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Choosing the Right OB-GYN: A Helpful Guide for a Happy and Healthy Woman's Journey


By Samuel J. Needles, MD, OB-GYN at Redeemer Health

The role an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) plays in a woman's health journey is important from adolescence to adulthood. Even more important is finding the right OB-GYN to make sure you get the care you deserve.

Understanding the Role of an OB-GYN

An OB-GYN is a medical professional who specializes in the field of women's reproductive health. OB-GYNs are trained to provide comprehensive health care services related to both obstetrics (pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care) and gynecology (the female reproductive system, including the diagnosis and treatment of disorders). 

OB-GYNs are skilled in diagnosing and treating a variety of conditions, from routine check-ups to more complex issues such as infertility, pelvic pain, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They provide services that span a woman’s lifetime, such as: Pap smears and HPV (human papillomavirus) testing, breast exams, sexually transmitted disease (STD) screenings, fertility testing and treatment, pregnancy care, and menopause management, to name a few. Many OB-GYNs are also highly trained in a variety of surgical options to manage a variety of women’s health concerns. OB-GYNs use their training and experience to help educate and guide patients, empowering them to make informed decisions based on their individual situation.

Making Sure You Choose the Right OB-GYN

Choosing the right OB-GYN is important for your overall health and well-being. Be sure to find an OB-GYN who makes you feel comfortable, someone you can talk with openly about your health concerns and who provides quality care.

Factors to consider when choosing an OB-GYN include:

  • Location: Is the provider located near me? If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it's also important to know where your newborn will be delivered.
  • Insurance: Does the provider accept your insurance?
  • Communication: Does the provider listen to your questions and concerns?
  • Comfort: Do you feel comfortable with the provider and their bedside manner?
  • Experience: Does the provider have experience in treating your specific needs?

How Often Should I See My OB-GYN?

Regular gynecological exams and preventative care are critical in maintaining reproductive and overall health. You should also see an OB-GYN if you experience any abnormal symptoms or concerns, such as: irregular periods, painful periods, abnormal discharge, pain during sex, bleeding between periods, or concerns related to fertility or pregnancy. 

Building a relationship with your OB-GYN can play a key role in your well-being. Seeing the same provider for routine check-ups and prevention helps them get to know you and your health history. It also helps in providing you with personalized care and catching any potential health concerns before they become more serious. 

Most women will have a recommended visit annually with their OB-GYN, with the care tailored to address their specific health needs, life stage, and individual goals.

For adolescents, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that girls first see an OB-GYN when they're between the ages of 13 and 15. Most girls will not need a pelvic exam during this first visit. Many providers will simply perform a regular health exam and talk with the patient about her development.

Taking the Next Step

Regardless of your life stage, finding the right OB-GYN is important in maintaining your overall health and well-being. Don't be afraid to ask your provider questions or bring up any concerns you may have. A good OB-GYN will listen to your needs and work with you to create a personalized care plan that's right for you.

To find a Redeemer Health OB-GYN near you, call our Physician Referral Service at 800-818-4747 or visit the Redeemer Health website.

If you are expecting a new baby, be sure to visit RedeemerHealth.org/MaternityCare to take a virtual tour of Holy Redeemer Hospital's Labor and Delivery unit, access helpful educational resources and videos, and join our Redeemer Baby Online Community.

About the Author: Dr. Samuel J. Needles is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist (OB-GYN) specializing in pregnancy, childbirth, and women's reproductive health. He received his medical degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Needles currently sees patients at Kramer OB-GYN and Associates, a Redeemer Health practice providing complete obstetrical and gynecological care.