Women’s health is a topic that deserves more attention than it often gets. In the United States, there’s a tendency to view women’s health as primarily reproductive health. While that is undoubtedly an important aspect, it’s far from the only thing that matters.
Women’s bodies are complex and ever-changing, and it’s essential to stay on top of things with regular check-ups. Although the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends annual exams, many people only go every other year or less frequently. But there are many reasons to see your doctor more often; here are just a few.
Reason #1: To Stay on Top of Your Overall Health
Your OB-GYN is an integral part of your healthcare team. These doctors are specially trained to care for the unique needs of women from puberty through menopause and beyond. They can provide a wide range of services, including Pap smears, breast exams, contraception counseling, and STD testing.
If you’re in your mid-20s to early 40s, visiting your OB-GYN annually is a great way to stay on top of your overall health. These doctors can catch small problems before they become big ones, such as STDs and early signs of cervical, ovarian, or breast cancer.
Your OB-GYN can also provide you with important information and resources to help you stay healthy, which can be anything from nutrition advice to tips on managing stress. Knowing how to take care of your body is essential to staying healthy, and your OB-GYN can help you with that.
Reason #2: To Keep Track of Your Reproductive Health
Your reproductive health is an integral part of your overall health, and it’s something that deserves close attention. This is especially true if you plan to have kids sooner or later. Visiting your OB-GYN at least once a year can help you keep track of your reproductive health in several ways.
First, your OB-GYN can keep track of your menstrual cycles and look for any changes that may cause concern. This could be something as simple as a change in the length of your cycles or as serious as missed periods.
Second, if you’re trying to get pregnant, regular visits to your OB-GYN can help you track your progress. These doctors can help you identify potential fertility problems and offer treatment options, such as in-vitro fertilization.
Lastly, if you are pregnant, annual visits to your OB-GYN can help ensure that you and your baby stay healthy. These doctors can monitor your pregnancy and identify potential problems, such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.
Reason #3: To Address Your Concerns
If you have any concerns about your health, whether it’s a specific symptom you’re experiencing or a general question about your health, your OB-GYN is the best person to ask. Suppose you’re in your 50s and have begun to experience intense mood swings because of your hormonal fluctuations.
In that case, your OB-GYN can talk to you about what’s normal and what’s not. They may also be able to help treat your menopause mood swings by prescribing pills or even undergoing hormone therapy. Of course, not all health concerns are related to reproductive health.
If you’re worried about your weight, your OB-GYN can refer you to a dietitian or nutritionist. And if you’re having trouble managing your stress, your doctor can provide you with resources and information about stress management techniques.
Reason #4: To Provide Sexual Health Care
Your OB-GYN can also provide you with sexual healthcare, which is essential for overall health. These doctors can offer various services, such as STD testing and contraception counseling. They can also help you address any sexual health concerns, such as pain during sex or low libido.
If you’re sexually active, it’s important to visit your OB-GYN at least once a year for STD testing. These tests can help you identify any STDs you may have and get started on treatment right away to avoid any serious health complications.
Your OB-GYN can also help you choose the best contraception if you’re not ready to have kids. There are different types of contraception available, like IUDs or contraceptive implants, and your OB-GYN can help you choose the one that’s right for you based on your needs.
But if you’re not sexually active, you may be wondering if you still need to see an OB-GYN. The answer is yes! Even if you’re not sexually active now, you may be in the future. And it’s always good to have a relationship with a doctor who can provide you with sexual health care, just in case.
No matter your concern, your OB-GYN can provide you with the care and information you need to stay healthy. So if it’s been a while since your last visit, be sure to schedule an appointment soon. This way, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best possible care for your health.