Five Questions to Ask Your Ob/Gyn
Being proactive is a huge part of staying healthy. For women, the mission to stay healthy includes annual visits to the office of their Obstetrician/Gynecologist. While scheduling and keeping these appointments is key, being vocal during your time with your Ob/Gyn is also very important.
Some women don’t know what questions may be worth asking and some are afraid to talk about intimate topics. The Ob/Gyn is ready to discuss any topic a patient needs to address and women should feel encouraged to ask questions rather than stay silent. Speaking up saves lives.
5 Questions to ask during your Ob/Gyn visit
1. What is a Pap test and why do I need one? / What is a pelvic exam and why do I need one?
A Pap test or Pap smear is used to look for changes in the cells of your cervix. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health advises that all women age 21 or older have a Pap test once every two years. There may be reasons your Ob/Gyn recommends you have the test more often, space it out to every 3 years or stop at a certain age. It is important to talk to your doctor about your particular health needs.
2. What is human papillomavirus (HPV) and how can I protect myself against it?
There are actually about 40 types of HPV, which can be spread through sex. HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer. Your Ob/Gyn is the best source to answer your questions about HPV, including prevention, discovery and treatment.
3. How can I protect myself against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and HIV?
There are more than 20 types of sexually transmitted diseases. The health problems they can cause are often more serious in women than in men. Your Ob/Gyn can explain how you can reduce your risk of getting STDs and what it means to practice “safe sex.”
4. What should I know about birth control?
There are many types of birth control on the market today. Some types of birth control help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and some do not. Therefore, it is very important that you speak to your Ob/Gyn regarding what method of birth control may be right for you.
5. What is a mammogram and how often do I need one?
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that looks for signs that cancer may be present. While there is no debate that early detection of breast cancer saves lives, there is some discussion about when to begin regular mammogram screenings. The majority of guidelines from medical and cancer organizations agree that beginning at age 40, women with average risk should have a mammogram every 1-2 years. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women 40-49 talk to their doctor about the benefits and risks of routine mammography before age 50.
The Women’s and Children’s Services Program at Riverside Community Hospital includes a team of dedicated Obstetrician/Gynecologists who are available to answer all of your Obstetrics and Gynecology-related questions.
To find a physician who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology or to obtain a referral, call Riverside Community Hospital’s free Consult-A-Nurse ® Healthcare Referral line at (951) 788-3000.