Take Control of Your Health With a Routine Visit to the Gynecologist
Routinely visiting a physician is important for everyone’s health. For women, visiting a gynecologist is specifically integral to ensure proper vaginal health. Gynecologists diagnose, develop, treat, and help prevent diseases of women, usually pertaining to the reproductive system.
With that said, a gynecologist will help women stay on top of their health by examining them to ensure that there are no underlying health conditions. Outside of a routine pap smear, a gynecologist can perform pelvic exams and test you for STD’s and HIV. If you are experiencing health issues, your gynecologist will help determine what’s going on so that you can continue leading a healthy and happy life.
What Conditions Can a Gynecologist Discover?
A gynecologist can take on many roles as a doctor. One of those roles includes discovering underlying health conditions that can impact your life. Here are 4 conditions that gynecologists can find during an examination.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
This is an infection of the female reproductive organs. This infection generally occurs by way of sexually transmitted bacteria spreading from your vagina to your uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries.
Symptoms of a pelvic inflammatory disease include things such as painful or difficult urination, heavy vaginal discharge, pain in lower abdomen or pelvis, and pain or bleeding during intercourse.
Cervical Cancer is a form of cancer that happens in the cells of the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Human papillomavirus or HPV, a sexually transmitted infection, plays a large role in causing most cervical cancers.
Symptoms of cervical cancer include vaginal bleeding after intercourse, pelvic pain or pain during intercourse, and watery, bloody discharge that can potentially be heavy and foul-smelling.
This is a small growth that occurs in the anal or genital areas. This is caused by a sexually transmitted virus.
Symptoms of genital warts include small bumps on the genital area, itchiness around the anus and/or vagina, and a skin burning sensation.
Yeast infections are a common vaginal infection that affects about 3 and 4 women at some point in their lifetime. This is a fungal infection that causes discharge, irritation, and itchiness of the vagina and vulva.
Symptoms of a yeast infection include a vaginal rash, redness or swelling in the vulva, a burning sensation, and thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge with a cottage cheese appearance.
When Is It Time to See a Gynecologist?
A gynecologist is there to support your health. If you are experiencing any changes to your body that you did not account for, you should schedule an appointment with a trusted gynecologist.
A gynecologist can help you with issues in regards to pregnancy, fertility, menstruation, and menopause. Additionally, they can help in instances such as STI’s, urinary and fecal incontinence, and congenital abnormalities. It’s important to note that most gynecologists in the U.S also offer general health care. Thus, individuals can visit a gynecologist for things such as preventive medicine, acne, mood swings, and back pain.
Understanding Vaginal Speculums
When you visit a gynecologist for a routine check-up such as for a pelvic exam, the gynecologist will use a medical device called a vaginal speculum. These tools are hinged and shaped like a duck’s bill. Here are 2 types of speculums.
- Pederson Speculum: This speculum is designed for narrow vaginal canals since it is flat and narrow. Women who are elderly, have never had intercourse, or have experienced a traumatic injury typically use this one.
- Graves Speculum: This speculum is available in 3 sizes: small, medium, and large. These curved vaginal speculums are wider than the Pederson. This vaginal speculum is used for women who have engaged in sexual intercourse.
Why Vaginal Speculums Are Necessary
It’s important to note that vaginal speculums vary in size, which means you won’t know which one will be used for your exam. However, a gynecologist will choose the size best suited for you based on the length and width of your vagina. This alleviates as much discomfort during the examination as possible.
During a pelvic exam, the doctor will insert the speculum into the vagina and gently widen its opening. Essentially, a vaginal speculum will keep the vagina walls open so that the doctor can examine you thoroughly.
Gynecologists need vaginal speculums during pelvic examinations because the uterus and ovaries cannot be seen from the outside. With that said, the doctor will need to feel for them during the exam to ensure everything is working properly. By lubricating and inserting two gloved fingers, they will use the other hand to press on the lower abdomen to see if there are any growths or tenderness in your pelvic organs.
A vaginal speculum is also used to perform routine procedures like a pap smear to see if you have any abnormal cells. This can lead to cancer if left untreated. For this test, the doctor will use the vaginal speculum to open the vagina walls and then use a swab to collect a small sample of cells from your cervix.
Introducing obp’s Click-Free Lighted Vaginal Speculum
Many women dread getting pelvic exams. A large part of this is due to the fact that these types of exams can cause discomfort. Many vaginal speculums are not advanced enough for a seamless examination experience.
At obp, we offer HER-SPEC: a single-use, click-free, vaginal speculum with an integrated LED light source. This one-of-a-kind vaginal speculum provides an ultra-bright, targeted, and cordless single-use light. It provides optimal visualization of the vagina and cervix. Additionally, this advanced speculum boasts a smooth lock and release function that allows doctors to set blades to a desired open position and an easy release to provide the best comfort for patients.
Another benefit of this vaginal speculum is its 105-degree angle that provides extra space between the doctor’s hand and a patient’s body, promoting a more comfortable examination experience. If that’s not enough, this speculum’s patent-pending, click-free engagement will improve the patient’s experience.
Learn More About a Routine Visit to the Gynecologist
Visiting a gynecologist may be an uncomfortable experience. However, it is necessary to maintain optimal vaginal health and ensure you are taking the correct preventive measures to reduce your risk of underlying issues in the future.
If you want to learn more about the role of vaginal speculums in your routine exams or want to know more about how obp’s click-free lighted vaginal speculum can help improve your experience, contact us today.