Mammograms Save Lives

Well Woman Exam & Contraception Specialist

Maiden Lane Medical

Board Certified Gynecologists and Women's Health Specialists located in New York, NY

Women have unique health needs. Maiden Lane Medical is skilled in offering women the most comprehensive array of women’s health services. They offer well-woman exams, health screenings, and contraception counseling and treatment to help women from throughout New York City take control of their health and wellness at every stage of life. Call the practice or schedule an appointment online today. Telehealth appointments are available for your convenience.

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“My Doctor was knowledgeable, patient, and thorough. She answered all my questions and really put me at ease. Her laidback and friendly demeanor made it easy for me to talk to her. Needless to say I’ll be going back!”

What is a well-woman exam?

While a lot of doctor appointments take place when you’re sick or experiencing symptoms, the team at Maiden Lane Medical offers well-woman exams when you’re feeling just fine. They’re a vitally important part of preventive care. The visits enable you to be proactive in the management of your health at every stage of life. Having well-woman visits regularly is the best way to look for early signs of diseases and to ensure you’re getting the best care for optimal health at any age.

What should I expect at a well-woman visit?

Well-woman visits begin with a personal and family health history to look for possible risk factors for diseases. Your doctor also asks about medications you may be taking, including over-the-counter medicines and vitamins and supplements.

A clinical team member measures your weight and blood pressure, and your doctor assesses your general health. You may also have a clinical breast exam and a pelvic exam with a Pap test and HPV testing. In some cases, your doctor orders a urine sample or blood testing. The visit is an ideal time to discuss contraception needs or to ask questions about menopause or other health-related issues. You should have well-woman exams annually to provide an ongoing record of care.

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How long does a well-woman exam take?

You can expect to spend 15-30 minutes with the clinical staff at Maiden Lane Medical while you have your well-woman exam. The physical part of the exam should only take about 10 minutes, but you also need time to talk to review your medical history and discuss any new concerns with your doctor. Your well-woman visit is an excellent opportunity to ask questions about contraception, family planning, menopause, abnormal periods, or any other women’s health concerns.  

When should a young woman have her first well-woman visit?

You should begin to have pelvic exams annually when you become sexually active or between 18 and 21 years old, whichever is first. You should also have your first pap smear at age 21 regardless of age at first intercourse. However, young women can start having well-woman visits in adolescence. Having visits at a younger age helps young women build their relationship with a gynecologist. They can also ask questions that they might be embarrassed to ask their parents and get accurate information.

How often should you have a well-woman exam?

You should have a well-woman once a year. However, you might not need to have a Pap smear every year. If you have a high risk of cervical cancer — for example, if you have a history of abnormal Pap results or cancer — your doctor might recommend an annual Pap smear. 

If you have a low risk, women between the ages of 21-65 should have a Pap smear at least every three years. If you’re over the age of 30 with low risk, you can have a combined Pap smear and HPV test every five years. 

Your doctor at Maiden Lane Medical will review your medical history, health, and other risk factors, and let you know how often they recommend you have this critical health screening.

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Can you get a well-woman exam while on your period?

No, if you have your period, you should reschedule your appointment. Having your period can interfere with your Pap smear results and your pelvic exam. Also, you should avoid sex, douching, or using vaginal creams in the 24 hours before your appointment. 

What are common women’s health issues?

In addition to issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, women are vulnerable to a variety of reproductive health issues, including:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a hormonal condition that causes cysts to form on your ovaries and abnormal or absent ovulation. You might also experience weight gain, hirsutism, and acne.


Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue grows on organs outside of your uterus. It usually affects pelvic organs, including your ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, or bowel, but can develop anywhere in your body. Common signs of endometriosis include pelvic pain, painful sex, and severe menstrual cramping.


Fibroids are noncancerous growths that form in or on your uterine walls. They can interfere with your fertility and cause pain and abnormal bleeding.


As you approach and reach menopause, your hormone levels fluctuate and decline, which leads to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms ranging from hot flashes and vaginal dryness to depression. Every woman experiences menopause differently, and the team at Maiden Lane Medical offers customized care to help you through this life transition.

Cystitis and UTIs

Women are also more vulnerable to urinary tract infections, including cystitis than men, because of the proximity of the openings of their urethra and anus. If you have painful urination or find blood in your urine, make an appointment right away.

What are the available types of contraception?

The team at Maiden Lane Medical offers many contraception options than ever to enable you to take control of your life, including pills, arm and uterine implants, diaphragms, and condoms. The doctors offer comprehensive consultations to help you choose the best birth control option for your needs and lifestyle. 

How can I decide which type of contraception is best for me?

Contraception is a very personal decision based on your lifestyle, your sexual activity, and your own personal preferences. Each type of birth control offers different advantages. During your visit, you’ll learn about all the different options so you can choose the form of birth control that works best for your needs and offers the most comfortable and most convenient solution.

Does a well-woman exam include STD testing?

A well-woman visit doesn’t necessarily include STD testing, but you can talk to your doctor and arrange to have STD screenings during your appointment. In most cases, STD tests involve blood tests, urinalysis, and vaginal swabs. Your results should be available within a week. 

What happens if I have an STD?

If your screening identifies an STD, your doctor provides a treatment plan. In many cases, a prescription can clear your infection. Although some STDs, like herpes and HIV/AIDS, don’t have a cure. With careful management, you can continue to lead a healthy and active life for many years.

If you are ready to be seen or have questions or concerns, feel free to book an appointment online either via telehealth or in the office. 

Hi, this is Dr. Nicole Ostrov, board-certified gynecologist New York here today to talk about birth control options. As gynecologists, we discuss birth control options with our young reproductive-age women and I think there’s a lot of questions out there as to what the options truly are.

So here it goes!

I think in general when I’m asking patients: “are you currently using birth control?” most automatically think that means a pill. Birth control pills certainly are still the most common form of birth control in this country and for good reason. But there are other options out there as well.

I think one of the more important things in general when first discussing birth control options with my patients, (and when you are discussing it with your practitioner):
“it’s important to discuss your entire medical history.”

Why are you going to be starting birth control?

 Is it just for contraception or are you going to be using it for some of the non-contraceptive benefits:

So options out there we kind of tailor based on the needs of the patient and the patient’s history. Good history is really important.

I’ll break down birth control options into patient-administered options (that you can give to yourself) VS  those that we as Physicians or providers can help you with by placing it in the office for you or giving it to you in the office.  

Patient administered options, non-hormonal patient options: 

The timing method, withdrawal method, and even barrier methods are not the most reliable, they’re not the most effective forms of contraception mainly because of user error. Therefore, we encouraged our patients, if this is their sole method of birth control (withdrawal and timing specifically), maybe we should consider other options or just know that there’s a much higher percentage of women that do get pregnant using these options.  

And so again our job is to counsel patients and to give you other options that may better options for you.

The hormonal contraceptives-

I’ll break down the hormonal birth control options into patient-administered options (that you can give to yourself) VS  those that we as Physicians or providers can help you with by placing it in the office for you or giving it to you in the office. 

Patient administered options:

All are made up of estrogen and progesterone.

The pill most women have heard of before. It is one that you do have to be good at taking around the same time every single day, so

Side effects of birth control pills
it may not be the best option for you. But the pill it will give you usually x 28-day bleeds, depending on the pill.
“Take one every day, you get a new pack every month, so you have to be good at taking it.”

The ring has the same types of hormones as the pill which is estrogen and progesterone for the most part pliable vaginal ring that you place up inside the vagina.

The ring is given in a different manner so instead of having to take something every day, it’s a pliable vaginal ring that you place up inside the vagina. It can’t get lost, and can’t go anywhere, and it stays in there for 3 weeks. The week you get your period you take it out.

“3 weeks in, 1 week out, period.”

Birth control ring - contraception Manhattan NYC
Birth control patch - Contraception New York
The patch: similar hormones to the vaginal ring and the pill except it’s something placed weekly. It’s thicker and my patients place it on areas that will be concealed with bathing suits, underwear, etc. Most will put it on the front of your pelvis or kind of behind on the buttocks area you can place it on your arm if you want to. It’s changed once a week, after three changes you’re going to have a week without the patch, and again that’s the week that you get your period.
“3 weeks on, changing once a week, 1 week off, period. “

So patient ministered pill/patch/ring, for the most part, are estrogen and progesterone. They are much more effective than the other methods I first talked about.

There can be some user error:

It certainly makes it less effective in the prevention of pregnancy and opens up a larger opportunity for unintended pregnancy. But then we moved to some longer-acting form the reversible contraceptives that are a little higher efficiency and prevention of pregnancy because there’s much less user error.

These are what we call a longer-acting form of reversible contraceptives.

They are placed by your practitioner in the office and they can stay in for years.

“The implant in the arm and most of the IUDs have progesterone in them.”

They do help with your periods as well, for the most part. They will get:

They can stay in anywhere between 3 to 6 years at this point, (depending on which device we’re talking about) so it’s almost like:

“Place it, Set it, and Forget it.”

You don’t have to worry about something every single day and because the user error is not a factor here, they are over 99% effective in the prevention.

“An IUD can stay in for up to 10 years.”

There is another intrauterine device, IUD, that is non-hormonal it’s called it’s a copper IUD.

Here in the United States is called Paragard. That one can stay in for up to 10 years. But again patient history is really important here because if you already have heavy periods, very painful periods, I like to set up the right expectations with my patients that this one can make your periods a little bit worse,  it can, but not always! 

Unlike the progesterone IUD / hormonal IUDs where periods usually get better, the copper IUD; they can get a little heavier, a little longer, a little crampier.  So this is where history is really important. 

And we also talked about the non-contraceptive benefits of hormonal contraceptives:

If you want to help your acne, well there may be a pill that is better for you than some of these other forms of contraceptives. Certain types of pills, depending on which hormones are in that pill will be better for you. If you have a history of high blood pressure or if you have a family history of certain medical conditions, then one is better than the other.

“Talk with your doctor”

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Woman doctor speaking to patient about pain management

Talking with your physician or healthcare practitioner about why you’re starting this birth control in the first place, and what your goals are with this birth control is really important. *You can book a telehealth visit or schedule time in the office.

The last form of contraceptive that is going to be administered in the office by your physician is actually a shot called Depo-Provera (the brand name here in the US). It’s an injection that is given to you in either arm or in your buttocks region once every 3 months. Just like the hormonal IUD in your arm, it is progesterone only, and it’s given once every three months in the office.  

So you do have the convenience of not having to take something every day or change it yourself. But you would have to come into the office once every three months.

With this one, most of your periods will go away altogether, so if you’re using it for the contraceptive benefit of helping your periods, you would certainly get that benefit.
“Get sterilized only if you are sure about your decision”

Lastly is permanent sterilization these are not meant to be reversed.

These are done with surgical procedures and they are meant for the woman that is completely done with childbearing, so if you’re unsure, then I highly recommend using one of the other options, since there are so many others.

These are the options, in a nutshell, there certainly benefits, risks, and side-effects to all of them. So it is important to discuss everything with your practitioner in the office or over telemedicine appointment. These are great appointments to do over telemedicine so that we can discuss your concerns that you have about it, even anxieties you might have about starting contraceptives, and really just go through the options and educate you.

Medically Reviewed By

Dena Harris, MD
Board Certified Gynecologist

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So make an appointment either online or in the office with a provider from Maiden Lane Medical, they would be very happy to go through all these options with you.

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