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Telemedicine in Prenatal Care: What to Know About Seeing a Virtual Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB-GYN)

May 17, 2022

The practice of obstetrics and gynecology is majorly hands-on. However, you can establish your appointments with an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) via telehealth. There are several purposes a telehealth visit can serve including antenatal care, prescription refills, substance use, breastfeeding, and many more.

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When to Use Telehealth With an OB-GYN

Several services can be provided via a telehealth visit with an OB-GYN specialist or an affiliated general physician.

 You may book a telehealth visit with an OB-GYN doctor in any of the following situations:

  • Discussing steps to take if you think or you find out you are pregnant
  • Antenatal care routine visits
  • Remote antenatal monitoring for maternal parameters like blood glucose, blood pressure, etc.
  • Remote fetal monitoring
  • Reviewing lab and test results
  • Reviewing imaging results such as ultrasound, etc.
  • Substance use assessment
  • Alcohol screening
  • Counseling on healthy diet and nutrition, physical activity, medications, substance use, prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), breastfeeding, postpartum contraceptive, etc.
  • Drug prescription and prescription refills
  • Anxiety and depression screening and referral
  • Post-op appointment
  • Help with and screening for intimate partner violence
  • Preeclampsia prevention with low-dose aspirin
  • Preeclampsia screening (if a person has appropriate resources available)

In some cases, the outcomes of these appointments may be a need for an in-person visit. Usually, you may be asked to come in for an in-person visit if you:

  • Have a fever or vaginal infection 
  • Are experiencing symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, including pain in the pelvis, abdomen, or lower back
  • Have problems with recovery after a recent surgery or other procedure
  • Require a full pelvic exam
  • Have severe vaginal bleeding
  • Might need surgery
  • Need a blood test or further testing 

How to Prepare for a Telehealth Visit With an OB-GYN

Firstly, you will need to search for and select a telemedicine platform that offers Ob-Gyn services. At other times, you may search for an Ob-Gyn that offers telehealth visits. Either way works. If the Ob-Gyn facility you use provides telehealth services, you may continue with them. 

Most insurance providers cover telehealth visits as they are treated as outpatient hospital visits. However, check-in with the facility or platform of choice if your insurance plans can cover your telehealth visits with them.

Once you book your appointment, you can prepare ahead and ensure a productive session. These simple steps may help:

  • Confirm who your appointment is with (an OB-GYN, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, etc) to prepare your mind
  • Check-in with your doctor and/or insurance provider to confirm if your telemedicine visits will be covered.
  • Find out if the appointment will be a video or audio-only based.
  • Ensure you're in a quiet place with access to a smartphone or laptop with the app to be used (if applicable), camera and microphone.
  • Ensure you have a strong network signal and internet access before the appointment.
  • Have all the helpful information ready such as height, weight, date of your last menstrual cycle, how long you've been experiencing certain symptoms, etc.
  • Make a list of questions or concerns you may want to clarify with the doctor such as symptoms, medications used, etc. 
  • Ask if there will be a need for a physical examination. If yes, inquire about their privacy and security measures. You make ask for other options such as taking photos of the affected areas ahead of time and sending them via a secure email.
  • Wear visit-appropriate clothing. For example, if your belly will have to be assessed, a jumpsuit would not be proper attire.
  • If your visit will be over video, pick a quiet, brightly-lit room or corner for your visit.
  • Download and test the video or audio call app or platform your provider uses for telehealth visits.

A Word from My Virtual Physician

My virtual physician provides a wide range of Ob-Gyn services. We have a team of certified obstetricians and gynecologists available to help guide you through your pregnancy and answer any questions that may arise.

We are in-network with many insurance health plans including Medicaid, Medicare, United HealthCare, and Blue Cross. 

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