It is probably just the basic aversion to clinical surroundings or the dread of hearing something scary about one’s health – but whatever it is, is enough to keep us from avoiding a visit to the doctor’s till some medical issue starts staring us roundly in the face. Ironically, what we do not realise is that making a ‘friendly’ visit to your GP and/or gynecologist can actually save a lot of trauma and pain in the later stages. Suffice to say, it is a good idea to make your GP and gynecologist your best friend and visit him/her at timely intervals. So, how often should these visits be? Read on:
VISIT YOUR GP WHEN…
You feel something changing in your body
While it’s not prudent to have panic attacks every time you get a cough or hiccup, do schedule a visit if you find some visible changes such as a wrist pain when you swerve the car’s wheel or acquiring a serious cold or a cough each time the weather changes.
There is some persistent problem
We tend to ignore nagging aches and pains but that’s the body’s way of cautioning you for a serious ailment that may be on its way. So, instead of risking yourself with self-medication, do visit the GP if you feel continually fatigued (it could be a precursor to diabetes), or if your limbs go stiff every morning (it may lead to rheumatoid arthritis) or if your weight is yo-yoing (it could indicate thyroid).
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You need advice
Your GP will know your medical history more than a specialist. So, if you need advice on whether a new type of pill will suit you or not, or whether you should make certain changes to your diet, the GP is your best friend to look up to. The GP can also help with suggestions of the best specialists to visit if he/she feels the need for it.
You become sexually active
A lot of changes start occurring in a woman’s body once she becomes sexually active. Drastic changes in your menstrual patterns or consistency of vaginal discharge, itching in the vaginal region, burning sensation while urinating are all valid reasons to see a gynecologist.
You want to plan a family or get pregnant
When that UPT turns out positive, the gynecologist becomes your BFF! Do keep up with the scheduled appointments for check-ups and tests. Alternately, also visit the gynecologist to plan your contraception and if or when it starts having any side-effects.
You haven’t seen her in a year
A year is a long time to go without meeting the gynecologist, but even if that happens, do not miss your annual check-up that comprises PAP smears and breast exams among other things. Menopausal women should also not miss this visit because it can help detect cancers, bone ailments, and diabetes well in time.