Around 15 000 new cases of cervical cancer are expected to be diagnosed in America this year. This awful cancer used to be the leading cause of death in women in the United States around 4 decades ago. So, what changed?
Two words: pap smear.
Regular annual pap smears started picking up abnormal cells way before they could turn into cancer. This is just one of many reasons to see a gynecologist, for your standard preventative tests.
However, there are so many more benefits and necessary procedures that only a gynecologist can give you. Keep reading to find out.
1. Get Tested for STIs
Sexually transmitted infections affect your genitals and are commonly spread through sexual or oral intercourse.
STIs are unfortunately very common, with around 20 million new cases each year among youth in America. These diseases are very treatable, but they need to be diagnosed and tackled as soon as possible.
If you’re wondering when to see a gynecologist, then you should book an appointment as soon as you showcase any symptoms that could be caused by an STI.
These symptoms may include vaginal itching and irritation, pain during intercourse, painful urination, and more.
2. Long-Acting Contraceptive Options
There are long-acting contraceptives that require in-person doctor’s administration and usually a small procedure, too. These contraceptives are reversible and many women benefit from choosing long-term options over the pill or condoms.
These include IUDs, hormonal implants, and hormonal shots. It’s important to know what your options are so that you can make the right decision about how to protect yourself against pregnancy.
Finding the best gynecologist will ensure that you’re always up-to-date and informed about what is available to you. Moreover, your gynecologist can advise you on what is the best option for your lifestyle and body.
3. Seek Professional Opinion and Advice on Reproduction and Fertility
How much do you know about your reproductive system and how much do you understand about your fertility? Probably not that much.
A visit to the gynecologist’s office can give you insight into how your reproduction system is functioning and if it’s functioning correctly. You should see your gynecologist once a year to conduct bimanual, speculum, and external tests to ensure everything is functioning as it should.
This is especially important for women who are trying to conceive. A gynecologist can advise you on your hormonal cycle and explain your fertility to you in a way that will help you support the process.
You can discuss how to maintain a healthy reproductive system and different fertility options.
4. Pelvic Exam
From the age of around 21 years old, women should undergo an annual pelvic exam conducted by a gynecologist. This is vitally important for women who suffer from menstrual disorders, changes in vaginal discharge, fertility issues, or pelvic pain.
A pelvic exam helps to assess your overall gynecological health which is indispensable to your quality of life and your future.
This exam helps to identify ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, and even early-stage cancer.
5. Because of Irregular Menstruation
Your period is your fifth vital sign. It tells you a lot about your reproductive health, your overall physical health, and even your mental and emotional state.
If you’re struggling with irregular periods or any other concern with your menstrual cycle, then it’s important to visit a gynecologist. If you leave something like that for too long you might struggle with reproductive issues later on in your life.
Any changes in your period should be recognized and monitored. If it doesn’t return to normal in a few months then you should seek out the advice of a gynecologist.
6. For a Pap Smear
A pap smear is the most common procedure performed by a gynecologist. So, how often should you see a gynecologist? As testing has improved significantly, what used to be an annual visit is now a recommended visit every three years.
Pap smears are used to identify the presence of abnormal cervical cells that lead to cancer. It tests for the presence of HPV, which can clear up on its own, or it can lead to cervical, anal, vaginal, and other cancers.
In fact, nearly every instance of cervical and anal cancer begins as a case of HPV. This is why it’s so important to schedule those visits to the gynecologist and get your tests and pap smears done.
7. Do Breast Exams
What does a gynecologist do? More like what doesn’t a gynecologist do!
Last, but not least, for women over the age of forty, breast exams are crucial. If there’s a history of breast cancer in your family, then these breast exams should be conducted earlier.
A gynecologist will help to conduct a thorough breast exam. This is important for identifying breast cancer as early as possible.
This will usually happen as a part of your annual check-up to check for lumps or tissue masses.
You Shouldn’t Need Any More Reasons to See a Gynecologist
It’s vital for women to see a gynecologist once a year. Whether it be for pressing concerns that you have, to seek advice about fertility, or just for a checkup and tests, there are plenty of reasons to see a gynecologist.
Don’t wait to solve issues relating to your menstrual cycle or reproductive health as it could have terrible consequences in the future.
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