At our family clinic we focus on excellence, integrity, and quality health care!

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Women’s health encompasses many areas of medicine from bone health to pelvic health and more. The doctors at First Physicians in Odessa, Texas are very knowledgeable in women’s health. Whether you need a routine Pap test, a screening mammogram, or STD testing, or you’re concerned about osteoporosis, First Physicians has you covered.

These are just 4 of the many women’s health services provided at all five First Physicians locations: Wendover Family Medicine, Westview Medical Clinic, East University Family Medicine, Women’s Health, and Occupational Medical Testing. If you’re looking for a compassionate OB/GYN who provides high-quality care, call First Physicians for an appointment.

First Physicians Women’s Health is headed by James Van Riper, DO FACOG. Dr. Van Riper is a specialist whose focus includes disease prevention, annual exams, pregnancy, including high-risk pregnancy, gynecology, minimally invasive surgery including da Vinci Robotic Surgery, and the treatment of incontinence. Dr. Van Riper is joined in the Women’s Health program by four well-trained physician’s assistants to deliver care across our entire group. These providers ALL focus on annual wellness exams, birth control, and general gynecologic issues. Call our Women’s Health Clinic or any of our locations to set up an appointment.

Women’s Health Q&A


Q: What is women’s health?

A: Women’s health is an area of medical care that centers around diagnosing and treating illnesses, conditions and diseases that affect the physical and mental health of women of all ages. Women’s health touches upon the following topics:

  • Osteoporosis: A decrease in bone density causing fragility
  • Sexually transmitted diseases/infections
  • Breast health, breast cancer surveillance, mammography
  • Cervical health, cervical cancer screening
  • Ovarian cancer surveillance
  • Uterine cancer surveillance
  • General gynecology and routine exams
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Birth control

Q: How often should I have a breast exam?

A: It is generally recommended that a clinical breast exam (one performed by your doctor) be done every 1 – 3 years, starting at the age of 20 to check for breast cancer. After age 40, it is recommended you have a clinical breast exam every year. It is also advised that you perform a self-examination of your breasts, known as BSE — breast self-examination — once a month. It is important for you to become familiar with the feel of your own breast tissue. If anything new is felt or seen, let your doctor know right away. If you have a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer, be sure to share this with your doctor so recommended tests and exams may be scheduled accordingly.

Q: How often should I have a Pap test?

A: The timing of Pap tests can vary, depending on your personal medical history. They’re typically recommended beginning at age 21. If you have a history of cervical cancer or other cancers or conditions, you may be advised to have one done more frequently. For women ages 21 – 65, a Pap test is recommended every three years. Women who have a history of cervical cancer, an abnormal Pap test result in the past, HIV, or a compromised immune system from cancer chemotherapy treatments may be advised to get a Pap test more often than every 3 years. A mother that was given the drug DES while pregnant may receive similar advice.