reasons to see a gynecologist
Do you think you may need to see a gynecologist but aren’t sure?
When many people think of gynecologists, they think of the doctor. You see if you’re going to have a baby. However, gynecologists aren’t just for expecting mothers. There are many reasons why you may need to see a gynecologist.
6 Common Reasons to See a Gynecologist
Check out this guide to discover the top reasons to see a gynecologist.
1. Birth Control
According to the CDC, about 64.9% of women ages 15 to 49 are using some form of contraception. While many women go on birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies, it’s essential to understand that there are also other benefits to birth control.
Some women go on it to regulate and lighten their flow, while others go on it to control their hormonal acne. Whatever your reasoning is, you’ll want to see a gynecologist to get on birth control.
Nowadays, there are many more birth control options than just the bill. There’s the IUD, arm implant, ring, and shot, to name a few. Not only can your gynecologist walk you through the pros and cons of each of these options, but they can also administer birth control to you.
For example, if you choose to use an IUD, your gynecologist can safely and effectively insert it into you.
2. Checking for STDs
Even if you’ve been practicing safe sex, you should still get checked for STDs at least once a year. You owe it to your sexual partners, but you also owe it to yourself.
If an STD is left untreated, it can slowly chip away at your immune system, and in some cases, it can leave you infertile. You can speak to your gynecologist about which STD testing is proper for you, but the most common STDs for women are HPV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes.
Getting an STD is not the end of the world, and you should feel no shame about asking for a test and discussing your sexual history with your doctor. If you find out that you have an STD, your gynecologist can help you treat it or set up a plan to maintain your symptoms.
3. Getting Vaccinated
As we just mentioned, HPV is one of the most common STDs in women. The good news is you can be vaccinated for it.
While the HPV vaccine is typically administered to children ages 11-12, you can also get it if you’re younger than 45. If left untreated, HPV can lead to cervical cancer, so getting vaccinated is very important for your health.
4. Dealing With Menstruation Issues
Most women experience menstruation issues at some point in their life. Some women experience an irregular flow, while others experience one that is heavy and painful.
The good news is, your period doesn’t have to put your life on hold for a few days each month. If you experience unpleasant periods, your gynecologist can prescribe you hormonal birth control that lightens and regulates your periods. Some birth controls eliminate your periods altogether, which is an appealing option for some women.
5. Pap Smear
You should get a pap smear every three years if you’re between 21 and 65—a pap smear checks for cancers and precancers located in the cervix.
If left untreated, abnormal cells in the cervix can lead to cancer. While pap smears can be uncomfortable, the right gynecologist can help you feel at ease. Your gynecologist will gently scrape away cells from your cervix to check for abnormal growth during the procedure.
You no longer need a pap smear if you’ve had a hysterectomy. You also may not need one if you’re over the age of 65, but it’s best to check with your gynecologist to be sure.
6. Fertility Inquiries/Issues
About 10 percent of women in the US between the ages of 15 and 44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. While fertility issues can be extremely frustrating and heartbreaking, it’s essential to know that there are options out there, and your gynecologist can help you.
It’s also important to understand that infertility isn’t just a “woman’s issue.” Men can also experience infertility, so seeing a specialist such as an OBGYN is essential. There are many factors at play that can decrease your chances of getting pregnant, including:
- Poor diet
- Being overweight or underweight
- Athletic training
- Health issues related to hormonal changes
Nowadays, many women are also waiting until they get older to get pregnant. As you age, your chances of getting pregnant decrease for the following reasons:
- Your eggs are not as healthy
- You have a smaller number of eggs left
- Your ovaries can’t release as many eggs
- You’re more likely to suffer from health conditions that cause infertility
- You’re more likely to experience a miscarriage
In men, infertility can result from having too few sperm or having irregular sperm movement. Luckily, there are several medications your doctor can prescribe to you to treat infertility. Your gynecologist can also explain other ways to start a family, such as IVF, surrogacy, or adoption.
Reasons to See a Gynecologist: Time to Schedule Your Visit
Now that you know about the top reasons to see a gynecologist, it’s time to schedule your appointment. Seeing a gynecologist is very important for your overall health, so don’t delay your appointment.
And, be sure to check back in with our blog for more health tips and tricks.