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Women’s Health: What are Important Things to Discuss with Your OB-GYN?

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Getting an annual check-up with an OB-GYN is an important part of women’s health. A woman’s first gynecological visit should be between the ages of 13 and 18, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.

An OB-GYN visit is made up of different examinations, including a general examination, breast examination and pelvic examination. During the general examination, the OB-GYN will get your height and weight and measure your blood pressure. The breast examination is to test for any breast abnormalities.

One part of the gynecological visit that can be uncomfortable for some women is the pelvic examination. For first timers, a pelvic examination may not be done, according to KidsHealth.

However, if a young woman is having unusual vaginal secretion, abnormal vaginal bleeding or painful menstruation, a pelvic examination may be done in her first gynecological visit.

The pelvic examination includes two types of visual exams: an external visual exam and an internal visual exam, in which the OB-GYN uses a speculum to view your vagina and cervix.

Other parts of the pelvic examination include a manual exam, in which the physician feels your pelvis and abdomen, and a Pap smear. STD tests may also be done.

Communication is an important part of any gynecological visit — the appointment is a time for you to talk to your OB-GYN about any health concerns you may be having. So what are important things to discuss with your OB-GYN?

Before your visit, make a list of any questions you may have so that you do not forget to ask them. They may be about your birth control, symptoms you may be having, or an ongoing health concern.

Remember — what you discuss with your OB-GYN is confidential, so it is okay to bring up personal issues.

One area that is important to discuss with your OB-GYN is your sexual activity. In a study conducted at the University of Chicago published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers found that only 40 percent of OB-GYNs routinely ask about sexual problems and 29 percent ask routinely about sexual satisfaction, according to HealthDay.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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