Why OB/GYN Appointments are Essential
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/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2020

Why OB/GYN Appointments are Essential

During COVID-19, some women may be tempted to skip their annual exam or put off OB/GYN care. Just like getting groceries and picking up prescriptions, OB/GYN appointments are essential. Whether to complete preventive care or address symptoms, the risk of getting medical care is minimal compared to the potential risks of skipping it.

Annual appointments are important. Every annual exam includes an update of your current health status, breast and pelvic exams, and necessary in-office tests, including pap smears. The provider completes a comprehensive women’s health exam, including breasts, vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, rectum, pelvis, and ovaries. Even a subtle abnormality could signal a serious health issue. Plus, women of all ages receive important information about vaccinations and recommended screenings.

From a provider’s point of view, annual exams are really useful and enjoyable. First of all, it’s great to see patients when they are feeling well. It also provides us with an important baseline we can use to determine the severity of symptoms that may arise later and the level of health you are looking to restore, should you become ill.

Little symptoms can mean big problems. While some abnormal bleeding and a dull ache in your pelvis may be nothing to worry about, these symptoms could also indicate something serious, like ovarian cancer. When in doubt, check it out. Getting symptoms evaluated will give you peace of mind.

Comfort and relief. Many OB/GYN symptoms are not serious, but they are seriously uncomfortable. They can disrupt your sleep and your sex life and generally throw you off. Symptoms like itching and painful urination can often be addressed easily. A quick appointment will help restore your beneficial routines and keep you feeling well.

Telemedicine appointments are great for many conditions. When we can, we often recommend telemedicine appointments. Connecting is so easy from a regular phone or Internet-enabled video device, like a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. By asking questions about your symptoms, we are able to treat many conditions successfully in this way. Just like in-person visits, your telemedicine appointment is private and secure.

In-person appointments are safe. If you need an in-person appointment, we’re ready. We like to think of our offices as the safest public spaces. All of our staff and patients wear masks while in our building, and we clean thoroughly according to strict infection prevention standards between all patients. Creative solutions—like our virtual waiting room—improve the ability to distance while inside.

You will notice some changes that help improve our ability to keep patients and staff safe. We ask that patients attend appointments alone, except in the case of prenatal appointments, where one care partner is allowed. No one under 18 is permitted to attend any other than their own appointments.

If you have cancelled an OB/GYN appointment or have an OB/GYN issue that needs to be addressed, I encourage you to call your provider. You’ll find us as ready as ever to help you maintain good health or resolve health problems.  With your health needs met, you’ll be able to take on whatever comes your way. And there’s nothing more essential than that.

Kimberley Sampson, MD, FACOG, DABOM, is an OB/GYN physician at SVMC OB/GYN. She is board certified in both OB/GYN and obesity medicine. 


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