Do you need to get a yearly GYN exam?

If you’re over 21, the answer is yes.

Your yearly visit isn’t just about pap smears – it’s about checking in on your overall health. The physical exam and health assessment can help detect problems like diabetes, thyroid problems, and high blood pressure. Your doctor can help with contraception, screening for infections, and will make sure you are getting the right vaccines to keep you healthy. As you get older, your bone density will be monitored to keep you strong.

And the appointment gives you a chance to talk to your doctor. Share what’s new in your life and bring up any concerns, like a weird discharge or smell, new sexual partners, or a new sexual preference (lesbians and transgendered people need GYN exams too). Then you and your doctor can decide if there are any screening tests you might need. It’s also a great time to re-examine your birth control choices – you may want to switch to a different method that better suits your current needs. And make sure to bring up any problems you’re having with your period or pain during sex. These things are nothing to be ashamed of, but we can’t help unless you mention it. The appointment is also an opportunity to with your doctor talk about abuse. Whether you are experiencing abuse from your partner, or you are abusing alcohol or drugs, tell your doctor. Read the full article here …