How important is it for me to go for a regular gynecology check-up, and how often do I need it?
A woman’s body is a delicate yet quite powerful and complicated creation of Nature. It is one of the most powerful mechanisms that withstand the enormous degree of pain during childbirth and yet be content after looking at her beautiful baby. Her pregnancy could be smooth or could be a difficult one. Still, she is ready to go through it again for having another bundle of joy.
Although these life phases bring significant changes to her body, many women neglect their gynecological health. They do not pay regular visits to her doctor until situations are unfortunately out of hand.
Hence, every female from 21 to 65 must go for annual check-ups with her gynecologist. It is vital to inquire about your vaginal health from an expert rather than a friend or family with limited information on the subject. You might feel shy to discuss “personal-life” issues, but Dr. Broad will make you feel at ease and give you the comfort of a friend. All the discussions with Dr. Broad will be strictly under patient-doctor confidentiality.
What are the benefits of visiting your gynecologist regularly?
A woman can benefit significantly from regular visits to her gynecologist. Some of those conditions could save you from severe health problems, which could be even fatal.
If you’re considering getting a pap smear, it’s a great idea to schedule your annual check-ups at a gynecologist. This screening can detect precancerous and cancerous cells on the cervix. In 2012, the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology revised the guidelines for Pap smears to reflect new research and the role of the Human Papilla Virus (HPV).
In addition, the American Society for Colposcopy and Cytology changed the frequency of Pap smears. Regular visits can help women stay healthy and minimize health risks. Many conditions that affect women’s health are symptomless.
A routine gynecological examination can detect these diseases early. A gynecologist will examine your reproductive system and assess your health and vital signs.
This includes your height, blood pressure, and period length. Your first visit to your gynecologist should occur between 13 and 15 years of age.
While these visits will not involve a pelvic exam, they are more about educating young women about sexuality, avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, and proper growth and development. It is a great way to help teenage girls establish a healthy relationship with their gynecologist.
Pap smear test
A Pap smear test is the most recommended way to detect abnormal growth of cells in the cervix and vagina. A small brush-like instrument is inserted into the vaginal cavity to get a sample of your cervix, which is tested to see abnormal growth and activity of cells and bacteria.
A Pap-smear test can detect cancerous cells that might not cause any pain or discomfort at first but needs immediate diagnosis and treatment. If a patient is not regular with such check-ups, she might go for her check-up a bit too late to save her from later stages of cancer. Unfortunately, such negligence can be fatal to these women. Hence, doctors recommend going for such tests at least once every three years unless otherwise, the doctor recommends more frequently.
PCOS diagnosis and treatment
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a
condition that many women face. Under such conditions, the ovaries have multiple cysts and do not carry out their functions well. Women may show one or more symptoms of having PCOS.
- Missing their periods, irregular periodic cycle or very light flow of blood during periods
- Large ovaries with multiple cysts detected in the recent ultrasound
- Excess body hair on the face, chest,stomach, and back
- Being obese, carrying much of that weight around the abdominal area
- Acne on the face that may also be accompanied by oily skin
- Excessive hair loss
- Pain in the pelvic
- Weakness or feeling of being tired throughout the day
Your gynecologist can do your pelvic examination on your routine annual check-ups. It is crucial to get your pelvic examination done to check for situations like uterine fibroids, sexually transmitted diseases, ovarian cysts, and early stages of cancer.
You may also want to go for a check-up in case of unusual and excessive bleeding or discharge from the vagina, pain in the pelvic, skin changes, or urinary problems. A pelvic examination can highlight the cause of these problems. Nevertheless, there might be a few tests you will need to get done for accurate judgment.
Firstly, during a pelvic exam, the vulva is checked for irritation, rash, soreness, or swelling. The doctor will then use his gloved fingers to reach the cervix and press the lower abdomen to check for any tissue which feels different. Your uterus and ovaries’ size and shape are examined and checked for any feeling of tenderness in the region.
A speculum- an instrument shaped like a duck’s beak, is inserted in the vagina to open its walls and give the doctor access to the cervix. If a Pap smear test is scheduled, then the doctor will brush out some cells off the cervix for testing in a lab.
Many younger women are terrified of this examination, but Dr. Broad assures you complete comfort from your first visit only. It is indeed the best time for a woman to open up to her doctor about her vaginal health issues and sexual activity.
Sexually transmitted diseases are
infectious diseases that are usually transmitted via sexual
intercourse. There are other ways in which STDs are transmitted as
well. For instance, sharing syringes and needles for drug use,
instruments for body piercing or tattooing, etc.
Statically, over 20 million new
patients with STDs are diagnosed in the United States each year, and
more than half of them are between 15 to 24 years of age. The most
common are genital herpes, HPV, Chlamydia, HIV/AIDS, Gonorrhea, and
Sexually active women under 25 have an
increased risk of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia but show no symptoms.
Hence, doctors recommended getting tested annually for both. Living
undiagnosed and untreated can cause life-long health problems like
chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory diseases, infertility, and
severe vaginal infections.
It is essential that women take their health seriously, get annual check-ups from their gynecologists and get immediate treatment if diagnosed with an STD to avoid physical stress and emotional trauma to themselves.
Birth control counseling and Planning your next pregnancy
Birth control contraceptive methods can be discussed with your doctor. If you are sexually active and practicing safe sex to avoid pregnancy, you might also want to know in detail about birth control.
Contraceptives can be physical or hormonal. Physical once keep the sperms from getting in contact with the ovum inside a female body. They include external or internal condoms.
Hormonal contraceptives are more effective than condoms. These include oral contraceptive pills, internal contraceptives like IUD, and birth control rings. Their function is to release the hormones estrogen and progestin or only progestin. Estrogen prevents the release of the egg, and progestin causes the uterine mucus to thicken that stops sperm from reaching the egg.
It is also essential to know the importance of planning your next pregnancy as a woman’s body needs to completely recover before she plans to conceive again.
Schedule a visit with your doctor to determine which method of contraception is best for you or how much time you should wait before you conceive again.