In medicine, breast health refers to any health issues concerning the breasts. Sagging breasts, nipple tenderness or discharge, inverted nipples, and itching around the breast are all included under the umbrella of breast health, as are treatments for cysts, mammograms, and breast cancer treatments.
While any licensed doctor can legally check the health of a woman’s breasts, gynecologists and OB/GYNs (who focus on both obstetrics and gynecology) are uniquely qualified to check the breasts’ health and treat ailments that afflict them. Gynecology is the study of women’s reproductive system, which includes the breasts. Gynecologists spend years learning about all aspects of women’s reproductive system, and they acquire advanced knowledge of the breasts.
Going to a gynecology for breast-related issues has an additional benefit. Because gynecologists study all parts of women’s reproductive system, they’re experts in women’s health. Women can go to the same gynecologist for breast-related concerns and many other health issues.
Many health insurance plans cover breast health services that are deemed medically appropriate by a gynecologist or OB/GYN. Policies have their own specific coverage terms, conditions, and limits, though, so women should check with their insurer to see what services their particular insurance policy covers.
When deciding who to go to for breast health concerns, women should first look for a licensed and board-certified gynecologist or OB/GYN. Licensed gynecologists and OB/GYNS are legally allowed to practice medicine, and board-certified ones have demonstrated their expertise in gynecology (and possibly obstetrics) by passing a rigorous exam. Women can also look for a provider who is a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which further distinguishes gynecologists and OB/GYNs. Providers with this credential often list “F.A.C.O.G.” after their name.
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