Obstetrics and Gynecology are the areas of medicine that specialize in taking care of sexual and reproductive health in women. OB-GYN doctors provide different kinds of services such as family planning, health recommendations, biopsies, annual checkups, pap smears, and they provide treatment for many conditions as well, such as STD’s, menopause symptoms and endometriosis, among others.
The ideal moment to have an obstetrics and gynecology visit, whether it is the first one, a follow up, or an annual checkup, may vary depending on the case, the person, the symptoms, and the age. If there is nothing unusual, the right moment for a first visit to the OB-GYN could be between ages 18 and 21. Now, starting your sexual life or learning more about contraceptives are not the only reasons to schedule a visit with a gynecologist.
Reasons to have an OB-GYN visit regardless of the age:
- It is always a good idea to take a girl to this specialist when she starts menstruating, which usually could be between the ages 11 to 15. During this development stage, girls have a lot of questions regarding their development, bodily changes, cramps, and a thousand other matters. An OB-GYN can patiently explain the answers to all of their questions.
- When there are painful menstrual periods or cycles with a very heavy or irregular flow. These types of symptoms on irregular periods, as well as pain that is not normal or that affects everyday activities, could be a sign of cysts or even an early sign for a more severe condition such as endometriosis. Therefore, it is important to visit the gynecologist regardless of the age when these red flags are present.
- If the woman just started to be sexually active or is planning to start her sexual life. It is important to know all the information regarding ways to practice safe sex, including the use of contraceptives, the ways to prevent pregnancy, and everything related to Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
- For family planning. Whether the woman is looking to get pregnant or to avoid another pregnancy, an obstetrics and gynecology visit can help you clear your doubts. They will explain the type of birth control that will be better suited for that person, or on the other hand, they can offer options for fertility treatments.
- If the woman is already pregnant. To have the checkups for her and the baby, to confirm everything is going fine and ensure the pregnancy is as healthy as it can be for both the mother and the baby.
- At any given moment that the woman has health concerns regarding libido, pain during sexual relationships, discomfort in the genital area, or abuse.
- Some urological and gastrointestinal symptoms also require a visit to an OB-GYN, but that will be determined by your primary care physician.
- Until 15 years of age, it is common that any condition is treated by the pediatrician, but if any of the following symptoms appear, it would be better to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist: delayed puberty, delayed menarche (15 or 16 years old and still has not had her period), missing school due to pain or other symptoms.
- To schedule a Pap Smear. A Pap Smear is recommended for the first time at 21 years of age whether the woman has had sexual intercourse or not, and every 3 years after that.
- To get the HPV vaccine or if there are concerns regarding an STD.
Keep in mind that at Formé Medical Center, we have obstetrics and gynecology as part of our services and we are proud to have one of the few Hispanic gynecologists as part of our amazing team. To learn more about our obstetrics and gynecology services or to schedule an appointment with an OB-GYN that will help you improve your health and provide the best advice, you can give us a call at 914 723 4900.