Gynecologists: Caring for women throughout their lives
Of all the doctors you’ll see as a woman, a gynecologist may be one of the most important. After all, this is the doctor who specializes in health issues that only women face.
And from your first period to well past menopause, gynecologists can help keep you healthy. Are you bothered by painful periods?
Hot flashes? Bladder problems? Gynecologists can help with these and many other problems.
So don’t keep symptoms to yourself. Tell a gynecologist if you have:
- Pelvic pressure or pain
- Vaginal itching or burning
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Irregular bleeding
- Trouble controlling urine
- Menopausal symptoms that are bothering you
Check in regularly
But what if you feel fine? “It’s still important to see a gynecologist for yearly checkups,” says Soyini Powell, MD, Gynecologist at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital.
Among other things, a gynecologist will:
- Do a Pap test (if you’re due to have one) to check for changes in your cervix that could lead to cancer
- Make sure you’re up-to-date on other important screening tests, such as mammograms
- Do a breast exam
- Answer questions about your sexual and overall health
“This is your chance to be heard,” Dr. Powell stresses. “Are you trying to get pregnant and wondering what’s taking so long? Are you curious about hormone therapy? Do you want to improve your diet or feel less stressed? Whatever your concern, we’ll listen and help.”