As a woman, visiting an OBGYN is crucial for your health. But how often should you go to the gynecologist?
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the information on the web, but we’re here to help you separate fact from fiction and understand how often you should make a gynecologist appointment.
Are annual visits a must?
There’s no one-size-fits-all plan for female reproductive healthcare. Every woman is different, and your age, lifestyle and medical history all dictate how often you should go to the gynecologist.
With that being said, it’s widely accepted that women over the age of 21 see a gynecologist regularly. For the majority, that means an annual visit where the physician will conduct an assessment of your overall health, conduct a pelvic exam and/or a breast exam.
When thinking of an OBGYN appointment, you likely think of a Pap smear as well. According to the CDC, the Pap test looks for cell changes on your cervix that might become cervical cancer. It’s one of the best proactive measures to monitor your reproductive health, but you may not have to receive it every year. If your screening results consistently come back normal, your doctor may have you wait three years for another Pap test. If you are over 65 years old and have always had negative tests, you may not need to be screened anymore.
When in doubt about how often to go to the gynecologist, talk to your primary care doctor. With knowledge of your medical history and overall health, they can help create a personalized reproductive care plan for you.
Other times you should go to the gynecologist
Most women associate visiting an OBGYN with a regular health screening. However, as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explained, there are plenty of reasons to see a gynecologist on short notice.
Aside from regular pelvic exams, you should consider making a gynecologist appointment if you experience any of the following:
- A urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Fibroids, whether you need a diagnosis or treatment
- Unusual vaginal discharge, itchiness or bleeding
- Painful and/or irregular periods
- Possible exposure to a sexually transmitted disease
- The need for birth control or a pregnancy test
A gynecologist is a trusted healthcare professional who you can talk to about any reproductive topic. Whether it’s a question about the reproductive system in general or a discussion about birth control options that work best for you, they are there to help.
Trust the experts at VIVA EVE for assistance
Visiting a gynecologist should never be daunting. At VIVA EVE, our experienced team of board-certified physicians and fibroid specialists are here to help with everything from the diagnosis to treatments for advanced gynecological conditions.