If you’ve never had a gynecological check-up before, you may be wondering what to expect at the gynecologist.
Whether you’re mildly curious or full-on anxious about what to expect at the gynecologist, don’t worry – whatever you’re feeling is natural and ok! Especially if you’re a teen getting ready for your first visit to the gynecologist, you may not know what to expect, and you may not know who to ask.
You don’t need to be experiencing gynecological problems, or be sexually active to start seeing a gynecologist. It’s great to start seeing one between ages 13-15 so you can start building a positive relationship with your doctor and learning about your gynecological health.
Here, we’ll fill you in on what to expect at the gynecologist when you come for your first appointment with Dr. Lona Sasser or Dr. Mary Squire-De Leon– the two great doctors on staff at our practice.
Contact us to schedule your first appointment! Call 954-340-1050
What to Expect at the Gynecologist #1: Paperwork
It’s not super exciting, but it’s important. When you come in for your first gynecological visit, you’ll probably need to fill out some paperwork. It’s good to arrive a few minutes early so you don’t feel rushed. Paperwork could include such questions as:
- Why you scheduled the gynecologist appointment
- Your family health history
- Your personal health history
- Medications, vitamins, or supplements you are taking
- Any surgery you’ve had
- Whether you’re sexually active
- Your age when you started having menstrual periods and when your most recent period occurred
- Whether you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs
- The name of your primary care doctor or family doctor
- The name and contact information of someone to call in case of an emergency – Source: Everyday Health
It might help you feel more prepared for your visit if you spend a little time thinking about those questions beforehand! It’s important to be honest with your doctor so they can provide the best care. Everything you share with them is protected by confidentiality laws.
What to Expect at the Gynecologist #2: General Physical Exam
Like going to your pediatrician or family doctor for a check-up, at your gynecological check-up, your height, weight and blood pressure will be checked. If for any reason you don’t wish to know your weight, or prefer not to be weighed, you can let your doctor know.
What to Expect at the Gynecologist #3: Breast Exam and External Genital Exam
You’ll be left alone to get undressed and put on a special robe. Then your gynecologist will see you. First, they’ll talk with you about some of the questions in your paperwork. Then, they’ll give you a breast exam – using their hands to check your breasts for lumps or abnormal discharge – and external genital exam – when they look at your vulva, the outside of your genitals. This is a great time to ask questions about anything related to your genitals: how they work, what their different parts are called, or what healthy genitals should look and feel like.
What to Expect at the Gynecologist #4: Pelvic Exam
You probably won’t need a pelvic exam at your first appointment, unless you’ve had sex or are experiencing certain symptoms in your vagina or abdomen. If that’s the case, here’s a detailed description of a pelvic exam:
To do the test, your gynecologist will ask you to lie on the exam table with your feet in special stirrups and your legs open so he or she is able examine your vagina. Using gloves, the gynecologist will check your vulva (the outside of your vagina) to rule out signs of infection. Then he or she will open your vagina with a speculum (a metal or plastic instrument) to shine a light inside and take samples of a few cells that will allow her to tell if you have any STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). If necessary, he or she will also take a Pap smear at the same time. Finally, the doctor will insert one or two fingers of one hand into your vagina while pressing on your abdomen in order to feel your cervix, ovaries and womb. This is to assess their size, see if there are cysts present, etc. It can be a bit uncomfortable, but if you’re relaxed the examination is usually not painful. – Source: U by Kotex
What to Expect at the Gynecologist #5: STI Testing
If you’re sexually active, you may wish to be tested for STI’s – sexually transmitted infections – at your appointment. You can be tested for STI’s either by urinating into a cup, getting blood drawn, or both. Talk with your gynecologist about these options.
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