OBGYN doctors are trained in the fields of gynecology and obstetrics. They care for women's reproductive health before, during, and after pregnancy. All women who have reached puberty can benefit from the services of an OBGYN doctor. You should make an appointment with an OBGYN doctor, also known as a gynecologist, in these four situations:
1. You have not seen a gynecologist in the past year.
Women should receive a wellness exam from an OBGYN at least once a year. During your exam, a doctor will examine your cervix and the inside of your vagina. Your doctor will also palpate your abdomen to check for swelling or abnormalities in your uterus or ovaries. Annual well-woman exams can help you protect your reproductive health.
2. You need a pap smear.
Pap smears are an important diagnostic tool. They allow gynecologists to check your cervical health. An abnormal pap smear can catch cervical cancer in its early stages when treatment is most effective. Healthy women under the age of 30 should get a pap smear every three years, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. After age 30, you can choose to get a pap smear every five years instead.
Gynecologists can perform a pap smear test quickly and easily. During your pelvic exam, they will use a long swab to collect cell samples from the opening of your cervix. Your sample will be tested in a lab, and your results should be ready in about a week.
3. You are experiencing uncomfortable genital symptoms.
Your gynecologist can also help you when something goes wrong. If you develop uncomfortable symptoms on your genitals, such as itching, stinging, or burning, you should make an appointment with your OB GYN doctor. You may have a sexually transmitted infection. Your doctor will collect a sample of your vaginal secretions for testing. If you have an STI, your doctor will write you a prescription for the appropriate medication.
4. You believe you are pregnant.
For many women, a late or missed period is the first sign that they may be pregnant. Some women confirm their theory by taking a home pregnancy test. If you believe you're pregnant, you should make an appointment with your OBGYN as soon as possible. Your doctor will administer an in-office pregnancy test. If you are pregnant, your gynecologist will be an integral figure throughout your pregnancy. Through prenatal exams, they will ensure you have a healthy and successful pregnancy.