8 Reasons to See a Gynecologist
When was the last time you had a women’s health checkup? Did you feel like you got the most out of your visit, or do you still have questions?
If you’re feeling a little foggy about how often you should go to the OB/GYN or what exactly an OB/GYN does, you’re not alone. After all, the medical world can feel confusing for the average patient.
But don’t worry, we’re here to clear things up for you. Keep reading to learn more about women’s health specialists and to learn eight common reasons to see a gynecologist.
Let’s get started.
What Is an OB/GYN?
The abbreviation “OB/GYN” stands for obstetrician/gynecologist. A gynecologist is a trained doctor who specializes in women’s reproductive wellness.
An obstetrician focuses on women’s health during pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood. An OB/GYN is a doctor with a combined focus on total women’s health.
Now that we know a little more about obstetrics and gynecology, let’s explore some reasons why a woman might visit an OB/GYN.
1. UTI’s or Yeast Infections
Urinary tract infections, bladder infections, and yeast infections are common but uncomfortable ailments. If you are experiencing itching, burning, or painful urination, it’s time to schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN. A trained gynecologist will know which antibiotics or other prescription medications will clear things up for you.
2. Irregular Periods
The typical female cycle is around twenty-eight days long. If your period seems irregular, an OB/GYN will be able to tell you why.
Sometimes, irregular menstruation is a sign of endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids, or many other causes. A simple gyno exam will allow your doctor to investigate your unique situation.
3. STD Testing
No matter how many sexual partners you have, STD testing is always a good idea. Sometimes, you can contract an STD and not even know it.
A trained OB/GYN can administer quick and easy tests for a range of STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV/AIDS. Early detection and treatment of STDs can prevent them from causing long-term damage to your reproductive system.
4. Cancer Prevention
There are five common types of gynecologic cancer: uterine, ovarian, cervical, vulvar, and vaginal. The best way to receive an early, and possibly life-saving, diagnosis is to make regular visits to your OB/GYN.
Your women’s health doctor can also help screen for breast cancer. They will perform a breast exam or mammogram to support early detection and treatment if necessary.
Women’s health doctors are experts in all things related to pregnancy. Whether you’re interested in becoming pregnant, avoiding pregnancy, or you think you might currently be pregnant, an OB/GYN can instruct you on the next steps to take. They can also perform an advanced pregnancy test to tell you without a doubt whether you’re pregnant or not.
6. Birth Control
There are tons of options available when it comes to contraception and birth control. Here are a few of the most common choices for women:
- Hormonal pills
- Cervical caps
And many more. But with so many options, figuring out which one is right for you can feel impossible.
Your OB/GYN can help. They’ll go over the pros and cons of each option with you, all while considering your unique health needs and goals. They can also administer or prescribe your chosen method and educate you on how to use it effectively.
7. Unusual Pain
Some pelvic pain is normal, like mild discomfort from menstrual cramps, but other pain may reveal an underlying issue. Here are some examples of what causes pelvic pain:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroids
- Kidney stones
As you can see, there are a lot of possible reasons for pelvic pain. And each one needs medical attention. If you ever experience unusual pain in your pelvic area, make an appointment with an OB/GYN right away.
8. General Wellness
Although gynecologists specialize in women’s reproductive organs, they can help track your general wellness, too. During your checkup, your doctor will check your standard vital signs, look at your body mass index, and they may even do some blood work if needed.
Regular visits to your OB/GYN are a great way to check in with your body and keep an eye on your general wellness.
How Do I Find a Gynecologist Near Me?
If you’re wondering how to find a great gynecologist, don’t stress. It’s easier than you think. Here’s what to look for.
A Doctor Who Accepts Your Insurance
If you have health insurance, it’s important to find an OB/GYN who operates within your network. This way, you’ll only have to worry about your co-pay.
If you don’t have insurance, you may want to look into clinics who charge based on a sliding, income-based scale. Otherwise, you’ll need to set aside some money to pay out of pocket.
A Great Reputation
These days, you can find online reviews and testimonials for anything. And that includes doctors!
Look for an OB/GYN with excellent patient testimonials. You can also ask your friends for recommendations.
A Good Vibe
You don’t have to feel like your doctor is your friend. But you should feel that they’re professional, they listen, and they provide excellent treatment.
If you go to an appointment with an OB/GYN and you don’t think they’re a good fit, try another doctor instead. It’s important that you feel comfortable.
When you’re young, you may think that seeing a gynecologist is enough. But if you’re planning on having kids in the future, choosing a doctor who specializes in obstetrics as well is a good idea. This way, you can form a long-term relationship with your provider.
Obstetrician/gynecologists are specialists in women’s health. They can help treat simple infections, guide patients through pregnancy, or even perform cancer screenings.
If you’re concerned about any of the issues listed above, or you simply want to improve your general health, schedule an appointment with a professional OB/GYN today. And when you’re looking for a women’s health doctor, remember to find a provider that accepts your insurance and has a great reputation.