A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

8 signs it’s time to see a gynecologist

Gynecologist doctor writing prescription and pregnant african american woman at hospital

If you’re wondering when to see a gynecologist, here are several common scenarios to help you know when to make an appointment:

Preventive health visits are crucial to schedule every year, but sometimes you may have an issue between visits that causes concern and may warrant seeing a provider. Or maybe life got in the way, and you haven’t had your well-woman visit in a while. Or perhaps you’re not sure when to see a gynecologist instead of a general practitioner.

If you’re wondering when to see a gynecologist, here are several common scenarios to help you know when to make an appointment:

  1. Abnormal uterine bleeding
  2. Pelvic pain
  3. Birth control changes
  4. Pregnancy
  5. Urinary incontinence
  6. Sexual health issues
  7. Menopause symptoms
  8. Family medical history

Let’s dive into each reason to see a gynecologist.

Abnormal uterine bleeding

Most women are accustomed to normal uterine bleeding every month, so you might not be sure when uterine bleeding is a cause for concern. At our Beaver Dam clinic, abnormal uterine bleeding treatment options are available for these situations:

  • Heavy/painful periods
  • An irregular/unpredictable cycle
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after sex
  • 3 missed periods or more in a row
  • If you have not had your first period by age 15

Pelvic pain

There are many potential reasons for pelvic pain, including uterine fibroids, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), endometriosis, a UTI, pregnancy, and others. Pain is typically a signal that something is wrong, so seeing a gynecologist can help you narrow down the source and find a treatment for your pelvic pain.

Birth control changes

Wanting to change your birth control method is one of the most common reasons to see a gynecologist. Maybe you’re interested in changing your birth control, preparing for family planning, or concerned about a symptom and wondering if it’s related to your current regimen. Your gynecologist can go over all your birth control options and help you choose the best one for your lifestyle and health.


An OB/GYN, or obstetrician-gynecologist, is the one who will provide prenatal and pregnancy care when you’re expecting. When you have a positive pregnancy test, give your gynecologist a call to confirm the pregnancy, and plan your next steps.

Urinary incontinence

Like pelvic pain, urinary incontinence has a number of common causes, from a UTI to pregnancy to menopause. Depending on the reason for incontinence, your gynecologist can recommend treatments ranging from intentional habit-building to medication or minimally invasive surgery.

Sexual health issues

Caring for your sexual health is essential, and a gynecologist is a perfect person to help. Whether it’s getting STI testing or treatment, asking about pain or lack of pleasure during sex, or inquiring about the safety of various sexual behaviors, they’ve heard and studied it all. (No embarrassment or fear of judgment necessary!)

Menopause symptoms

Between the hot flashes, chills, fatigue, and other potential symptoms of menopause, this isn’t a favorite life transition for many women. A women’s healthcare professional like a gynecologist can help you navigate and manage the symptoms of menopause.

Family medical history

You should also schedule regular appointments with your gynecologist if you have a family history of problems with pregnancy, female cancers, or other serious gynecologic issues. Your gynecologist will suggest regular screenings and tests that will help monitor for these issues, and create a treatment plan should you develop them as well.

Beaver Dam Women’s Health offers complete gynecology services for all phases of a woman’s life. When it’s time to see a gynecologist, contact us and schedule an appointment online or call 920.885.6090.

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