How Often Should You Have a Gynecological Exam – Signs To Visit a Gynecologist today
To all women out there – taking care of our health should be on our priority list. In this context, every woman should pay special attention to the preservation of her reproductive system. For this purpose, regular visits to the gynecologist are crucial.
When should you visit a gynecologist for the first time?
The first gynecological examination creates big discomfort and fear.
The first visit to a gynecologist may be in adolescence (between 11 and 18 years), during the period when sexual maturation begins. At this age, young girls can get advice on how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and learn more about contraception. The first visit does not need to include an examination.
However, in adolescence, the reasons for mandatory treatment by a gynecologist are:
- Delayed puberty – without changes in breast tissue before the age of 14.
- Delayed menarche – without menstrual cycles before the age of 16.
- Painful menstrual cycles, especially if they interfere with daily activities.
How is the gynecological examination performed?
The examination begins with a conversation. The gynecologist is informed about the data important for a woman’s gynecological condition.
The conversation is followed by an external and internal examination of the genitals. After that, vaginal swabs and cervical swabs are taken for tests.
This examination should not be painful, and if the pain is present, the woman needs to report it to the doctor. It is good to be relaxed during the examination otherwise, the muscles of the small pelvis can be tense. In that case, the examination can be a bit painful and difficult.
The examination is scheduled a few days after the cessation of menstruation. Then, 24 hours before the examination, a woman should not have sexual intercourse. Creams and other care products should not be placed near the genital area, as they may affect test results.
Why is a regular visit to a gynecologist important?
A study conducted between the years 2000 to 2015, showed a large percentage of women who go to gynecological examinations regularly decreased.
One of the main reasons for regular check-ups is the high mortality from cervical cancer.
The first phase of this disease is mostly asymptomatic. 2 out of 3 women report to a gynecologist for the first time when the disease has already progressed. At this stage, treatment is difficult with an uncertain outcome.
That is why gynecological examinations are important at least once a year. They are also significant for the early detection of various other infections, especially those that affect fertility.
What signs indicate an urgent visit to the gynecologist?
- Pelvic pain
Pelvic pain is usually one of the most common symptoms of gynecological conditions. It can occur before and during menstruation, while you are ovulating, or it can be a symptom of other unrelated health problems.
- Irregular menstruation or absence
Many factors can lead to delayed or absent menstruation. The most common are significant changes in weight, stress, hormonal contraception, and hormonal imbalance.
If menstruation is delayed or absent due to hormonal imbalance, you can undergo treatment that will normalize your menstrual cycle.
- Painful menstruation
Pain that occurs during the menstrual cycle is called dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is a mild pain during the period that can be resolved with the help of painkillers.
Secondary dysmenorrhea, however, is severe pain caused by conditions such as uterine fibroids.
- Bleeding between cycles
It can happen after an intimate relationship or without any reason. If it becomes often, it is worth noting that many dangerous conditions can cause bleeding.
- Excessive and abnormal vaginal discharge
Vaginal secretion is a normal part of the menstrual cycle. It is clear or white, with no noticeable odor. If it changes color, smell, and texture, it can be a sign of infection.
- Pain during intimate intercourse
Painful sensations during intimate intercourse can occur due to various pathological conditions of the genital organs.
In addition to these, many other conditions affect the female reproductive system and cause painful intercourse. Timely and proper treatment can help you reduce discomfort and improve the quality of your intimate life.
In general, it is important to pay attention to your health and visit a gynecologist after noticing unusual symptoms.
After all, it is always better to prevent than to cure.