Going to your OB/GYN doctor may not be something you look forward to every year. But as a woman, having an annual appointment is essential for disease prevention, and your relationship with your doctor is vital to your health care at every stage of your life.
While guidelines have changed for Pap smears, it doesn’t mean you should skip your annual exam. This article will explain whether you should see your OB/GYN in Prosper, TX, every year.
Should you see your gynecologist every year?
Gynecology plays a vital role in women’s healthcare. Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should have a yearly gynecological exam. And girls as young as 16 should consider seeing a gynecologist if they become sexually active. The reason why this age range should see the OB/GYN doctor every year is that they have an increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and becoming pregnant.
If a woman is in good health, not pregnant, or being treated for a disease, they can typically start seeing their gynecologist every other year after age 30. However, women planning to become pregnant or pregnant may need to visit their gynecologist more frequently for family planning visits.
In addition, women experiencing any changes in their health, such as with menstrual cycles or severe pelvic pain, should see a gynecologist immediately, as they may be signs of something more serious.
When can you stop seeing a gynecologist?
The honest answer regarding when you can stop seeing a gynecologist varies from woman to woman. However, healthy women over the age of 66 typically do not need to visit the gynecologist every year. If a woman near the age of 66 receives three clean Pap smears in a row, they can stop receiving their annual Pap smear and pelvic exams if they want.
Women in perimenopause, menopause, or post-menopause should consider seeing their gynecologist for treatment if they experience vaginal dryness, unusual discharge or odors, painful intercourse, or urinary incontinence.
What does a gynecological exam include?
An annual gynecological exam is typically quick. This visit typically includes a pelvic exam, Pap smear, a blood pressure check, a breast exam, and tests for STDs or STIs. During your visit, you can also receive a birth control prescription, like the daily pill or an IUD.
During your routine exam, the doctor will situate you within stirrups and then examine the vulva and labia to see if there are any abnormalities. Abnormalities can include signs of irritation, swelling, redness, and STDs or STIs. When your doctor is finished, they will examine the interior of the vagina using an instrument known as the speculum.
The interior exam will look at the cervix and perform a Pap smear. This takes a small sample of your cervical cells, which are sent to a medical lab to check the cells for cervical cancer.
Contact Comprehensive OB/GYN to learn more!
At Comprehensive OB/GYN, we’re dedicated to women’s wellness. If you’re experiencing issues, we can help. When you meet with one of our board-certified gynecologists, they’ll review non-surgical treatment options.
You get expert advice to select the ideal treatment for your symptoms and needs. We provide a full range of women’s healthcare in McKinney, from yearly gynecological exams to high-risk pregnancies.
From preventative care to advanced surgical procedures, our Comprehensive OB/GYN team in Prosper, Texas, is dedicated to providing you with the best care possible. Schedule an appointment today and experience the difference in women's health care.