A gynaecologist is a specialist doctor who works with women to maintain good reproductive health. While many people are unsure of when to see a gynaecologist, the general recommendation is simple. Most women should make regular gynaecology appointments throughout adulthood - whether they are sexually active or not. Although, more specific recommendations of when to see a gynaecologist tend to vary depending on your personal circumstances.
Here, we've put together some useful tips and advice on when to see a gynaecologist.
The first visit
Most doctors recommend that you have your first gynaecology appointment within two to three years of becoming sexually active - although you should have had an appointment by the age of 21 even if you are not yet sexually active.
The return visit
On average, you should see your gynaecologist once every year. If you're not trying to get pregnant or don't experience any reproductive issues then you'll probably need to have your appointments less frequently. Once every three years might be more appropriate in these cases - although it's always best to go off the advice of your gynaecologist. Any issues that call for more regular appointments include:
- Irregular pap smears
- Changes in your period i.e you menstrual cycle shifts becomes heavier or less frequent
-Pain and/or irritation around the genital area.
When to see a gynaecologist during the menopause
Most people are more unsure of when to see a gynaecologist once you're reproductive organs stop working. Many may assume that after the menopause you don't need to see your gynaecologist anymore. However, many experts suggest that you keep up with your appointments once every three years even after the menopause. Usually, women over 70 years old who have a long history of normal pap smears and no new sexual partners can stop attending appointments.
During the menopause, many women start to experience a change in the heaviness of their periods. The frequency of your cycle may also start to change as a result of the menopause. If you are experiencing the onset of menopause and notice any changes to your menstrual cycle, it's always best to see a gynaecologist to rule out the possibility of pregnancy.
How can you benefit from seeing a gynaecologist?
- Get a better understanding of how your body works and how you can look after it.
- Give you and your doctor a sense of what is normal for you - as this will vary from woman to woman - so you can notice any problem changes, like vaginal infections.
- Allows your doctor to spot any potential problems early so that they can be treated.
- Get to understand what a normal vaginal discharge should look like so that you have more of an idea of when there could be a problem.
- Learn how you can protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
- Get expert answers from your gynaecologist about any of the changes that might happen to your body.
If you would like to arrange an appointment with one of our highly trained and supportive gynaecologists, get in touch with our Gynecology department today.