Even though a lot of ground is covered in gynecological exams, the process can be quite swift, and it's not unusual for the exam to take as little as five minutes. In the 24 hours preceding the exam, it's recommended that you abstain from sex and avoid using douches or vaginal creams.
What can be expected from a gynecological exam?
A gynecological exam often requires a gynecologist to examine your pelvis. The area outside your vagina may be examined, and a speculum may be placed inside your vagina so the gynecologist can take a look at your vaginal canal and cervix. A thin plastic stick may be used to gather cells from your cervix. This is known as a Pap test, and it can identify changes in the cervix that may foreshadow cancer. Your gynecologist may also use gloved fingers to manually examine your vagina and anus.
What is the difference between a gynecologist and an obstetrician?
Though there are certain differences between a gynecologist and an obstetrician, their fields often overlap. Gynecologists are focused on a broad range of women's health issues, while obstetricians are more narrowly focused on pregnancy and childbirth. Most gynecologists are also trained in obstetrics, which means they're qualified to care for pregnant women.
What is menopause?
Menopause refers to a set of health changes that women experience as they age, and it's perfectly normal. With the advent of menopause, a woman's menstruation cycle ceases, and she is no longer able to conceive a child. Menopause typically happens after the age of 40, but it can sometimes occur earlier due to hysterectomy or damage to the ovaries.
What is estrogen replacement therapy?
Estrogen replacement therapy is used to help women boost their estrogen levels. This hormone replacement therapy is often used treat unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause, and it's also used to support the health of patients who have had a hysterectomy. Estrogen replacement therapy is also used by gynecologists to treat female patients who are at risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.