Few places are more intimate than a gynecologist’s exam room, right? The small things that can make you tense – palm-sized speculums, questions about your sexual activity – these are the very tools used to define huge aspects of your health and wellness. Your gynecologist, OB-GYN or women’s health specialist screens you for diseases, helps you plan a family – whether that means assisting with or preventing pregnancies – troubleshoots below-the-belt problems and more. No matter what the reason for the visit is, there’s a good chance this person will throw on gloves, spread your legs, and put their face right in front of a very private part of your body. As such, it is extremely important to find the right doctor for you.
These tips can help you in your search:
- What are your needs? If you want to get your annual well-woman exam – which may include cancer screenings, breast exams, evaluation and counseling – a general gynecologist or women's health specialist and some nurse practitioners can administer this appointment. Well-woman exams, may also include a Pap test or pelvic and internal examinations.
- If you want to get pregnant in the next five years, look for an obstetrician-gynecologist now. Think of the gynecologist-OB-GYN as your women's health specialist across your lifespan. Find an OB-GYN who you know and trust – who you'd trust to eventually deliver your baby.
- Make sure you and your doctor share the same values. For example, if you're going to the gynecologist seeking contraception and, upon discussing it at the appointment, discover that your doctor does not believe in birth control – red flag!
- Value bedside manner. While all doctors should be respectful and compassionate, those qualities can be particularly important for those professionals looking between your legs. Discussing sex, family planning, fears, and your overall health could be quite difficult with someone who seems uninterested, judgmental, or short on time.
- If you feel your doctor doesn't listen or have time for you, then he or she isn't the OBGYN for you. While credentials, experience, and expertise rank the highest when narrowing your doctor search, once you're in the office, comfort matters too. Discomfort (beyond the paper dress) is a red flag that should probably send you searching for a different doctor.
At WHASN, our doctors want to help and spend time with you. Call 702-438-2229 to schedule an appointment.