Gynecologists are surgeons and doctors. Their specialty is the female genital tract, as well as general women’s health. This means that they look at conditions affection the womb, the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the vagina, the cervix and the vulva. Besides this, they deal with contraception, menstrual problems, menopause, sexuality and infertility. Usually, a gynecologist is also an OBGYN, meaning they deal with pregnancy, birthing and prenatal care.
It is becoming increasingly popular for regular primary care providers to deal with the bulk of a gynecologist’s work, meaning the gynecologist job description has changed somewhat, in as such that they often deal only with highly complex cases. Because gynecologist education is so complex nowadays, they often deal with those who have a family history of gynecological problems, or those who are dealing with issues relating specifically to women’s health and where primary care has not seen an improvement.
What to Look for in a Gynecologist
The main gynecologist task is to make you feel comfortable. The issues that are discussed are often very sensitive, and many women feel very exposed when they have to visit their gynecologist. This is why a lot of people wonder whether it is better to have a female gynecologist, rather than a male gynecologist. There are no right and wrong answers in this. It is certainly true that women tend to have a more understanding attitude, being women themselves, but men can actually be more gentle and reassuring, because they don’t know how things feel themselves. What matters most, in other words, is not so much the gender of your gynecologist, but rather how they make you feel. No matter how busy they are, they should have the time to deal with you and answer your questions.
Questions to Ask a Gynecologist
The first thing to ask is whether they are board certified. If they are, then that proves that their knowledge is up to date and that they completed all necessary and relevant continuous education. Next, ask how their lab follow ups work. If you have to have any lab work done, you have to feel safe in the knowledge that none of the information will get lost and that you are contacted and treated straight away should an abnormality show up.
You also need to know who to contact if you have an emergency out of office hours. This is particularly important for those with ongoing gynecological problems, as it may mean you have to deal with a medical professional you haven’t met before. Particularly if you are adamant that you are only treated by a male gynecologist or a female gynecologist, you need to know who the replacement doctors are.
If you are already under some form of treatment, you have to ask your gynecologist for a second opinion on that diagnosis and treatment plan. Not only will this allow you to change your medication regime, if you have one, but it will also help the gynecologist get to know you and your specific case.
One great way to make sure your gynecologist is giving you the best advice is to ask what they would recommend if you were their wife, their sister, their mother or daughter. This often catches gynecologists off-guard, but it will give you a great opportunity to make sure you are getting the best possible treatment.
What matters most is not gender or qualifications, it is what makes you feel better. Would you rather go to a gynecologist with an excellent reputation, or do you care more about whether they validate parking? Do you prefer a professional who will accept your insurance company, or would you rather go to someone with flexible hours Do you want someone who has their own office solely, or one who also works in hospitals? You have to feel capable of building a relationship of trust and respect, which has to be mutual. This can take years, but you can help it along the way by making a list of things that matter to you. Start with the most important thing and end with the least important thing. Then simply tick off the criteria for each of your options.