7 Topics to Discuss With Your OBGYN

Many believe you should only see your OB/GYN when you are pregnant or going through menopause. However, this is far from the truth. While those are prominent topics in obstetrics and gynecology, your OB/GYN may be the right person to discuss some other pressing issues or concerns during your next annual well-woman visit. 

Your physician uses no standardized checklist during your well-woman annual exam since every woman’s needs are unique, and these needs change throughout different stages of your life. They will check your vitals like your blood pressure, heart, rate, and such. Any follow-up discussions from your previous appointment will be discussed, and you will likely be asked if you have any concerns or things worth noting. You may ask yourself, what exactly is worth noting? 

At McTammany Health Services, our well-trained team of physicians is committed to providing the highest quality healthcare for women, from puberty through menopause. No question or concern is too personal, and it’s likely more common than you think. Let’s take a look at a few topics you should discuss with your OB/GYN.

Seven Topics You Should Discuss with your OB/GYN

When some of the top women’s health issues Googled these days are- “what is endometriosis,” “Is my vaginal discharge normal,” and “symptoms of ovarian cancer,” it’s easy to say many women face the same problems every day. They may not ever get around to asking their actual physician because of embarrassment. If nearly half of women have the same concerns, your OB/GYN has likely heard it all by this point. 

In fact, a gynecologist’s care typically addresses any health issue arising from the uterus, vagina, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Women’s breasts require special care and fall under your gynecologist’s purview. The range of care is intertwined with many facets of your health, and we are here to give you accurate information without any judgment. 

Your Menstrual Health

While you are discussing your health with your doctor, make sure to include the date of your last Pap smear and whether or not it was deemed normal. During your visit, your physician will ask about your menstrual cycle, be sure to mention any changes in the frequency, length, and even any spotting, cramping, or changes in flow that you may have noticed. If you are experiencing painful periods or other pains associated with your cycle, this is a great time to bring it up and discuss options for treatment or relief.

Changes and Concerns with Your Vagina

Most changes in your body are caused by age and time, and while many of these changes can be expected, some need to be professionally addressed. If you notice a difference in your vaginal smell that lasts a few days, you may be experiencing a bacterial overgrowth or vaginal infection. This is easily treated, so don’t let the discomfort of discussing your vaginal odor keep you from the treatment you need. 

Along with smells, changes like bumps or growths can be a cause for concern. You may be worried about a growth in your vagina or around your labia. You may not know whether it’s just an ingrown hair, a cut from shaving, or is it something more concerning like an STD. Most bumps you find ‘down there’ will be benign, but it’s essential to have your physician perform an exam when you notice them. It could be just a pimple that will heal without trouble, but it could be more concerning, like genital warts or herpes. Genital warts can be visible for some time, but herpes lesions can heal over a week or two, making it difficult to diagnose without the outbreak occurring visually. 

7 Topics to Discuss With Your OBGYN

Incontinence

It is excellent that urinary incontinence care items have become so discreet and easily obtained, but wouldn’t it be better if you could address the problem ahead of time? For many women, childbirth or aging, sometimes both, can bring on some not-so-great side effects like bladder leaks. If you find you urinate when laughing, sneezing, or exercising, it’s worth bringing it up with your OB/GYN. While it is common, it often can be managed or remedied with the proper treatment, and your doctor can help you determine which will work best for you. 

Contraceptive Options

Family planning is one of the most important discussions women have with their OB/GYN. Whether you are in to begin the process of trying to conceive, or you are looking into your options to avoid pregnancy, the prospects for birth control are in abundance. Many patients can find relief from other issues by utilizing the contraceptive that will best benefit their situation. 

If you are currently using birth control and begin to notice changes in your body or menstrual cycle that you are uncomfortable with, make sure to bring it up with your physician as it could be an unlikely side effect that can be remedied by changing your dose or contraceptive altogether. 

Your Libido

Having a low libido is more common than many women realize, but it’s important to speak with your OB/GYN to discover the cause of your concern. Libido can sometimes be affected by medications you take or may indicate an underlying medical condition.

For other women, though, their libido may be related to the pain or discomfort they feel during intercourse. This pain and discomfort can stem from vaginal dryness, which there are many causes for, to other gynecological concerns like a sexually transmitted infection or even endometriosis. If you are experiencing bleeding after intercourse with your sexual discomfort, it is best to make an appointment with your OB/GYN as soon as possible.

Breast Health and Self-Examinations

Though breast cancer rates are quite low, with around 5%, for women under the age of 40, all women should check their breasts for lumps, bumps, and changes regularly since early detection is crucial to survival. In addition to showing you how to perform a self-exam correctly, your OB/GYN can give you clues on what to look for and when to be concerned enough to schedule an appointment. Self-examinations are a quick and easy process to incorporate into your daily routine, such as while changing for bed at night or in your morning shower. 

Your Medical History

Your reproductive system affects the rest of your body’s functions, so discussing your complete medical history will help give your physician a better understanding of what you are trying to convey. Even if you think the information is already in your chart, it may have been overlooked or not recorded previously. For this reason, it helps to have a reminder, especially if it pertains to something you are currently being seen for at your visit. 

In your medical history discussion, good things to include would be any diseases or conditions you may have currently or previously, including sexually transmitted diseases, any medications you are presently taking, and any allergies you may have, like latex or specific prescriptions. This topic is the best time to mention your family medical history of diseases and conditions, like thyroid disorders, heart conditions, cancers, and diabetes.

7 Topics to Discuss With Your OBGYN

Trust McTammany Health Services

At McTammany Health Services, our expert team has helped hundreds of women who deal with issues every day, ranging from menstrual disorders and pelvic pain to endometriosis and ovarian cysts. You can feel confident that you’ll receive the best care for your unique needs. Schedule an appointment at our convenient Melbourne office and start your journey to your best self.