Shifa Free Clinic is a full-service gynecology office specializing in the comprehensive treatment of women of all ages. Our primary goal is to meet the patient’s needs – which can range from providing annual preventive exams to management of a wide range of gynecological problems. We offer no cost labs and ultrasound services to provide the most thorough assessment of a patient’s problem.
Shifa Free Clinic provides a number of preventative care services including annual exams, HPV testing and vaccines, and hereditary cancer screenings.
Our providers at SHIFA free clinic care about you and your health, making a yearly exam is one of the most important things a woman can do to ensure good overall health and wellness. This is a time you can discuss specific concerns as well as review important topics with your provider, including breast health, sexual health, contraception, menstrual cycle and associated symptoms, perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, bone health, and diet and exercise.
This visit will also be a time for a full physical exam as well as appropriate screening tests including cervical cancer screening (a PAP smear which may include an HPV test), STD screening, and lab tests – all done in house. At an annual exam, you may also receive an order for a no cost screening mammogram, and colon cancer screening options depending on your age and/or symptoms.
The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) can be protected against through Gardasil, a vaccine that protects against the nine most common strands of HPV. HPV has been associated with cancer of the cervix, vagina, and vulva. HPV may also cause genital warts. At Shifa Free Clinic we provide the Gardasil vaccine free-of-charge through Merck Patient’s Assistance Program. Once you fill out the application we get the approval same day and can provide you the vaccine either same day or within 30 days for approval per your choice.
Medical tests can look for many inherited gene mutations. This type of testing is called predictive genetic testing. Most people do not need this type of genetic testing, but it is usually recommended when certain types of cancer run in a family and a gene mutation is suspected. The BRCA gene test is a blood test that is done to determine if you have mutations in your DNA that increase the risk of breast cancer. Mutations in either breast cancer gene, BRCA1 or BRCA2, significantly increase the risk of breast cancer.
Many gynecological disorders, including ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, or malignant tumors, can be easily detected with the help of ultrasound.
Shifa Free Clinic offers no-cost in-house ultrasound imaging. An ultrasound, which provides a picture of internal organs, tissue, and fluid in the body, may be recommended for symptoms including painful periods, menstrual irregularities, pelvic pain, or postmenopausal bleeding.
Most often a gynecological ultrasound is done transvaginally. This means that a small ultrasound transducer, covered with a protective sheath, is inserted part way into the vagina. This is the most effective way ultrasound can help detect changes in the size, shape, and overall condition of your uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and bladder. Information gained from ultrasound imaging helps our providers develop the most appropriate plan of care for each patient.
- Endometrial Biopsy: An endometrial biopsy is a medical procedure in which a small piece of tissue from the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) is removed for examination under a microscope. The removed tissue is examined for cancer or any other cell abnormalities. It is done to diagnose bleeding problems.
- Colposcopy with Biopsy: Colposcopy is a medical diagnostic procedure to examine an illuminated, magnified view of the cervix as well as the vagina and vulva when you have an abnormal pap smear. Many pre-malignant lesions and malignant lesions in these areas have discernible characteristics that can be detected through the examination. While a colposcopy can suggest that you have cancer or precancerous tissue, only a biopsy can actually make a diagnosis.
- Vulvar Biopsy: A vulvar biopsy is a test to check for vulvar cancer or another skin disease. The vulva is the outer part of a woman’s genitals. During a biopsy, small pieces of tissue are taken from areas of skin that look abnormal. The tissue is then checked in a lab for cancer cells and other types of skin disease.
Minor Surgical Procedures:
- LEEP: The loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is one of the most commonly used approaches to treat high grade cervical dysplasia discovered during a colposcopic examination. For any questions, check out this FAQ.
- Polypectomy: A cervical polypectomy is an office procedure to remove small growths called polyps.Cervical polyps are growths of tissue on the cervix that are usually non-cancerous and don’t typically cause symptoms. However, a small percentage of cervical polyps can undergo changes that make them precancerous or cancerous. For this reason, it’s advisable to have cervical polyps removed via polypectomy.The procedure is not painful, but a dull ache or cramping may be present during and after. A watery discharge or light bleeding after the procedure is normal. Sexual intercourse and tampons should be avoided until the discharge and/or bleeding has subsided (usually two to four weeks).
- Bartholin’s Cyst: Often a Bartholin’s cyst requires no treatment especially if the cyst causes no signs or symptoms. When needed, treatment depends on the size of the cyst, your level of discomfort, and whether it is infected, which can result in an abscess. In the case it is needed, your provider at Shifa Free clinic will do the incision and drainage.
Your team of providers at Shifa Free Clinic can help you decide what method of contraception is right for you. By reviewing your medical history, family history, and personal goals, our physicians can help you learn which method of birth control is your best option. Birth control options include hormonal and non-hormonal methods and come in the form of pills, injections, long-acting reversible implants, and barrier methods. Our team will help guide you in the decision making of which method is right for you.
Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) are one form of birth control we provide. They are easy-to-use, very reliable, and have a very low risk of side effects or complications. These methods include:
- Mirena (progesterone based) intra-uterine device (IUD)
- Kyleena (progesterone based) intra-uterine device (IUD)
- Paragard (hormone free, copper based) intra-uterine device (IUD)
- Nexplanon (progesterone based) subdermal implant
Combined hormonal based methods of birth control have the benefit of regulating cycles, managing abnormal bleeding, providing shorter and less painful periods, and are also very reliable for contraception when taken properly.
We are also able to provide no-cost birth control pills for 3-6 months at a time depending on availability.