Who is a gynaecologist?
A gynaecologist is a doctor who treats women and specializes in female reproductive organs. An obstetrician is a kind of gynaecologist who specializes in pregnancy and childbirth. Their main duty is to make sure that their patients are healthy before, during and post pregnancy. Therefore, annual gynaecology screening helps.
What are annual gynaecology screenings?
An annual gynaecology screening is an overall health care examination of a woman’s reproductive organs. It is an annual exam, which means that you need to visit your gynaecologist at least once a year in order to get a general idea of your reproductive health and well-being. This screening consists of a general physical examination along with a pelvic exam, breast exam and pap smear test. The gynaecologist may also examine you to learn about your vitals, age, weight and height.
What kind of questions should you prepare for before you visit a gynaecologist?
A gynaecologist needs to get a general idea about your lifestyle and what your body is used to in order to provide you with the best treatment. Some of the questions that the doctor may ask you are:
- Can I see your medical and gynaecology history records? If it is your first time visiting a gynaecologist, let them know.
- How is your immunity? Do you fall sick often?
- Are you sexually active?
- What does your diet consist of?
- Inquiries regarding your work and family life.
How to prepare for a gynaecological exam
The first thing you need to understand is that the gynaecologist you are visiting is a professional and you must trust him/her. You will always have an option to choose between a female or male doctor according to your preference. The doctor is not judgemental under any circumstance and you can talk freely to them. Always remember that they have treated many patients suffering from the same problem as you in the past. Drink a lot of water before you go if you have to give a urine sample or if the doctor has asked you to get an ultrasound. Before going for your gynaecological exam, note down all your concerns regarding your sex life, birth control, STDs, etc.
Is it necessary to take an annual gynaecology screening?
Yes, it is necessary and very important. All women are recommended to get tested every year whether they are sexually active or not because the examination will help detect any form of abnormalities in your body that can be treated at once, thereby preventing them from becoming severe cases and resulting in further complications. Usually in a pap smear, the doctor will examine the cervix cells and check whether they are malignant or not. This means they look for cervix cancer or any pre-cancerous symptoms. Other than that, they also check if all your reproductive organs are developing in a healthy and proper manner. They also examine your vaginal discharge. Hence, it is important to go to a doctor even if you are of sound sexual and reproductive health.
At what age should you start visiting the gynaecologist?
If you are 21 years of age and still haven’t visited the gynaecologist, it’s time you started. Women of 21 years of age and above should get their gynaecology exams done every year and should continue doing so till at least the age of 65.