As a woman, your reproductive health is one of the most important aspects of your overall wellness. Even if you are not trying to get pregnant or prevent a pregnancy, it is important that you make annual visits to the OBGYN a part of your regular health routine. Here are five benefits of a yearly OBGYN visit and how you can lean on this resource.

Check for STDs and Other Sexual Issues

Sexually active women will find that their OBGYN is a wealth of information. This type of trained professional can check for the presence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). When detected early, an OBGYN can treat these issues before they become a long-term and life-threatening health issue. Some of the most common STDs that your OBGYN may screen for include genital warts, syphilis, gonorrhea, and human papillomavirus (HPV).

An OBGYN can also help you to pinpoint any problems about painful sex or other issues related to intercourse. This type of medical care provider is also helpful if you notice abnormal vaginal discharge or any other symptoms that indicate something may be wrong with your reproductive system.

Pap Smear and Pelvic Exam

Related to your overall sexual health is the regularity in which you receive pelvic exams and pap smears. Most doctors will begin pap smears on women when they turn 21. These exams are important in diagnosing pre-cancerous cells that could spell trouble down the road.

The regularity of your pap smears depends on several factors including your age, the number of sexual partners you have, and your past medical history. The right trained physicians for women have the knowledge and tools to provide the best recommendations for your personal needs.

Breast Exams

Along with an annual comprehensive pelvic exam, an OBGYN will also provide a manual breast exam at every visit. While this type of exam is not as thorough as a mammogram, it is a good tool to catch issues before they become a bigger problem.

In addition, your OBGYN is trained to teach you how you can perform your self-exam each month. While the risk of breast cancer increases significantly over the age of 40, women should start paying to their breast health as early as 18 years. Many breast cancers are caught early by women on their own, making it important that your OBGYN teach you to perform this potentially life-saving exam. Since you know your body best, it makes sense that you ask your OBGYN how to best perform this manual procedure.

Birth Control and Conception Efforts

Many women visit the OBGYN for the first time to find the best birth control option for their needs. An OBGYN is your best source when it comes to navigating the various options so that you can find a good fit. Some types of birth control need to be prescribed, a task well-suited for your OBGYN. This includes birth control pills or the insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD).

An OBGYN will also be able to provide advice if you are trying to conceive a child. Once you become pregnant, an OBGYN will become your primary medical care provider from conception until birth. While your new baby will see a pediatrician after birth, the mother will continue to see the OBGYN for follow-up care beyond the recovery from childbirth.

Mental or Emotional Issues

In addition to all of the physical medical issues, an OBGYN is often a good resource for mental health problems. If you’re struggling with how to have more passionate love, you may benefit from seeing a mental health professional. Feeling sad or unusually depressed? An OBGYN is generally equipped to point you in the right direction to try to diagnose and treat the issue.

It is important to keep in mind that an OBGYN is not a substitute for a trained mental health counselor. However, they may be able to diagnose any underlying physical issues that may be having a negative effect on your mental health. For example, some women experience hormonal imbalances as they age. An OBGYN has the authority to run tests that may help to diagnose the issue and treat it accordingly.

Taking the time to find an OBGYN that you connect with can have a profound effect on your overall health.

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