Frequently Asked Questions

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What is menopause?


Menopause is the point in time when a woman has not had a period for one year. It is a natural process that most women experience in their 40s or 50s. When menopause occurs, the woman’s ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

The effects of menopause can affect your life in many ways and it is important to speak with a skilled gynecologist to learn how to manage the effects of menopause.

What is infertility?


Infertility is generally described as one year of trying to get pregnant (with frequent unprotected sex) without any success. If you believe you are experiencing infertility problems, our team can provide diagnosis and treatment.

Can a women's wellness specialist treat urinary incontinence?


Yes, if you believe you are experiencing urinary incontinence, our doctor can provide you with diagnosis and treatment.

How often should I schedule a women's wellness exam?


After your initial visit, Dr. Ronald E. de la Peña will advise you on how often you should schedule a women’s wellness exam, based on your age, health, and medical history. However, a good rule of thumb for women is to schedule a women’s wellness exam at least once a year.

Why are women's wellness exams important?


A women’s wellness exam is extremely important, as it involves a number of essential health screenings such as a pelvic exam, Pap smear, and other changes or concerns regarding your reproductive health. For example, if you are experiencing irregular or heavy periods, side effects from your birth control, fertility concerns, concerns about menopause, then these are things you should discuss during your exam.

Are gynecologists also obstetricians?


Because gynecologists specialize in the female reproductive system, many gynecologists are also obstetricians.

What are things I should discuss with my gynecologist?


Here are some important things that you should always discuss with your gynecologist:

  • Painful, heavy, or irregular periods
  • Sexual discomfort
  • Sexual history
  • Urinary or fecal leakage
  • Birth control options and symptoms
  • Swelling, bumps, or growths “down there”
  • Pregnancy and fertility

When should I have my first gynecologist visit?


Our doctor recommends females to have their first gynecologist visit between the ages of 13 and 17. Although most first visits do not involve a pelvic exam, we do want to talk to you about your health and what you should expect at later appointments.

What does a gynecologist do?


Gynecologists provide a number of services involving both female reproductive and sexual health services, including but not limited to:

  • Pelvic exams
  • Pap tests
  • Cancer screenings
  • Testing and treatments for vaginal infections
  • Endometriosis
  • Infertility
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Pelvic pain
  • Concerns about your period
  • Routine exams
  • Preventive care
  • Birth control

What is a gynecologist?


Gynecology is the field of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the uterus, vagina, ovaries, and cervix.

How can a hysteroscopy help?


A hysteroscopy can help a number of abnormalities, including but not limited to:

  • Abnormal Pap test results
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Fibroids, polyps, or scarring on your uterus
  • You’ve had more than one miscarriage or infertility problems
  • A small tissue sample (biopsy) of the lining of your uterus is needed
  • Sterilization procedure as a permanent form of birth control
  • Your IUD has come out of place

What is a hysteroscopy?


Hysteroscopy surgery is performed to examine the inside of a womb through a small camera inserted into the cervix and into the uterine cavity.

Is a laparoscopy minimally invasive?


Laparoscopy is a low-risk, minimally invasive procedure that is done by making a small incision and uses a laparoscope to examine the abdominal organs.

Is laparoscopy surgery painful?


Laparoscopy is almost always done under general anesthesia, therefore, patients do not feel any pain during the procedure. Most patients are able to go home the same day and return to work a few days later.

What is laparoscopy surgery?


Laparoscopy, also known as diagnostic laparoscopy, is a diagnostic surgical procedure that is done to examine the abdominal and pelvic cavities, the ovaries and fallopian tubes, and the outside of the uterus. During the procedure, your doctor can also make surgical corrections to the pelvic structures that are damaged or abnormal if necessary.

Is VBAC less painful?


While a VBAC is much less painful, it is not completely pain free.

Is a vaginal birth after a C-section possible?


Yes, a vaginal birth after a C-section is possible for many women; however, it is not a good idea for all women. It is best to consult with your OB/GYN to determine if a VBAC is best for you.

Why are VBACs preferred?


Vaginal births after a C-section are preferred for a number of reasons, including:

  • Avoid the potential risks of multiple cesarean deliveries if you plan to have future pregnancies, such as placenta previa or placenta accreta.
  • When a mother has a successful VBAC, it lowers the risk of surgical complications that may be necessary due to excessive bleeding, infection, or blood clotting.
  • With a VBAC, you will have a shorter recovery time as opposed to having a cesarean delivery.
  • For some people, it is important for them to experience a vaginal delivery if they are able to.

If I'm at risk of a ruptured uterus, can I have a VBAC?


If you're at risk of a ruptured uterus, it is in your best interest to not have a VBAC, as the repercussions can be life-threatening to you and your fetus. It is always best to speak with your OB/GYN about what is best for you.

What are the risks of a VBAC?


While there are less risks associated with having a successful VBAC as opposed to having a repeated cesarean delivery, an unsuccessful VBAC may have even more complications. Some complications of an unsuccessful VBAC include:

  • Blood loss
  • Infection
  • Uterine rupture (this is rare but if it does happen, it can be life-threatening to you and your fetus)
  • And more

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Contact Information


2230 Lynn Road, Suite 200, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360


+1 (805) 495-1066



Mon-Wed: 8:30am-5:00pm
Thur: 8:30am-4:00pm

Copyright © Ronald E. De La Pena, MD. All rights reserved.