Going through menopause is a big change. As you emerge from this change and arrive in the life stage known as post-menopause, you may find yourself discovering other changes you can make in your life. For instance, you may wonder if you still need to see your OBGYN regularly now that you are no longer menstruating. As it turns out, you really should. Here's a look at why OBGYN appointments are still important after menopause, along with a look at what you can expect at those appointments.
Why should you continue to see your OBGYN?
Up until this point, your OBGYN visits have probably included some questions about your period and pregnancies. Now that you're no longer menstruating, your doctor won't have concerns in that regard. However, there are still many problems that older women can develop with their reproductive organs. Vaginal irritation and dryness, pelvic organ prolapse, and urinary incontinence are three problems that are quite common in older women. Your OBGYN appointment is an opportunity to discuss any of these issues with your doctor, and it is also a chance for your doctor to hopefully notice early warning signs so that early treatment can be given if needed.
What will happen at your OBGYN appointment?
Your OBGYN will probably still conduct a pelvic exam during your appointment. This exam is still important for detecting possible cancers of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. During the exam, your doctor will probably also take a sample of your cervical cells for a pap smear. This test assesses whether you may have cervical cancer. If you reach the age of 65 never having had an abnormal pap smear, however, your doctor may tell you it's okay to stop having them as your risk of cervical cancer is then very low.
After the exam, your OBGYN will discuss any issues or concerns you may be having. This is a good time to talk about any lingering menopause symptoms you may be experiencing, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Even if it is not directly related to your reproductive organs but you assume it may be related to your hormone levels, it's worth bringing up to your OBGYN. They can always refer you on to another doctor if needed.
Don't stop going to the OBGYN just because you've reached menopause. Reproductive health is important for women of all ages, and an OBGYN helps maintain that health.Share
7 August 2020
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