Top health tips that your ob-gyn wants you to know

Sara Berg, MS , Senior News Writer

AMA News Wire

Top health tips that your ob-gyn wants you to know

Dec 6, 2023

Obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) serve as the stewards of reproductive and sexual health, providing expert guidance and care to women of all ages. With their deep knowledge and experience, ob-gyns offer a treasure trove of insights that extend beyond routine check-ups and examinations. To help women maintain optimal health and well-being, ob-gyns offer a collection of invaluable tips and advice that they passionately want every patient to embrace.

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The AMA leads the charge on public health. Our members are the frontline of patient care, expanding access to care for underserved patients and developing key prevention strategies.

Here is a list from the AMA’s What Doctors Wish Patients Knew™ series—which provides physicians with a platform to share what they want patients to understand about today’s health care headlines—on some important health tips that ob-gyns want patients to know.

  1. Cervical cancer is almost completely preventable

    1. Cervical cancer is a slow-growing disease that rarely causes symptoms in its early stages, but it also is, fortunately, one of the few cancers that’s almost completely preventable. That’s because it comes down to being able to avoid the human papillomavirus, which can be detected in more than 90% of all cervical cancers. Yet the virus alone is not sufficient to cause cervical cancer—there are other contributing factors to keep in mind too. Five ob-gyns discuss what patients need to know about preventing cervical cancer.

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  2. COVID-19 vaccines are safe during pregnancy

    1. An alarmingly high share of pregnant people in the U.S. are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Given the reluctance of pregnant people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, three ob-gyns answered common questions and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy.

  3. Each menopause transition is different

    1. Menopause is a natural phase of a woman's life that marks the end of her reproductive years. While it is normal and inevitable, it can bring about significant physical and emotional changes that can affect a woman's overall well-being. Understanding the intricacies of menopause and being aware of the various challenges it presents is crucial for women to effectively manage this transition.

  4. There are ways to lower your chance of ovarian cancer

    1. Ovarian cancer affects one or both ovaries. While it is not common, it is the top cause of deaths from any gynecologic cancer in the U.S. This may be because ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it is in an advanced stage. Occurring most commonly in women between 50 and 65, what is known about risk factors has not translated into practical ways to prevent ovarian cancer. Two ob-gyns discuss what they wish patients knew about ovarian cancer prevention.

  5. Fertility is not affected by COVID-19 vaccines

    1. While COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from SARS-CoV-2 infection, many people who are eligible have elected to not get vaccinated. This is often due to concerns about possible side effects. One concern emerged when a false report surfaced on social media claiming that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can cause infertility in women. The truth is COVID-19 vaccines don’t affect fertility.

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  6. Knowing more about PCOS aids early detection

    1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of female infertility. It affects between 6% and 12% of women of reproductive age in the U.S. But it is more than just that. PCOS is a lifelong health condition that continues far beyond a woman’s childbearing years.

  7. Recognizing the first signs of a UTI is key

    1. A strong urge to urinate that doesn’t go away, a burning feeling or other discomfort when urinating can be signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI). While most UTIs are not serious, some can lead to further complications such as kidney infections. That is why knowing the first signs of a UTI and what to do are key.