A gynecologist is a doctor who deals with women’s health and more specifically the health of the female reproductive system. Typically women start seeing their OB-GYN in their early teenage years, between 13-15. Then continue seeing them throughout adulthood, with greater intensity when they become sexually active, in and around pregnancy and again in the years that menopause begins, about 45 years old.
There are different specialists in the Gynecology fields, and each will have tests specific to their specialties.
Below are a few of the focus areas:
Maternal-fetal medicine- Work with women during and shortly after pregnancy overseeing the overall health of the women and fetus. Their focus involves high-risk pregnancies.
Reproductive endocrinologists- Are trained with infertility issues and providing treatments including but not limited to in vitro fertilization.
Gynecologic oncologists- treat cancer in the reproductive organs of women.
Depending on your current health and which stage of life you are in will determine the type of visit and test the gynecologist will run. Some exams require one of the above specialists and other tests are standard tests included in the annual exam.
Most common exams at the OB-GYN:
Pap Smear- The pap smear is a common examination for women between the ages of 21 and 65. It involves a minor procedure that collects cells from the cervix (the lower end of the uterus) in order to test for cervical cancer. In some cases, this test can be combined with an HPV (human papillomavirus) test, which is a common cause for cervical cancer.
Colposcopy- This examination is typically done if abnormal results were found during a pap smear. A tool called a colposcope is used to examine the vulva, vagina and cervix for a more in-depth test including a possible biopsy.
Dilation and Curettage (D&C)- Is a procedure done to diagnose and treat conditions of the uterus. Part of the uterine lining is removed with special tools in this common procedure. The purpose is to treat issues with uterine bleeding including issues caused by tumors or unsuccessful pregnancies.
Pelvic exam- This examination checks the pelvic region including all female reproductive organs and also the bladder. It is usually done in the annual exam. It can include a test for a number of illnesses, cancers, or abnormalities.
STI/STD test- STD tests are completed by taking a swab of tissue from inside the pelvic region to test for any disease in sexually active women. These diseases as most, are especially important to catch early.
Mammograms- One of the most effective ways to catch breast cancer early, mammograms are extremely important and easy. They are suggested from around the age of 40 to be included in the yearly exam.
Regardless of which test or procedures you are visiting your OB-GYN for it is essential to find one that you trust and are comfortable with. Women must feel they can communicate openly, ask questions, and have their questions answered.
Be sure to visit Emu Health in Queens for all test and services relating to women’s health
83-40 Woodhaven Blvd
Glendale, NY 11385