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3 Reasons Why Your Annual Women's Exam Is Vital

You already know how important it is to see your primary care provider for your annual exam. Going to the dentist at least once a year is another appointment you always should keep. These exams can be seen as preventative. 

The main goal is to ensure you have good physical and oral health. If your doctor detects a problem, it can be dealt with quickly. If you have a chronic condition, you can learn how to manage it. In some cases, you can head off significant troubles before they happen. As a woman, there is one more doctor's visit that needs to be a priority. Take heed of 3 reasons why our annual women's exam is vital.

1. You Need a Doctor Who Specializes in Women's Health

Your gynecologist is a physician who has an in-depth understanding of how the female body works, especially issues related to your reproductive system. When you visit your obgyn in Richmond, VA, you can put your mind at ease about unique concerns to your gender. 

This is the person you turn to for questions related to your menstrual cycle, whether it is just beginning, experiencing irregularities at any point in your life, or heading for menopause. 

Your gynecologist will work with you through pregnancy, assist you with fertility problems, and treat any sexually transmitted diseases. If the hormones related to the reproductive system are not in balance, your gynecologist can help you to correct the situation.

2. An Ounce of Prevention 

It said that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Annual exams with your gynecologist should begin either when you reach the age of 18, or you first engage in intercourse. You should continue to see a gynecologist yearly for the rest of your life. You will receive essential screenings to determine if you have any abnormalities connected to your reproductive organs. 

Your breast exam and mammogram focus on determining if you have any lumps or other issues that could indicate breast cancer. Your gynecologist will also perform an internal exam with a Pap smear a minimum of every three years. That period may extend to every five years if you are in good health. 

Once you reach the age of 66, you may no longer need to have this test searching for abnormal cells on your cervix. Your gynecologist's primary goal is to ensure your reproductive organs are healthy. 

If you have a gene that puts you at higher risk for cancers related to the female reproductive system, such as uterine, cervical, ovarian, or breast cancer, you may be required to see your gynecologist more often to monitor your female health closely.

3. Take Action if You are at Risk

Your annual visits to your gynecologist could save your life. If generations of women in your family have had women-related cancer, your gynecologist will advise you about the best ways to protect yourself. 

Genetic testing may be recommended to determine if you carry the genes that make you more likely to develop breast cancer or cancer connected to your reproductive organs. If you have the gene, you have several options. You can see your gynecologist more often for screenings that occur more than once a year.

You may be a candidate for hormone therapy or other medications that can help you to prevent cancer. In some cases, having a hysterectomy or mastectomy may be advised as the best way to protect yourself from developing this dreaded disease. Even if you do not have a history of cancer, your gynecologist will point you in the right direction for treatment options if cancer strikes.

Your gynecologist should be an essential component of your healthcare team. While your primary care physician will monitor your overall health, your gynecologist can focus on what is happening with your reproductive system. 

Be sure to contact your women's health specialist if you experience unexpected bleeding, trouble with conception, or any other concerns. If you are experiencing pain or abnormalities, do not hesitate to make an appointment. It will give you peace of mind. If you do run into a problem, you will have timely help from an expert. You have a partner who truly understands women's health.

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