If you are of the mind that just because you have gone through menopause you no longer to visit the gynecologist, you need to think again. Just because you are no longer concerned with reproduction, does not mean that your reproductive system is gone. Not only is it still there and capable of becoming diseased, you may have problems with your sexual health that need to be taken care of. Sure, you can have a physical by your primary care physician every year, but he or she is not going to be looking at the same things a gynecologist looks at, and vice versa. Here are a few reasons to make sure see the gynecologist annually.
Many post-menopausal women find they are able to enjoy sexual activities more once there is no concern of becoming pregnant. However, the lack of estrogen and general aging process can lead to other problems. Without adequate hormones, a woman's libido may drop, making her uninterested in having a sexual relationship. This can also lead to a decrease in the natural lubrication that keeps sexual intercourse from becoming painful. Your gynecologist will test the hormone levels in your system and prescribe medications or therapies that will help you to maintain an active sex life.
As long as the reproductive organs are still present, they can become diseased. One of the biggest concerns is cancer. Uterine, ovarian and cervical cancer could go undetected and be fatal if you do not have a Pap smear and routine pelvic exam annually. Early detection is the best way to beat the disease. Just because a mass is found does not mean it is cancer. Even women who have been through menopause can have benign cysts or fibroid tumors. It is also possible for the post-menopausal woman to have vaginitis or any of the sexually transmitted diseases. Any time there is pain, discharge, itching or bleeding in or around the vaginal area, it is important to see the gynecologist for treatment.
Whether you have had a hysterectomy or gone through menopause naturally, it is important that you maintain a routine with a gynecologist. Part of your overall health is directly related to your sex life and sexual health. In order to stay in good physical and mental health, you need a doctor who understands what may be going on. You wouldn't expect your primary care physician to act as your cardiologist. Don't expect him or her to be your gynecologist just because you have been through menopause.