Frequently Asked Questions

faqAt what age should I schedule my first appointment with a gynecologist?
A woman should schedule her first gynecological exam when she expects to become sexually active or by the age of 21. Fresno OB-GYN Dr. Gail Mallard-Warren encourages patients to consult with her or a member of her team before becoming sexually active.

How often should I get a mammogram?
You should talk to your Fresno OB-GYN about when to start and how often you should have a mammogram. Her current recommendations are:
•   Women who are 40+ should get a mammogram every year.
•   Women who have a family history of breast cancer should start sooner.

When should I begin my birth control pills regimen?
You may start taking your birth control pills either on the first day of your menstrual bleeding or on the first Sunday after your menstrual bleeding begins.

What is a Pap test?
During a Pap test – or Pap smear – unattached cells are gently scraped away from the opening of the cervix. These cells are then tested for vaginal or cervical cancer, abnormal hormone activity and particular infections or changes that may need further treatment. Any female who is sexually active should have a pap smear once a year.

What should I be expecting at my OB-GYN appointments during my pregnancy?
During your first prenatal visit, your Fresno OB-GYN will discuss your medical history, perform a physical exam, schedule lab tests, determine your due date and create your prenatal care plan.

Unless otherwise instructed, you can expect to make monthly visits throughout your first 28 weeks, then every two to three weeks until you reach your 36th week, at which time you will need to begin being seen weekly for the remainder of your pregnancy. During each visit, we will thoroughly assess your progress.

What are the available types of pain-relieving medications during labor and delivery?
In general, there are two types of pain-relieving drugs – analgesics and anesthetics. Analgesics diminish pain without total loss of muscle movement or feeling. They are used to lessen pain but usually do not entirely eliminate pain. Anesthetics obstruct all feeling, including pain. Epidural anesthesia is commonly used to eliminate labor pain.

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