What Are Routine Gynecological Tests?

An OBGYB conducting a routine gynecological exam with a female patient.

Gynecological services aren’t just for expecting mothers. Gynecological tests and examinations should be part of every woman’s regular check-ups to rule out any infections or diseases.

There are routine gynecological tests that a woman should schedule, as well as tests you get before, during, and after pregnancy. Continue reading to learn more about what they are and when you should get them.

Yearly Gynecological Exams

You should have a gynecological examination at least once a year. The entire exam will include tests like a pap smear, a pelvic exam, a breast exam, a blood pressure check, as well as checking for STDs and STIs.

Before Pregnancy

Gynecologist visits before your pregnancy are helpful in making sure your body is strong enough to handle the stresses that pregnancy puts on it. Certain health conditions affect a baby’s health that you might not be aware of, which is what these visits are for.

You should still see a gynecologist prior to getting pregnant, even if you’ve had a baby before. It’s twice as important if you’ve delivered a premature baby, a baby with a birth defect, or miscarried.

Your gynecologist might advise you to take folic acid and other health supplements before and during pregnancy. Optimal levels of folic acid aid in protecting your baby from birth defects of the mouth, spine, and brain.

A gynecological examination is imperative during pregnancy, including tests for blood type and Rh factor, STDs, and STIs to determine which health conditions may or may not affect your baby’s well-being. A detailed history of the diseases that run in your family is also taken into consideration. Your doctor will ensure you’re caught up on vaccinations and go through the medicines you are already taking to ensure everything is safe for a healthy pregnancy. Chickenpox might not be deadly to a fully grown human, but it can cause gastrointestinal abnormalities for the baby if you catch it before delivering.

During Pregnancy

As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, it’s time to find an OBGYN and start your prenatal appointments.

Prenatal appointments are regular appointments you attend every few weeks to ensure that the baby’s development is going well. In these appointments, your OBGYN will determine your due date and your prenatal care schedule, and just keep an eye on and give advice when needed during the development of the fetus.

The first set of appointments is your first trimester appointments, which you should go to once a month during the first 4 to 28 weeks of your pregnancy.

The second set of appointments takes place during the second trimester, around 28 to 36 weeks into your pregnancy. The frequency of the visits should increase to every 2 weeks or twice a month.

The last set of visits is the ones that take place during your third trimester, from week 36 to week 40 of your pregnancy. At this stage, you should see your OBGYN every week until your delivery.

After Your Pregnancy

While it may seem like your OBGYN visits are over, and you should dedicate yourself wholly to your newborn, your reproductive health and state of mind are important too. In fact, if you’re as healthy as you can be, you can give better care to your baby.

After having a baby, it’s time for postpartum appointments. The purpose of these routine gynecological tests is to make sure that you’re physically and mentally healthy post-pregnancy.

Childbirth is no small feat. It’s as difficult as it is beautiful, so it’s important to make sure that you’re healthy throughout your journey. After your postpartum check-ups, you should go back to your regular gynecologist appointments once a month.

We at Christian Healthcare Centers focus exclusively on patients and their physical, spiritual, and emotional wellness. We always keep your comfort and health in mind, so call us at (616) 226-2669 to schedule a consultation.

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