5 Conversations to Have With Your Gynecologist

Many women dread getting the reminder that it’s time to see the gynecologist. It can be an uncomfortable and invasive experience. And, if you’ve had a bad experience or didn’t connect with your provider, you might dread it even more. Whatever you do, don’t avoid going due to discomfort. Having regular gynecologist visits is crucial in supporting feminine health.

Find a physician you connect with and complete your annual exams. It can literally save your life. If you don’t like your doctor, find another one. You are the best person to advocate for your health. If there’s something you don’t like about their personality or bedside manner, switch. Keep reading to learn the necessary conversations you need to have with your gynecologist.

1. Pregnancy Prevention

One important conversation to have with your gynecologist is your desire and timing for wanting children. If you are actively avoiding pregnancy, talk with your provider about birth control options. Depending on how long you want to prevent it, they can help you decide what’s the best option for you. They will also take into account other factors when helping you to choose the best option for your health needs.

Do you have any medical concerns that make it where added estrogen hormones put you at risk? Do you have a family history of stroke and heart disease? Will you remember to take a pill at the same time each day, or is the shot better for you? Find the option that works best for you and then you.

If you can’t get an appointment with your gynecologist, there are other options to get birth control. You can set up a convenient birth control subscription online. After answering a few questions, an online medical professional can send you a prescription if deemed appropriate. Then your method of choice can be delivered conveniently right to your home.

2. Managing Periods

Though many think of birth control as a pregnancy prevention tool alone, it can also help with other health concerns. If your menstruation is heavy and impacts your life in a negative way, talk to your doctor. There are different birth control options and can lighten your periods. Some methods even help with massive cramps.

If you’ve noticed a change in your cycle, talk to your provider as well. This could be situations  such as menstruation getting much longer or heavier or skipping periods. Big changes, like cramps that affect your day-to-day activities, could be a sign of a more serious issue. You might want to ask about endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome. Seek relief and clarity if your period is negatively impacting you. 

3. STI Protection

Often, the greatest concern in a heterosexual relationship seems to be avoiding unplanned pregnancy. That’s definitely an important aspect of your reproductive health, but other factors are necessary to discuss as well. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can have a huge impact on your life regardless of sexual orientation.

If you’re sexually active, be honest with your provider. Tell them if you’re being safe and how many partners you have. They might recommend a STI panel to test for any infections. Understanding your status is important for your sexual health and that of your partners. If you worry you might have an STI, talk to your gynecologist and seek treatment.

4. Breast Health

A gynecologist cares for your entire reproductive health system, which includes breast health. During a regular annual exam, your gynecologist performs a breast exam, palpating to ensure they don’t feel any concerning lumps. During this portion of the exam, be honest with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Breast cancer is most treatable when detected early. If you have been experiencing any pain or feel lumps, tell your physician. They can examine it more closely for you. In some cases, they might suggest a mammogram or two or even take a biopsy. Never feel silly asking to have their opinion; they will never be upset with you if it turns out to be nothing.

5. Bumps and Odors

Though it can be embarrassing, talk to your doctor if you notice a vaginal odor. They have seen it all, and it’s good to get it checked out. If your smell has changed, it could be a sign of infection. Sometimes the odor can accompany an itch as well. Yeast infections can be painful, but treatments can help clear them up and reduce additional health issues.

Changes in bumps or textures to your genitals can also cause concern. If your labia is swollen or you notice a growth, talk to your doctor. Sometimes lymph nodes swell with hormone shifts or you might also have a pimple or infected hair. It could be a sign of a more troubling situation. Get it checked out in case it’s genital warts or something worse.

There are no silly questions when it comes to feminine health. Much of the female reproductive organs can’t be easily seen. Rely on your gynecologist and your annual exam to keep you healthy. They would rather you ask about something that is concerning, rather than ignoring it. It’s much easier to treat and prevent issues early.

Have open and honest conversations with your gynecologist. Be a strong advocate for yourself. Doing so can literally save your life.