Who is a gynecologist?
A gynecologist is a physician who specializes in the female reproductive system, which includes the cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, vagina and vulva. They deal with a wide range of issues, including obstetrics, pregnancy and childbirth, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), menstruation and fertility issues, hormone disorders, and others. To become a gynecologist, a person must train first as a doctor for four years, then specialize for another four years in the field of obstetrics and gynecology.
When should you see a gynecologist?
- You also should see your gynecologist if:
- You’re fourteen and haven't noticed any changes from puberty
- You’re sixteen and haven't had a period
- You’re having severe menstrual cramps
- Your period is extra heavy
- Your period lasts more than a week
- You have vaginal itching, redness, swelling, sores, unusual odor or discharge
- You need to discuss safe sex
- You have irregular periods
- You’ve missed more than three periods
- You experience a burning sensation while urinating
- You experience frequent urination
- You believe that you might have contracted a sexually transmitted disease
- You might be pregnant
- You've injured your pelvic area
- You’ve had non-consensual sex
What diseases does a gynecologist treat?
- The absence of periods
- Infrequent periods
- Too frequent periods
- Heavy periods
- Painful periods
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- infections and irritation:
- Yeast infection
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Vaginal dryness
- vaginal and vulvar irritation and skin changesUterine problems:
- prolapse of the uterus, bladder, or rectum
Perimenopause and menopause issues:
- Mid-life health care, hormone replacement, and menopause management and counseling
- Osteoporosis prevention and management
- Breast pain, infections or changes
- Breast pain
- Breast infection
What’s the difference between obstetrician and gynecologist?
A gynecologist is a physician who specializes in women's reproductive health. Obstetricians deliver babies and care for women during their pregnancy and just after the baby is born.
What kind of test does a gynecologist do?
- Amniocentesis to take out a small sample of the amniotic fluid for testing.
- Bone Densitometry to measure the bone mineral content and density.
- Breast Biopsy to see if cancer or other abnormal cells are present.
- Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Breast Scan is an imaging test to look at the breasts and is used when a mammogram has not given the physician enough information.
- Breast Ultrasound to help your physician find breast problems and also to see how well blood is flowing to areas in the breasts.
- Cervical Biopsy to test for abnormal or precancerous conditions or cervical cancer.
- Fetal Heart Monitoring to measure the heart rate and rhythm of the baby (fetus).
- Fetal Ultrasound
- Mammogram Procedure is a way to look at your breast using X-rays. It is used to diagnose breast disease.
- In the Pap Test, the physician collects and examines cells from the patient's cervix which is the opening to the uterus to screen for cervical cancer and other problems.
- Pelvic Ultrasound is to look at the organs and structures in your pelvic area.
- Sonohysterography to look at the inside of the uterus.
What do gynecologists do on your first visit?
The first visit may be just a talk between you and your gynecologist. Your gynecologist may ask a lot of questions about you and your family. Some of them may seem personal, such as questions about your sexual activities or menstrual period. Depending on your problems, you also may have certain exams. Most often, these two exams are performed on people on their first visit:
- General physical exam
- External genital exam
Patients usually do not need to have a pelvic exam on their first visit unless they are having problems, such as abnormal bleeding or pain. If the patients are sexually active, they may have tests for certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Most of the tests that teens need can be done by the physician with a urine sample.