Women's Health Health Center

Sexual Health: Your doctor can address almost any sexual health concern you may have. A full physical examination will allow your doctor to make a proper and accurate diagnosis and prescribe the best treatment for you. Your doctor may recommend that you see a gynecologist for further specialized testing. When it comes to sexual health conditions, an accurate and honest medical history may help your doctor significantly in giving you a diagnosis. Be open about your sexual partners and activity. Your doctor may run tests that include taking samples of discharge or urine for further testing. A Pap smear may be needed to diagnose certain STDs.

Reproductive Health: The most effective way to find out if you're pregnant is through a pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are available over-the-counter at many drug and grocery stores and are considered highly accurate. Your doctor or health care provider also can do a pregnancy test. If you take a home pregnancy test and receive a positive result, schedule an appointment with your doctor to follow up. They will be able to confirm the pregnancy.

Menopause: As menopause happens at different ages for different women, it can be difficult to know exactly when onset will begin. While the average age of menopause is 51, it could start in a woman's 40s to late 50s.

Symptoms may be the strongest sign for when menopause begins for you. When you reach middle age, pay close attention to your menstrual cycle and note any irregularities or changes. This could be an early sign of the start of menopause. At first, you might not notice slight changes to the body such as weight gain, thinning skin or stiff joints, but these symptoms combined with hot flashes and changing periods may be the signs needed to confirm menopause.

Review Date: 
October 1, 2012
Last Updated:
September 4, 2014