Gynecology


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Gynecologists: What do they do and what should I expect?


Gynecologists are doctors who specialize in women's health, with a focus on the female reproductive system. They deal with a wide range of issues, including obstetrics, or pregnancy and childbirth, menstruation and fertility issues, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), hormone disorders, and others.

When should I see a gynecologist?


A visit to the gynecologist is recommended for annual screening and any time a woman has concerns about symptoms such as pelvic, vulvar, and vaginal pain or abnormal bleeding from the uterus.

Conditions commonly treated by gynecologists include:
  • issues relating to pregnancy, fertility, menstruation, and menopause
  • family planning, including contraception, sterilization, and pregnancy termination
  • problems with tissues that support the pelvic organs, including ligaments and muscles
  • STIs
  • polycystic ovary syndrome
  • urinary and fecal incontinence
  • benign conditions of the reproductive tract, for example, ovarian cysts, fibroids, breast disorders, vulvar and vaginal ulcers, and other non-cancerous changes
  • premalignant conditions, such as endometrial hyperplasia, and cervical dysplasia
  • cancers of the reproductive tract and the breasts, and pregnancy-related tumors
  • congenital abnormalities of the female reproductive tract
  • emergency care relating to gynecology
  • endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects the reproductive system
  • pelvic inflammatory diseases, including abscesses
  • sexual dysfunction


gynecology

What to expect?


What happens at the gynecologist's depends on the reason for the visit and the individual's situation.If it is a young woman's first visit, she may just have a chat with the doctor, get some general health information, and find out what to expect in the future.

At any visit with the gynecologist, it is worth remembering:
  • An honest account of your health concerns and lifestyle gives the gynecologist a better idea of your situation and enables them to help you more.
  • A gynecological examination, including a pap smear, may be uncomfortable, but it is not usually painful.
  • It is not necessary to wax or shave before the visit.
  • Bodily odor is natural. If it indicates a problem, the gynecologist needs to know.
  • If you have a period when the appointment is scheduled, you can still go ahead with the visit, but it may be better to postpone, unless you have symptoms that need urgent attention.
  • It is best to avoid sexual activity, using a vaginal douche, or using tampons for 2 days before a gynecological examination.
  • A patient can ask to have someone with them at the visit, either in the room or outside the door.