A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in women’s health and pays particular attention to the female reproductive system. In the United States, they can serve as a woman’s primary care physician. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that patients start visiting gynecologists while in their early teens.
Given that they can act as primary care physicians, gynecologists provide check-ups. They may perform the standard medical exam. They also perform a pelvic exam during which they check urinary and reproductive systems for abnormalities. Most women should have this done at least once a year.
The gynecologist will also perform a Pap smear, a procedure used to screen for cervical cancer. Most women should get one every two years.
The gynecologist can perform breast exams, during which they screen the patient for breast cancer.
Most gynecologists are also obstetricians. As such they, they work with pregnant women during their pregnancy, childbirth, and shortly after the delivery. They will see their patient at least once a month during pregnancy. They will perform various tests to check the health of both the mother and baby.
If a woman is sexually active, but is not yet ready to have children, she should see her gynecologist about the various birth control options. There are more choices than there used to be a generation ago, and some methods are more reliable and effective than others. Some, like “the Pill” do require a prescription. While most women can use “the Pill” safely, it is not recommended for women with health conditions like diabetes, breast cancer, or various heart problems. A gynecologist will be able to help their patient choose a safe and reliable method of birth control.
If a woman develops symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease (STD), she should see her gynecologist. The genital area is warm and moist, and is thus a breeding ground for different bacteria and viruses. Some STDs, if untreated, can have serious consequences like infertility or even cancer.
Not only can a gynecologist diagnose and treat STDs, they can also advise their patients on how to avoid getting them.
Depending on the cause of the infertility, the gynecologist can either treat the problem or refer the patient to a fertility specialist. The latter is often a gynecologist who has received extra education in treating female infertility. A patient who has been trying to get pregnant for over a year or is over 35 and has been trying to get pregnant for six months should plan on visiting a fertility specialist.
A regular gynecologist can handle relatively straightforward fertility problems. They can prescribe fertility medications to stimulate ovulation. Some can also perform artificial insemination.
To schedule a consultation today, you can call our office at Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati. Whether you desire a check-up or would like to discuss certain concerns, we would be happy to help you.