Health

Visiting a Gynecologist and What To Expect

Obstetrics and gynecology

A gynecologist is a medical physician who has specialized in women’s health, specifically focusing on the reproductive system. An obstetrician, on the other hand, specializes in pregnancy, childbirth, and midwifery. Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) is a wide field of medicine that also includes hormonal disorders, sexually transmitted infections, menstruation and fertility issues. Although they’re specialists, many women prefer to visit a well-woman clinic for general health issues rather than visiting a specialist. For a gynecologist to be considered qualified, they have to be certified by an examining body and registered by a professional organization.

When to See One

Seeing an ob-gyn can help one understand their body and how to care for it, help a doctor find problems early and treat them, and teach one how to protect themselves. A woman is advised to see an ob-gyn at least once a year for annual screening. Anyone with concerns about their pelvic, vulva, and vaginal health, or abnormal bleeding from the uterus should visit an experienced OB/GYN in San Antonio. Girls should have their first gynecology visit between the ages of 12 to 15 years. Situations in which a woman should visit an ob-gyn immediately include when a regular menstrual flow turns irregular, if one has had intimate sexual contact, any abnormal vaginal discharge, or if it has been three months since one’s last period, among other cases.

What to expect

The first visit to an ob-gyn may just be a conversation between the patient and the doctor. One is encouraged to ask questions and develop a relationship with the doctor. They can also find out what to expect from future visits, get information about how to stay healthy, and may also take a general physical exam or two. Unless one is having problems, there is usually no need for a serious test during the first visit. The doctor may ask a lot of questions about your family background. Some questions may appear personal or intrusive for example questions about one’s sexual activities (vaginal, oral or anal), and menstrual activities. This would be a good time to raise confidentiality concerns, although one is encouraged to be as open as possible and give an honest account of one’s lifestyle to give the doctor a better idea of the situation.

Screening

The annual checkup will include screening and evaluations, immunizations based on risk factors and age, a physical exam to assess overall health (measure standard vital signs, BMI, inguinal lymph nodes), and pelvic and breast examination appropriate for the patient’s age. Other health assessments like colonoscopy, and blood pressure tests may be included. The doctor may ask for a blood and urine sample for the screening test. It’s pertinent that one keeps the visits regularly to ensure they are up to date on their reproductive health and that they maintain a healthy lifestyle, minimizing health risks.

Common Procedures

The American Board of Gynecologists (ABOG) certifies trained gynecologists to carry out certain diagnostic and surgical procedures. Common diagnostic procedures include the pap smear test, ultrasound scanning, hysteroscopy, endometrial biopsy, and a microscopic examination of the cervix known as a colposcopy. The surgical procedure includes preparing patients for surgery, a keyhole abdominal procedure known as laparoscopy, sterilization for minor surgery, removal of fibroids from the uterus, and other post-operative care such as treating complications.