Your OB Can Tell You About More Than Just Pregnancy

Your gyno is basically a secret weapon for your health.
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
May 11, 2018
woman at home typing on computer
Image: iStock

Your gyno appointments probably aren’t the most fun part of pregnancy. But they give you the opportunity to ask any and every question about your baby and your body. Even better: a new advisory says they paint a more complete picture of health than you might think, flagging signs of heart disease and stroke or preventing them altogether.

"As the leading healthcare providers for women, OB-GYNs provide care that goes far beyond reproductive health and are in a unique position to screen, counsel and educate patients on heart health,” says Haywood L. Brown, MD, former president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Together with the American Heart Association, ACOG is working to make sure OBs collaborate with cardiologists for the best preventative care, since heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in women.

Complications of pregnancy, in particular, can be indicative of a mom-to-be’s cardiovascular risk, even if those conditions resolve themselves after delivery. Preeclampsia and gestational hypertension are major examples.

The advisory explains that an OBs—who are more likely to see women on a regular basis than cardiologists—can use both low-tech and high-tech solutions to advise patients on heart health, from discussing healthy diet and lifestyle to using software algorithms to detect patient risk from medical records.

If you haven’t made your first prenatal OB appointment yet, you should think about scheduling it for the 8- or 9-week mark. Get excited! OBs have some amazing pregnancy advice.

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