When it comes to gynecologic health, many women assume that regular periods and no adverse symptoms mean they are perfectly healthy. While this can be the case, there are several reasons why you shouldn’t skip your yearly exam with your OBGYN.
Early Cancer Detection
According to the American Cancer Society, over 14,000 women die of ovarian cancer every year. While it is normally diagnosed in women of retirement age, it can happen at any age. Long-term survival statistics point to early diagnosis as one of the most crucial factors for successful remission.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and it will often crop up in areas your general practitioner doesn’t often examine. Your OBGYN may be inspecting your breasts, vulva, inner thighs and buttocks during your exam. Early detection and treatment of skin cancer is essential for survival and for avoiding massive scarring during treatment.
Addressing Hormonal Issues
Even if you’re pretty sure that those hot flashes are perimenopause or that your thickening facial hair is just your genetics, it’s always best to make sure. Your OBGYN can run a simple hormone panel with a blood test to make sure your hormones are at the proper levels. If they aren’t, finding out why and correcting the issue is integral to your bone density, fertility, energy levels and overall health.
Establish a Relationship Before Pregnancy
If you ever plan to become pregnant, it’s a good idea to already have an established relationship with an OBGYN. The provider will already be familiar with your health and your body in its non-pregnant state, making it easier to detect changes.
If you have problems conceiving or are concerned about body changes during pregnancy, your prior relationship with your OBGYN will make it easy to ask questions and feel comfortable during your pregnancy.
Early Detection of Reproductive Problems
The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that over five million American women have Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which can lead to infertility, acne, weight gain and diabetes. However, some women with symptoms such as irregular periods or facial hair growth shrug them off and don’t seek treatment. This can lead to infertility. The same can also be said about issues such as uterine polyps, fibroids and endometriosis.
A regular menses and no discomfort in your pelvis doesn’t mean you can skip your appointment with an OBGYN. To ensure your future health and fertility, you should be examined once a year. Far too often, women delay seeking treatment for what could have been easily solved issues. If it’s been longer than a year since your last exam, contact South Lake Obstetrics & Gynecology today to make an appointment.