Visiting your OB GYN each year isn’t just a good idea, it’s important to your health. Gynecologists specialize in the study of women’s health and reproductive systems. Even if you’ve had a pap smear within the last few years, here are a few reasons why your yearly GYN checkup in The Woodlands is so vital.
- It’s a great way to stay healthy. It’s recommended that women begin visiting the gynecologist when they are between 13 and 15 years old. While there might not be a specific reason for the visit, this allows a comfortable relationship to develop between the patient and doctor. Pap smears generally aren’t needed until age 21. Each annual exam is an opportunity for the doctor to stay on top of any health issues that might be occurring. During the exam, weight, blood pressure, nutrition, exercise, immunization, and birth control options are all discussed. Don’t wait until later in life to begin scheduling these appointments.
- Pap smears are extremely important. They aren’t a “one and done” type test. After the age of 21, you should be re-tested every two years. After age 30, the screenings may be decreased to every three years if done in conjunction with Human Papilloma Virus testing. These screenings test your body for abnormal cells that could indicate potential cancer risks. Without regular screenings, it’s more difficult to catch and treat the issue. A pap smear could detect the HPV virus, cervical cancer, and vaginal cancer before they become more serious. It’s a lifesaving exam that every woman should have done.
- You can review your birth control options. Whether you are trying to have children or looking to try something new, your gynecologist is the best one to recommend a course of action. By meeting with your gynecologist each year, you have a chance to discuss the pros and cons of your current birth control method. As your body ages and changes, it’s normal to change your birth control. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor to ensure that you are making the right choice for your situation.
- STD testing. Sexually transmitted diseases are serious. Whether you have multiple partners or are in a monogamous relationship, it’s still important to be screened for STDs regularly. Some diseases don’t manifest themselves until years after being contracted. Being tested annually is the best way to rule out any diseases and receive treatment if needed.
- Menopause education and treatment. Every woman will go through menopause at some point in their lives. While it usually doesn’t happen until around the age of 50, it’s still important to see your gynecologist beforehand. If you have continually seen your gynecologist throughout the years, it will be easier for them to tell when the onset of menopause occurs. With their help, you’ll be able to ask questions and get the care you need through this change. Regular appointments are also a great way to detect menopause-related issues, such as pelvic organ prolapse, and treat them before they become even more serious.
No matter your age, it’s important to develop a relationship with your OB GYN doctor in The Woodlands. Make your health a priority. Schedule your annual appointment with your gynecologist to ensure that you remain healthy and happy.