Visiting an OB-GYN for an annual exam is an important part of maintaining your overall health. As women age, their reproductive health needs change, and these wellness visits change along with them to ensure they include the most comprehensive and relevant care. Below, the compassionate team at OB-GYN Associates in Honolulu, HI, explains what you can expect during gynecologist appointments at various stages of life.
How Your OB-GYN Visits Will Change Over Time
Young women should consider visiting a gynecologist once they begin menstruating or by the time they turn 15. At these appointments, they will learn about reproductive health, explore their birth control options, and undergo regular screenings. For example, doctors recommend for women to schedule their first Pap smear at 21 years old.
The Reproductive Years
Between 22 and 40, which is when many women have children, they can expect to undergo a breast, abdominal, and pelvic exam at every appointment. Between 22 and 30, they should also undergo a Pap smear every three years. If the results come back normal, their doctor should arrange for an HPV test and Pap smear every five years starting at the age of 30.
Since ovarian cysts are common during the reproductive years, you can expect your OB-GYN to check for them at every appointment. In fact, most women who menstruate regularly develop at least one cyst every month. Fortunately, only 8% of women require treatment for their cysts.
Menopause & Beyond
The average woman goes through menopause at 51 years old, but dozens of factors can ultimately affect when a woman stops menstruating permanently, and some women may go through perimenopause as early as their thirties. Once you stop having children, a gynecologist will monitor you for signs of menopause and help manage the worst of the symptoms.
Around age 40, you can also expect to undergo mammograms annually. Depending on certain risk factors, your doctor may recommend bone density testing as well to identify any signs of osteoporosis. Most women are done with menopause by age 55. At this stage of life, your gynecologist can help with any issues caused by hormonal changes, like decreased libido and vaginal dryness.
If it has been more than one year since your last woman’s wellness exam, turn to OB-GYN Associates in Honolulu. Their caring team is proud to serve patients of all ages on Oahu, and they will make you feel comfortable from the moment you enter the office. To learn more about the quality care they provide, which includes everything from endometriosis treatment to menopause relief, visit the website. You can make an appointment with Gary T Kimoto MD by calling (808) 946-5238.