A women's overall health includes more than just well check-ups with a primary care physician and bi-yearly dental cleanings. It is also important to make time to see a gynecologist. This specialist will monitor you for any diseases and abnormalities, including cancer. Below is a list of times when you'll want to consider scheduling a gynecology visit.
Once Per Year
According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are several reasons why it is important to make a yearly appointment with your gynecologist. First, the physician will give you a pelvic exam that checks the health of everything from your uterus to your bladder. Second, the gynecologist will use a Pap smear to look for sexually transmitted diseases and the presence of any cancer cells. Finally, the doctor will also perform an examination of your breasts to check for any suspicious lumps. Early detection is key in fighting many gynecological issues.
If You Think You're Pregnant
While you can take an over-the-counter pregnancy test, it is best to have your pregnancy confirmed by the gynecologist. If the doctor reports that you are indeed expecting, he or she will then review any medications you take to ensure they won't hurt the baby. You'll be given a due date and prescribed prenatal vitamins that are designed to assist the baby in its development. Prenatal care is extremely important for a healthy pregnancy and it should start as soon as you know you're pregnant.
When There are Changes in Your Period
Penn Medicine reports that women who experience changes in their period are known to have abnormal uterine bleeding. This includes everything from spotting to heavy bleeding. The gynecologist can review your history and take the necessary steps to determine what the cause of your period changes are. The problem could be something as simple as new medications you are taking, or it could indicate something more serious like polycystic ovary syndrome.
If You Experience Any Vaginal Pain or Itching
Vaginal pain or itching is a sign that something isn't right and it warrants a trip to the gynecologist. Healthline lists menopause, a variety of sexually transmitted diseases, and even an allergic reaction to certain soaps as causes of vaginal discomfort. It is also possible that you could have something as simple as a yeast infection or something as serious as vulvar cancer. Your doctor will be able to give you a thorough exam to determine the cause and the proper course of treatment.
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