On top of everything you already do for your health and wellness, remembering to schedule an OB/GYN appointment each year can be a low priority. Add to your busy schedule the presumption of discomfort concerning OB/GYN visits and you have all the reasoning you need to kick the can down the road.
Yearly OB/GYN visits are about a lot more than a pap smear. Gynecologists specialize in women’s health from A to Z. They provide guidance and important tests that no other doctor on your yearly rotation can administer.
From the age of 13 on - but particularly past the age of 21 - it becomes increasingly vital that you see an OB/GYN on a yearly basis. In this focus on women’s health, UAB Medical West breaks down just a few reasons why yearly OB/GYN visits are so important to your health.
The pap smear (or pap test) is perhaps the most infamous procedure your OB/GYN performs.
Pap smears involve the gathering of cells from the cervix in order to detect cancerous or precancerous cells. Regular pap smears have been credited with dramatically lowering mortality rates from cervical cancer and could end up saving your life.
They may be mildly uncomfortable, but they’re certainly necessary.
Like the pap smear before it, pelvic examinations do not enjoy a kind reputation. Even so, pelvic exams are a comprehensive visual and physical inspection of your reproductive system, including the vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes, vulva, ovaries, and uterus.
Through pelvic exams, your OB/GYN can sometimes identify the cause of any unusual symptoms. They’re also helpful in screening for cysts, STIs, uterine fibroids, or even early-stage cancer.
Even with the best of guidance, finding the right birth control can be an exercise in patience. Birth control comes in many forms and you may have some serious concerns or questions about your current method.
IUDs, patches, rings, pills--the form of birth control that’s right for you can be discovered through close consultation with your OB/GYN.
Breast examinations are usually recommended for women over 40, but given your family history and predispositions, regular exams may start sooner. Women of color are especially vulnerable to breast cancer as are women who have a first-degree relative with a history of it.
It’s generally estimated that 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. Of those diagnosed, an estimated 42,000 will not survive each year.
Regular breast exams have lowered the mortality rate from breast cancer in previous years, but in order to continue that trend, regular examinations are required.
From painful sex and cramps to irregular menstruation, discharge, discomfort, and all stages of a healthy and successful pregnancy, your OB/GYN is your guide.
By providing potentially life-saving exams and regular check ups, you can be confident in your health by visiting each year.
Contact UAB Medical West to schedule your yearly OB/GYN appointment today!
UAB Medical West is committed to women’s health. Don’t let the distraction or discomfort discourage you from taking a vital step in securing your overall health and happiness. For more information about OB/GYN services, or to schedule an appointment, call 205-996-WEST. Serving Hueytown, Hoover, Bessemer, McCalla, and Vance, UAB Medical West is here to help all women through good times and bad.