Know When To See A Gynecologist
While an annual pelvic exam is recommended, there are symptoms that warrant an extra visit to the gyno.
If youre wondering when to see a gynecologist, keep an eye on any changes you experience. Changes in the color or order of vaginal discharge sensations such as itching or burning painfulness of sex or heavy bleeding in-between periods mean you should set up an appointment.
Even symptoms you may have experienced your entire life, from debilitating cramps and unusually intense mood swings can be helped with a visit.
Every person is different, and it takes a specialized doctor to make sure your female reproductive organs are in top health and treated according to those differences.
If you live in New York, be sure to check out our gynecological services.
Don’t Schedule Your Appointment During Your Period
If your visit involves a pelvic exam, its best to not be on your period, said Candace Howe, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. Blood may interfere with results of tests you may need, such as a Pap test. Exceptions: Certain situations may make a visit on your period inevitable or necessary, Dr. Howe said. When in doubt, call and ask.
Your Pms Is Out Of Control
While some women experience more intense cramping, others have extreme PMS symptoms.
If your emotions before or during your period seem more heavily impacted than others you know, you might have premenstrual dysmorphic disorder .
PMDD can negatively impact your life as symptoms can include increased conflict with others, depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
A gynecologist can discern if youre suffering from PMDD and give you the help you need.
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Whatever You Use Is Your Choice
Theres no best way to protect your clothes and stay nice and fresh throughout your period. Dr. Cooperman tells HG, There are a wide variety of female hygiene products available on the market. If using a tampon, be sure to change it regularly, and go with whatever is most comfortable.
Dr. Nguyen agrees. She tells us, Women should use whatever they feel comfortable with for menstrual hygiene: cups, tampons, or pads. One method isnt any better. A lot of women were raised to be afraid of tampons because of toxic shock syndrome, but you really dont have to be.
“A tampon can safely be left in place between four to eight hours,” Dr. Nguyen explains. “With older tampons, there was an extremely rare risk of a serious infection such as Toxic Shock Syndrome . However, with today’s tampons, the number of cases of menstrual TSS is fewer than 1 in 100,000 women. So while TSS can be fatal, it is very rare.”
Dr. Bat-Sheva Lerner Maslow, from New York Citys Extend Fertility Clinic, adds, From a professional heath perspective, there is no preference given to any menstrual products. They all serve their own unique purpose, most importantly of which is individual comfort. Any women having difficulty selecting a product should speak with their gynecologist who can help them find the one that best suits their needs.
Well Work With You To Create A Treatment Plan That Addresses Your Concerns
If you have your checkup scheduled and youve started your period, please contact us. Usually, we can easily reschedule you for another appointment within a week. If that isnt possible, we urge you to keep your appointment so we can discuss why youre having an irregular menstrual cycle. Together, well tailor a treatment plan that will enable us to treat the problem.
For more than 40 years, Chapel Hill OBGYN has served women in the Triangle area, sharing the joy of little miracles and supporting them during challenges. Our board-certified physicians and certified nurse midwives bring together the personal experience and convenience of a private practice with the state-of-the-art resources found at larger organizations. To schedule an appointment, please contact us for more information.
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What’s Normal And What’s Not
“There are only three times in a woman’s life when her periods can be irregular but completely normal,” says Jonathan Scher, assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Those times are after the first period, or menarche the first few periods after a miscarriage, abortion, or childbirth and before menopause. During these times, ovulation is not taking place.
If a woman is of reproductive age, any other change in her usual pattern by a week or more either way is abnormal, says Scher. Heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods — including light “spotting” — and missing a period should all be reported to a doctor, he advises.
You’re Sleeping With More Than One Person
If you’re single and sexually active with multiple partners, are having an affair, or suspect your partner is having one, sharing that uber-personal information with your gyno can be, well, awkward. But keep in mind that your doctor isn’t there to judge you . Your gyno needs to know that pertinent information so they can make sure you’re using the best methods to both prevent sexually transmitted infections and an unwanted pregnancy.
” number of sexual partners isn’t anything to be embarrassed about,” says Dr. Nathan. Adds Dr. Dweck: “It’s important to know that in general gynecologistsespecially ones who have been in practice for a whileare there to do a job and not judge anything.”
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Using Feminine Hygiene Products To Smell Good Down There
Dont even bother grabbing that vaginal wash that promises to make your nether regions smell like daisies and wildflowers. Gynecologists do not recommend douching or using feminine deodorant sprays as they can destroy your vaginas natural bacterial flora and increase your risk for infections. Ditching the douche is one of the main things your vagina wishes it could tell you.
Your Menstrual Cycle Has Changed
If your old reliable cycle has started to shift by a couple of days you may worry that something is wrong, but period changes are more common than you’d think. “I have patients coming in all of the time saying, ‘I have always had a five-day period and now I have a three-day or a seven-day period,'”Leah Millheiser, director of the female sexual medicine program at Stanford University Medical Center, M.D., tells SELF. But what’s “normal” for your period can change over time.
Anything from stress to weight fluctuations to hormonal changes can trigger this. However if your period becomes really irregular or you’re skipping periods, get checked out by your gyno to rule out a possible health problem, such as PCOS.
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Should You Remove Pubic Hair Before A Pelvic Exam
Everyone is free to make their own choices about how their pubic area looks, and this doesnt affect the procedure of a pelvic exam itself.
The decision has more to do with aesthetics than health. Pubic hair doesnt interfere with the examination or affect test results.
When preparing for an appointment, youre free to do whatever is most comfortable for you personally.
Intestinal gas formation is a natural process of the human body. During a pelvic exam, the health care provider will press on the stomach, which may sometimes lead to gas.
This is absolutely normal and part of a health care providers daily routine.
Avoiding foods that cause excessive gas before the appointment can help.
Some common gassy foods include legumes, dairy, grains, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, apples, peaches, pears, prunes, onions, candy, and chewing gum.
Having an empty bladder can also result in a more comfortable exam.
Continuous gas formation and bloating may be a symptom of ovarian disorders, so be sure to tell the gynecologist about it.
Pelvic exams are an important part of maintaining overall health. Lots of people feel nervous before the appointment, but a little planning and preparation can help ensure its a comfortable experience. Be honest with the health care provider, and feel free to ask any questions you may have.
Its Harder For Male Gynecologists To Find Jobs
Men may have the upper hand in certain fields, but thats not the case when it comes to being an OB-GYN. In addition to many patients feeling uncomfortable with receiving care from a male doctor, it can often be harder to land a placement as a man.
How long did it take me to find a job? It took me much longer than my female colleagues, thats certain, says one male OB-GYN.
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Habits Your Gynecologist Wants You To Stop Immediately
- Gynecologists often see hundreds of patients a year and have seen their share of habits they want them to stop.
- Canceling your appointment because of your period isn’t necessary and won’t affect the accuracy of your results.
- Screening for cervical cancer often saves lives so refusing to get tested does a lot more harm than good for your body.
When Should You See A Gynecologist For The First Time
For many teenage girls, just thinking about your first gynecology appointment is nerve-wracking. It feels like a new type of doctor’s appointment one with many unknowns about what may or may not happen during the visit.
For moms of teenagers, there are questions, too. When exactly is it time to schedule your daughter’s first appointment with a gynecologist?
“Moms will often ask me, ‘My daughter just started her period, should she come in?’ ” says Dr. Waverly Peakes, a gynecologist at Houston Methodist. “And the answer usually is no, they don’t need to come in yet. Most of the time, my recommendation for the first gynecology visit is right before going off to college.”
Whether you’re a teen or the parent of one, here’s what Dr. Peakes wants you to know about seeing a gynecologist for the first time.
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You Seek Medical Advice On The Internet
Most people think that Googling their symptoms will help them feel at ease, but if anything, it may just make you feel worse. One symptom could mean a dozen different health conditions. And the next thing you know, you’re going into a full-blown panic. Dr. Google is good for general health queries, but if you want legitimate medical advice, ask your doctor for help, not the internet.
Can You Go To The Gynecologist On Your Period
How do you feel when youre on your period? For some women, not much changes, other than having to put in tampons and the occasional bloating. For others, the symptoms can range anywhere from becoming moody and emotional to having awful cramps and headaches.
There is no one-size-fits-all description. By the same token, some women would feel comfortable going to their OB-GYN appointment while on their periods, while others would be horrified at the thought.
Personal preferences aside, should you cancel an appointment if youre on our period?
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Can A Mentally Ill Person Give Consent
Individuals with mental impairments related to illness or disability can still consent to sex but deserve special consideration. The individual must have knowledge, rationality, and voluntariness with respect to the decision to engage in specific sexual activity. If you arent sure, its best to wait until you are.
Period Problems: What They Mean And When To See The Doctor
The nicknames we give to the monthly shedding of the uterus lining reflect the troubles it brings, including spotting, heavy bleeding, and cramping. These symptoms can range from merely inconvenient to downright life-changing, depending on how frequent they are and how severe. So how do you know when to grin and bear it and when to see the doctor?
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It May Even Be A Good Time To Discuss Changes To Birth Control And Perform Certain Procedures
What if I need to have a procedure done? Is it ok to go to the gynecologist while on your period? Some procedures, like the insertion and removal of an IUD , are much easier to perform during your menstrual cycle. Plus, since you most likely are not pregnant, if you are considering starting a new birth control method, either a prescription pill or an injection, it is a good time to begin those types of birth control at the start of your menstrual cycle.
Can You Get An Annual Exam While On Your Period
While it may be possible to have inconclusive pap results while youre on your period, its also very likely that they would come out without any issues.
The reality is that we often schedule these appointments weeks in advance. Unless your period arrives every month like clockwork, its hard to figure out whether youre going to be on your period that far ahead.
About 30% of women have irregular periods, and all of them need to get regular pap tests. It would make no sense to have almost a third of the female population put off going to their gynecologist because they are experiencing one of the very things OB-GYN are experts about.
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Your Period Doesnt Stop And Start
Dr. Nguyen tells HG that a lot of women think their period stops in water and then picks up again. But thats not the case. Your period does not stop when you are in the water. The pressure from the water may slow the flow, but your period will continue when you get out of the water, she says. So if you want to protect your new bikini, dont assume you wont bleed while taking a swim or that a leak is impossible.
To Go With The Flow Or Not To Go With The Flow
That is the question your health practitioner must answer. Your annual exam may be scheduled months in advance but as the date looms near, so can your period.
Most doctors agree that the best time to undergo an exam is mid-cycle, a week or two after your period. Your breasts arent as swollen then, making exams and mammograms a little easier for your providers .
Moreover, the absence of blood makes it easier for a Pap smear to detect the possibilities of cancer, precancerous cells, infections or sexually transmitted diseases. If youre seeing a doctor because of a vaginal discharge problem, the presence of blood can also interfere with tests.
On the other hand, if your problem is irregular or heavy bleeding, your doctor may prefer to see you while youre on your period.
When its time for your appointment and that time of the month hits, call your doctors office to determine the best course of action.
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