Category: Health & Fitness

Ouch: 8 Natural Remedies for Migraines

Around 12% of Americans experience migraines. Learn about natural remedies for migraines that will alleviate your suffering.

Worldwide, 1 billion people suffer from migraines. However, even headaches that aren’t severe can still drag you into a world of pain.

Migraine pain is the 6th most disabling illness in the entire world. You deserve to experience relief from this pain.

Here are 8 remedies for migraine relief:

1. Drink Water

Drinking more water is one of the most simple headache remedies there are. That’s because lack of hydration can cause headaches and worsen migraines. 

Drinking water can relieve headaches and migraines in dehydrated people within 30 minutes to 3 hours. Keep a water bottle with you to avoid becoming dehydrated.

2. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is one of the most effective natural remedies for headaches. Plus, it promotes calmness.

Inhaling lavender oil for 15 minutes can reduce migraine pain. You can also apply lavender oil diluted with a carrier oil directly to your temples.

3. See a Neurologist

An underlying neurological condition could be responsible for your migraines and headaches. Only a doctor can tell for sure.

A neurologist can prescribe you migraine treatment instead of remedies. The aforementioned link will direct you to an experienced, board-certified neurologist.

4. Take Magnesium

People who get frequent migraines often have a magnesium deficiency. According to multiple studies, taking 600 mg of oral magnesium citrate daily reduces the severity and frequency of migraines.

You can also eat magnesium-rich foods like almonds, oatmeal, eggs, peanut butter, and more to experience headache relief.

5. Get Enough Sleep

If you want to know how to get rid of a headache, examine your sleep schedule. People who get less sleep tend to suffer from headaches more often than those who get enough sleep do. 

Get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. If necessary, decide on your bedtime and stick to it.

6. Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress to your neck or head reduces inflammation and constricts blood vessels, both of which decrease headache pain. It also slows down nerve conduction.

Add a lavender oil infusion to your cold compress to experience more relief. Peppermint oil works as well.

7. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol can trigger migraines and headaches. Red wine is especially known for triggering migraines.

Limiting your alcohol consumption also helps you avoid becoming dehydrated. If you do drink alcohol, drink extra water to stay hydrated.

8. Ginger Tea

Ginger root has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows that 250 mg of ginger powder reduces migraine severity and duration as well as sumatriptan, a prescription drug.

Ginger tea helps when you experience migraine-related nausea. There are no side effects associated with taking ginger unless you have an allergy.

Let Natural Remedies For Migraines Be Your BFF

Approximately 2% of the world’s population suffers from chronic migraines. If these natural remedies for migraines don’t work, seek professional medical help immediately.

Also, keeping a food diary can help you identify diet-related migraine triggers. Chocolate and coffee are common culprits behind migraines.

Do your body a favor—read more articles about how diet affects your health. You’ll be surprised by what you learn.

Do Your Kids Floss Enough? Here’s How to Make it Fun

Have you ever lied to the dentist about how often you floss your teeth? You probably have considering that only 30% of the U.S. population flosses their teeth daily. 

If adults have such a hard time flossing, you can imagine how often kids floss.

Regardless of how much you do or don’t like flossing your teeth, it is an important part of dental hygiene. This makes it an important habit to instill in your kids. Starting your kids flossing early will help them form a lifelong habit. 

But that’s easier said than done.

Let’s take a look at some simple ways that you can make flossing more fun. Kids will more easily get on board if it doesn’t seem like so much of a chore.

Why Is Flossing Important?

Plaque is constantly building up on and between the teeth. This buildup can lead to tooth decay and gum disease over time.

Problems in your mouth aren’t the only thing that plaque and bacteria buildup can cause. Recent research is even finding that gingivitis (gum disease) and Alzheimer’s may be linked. Who would have thought that proper oral hygiene could help stave off dementia?

Daily brushing is an excellent practice for removing the plaque from the front and back of your teeth. You should also brush your tongue to clean off plaque and bacteria and enjoy fresher breath.

However, brushing doesn’t adequately remove plaque from between the teeth. The bristles of a toothbrush simply can’t get in there.

That’s where flossing comes in.

When Should Kids Floss?

If you already have trouble flossing yourself, you probably want to put off making your kids floss as long as possible. So how old should a child be when they begin learning to floss?

There is no set age. Whenever you notice that your child’s teeth are touching, it’s time to start flossing. Teeth come in at different intervals, so the right time will vary from child to child.

Make Flossing Fun!

Flossing is such a chore. It also takes a certain amount of skill and concentration that little fingers might not yet have. 

So how do you get your kids to floss? Make flossing fun! 

If you do it right, your kids might surprise you and start reminding you that it’s time for the daily floss. 

1. Floss With Your Child

Kids love it when you do things with them. Just the fact that you’re there with them and spending time with them makes them feel loved and secure. 

Kids also are great at copying what they see. If they see that you don’t floss your teeth, they won’t be likely to do it willingly either.

However, if you make a point to floss your teeth along with your kids, you might find it to be a different story. Kids want to feel “grown-up” and do “grown-up” things. Show them that flossing is an important part of being grown-up and they’ll take up the dental floss much easier.

2. Floss Sticks

Manipulating a string can be quite a challenge for kids, especially the littlest ones. It’s also not the easiest thing in the world to floss someone else’s teeth.

Make things easier on both of you by choosing tools that are easier to work with. Floss sticks are a great option, because they’re far easier to use than traditional dental floss. 

There are a variety of brightly colored and shaped floss sticks. Some of them even come with your child’s favorite cartoon character or superhero on them. Take your kids to the store and let them pick out the particular floss sticks they want to use, and then get excited with them while Spiderman cleans their teeth.

All of that is nice, but do floss sticks work as well as regular dental floss? The short answer is yes, but you’ll have to use the proper technique. For a more detailed explanation, click here for more.

3. Water Flosser

Another option is to use a water flosser rather than traditional dental floss. This is a greener option than both regular floss or floss sticks as it isn’t disposable. In fact, a good-quality water flosser will last for years. 

Being environmentally conscious while taking good care of yourself? Now that’s a win-win!

To make water flossing more fun, let your child decorate their water flosser with their favorite stickers.

4. The Flossing Game

Once you have picked out the right tools, it’s time for a game. Pit siblings against each other or make your kids measure up to you. For many kids, simply turning this “ordeal” into a competition will motivate them sufficiently.

You can also create a sticker calendar to commemorate every time they successfully complete a certain amount of flossing.

Be sure to have a prize at the end so they will be inspired to keep flossing. Pick a new prize each time or rotate them to keep things interesting for your child.

5. The Flossing Song

If there is anything that most kids love as much as games, it’s music! Even adults are that way. Cleaning the house is drudgery, but it gets easier when you put on some peppy tunes while you work.

To that end, find a fun song that you can sing to your child while they floss. They’ll be more motivated to participate once they hear that beat. 

As a bonus, you can use the length of the song as a guide for how long they should be spending flossing. 

Lifelong Habits Start with You

Getting your kids to do anything can feel hopeless sometimes. They are not always the most willing participants, especially for something they see as a chore.

However, regardless of how they feel about oral hygiene, it is important that kids floss. You can change their attitude about flossing by making the task a little more fun. 

Looking for more great parenting tips? Check out some of the other fantastic posts on our blog!

Remedies That Work: How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks

Research has shown that about 90% of women develop stretch marks at some point during pregnancy. Most of them get stretch marks during the backend of pregnancy when they start gaining a lot of weight in a short period of time.

However, it’s not just pregnant women who need to worry about stretch marks! Generally speaking, about 80% of Americans—including both men and women—have stretch marks in one area of their body.

Stretch marks won’t cause you any harm, but they can be unsightly and take a toll on your self-confidence. It’s why you should learn how to get rid of stretch marks if you’ve seen them develop in your skin.

There are some simple remedies that might work when it comes to making stretch marks a distant memory. Here are five ways that you can try to eliminate stretch marks once and for all.

Start Upping Your Vitamin A Intake

There are a whole host of benefits that can come along with taking in more vitamin A on a daily basis. Vitamin A is often used by those who want to improve:

  • Vision
  • Cell growth
  • Immune system

But those aren’t the only aspects of your body that you can improve. Some studies have also suggested that vitamin A might be useful to those suffering from stretch marks.

Vitamin A is a retinoid. Retinoids can be used to smooth out skin and to make skin look younger and more vibrant. Therefore, you might be able to benefit in a big way from getting more vitamin A into your diet if stretch marks have become a problem for you.

You can incorporate more vitamin A into your diet by eating certain foods. These foods have high levels of vitamin A in them:

  • Eggs
  • Skim milk
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots

You can also take vitamin A supplements in many forms. It can’t hurt to put them to the test if you have stretch marks or suspect stretch marks might be a problem for you soon.

Apply a Special Sugar Scrub

Most doctors these days advise people to stay as far away from sugar as they can. But for those with stretch marks, sugar could be a godsend that can make their blemishes go away.

There is a simple sugar scrub concoction that you can make in an effort to erase stretch marks. Make it by:

  • Mixing 1 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup of almond oil
  • Adding a small amount of lemon juice to the mix
  • Mixing the ingredients together until they form a thick scrub

Once you have your sugar scrub made, rub it over your stretch marks when you’re in the shower for about 10 minutes. Repeat this process a few times throughout the course of a week.

Monitor your results to see how the sugar scrub impacts your stretch marks. You might see them start to fade after just several treatments.

Give Aloe Vera a Try

Is there anything better than rubbing a bunch of aloe vera all over your skin when you’re suffering from sunburn? The aloe vera feels so good from the moment it comes into contact with your skin.

There isn’t a ton of evidence to suggest that aloe vera will work wonders on stretch marks. But because it softens skin and promotes healing, it has worked for some people in the past.

Buy a big bottle of aloe vera and rub it on your stretch marks as soon as you start to notice them. You could very well see them start to disappear when you make it a point to spread aloe vera on them day in and day out.

Take Advantage of the Powers of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has all kinds of supposed medicinal benefits. While there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to researching these benefits, many people will tell you that coconut oil can help with:

  • Burning fat
  • Reducing hunger
  • Raising good cholesterol levels
  • Improving dental health
  • Giving brain function in those with Alzheimer’s disease a boost

And that’s not all! Coconut oil might also help those people who have developed stretch marks over time.

Coconut oil is known to help heal damaged skin. And since stretch marks are basically the result of skin getting stretched and damaged during weight gain, coconut oil might be able to help this skin to heal.

If nothing else, coconut oil can often make the redness that accompanies stretch marks to go away. Unless you have an allergy that prevents you from doing it, it’s not a bad idea to spread coconut oil over stretch marks to see if it does anything for you.

Use a Wrinkle Reduction Cream

If you’ve tried a lot of the natural approaches to eliminating stretch marks and just can’t seem to find a solution to your problem, think about learning how to get rid of stretch marks with a wrinkle reduction cream.

There are tons (and tons!) of these creams on the market today. A lot of them aren’t worth your time, but there are some that have produced results for people. When you read these StriVectin stretch mark reviews, for example, you’ll see that people have seen stretch marks go away after using this particular cream.

Some of these kinds of creams are especially effective as far as getting rid of old stretch marks is concerned. They’re worth a shot if you have stretch marks that have overstayed their welcome.

Learning How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks Can Restore Your Confidence

As we mentioned earlier, stretch marks aren’t going to hurt your health. In fact, they could be an indication that you’re healthier than you used to be if they’re a result of weight loss.

But stretch marks can impact your self-image and drag your self-confidence way down. By learning how to get rid of stretch marks, you can restore your confidence in a hurry and achieve a look that you like a lot more.

If all else fails, cosmetic surgery could also be an option for stretch mark removal. Keep reading our blog to see if cosmetic surgery could be right for you.

7 Positive Effects of Quitting Drinking Alcohol

Have you ever gone out with a group of friends and told them that you’re not drinking? It’s an awkward and pressure-filled situation where they try to convince you to have just one drink.

Yet, when you do stop and realize the effects of quitting drinking, no amount of peer pressure will convince you to have some alcohol.

Whether you’re quitting drinking because you’re trying a new diet or you just want to reset your body, you’ll quickly start to realize the positive benefits.

Read on to learn the top positive things that’ll happen to you when you stop drinking.

1. You’ll Lose Weight

People try to lose weight all the time. They may go on a yo-yo diet or work out five days a week and still can’t lose weight. That’s because they didn’t stop drinking alcohol.

Drinks are really empty calories. They don’t add nutritional value and they do add up faster than a fancy coffee drink.

One beer or cider can have about 200 calories. Wine is a little better at about 120 calories per glass. This will vary by beverage, but you get the idea. Stop drinking and you’re taking in fewer calories.

2. You Sleep Better

How well do you sleep? Do you have a couple of drinks after a long day and find yourself feeling sluggish the next morning?

That’s because alcohol impacts your ability to get into the deep sleep stage. If you’re not getting enough deep sleep, you’ll still feel tired when you wake up.

You may also find yourself having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. That’s one more thing that’ll make it harder to get a good night’s sleep.

3. Your Outlook Is More Positive

When you stop drinking and start losing weight and sleeping better, you’ll feel better. You’ll start to feel confident and have a more positive outlook on life.

You’ll also eat better. When you’re drinking, you’re likely to eat fried foods or bar food to prevent a hangover. You’re also tired more often, which can translate into poor food choices.

The effects of quitting drinking on your mood are great. It helps you cope with depression and anxiety too.

4. You’ll Have a Better Complexion

Let’s get a little vain for a moment. You can have a better complexion just by quitting drinking.

Alcohol is a diuretic. What does that mean for your skin? It’s not getting the water and hydration it needs, no matter how much lotion you use.

Your normally rosy cheeks may clear up, along with other skin conditions like dandruff and eczema.

5. You Realize You Have a Problem

By denying yourself a drink, you may have a very strong urge to drink. In some cases, it can be a sign that you have a problem.

If you’re in college, it can be very hard to tell if you have a drinking problem or not. It seems like everyone is partying all the time. If you try to stop drinking and you just can’t resist the urge, you may need to seek help.

Another warning sign is binge drinking. If you start drinking and you find that you just can’t stop, you should get help.

Do you suspect you have a problem? You’ll want to click for more information and find out how to get help.

6. You Have More Time

How many weekends have you spent on the couch recovering from Friday night? It doesn’t get easier when you get older either.

When you were in college, you may have been able to go on a bender, sleep for three hours, and show up to class the next day feeling great.

As you get older, you’ve probably noticed that those days are long gone. It takes quite a bit to recover from a night out. You’re tired, dehydrated, and feel like death for a day or two.

Those home projects or that business that you’re trying to start are on hold because you drank too much.

When you stop drinking, you no longer have to nurse a hangover. You get that time back to focus on the most important projects in your life.

7. Your Wallet Is Heavier

Do you know how much money you spend on alcohol each month? The average price of a drink will vary, depending on what you drink. It also depends on your location and if you’re at happy hour or at an upscale establishment.

No matter where you are, you can expect the costs of a drink to go up. Even if you hit a good happy hour and drinks are $4 each, you’re still spending $8 plus tip if you have two drinks.

You’ll probably get food too. Next thing you know, your bar bill is about $20.

That doesn’t seem like much at first. Now add it up.

Let’s say you go out once a week. That’s $80 a month.

You’ll also want to add in the costs if you drink from home too. You may be spending $100 a month just on booze.

One of the least talked about effects of quitting drinking is that you have more money in your wallet. Soda and water don’t cost much, so you can still go out and enjoy a beverage without alcohol.

The Top Effects of Quitting Drinking

Going out for a few drinks is a way to connect and spend time with family and friends. It’s socially acceptable, almost to the point where people look at you funny when you stop drinking.

Despite the social pressure, there are many benefits to reap when you stop drinking. The effects of quitting drinking range from better sleep to more money and time.

Of course, if you try to quit but you just can’t do it, it can mean that you have a drinking problem. You want to make sure that you get the help that you need immediately.

Do you want more great frugal living tips? Check out our blog for more helpful articles.

Life-Changing Travel Facts: How Vacations Benefit Your Health

Did you know that travel and vacations benefit your health? Most Americans do not know that fact nor do they travel as much as Europeans. Americans are half as likely as Europeans to travel to another country. A whopping 29% of Americans have never been abroad.

Travel benefits your mental and physical health, read on to learn all the travel facts. Then, book your trip, your health will benefit.

8 Travel Facts You May Not Know

In 2018, one study indicated that Americans forfeited 200 Million vacations days lost each year. We have the time to travel, we just don’t take it. It doesn’t take a huge budget or a lot of travel experience to have a great travel experience that boosts your health.

If you want to take a trip, but are concerned about your lack of travel experience, there are companies that can help. They will design a wellness travel trip that will fit your budget and meet your unique needs.

1. Travel Helps Your Heart

One study documented that women who traveled 2 times a year had fewer heart attacks than women who travel every 6 years. Men who skip their vacation had a higher risk of death and a 30% higher risk of heart disease.

When you travel, stressors from home don’t exist, that helps your heart. You tend to eat different foods which provide your body with different vitamins and minerals. It may also be that travel helps to keep you fit.

2. Travel Reduces Stress

This one may sound like fake news, especially if you don’t like airplane or car travel. But travel actually reduces your stress.

When you travel you take a break from your normal stress and that stress break sticks around. One study showed, as long as 45 days later you feel less strain. Your normal, daily stress, bothers you less after a vacation and you are better at dealing with stress, in general.

3. Travel Keeps You Fit

You may think about travel as sitting in an airport or on a plane, but once you arrive, you tend to be more active.

You don’t have access to your car, so you walk. You want to see the local museum, you walk. You try new things, snorkeling or diving.

When you travel you are more motivated to make the most of the experiences available. This pushes you outside of your comfort zone and you take on experiences you would not take on at home.

Travel may expose you to a new activity that you bring home and continue.

4. Travel Helps Your Brain

Every time we experience something new, our brain changes. New experiences change the neuropathways in our brain. This improves your health because it increases your cognitive flexibility.

When you travel to another country, you are challenged to learn different languages. Travel exposes you to different cultures that have different customs, that require you to move or act differently.

Travel may also make you more emotionally stable when you return home. The challenge and success of traveling to a different country make your daily stressors easier to manage.

5. Travel Enhances Your Creativity

Just as travel helps your brain, it also opens up space for new ideas. A study looking at 1,000 entrepreneurs found that 20% of their latest startups ideas came to them on vacation.

Exposure to new places, cultures, and languages can spark new ideas that you can take back home and implement.

6. Travel Boosts Your Immune System

Every time you are exposed to a different environment, your body adapts. Your immune system creates new antibodies and helps you to fight new bacteria or viruses. New exposures challenge your immune system and force it to become stronger in the long run.

While you may or may not have decided to drink the water. Traveling to new places helps to make your immune system stronger.

7. Locations that Have Healing Properties

There are places on the planet that have been associated with significant healing. The River Ganges in India has been a mecca for many who are looking to break the cycle of rebirth and find peace in heaven.

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland has mineral-rich geothermal seawater. The water and minerals heal exfoliate and heal the skin.

Walk in the woods actually improves self esteem and mood. Although we have improved our lives through the built environment, the reality is that our core nature needs to spend time in, actual nature.

In the United States, Mount Shasta in California is considered the place where heaven meets the earth. For Native Americans, space has been a place of healing. The earth’s energy in this location creates energy vortexes. Many have walked these paths and felt its natural healing properties.

8. Travel, You Will Live Longer

Research has shown that those who travel actually live longer. While we may not know all the reasons that travel helps to prolong life, it does.

It may be an improved immune system, lower stress, or lower risk of heart disease, but travel improves your health.

It is important to take time to take care of yourself and travel is one powerful way to help you live a healthier, happier, life.

Now Put that Knowledge into Action

Now that you have all the travel facts, it is time to put that knowledge into action. It does not matter if you want to do high-end or budget travel, if you save money in your daily life you have more to spend on travel.

I love to find deals and savings for myself and my followers. Follow Thrifty Momma Ramblings to learn to live frugally.

10 Ways to Find Affordable Dental Implants and Save Big

In the United States, about 3 million people have dental implants and every year 500 thousand more go through the process. 

Considering that the cost of dental services is already expensive, dental implants have a high price tag. Dental implants are a last resort and long-term solution for tooth loss.

If you need dental implants but cannot afford them, hope is not lost.

Read on to learn how you can get affordable dental implants. 

1. Start Comparison Shopping

If you want to get the best deal on dental implants, you cannot take the first estimate quoted by a dentist. Like any big purchase, you need to do your research and compare prices before you buy.

You need to do more than look at the total cost when asking a dentist for an estimate. Each dentist you consult should give you a complete breakdown of all the costs. The breakdown of the costs should include office visits, x-rays, modeling, anesthesia, surgery, and other materials.

After you review each breakdown, you can make an educated decision that fits your budget.

2. Try to Negotiate With Your Dentist

As we mentioned in the first point, you must shop around to find the best price for dental implants. If you found a better deal than the one your dentist offers, you can always use it to negotiate a better rate.

Take the estimate back to the dentist of your choice and present them with the lowest offer. Let them know another clinic is willing to do it for a lower price.

If you want your dentist to do the work, they might be willing to match the lowest offer or offer another significant discount.

3. Location Plays Role

As with many medical services, the cost of dental implants varies depending on the area where you live. For example, if you live in New York City or Los Angeles, the cost of dental implants will be a lot higher than in a smaller city or town.

The price difference has a lot to do with the cost of living and other overhead costs such as rent and insurance. Rural locations oftentimes don’t have to deal with these issues, so their services are a lot cheaper.

If you can travel to a rural location to get your dental implants, you will notice the difference in price.

4. Dental Savings Plan

If you know you will likely need dental implants in the near future, you can start saving for the procedure in a dental savings plan. All of the money you put into this account will go towards your dental expenses.

Of course, it might be helpful to have a treatment plan from your dentist, so you know exactly how much you need to save.

5. Layaway Plans

Similar to retail stores, some dentist offices allow you to participate in a layaway plan to pay for dental plans. Although these plans are not that common, you can still ask your dentist if they offer it as an option.

Depending if the dentist allows for layaway plans, you will pay a deposit to secure the dental implant and pay the rest over time.

6. Look Into Self-Financing

If you cannot afford dental implants out of pocket and your insurance only covers a portion of the total cost, there are ways to obtain financing. Companies such as Care Credit offer financing that is specifically for dental work and medical-related treatments.

Care Credit allows you to make monthly payments. Oftentimes, Cara Credit offers 0% interest when you pay the full amount in 6 or 12 months.

Financing is a great option when dental work cannot wait.

7. Try to Get Supplemental Insurance

As you know, dental insurance might cover the partial cost of implants or nothing at all. Since dental insurance is more affordable than medical insurance, you could look into getting supplemental dental insurance on top of what you already have.

Make sure you read the terms to ensure they cover dental implants.  

8. Travel Abroad

Because many people find the cost of dental work in countries such as the U.S., UK, Canada, and Ireland higher, many people are resorting to dental tourism. Many developing countries are opening their doors to tourists looking to get dental work done for the fraction of the price.

View here to learn more about the U.S dental implant market and how it affects costs.

If you want to explore your options, look into countries that offer great dental treatments such as a few Asian countries, Costa Rica, Hungary, and Mexico.

Before you start looking for plane tickets, it’s important to do diligent research on the country and take into account if the traveling costs are worth it.

It might be easier to do if you were already planning a vacation at that destination.

9. Use Credit Card Rewards

You might have money set aside you don’t even know about such as credit card rewards. Because almost all dentists take credit cards you might be able to take advantage of any cashback rewards you might have accumulated on your credit card.

If you don’t have cashback rewards, it’s never too late to start accumulating them. Some credit cards offer introductory cashback rewards when you spend a certain amount in the first 90 days.

You could take this as an opportunity to get some of the cost of the implants back.

10. Dentistry Schools

Another way to save money on dental implants is by getting them done as a school of dentistry. Some schools offer dental implant clinics where they allow their recent graduates to get real-life experience.

Of course, students are supervised by an experienced dentist or oral surgeon. Participating in one of these programs can be extremely beneficial if you’re looking to save a fraction of the cost.

Since students are properly taught and supervised by experienced dentists, you can be sure they will produce quality work. However, you will likely have to go on a waiting list.

The work will also take multiple visits to complete and the hours might not be the most convenient.

If you’re willing to go out of your way, you can save thousands going this route.

How to Find Affordable Dental Implants: The Bottom Line

As you can see, there are many ways to save and find affordable dental implants. Start by doing your research, negotiate with your dentist, consider a clinic in a rural area or a school of dentistry. 

Want to learn other ways to save on the big things? Check out the rest of our frugal living section. 

What to Expect From an OBGYN Appointment and How to Choose a Doctor

Over the last several years, there’s been a significant decrease in the number of women who see the OBGYN (obstetrician-gynecologist) on a regular basis. Many women have never seen an OBGYN at all. 

If you’re part of this group, what’s stopping you? Are you anxious about what the appointment will be like? 

Many women let fear stop them from seeing the OBGYN for regular check-ups. It’s important to make these appointments a priority, especially for women who are getting a bit older.

If you’re not what sure what to expect from an OBGYN appointment, keep reading. Everything you need to know, along with tips on finding the right doctor, is explained down below.

Why Do Regular Check-Ups Matter?

Is it really important for you to get regular check-ups from an OBGYN? The short answer is yes, it is.

Regular OBGYN appointments ought to be part of your long-term healthcare plan. Here are some of the reasons why:

Maintain Good Overall Health

During an exam, an OBGYN can detect a lot of potential health problems, including issues that might not be directly related to the reproductive system. Seeing an OBGYN can help you prevent health conditions and catch them early. 

Learn About Birth Control Options

If you’ve been curious about your birth control options or want to switch to a different kind of birth control, your OBGYN can give you recommendations. They’ll take your specific needs and lifestyle into account and recommend an option that’s a good fit for you.

Improve Your Sexual Experience

If you experience pain or discomfort during sex, your OBGYN can help you find out why. During their exam, they’ll be able to detect any issues that may be causing these problems.

Get Help with Fertility Issues

OBGYNs can also help with fertility issues. If you’re struggling to get pregnant or are getting ready to start trying for a baby, your OBGYN can provide guidance and recommendations to help you through the process.

What to Expect from an OBGYN Appointment

Okay, you’re convinced that it’s a good idea to see the OBGYN on a regular basis. You still might be nervous about what will happen during your first appointment though.

Everyone’s experience with the OBGYN is a bit different. In general, you can expect your appointment to go something like this:

Address Questions/Concerns

At the beginning of your appointment, the nurse at your OBGYN’s office will ask you if you have any questions or specific health concerns that you want to address. They’ll likely ask about your health history at this time too.

General Health Check

Next, the nurse will move on to a general health check. This includes taking your blood pressure, checking your temperature, and monitoring your heart rate—the same stuff that happens at the beginning of every doctor’s appointment.

Physical Exam

After your health check, the OBGYN will come in and perform the physical exam. They’ll likely ask you the same (or similar) questions as the nurse about your concerns and health history.

During the physical exam, the OBGYN will exam the outside of the vagina to check for abnormalities. Your feet will be in stirrups and your knees will be bent to make the examination easier.

They’ll then move on to check the inside of the vagina and cervix with a speculum. This portion of the exam can be a bit uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful.

Pap Test

After the physical exam, your OBGYN will perform a pap test. This involves removing a sample of cells from your cervix with a small brush to test for cervical cancer, HPV (short for human papillomavirus), and any other abnormalities.

Bimanual Exam

Next, they’ll perform a bimanual exam. This involves inserting two fingers into the vagina. At the same time, they’ll place the other hand on top of your abdomen. This allows them to check for abnormalities in the cervix, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

Breast Exam

During your OBGYN appointment, you’ll likely receive a breast exam, too. During this exam, they’ll check for any lumps or other abnormalities.

Preparing for Your Appointment

Knowing what happens during a typical appointment can help to put you at ease before you arrive. It also helps to do some physical and mental preparation to help you feel calmer and more confident.

The following steps are all helpful to do before an appointment with your OBGYN:

  • Avoid using creams or powders the day of your appointment
  • Avoid sexual intercourse a day or two before the appointment
  • Avoid douching or inserting anything like tampons into your vagina a day or two before the appointment

Dress in comfortable clothes that you can quickly take off and put back on. This will make undressing for the exam easier.

How to Find the Right OBGYN

In order to have a good experience with the OBGYN, you need to do some research and ensure you’re working with the right one.

Keep these tips in mind while looking for an OBGYN so as to find someone who’s a good fit for you:

  • Check with your insurance provider to see which OBGYNs are included in your network
  • Think about your health history and make a note of any family conditions that the doctor ought to know about
  • Research their methods and find out if they use any special technology, such as ultrasound, to yield more accurate results
  • Consider their reviews and see what the general consensus is about their methods and bedside manner

Pay attention to the service you receive when scheduling the appointment. Is the receptionist polite and courteous? Is it easy for you to get an appointment that works with your schedule?

Schedule Your Appointment Today

As you can see, it’s very important to make time for regular check-ups with your OBGYN.

Now that you know more about what to expect from an OBGYN appointment, as well as what you need to do to ensure you’re working with the right doctor, it’s time to start your search and schedule your first appointment.

Keep this information in mind and you’ll have no trouble finding a doctor who meets your needs (and your budget).

Do you want to learn more about improving your health and saving money on healthcare costs? Visit the Health and Fitness section of our site today for some additional information.