In keeping my ear to the ground and eyes wide open, I am constantly getting feedback from YOU whether it be via email, direct message on social media, etc. I recently received a request to address whether “senior citizens needed to continue to see the gynecologist?”
This is a GREAT question. First of all, how does one define a senior? According to my mini, anyone over age 40(LMFAO!!!). I guess in her eyes I’m included in that group. Anywho, I had a patient that was 95 years old. I saw her until she went on to be with the good Lord. I LOVED seeing her. She was old school. Old school in the best way imaginable. She actually dressed up to come to her doctor’s appointments. Ya’ll know how the old folks do it. Anyway, while I wasn’t see her for pap smears, I was seeing her for other age related conditions.
Here are my
Top 5 Reasons Seniors Need To Continue To See The Gynecologist:
You are more than just a Cervix. Most folks equate seeing the gynecologist with pap smears. While this may be true, the pap is only about 2% of what occurs at your gyn visit. Honestly, that’s the easy part. Besides, if you meet certain criteria, you may not even need a pap anymore! Having said that, make sure you clear this with your obgyn before you just stop getting those paps.
While many of you have a primary care physician, lets face it, the gyn serves as the primary care physician for LOTS of women. We make sure you are current with the latest and greatest, whether that be screening tests such as colonoscopies, mammograms, bone density scans, vaccines, blood work such as cholesterol levels, etc. Besides, with folks living longer and being more “active”(feel free to read between the lines on this one), screening tests such as paps, especially with HPV(human papilloma virus), are no longer a one size fits all and should be individualized.
We are here for you through ALL stages of life. Not just the childbearing years. If you thought pregnancy, childbirth, heavy, sometimes painful periods were fun, you clearly haven’t met menopause. Vaginal dryness. Painful sex. Hot flashes/night sweats. Things falling out of your vagina. Are your primary care physicians addressing these issues? I should say NOT. Consider us your friendly tour guide as you enter and exit these various stages of your life. And even if the golden years are a breeze for you, at least you’ll have some insight into what to say to your girlfriends when they start experiencing the aforementioned. IJS(I’m just sayin’).
We detect more than just Cervical Cancer. Ever heard of vulvar cancer? Uterine Cancer? Breast Cancer? Some of these have age as an independent risk factor, meaning, the older you are the more likely you are to get them. I don’t know many generalists that manage these issues. Of interest, I recently saw a woman, 65 to be exact. She came to see me for what she thought was post menopausal bleeding. I did an exam; work-up. Turns out, the blood wasn’t coming from her vagina, cervix, uterus, but from her bladder. All she knew was that when she wiped, she saw blood. After all was said and done, the imaging picked up a mass in the bladder. Her girl parts were fine. Turns out we caught an early bladder cancer. I say that to say this. As gynecologists, we are ALWAYS here for you. You can “tell all” when you’re in our office.
It’s just good to get out. While I do realize I run neck and neck with the dentist regarding who patients prefer to see least, I will tell you that our visits are FUN! We talk fashion, family, current events. If nothing else, you’ll get some good girl talk and stellar healthcare all in one. Now Ms. P, you know I am my Aunt Ev’s niece and have the gift for the gab. The GOOD, GOOD, gab.
Hoping this blog post has informed as well as entertained.
Until next time,
Look Better. Feel Better. Be Better.
Wife, mother, Midwesterner, and award-winning OB/GYN, Dr. Angela is equal parts best girlfriend and bold professional, supporting women’s health with innovative approaches to care and heavy doses of humor. Dr. Angela has done more than launch a successful practice, she has defined herself as a voice for a new generation of womanhood, established her ASK DR. ANGELA brand committed to authenticity, and built a community rooted in trust, candor, and compassion.