Many women don’t realize how many things happen to them in the course of a year and how those things can affect their overall health. I have had women forget that they had surgeries or new diagnoses until I ask questions about scars and new medications. Knowing how these issues all work together is vital to keeping you safe.
Norms are also established. One woman’s “normal” period flow may be actually considered excessive when put in perspective. I can look for signs of anemia, hormonal abnormalities or reassure my patients when everything is actually normal. Unless you really spend time discussing your symptoms and comparing them to a group of normal friends and family, it may be hard to know if what you are experiencing is safe.
Say, for example, you are on birth control, but since last year, a family member was diagnosed with blood clotting disorder? Or more commonly, your blood pressure is substantially higher this year than last and you have a family history of high blood pressure. These pieces of information could easily change the type of birth control that I recommend for you. If a family member was diagnosed with colon or breast cancer, that information can change when your recommended screening should begin- often sooner than average.
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers that there is. A gynecologist should be a part of your life (the American College of Obstetricians And Gynecologists recommends that girls start seeing one at the age of 13-15, or whenever they start menstruating), but how often you see them is a highly individual question. There are certain tests that you need to get done every few years, though whether they’re done by your GP or your gynecologist depends on the specifics of their individual practice and your wishes. Pap smears should start at age 21 and be done every three years, unless a specific result indicates that they should be done more frequently or investigated ( and if you get an abnormal result, don’t panic! Be sure to read up on what the results mean, as it’s very unlikely to be full-blown cancer).
For our indian readers and also for people visiting India that are in need of gynecology service we recommend Dr. Ramya Sadaram (MBBS, DGO, PGDND, FAN), an Gynecologist in Vizag, Visakhapatnam. She is also a lactation consultant, a certified childbirth educator, and clinical nutritionist. Dr. Ramya Sadaram received both of her medical degrees, MBBS & DGO from the prestigious Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam. She has a particular interest in childbirth education and the clinical management of labor. Dr. Ramya prides herself on the attention and dedication she provides to her patients.