An obstetrician-gynecologist (OBGYN) is a doctor who specializes in treating many women’s health issues. These doctors also help deliver babies that are being born and help women get through their pregnancies safely. If you’re planning to visit an OBGYN for the first time, here are four important questions that you should ask.

4 Questions To Ask At Your First Ever OBGYN Appointment

What Health Screenings Are Recommended?

Certain health screenings are often performed by OBGYNs to detect any health concerns that are common among women. Pap smears and breast imaging tests are just some of the health screenings that an OBGYN can perform, and getting these tests can help you get the proper diagnoses and treatments for certain STDs, cancers and other health problems. It’s also recommended that you ask about the cost of each test and find out if your insurance will cover part or all of the amount.

What Symptoms Should I Expect to Experience During Pregnancy?

There may be many symptoms of pregnancy that you won’t know to expect if you have never seen an OBGYN or previously given birth. In addition to bloating and fatigue, your OBGYN can let you know about less common pregnancy symptoms, such as false periods and an odd taste of metal in your mouth. A knowledgeable obstetrician can even inform you of the unusual mood swings that you could experience while pregnant.

What is Your Position on Certain Birthing Procedures?

Some OBGYNs are openminded about various birthing procedures while other doctors will only perform a select few. It’s important to ask your OBGYN about their positions on inductions, cesarian deliveries (C-sections) and other birthing methods. Some doctors are also hesitant about administering epidurals or using forceps or vacuums while others tend to rely on these procedures more.

How Often Are You Available to Address Questions and Concerns?

In addition to your OBGYN’s regularly scheduled office hours, you’ll want to know when you can contact them in case you have questions or urgent concerns that need to be addressed. It’s also good to find out who you can contact if your OBGYN isn’t available so that you’ll always be able to reach someone quickly. You can also ask if your OBGYN will let you contact them by email. You may even want to ask when your OBGYN will be out of the office for vacation or some other scheduled leave so that you can plan accordingly.

Knowing the right questions to ask can make your first visit with your OBGYN a better experience. Getting answers to these questions will also help the two of you develop a better care plan so that all your needs can be addressed.