How often should I see my gynecologist? How often should I get a Pap Smear and pelvic exam?
Jul 30, 2014

These questions have been big topics of debate in the news lately, and many articles and publications have focused on the statement issued by the American College of Physicians (an organization for internal medicine specialists, NOT gynecologists) that an annual pelvic exam is not necessary. This has led many women to believe that an annual visit is likewise unnecessary.

Your annual visit is not just a pelvic exam – a number of other non-invasive examinations and screenings are carried out to give you the best preventative care possible. Women’s health care providers play an important role in monitoring your sexual health, discussing birth control options, evaluating breast and reproductive cancer risks, screening for STDS, and more.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), an organization which strongly advocates for quality health care for women, has reviewed the claims made by the American College of Physicians based on data sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and recently reaffirmed the importance of annual ‘well-woman’ visits. Pap Smears are not always necessary and not all women will always need a full pelvic exam, but this is up to your gynecologist to decide based on your age, medical history, and other factors.


For more information, this recent article and video from CNN’s Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen provides a great commentary on the issue: “Think twice before you skip the stirrups: Why I will still get a pelvic exam.

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Study of Hormone Use in Menopause Reaffirms Complex Mix of Risks and Benefits
Oct 04, 2013

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a comprehensive overview of the findings of the Women’s Health Initiative hormone therapy trials. It concludes “Menopausal hormone therapy has a complex pattern of risks and benefits.”

The conclusion supports our position that while hormone therapy is not a “longevity drug” for lifetime use, it remains an important and appropriate therapy for management of menopausal symptoms. At Seattle Women’s, we are dedicated to the careful and individualized assessment of risks vs. benefits for each individual. We believe this is critical to good patient care. Working together we can assess how the vast array of information about hormone therapy can be applied to your individual needs and discuss the many options that are available.

We are fortunate to be able to offer our patients currently marketed treatments for menopause symptoms, as well as the opportunities to participate in Clinical Research Trials that focus on emerging treatments. We currently have two clinical trials offering novel therapies:
A non-hormonal investigational medication for the treatment of menopausal hot flashes
A bioidentical hormone therapy, combining a bioidentical estrogen and bioidentical progesterone for the treatment of menopausal symptoms in women

For many women, vaginal dryness and painful intercourse develop after menopause. Several treatments are available, but expense, coupled with poor insurance reimbursement remains a significant barrier for treatment. We are currently enrolling a clinical trial for the treatment of vaginal dryness:
An investigational generic vaginal estrogen for the treatment of vaginal dryness and painful intercourse

Other currently enrolling studies include:
Overactive Bladder
Female orgasmic disorder
Irritable Bowel syndrome

Please visit our current studies page for a complete list: Current Studies . For more information about research studies, contact our recruitment department at 206-522-3330 x2 or email

Original article: Manson, JAMA 2013:310(13)1353-1368

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Seattle Women’s News
Apr 26, 2013

Dr. Irene Piekarksi, our much esteemed colleague at Seattle Women’s, recently announced her retirement after 40 years of practice. She will be greatly missed by patients and staff alike. We at Seattle Women’s wish her a happy and healthy retirement. Both Dr. Kroll and Susan Vendeland, ARNP will be available to assume care for Dr. Piekarski’s patients.

Seattle Women’s currently has research studies that are recruiting both women and men, including our migraine, acne and overactive bladder studies. We are recruiting women only for our endometriosis, contraception gel, hot flash and other studies. Please visit our current studies page for a complete list: Current Studies . For more information about research studies, contact our recruitment department at 206-522-3330 x2 or email

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