Your reproductive health is important to your overall well-being. Regular appointments with your gynecologist can help you stay healthy and make good reproductive choices. Here are four services you can expect from your gynecologist:
1. Wellness Check
First and foremost, your gynecologist appointment is a wellness check. Sometimes called a well-woman exam, gynecologist appointments allow you the opportunity to talk to your gynecologist about any symptoms you may be experiencing. They will ask you some questions about your menstrual cycle and perform a pelvic exam to make sure everything looks healthy and is working as it should.
2. Cancer Screening
Some forms of cancer affect women exclusively. Breast cancer and cervical cancer are two of the most common types, which your doctor will screen for at your gynecologist appointment. They will palpate your breasts to check for lumps, which could indicate tumors. If an unusual mass is found, you will be scheduled for additional testing, such as a mammogram or biopsy. Gynecologists also use pap smears to check for cervical cancer. A swab is used to collect a sample of cells from the opening of your cervix, and this sample is then tested for unusual cells. If unusual cells are found, your doctor will perform more tests to ascertain if you have cervical cancer.
3. Birth Control Prescriptions
Women who are sexually active may want to prevent pregnancy. If you're interested in birth control, you should talk to your gynecologist about the options available to you at your next appointment. Oral birth control pills are a common choice that may even reduce acne or help to regulate menstrual cycles. If you don't like the idea of taking a pill every day, you can opt for an implanted device, such as an IUD or arm implant. Your doctor will help you choose the birth control method that's right for you based on your health, lifestyle, and reproductive goals.
If you're suffering from unusual symptoms related to your reproductive system, your gynecologist can help you diagnose the problem. A foul, unusual odor can indicate a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, especially in conjunction with discolored or excessive discharge. Other common gynecological symptoms are pain, itching, or irregular menstrual periods. Many of the causes of these symptoms are easy to treat, so don't hesitate to see your doctor for help. Some conditions can cause severe health problems when left untreated, so don't delay.
If you need help with any of these services, contact a local gynecologist like George L Stankevych, MD.