Top 10 reasons
to see your gynecologist
10. PAP TEST
Let’s start with the test that is most often associated with a visit to the gynecologist. While previous guidelines recommended you have a PAP test every year, current guidelines recommend testing only every 3-5 years for most women. Your gynecologist will also recommend including high risk HPV testing along with your PAP test when appropriate.
9. STD SCREENING
Routine screening for STDs is recommended for all sexually active women under the age of 25. However, if you have symptoms, concerns, increased risk factors, or general uncertainty, reach out to your gynecologist to discuss and set up testing, no matter your age.
Your gynecologist is here to answer any questions you may have about STDs and to help you protect yourself – condoms, vaccines, and/or medications are key components of prevention and treatment.
8. BREAST HEALTH
Seeing your gynecologist for annual breast exams, learning about the importance of breast self-awareness, and discussing any changes or concerns you have are important and necessary steps for breast cancer awareness and early detection. Your gynecologist will also provide guidance on when you should start getting mammograms and how often to have them – you may even be able to schedule your mammogram while you’re there!
Your gynecologist will also help you understand your personal risk for breast cancer based on your family history and individual risk factors. You can then partner with your provider to determine best ways to reduce your risk.
7. BMI CALCULATION
Looking at your weight in proportion to your height will help your provider determine if you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. When a woman is overweight or obese it increases the likelihood of developing hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and certain kinds of cancers.
Your provider can empower you with strategies to achieve a healthy weight – these include staying active, nourishing your body with whole foods, and working to accept your body as it is right now, even if you have plans for change.
6. BLADDER HEALTH
Having trouble with frequent urges to urinate or difficulty maintaining control during a sneeze, cough, or a hearty laugh? While this can be a sensitive topic, these symptoms are very common and trust me when I tell you that your gynecologist has heard it all! So don’t be shy about discussing with your provider. There are many effective treatment options – getting an evaluation is the first step towards finding the right treatment plan for you!
5. MENSTRUAL CYCLE REVIEW
The menstrual cycle has wisely been called the fifth “vital sign” and can signal important changes in your hormonal state or other health concerns. Discuss any concerns you have about your cycle or changes you notice – including (but not limited to) abnormal timing of cycle, heavy flow, or anything beyond mild pain with cramping.
4. CONTRACEPTION & FAMILY PLANNING
Both getting pregnant and NOT getting pregnant are common concerns for most sexually active women who aren’t postmenopausal or using a permanent method of birth control. Your gynecologist can help you explore the wide spectrum of available contraceptive options, preconceptual counseling, or infertility testing if needed.
3. SEXUAL HEALTH
We are all sexual beings – and we support your need to authentically express this aspect of yourself.
Do you have questions about sex? About how to stay safe?
Are you having pain with sex? Have a decreased interest in sex?
It’s okay (and encouraged) to discuss all aspects of your sexual health with your gynecologist!
2. EMOTIONAL HEALTH
Are you stressed? Anxious or overwhelmed? Feeling depressed?
Although often overlooked, your emotional health plays an essential role in your physical health. Engaging in counseling, medication, and/or alternative therapies can help reign in these difficult emotions and put you on a path to healing. At Seven Hills, our physicians partner with our Licensed Professional Counselor, Megan Lobsinger, MA, LPC to refer patients who feel they may benefit from counseling. Megan specializes in the treatment of women’s emotional health across the life span. To contact Megan directly, you can call her confidential, private line at (513) 621-CARE.
1. BE PROACTIVE. BE WELL.
It’s important to find out if you may need any other screenings, risk reducing strategies, or preventative measures based on your physical exam along with your personal health, family, and social history.
Because truly, it’s only with this knowledge that you can begin to take steps towards optimal health.