When Should Women Visit a Gynecologist?

A woman needs a gynecologist right from the time she gets her first period till old age. As the girl goes from just having started her periods to the hormone changes of adolescence, to the child bearing age group and advances towards menopause and then post menopausal age group, she has unique problems that require attention.

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Young girls in their teens and 20s have irregular menstruation problems, weight gain and excessive facial hair. They should seek help as any of these problems may be a sign of a hormonal problem like polycystic ovarian syndrome, thyroid or prolactin disorders. Many blood and genetic disorders first manifest as menstrual problems.

Girls in their 20s who have heavy or painful periods must have a gynecological checkup since in this age group, there is a high chance of girls developing fibroids or suffer from Endometriosis, which may result in long term harm to the womb and future fertility problems. Girls in the 20 tend to be sexually active which is why they must seek contraceptive related advice from a gynecologist. Each individual’s requirement is different and the doctor is the best person to address the problem with the right contraceptive. Unplanned pregnancies are common in this age group. Early pregnancies can be terminated by abortion pills while after seven weeks, a suction evacuation may have to be administered. Abortion pills should be taken only under the supervision of a gynecologist.

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Prior to planning a pregnancy, a couple should ideally visit a doctor for tests. In a planned pregnancy immediately after missing her period, a woman should consult a gynecologist to rule out an ectopic pregnancy, do tests and start appropriate supplements Regular antenatal care through pregnancy is important.
In their 30s, women need regular gynecological checkup, contraceptive advice, annual PAP smears and find out if there are any menstrual problems to rule out fibroids, Endometriosis etc. Women who find it difficult to conceive after a year of trying, should seek help from an infertility specialist soon and not waste time till they get older.

The 40s are important for a woman to be in regular touch with her gynecologist because cancer screening tests need to start at this age. Regular PAP smears should continue. Once in a year, mammography to check for breast cancer and sonography to check for uterine and ovarian cancers are important. Calcium supplementation and other advice is given by the gynecologist at this age. Many women suffer from menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood changes, weight gains and should seek help for this.

The 50s bring their own share of issues for women. Osteoporosis or bone weakness need to be checked. Many women get stress urinary continence or inability to control urine while coughing or sneezing. This can be easily treated with medication or surgery. Problems of vaginal dryness, prolapsed of uterus, post menopausal bleeding all need attention. Some women may need Hormone Replacement Therapy for various reasons and this can be addressed well by a gynecologist.

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