1. Make it Annual
Nearly 20 percent of those surveyed said that they didn’t visit the OBGYN in the past year. Despite the OBGYN being extremely beneficial to your health, this study showed that many just didn’t perform their routine checkup. It means a lot more to visit the OBGYN than just getting a STD test.
There are a number of tests done by an OBGYN that determine if you are at risk for various types of cancer. Also, be prepared before you walk through the door. If a family member was recently diagnosed with something, be sure to inform your doctor about it.
2. Keep Yourself Informed and Prepared
More than 70 percent of women have little knowledge as to what kind of pap smear they’re getting. The newer tests are more efficient and easier for doctors to read. These liquid-based Pap smears are ideal for sexually active women who are at a high-risk for contracting HPV. HPV can lead to cervical cancer.
The liquid based Paps are the most common kinds of Pap smears. Be sure to ask your doctor what kind of tests you’re getting. It’s important to not have sex the night before getting a Pap smear. This can cloud the results. You also do not want to get a Pap smear during your period, as blood can sometimes change the results.
3. Always Be Honest
There’s little point in lying to your doctor. If it seems that your doctor is judgmental of your lifestyle, maybe it’s time for a new doctor. While it isn’t easy to admit to your doctor that you didn’t practice safe sex with your partner, it’s the safest thing to do so that you can protect yourself and others. “The most common bacterial STDs, like Chlamydia and gonorrhea, often don’t have symptoms so you won’t know you’re infected unless you’re tested,” says Judge Change, M.D.
4. Talk About the Tough Stuff First
A lot of women are embarrassed to ask their ob-gyn about sexual health. It can be uncomfortable for many. So what do you do to combat that anxiety? Try opening the visit with what it is that bothers you most. Discussing your biggest concerns at the beginning of the visit gives you plenty of time to discuss what’s important to you and gets the hard stuff out of the way.
5. Change Doctors If You’re Unhappy
A study that Shape did revealed that 40 percent of women signed up with a new ob-gyn because they were not pleased with their current doctor. There were a number of different complaints, highest among them being judgmental or un-friendly doctors, scheduling conflicts, and offices that are unable to keep up with the schedule.
“Your doctor should never make you feel guilty about your lifestyle,” says Carol Livoti, M.D.
You want to find an experienced doctor who’ll treat you respectfully. There’s little reason to stick with an OBGYN who you feel treats you poorly. You’ll want to be on a similar wave length as your doctor and that means being treated respectfully.