Your health is extremely important and you should be regularly visiting a gynecologist to maintain optimal reproductive health because it’s your responsibility to ensure your body is performing as it should. As a general rule of thumb, women should have their first visit in their teen years. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, girls should have their first exam between the ages of 13 to 15. A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes and focuses on women’s health and they can help you understand your body better with helpful tips of how to care for it.
When you visit a gynecologist on a regular basis, you are taking a necessary preventative measure to combat against health concerns like STDs, cancer and more. Your doctor can also address any issues you may have such as bleeding between menstrual cycles, pain in the abdomen area, pressure around your pelvis, extreme cramps and more. By recognizing symptoms early and asking your gynecologist about them, you increase the chances of successful treatments to aid in the solving of your reproductive issue.
Gynecologists can also perform cancer screenings that can detect certain cancers through tests like the Pap smear. This is when cells are scraped from the opening of the cervix and examined to detect precancerous changes that could become cervical cancer. In fact, the American Cancer Society estimates roughly 12,900 new cases of cervical cancer diagnoses for 2015 and approximately 4,100 cases will be fatal. However, with tests like the Pap smear and the use of HPV vaccines, the death rate of cervical cancer has reduced by 50% over the past 30 years. And if cervical cancer is found early, there’s a high chance it’s in the curable stage. That’s why it’s extremely important for regular gynecologist visits.
Your gynecologist may also offer or recommend surgical procedures like hysterectomy treatment for some of your problems, such as fibroids, heavy bleeding, or ovarian cysts. It’s important to find a gynecologist who is experienced in performing surgical procedures if needed. While a hysterectomy is typically the last option to be considered for most problems, women may be able to have other treatment methods performed first, especially if they want to preserve their fertility. However, this is dependent on the individuals’ specific situation and the medical advice provided by the doctor.
You should always take your health seriously and visit a gynecologist regularly for the best preventative care.