If you’re a woman in the United States, you probably see your general physician at least once a year. One study found that around 70% of women make time for a yearly physical. However, that same study found that only about 40% of women make time for gynecology services every year. This is unfortunate, because gynecological care is an important part of preventative health care.
Perhaps the difference comes down to many women not knowing the benefits of seeing their gynecologist on an annual basis. Although associated with pregnancy, gynecology covers the entire reproductive system, a complex part of the anatomy that impacts the health of all women, not just those engaged in family planning.
If you’re looking to take more control of your overall and reproductive health, the health experts at Holistic OB/GYN & Midwifery can help. In this blog, our providers explain the importance of gynecology and the routine services provided during an appointment.
Gynecology is a medical specialty centered around women’s reproductive health, and it largely focuses on the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and breasts. And although related to obstetrics, these two practices are not the same. Obstetrics exclusively deals with pregnancy and its medical concerns.
Gynecology, on the other hand, takes a broader look at a woman’s reproductive health. And the most basic form of gynecology care is a well-woman exam, which is a review of your overall reproductive health.
A look at routine gynecology services
Your annual well-woman exam is a time for your provider to check your reproductive health and for you to ask any questions you may have or discuss any changes you’ve noticed in the past year. At Holistic OB/GYN & Midwifery, we offer the following routine services:
- Pap smears and pelvic exams
- Breast exams
- Contraception counseling and prescriptions
- Fertility counseling
- STD testing
- Treatments for women’s health issues, such as polycystic ovary syndrome
- Treatments for urinary incontinence
- Sexual dysfunction treatments and advice
- Menopause management
A well-woman visit doesn’t have to be the only time you think about your reproductive health. Book an appointment with us if you ever have concerns about symptoms, such as abnormal bleeding or pelvic, vulvar, or vaginal pain.
Routine gynecology services and cancer screenings
Gynecology can serve as your first line of defense and detection against breast cancer and cervical cancer. Pap smears, which collect a small sample of cells from your cervix, are effective in screening for cervical cancer and HPV, which can cause cervical cancer.
Clinical breast exams, in which the breasts are checked for any changes in size or shape, puckers, dimples, or redness of the skin, are used to find breast cancer at an early and more easily curable stage.
Who needs gynecology services?
Most experts recommend that a woman starts a relationship with a gynecological care provider between the ages of 13-15. This age marks the middle of puberty, which is a time of great change in a woman’s body.
On the other end of the spectrum, menopause doesn’t mean an end to gynecology. Post-menpausal women are still at risk for developing cervical cancer, and many women experience a variety of symptoms and issues as their estrogen levels fall.
To learn more about obstetrics and gynecology, book an appointment online or over the phone with Holistic OB/GYN & Midwifery today.