Women’s Health Misconceptions

Greater Regional offers a variety of options when it comes to women’s health services. Our providers are here to help you! Patient’s may choose from OB-GYN, family medicine, or midwife services for their care needs. We provide obstetric care like examinations, contraceptives, pregnancy, infertility services, and postpartum care through women’s health services.

Here are some common misconceptions about women’s health:

1. Must be 21 years old to see an OB-GYN.

Females can start seeing an OB-GYN as early as 13 years old. Having a provider that specializes in women’s biological make up can provide, answers to questions or concerns you might have about your menstrual cycle, sexuality, safe relationships, or prevention regarding contraceptives and avoidance of sexually transmitted disease.

2. You need to see an OB-GYN every year.

Regardless of health, especially if you don’t have a primary care provider, seeing an OB-GYN for a yearly physical provides health screening for things like high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, STDs, STIs, osteoporosis, and cancer. The annual exam can offer the chance to review any current methods of contraception, vaccinations that may require update, and discuss any concerns with sexual activity, menstruation, and pregnancy or plans of becoming pregnant.

3. Pap smears are needed every year.

The general recommendations have changed based on frequency of need for pap exams that screen for cervical cancer. Current guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions stating women ages 21 to 29 should have a pap test every three years and women 30 to 65 should have a pap test every three to five years per provider recommendation. After age 65, if there is no history of abnormal results or consecutive negative test results, you may no longer need pap smears. If immune system may be compromised or if abnormal results have occurred, your provider may recommend more frequent testing. Although a ‘pap exam’ may not be required every year, having a pelvic exam annually is still recommended to detect any abnormalities.

4. I shouldn’t wait until I’m 40 to get pregnant.

While there’s no rush to become pregnant before you’re ready, the chances of conceiving decrease as you age. According to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), healthy couples 20 to early 30s have a 25 to 35 percent chance of becoming pregnant each monthly cycle. Meaning the chances of conceiving are about 75 to 85 percent a year. By age 40, that drops to less than 10 percent chance each cycle, seeking a specialist is recommended.

5. Birth control usage for a long time decreases your fertility.

The use of birth control long term does not affect your fertility. It can, however, effect the timing of results taking 10 to 12 months longer to get positive pregnant results after stopping birth control as cycles transition back to a pre-hormonal schedule.