?”
It’s not a surprise, really. The recommendations have changed several times over the years and despite the minor changes most of us have just resigned ourselves to the notion that we will be needing to visit our friendly neighborhood GYN until the end of time, give or take a day or two. From the time we reached puberty, we’ve been told by our mothers, our older sisters, our aunts, and our doctors to have those yearly paps. Nothing new, right?
There are some new recommendations and they apply to all age groups!
Women should have their first pap smear at age 21 (unless they have already been screened and have had an abnormal- sorry!) This is irrespective of whether or not the woman has had sex. THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN IN THE PAST! So, if you are 18 and your mother is trying to drag you into the doctor to have a pap just because she had to have one at age 18- you don’t have to go! Now, if you need to see the GYN for infection testing or birth control or period woes, come on in to the Women’s Clinic in Kansas City, KS. I’m still not going to torture you with a pap. (let me hear that big sigh of relief!)
When should you get a pap?
- Women in their 20s should have a pap every year or two (we are assuming here, that your first pap was normal…)
- Ladies 30 and over: If you’ve had at least 3 normal pap smears in a row, we are going to recommend the pap smear every 2-3 years. This doesn’t mean you can skip out on your annual GYN visit- you still need an annual breast exam and pelvic exam- we just don’t have to do the pap.
- Women over 65 and women who do not have a cervix may not need a pap smear at all, but should check with their doctor regarding their individual recommendations.
So, with the new recommendations, it looks like your next visit to the GYN may be a lot less uncomfortable. It also may mean that we will be finding ways to repurpose those “duck bill” speculums. Wind chimes maybe?
Dr. Lisa Lorenzetti
Dr. Erin O’Laughlin
We love all of our excellent doctors at Sunflower Medical Group and each brings his or her own expertise and knowledge with them every day to work. But, occasionally, we get a glowing review for a specific doctor and we’d like to share one of those with you in this blog post. Dr. Erin O’Laughlin recently received the review below.
This particular patient suffered an Achilles rupture while performing physical therapy to correct a degenerative disc condition in the lumbar spine. After seeing many doctors who helped him physically, the patient was impressed with how Dr. O’Laughlin made him feel emotionally as well.
“Hello! Today I met with Dr. O’Laughlin. The chronic issue in my spine has been a nightmare of doctor visits and I just have to say that she is absolutely the most compassionate, intelligent and attentive practitioners I have been seen by.” The patient continued. “I had become very discouraged on my road to recovery as I felt I had taken a big step backwards in healing. After meeting with her today, I feel like, under her care, I have the will and the much needed support I need to overcome both issues.”
We are very happy when our doctors are able to provide much needed care and make a noticeable difference in a patient’s recovery. We also like to share these glowing reviews with you and give our doctors the recognition they deserve for a job well done. Thanks, Dr. O’Laughlin, for your medical skills and your people skills. Both are very valued here at Sunflower Medical Group.
Dr. Erin O’Laughlin practices the full scope of Family Medicine at our Sunflower Medical Group Mission location. She is available to take new patients, newborn to the elderly, and has specific skills in women’s health. If you would like to make an appointment at our Mission location, call 913-432-2080.
We have had a positive rapid Flu A test at our Antioch Hills office diagnosed by our Nurse Practitioner Erin Lovewell. Make sure to get your flu vaccines soon to protect yourself. Flu vaccine clinic hours are set up at all offices. Pediatric doses available as well.
According to the Medical Letter on September 17, 2012 there have been increasing cases of West Nile Virus infections (1,993 this year with 87 deaths). A good way to protect yourself is to wear insect repellents when you are going outside to prevent mosquito and tick bites.
Strong repellents such as DEET and Picardin protect the longest up to 6-12 hours. Home treatments like citronella, essential oils, and eucalyptus may be natural but often last less than an hour. Make sure to read the directions to get the best results.
Further information about insect bites and disease prevelence can be found at www.cdc.gov
Flu shots are now available at all locations! Call now or walk in to urgent care for your flu shot.
The Johnson County department of Health is reporting 16 new confirmed or suspected confirmed cases of whooping cough in Johnson County since the beginning of 2012. Whooping cough can kill unprotected babies and in adults causes a severe “100-day” cough.
All of Sunflower’s sites carry the Tdap booster shot to help boost immunity in adults and adolescents. It can be safely given if it has been more than 2 years since your last tetanus booster. Make sure if you are around newborns or pregnant women to get your booster shot to protect these innocents. Parents please immunize your children! In 2011 TEN infants died from Whooping cough in California! That is ten too many deaths.
At Sunflower Medical Group, you’ll find a group of dedicated doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and support staff who really care about your health. We want to be more than a “doctor’s office”. We want to be your trusted family medical resource. We strive to provide the best medical care, personalized attention and the highest level of customer service. Our spcialties include internal medicine, pediatrics and family practice. Two of our five locations offer Urgent Care clinics with later hours where you can walk in with no appointment whenever you need basic medical attention. Our goal is to be here when you need us to prevent, detect and treat your family’s everyday illnesses.