Many of us have heard of obstetricians or Ob-Gyns, as they are called in short. What do they do and when should you see them?
Let’s find out.
Who is an Obstetrician?
A gynecologist is someone who handles reproductive health while an obstetrician is someone who cares for a patient during their pregnancy and just after birth. Since the two overlap each other, most doctors who specialize in this field are called Ob-Gyn.
An Ob-Gyn handles the following health conditions for women
- Birth control
- Fertility issues
- Postnatal health
- Urinary tract problems
- Menstrual problems
- Prenatal care
- Acne, weight gain/loss, and other sudden changes
- Sexual problems
- Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Emotional issues, alcohol, drugs, smoking, suicidal thoughts, and more
- Providing parental support and education to handle children and teenagers as they go through body changes
When to Visit an Ob-Gyn?
You can visit an Ob-Gyn when you’re pregnant, looking to get pregnant, have issues with your menstrual cycle, or if you think you’re experiencing pain or any other problem in your reproductive system.
A gynecologist can treat a patient at any age. ACOG recommends starting to visit a gynecologist from the age of 13 to 15 years. Though some people may consider this to be early, it always helps to identify and iron out issues right at the beginning. It can also help young girls to know what to expect as their body changes and they can get their doubts clarified as well.
What to Expect in the First Visit?
If you’re visiting someone for gynecological care for the first time, it can feel a bit awkward as she may have to examine a sensitive area to understand the problem. Also, during the first visit, your doctor may ask a lot of questions to understand your background and medical history. Some of these questions may seem personal, you can rest assured that they are asked only to provide better care for you.
In all, the first visit may seem a bit awkward, but eventually, you’ll get used to trusting your Ob-Gyn provider. Also, feel free to tell the doctor or their office if you’re not comfortable answering certain questions.
How to prepare for the first visit?
Visiting your obstetrician for the first time may seem a bit overwhelming, so be prepared to answer questions about your health. Also, depending on your situation, your obstetrician may do a general and/or a pelvic exam.
A general exam is where your doctor checks your height, weight, and blood pressure. Any other specific health problems are also checked during this general exam.
A pelvic exam, on the other hand, involves looking at your genital parts to check for any abnormalities. Your doctor may even examine the internal organs by inserting her gloved hand inside your private parts. Sometimes, a pap test will also be done and this is nothing but collecting a sample of cells from the cervix region.
Though it may take some time to get used to your obstetrician, you’ll eventually build the trust, and will start feeling comfortable.