Your GYN can be one of the most important advisors on your overall health since so many women’s health issues stem from their reproductive system and their hormones. Dr. Jessica Shepherd wants to bridge the game between what she and other GYN’s know and what you should know about your gynecological and overall health. Here are some facts and figures about GYN health.
Q: WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BIRTH CONTROL?
A: There are so many to choose from and why all women should have a consultation on what ones are best for them. There is the birth control pill, the shot, the patch, the injectable, the IUD and also barrier methods like condoms and even the most effective birth control – abstinence.
Q: WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF YOU HAVE PERSISTENT MENSTRUAL PAIN?
A: It can mean a variety of things which is why you should see your GYN, it can be an ovarian cause, a uterine cause, endometriosis or fibroids.
Q: WHAT CAUSES ABNORMAL PERIODS?
A: Hormones, stress, polyps in the uterus, fibroids, thyroid disease.
Q: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT NOT TO SKIP YOUR ANNUAL EXAM?
A: The annual exam is the best way to stay on top of your health and this should be done to make sure you have the best pelvic health, cancer screening and also health preventative testing as well as immunizations like the FLU SHOT!
Q: IF YOU’VE HAD A HYSTERECTOMY, CAN YOU CAN GET AN ANNUAL EXAM EVERY OTHER YEAR?
A: Technically if the cervix was taken in the hysterectomy you do not need a PAP smear except for special cases but an annual exam is much more than just a pelvic exam. There is screening for mammograms, diabetes, STD checks and more
Q: AS A PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE, WHAT TYPES OF TESTS DO WE NEED TO ASK OUR DOCTOR FOR DURING OUR ANNUAL EXAM?
A: PAP, mammogram, diabetes screening, cholesterol panel, STD check
Q: WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS AND HOW IS IT TREATED?
A: Endometriosis is a very complex chronic pelvic pain condition that affects women differently and is due to endometrial tissue from the uterus in different places in the pelvis and can cause a lot of pain
Q: DOES INSURANCE COVER THE COST OF ALL TYPES OF BIRTH CONTROL?
A: Most types are covered – however that cost should be discussed with each insurance payer and coverage plan
Q: IS IT PAINFUL GETTING AN IUD?
A: Painful it ISN’T but it can be considered uncomfortable. However, it is a quick 5 min procedure in the office and pain medications can be taken prior to help minimize the pain
Q: CAN OVARIAN CYSTS BE PREVENTED?
A: The ovaries have a job to do……………. Make follicles every month and that means cysts. So cysts are not bad, they can sometimes get big, be filled with fluid or blood and then they can also rupture, which can cause pain
Q: AT WHAT AGE CAN YOU TO STOP GETTING A PAP SMEAR?
A: At the age of 65 unless you have had a hysterectomy with the removal of the cervix and no history of abnormal PAP smears or cervical cancer.
Dr. Jessica Shepherd is a gynecologist and the founder of an online women’s health forum called Her Viewpoint. She’s appeared on “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show” and “The Dr. Oz” show. And she’s a regular on local news stations in Dallas. As a medical expert, Dr. Shepherd contributes to multiple national magazines and websites.
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