An OBGYN is a medical professional who is qualified as both an obstetrician (OB) and GYN (gynecologist). To understand what this type of medical professional does, you need to understand what both types of feminine health experts do. At InVogue Rejuvenation in El Paso, TX, we provide the feminine health services you need.
What Exactly Does an OBGYN Do?
For example, this type of professional can help you nurse your infant for the first time if you can’t get him or her to latch appropriately. Furthermore, you can go to this type of professional if you develop any issues nursing, such as recurrent plugged ducts, nipple or breast pain that does not improve over time, engorgement, oversupply or undersupply. Let’s look at when it may be time to schedule an appointment with this type of medical professional.
Before You Start Trying to Conceive
Speak with this type of medical professional before you start trying to conceive if you may have a high-risk pregnancy. You may have a high-risk pregnancy if you are over the age of 35, have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition or you engage in certain behaviors, such as alcohol or nicotine consumption.
You may want to schedule an appointment with an obstetrician as soon as you discover you are pregnant if you have a family or personal history of carrying multiple babies. Finally, you may have a high-risk pregnancy if you have a history of miscarriages, premature labor or C-section delivery, among other risk factors.
Eight Weeks After Your Last Menstrual Period
As stated previously, some women seek the counsel of an obstetrician when they want to become pregnant but cannot. If you are among the lucky 90% of women who can conceive within a reasonable timeframe, you should schedule your first appointment with this type of medical professional two weeks after your last period.
During this initial consultation, your OBGYN will review your medical history thoroughly and check your vital signs to identify potential risk factors of a high-risk pregnancy. She will also perform blood and urine tests to ensure your pregnancy is going smoothly. At this time, you can also expect to discuss your symptoms, no matter how insignificant they seem. We recommend keeping a journal of your symptoms so you don’t forget anything during your appointment.
What Exactly Does a Gynecologist Do?
PCOS is one of the most common reasons women seek out an OBGYN. This incredibly common condition is characteristic of irregular periods and may result in excess hair, high cholesterol, a seemingly uncontrollable appetite, diabetes and acne. A gynecologist has several methods with which to treat this condition, including hormonal birth control medications to regularize menses, metformin to eliminate the risk of type 2 diabetes and hormones to increase fertility.
PCOS may be caused by environmental factors that can be changed, but sometimes it is caused by genetics and all that can be done is symptom treatment. To determine the cause of your PCOS and receive a personalized treatment plan tailored just for you, feel free to make an appointment with a gynecologist. You don’t have to suffer through the symptoms of PCOS for the rest of your life.
Women also seek a gynecologist when they are concerned about the possibility of a sexually transmitted infection. Signs of an STI include sores or bumps in the vaginal or rectal area, vaginal discharge that smells significantly different than usual, pain during sex, unusual vaginal bleeding and rashes. You may also have an STI if you feel unwell after having unprotected sex. For example, HIV causes such flu-like symptoms as fatigue, fever and a sore throat.
There are several reasons you may choose to have unprotected sex. You may be trying to get pregnant. You may not have access to a condom when the mood strikes. You may not be engaging in vaginal sex and feel that there is no need for protection. If you decide to have unprotected sex, particularly with a new partner, we recommend that you ask the partner when the last time he or she was tested for STIs and the results before you make your decision.
You should also seek a gynecologist if you are experiencing any sort of pelvic pain. Pelvic pain may be a sign of perfectly healthy ovulation, but if you don’t think you’re ovulating, it could be a sign of something serious. For example, pelvic pain may be a sign that there is something wrong with one of your reproductive organs, such as your ovaries. Among the most common causes of pelvic pain are:
- Menstrual cramps
- GI distress caused by food intolerance
- Interstitial cystitis
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
If you know it is roughly the time you should be ovulating and you experience pelvic pain, you don’t need an immediate appointment with a gynecologist. You can wait a few days to see if the pain subsides. However, you should schedule an appointment with a gynecologist right away if you are experiencing pelvic pain and bleeding. If you are experiencing both vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain, you may have ovarian cancer or another serious condition.
You can also get help for fecal and urinary incontinence from a gynecologist. Whether you are experiencing fecal or urinary incontinence, your gynecologist will discuss your medical history and ask you questions about your experience with your symptoms. What causes you to leak? How often do you leak? How much do you leak? Do you feel like you are not emptying your bladder fully when you urinate? Do you often feel the urge to urinate but can’t?
Once your gynecologist has a clear understanding of what you are experiencing, she will perform diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your incontinence. For example, a urinalysis and culture are required to rule out the possibility of infection. Your gynecologist will also assess how well your pelvic muscles are contracting to see if physical therapy could improve your condition.
Endometriosis is another condition that a gynecologist is qualified to treat. Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that usually lines the inside of the uterus, known as endometrium, grows outside of the womb. This condition usually only causes mild or moderate pain. However, it is not a condition to be taken lightly. It can cause severe, chronic pain and regular bleeding and make contraception difficult.
The appropriate endometriosis treatment for you will be determined after an initial evaluation and discussion regarding your symptoms. Most women only need hormone replacement therapy because the abnormal growth of endometrium may be caused by an excess of estrogen and lack of other critical sex hormones. If hormonal imbalances are causing your condition, you will need to take hormone therapy until menopause when your estrogen production slows.
Menopause is defined as the point in time that it has been 12 months since menstruation last occurred. This condition usually occurs at some point in a woman’s 40s or 50s, because her ovaries start to produce smaller amounts of sex hormones during this period. Eventually, the ovaries do not produce enough estrogen to release an egg and menstruation stops for good.
You may think your quality of life will improve when you stop menstruating. You don’t have to deal with cramps or cravings. You won’t have to worry about leaks. However, many women feel the need to seek help from a gynecologist during this time because the body does not respond well to sex hormone levels dropping so severely. Symptoms of menopause that a gynecologist can resolve with natural hormone replacement therapy include:
- Hot flashes
- Pain during sex
- A low libido
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Bone density loss
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Excessive nighttime urination
It’s also not uncommon for women to seek from a gynecologist during a period known as peri-menopause. Peri-menopause refers to the period of time during which your body is transitioning into a state of menopause. In other words, it is the period of time between a woman’s last menstrual period and 12 months following the final menstrual period.
During this time, your body may reel as it adjusts poorly to imbalanced sex hormones. The most common side effects of a lack of estrogen are vaginal dryness, reduced libido and pain during sex. However, the sex hormones produced by your ovaries also play a significant role in the efficiency of your metabolism. It is fairly common for women to gain a significant amount of weight in the year leading up to menopause.
A little-known fact about gynecologists is that they can be invaluable resources for the treatment of obesity. The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories over an extended period of time than your body needs to survive at its current fat level. However, despite being simple, it’s not always easy. Obesity can be a side effect of several reproductive system-related conditions, such as PCOS and a severe imbalance of sex hormones.
When such reproductive system disorders are treated, losing weight and maintaining weight loss is far easier. There is no seemingly constant mental battle to ignore extreme hunger cues that shouldn’t exist. There may no longer be depression that impedes your ability to put on your running shoes or shop for, prep and cook a healthy meal. You may not have to fight crippling anxiety that leads to eating an extreme excess of carbs and unhealthy fats.
Schedule an Appointment With an OBGYN Today
An OBGYN can perform the duties of an obstetrician or gynecologist. She can help you with your feminine health through any life stage, from pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal care to peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopause. If you have any concerns about your feminine health, contact us now at InVogue Rejuvenation in El Paso, TX to schedule an appointment. Your feminine health is not something to be taken lightly, and we can’t wait to help you.