Many women feel nervous or uncertain before their visit to the gynecologist. It means accepting that your body has changed and that you've taken the step from girlhood into womanhood. Before going to your first appointment, here are some things you can expect and how you can prepare.
When should you start your gynecologic checkups?
Your first appointment will likely occur between 13 and 15 years old. Some women wait to start their gynecological examinations until they have sexual intercourse for the first time, or until they have a symptom or problem such as an abnormal vaginal discharge, vaginal burning, strong menstrual cramps or irregular periods. There's no need to wait. The sooner you start regular exams the better.
What will happen at your first gynecological appointment?
It's normal to feel nervous, but there is really nothing to worry about. Your first appointment is usually very simple, and your doctor will spend time getting to know you. The doctor will ask about you and your family's medical history and your sexual health. Many women may feel uncomfortable discussing such personal issues, but being honest is important because it will allow the doctor to give you any help you might need.
What are gynecologic exams?
There are four types of examinations that you may have during your visit. Each type depends on the length of your first appointment, your age, your sexual history and whether or not you have any particular symptoms.
If you are going to have any tests, the doctor will explain them first so you don't have to be anxious. The doctor will instruct you to go to the bathroom or a changing room to undress in private and put on a gown. It's normal to feel uncomfortable about being naked, but the gown will cover you, and the doctor will only uncover the areas needed for the examination. Also, remember that all women are tested in the same way.
The four kinds of examinations are:
How should you prepare for your first appointment?
The first appointment can produce the most anxiety, but the next ones will be much easier. The good news is that if you're uncomfortable with the doctor you chose, you can always choose another one. It's important that you find a gynecologist you trust. You should see your gynecologist on an annual basis to maintain good vaginal health.
This is not intended to be medical advice. Everybody is different so please make sure to consult your physician if you're having issues. Do not delay or refrain from seeking professional medical advice from your physician because of something you have read on this site.
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