Ladies, we have very sophisticated reproductive systems and whether they are in procreative mode or not, they have got to be well kept-up. That translates to at least 1 gynecological visit a year. We need regular checkups from early adolescence and for as long as we have reproductive organs. Even after menopause, gynecologists are the only ones that know how to check up those parts where no other physician goes – that’s the vagina, the ovaries, the uterus, fallopian tubes and the pelvic floor area. They must be kept healthy before they are needed for pregnancy and they sure need to stay healthy after the fertile years, whenegg production ends and the system transitions into retirement.
The gender of the doctor is up to you. Whatever makes you feel comfortable, the important thing is that they know their stuff and you feel comfortable talking to them. The subjects that should come up in conversation can be very sticky for some patients, as well as for some doctors, so you should feel free to shop around until you find one that makes these conversations workable for you.
Looking for a doctor that’s going to be able to talk to you about your most intimate behaviour, as well as give you a check up from a no less intimate angle, means doing something of an “interview” of candidates.
Subjects that need to be covered with your gynecologist
- Your sexual history – sexual problems or risky behaviour can indicate past trauma or physiological problems for which solutions are available
- Sexual behaviour patterns – it is important to feel you can discuss any sexual questions openly because although some may be outside of the sphere of a doctor, many of them may be relevant, if the physician is good at communicating
- Contraceptive preferences – information and experience are important in finding the ideal choice for each woman and /or couple
- Menstrual patterns – this is an important indication of reproductive and general health
- Sexual difficulties or pain – physiological problems should be excluded before other causes of pain or sexual dysfunction are explored
- STD’s or suspicion of exposure – infections may be visible or detectable, but sometimes doctors won’t look for them unless asked to do so; undetected infections can not only be spread to partners, but some can spread to other organs and affect a person’s fertility
- Incontinence – loss of pelvic muscle control is far more common than previously known, and assessing how serious it is, can allow the best solution
- History of abortions – this could affect your fertility, sexual behaviour and contraceptive choices
- History of sexual abuse – this should be discussed with one’s gynecologist as well as one’s family physician because sexual abuse has been shown to be related to many physical conditions, including eating disorders, substance abuse, depression and many forms of sexual dysfunction.
- Family history of disease – family members with heart disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, stokes, cancer, diabetes etc. are all important bits of information because they can influence decisions about contraception, hormone replacement and other procedures
Once you get past the idea of chatting about all the fun issues, there is the other business to get down to.
Read more about: