When to See an Ob/Gyn Instead of Your Primary Care Provider 

Should your Ob/Gyn also serve as your primary care physician who takes care of all of your health needs, including appointments when you’re sick and for yearly checkups?  Each doctor has defined specialty areas, and when issues overlap, the choice isn’t always crystal clear. This article will help you better choose which provider to see and why. 

Primary care physicians help oversee the general health of their patients. They can help identify signs of illnesses and provide early intervention, including specialist referrals. Some primary care physicians have a specialty in women’s health.  If location and convenience are major factors, some patients will take care of their PAP smears and STD screenings at their primary doctor's office. 

An obstetrician/gynecologist (Ob/Gyn) works strictly with women’s health, including the reproductive system, pregnancy care and everything related to the pelvic or breast region. If cancer is discovered, then an oncologist is likely to be involved.

Your Ob/Gyn will take you through many stages of your life, including prenatal care and childbirth, serving as a guide through contraception choices and fertility and beyond reproductive years, including perimenopause and into menopause.

Your relationship with your Ob/Gyn is a trusted one that will continue for many years as you may also bring a teenage daughter to see your Ob/Gyn when it is time for her to establish her own women’s health care provider. 

When should you go directly to an Ob/Gyn? If you are dealing with female-specific issues like endometriosis, sexually transmitted infections, a lump or pain in the breast, urinary tract infections, menstrual abnormalities or abnormal vaginal discharge, you should see an Ob/Gyn.

How often should I see an Ob/Gyn? It is important to see your Ob/Gyn annually to help identify or prevent any serious illness. Your Ob/Gyn will help guide you with contraception, overall health of your reproductive system, as well as your maintenance health screenings.  For any abnormalities in tests, they will refer you to a primary care physician if you don’t have one.  It is always helpful to have a primary care doctor in case a nongynecological illness comes up.   

For more than 30 years, South Bay Ob/Gyn has provided comprehensive obstetrical and gynecological care for Long Islanders like you.  Call us today at (631) 587-2500 to make an appointment and meet our amazing team. We would love to welcome you to our family of patients. 

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