Posts for tag: Gynecologist
Every woman can benefit from visiting their OBGYN once a year.
Preventive medical care is the most effective way to protect our patients from developing various illnesses or issues. Furthermore, regular preventive care means that your OBGYN can detect problems early on when they are easier to treat. If it’s your first time visiting your gynecologist for care, you may wonder what to expect and why these visits are crucial for all women. Here’s what you should know,
When should a woman start visiting a gynecologist?
A young woman’s first visit to the gynecologist will begin between 11 and 18 years old. While some girls may choose to turn to their pediatrician, reproductive concerns and issues are often best addressed by a gynecologist who specializes in woman’s reproductive health. Other reasons a young woman should turn to a gynecologist include,
- Delayed puberty
- Menstrual cycle problems (e.g., heavy or painful periods)
- Contraceptive needs
- Sexual health questions or concerns
The first gynecological visit is a chance for you and your doctor to establish rapport and trust with one another to rest assured that you’re getting the highest quality care possible. During the first visit, a physical examination may not even be necessary. A gynecologist will spend most of the first visit talking with their young patient and answering any questions they may have about their developing body, sexuality, and menstruation. A gynecologist can provide helpful advice and insight. A pelvic exam is not typically part of this appointment unless the patient is sexually active. Otherwise, the first pelvic exam will naturally occur at age 21.
What happens during a routine gynecological visit?
Several things will occur during your annual well-woman visit, including,
- Going through your medical history
- Discussing issues you may be experiencing
- Performing a physical exam, which includes an internal pelvic exam (this exam looks for inflammation, pain, and other problems that could impact a woman’s reproductive organs)
- Performing a pap smear to check for pre-cancer or cancerous cells in the cervix
Why are these wellness checks with a gynecologist important?
These annual visits are essential for all women because it is the best way to protect against many reproductive issues, some of which could be life-threatening. Furthermore, these visits also allow your gynecologist to detect problems early on when they are treatable or even reversible. During your checkup, your gynecologist will screen for,
- Bladder disease
- Bone disease
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Breast, uterine and cervical cancer
A gynecologist can also provide women with contraception and educate them on safe-sex practices and answer any questions they may have about their reproductive health.
When should you turn to a gynecologist for care?
A gynecologist is an important medical professional for all women to have. While the pandemic has certainly put a halt to how regularly we see certain doctors, particularly gynecologists, it’s important that women aren’t putting off these important wellness checks with their gynecologists.
When and how often does a teenager need to visit a gynecologist?
Your age and your health are two of the biggest determining factors as to just how often you should see a gynecologist for checkups. Most girls should visit the gynecologist for the first time between the ages of 13-15 years old. This visit is important as it acknowledges that girls have a doctor they can specifically turn to for their reproductive concerns and needs. Rest assured, that most girls will not need a pelvic exam during their first visit.
After this initial exam, a young girl may not need to come back in for another exam for years. This is something to discuss with your daughter’s gynecologist to see when they need to come back in for another preventive checkup. They may also need to come in for an evaluation if they are dealing with irregular menstrual cycles, serious period-related pains or would like to discuss birth control options.
How often do women need to visit a gynecologist?
Most women don’t see their gynecologist as often as they should unless they are dealing with issues or looking to become pregnant; however, these routine checkups are just as important as visiting your regular doctor for an annual wellness check or seeing your dentist twice a year for cleanings. Women over 21 years old should visit their OBGYN once a year for an annual exam, which includes a pelvic and breast exam. Pap tests are performed every 3-5 years depending on your history. Women with HPV will need to come in more regularly for pap tests.
What are some other reasons to visit a gynecologist?
A gynecologist can be invaluable to women of all ages, so it’s important that you have a gynecologist that you can turn to. You should also schedule an appointment with a gynecologist if,
- You’re interested in contraception and want to talk about options
- You’re having menstrual issues (this can be everything from irregular periods to heavy, painful periods)
- You’re experiencing symptoms of an STD
- You are planning to become pregnant or think you might be pregnant
- You’re experiencing distressing symptoms of menopause
If you are experiencing spotting, a missed period or other issues that have you concerned, a gynecologist should be the first doctor you turn to. If it’s also been more than a year since your last checkup, it’s important that you don’t put off this appointment any longer.
It’s Time for Your Annual
This is the most common reason women visit the OBGYN. Most women should start visiting their gynecologist once a year for checkups starting at 21 years old. These exams typically involve a standard pelvic exam to check for any symptoms or potential issues that could affect the uterus, cervix, and other female reproductive organs. Your doctor will also perform a breast exam and a Pap smear, which detects suspicious and potentially cancerous cells in the cervix.
You Think You’re Pregnant
Whether you just got a positive pregnancy test or you’re experiencing symptoms of being pregnant, it’s important to confirm your pregnancy with your OBGYN. By confirming your pregnancy as soon as possible, your OBGYN can provide you with the treatment and care you need to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
You are Concerned about STDs
If you are concerned that you might have been exposed to an STD, this is another reason to make an immediate appointment with your OBGYN. If you notice any unusual vaginal discharge, sores, or other symptoms, give us a call. Of course, many STDs don’t cause symptoms, so it is possible to have an STD and not even know it. This is why it’s a good idea to get regular STD testing, even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms.
You Want to Know Your Birth Control Options
There are so many different birth control options these days that you may feel a bit overwhelmed by your choices. This is when an OBGYN can talk you through the different options, weigh the pros and cons, and help you determine the best one for you based on your health and lifestyle.
You are Experiencing Symptoms of an Infection
Itching, discharge, and burning with urination are all signs of an infection. Whether you think you are dealing with a urinary tract infection, bacterial infection, bladder issue, or yeast infection, your OBGYN will be able to diagnose and treat it quickly and easily.
Your Periods are Out of Whack
If you are dealing with painful, extremely heavy, or irregular periods, you will want to discuss these changes with your gynecologist as these could be signs of an underlying problem such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, or nutritional deficiencies.
An OBGYN specializes in offering comprehensive care for all women’s reproductive health issues and can provide everything from routine checkups and Pap smears to STD testing and family planning options. Call your OBGYN to schedule an appointment for you or your teenager today.