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New Guidelines for Women's Health

Women's Health

Bottom line, get a checkup. In March of this year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released new guidelines to help women better understand when they need to visit their doctor.

To help navigate women through these new guidelines, Dr. Winston Eddy, an OB/GYN at the Ukiah Valley Rural Health Center’s Women’s Health, had this to say, “I feel it’s my duty to help provide the answers to whatever questions a woman in my care might have.”

Dr. Eddy offered a summary of the guidelines for women:

  • Women should have their first OB/GYN visit between the ages of 13 and 15 years of age.
  • Women younger than 21 years of age should not be screened regardless of the age of sexual initiation or other risk factors.
  • Women between 21-30 years of age should have a pap smears every three years.
  • Women between 30-65 years of age can continue pap smears every three years or may increase that interval to every five years if it is combined with testing for human papilloma virus (HPV).
  • Women over 65 years of age with adequate prior testing and no history of severe dysplasia or cervical cancer should have pap smears.
  • Women of any age that had a hysterectomy with the removal of the cervix and no history of severe dysplasia or cervical cancer should not have pap smears.
  • ACOG recommends clinical breast exams (CBE) annually from 20-39 years of age, and combining with mammograms annually beginning at 40 years old.

“It’s also important for me and other physicians in the community to help promote a healthy lifestyle including adequate exercise, proper diet, maintenance of a proper weight, and smoking cessation.”

“For women seeking advice on birth control, family planning and pregnancy, I encourage them to ask questions, I am here to help. If you have questions about menopause, osteoporosis prevention, overactive bladder and incontinence issues, or colorectal cancer screening, talk to me about your concerns,” said Dr. Eddy.

Dr. Eddy is the first of three new OB/GYNs coming to Ukiah Valley Medical Center. He is now seeing patients at 1050 N. State Street. He will soon be joined by two female OB/GYNs, Dr. Annie Do and Dr. Seema Nayak in July and August, respectively. If you would like to meet one of the new OB/GYN’s, you can schedule an appointment at (707) 462 2945.