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Things Every Woman Should Look For When Choosing A Gynecologist

Choosing a doctor that you love and trust is already an endeavor that most people take seriously. A bad experience can leave you with a bad opinion about the medical profession in general and a doctor that you don't connect with can make something that is supposed to be good for your overall health, something that you dread. This is even more true, when it comes to your vagina. Aside from yourself, and your partner, your gynecologist is probably is about as intimate as it gets for you. That's why when picking one, you want to take your time and ask yourself these questions before making your final decision.

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Do they make you feel comfortable?

Going to the gynecologist isn't something that most women look forward to and having a doctor that makes the visit tolerable or even enjoyable can make this annual appointment better. Comfort is different for everyone so only you can make that call and your comfort level may be something that you're unable to determine until you actually meet with them.

Do they come highly recommended?

Whether your gynecologist is a recommendation from a friend or you head to the internet to check out their reviews, your search for a good OBGYN, can be narrowed greatly by looking to other people's opinions of them. From bad bedside manner to horrible wait times, there can be a ton of reasons that people don't like a particular doctor so make sure to not just look at the ratings, but to scan through the comments to see why they received a good or bad rating.

gynecologist
Credit: iStock / RossHelen

Are they easy for you to get to?

You may be tempted to choose a gynecologist that's far away from you because you'll only see them once a year. This is completely fine, but you should consider what your life would look like if you started having to go to them more often for something like pregnancy. Towards the end of a pregnancy, you can see your gynecologist as much as once a week so if you're in the family planning stage of your life, you may want to choose someone in close proximity to you.

Do they take your insurance?

If you're only seeing your doctor once a year, then you might not mind paying the out of pocket cost for an out of network appointment, but if you are pregnant or have to have a procedure that requires you to see them more often, those costs may rack up. The chances of either of these things happening may be minimal for you but if they are a possibility at all, you should consider this extra cost when making your decision.

Does gender matter to you?

For some, it does not, but for others it does. Before choosing a gynecologist, you'll have to give some thought to whether or not you care if its a man or a woman.

Do they answer your questions?

Some women may just want to get in and get out but others may have a lot of questions to ask in general or maybe just during certain periods of time. If you have 1 question, or 100, having a doctor that rushes you through them or brushes them off won't help to make you feel comfortable about whatever you're grappling with.

Once you've got your list of things that are important to you established, you can start to narrow down your choices. In your initial search, some things will be easier to eliminate than others. If you're doing your search through your healthcare provider's website, they usually have search options that will let you choose whether or not you want a male or female doctor, sort by location as well as whether your doctor is in your network or not.

For some of your other questions, you can check out your hospital's website to learn more about your potential doctor from their bio as well as visit websites like ZocDoc to read reviews from their patients. Some answers you might not actually get answered until your first visit with your doctor.

You may have to visit a few and compare them before picking one that you like best. If you do pick a doctor but later learn that you don't like them as much as you thought you would, there is no harm in going back to your list and starting all over. It may take some extra work and time but a gynecologist is someone that you will see for many years to come so that extra time will be worth it once you find a good fit.

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