6 Important Questions to Ask a Gynecologist

Finding a doctor

We all know the importance of routine check ups with a physician; for women, annual visits to the gynecologist are equally important. Your annual appointments are an opportunity for you to share any questions or concerns you have. This is why it’s important to find a doctor you can speak openly with and not to be shy when you pay a visit. Coming up with a list of questions to ask a gynecologist before your visit can help prevent clamming up during the appointment. To help you prepare, here are 6 potential questions to ask a gynecologist during your next visit:

  • What screenings should I be having and how often?

    Starting in your 20s, women should be having routine screenings and tests. Cancer is one of the top 10 leading causes of death, falling just behind heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for men and women. Annual Pap smears and clinical breast exams every three years are important to detect cervical or breast cancer. After 40, annual mammograms should be added to the schedule. If you’re considered high risk, your gynecologist may suggest you begin mammograms earlier.

    As many as 80 million Americans have heart disease. Having a cholesterol screening every five years beginning in your 20s is important. You should also talk with your doctor about having regular blood pressure and blood sugar evaluations. These tests are also good questions to ask a physician or cardiologist about during your next visit.
  • Can you show me how to do a proper breast self-exam?

    Going along with the topic about early cancer detection above, making sure you know how to properly examine your breasts is vitally important. Most doctors will recommend monthly self-exams but your gynecologist may feel a different time frame would be better for you. Make sure you have your gynecologist to show you the proper technique and give you pointers on what to watch out for.

  • Is there a better birth control for me?

    This may or may not be pertinent to you, but even if you’re successfully using a certain type of birth control, it’s important to explore other options. Just because the birth control method you’ve been using has worked so far, doesn’t mean it’s the best one for you. Whether you’re using the pill – – the various hormone levels in the different pills available can make it so some women feel better on one type than another – – or don’t want to take any medication at all, your OBGYN can help you determine the best pregnancy prevention method for you.

  • When should I start planning for children?

    Regardless of how far away you feel you are from motherhood, it’s never a bad idea to ask your doctor about planning. Infertility is a far greater issue than most realize. Infertility treatment is also very expensive. Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to explore your options and make any adjustments to your lifestyle now.

  • What should I know about giving birth? And what is your birthing philosophy?

    Another question that may or may not apply. If you’re pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, make sure you’re as familiar with your gynecologist’s philosophies around giving birth as he or she is with yours. Important questions to ask an OBGYN before or during pregnancy include: What are his or her views on birth plans and interventions? What about pain management during labor? Only around 1% of women will give birth without experiencing any pain. It’s important to make sure you and your obgyn are on the same page before the special day comes.

  • Am I normal?

    This may sound like a crazy question to ask, but it can be very important. If you feel anything strange may be going on with your body, it’s vital to address those concerns with your doctor. Anything from heavy periods to different smells to painful sex or lack of sex drive. No concern is a wrong concern to have, and this is the time to have them addressed.

    These are by no means the only questions to ask a gynecologist; they’re merely mean to help you gather some ideas. The most important thing to remember when it comes to questions to ask a gynecologist is no question is a bad question.

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