In order to be the best you can possibly be, we encourage you to become interested and informed about your health – to be an active member on your own personal health team!
That being said, you might have some questions:
Candace Rose: How often should you visit the OB/GYN?
Dr. Jenny M. Jaque: You should visit your OB/GYN on an annual basis once you become sexually active or by the age of 21. Your gynecologist may perform certain “screening” tests, depending on your age and health history, during your annual visits. You should also see your OB/GYN immediately if you suddenly experience symptoms that worry you.
Candace Rose: What are the most important questions you should ask your OB/GYN?
Dr. Jenny M. Jaque: Be prepared for all your health care appointments! You should make a list of questions and concerns that you want to discuss. Start with the main problem and then add any additional problems or concerns. You should also write down any signs (things that you see and can be shown to your healthcare provider) or symptoms (how you feel) that you are experiencing. Common questions that are frequently addressed during office visits are:
- How often a woman should have a screening pap smear
- When to begin screening mammograms
- The various birth control options
- Sexually transmitted disease testing and prevention.
- Are any signs or symptoms you should be on the look out for?
- Typical signs and symptoms that require further evaluation from your OB/GYN include:
- pelvic pain
- foul vaginal discharge
- any lesions that you find on the outside of your vagina
- any breast mass or nipple discharge
- vaginal bleeding that is outside of your regular menstrual cycle
- heavy bleeding with your periods
- any skipped periods.
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Dr. Jenny M. Jaque: Your health care providers are a great source of information and are happy to address any questions or concerns that you may have. You should never “wonder” what might be going on with your body! Also, it is often difficult to find accurate and relevant health care information on the Internet. A good web source is provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov).
Be inspired to take care of yourself, because a woman informed is a woman empowered!
About Dr. Jenny M. Jaque
Dr. Jenny M. Jaque is an obstetrician-gynecologist practicing in academic medicine who has delivered over 1800 babies in her career. She serves as Assistant Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology and Assistant Residency Program Director, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. She received her MD from Loma Linda University School of Medicine (2004), and trained at Wright State University for General Surgery (2005) and Keck School of Medicine of USC for Obstetrics & Gynecology (2009).
In 2012, Jaque founded Health Goes Female with fellow MDs Doerthe Brueggmann and Claire Templeman after the three became aware of the dire need for accurate, relevant and reliable information and health education. To provide relevant and to-the-point information on important topics, presented in a simple, precise format with high-impact facts books on Infection & Protection, Ready-Set-Push, Me? No Pause! and 1-2-3 Puberty were born. In an effort to inspire others to assist in the worthwhile cause, and to spotlight those making a difference in the lives of many, the doctors then formed the Make a Point Movement. Jaque also serves on the board of the Make a Point Foundation.
For more information on Dr. Jaque and Health Goes Female, please visit: www.healthgoesfemale.com.