Medical Minute: The importance of visiting an OB/GYN and being proactive

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 9:27 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As an OB/GYN, there are a lot of myths. Nobody really knows how often to visit you, maybe let us know how often should someone see an OB/GYN.

“Once I have an established relationship with a patient, I like to see them every year unless there is a concern that should come up sooner than that. If we are talking about wellness visits and well women’s care if a patient is seeing an OB/GYN for a pregnancy that timeline of visits changes significantly because we are going to see them routinely throughout the pregnancy,” said Avera Dr. Catherine Brockmeier, DO.

Are there different kinds of exams?

“Annual wellness visits. A head-to-toe physical just like if you were male and going to see your primary care physician. So, listening to the heart and lungs, feeling the neck, and thyroid glands, abdominal exam and for a women’s physical, we add a breast exam and a pelvis exam to that. If a patient needs to be seen for a problem visit. So they’re coming to their OB/GYN for something other than an annual wellness exam, then we tailor the visit to the concerns of the patient for the visit,” said Dr. Brockmeier.

Are there any questions you wish your patients would be more proactive in asking?

“I try to encourage my patients to have a preconception visit. So if they are considering pregnancy, see their OB/GYN ahead of actually getting pregnant to talk about chronic health conditions. Like family history, medications they may take, do they smoke, or overuse alcohol, and just a well-rounded assessment of what their health is like going into pregnancy. I think that’s one a lot of us don’t think of but is a really valuable visit with your OB/GYN,” said Dr. Brockmeier.