Doing dishes, laundry, filing taxes, and going to the OB/GYN, all things no one looks forward to. Going to the OB/GYN can be awkward. When the doctor leaves the room for you to undress, it still doesn’t get any easier when they return and get all up in your business. Finding the right doctor for you can make the situation much better! Health issues and obstetric conditions vary throughout a woman’s health journey, so finding an OB/GYN that listens and understands what stage you are in is very important. The great thing is that there are so many caring, experienced doctors out there — it’s just a matter of having the right one for you.
As a woman, there will come a time when you will see a gynecologist – it’s an important part of maintaining your health, plain and simple. As young ladies begin to have their first menstrual cycle, between the ages of 13 and 15 years old, it is important to begin regular visits with a gynecologist because they may have questions related to their development. As you ladies become sexually active or have an irregular menstrual cycle, they should also see an OB/GYN! Just remember seeing a women’s health specialist shouldn’t make you feel anxious – it’s a completely normal part of life.
By the age of 20, every woman should be seeing a women’s health specialist on an annual basis. At 21, your OB/GYN will begin performing a pap smear, in addition to your annual pelvic exam, to test for cervical cancer. Your 20s and early 30s also mark your child-bearing years, so if you decide you want a bun in the oven, this is the time to discuss pregnancy, fertility options and treatments with your doctor. If the bakery is closed, you can talk with your OB/GYN about birth control options. An OB/GYN is a specialist in obstetrics as well as gynecology, so they can give incredible advice on topics from midwife care to birth control and every stage of life.
Okay, the yearly trip to the gynecologist isn’t the most glamorous thing in the world. But each visit is extremely beneficial and can be pretty dang empowering too. Annual check-ups are not only important for your doctor to assess your overall health and evaluate risk factors, but they also give you a chance to talk through any questions or changes you may be experiencing as your body ages. Although many women experience the same health concerns, they don’t always happen at the same times or in the same way. Annual check-ups ensure you have that time to talk through any womanly woes with a trained healthcare professional. Sometimes you can feel like you are the only person going through something but being open and honest with your OB/GYN will show you that you’re not alone!
Many women share the same health concerns (most of which are a completely normal), like acne, cramps, puberty, sex, and sexuality. Your OB/GYN can talk through these processes because they fully understand the complexities of female health and reproduction. They can shed light on even more severe health conditions like anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and signs of domestic violence. But above all, your OB/GYN should help to create a wonderful, positive relationship for you and your body.
So, if you are beginning your search or are looking for a change in your OB/GYN care just remember it may take having a few conversations with new doctors before you find the right one for you.