An overview of what procedures and treatments fall under gynecology services
Obstetrics and gynecology services often get clumped together when referring to the doctor who assists with women’s health matters. However, obstetrics and gynecology, though pertaining to reproductive health, have different focuses.
Obstetrics is the focus of pregnancy, childbirth, and the period after giving birth known as post-partum. Gynecology, on the other hand, is focused on female reproductive health. This is a huge, expansive field so this an overview, a survey, of the many gynecology services you can expect from the gynecologist of your choosing.
Regular well-woman exams
Annual well-woman exams are yearly medical check-ups with your gynecologist. They generally consist of a review of your medical history and health, as well as various screenings like breast exams, blood work, pelvic exam and Pap smear. It’s also standard to be offered testing for STIs, though you can also request these tests yourself.
These types of annual exams are an important way to build a relationship of trust and understanding with your gynecologist. Gynecology services are often specific to concerns or needs, whereas the annual exam allows for space to ask your doctor about any concerns, doubts, or lingering questions you may think are not pressing enough for a specific appointment.
Diagnosis and treatment of gynecological problems
For the times when you are experiencing gynecological complications, any OBGYN should be able to address and treat you within their umbrella of gynecology services. There is no need to feel stress or anxiety because you are experiencing discomfort. A good gynecologist should be able to listen to what you are experiencing and take the right diagnostic steps to properly treat you.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, make sure you make an appointment to see your gynecologist. What may start as mild and seem inconsequential can worsen if left unattended to. An OBGYN practice will have gynecology services to be able to properly address:
- Swelling, burning, itching, soreness, or redness in the vaginal area
- Genital lumps or sores
- Significant changes in vaginal discharge quantity, odor or color
- Pain or burning while urinating
- Frequent, urgent need to urinate
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
- Pelvic pain or pressure other than menstrual cramps
- Unusually heavy or uncomfortable periods
- Pain during sex
Gynecology services should include treating cervical changes
While Pap smears are part of annual well-woman exams, many times the results will show a healthy cervix. However, for many women, the results may indicate changes in the cervical cells. Identifying, testing, and managing a change in cervical cells helps detect potential evolution into cancerous cells. That is why it’s so important to have a gynecologist you trust so that you can have supportive and attentive care.
Birth control education, options and care
There are many options for female contraceptives. Your doctor will be able to have an informed discussion with you about your options. This can be anywhere from IUD insertion to oral contraceptives or implants. Whatever you are curious about and want to pursue, your gynecologist will be able to provide the proper education to inform your ultimate decision.
Regardless of your needs, gynecologists are there to help you live your most healthy, stress and anxiety-free self you can.
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite