Harbor Community Health Centers is a top-ranked provider of ob/gyn care for women of all ages, from adolescents through menopause, offering gynecologic and obstetrics care for patients from San Pedro, CA, and throughout the Los Angeles and South Bay areas.
Harbor Community Health Centers specializes in comprehensive Women’s Health Services for all stages of life. From education and prevention to diagnosis and treatment, our team of doctors and nurses are here with you every step of the way. Routine screenings and well-woman exams from our top-ranked OB/GYN care providers at HCHC play essential roles in staying healthy and protecting your body at every stage of life. We want to help you take care of yourself because YOU are invaluable.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists suggests that women start seeing a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15 with pelvic exams or Pap smears starting at 21. Your visit will begin with a complete health history to look for risk factors for diseases and to provide a complete picture of your health. Your exam will include measurements of your weight and blood pressure, as well as a clinical breast exam and possibly a pelvic exam with or without a Pap smear. During the pelvic exam, you'll be evaluated for signs of disease or other issues that could affect your health and wellness. You can also talk to your doctor about options for birth control, information on STIs and STDs, family planning guidance, or anything that is of concern to you.
A Pap smear is used to screen women for cervical cancer. You should have a Pap smear every three years if you're between the ages of 21 and 29 years. After age 30, testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV) will be included in the Pap smear. If you do not have HPV and your PAP smear is normal, you only need a Pap smear every 5 years. In the event that you have an abnormal Pap smear or test positive for HPV, then you will need more frequent testing. You do not need Pap smears if you have had a total hysterectomy. You may also stop getting Pap smears once you reach 65 years old and have normal routine Pap smears in the previous 10 years.
In the United States, about 15,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society, and about 4,300 will die from the disease. Regular screenings is the best way to prevent cancer by “catching” it in its earliest stages. We strongly recommend that both girls and boys be vaccinated against HPV at age 12 to make cervical cancer much less common for the next generation. HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer which is why getting the HPV vaccine is important. It is also important to get routine Pap smears because cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms in its early stages. While an abnormal Pap smear does not necessarily mean you have cancer, it can detect early changes and the need for treatment. For a more in-depth explanation, please check out our blog post here.
Prenatal exams are vitally important for ensuring you and your baby stay healthy through pregnancy and delivery. During the exam, your weight and blood pressure will be measured and recorded and your belly will be measured. You'll usually provide a urine sample for testing and you may also have blood work ordered. At certain intervals during your pregnancy, you may have ultrasounds to monitor the growth and development of the baby and get a clearer idea of when you'll deliver. Different types of genetic screenings to detect birth defects will also be offered during your care. Plus, you'll receive plenty of guidance on how to stay healthy between appointments.
Please call the office if you have any questions regarding our insurance policies.
"I raise my glass to the volunteer doctors, nurses, therapists, psychologists, pharmacists and admin staff of the LA Harbor Free Clinic."
"The people that work here are very nice and the doctor was super kind. Thanks to the front desk for getting me in quickly."
"These folks treated me with compassion and respect. I'm actually looking forward to my next appointment here."
"Dr. Villarreal is warm and kind. He's very smart and knowledgeable. Very easy going yet aggressive in his practice."
"What a caring and compassionate doctor. I only waited 5 minutes to see him and he spent a really long time with me to get to the bottom of problems."