This week, I interviewed one of our fantastic OB/GYN’s Dr. Clive Polon regarding primary prevention and women’s health.
So here you go, an interview with Dr. Polon~
Meg- So much is changing in women’s health, what is your best advice for young women of childbearing age who desire to be healthy but are not looking to have a baby right now?
Polon- “I don’t feel like paps (pap smears) annually are necessary, unless you are sexually active. If you are sexually active within one year you need a pap.” Dr. Polon states that the results of the pap are what determine the course of care after that. “If the pap results are abnormal I usually repeat the pap in 6 months to a year.” Dr. Polon also states that he does encourage women to come in for an annual exam to discuss all health issues like nutrition, STD testing, breast health, and sexual health.
Meg- How common is it for you to see someone with an abnormal pap? What is your recommended course of care?
Polon- “Very, very common; probably about 30% of my patients have abnormal paps.” Dr. Polon states that the course of care depends largely on the age of the patient as well as the pap results. Dr. Polon reports that he would generally repeat a pap within 6-12 months for younger women depending on the pap since approximately 85% spontaneously resolve in 1-2 years. For an older woman with positive HPV he would want to repeat the pap more frequently, and possibly explore other procedures with the patient if needed, like a colposcopy.
Meg- If you could tell a woman your top reasons they need to establish care with an OB/GYN, even if they are not looking to become pregnant right now, what would they be?
Polon- “Your OB/GYN is going to know the most updated literature and recommendations put out by ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists).” Dr. Polon also said that the importance of a young woman forming a relationship with a care provider is critical. “I think that women need someone they can confide in and tell that person everything that is going on with them and their health. It’s best to develop that relationship now, as soon as possible.”