Can I See a Gynecologist While Pregnant

Even if a home pregnancy test confirms you’re pregnant, you still need to make an appointment with an Ob/Gyn. The American Pregnancy Association recommends you make an appointment with your doctor for your first prenatal visit within eight weeks of your last menstrual period (LMP).

If you’re pregnant, it’s important that you see a doctor for regular checkups. That’s why the American Pregnancy Association recommends your first prenatal visit take place within eight weeks of your last menstrual period (LMP). Your doctor will take a complete medical history, perform a pregnancy test, provide you with information about your health and other baby-related issues, and offer any necessary tests.

You can still see your doctor while pregnant, but you should make an appointment with your ob/gyn as soon as you get a positive home pregnancy test. It’s important that you get checked out when gestational age and the last menstrual period (LMP) are within a few weeks of each other so that you can make sure your baby is safe for delivery.

You can wait to schedule a first visit with your doctor until 32 weeks if you take a home pregnancy test and it confirms that you’re pregnant. The only exception is if you have symptoms of pregnancy complications like high blood pressure, preeclampsia or gestational diabetes — in which case doctors recommend an earlier visit.

What Does a Gynecologist do During Pregnancy

When you first discover you’re going to have a baby, you may feel a jumble of emotions from excitement to fear and more. No matter if this will be your first child or your third and whether the pregnancy was planned or a surprise, you want your baby to be healthy and your pregnancy to go as smoothly as possible.

That means that as soon as you see that plus sign on the home pregnancy test and know you’re expecting a baby, when should you go to the doctor? Read on to discover everything you need to know and what you need to do if you suspect you are pregnant.


If you’ve taken one or more home pregnancy tests and gotten positive results, you can probably be sure you’re pregnant. But are there signs to look out for before you even decide to take a test? According to the Mayo Clinic, some common and not so common symptoms could indicate you’re going to have a baby.

If you think you’re pregnant, here are some of the signs to look out for.


Many women experience one or more of the following symptoms during the early days and weeks of pregnancy:

Missed Period

You’ve probably seen this one depicted in a movie or tv show. The lead character tells her best friend, a family member, or maybe her romantic partner that her period is late. The missed period is the classic sign from pop-culture that a woman might be expecting. And if your cycle is regular, it’s often your cue to either call your doctor or take a home pregnancy test.

Vomiting and/or Nausea

Another common 1st-trimester pregnancy symptom is “morning sickness,” the mild to severe nausea, often accompanied by vomiting that many women feel during the first month of pregnancy. Some women never experience morning sickness; others experience it in the early weeks or months of pregnancy, and a rare number may have it throughout their pregnancies.

Sore, swollen, sensitive breasts

When you first become pregnant, your breasts will often feel tender and sore. But as your body adjusts to the shift in hormones that expecting a baby produces, this normally subsides for most women.


As levels of the hormone progesterone rise during the first stage of pregnancy, you might feel sleepier or more tired than usual.

Increased Urination

Because pregnancy increases your blood volume, your kidneys need to work harder, and they produce more fluid. That often results in an increased need to urinate.


While the above symptoms are the most common early signs of pregnancy, some women don’t have any of them, or also may have the following less classic symptoms:

Light Spotting

While the missed period is the classic sign of pregnancy, some women miss that symptom and mistake spotting for a lighter period. If you spot or have a “light period,” it could be a sign you’re pregnant.


Hormone changes can cause some women to experience uterine cramping during the first weeks of pregnancy.


When you first become pregnant, you might mistake the bloating that pregnancy hormones cause for the signs that you’re about to start your period.


Some women experience mood swings during pregnancy. You might also feel weepier and emotionally sensitive when you’re expecting.

Sensitivity to certain smells, food textures or tastes

The hormones your body produces when you’re pregnant can change your senses of smell and taste. As a result, you might become more sensitive to some smells, and foods you typcally enjoy might become things you can’t stand to eat or be around.

Nasal Congestion

If you think you might be pregnant, and also experience a stuffy nose or sinus headaches, don’t worry. You’re not allergic to your baby. It’s just how your hormones are changing your body, and another less common early sign of pregnancy.

Keep in mind that every woman is different. Furthermore, to confuse matters, some of the early signs of pregnancy are the same as some premenstrual symptoms. And some symptoms, such as missed periods and moodiness, can also be signs of perimenopause and menopause in older women. That’s why no matter what, if you’re not sure, or your cycle seems to be changing, whether you’re pregnant or not, it’s always a good idea to check in with your primary care physician or Gynecologist to see if you’re pregnant or if you have another health concern.


How soon do you need to see a doctor if you’re pregnant? Even if a home pregnancy test confirms you’re pregnant, you still need to make an appointment with an Ob/Gyn. The American Pregnancy Association recommends you make an appointment with your doctor for your first prenatal visit within eight weeks of your last menstrual period (LMP). Even if you’ve been pregnant before, every pregnancy and every baby is different. That’s why starting out with the best care, and following your doctor’s advice for prenatal care, including regular appointments, is critical to the health of both you and your baby.

If you just found out that you’re pregnant, your first will help you and your Ob/Gyn discover things like:

  • Your due date
  • Any potential hereditary, health-related, or age-related pregnancy risk factors
  • Your family health history
  • Your best schedule of prenatal care

After that, you’ll set up how often you’ll need to see your doctor and how to recognize any potential emergencies. The typical prenatal schedule of visits often looks like this:

First Trimester

During the first 4 to 28 weeks of your pregnancy, you will need to see your doctor once a month.

Second Trimester

During the second trimester — weeks 28 to 36, your prenatal visits will increase to once every two weeks.

Third Trimester

Then when you reach the third trimester, during weeks 36 to 40, you will see your doctor every week until it’s time to deliver your baby.

Again, no matter what life throws at you, it’s vital you stick to the prenatal appointment schedule. Prenatal care helps to ensure a healthy pregnancy and improves outcomes for not just your health, but the health of your child.

What Kind of Test Does a Gynecologist Do

Gynecologists are doctors who specialize in women’s health, with a focus on the female reproductive system.

They deal with a wide range of issues, including obstetrics, or pregnancy and childbirth, menstruation and fertility issues, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), hormone disorders, and others.

In the United States, some women prefer to visit a well-woman clinic rather than a family doctor for general health issues. The gynecologist may then refer the patient to another specialist.

A qualified gynecologist has at least 8 years of training and should be certified by an examining body, such as the American Board of Gynecologists (ABOG) and registered by a professional organization, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Fast facts about gynecologists:

Here are some key points about gynecologists. More detail is in the main article.

  • A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in the health of the female organs.
  • Many women start visiting a gynecologist from their early teens and continue to attend a well-woman clinic for general health issues too.
  • Women are advised to visit a gynecologist annually for a checkup, and any time they have symptoms that concern them.
  • A gynecologist should be certified and registered with a professional body, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

What is a gynecologist?

Gynecologists specialize in women's health issues.
Gynecologists specialize in women’s health issues.

A gynecologist treats patients with female reproductive organs, whether or not they identify as women. An obstetrician is a kind of gynecologist who specializes in pregnancy and childbirth.

To become a gynecologist, a person must train first as a doctor for 4 years, then specialize for another 4 years in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. Passing a further examination will enable them to be certified and registered.

In May 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 19,800 obstetricians and gynecologists were employed in the U.S, earning an average of $234,310, or $112.65 an hour.

When to see one

A visit to the gynecologist is recommended for annual screening and any time a woman has concerns about symptoms such as pelvic, vulvar, and vaginal pain or abnormal bleeding from the uterus.

Conditions commonly treated by gynecologists include:

  • issues relating to pregnancy, fertility, menstruation, and menopause
  • family planning, including contraception, sterilization, and pregnancy termination
  • problems with tissues that support the pelvic organs, including ligaments and muscles
  • STIs
  • polycystic ovary syndrome
  • urinary and fecal incontinence
  • benign conditions of the reproductive tract, for example, ovarian cystsfibroids, breast disorders, vulvar and vaginal ulcers, and other non-cancerous changes
  • premalignant conditions, such as endometrial hyperplasia, and cervical dysplasia
  • cancers of the reproductive tract and the breasts, and pregnancy-related tumors
  • congenital abnormalities of the female reproductive tract
  • emergency care relating to gynecology
  • endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects the reproductive system
  • pelvic inflammatory diseases, including abscesses
  • sexuality, including health issues relating to same-sex and bisexual relationships
  • sexual dysfunction

Gynecologists in the U.S. frequently offer both gynecological and general health care, including preventive medicine for women and diagnosis and treatment of issues such as headache, low back pain, mood changes, and acne.

They may also treat:

Preventive medicine may include lifestyle advice about issues such as smoking cessation and weight loss.

At what age can I see a gynecologist?

A gynecologist can treat a girl or a woman at any age. ACOG recommend starting to visit a gynecologist from the age of 13 to 15 years.

Building up a relationship with the doctor enables a girl or woman to be more comfortable asking questions about menstruation, sexuality and so on, and provides a point of contact if symptoms occur in future.

It also gives the doctor a chance to guide a woman’s overall welfare in the long term, through counseling on important health and lifestyle issues.

What to expect

What happens at the gynecologist’s depends on the reason for the visit and the individual’s situation.

If it is a young woman’s first visit, she may just have a chat with the doctor, get some general health information, and find out what to expect in the future.

At any visit with the gynecologist, it is worth remembering:

  • An honest account of your health concerns and lifestyle gives the gynecologist a better idea of your situation and enables them to help you more.
  • A gynecological examination, including a pap smear, may be uncomfortable, but it is not usually painful.
  • It is not necessary to wax or shave before the visit.
  • Bodily odor is natural. If it indicates a problem, the gynecologist needs to know.
  • If you have a period when the appointment is scheduled, you can still go ahead with the visit, but it may be better to postpone, unless you have symptoms that need urgent attention.
  • It is best to avoid sexual activity, using a vaginal douche, or using tampons for 2 days before a gynecological examination.

A patient can ask to have someone with them at the visit, either in the room or outside the door.

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