It helps to see your OB/GYN as your partner in reproductive health. If you can see your relationship as a partnership, you should be more open in your communication and with making sure you keep your appointments.
Because it is a health partnership and not just a casual business relationship, it is a good idea to choose the right OB/GYN for you. Make sure you trust them. You don’t want to trust just anyone with a medical degree to deal with the most sensitive parts of your body and during one of the most precious times of your life. It's not worth it to simply trust someone you pull at random from the list provided by your health insurance provider. It's better to get a referral from a friend, a family member or your primary care physician. You should meet with the OB/GYN beforehand and choose one you feel good about and with whom you feel entirely comfortable.
Ask a lot of questions about their medical experience, their various certifications and ask them pointed questions about issues you consider important. Makes sure they accept your health insurance, that they have admitting privileges at your preferred hospital, when they have office hours and find out who covers for them when they're unavailable. These are all important questions to have answered before becoming a patient and making your first visit.
After you find out you are pregnant, your first OB appointment should come within about 8-12 weeks of conception. It will be necessary to check your overall health and to identify any possible factors that could put you or your fetus at risk for complications. Therefore, expect the first visit to include a thorough physical examination, including a breast exam, a pelvic exam, a urine test, a pap smear and blood work. There may also be some genetic testing and even an ultrasound, at which time your OB/GYN may even offer an estimated due date. (Just remember it's an estimate!)
Your doctor will try to get a full medical history, which means they will ask a lot of questions. You should take the cue and ask a lot of questions yourself. The first visit is an opportune time to discuss any issues you may have, such as which lifestyle changes may be necessary and whether you should take on dietary and other restrictions during the pregnancy. Based on what you tell your doctor and what the doctor discovers medically, as partners in the adventure, you both will work out an appointment schedule for the balance of the pregnancy.
Keep in mind, your OB/GYN will be there to deal with many of the most important health issues in your life, during your pregnancy and beyond. They can screen for certain types of cancer, treat infections in the most sensitive parts of the body, and perform surgery for pelvic organ or urinary tract infections. They will be dealing with your most intimate issues and the most private parts of your body. You cannot hold back on health issues, so make sure you choose a doctor with whom you feel comfortable discussing everything. Make your first visit a good one and strive to build a partnership with your OB/GYN.
If you have any questions regarding your vaginal health, you can schedule an appointment with us today by calling South Bay OB/GYN at 631-203-8893.