Most women don’t look forward to getting a pelvic exam, and many find it to be downright intrusive and uncomfortable. However, if you want to keep your reproductive system and the rest of your body healthy, making the annual trip to the OB/GYN is critical.
Your OB/GYN can answer health questions you may feel too embarrassed to ask even Alexa. They can ensure you’re free from diseases and conditions which could impact your fertility. They can also help you protect your general health. Here are eight reasons to set up an appointment today if you’re due for one!
1. They Can Give You Answers To Sexual Health Questions
Perhaps you want to know why something feels a little different during sex all of a sudden. Or maybe you just need to know if that ingrown hair is actually just an ingrown hair or something else. You may not want to worry your partner or even leave such a search history on your browser, so who do you ask?
Your OB/GYN should not blink an eye at your questions, no matter how awkward you feel asking them. Too shy to ask out loud? Write your questions down. OB/GYNs are accustomed to patients feeling uncomfortable, and most go to great efforts to put you at ease.
2. They Can Help If You Have Trouble Conceiving
If you and your partner haven’t gotten pregnant after trying for six months to a year, it’s time to call the OB/GYN. Many couples who experience difficulty conceiving do so because one or both partners suffer an underlying health disorder that a trip to the doctor can detect.
Your doctor will begin with a pelvic exam to discern if they detect tenderness or any other abnormalities. They may order an ultrasound to check for any blockages to your fallopian tubes or ovaries that could impact fertility. They may also order blood tests to confirm certain conditions.
If no condition exists on your side, your OB/GYN can recommend a physician for your partner to get tested if they do not offer such services in house. Many Planned Parenthood locations offer fertility screenings for men on a sliding fee scale.
3. They Can Screen For Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Even people in monogamous relationships benefit from regular STD testing. While discovering an infection can cause relationship strife, leaving a disease like gonorrhea untreated can impact future fertility chances. Plus some conditions, like human papillomavirus (HPV), can increase cancer risks.
Speaking of HPV, you can ask your OB/GYN about vaccination. While the vaccine works best when administered in two doses to girls aged 11-12, many sexually active women have a different form of the virus, therefore they can still reap the benefits of vaccination.
4. You Can Get An Osteoporosis Screening
What does your spine have to do with your reproductive health? Quite a bit, actually! If your estrogen levels drop, your bones become more porous, making them liable to breakage and osteoporosis. Experts recommend getting a bone density test beginning at age 65, but did you know children and young adults can get osteoporosis too? Health providers can perform a test on your wrist or heel to screen for this, and it only takes 10 to 30 minutes on average.
5. They Can Order Other Screenings, Too
Did you know your OB/GYN can order other tests for you besides those related to your lady parts? For example, if you know you run a higher risk of developing diabetes, your OB/GYN may not perform a blood glucose test in the office, but they can order one for you.
6. They Can Administer General Health Screenings
In addition to all the other screenings they offer, OB/GYNs make excellent starting places for more generalized health screenings. Think about your most recent appointment — your doctor took your height, weight and blood pressure, right? While medicine has grown more specialized, your OB/GYN completed intensive medical training, and they can refer you to outside specialists if your needs go beyond their expertise.
7. You Will Learn Proper Breast Self-Exam Techniques
One of the best ways to detect breast cancer early is by performing monthly breast exams. Your OB/GYN can provide you with a pamphlet of instructions, but more importantly, they can review the process of conducting the exam with you and go over any questions you may have. Practice makes perfect.
8. It’s Important For Early Cancer Screenings and Detection
Finally, the biggest reason to see the OB/GYN regularly is screening for cancer. Cervical cancer has a 92% five-year survival rate if doctors catch it in its earliest phases. Once the cancer migrates to other areas of the body, survival rates plummet, so keep up with your annual screenings.
Seeing Your OB/GYN Regularly
Almost no one loves going to the OB/GYN, but doing so is critical to ongoing health. Contact your physician for your annual screening today.