Sex on 27th is Blush’s latest column, dealing with all matters of the bedroom. From sexual wellness to bondage, Beauty Editor and columnist, Julia Suarez, is here to get real and answer all of your most ~burning~ questions.
Pelvic exams, cold hands, and uncomfortable paper gowns, oh my! It’s that time again! Time to visit your OBGYN. And, while you only need to have a Pap test once every three years, it’s important to visit your OBGYN every year, or every three to six months or so, depending on birth control methods.
One of the first things you should do by the time you’re in your twenties is to find an OBGYN and a gynecologist you can trust. At twenty-two, I have so many friends that haven’t done this yet, so don’t feel called out if you haven’t, either. But, after reading this, there’s no more excuses! Below are just some of the reasons I go to my OBGYN, and why you should too.
Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby
Some people are comfortable talking about, some aren’t. And while talking to your friends about it can be helpful, it’s important to bring up any concerns to your doctor related to sex like birth control options, possible sexually transmitted infections, and even pain during sex to find solutions to these problems that many women also face. Your OBGYN should be someone you feel comfortable talking to about these things, and if he or she isn’t, girl find a new one! I visited four different doctors before I found the right one and that is completely normal. It should always be a judgement free zone and you should never feel embarrassed about sharing these things with your doctor.
That Time of the Month
Having a conversation about your period can tell your gynecologist a lot about your health. Is your bleeding consistent each month? Does your period come every month? How heavy is your period? Are the symptoms surrounding your period causing an incredible amount of discomfort? Do you have bleeding in between periods? These are all simple questions that can tip your gynecologist off if something is wrong.
Your Body, Your Mind, Your Hormones
Being a full-time student, working, and interning, can (surprise, surprise) lead to stress and anxiety—something that FIT students are no strangers to. Hormones can have a massive effect on your physical body, mental health, and stress-management abilities.The reason why you’re gaining weight or feeling a certain way may be due to a hormonal imbalance. No matter what point in life you’re in, it’s important to have someone that you can feel comfortable talking to about what’s going on in your body. Your appointment with your OBGYN is a welcome time to talk openly about how you are feeling.
Pap tests, or pap smears are designed to detect abnormal cancer cells before they become cancerous. You should get one once every three years.
If you’re sexually active, no matter your birth control methods, it’s important to get tested every few months for STDs. While it can be scary, and there unfortunately is a stigma surrounding them, most STDs can be treated and cured. Some can be asymptomatic and can lead to infertility if left untreated.
An annual exam is the perfect time to go over vaccines that might be right for you/what you need. An important vaccination to get is the HPV vaccine. HPV infections and cervical precancers (abnormal cells on the cervix that can lead to cancer) have dropped significantly since the vaccine has been in use. Among vaccinated women, the percentage of cervical precancers caused by the HPV types most often linked to cervical cancer has dropped by 40 percent.
By keeping up with my appointments, I’ve learned so much about my body, and what it needs to stay healthy. Remember, it’s important to always be honest, ask questions, and to keep track of changes in your body. You’ve only got one.