Women in their 20s and 30s have a lot of demands on them. Making sure your physical health is under control is the best way to handle the demands made of you every day. If you think you feel pretty good so you don’t need a doctor, consider that many chronic illnesses – such as high blood pressure – begin with little or no symptoms.
You might also think you don’t need to see an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) until you’re ready to have a baby. But the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that reproductive health visits begin at ages 13-15. Many family medicine doctors and pediatricians help young women navigate the transition into adulthood. Even so, young women can feel awkward talking about their periods or may not know what questions to ask.
Why see an OB/GYN?
There are many reasons why young women may want to see an OB/GYN – pregnancy, pelvic infections, ovarian cysts, irregular periods, infertility, pain with sex, urinary incontinence or pelvic floor dysfunction especially after having a baby. Another reason is to talk about getting the HPV vaccine if you weren’t vaccinated as a child. HPV can cause cervical cancer and genital warts, as well as head and neck cancers.
Another topic to discuss with an OB/GYN is contraception. If you choose to use contraception, it’s important to find the right option for you. Basic questions to discuss with your gynecologist are:
- When do you want to have a baby?
- If you could describe an ideal period, what would it be like?
- Are you good at taking pills daily? If not, you might want to consider a vaginal ring or injection.
- And everything else – medical problems, family history, previous birth control, and so on.
There are also medical conditions that mean you cannot take certain forms of contraception. These are all things that are important to discuss with your doctor, including what side effects there might be.
If you have questions about seeing an OB/GYN or would like to make an appointment, call Women’s Health Specialists at 270-781-0075. Learn more at MedCenterHealth.org.