For many women, regardless of age, the idea of seeing a gynecologist is daunting, especially when they’re doing it for the first time. But visiting a gynecologist is not something that should be feared.
Gynecology is an important part of healthcare for women. After all, it focuses on the female reproductive system. To help you quell your worries, here is everything you need to know about seeing an ob-gyn.
How Often Should I See a Gynecologist?
More often than not, women neglect their own healthcare because they are often in charge of arranging medical care for the whole family. However, it’s important to see a gynecologist to ensure that you stay healthy and continue to look after your loved ones.
- First visit – Women should start seeing a gynecologist as soon as they become sexually active, or within two to three years of becoming sexually active. But even if you’re not sexually active, you should have your first gynecological exam by the time you turn 21.
- Return visits – Seeing a gynecologist once a year should be enough. If you’re not considering having a baby, you can go yearly, or every three years if you don’t have any pressing issues. Issues that you should take note of include irregular pap smears, concerning changes in your period, or pain and irritation in the vaginal area.
- Last visit – While gynecologists specialize in reproductive health, it’s still important to monitor the health of your reproductive organs even after menopause. If you’re around age 70, have no new sexual partners, and have a history of normal pap smears, you may stop the routine visits.
What Can I Expect During a Visit with a Gynecologist?
What happens during a visit with the ob-gyn depends on the reason for the visit and the individual’s current health situation. In every meeting, you should be prepared to provide an honest account of your health concerns so the doctor can have a complete picture of your situation, which enables them to help you more. There may also be a gynecological examination, including a pap smear, which may be uncomfortable, but it is not usually painful. It is also best to avoid sexual activity, including a vaginal douche, or to use tampons for two days prior to a gynecological exam.
During your annual visits, you may undergo patient screening, which often includes the following:
- Screening, evaluation, and advice
- Immunizations based on age and risk factors
- Physical examination, which will consist of measuring standard vital signs, body mass index, palpating the abdomen and inguinal lymph nodes, and assessing your overall health
- Pelvic examination and a breast examination, as appropriate for your age
There may also be gynecological procedures, including:
- Pap smear tests
- Ultrasound scanning
- Colposcopy, a microscopic examination of the cervix
- Endometrial biopsy, or taking a sample from the lining of the uterus
- Hysteroscopy, the use of an endoscope to see into the uterus
Gynecologist in Jacksonville Beach, FL
Gynecologists are doctors who specialize in women’s health, with a focus on the female reproductive system, so it’s vital that you see one at least once a year. If you need to consult with a gynecologist in Jacksonville Beach, FL, contact us today.