Guiding You from Puberty to Menopause

Your rela­tion­ship with your obste­tri­cian and gyne­col­o­gist through the years

Your rela­tion­ship with your OB/GYNE is an impor­tant one and many women con­tin­ue their rela­tion­ship with their physi­cian through­out adult­hood. Devel­op­ing a rela­tion­ship with an OB/GYNE that you are com­fort­able with can play a vital role in your long-term health.

Lay­ing a Foundation

An OB/GYNE is a physi­cian that spe­cial­izes in the female repro­duc­tive sys­tem. From irreg­u­lar men­stru­al cycles to pre­ven­tive screen­ings, your OB/GYNE is a resource for infor­ma­tion and emo­tion­al support.


Emo­tion­al and phys­i­cal changes, such as expe­ri­enc­ing strong emo­tions and weight gain, occur dur­ing puber­ty. Your OB/GYNE can help you under­stand the hor­mon­al changes tak­ing place and how they impact your body and mind. Know­ing what to expect can empow­er you to under­stand your body and ask ques­tions when needed.

Men­stru­al Cycle
As you con­tin­ue through puber­ty, you will begin hav­ing a men­stru­al cycle, also known as a peri­od. Everyone’s cycle is dif­fer­ent. Your OB/GYNE can talk to you about cramp­ing or dis­com­fort, light, medi­um and heavy flows and how long you can expect it to last each month.


Sex­u­al Health
Many women have ques­tions or uncer­tain­ty about sex­u­al health. Your OB/GYNE can arm you with infor­ma­tion on safe sex­u­al prac­tices, how to have open com­mu­ni­ca­tion with your part­ner and more.

Birth Con­trol
When it comes to birth con­trol, you have options. If you are inter­est­ed in start­ing birth con­trol, your OB/GYNE can explain the dif­fer­ent types avail­able and help you decide which method is best for you.

Sex­u­al­ly Trans­mit­ted Infec­tions
If you are sex­u­al­ly active, your OB/GYNE will talk to you about com­mon sex­u­al­ly trans­mit­ted infec­tions (STIs), safe sex prac­tices and how to best pro­tect yourself.


Pap Smear
Pap smears, also known as pap test­ing, offer valu­able insight into your vagi­nal health. Pap smears are often per­formed along with a pelvic exam to screen for cer­vi­cal can­cer, abnor­mal­i­ties in cells and pelvic issues.

Pelvic Exams
Most women begin get­ting an annu­al pelvic exam at the age of 21. Dur­ing the exam, your OB/GYNE will exam­ine your vul­va, the open­ing of your vagi­na, cervix, uterus, fal­lop­i­an tubes and ovaries.

Breast Exams
Fol­low­ing your pelvic exam, your physi­cian will per­form a man­u­al breast exam. He or she will feel your breasts, under­arms and chest for lumps or oth­er abnormalities.

Fam­i­ly Planning

Prepar­ing for preg­nan­cy can be an excit­ing time for many. There are sev­er­al steps you can take to improve your pre­con­cep­tion health. Talk with your OB/GYNE if you are think­ing about start­ing a family.

  • Make an Appoint­ment with Your OB/GYNE
    Dur­ing the vis­it, your physi­cian will review your med­ical and fam­i­ly his­to­ry, ask you about med­ica­tions you take and dis­cuss your diet and lifestyle habits. Review­ing your fam­i­ly his­to­ry with your physi­cian allows them to deter­mine your baby’s poten­tial risk for cer­tain inher­it­ed dis­or­ders. This ini­tial vis­it will allow your provider to begin to iden­ti­fy fac­tors, if any, that could affect your jour­ney towards parenthood.
  • Start Tak­ing a Folic Acid Sup­ple­ment
    Folic acid is a B vit­a­min that plays a cru­cial role in neur­al tube devel­op­ment. Brain and spinal birth defects can occur in the ear­ly stages of preg­nan­cy, often before most women know they are preg­nant. Tak­ing folic acid before becom­ing preg­nant can help pre­vent the devel­op­ment of these conditions.
  • Focus on Healthy Lifestyle Choic­es
    There are many fac­tors that can impact your poten­tial to con­ceive. Incor­po­rat­ing health­i­er lifestyle choic­es, such as exer­cis­ing reg­u­lar­ly, eat­ing a well-bal­anced diet, main­tain­ing healthy sleep­ing habits and man­ag­ing stress can improve your over­all health and increase your chances of becom­ing pregnant.

The Menopause Years

As you age, your body begins pro­duc­ing less estro­gen, which is the hor­mone that helps con­trol your men­stru­al cycle. Per­i­menopause, also known as the menopause tran­si­tion, is when your body begins to tran­si­tion from its repro­duc­tive years to menopause.


While women begin per­i­menopause at var­i­ous ages, the tran­si­tion typ­i­cal­ly begins around the age of 40, although you may begin to notice changes as ear­ly as your 30s. The length of per­i­menopause varies, how­ev­er it lasts for an aver­age of four years. You are con­sid­ered to have offi­cial­ly reached menopause once 12 con­sec­u­tive months have passed with­out a men­stru­al cycle.

Symp­toms of the Menopause Tran­si­tion
Changes in your men­stru­al cycle is the most com­mon sign that you are begin­ning your tran­si­tion to menopause. Your cycle may become longer or short­er or you may skip a cycle altogether.

Some women may expe­ri­ence mild symp­toms or no symp­toms at all, while some may have severe symp­toms. In addi­tion to men­stru­al cycle changes, you may also expe­ri­ence vagi­nal dry­ness, hot flash­es and/​or have dif­fi­cul­ty sleeping. 


Talk with your OB/GYNE if you notice any changes in your men­stru­al cycle, as abnor­mal bleed­ing may be a sign of a seri­ous con­di­tion. Talk with your OB/GYNE if you expe­ri­ence symp­toms that con­cern you or inter­fere with your dai­ly life. Your physi­cian can dis­cuss lifestyle mod­i­fi­ca­tions as well as hor­mon­al and non-hor­mon­al med­ica­tions to pro­vide relief.

Whether you are estab­lish­ing your first rela­tion­ship with an OB/GYNE, plan­ning to start your fam­i­ly or begin­ning your tran­si­tion to menopause, your physi­cian is here to guide you through your life’s mile­stones. For more infor­ma­tion on wom­en’s health or to sched­ule a vis­it with an OB/GYNE, please call 1.888.MY.DMG.DR (1.888.693.6437) or sched­ule an appoint­ment online.

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