FPA Women’s Health (previously known as Family Planning Associates Medical Group) is a medical group privately held in 1969 which provides many health helping hands for women including diagnostic, preventive, and reproductive health services. It is concerned with various medical aspects including Family Planning (varying from pregnancy prevention to pregnancy termination), gynecology, and behavioral health. In 1996, FPA Women’s Health was accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) being the first family planning provider in California to earn this accreditation.
FPA Women’s Health Location
FPA Women’s Health is located in the United States with multiple locations covering Los Angeles state and about 23 locations throughout the state of California. It provides its health services through many care centers, many of which are available in rural and underserved communities.
FPA Women’s Health staff
At FPA Women’s Health, there are about 500 members of staff including skilled doctors and nurses. They practice many tasks, including performing surgeries and answering postoperative inquiries of patients without added fees. This team of medical personnel can provide full information and women’s health care services to all their patients. The medical team offers a 24-hour triage through the phone line so women can be in contact with well-trained nurse practitioners to help them. Professional Physicians are also available on-call at all times. Our medical staff is committed to evidence-based medicine in screening, prevention, and treatment methods using guided technology to provide safe and convenient access to care. FPA Women’s Health provides a well-organized work environment that makes it the employer of choice for those enthusiastic about women’s health.
FPA Women’s Health Services
FPA Women's Health was founded after abortion became legal in the state of California. In many states of the USA, abortion was legal only for cases in which the continuation of the pregnancy threaten the mother's life. California law was more liberal in comparison to many other states, many women came from other states e.g. Arizona, Colorado, and Texas to receive legal abortions.
FPA provides different options for abortion depending on the number of weeks of pregnancy, Three procedures are available in FPA Women’s Health including:
1. Abortion pill [for 5-10 weeks]
The pill is a nonsurgical safe option for abortion which is highly effective for the early stages of pregnancy, with a 94-98% success rate if the woman is eight weeks pregnant or less. The woman can take the abortion pill at home with no need for staying in the hospital and return to the office for a follow-up visit after 1-2 weeks.
2. Surgical abortion [for 5-14 weeks]
A dilation and curettage (D&C) abortion is a second option which is a safe surgical procedure for termination of a pregnancy in the first 5-14 weeks. This in-office surgery is performed under anesthesia by professional doctors.
3. Surgical abortion [for after 14 weeks]
Dilation and extraction (D&E) is a safe effective way to terminate a pregnancy after 14 weeks. This surgery is performed in-office, after a pre-operative examination and evaluation the day before the procedure; the surgery is performed in-office under general anesthesia.
- Birth control
At FPA Women’s Health, there are different types of birth control methods available. The FPA Women’s Health team helps women to decide the type of birth control that is the best for them according to general health, pregnancy goals, and lifestyle. Each birth control option has different advantages and drawbacks, so a doctor helps a woman to decide which one is optimal for her. Many of these options provide 99% or more effectiveness in preventing pregnancy temporarily, long term, or permanently. Different birth control options for women include:
• The Depo Shot
• Birth control pills ("the pill")
• The patch
• The Contraceptive Implant
• Vaginal ring
• Intrauterine device ("IUD")
• Tubal ligation (sterilization)
Pregnancy tests are designed to detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the urine or serum of a pregnant woman as HCG is produced when the embryo is implanted in the endometrium (ectopic pregnancies are implantations of the embryo in an abnormal site).
The best time for the pregnancy test
An early pregnancy test (EPT) can detect the pregnancy hormone in the urine within 7 days of conception. However, it is preferred to wait until the woman misses a period to come for a test so the test will be more accurate.
Types of pregnancy tests
Two types of urine pregnancy tests are used by FPA Women’s Health: the urine chorionic gonadotrophin (UCG) and the Early Pregnancy Test (EPT). FPA Women’s Health does not perform blood testing for pregnancy.
Urine chorionic gonadotrophin (UCG)
It is a presumptive urine test that can be performed for patients with a missed period for at least two weeks. This test is less sensitive than EPT and the result can be available within the hour.
Early Pregnancy Test (EPT)
It is a presumptive urine test that can be performed for patients without a missed period but wish to know if they are pregnant or not. It is a highly sensitive test capable of detecting the pregnancy hormone within 7 days of conception. Results are available within the hour
Recommendations regarding pregnancy tests:
If a woman wants to perform the pregnancy test at home. A first-morning urine specimen is recommended for pregnancy testing because the pregnancy hormone is more concentrated so the woman should take the urine specimen as soon as she wakes up in the morning.
The urine chorionic gonadotrophin (UCG) and the Early Pregnancy Test (EPT) are not 100% accurate because false positives and false negatives results may occur. So, Pregnancy tests cannot be used alone. We can obtain false readings if the urine is too diluted, in early pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy. To confirm the diagnosis of pregnancy, FPA Women’s Health recommends that a pelvic examination is done by a physician.
FPA provides ultrasound technology in their clinics which is Performed by well-trained medical personnel. It is being helpful for the estimation of gestational age and evaluation of women complaining of abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding.
Types of Examination using Ultrasound:
Abdominal (pelvic) examination
Abdominal ultrasound is done by using the transducer on the abdomen. which is more comfortable than the vaginal ultrasound.
The vaginal ultrasound was done using a specially designed probe placed into the vaginal canal. The vaginal ultrasound usually produces a more distinct image of the uterine contents than abdominal ultrasound and provides a more accurate estimation of very early gestational ages.
Deciding whether or not to use the abdominal or vaginal ultrasound depends on the presentation that makes the woman searching for the care. If you are pregnant and in the first trimester, usually a vaginal probe is used for a more accurate estimation of the gestational age of the pregnancy. If the woman complains of abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding, a vaginal ultrasound will likely be used to obtain better images of the uterus, ovaries, and surrounding organs.
FPA Women's Health provides a wide range of services related to the gynecological aspect including:
Colposcopy is a procedure that allows close examination of the cervix, vagina, and vulva for any abnormal lesion or finding. During colposcopy, a special instrument called a colposcope is used to magnify the appearance of the cervix, which allows the doctor to see where the abnormal cells are located. It is recommended if women have an abnormal Pap test or the cervix looks abnormal during a gynecologic examination. This procedure is available in all offices of FPA Women’s Health taking not more than 10 minutes.
Endometrial biopsy is a procedure performed to take a small tissue sample from the endometrium ( the inner lining of the uterus). Then, The biopsy is examined under a microscope looking for abnormal cells. The endometrial biopsy may be recommended if the patient has irregular menstrual bleeding, bleeding after menopause, or no bleeding at all. The endometrial biopsy may have a role to check for hormonal changes, infection, abnormal cells, or cancer. According to the result of the biopsy, the management plan can be decided.
Genital warts treatment
Genital warts are cutaneous cauliflower-like outgrowths related to the genital area. Genital warts are caused by a virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus is transmitted mostly by intersexual course. In the female, the most common site of the wart is around the opening of the vagina. Genital warts can easily be treated with different options available in FPA Women’s Health.
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a procedure to remove part of the tissue in a woman’s lower genital tract using a wire loop heated by an electric current. After that, the specimen was sent to a pathology lab for microscopic evaluation. It is used for the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal or cancerous lesions.
The HPV Vaccine ( Gardasil) is a vaccine that immunizes against 4 types of human papillomavirus (HPV):
strains 2 & 4; that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases
strains 16 & 18; that cause 90% of genital warts cases
The vaccine is administered in 3 injections over a 6-month duration and it is recommended for females aged 9 to 26 years.
Rapid HIV testing:
Rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing is a screening test for the detection of HIV antibodies in a person’s body by testing blood as the body’s immune system produces these antibodies when infected with HIV. This rapid test is done with a simple finger prick, and the result is available within 15 minutes.
A woman’s Sexual Health does not only concerns preventative measures, birth control, and treatment for any issues that may arise but also concerns sexual satisfaction, sexual confidence, ability to communicate to her partner, and most importantly, the ability to know if she has a problem and how to tell her physician about it. Sexual health includes physical and mental aspects that can affect a woman's overall health and wellbeing.
Vaginal infection screening and treatment
Several vaginal infections can be identified and treated in the different offices at PFA Women’s Health including Monilia/Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (Yeast Infection), Trichomonas Vaginalis (Trich), and Bacterial Vaginosis. Each type of vaginal infection has different causes. Most Vaginal infections show similar symptoms including abnormal discharge, itching, bad odor burning, or irritation. Each type of vaginal infection has a few specific symptoms. All vaginal infections were tested for by a vaginal swab and/or visual examination. Each type a different treatment, but usually topical creams and/or antibiotics are included in the treatment.
One of the most beneficial services provided by FPA women's Health is a women’s annual health examination to allow prevention and early identification of health problems. Even if a woman doesn't have any symptoms, she needs to have an annual examination. at FPA Women’s Health, women’s annual examination concerns prevention, early detection of any health problem, and education about reproductive health.
The annual exam includes:
Review of your health history
Testing for sexually transmitted diseases ( if applicable)
Cervical cancer screenings
Pap smear (if applicable)
The ideal age of females at which they have their first annual examination is 13-15 years old. The annual exam could protect women from future health complications and help them to develop good general health habits.
At FPA Health's Women, Individual psychotherapy can be provided by a licensed behavioral health professional. It provides a Safe confidential virtual visit platform for Screening, assessment, and diagnosis. behavioral health professionals at FPA Women’s Health can help women who experience one of the following:
• Worry, anxiety or Sadness,
• Restlessness, irritability, or frustration
• Loss of interest in daily activities
• Difficulty of sleeping
• Difficulty of concentration
• Fluctuations in appetite
• Chronic body aches
• Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or helplessness
At FPA Women’s Health, all women are screened for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) such as neglect, abuse, and family challenges. The Typical clinical signs of ACEs are substance misuse, unintended pregnancy, high-risk sexual behavior, and intimate partner violence. Adverse Childhood Experiences and other mental diseases are a source of chronic stress that may affect general physical health. Chronic stress can affect future generations. A woman’s mental health may affect her child’s development and behavior.so, Early intervention is mandatory for a woman with mental illness for attaining better outcomes.
Our dewtreats for you today are that Women of all ages trust FPA Women’s Health as it has a highly qualified professional staff that provides various services to help women. These services include wide variant aspects including birth control, gynecology, and behavioral health. This medical group has a great role in the modification of women's health. So, women must be keeping in contact with FPA women's Health to get a better life.
By: Shimaa Abdel-Ghany
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