Until you find the right gynecologist, visiting a women’s health clinic for routine examinations and care can be uncomfortable or lead to unnecessary anxiety. While discussing your reproductive health can be a challenge at first, it’s important to establish an open and honest rapport with your gynecologist so you maintain wellness and have the opportunity to discuss any concerns freely. When you visit your women’s health care provider for a pap smear, consider asking the following important questions.
Top 4 Questions to Ask Your Gynecologist
1. How Do You Perform a Self Breast Exam?
One out of every eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer. Early detection is critical to effective treatment, so gynecologists recommend performing routine self-breast exams to check for lumps or changes. To properly perform an exam, start lying down on a flat surface. Place a pillow under the shoulder, arm, and your head on one side and use the finger pads of the other hand to make circular motions over the entire breast and armpit to check for lumps. Squeeze the nipple to check for lumps or discharge and repeat on the other side.
2. When Should You Get Tested for Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
Health care professionals recommend that sexually active women receive STD tests on an annual basis. Should you notice symptoms such as pelvic pain, inflammation, irritation, vaginal bumps, or irregular discharge, call your gynecologist to determine whether you should come in for immediate testing.
3. What Birth Control Options Should You Explore?
There are a variety of birth control options on the market ranging from a daily contraception pill to patches, injections, IUDs, and diaphragms. To better understand what option is best for you based on your lifestyle and habits, have a candid conversation with your gynecologist.
4. How Can You Prepare for Pregnancy?
Gynecologists note that pregnancy health begins well before conception. To properly prepare your body and increase the odds of getting pregnant, start by making improvements to your overall health, such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy diet that’s high in fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins, and exercising regularly.
Caring For Women, led by Dr. Donna Chester, MD, FACOG, and Dr. Dolly Lefever, CNM, FNP, APRN, is known throughout the greater Anchorage and Wasilla, AK, areas, for providing compassionate and comprehensive women’s health care in an inviting and judgment-free environment. With over 20 years of experience and a reputation throughout the community for effective care using the latest techniques, you can trust this gynecologist with all your reproductive health needs. To schedule an appointment, call today at (907) 279-2229 for Anchorage or (907) 357-9930 for Wasilla. For more information on the services they provide, from preventative care and menopause management to minimally invasive surgery, visit their website.