Regular medical checkups are important for a long healthy life. Through routine checkups, doctors can diagnose underlying conditions in their early stages and initiate therapies. In some cases, regular checkups may be the difference between life and death, especially for aggressive disorders. The benefits of routine checkups apply to women's pelvic exams. Although pelvic exams are uncomfortable for some women, they effectively detect gynecological conditions in their early stages, allowing timely interventions. In addition to routine hospital visits for general health checkups, below are situations when you should consider getting a pelvic exam.
Unexplained Lower Abdominal, Bowel, or Back Pains
The first reason outside regular hospital visits when pelvic exams are crucial is if a woman or person with a uterus experiences unexplained pain. The patient can experience vaginal pain during sexual intercourse, unexplained regular lower back pain, and pain in the hip region. Thus, people experiencing any unexplained pains should consult a board-certified OBGYN for a pelvic exam. An experienced OBGYN can determine from the pelvic exam results the source of the pain. Depending on the source, the doctor determines whether it is an ovarian cyst or an early indication of ovarian cancer. Thus, pelvic exams are crucial in determining the source of pain and the correct course of treatment.
Monitoring Expectant Mothers During Pregnancy
Women's pelvic exams are quite common during pregnancy. Typically, gynecologists administer a pelvic exam in the first and third trimester of the pregnancy to assess the expectant mother's health. In addition to determining their well-being, pelvic exams allow doctors to assess the likelihood of pregnancy complications or preterm labor. Finally, pelvic exams may indicate how soon an expectant mother will give birth. Dilation of the pelvic region indicates that the person is close to birth. Thus, pelvic exams are essential during pregnancy to determine viability and detect potential complications.
Usually, vaginal discharges are a fair indicator of vaginal health. People who experience abnormal vaginal discharges should consult a qualified OBGYN to determine the cause of the discharge. For instance, people who experience an itchy discharge that smells and burns the skin should consult with their doctor because it could be a yeast infection or severe health issues such as STIs. A prescription of over-the-counter medicine can solve the problem if the doctor determines that the condition is not detrimental. However, doctors may request additional diagnostic tests should they suspect that patients have sexually transmitted diseases based on the pelvic exam. Thus, routine pelvic exams are important to ascertain patients' sexual health well-being.
Visit a clinic like Naples Ob-Gyn for more information.