Why Women Need A Gynecologist

If you're a woman, then you've probably heard about how you need to visit a gynecologist every year, every other year, every three years, or maybe even every five years. This lack of consensus poses a rather difficult question to the average woman: how often do you actually need to see a gynecologist? To answer this question, let's examine the main functions of a gynecologist and how often the average woman needs them:

Pap Smear

As you probably know, the pap smear is used to determine whether or not a woman has cervical cancer. The frequency at which you need a pap smear will actually fluctuate quite a bit throughout your life. You should get your first pap smear at 21 and then get one about every three years until you turn 30, at which point you only need to get tested every 5 years. When you pass menopause and are at least 65 years only, then you no longer need to get pap smears, as long as all of your recent pap smears were negative.

Now, this changes drastically depending on the results of your pap smears. If you have abnormal results or if you get a positive pap smear, then you might need to get pap smears at an increased frequency. Only your gynecologist will be able to tell you exactly how often you should get pap smears.

Pelvic Exam

After 21, many physicians recommend that women get annual pelvic exams in order to detect a variety of cancers and general reproductive problems. However, the validity of this claim has recently been called into question. After your first pelvic exam, you should ask your gynecologist about how often you need to get a pelvic exam. Every woman is different and a variety of factors, such as family medical history and demographic information, can influence your risk factors for cancer. Some women will need more frequent pelvic exams simply due to their genetics.

So How Often Should You Visit A Gynecologist?

Based on your age, you should visit a gynecologist a minimum of once every 3 or 5 years unless you are under 21 or over 65, in which case you no longer need pap smears. However, your need for a pelvic exam could be much greater, which means that you might need to visit a gynecologist much more frequently. However, it is impossible to know without first consulting your gynecologist.

Regardless of whether or not you are due for a pap smear or a pelvic exam, it is crucial that you are vigilant for warning signs of cancer.

For a doctor of gynecology in your area, do an online search.