Gynecological exams are recommended annually to ensure proper health screening, procedures, and testing. However, when it comes to visiting your OB/GYN, there are loads of misconceptions and misinformation that may discourage you from making your next appointment. But don’t let the myths fool you— there are several highly advantageous benefits to visiting your OB/GYN at least once a year.
Myths About Visiting Your OB/GYN
Are you neglecting your routine OB/GYN appointments due to inaccurate information? At Raleigh OB/GYN, we understand talking about your sexual health isn’t a favorable pastime. However, gynecologists are in this profession because they love women, health, and proactive care! Check out these common myths about visiting your OB/GYN.
You Have To Be A Certain Age To Visit Your OB/GYN
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends annual gynecological exams for women starting at the age of 21. However, young females should have their first visit between the ages of 13-15 to discuss body awareness and future options. This may include conversations regarding puberty, birth control, and safe sex.
Pap Smears Test For STIs
A common misconception is that pap smears test for sexually transmitted infections. However, a pap smear is conducted to look for any cell changes in your cervix, which may lead to cervical cancer. Although cervical cancer is often caused by human papillomavirus, which is an STD, pap smears only test for cell changes and not if you have HPV.
You Don’t Need Annual Appointments With Your OB/GYN
The focus of annual appointments includes preventative care such as Pap smears and breast exams, along with discussing any abnormal health concerns. Some issues may include irregular menstrual cycles, birth control needs, sexual health questions, the inability to wear a tampon, and others. Visiting your OB/GYN annually is important for preventative care and maintaining your overall well-being.
STD Screening Is Included In All Gynecological Exams
Although some OB/GYN providers will suggest getting STD screening based on your sexual history, not all gynecological exams include testing. Additionally, some sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia present with no symptoms at all. When it comes to your gynecological exams, even if you are symptom-free, getting STD screenings at least once a year is highly recommended.
My Gynecologist Is Going To Judge Me
We get it—talking about sex with your doctor isn’t exactly a favorable pastime. But remember, your gynecologist is there to help you, not pass judgment! That said, it is crucial to be honest with your gynecologist about your sexual past. Questions about sexual partners have a purpose and play a role in preventative care, helping to identify your risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
I Don’t Need to Visit The Gynecologist If I Only Have One Sex Partner
Many people believe that having sexual intercourse with the same partner poses little to no risk for an STD. Although this is true in some cases, visiting your OB/GYN has benefits far beyond sexual health screenings. Other reasons to set annual appointments with your OB/GYN include physical exams, breast exams, cancer screening, pelvic exams, birth control needs, and overall physical health.
Scheduling routine appointments to be evaluated by a professional who specializes in women’s health is important for maintaining your well-being. Visits can be conducted in a relaxed environment and are designed to keep you comfortable and safe from any issues that may arise. Don’t let myths about visiting your OB/GYN stand in the way of you and your health! If you have more questions, our team of physicians, nurses, and medical staff are here to help! For more information, give us a call at 919-876-8225 or request an appointment.