By Kristen Carmichael, MD
Resolutions are made at the beginning of every new year, and a lot of people tend to put health-related goals on their list of what they would like to achieve. Annual physical exams are one of the ways women can maintain their New Year’s resolutions. More specifically, having an annual women’s health check-up with an OB/GYN is a great way for women to monitor their health and well-being, and ensure they are being treated properly for any conditions that may arise throughout their lifetime.
There are multiple reasons why seeing an OB/GYN should be a goal for you during 2018. Whether you want advice on waiting to start a family or if you are ready to have children right away, an OB/GYN can guide you through a wide-variety of women’s health issues, including those completely unrelated to child-bearing or pregnancy prevention.
Let’s take a look at 18 reasons why it is important for women to see an OB/GYN in 2018.
(1) It may not be common knowledge that OB/GYNs can administer their own vaccinations. You can actually get vaccines from your women’s health physician for human papillomavirus (HPV), the flu, and other viruses/conditions.
(2) Your OB/GYN can also help with weight management issues and discuss options of diet and exercise that are best tailored to your individual physical fitness level.
(3) If you have any issues with vaginal itching, dryness, discharge, or odor, these are all medical conditions that your OB/GYN will know about and can help you with proper treatment.
(4) Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in women due to bacteria getting into the urethra after sexual intercourse. Your OB/GYN can provide you with tips on preventing UTIs and provide you with medication to help your system rid your body of the infection.
(5) Cancer screening can be done during an OB/GYN visit. Learn about how to test for and decrease your chance of ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancers as well as colon cancer and breast cancer, which is the second most common cancer in American women.
(6) You can also have your annual health screening conducted with an OB/GYN. They can test for high blood pressure, diabetes, and even bone density if it is something that applies to you.
(7) Many women battle with depression, and this is something your OB/GYN can discuss with you as you talk through the severity of your symptoms and how often they occur.
The Menstrual Cycle
(8) Problems with menstrual periods are another issue you can always discuss with your OB/GYN. Your doctor can educate you about what your first period will be like if you haven’t had one yet, ways to improve heavy or irregular periods, and changes to look for during your monthly period that may be abnormal.
(9) Your OB/GYN can also provide you with remedies for painful periods.
(10) Your physician is also a great resource for discussing premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. These symptoms vary among women, and you can talk with your doctor about solutions that work best for you.
(11) The topic of sex can be openly discussed with your OB/GYN. Your physician can explain what happens during intercourse, what may be causing pain during intercourse, and how hormonal changes can affect discomfort during sexual activity.
(12) Your OB/GYN can also discuss the ways to have safe and healthy sexual relationships with your significant other.
(13) Preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is very important. You should discuss with your doctor what steps you can take to lower your risk of becoming infected with an STI or with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
(14) Your OB/GYN can also administer a test for STIs and HIV if you are sexually active and would like to be tested.
Preventing Pregnancy and Getting Pregnant
(15) Seeing an OB/GYN gives you the opportunity to discuss birth control options with your physician. OB/GYNs can help you determine which is the best method for you and your body, whether it be a pill, a patch, an implant, an intrauterine device (IUD), or another option.
(16) When you are ready to get pregnant, it’s important to discuss with your physician what steps to take to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy.
(17) Your OB/GYN can also conduct an official medical test to determine if you are pregnant.
Menopause and Post-Menopause
(18) An OB/GYN physician can also help you with the challenges you are experiencing during the menopausal and perimenopausal stages of your life. Vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and irregular bleeding are all issues that should be discussed with your physician. There are a variety of treatment options available to ease these common problems.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to make seeing an OB/GYN in 2018 a top priority on your list of resolutions for a healthier 2018. Make sure you get your annual exam scheduled with your OB/GYN. If you do not have one, Dr. Kristen Carmichael at the Medical & Surgical Clinic of Irving is accepting new patients and is happy to welcome you into her office.
About Dr. Carmichael
Dr. Kristen Carmichael is an OB/GYN with the Medical & Surgical Clinic of Irving. After completing her undergraduate degree at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, she went on to attend medical school at the University of Texas in Houston. She has been in private practice since 2004. She is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Medical Association, the Texas Medical Association, and many other organizations. Dr. Carmichael has been awarded the Best OB/GYN in Las Colinas, Coppell, and Irving and has been recognized as a Mom-Approved Doctor by DFW Child. She loves helping her patients achieve their best health and is most satisfied when they feel educated, engaged and empowered in their healthcare.