Over 80% of women experience painful periods.
For some women, the pain is so intense they can’t have a normal day. Instead, they’re stuck at home, hoping the heating pad can do its job. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Chronically painful periods can signify an underlying health problem. By reaching out to a gynecologist or an ob-gyn, you can get to the root of your problem. OBGYNs can also help women improve their reproductive health in other ways.
What is an OBGYN, and when should you see one? Read on to find out.
What Is an OBGYN?
What is an obgyn? The letters stand for obstetrician-gynecologist. Obstetrics is a branch of medicine that directly relates to women’s health. Specifically, obstetrics is the medical field about care before, during, and after childbirth.
In other words, OBGYNs are doctors who specialize in female reproductive health. A lot of OBGYNs can offer a wide range of medical services. It’s a lot like the experience you have with your primary care physician.
A couple of the services they provide include routine medical services, including pap smears. They can help you with preventive screenings since they’ve studied obstetrics and gynecology.
Sometimes the OBGYN will have their own private practice, while others will be a part of a larger medical group. For instance, hospitals will have their own doctors and obgyn medical billing services.
Obstetrician-Gynecologist and Female Productive Health
Now you know that an OBGYN involves obstetrics and gynecology. However, that doesn’t mean that an obstetrician and a gynecologist are the same things.
What is gynecology, and what is obstetrics? An obstetrician will be somebody who deals with all things related to pregnancy and childbirth.
A gynecologist has a more broad position. Gynecologists will care for the entire female productive health. Gynecologists can help women from the day they get their first period all the way to postmenopause care and beyond.
Gynecologists can be trusted advisors. They’re great at giving consultations on the best responsible sex practices, contraceptive advice, how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, and more. If it’s a non-pregnancy-related health issue, and it has to do with the female reproductive system, gynecologists can help.
A lot of physicians are going to specialize in gynecology and obstetrics. They do this to provide a comprehensive care plan for their patients.
By specializing in both fields of medicine, they’ll be able to attend to the entire spectrum of their patient’s healthcare needs. Doctors who specialize in obstetrics and gynecology are obgyns.
More on Women’s Health Procedures
Earlier, we mentioned that OBGYNs can perform routine medical procedures for women. Let’s dive a little deeper into some of the wide range of services they offer.
To assist your childbirth, OBGYNs are capable of performing cesarean sections. They can also use a variety of instruments to help aid in childbirth.
On the other side of things, OBGYNs can perform hysterectomies. This includes partial and complete hysterectomies.
OBGYNs can also help women experiencing problems with uterine fibroids or ovarian cysts. They’ll be able to entirely remove the growths with a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
Some OBGYNs offer fertility treatments such as egg freezing or egg retrievals for IVF programs. They can perform complete pelvic ultrasounds to check how your pelvic organs are doing.
If you’re experiencing any urinary issue, such as frequent urinary tract infections or incontinence, see an OBGYN. They’ll know what to do!
OBGYNs can also perform breast exams, including breast cancer screenings and traditional mammograms. They can even help treat problems such as anemia.
Gynecology vs Family Medicine
Many of the services that a gynecologist has to offer are also available at your primary care physician. So how can you choose between family medicine and gynecology?
Family medicine is best suited if you’re dealing with a chronic medical condition that will require regular lab work. On the other hand, gynecology will be best if you’re experiencing issues that directly relate to the female reproductive system.
For instance, any concerns involving your uterus, vulva, breast, are ovaries should be taken to a gynecologist. Gynecologists can also help with gastrointestinal systems symptoms as well as urological issues.
First Trip to a Gynecologist
When should women start seeing a gynecologist? It’s going to depend. Typically women won’t see a gynecologist until they turn 18 years old.
However, certain situations like delayed puberty onset could prompt a sooner visit. Another reason to see a gynecologist would be if someone has sexual health concerns or need contraceptive help.
Gynecologists can also help women who are having difficulties using tampons. They also assist with resolving extra painful periods.
What to Expect at Your OBGYN Appointment
What can you expect on your trip to an OBGYN or gynecologist? First, you’ll have a quick chat with the doctor.
They’re going to want to gather some of your primary health information. They also want to find out if you’re experiencing any current symptoms or problems. Be as honest as you can when you’re going over your health concerns and lifestyle.
You want the OBGYN to have a complete picture of your situation so that they can offer you the best help. A gynecological exam, such as a pap smear, is not painful. It may be uncomfortable, or you might experience a pinching sensation, but no extreme pain.
What should you do if you’re on your period and have an appointment scheduled? In a lot of cases, you can still move forward with the visit.
It’s a good idea to call the office just to be sure. Unless you’re dealing with urgent symptoms, you might be more comfortable rescheduling.
Having the Best Medical Care
What is an obgyn? Now you know!
After finding out what an OBGYN does, do you think you need to see one? Perhaps you’re dealing with some type of vaginal issue, or you just want to be proactive with your health.
Spend a little time looking for an OBGYN near you with excellent online reviews. Then go ahead and set up your first appointment.
You’ll be one step closer to having the medical advice you need. If you want more guidance, we’d love to help. Check out the rest of our website for more tips.