Women’s Wellness: When Should A Female Start Seeing A Gynecologist?

From Mayo Clinic News Network
Mayo Clinic News Network

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Both family medicine and gynecology departments can complete preventive health exams for women. Both departments can screen for health disease. So when do you see a gynecologic provider and when should you see a family medicine provider?

Mayo Clinic News Network

With several choices in health care providers and specialties, determining who to see and when can be confusing.

“As an OB-GYN provider, one of the most common questions I hear from patients is, ‘What are the differences between the services offered by a gynecology provider versus a family medicine provider?'” says Becky DeLuca, an OB-GYN nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health System. “The second most common is, ‘When should my daughter start seeing a gynecology provider versus her pediatrician or family medicine provider?’ Both of these are excellent questions.
However, the answers are not as straightforward as one might hope.”

FAMILY MEDICINE OR GYNECOLOGY?

Both the family medicine and gynecology departments can complete preventive health exams for women. So when do you see a gynecologic provider and when should you see a family medicine provider?

DeLuca says family medicine is best suited if:

-You have a chronic medical condition that requires medication or regular lab work (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, and chronic pain).

-You have an acute condition that might require antibiotics (e.g., ear infections, strep throat, cellulitis or upper respiratory symptoms).

-You have any new onset of pain or recent injury.

She says gynecology is best suited if:

-You have any questions or concerns regarding the female reproductive system, including breasts, uterus, ovaries and vulva. It also can include some urological or gastrointestinal symptoms.

-You have any menstrual, pregnancy, fertility or contraception questions or issues.

-You have any sexual health concerns (e.g., libido, pain or abuse).

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