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What to Know About a Holistic Gynecologist

You've probably heard the term holistic wellness; it refers to a health approach that considers the entire body rather than focusing on symptoms that affect only one body area. Holistic doctors consider a patient's overall physical health, mental health, and lifestyle factors when diagnosing illness, and they frequently use alternative therapies such as herbal remedies to help them heal.

Gynos, by definition, treat conditions affecting the vagina, uterus, ovaries, and breasts, dealing with everything from infections to fertility issues to sex issues. But, would seeing a holistic ob-gyn instead of a conventional doctor be better for your reproductive and sexual health?

What makes a holistic gynecologist different?

One significant difference is in treatment. A traditional ob-gyn uses pharmaceutical drugs, synthetic hormones, and surgical procedures to treat women's health issues. Botanical medicine, nutrition, and mindfulness are some of the treatments used in holistic gynecology.

They employ techniques that work with the body's natural processes and rhythms. These specialists consider trauma, illness, and injuries, among other things, and attempt to restore balance and connection rather than severing it or giving people drugs that make it difficult to get back on track.

Why do some women turn to a holistic gynecologist?

When their conventional healthcare provider fails to meet their needs, patients frequently turn to a holistic approach. Others simply live a holistic lifestyle and want to maintain it by contacting a gynecologist. Patients, too, want to be heard. They are well aware that their doctor will be spending a significant amount of time with them from the start.

What is an office visit like?

A holistic gynecologist will try to make each appointment as pleasant and comfortable as possible, as opposed to the rushed, 10-minute window that many doctors give to their patients. They also spend an hour or two with each patient. They will begin by discussing everything in order to make you feel at ease. They don't rush people through their exams; instead, they give them the time they require.

What is the most common reason women choose a holistic gynecologist?

The most common concern is infertility. Many patients, however, come to holistic gynecologists with chronic pelvic pain, which mainstream medicine frequently treats with antidepressants and pain relievers. Instead of just treating the pain, a holistic gynecologist examines the patient's entire lifestyle, addressing issues such as stress, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases. All of these factors could be contributing to chronic pain, which is a serious issue that can make it difficult to enjoy sex.

Do holistic gynecologists prescribe drugs?

Some patients who visit holistic gynecologists are already taking two or three medications. Having said that, a holistic gynecologist makes deliberate decisions about which medications are required for the patient. If a person only requires routine prescriptions, they may not be the right doctor for them.

What about prescription birth control? 

Many holistic gynecologists believe that patients have the right to make their own reproductive decisions and are opposed to imposing their personal beliefs on their patients. Instead of telling their patients which path to take, doctors inform them of potential side effects and risks. So, if they choose to take the pill, they do so with true, informed consent.

Is a holistic gynecologist covered by insurance?

Given the amount of time they devote to their patients, most holistic gynecologists do not accept insurance. To save money, many people will keep in touch with their primary care physician (who is most likely covered by their health insurance policy) to schedule a birth control refill or Pap test.

What about credentials? 

A holistic gynecologist, like a traditional gynecologist, must be certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Aside from that, they should have board certification in integrative holistic medicine and, ideally, some experience in osteopathy or naturopathic medicine.

If you plan on attending one, keep in mind that it is critical that they recognize the emotional, spiritual, and psychological aspects of women's health. Look for a holistic gynecologist who appreciates this aspect.

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