While many women see their gynecologist annually for exams, Pap smears, and other laboratory work, others stop going or only go when they have something wrong with their reproductive system. This is often due to financial constraints, but some women also just don't feel the need to see this specialist any longer because of their age or overall good health. There are three times in your life, though, when you really should see your gynecologist.
When You First Become Sexually Active
The onset of sexual activity is a good time to start seeing a gynecologist if you've never visited one before. Whether you have a regular partner, like a steady boyfriend or new spouse, or potentially multiple partners, you should discuss issues like birth control and sexually transmitted diseases, so you have all the latest information.
You may change your habits or even decide to forgo intimacy based on information your gynecologist gives you. Your gynecologist can also answer any questions you find too awkward to bring up with someone else, as it's their job to be matter of fact about the topic.
When You Are Thinking About Conceiving
While giving birth is a natural process, there are a million questions that may be on your mind if you are intentionally trying to conceive such as
Also, your gynecologist can give you a thorough physical exam to make sure becoming pregnant is safe for you. Conditions like extremely high blood pressure or diabetes can make pregnancy risky for both you and the baby.
After a Hysterectomy
Many women think they no longer need to see a gynecologist after a hysterectomy, but this isn't necessarily true. In addition to seeing your gynecologist for a yearly well-care visit, you should have a pelvic exam.
If you retained your ovaries or part of your cervix after your surgery, you should have a Pap smear, and if not, a regular vaginal exam will suffice. You should also have a Pap smear if your hysterectomy was due to a cancerous or precancerous condition. If you are experiencing issues with sexual activity or menopause, your gynecologist can address these concerns as well.
Even though you may think you don't need to see your gynecologist regularly, you should try to make an annual appointment. If you really can't afford it, see if a clinic near you offers free exams or visits on a sliding scale. Your health, and possibly the health of your baby, may depend on finding a way to see the doctor.
For more information, contact Contemporary Health Care for Women or a similar organization.
When was the last time you went to your OBGYN for an exam? I skipped two of my bi-yearly exams because I didn't feel that they were necessary. When I began experiencing extreme cramping in my lower stomach, I knew that something was wrong. I went to the emergency room and found that I had cervical cancer. Since I skipped those important exams, the cancer had progressed significantly. So, why should you go to your OB when you don't feel sick, uncomfortable or have any health issues? My blog will show you exactly what early detection can do when you have cancer.