As we grow into womanhood, it is our duty to take care of our bodies and make regular yearly appointments with a gynecologist of our choosing. Just like a health care provider, you may need to visit different offices in order to find the right gynecologist or obstetrician for you. Having a healthy relationship with your provider will make your yearly examines feel more comfortable and will also make it easier to talk with your doctor.
Gynecologists are extremely busy doctors. Some have even quoted that they generally only have about 7-11 minutes with each patient, so getting to the core of any problems and answering all questions honestly will help the process go much smoother. It's not the most fun type of appointment, but as women we need to make sure our bodies, and our lady parts are well taken care of. Having a yearly pap smear done and getting tested for cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases is just part of the fun experience of going to these doctor appointments.
This is especially important when you have your first visit with your Obstetrician. It's not just about you anymore, but also about that wonderful baby growing inside of you. As a pregnant woman, it is definitely time to open up some of those truths that you may have withheld before your pregnancy. Every woman is different and our bodies function in different ways, but these health care providers want to make sure you are on the correct path when it comes to your health and well-being. The best thing to do is just be upfront and honest with them (there is a good chance they may know you aren't telling the whole truth anyways), instead of exhibiting some of these habits that really bother and annoy them.
15 Cancellations Due To Periods
I believe I have definitely been guilty for cancelling an appointment due to my period coming a few days earlier or later than expected. I just always assumed no one really wanted to be looking down under with period blood in the way of, what you would think, is a proper examination. However, this is completely false, and getting you're period should definitely not stop you from going to your appointment.
With advance in our technologies, obgyns have also advanced in their pap smear tests. Newer pap smear techniques allow doctor's to get accurate results even when it is that time of the month for the patient. Unless for some reason your period is extremely heavy, your doctor will recommend keeping your appointment, because it will not effect the results of your pap smear. I know it's not the most fun appointment in the world, but it is important to our health as women to get our yearly examines done, regardless of whether or not it is that time of the month.
14 Self Diagnose
One thing that obgyns really don't like is when a woman self diagnoses herself with a yeast infection or a urinary tract infection. Now I know as women we know are bodies pretty well, and if we come down with an infection we probably already know, but your doctor would much rather you make an appointment instead of trying to treat yourself.
There are tons of over the counter medications for infections, but if you have any serious concerns it is recommended to speak with your doctor first. If you decide to make an appointment but are in the middle of your own Monistat treatment, there isn't too much that your gynecologist can do. One doctor made a statement that, "We can't do anything if you've already applied the medicine , since it gets too messy for us to do an accurate exam."
When it comes to UTI's, it is ALWAYS in your best interest to get a prescription antibiotic to help fight the infection. Also, it is extremely important to take the full amount of what's prescribed, so you don't experience a repeat UTI. Just remember, if something doesn't feel right, seek medical attention!
13 When You Don't Speak Up
If you don't tell your obgyn what is going on with your body, then there is no way that they can help you. This sounds like common sense but there are a lot of women out there who aren't up front and honest with their doctors about what is going on with their bodies. Even if it seems silly, weird or gross, it is important to tell your doctor everything. One gynecologist stated, "Our responsibility is to help our patients make good health care choices for themselves. Some problems can feel embarrassing, but they are problems we see everyday." Remember that obgyns see a slew of patients on a daily basis, so most problems that arise aren't new to them and they can help you to better solve the issues you are having.
If you do have a serious concern and your doctor doesn't listen to you, I would firmly suggest asking to see another provider who is willing to help benefit your health care. Some issues can be life threatening, and if you are speaking up and your doctor is ignoring you, find one that will be there to help!
12 Apologizing For Not Grooming
One thing that really annoyed obgyns is when a patients is constantly apologizing for their lack of grooming. Whether it's their legs, bikini area, armpits, you name it, obgyns really don't care about what you do or do not shave. If you really feel uncomfortable about not shaving your nether region for your appointment, then that is up to you to decide how you want to groom yourself. But on the other end of the spectrum, your gynecologist could seriously couldn't care less.
One doctor stated, "You don't have to shave your legs or wax your vulva. I'm not paying attention to those things." What your doctor is looking for is how everything is functioning inside the V and cervix, and they really aren't looking at your outer exterior and judging you on your grooming habits. So it's okay to show up to your appointment without grooming, as long as you are taking care of your health.
11 When You Lie About Intimate Life
When your obgyn asks about your sexual history, they expect you to be upfront and honest with them. They really don't care what your personal orientation is or what kind of sex you have (vaginal, anal, oral), or how many partner you have been with or are currently with, but they do need to know the truth to provide the best health care that is right for you. It is not their job to judge you, so it's always best to just tell the truth. As one doctor stated, "We only want to help you by screening for appropriate sexually transmitted diseases and counseling you on safe sex."
By lying you could potentially be putting your own health and safety in danger. Some sexually transmitted diseases don't show symptoms for a long time, if at all, and for all you know you could have contracted something but never feel a symptom from the disease. Plus, you can pass it on to the next partner, or partners, that you are sexually active with without your knowledge or theirs. So always tell your doctor about your sex life, because I'm sure they have heard most stories in the book, and they really aren't there to judge you.
10 When You Douche
Our bodies are extremely unique, as that our body parts are self cleaning. This includes our V's. That discharge you see on your underwear? Yeah, that is your bodies natural way of cleaning your V. The body just knows what needs to be cleaned and when, which is an amazing thing when you think about it.
If you ask the majority of Gynecologist, they will tell you to stop douching. Since the vagina is self cleaning, you are doing more harm by using a tool to douche your vagina. Also, most ob-gyns recommend staying away from scented soaps and body washes. Use something gentle and unscented to clean the area, and use water to clean the vulva, as it is more beneficial to your vagina's health. By using unhealthy scented products, we can actually mess with the normal PH balance of the vagina, causing bad odors and infections to arise.
No. Just no.
9 If You Refuse To See A Midwife Over Your Obgyn
Being an ob-gyn can be an extremely time consuming job. If you are expecting a child and your practice has midwives, most of the time you will be seeing a midwife over an actual doctor. Some patients have a hard time with this, even though it is part of their practice. A midwife is a medically trained professional who is 100% capable of caring for most of your needs while you are pregnant. This allows for obgyns to focus more on the patients that need their time for their specialized care.
Midwives aren't only available for prenatal care, but they are also available during and after the birthing process, helping new moms to be get through every stage of their pregnancy, labor, and the times after the baby is born. Midwives can help you learn how to properly breastfeed your newborn baby, along with caring for them. They are also available for routine follow-up visits, so don't discredit them. They are there to help you in the best way they can if it's not completely necessary for you to see an obgyn.
8 When You Don't Tell Them What Medications You Take
No matter what type of doctor you see, it is always required to provide a list of prescription and over the counter medication that you take. And you should always be upfront and honest about what you are putting into your body. You may not think this matters to your obgyn, but it is extremely important that they know about all medications you currently take. This is because your drug regime can affect the type of care you need.
This can be especially important when trying to figure out the best method of birth control you would like to be on. Certain medications do not mix well together, so if you are on a certain type of prescription medication there may be certain birth controls that do not mix well with your current meds. This can also affect whether or not it is in your best interest to take hormonal or non-hormonal birth control. In the end, your obgyn is doing what benefits you best, so make sure they know everything you take so nothing can harm your body by mixing different types of chemicals!
7 Not Getting Tested For Cervical Cancer
If you are young, you might think you don't need to get tested for cervical cancer because, hey, you're young! But cancer knows no age and can affect a woman no matter how old she is. Many experts advise that during your yearly exam, a pelvic exam is to be done as well. Screening for cervical cancer can save anyone's life, and there's a good chance if you have cervical cancer, you would have never known without the screening. Some red flags, such as foul odors, can be ignored by a woman and by the time they get screened, they could already be in the later stages of cervical cancer.
Current guidelines recommend that women with an average risk for cervical cancer get screened every three years when in their 20s. Women aged 30-65 should get pap smears every three years or a combination of a pap and HPV test every five years.
6 Being Self-Conscious
To the same point, your gynecologist isn't there to judge you, but to treat you in the proper way that you need treatment. If you are afraid of going to your obgyn because of a smell coming from your vagina, or because of any other health problems you have, you could be putting yourself at risk. Most gynecologists will reassure you that you are completely normal, and they have probably seen it before. It's nothing new to them.
Being self-conscious shouldn't stop you from getting your annual check ups. That is what doctors are for. If something is wrong, they will know how to treat it, especially if it's some sort of infection. We aren't completely perfect and neither are our bodies, so if something feels wrong or off, make that appointment! Don't let that fishy smell or itchiness stop you from getting the help you need.
5 When You Lie About Ever Having An STD
It is always the best option to be honest with your sexual history when it comes to visiting your obgyn. It can be extremely embarrassing to come out and admit that you have had an STD in the past, but these are things that your doctor absolutely 100% needs to know about. Even if you have had an STD in the past and have had it taken care of, it can still come back to haunt you. Hiding certain STD's from your past can put you at a higher risk for getting cervical cancer, especially if you have ever had HPV.
Not only can hiding your past lead to cervical cancer in some cases, but it can also lead to certain pregnancy complications if you are trying to conceive. If your doctor knows that you have had gonorrhea or chlamydia, she will know to watch more carefully for an ectopic pregnancy, which will prevent a fertilized egg from reaching the uterus.
If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, this is something your obgyn should also know, in order to avoid a pre-delivery flare up and a C-section as a result. As a precaution, your doctor can put you on a certain medication to suppress an outbreak before delivery. In any situation, the doctor is doing what is in the best interest for your health (and the baby of course).
4 When You Say You're Monogamous (And You're Not)
This goes hand in hand with telling your gynecologists about your current sexual history. Most women don't like to admit if they are sleeping with more than one man, so it's common for them to claim to be monogamous. However, if you go in for a simple test for a yeast infection, and you find out you have an STD, you have to admit to the behaviors that you are exhibiting that lead to your current situation. If you continue to lie to your doctor, he or she will now when you continue to show positive for an STD after being treated for claiming to have one sexual partner.
Doctor's aren't there to judge you on your morals. It's your life, so live it the way you want. However, it is still important to tell your doctor what is going on in your sex life otherwise you can continue in the same circle without getting the proper results you are hoping for. Sleeping with more than one partner does increase your chances for contracting an STD. However, delayed treatment can mean a more entrenched pelvic infection, fertility problems, and even cervical cancer.
Plus, you are not only spreading STD's to your other partners, but if they also have more than one partner, that STD will just continue to spread to other people.
3 When You Lie About Always Taking Birth Control
Being on certain types of birth controls can be a hassle. If you are on the pill, you have to take it every day and it is recommended to be taken at the exact same time every day. As a mom and full-time worker, I am constantly on the go and would never be able to take the pill at the exact time every single day. For me, personally, this type of birth control just doesn't work for me and it doesn't work for a lot of women.
When discussing your birth control with your obgyn, it is seriously important to let them know what type of birth control you are taking and whether or not it is something that is working for you. There are so many options out there that you can discuss with your doctor and he or she can and will help you find the right kind that fits your personal lifestyle. Many things can go wrong. Condoms break. Pills are forgotten about (or you hate swallowing them), patches constantly fall off, the ring comes out when your partner pulls out, and the list goes on. Talking to your gynecologist can help solve these problems and get you on the right medication that will benefit you.
2 Choice In Panties DOES Matter
Panties come in a variety of different fabrics and styles. You have lace, polyester, nylon, thongs, hipsters, boyshorts. You name it, it's out there. Every woman has a preference to what type of panties she likes, but most gynecologists will always suggest cotton panties always! Tight hugging undies, along with their different materials, do not allow for proper airflow to the vagina, leaving a ton of bacteria to just sit there and multiply into an infection due to the heat and moisture. One of the biggest dangers to wearing thongs is how it is shaped. It can potentially promote transmission of colon bacteria towards and into the vagina. This can lead to infections and UTI's.
Not only is cotton soft and super comfy, but it also has a lot of health benefits when it comes to your vagina. The trifecta of cotton underwear is softness, absorbancy, and breathability. The softness is beneficial to your skin, while the absorbancy helps to wick away perspiration. It's breathability helps to with the evaporation of moisture that other types of materials can trap inside of your underwear.
All in all, cotton is definitely the best choice when it comes to the health of your vagina!
1 When You Don't Discuss The Stress Of Pregnancy
For a lot of women, pregnancy is no walk in the park. Your hormones are changing and can be completely raging through you. A lot of women would rather not have to discuss with anyone the stresses they are dealing with and just get through pregnancy the best that they can under their circumstances. This is not a healthy way to go about your pregnancy.
Your obgyn or midwife is there for you to talk to about everything and anything. If you are completely stressed out during pregnancy, this is something your doctor needs to know about. Stress not only affects our body physically, but also our emotions and behaviors. When a newly mother is stressed, chemicals are released that can affect her growing baby, putting the child at a greater risk for depression, irritability, and a more sensitive temperament.
By talking to your doctor about the kind of stress you are dealing with and how they are affecting your life, whether you are in your first trimester or third, your doctor can help you come up with a plan and suggest different types of activities for you to do that can help lower stress levels. Taking warm baths, doing exercise and taking yoga classes are a few great examples to help reduce stress levels.