What are the things that you could not go a day without? Could it be your daily Facebook scroll, your morning coffee, or perhaps that 30-minute run?
We have set certain routines whether they may be good for us or not. But above all the humdrum of our daily habits, there are certain things that we must impose on ourselves. We can say that this is part of “adulting” or to a certain stretch, surviving.
So, let’s be honest. On top of all those important routines, have you ever penciled in a visit to your gynaecologist? It’s understandable why this can easily be missed or tossed to the backburner when you generally feel nothing wrong, especially when it comes to your lady parts. So why waste time and money, right? Wrong.
We are not even going to sugarcoat it, but failing to put importance on female reproductive health can have serious consequences.This is not to scare you ladies, but to shed light on health promotion and disease prevention.
If you simply dust this off, then here’s what you are missing when you don’t go on regular gynae visits:
A better understanding about your body
A gynae visit may seem like a daunting experience, especially for those who are doing it for the first time. To allay your anxiety about the whole thing, think of these visits as a way for you to know more about your body. When you have a professional looking into your situation, you have someone who knows what to give your body and when.
Changes in your body, especially for those facing puberty or menopause, may come with varying symptoms. You may find these changes rather difficult to understand or cope with, therefore it helps to have someone who specializes on the matter with whom you can consult.
A common gynaecological problem that a lot of women today are suffering from is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). It is a benign condition that is caused by elevated androgen (male hormone) levels. This causes women to skip menstrual periods, gain weight, and even make it harder for them to get pregnant.
A lot of women are not aware that they have this problem, and a consultation with an ultrasound can detect it. Once it is confirmed, a gynaecologist can also advise you on the right treatment, lifestyle changes, and dietary changes to correct the problem and improve the symptoms.
It’s one thing to ask your mom or a friend about certain matters, but you get deeper into things, and you also get the right help, when you ask someone who is in authority.
An in-depth discussion on birth control options
With most couples in Singapore pushing their plans to start a family much later, it helps that professional help is sought. A gynaecologist is the right person to help you find the appropriate birth control method. No two women are alike, so what worked for someone you know may not necessarily be effective, or safe, for you. A doctor who is familiar with your sexual health history, medical history, family history and lifestyle can guide you with the method that would be appropriate.
Like other medications, birth control also comes with potential risks and side effects. For instance, you will not be advised to use certain hormonal methods of birth control if you have a history of breast cancer. Health and lifestyle factors are also important considerations because these can influence how a woman’s body reacts to birth control (e.g. smoking increases a woman’s risk for developing blood clots while on birth control). In addition to this, birth control pills may also interact with certains medications that you are taking.
Therefore, it is not advisable to simply rely on advertisements or word-of-mouth in making these decisions. Rather, it is important that you are properly examined by a gynaecologist before using any birth control methods. Otherwise, you would be missing out on sound advise and proper monitoring.
Regular visits to the gynaecologist is one of a woman’s important yearly checkups. This allows you to be evaluated by undergoing the appropriate screening tests. Breast examinations and pelvic examinations are just some of the health assessments done in a well-woman checkup
What many may see to be a waste of time having found no need to see their gynaecologist is actually a good investment for your health. There are several health conditions, such as cervical or ovarian cancer, that doesn’t show symptoms early on. This makes regular screening very helpful in detecting anything that are out of the ordinary. Early detection gives you a good chance of managing the problem, better yet, preventing it.
A regular pap smear, blood workup, or mammogram are just some of the screening exams available for women today. Not making the time may cause you to miss out on your chances of avoiding preventable diseases that could even cost you your life.
Vaccinations are now available for women to prevent the common diseases they are at risk of. HPV (human papillomavirus) for instance, is the type of virus that has no symptoms and may simply go away on its own. However some may cause most cervical cancers, as well as other neoplasms that develop in the vulva, vagina, oropharynx (back of the throat), and the anus. The HPV vaccine can help shield yourself from these potential problems.
The importance of vaccines is also emphasized for pregnant women. A consultation will help you to be aware of the kinds of vaccines that you must have and when to get them. Making sure that your vaccines are up-to-date will provide you and your baby with the right protection from serious diseases.
It is time for women to be proactive with their health since there are several solutions available today that can help prevent or even protect you from several diseases. Gynaecological problems are some of those insidious conditions that slowly gets worse over time if you allow them to linger. It is up to you to act on it now. As the the old adage says, “prevention is better than cure.”
Share your concerns with someone who understands your struggle. Book your appointment with a female gynaecologist in Singapore today at the Dr. Pamela Tan Clinic.
Dr Pamela Tan is a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist in Singapore. She finished her undergraduate studies at the National University of Singapore and earned her post-graduate degree at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK. She is an accredited specialist by the Specialist Accreditation Board (Ministry of Health), and a fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. She subspecialises in colposcopy and is certified to perform Level 3 minimally invasive keyhole surgeries such as laparoscopic hysterectomy, myomectomy and cystectomy. Dr Pam also supports the natural birthing method and she strives to provide a personalised care and treatment for each patient.