According to an article in the Huffington Post, about 17 percent of women in the United States actually see a gynecologist for regular annual exams. This could be for a variety of reasons, including time constraints or, sadly, not having insurance to go see a gynecologist. However, I bet this number is much lower when looking at girls in college. Many girls in college are busy, some don’t have health insurance at all and many may not have a way of getting to see a gynecologist, even if it is just once a year. While there could be any number of reasons why a young woman may not see a gynecologist, every girl in college should see a gynecologist for a yearly exam.
Seeing a gynecologist is important because reproductive health is finicky and gynecologists can help solve problems you may think are something else. If you think you have a yeast infection and it’s actually vaginitis, that’s something you’ll want to know. If you’re having reproductive issues that you barely notice, a gynecologist can help you figure that out far more quickly than any college aged girl could probably figure it out on their own. Of course, it is your body and you know it, but this person has been through medical school and has a career that is specialized to make sure you are reproductively functioning soundly.
Women in college are also not always in the most stable relationships with their sex partners and can more easily contract an STD that someone who is not sexually active at all or someone who is monogamous for a long period of time. Seeing a gynecologist can not only help you make the right choice for contraceptives, since there are so many different kinds and so many reasons to choose one over another and they can also help you figure out whether or not you have an STD. That’s something you’ll want to know about sooner rather than later. Since the most common symptom of STDs is “no symptoms,” it’s best that women regularly see a gynecologist so anything that may be wrong can be talked about.
Many women have bodily changes during college as they move from being a frantic high school girl finishing their homework to adult women dealing with a whole new set of problems. When you see a gynecologist for a regular exam, you’re able to leave that problem to a professional and take care of the other things in life that need your attention. It is also important that you have someone, like a medical professional, by your side that can help you along when you may need it.
Every young woman in college, and outside of it, should be able to see a gynecologist on an annual basis. All women should have access and all women should go see a gynecologist!