As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many people are nervous about making trips to the doctors office for preventative check-ups. National numbers on annual physicals have plummeted as many people opt to delay these important visits out of fear of contracting coronavirus while at the doctor’s office.
“This is an issue that is starting to alarm many health professionals,” Avant Gynecology’s Dr. Lynley Durrett stated. “Especially with gynecology, we are concerned our patients are not coming in when they should for their annual gyno exams, which means we’ll miss early diagnosis for major health issues.”
To help raise awareness on this issue, we’re explaining why you still need to get your annual gyno exam during a pandemic.
How is the Coronavirus Impacting Annual Gyno Exams?
As mentioned above, many people are too afraid to head to the doctor’s office right now. They don’t want to run the risk of catching the virus, so they ignore when their annual check-up date comes and goes. And, even worse, some patients are also ignoring symptoms of potential health issues that they perceive to be non life-threatening. The issue with this is that many major, life-threatening conditions start out with small, seemingly insignificant symptoms.
In fact, ignoring annual exams or smaller pains often means larger issues go by undetected in their early stages when they are the most treatable. For major health concerns, it’s always best to discover them when they are smaller, such as when breast cancer is only a tiny lump versus when it’s already traveled to your lymph nodes. The earlier the discovery, the better chance you have at recovery.
In short, when you don’t get to your annual exams or ignore smaller issues that don’t seem like such a big deal at first, you run the risk of missing early diagnosis and treatment.
The Benefits of Annual Exams
Seeing your gynecologist on a regular basis has very important health benefits that can impact your life today and for years to come. For example, when ovarian cancer is caught in its earliest stages, 94 percent of patients diagnosed live well beyond five years after diagnosis because the cancer is not as likely to spread. Having an annual gynecological exam means a condition is less likely to go unnoticed, giving you a better chance at recovery.
Don’t Be Afraid: Your Doctor’s Got This
We get it! Even going to the grocery story feels scary these days. But, the good news is that doctor’s offices are actually one of the safest places you can visit right now. Medical practices like Avant Gynecology have experts on staff whose job it is to ensure the space is disinfected and cleaned to the highest possible standards on a regular basis. Additional preventative measures like temperature checks, social distancing, mandatory mask wearing, and more are taken to ensure patients are as safe as possible. Rest assured that, though your visit to your gynecologist might look a little different, it will be a safe place to visit. You can read more about the steps our practice is taking specifically here.
If you have any other questions about why you still need to get your annual gyno exam during a pandemic, reach out to the experts at Avant Gynecology by clicking here or by giving us a call at 404-352-2850.