For more and more young women, going to the gynecologist can be awkward and uncomfortable. If you have similar feelings about scheduling an appointment, you’re not alone! Although seeing your gynecologist is extremely important, it’s normal to have some anxiety around it. Still, scheduling your annual well woman visit is one of the best things you can do for your health. Here’s what to know about a well woman visit, what you can expect, and when you should see our team here at Carnegie Women’s Health.
What Do Gynecologists Do?
Most people think of gynecologists as simply doctors who are associated with things like pap smears, but gynecologists actually provide a much wider array of care for women of all ages. Gynecologists also specialize in areas like:
- Gynecological cancers
- Sexual health
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Pelvic floor health
- Family planning and birth control
- Women’s wellness
In short, gynecologists can provide specialized care in areas specific to women, making them much more knowledgeable and specialized than a general practitioner, for example.
When Should I Start Seeing a Gynecologist?
Women of any age can benefit from seeing a gynecologist, but the American College of Gynecology and Obstetrics recommends women start regularly seeing a gynecologist as early as 13-15 years old and continue throughout their lifetime. However, if you haven’t seen a gynecologist yet, you can still benefit no matter your age.
What’s Involved in a Well Woman Visit?
A well woman visit is like a regular check-up you might undergo with your regular doctor but pays special attention to sexual, reproductive, and hormonal health. Along with normal measurements of your blood pressure, weight, and more, your appointment will include a thorough discussion with your gynecologist about your medical history, lifestyle, and any concerns you might have. Then, your gynecologist will perform a pelvic exam (typically only if you’re 21 or older), a breast exam, pap smear, STI test, or any other screenings your gynecologist recommends. A well woman visit is the best time to ask questions and voice any concerns – especially if you’re anxious or worried about going to the gynecologist! Your gynecologist can take every step to help you feel comfortable and informed throughout your appointment.
Symptoms That Require Seeing a Gynecologist Right Away
Although it’s important to see your gynecologist yearly for a check-up, certain symptoms should prompt you to schedule an appointment right away. These include:
- Significant pain in your pelvic region, abdomen, or lower back
- Abnormal discharge or bleeding
- Itching or burning
- Painful or noticeable bloating
- Rash, warts, or sores on your vulva
- Changes in bathroom habits
Schedule an Appointment
At Carnegie Women’s Health, our team of New York City’s leading gynecologists can provide professional care with a comfortable, relaxed experience. To meet with our team and learn more, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form.