Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by Touro Infirmary.
Most moms and moms–to-be are quite familiar with the most common reasons to see an OB/GYN: your annual exam, contraception and family planning, and of course prenatal care.
But what are some of the other reasons and common “problems” when you should consult your OB/GYN?
Menstrual irregularities can be caused by a variety of conditions, including pregnancy, hormonal imbalances, infections, malignancies, diseases, trauma, and certain medications. This includes infrequent or irregular periods, heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, and menstrual pain. There are a wide variety of factors that can cause menstrual irregularities from medical conditions to acquired conditions such as stress and eating disorders, to more serious medical conditions such as tumors. Bottom line, if you are experiencing noticeable or concerning changes in your menstruation, see your doctor to rule our anything serious.
Abdominal pain is experienced by everyone from time to time and symptoms can range from mild to severe. Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing the following symptoms:
- severe pain
- bloody stools
- persistent nausea and vomiting
- weight loss
- significant discomfort during menses
- severe tenderness when you touch your abdomen
- swelling of the abdomen.
Otherwise, make an appointment with your doctor if your abdominal pain worries you or lasts more than a few days.
Vaginal symptoms including: any unusual or persistent vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, redness, sores, swelling, or unusual odor. Pain during intercourse should also be discussed with your medical provider.
Problems with Your Breasts
Get checked by your gynecologist if you experience:
- more than just discomfort in your breasts during your periods
- You feel a lump in your breast
- You notice discharge from your breasts
Urinary problems / leakage / blood in urine:
If you experience pain when urinating, or if blood is seen, visit your OB/GYN to determine if there is urinary tract infection or other a health concern. Also consult a doctor such as your OB/GYN if you experience urinary leakage, referred to as incontinence. There are multiple options for the management of incontinence your OBGYN may suggest.
Vaccinations can be managed and administered by your OB/GYN, including your annual flu shot, TDAP (once every 10 years and/or one dose with each pregnancy), HPV through age 26 and more.
Family Planning and Contraception
If a woman is sexually active and does not desire to conceive, she should visit an OB/GYN for birth control and family planning advice. There are many options available to women including medications, procedures, and devices.
Overall Physical Health / Annual Exam
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly urges women starting at ages 13-15 to see their OB/GYN annually. In general the physical examination will include obtaining standard vital signs, determining body mass index, palpating the abdomen and inguinal lymph nodes, and making an assessment of the patient’s overall health. Starting at the age of 21, women will have a pelvic examination and clinical tests such as pap smear performed at this time. Pelvic exam in teenagers are only recommended if there are any concerns.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
If you believe that you’ve been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease talk to your doctor. He or she can examine you and perform tests to determine if you have an STD. Treatment can cure many STDs, lessen symptoms, make it less likely for you to spread the disease and/or help you get healthy and stay healthy.
Any Other Issues / Concerns Related to Women’s Health
You know your body and what’s normal for you. Listen to your body and if something seems abnormal or out of place, make an appointment with your OB/GYN to discuss any concern’s related to women’s health.
If you are in need of an OB/GYN, Touro Infirmary’s OB/GYNs are conveniently located throughout New Orleans. Visit our online Find a Doctor search today at www.touro.com/findadoc or call (504) 897-7777 for a referral.
About Dr. Arelis Figueroa
Dr. Arelis Figueroa, a Crescent City Physicians obstetrician and gynecologist, supports her patients through pregnancy and beyond, helping new moms establish healthy practices that benefit their families. A native of Puerto Rico, she speaks Spanish and English, working with patients whose language barriers might have otherwise kept them from getting care. Dr. Figueroa’s practice is located in Metairie at 3262 Severn Ave.