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How an Ob/Gyn Visit Changes Throughout a Lifetime

How an Ob/Gyn Visit Changes Throughout a Lifetime

The changes that occur throughout every stage of life not only alter how your body works and feels, but also impacts the care you need from your OB/GYN. In caring for teens, young adults, and older women, these physicians must assess the developmental needs of their patients to provide the right level of support. That way, they can stay in line with the changes that are occurring, giving you the best care experience possible. Here’s a look at how their care approach might change through every stage of your life.teens

According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, teens should go see the OB/GYN anywhere between age 13 and 15. At the start of the visit, your OB/GYN will ask many questions about your family and personal health history, including inquiries about your menstrual cycle and sexual activities.

Depending on your answers, you may elect to talk about contraceptives at this time as well. Your doctor will keep everything you say confidential, only gathering information to provide you with the best level of care.

Then, your OB/GYN will perform a physical exam and external genital exam, though pap smears are not necessary until age 21. After your exam, they will discuss any health concerns you may have.

You may also learn about age-appropriate vaccinations, including ones that protect against HPV, hepatitis A, and meningitis. They will ask if you have any questions at the end of the visit and offer information on how to stay healthy and when to come back for care.twenties

After age 21, you will need to have a pelvic exam and pap test as a regular part of your OB/GYN visits. The pap test allows for the early detection of many health conditions, including cervical cancer.

Unless you are high-risk, the pelvic exam and pap test is only performed every three years through age 30. You can also elect to be tested for HPV during the exam, which is then performed every five years if warranted. If you have not had it done yet, your doctor can provide the HPV vaccine to protect from certain types of cancer, including oral and neck cancer.

During your OB/GYN appointments in your twenties, you will also have a breast and abdominal exam performed. Your doctor will check these areas to find any painful spots or lumps, helping keep you in good health through the years.

Depending on your family planning needs, you will have a chance to discuss:

  • Fertility
  • Preconception counseling
  • Genetic screening
  • Contraception

At all visits, you should share any changes in your menstrual cycle, personal health, or family health history. Your doctor will use that information to personalize their approach and provide you with best quality of care.


Once you hit your thirties, pap tests are still performed once every three years, as long as your results came back normal. If you elect to have an HPV test performed, then your pap tests may be able to wait five years.

Pelvic exams, however, will still need to be completed every three years. If you have any health problems or concerns that warrant more frequent tests, your OB/GYN will let you know and find the best schedule for your needs.

At appointments in your thirties, your OB/GYN will attend to your family planning needs, providing pregnancy testing and birth control. They will also provide support through your pregnancy using comprehensive prenatal care techniques.forties

By your mid-forties, your OB/GYN care needs change yet again as your body begins to go into menopause. Your doctor can help you manage these changes with medication, hormone replacement therapy, and lifestyle adjustments.

As your body goes through these changes, you may also need additional health screenings, such as:

  • Bone density measurements
  • Colonoscopies
  • Mammograms

Depending on your personal and family health history, you will need to start getting mammograms every year starting between ages 40 and 45. The start date and frequency for the other tests depends on your health history as well. Your doctor will help you find the ideal health monitoring schedule for your needs and adjust as needed for any changes that occur in this decade.fifties

By age 55, if your results have been normal, mammograms only need to be performed once every other year. Pelvic exams and pap tests are still necessary in your fifties, though those with consistently normal results only need them every five years. Once you hit age 64, your OB/GYN may recommend stopping the pap tests and pelvic exams, unless any problems arise.

Your OB/GYN visits will mostly center around monitoring your health and managing symptoms of menopause. You may also need care for any skin changes that occur, especially around the vulva.

Through every decade of life, your OB/GYN will remain a key source of support in monitoring and maintaining your reproductive health. To complete your role in this process, you have to do is schedule your visits as recommended and complete the steps needed to stay in good health.

Scheduling your appointments at Ogden Clinic is as easy as calling 801-475-3000 and finding a convenient time and date to come in. So, call today to get started in receiving the care you need through every stage of life.