We know there’s a lot of conflicting information out there about how often you should see your gynecologist to make sure you’re healthy “down there” and everywhere in between. Our OB/GYN experts at Dr. Rogers Centers in San Antonio, Texas, set the record straight in this blog post.
How often should you see a gynecologist?
The general rule of thumb is once a year for women between the ages of 21 and 29. You’ll get a pelvic and breast exam, as well as a Pap smear to look for cervical cancer or precancerous cells. We can also test for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a risk factor for cervical cancer; renew or change your birth control; and test for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
As you get older, we will still examine you yearly, but may only do a Pap smear every three years if your previous results came back negative.
Women at different stages of life have different healthcare needs. Here are a few examples.
Stage of life
If you’re ready to start a family and are trying to get pregnant, you’ll need to stop taking any birth control you may be on. We can help you with family planning, answer any questions you may have, and provide pregnancy tests when that time comes.
We can also help middle aged women who are approaching menopause and suffering from severe hot flashes or other symptoms.
Please remember, there’s no need to wait for your annual exam to get the services and care you need. We can prescribe medication for a variety of health conditions, do blood tests and ultrasounds in the comfort of our office, and help you look and feel your best.
Sometimes, problems arise that need our medical attention sooner rather than later. These include:
- Painful intercourse or other sexual dysfunction
- Heavy or painful periods, or lack of a period
- Abdominal pain that could indicate an ovarian cyst or fibroids
- Vaginal infections with itchiness, discharge, or a foul odor
If you have multiple sex partners and have unprotected sex, you should come in for a confidential STD screening. If any of these tests come back positive, we can get you on the proper treatment so you remain healthy for years to come.