My First Appointment: A Girl’s Guide To Visiting Her Gynecologist

 
 

My First Appointment: A Girl’s Guide To Visiting Her Gynecologist

Will My First Gyn Appointment Be Awkward Or Uncomfortable?

Before going to your first appointment, most girls have many questions. Are gyn exams painful? What if you’re going to the gyn on your period? 

Honestly, it’s completely normal to be nervous before your first gynecological exam. 

Let us demystify the experience and reassure you that there is nothing to fear. We all know how essential it is to take care of our health. Regular visits to your gynecologist are simply a necessary part of taking responsibility for your health and growing up. Roswell ObGyn’s personalized gynecological services can help keep you healthy.

And please be aware that not all young women need a pelvic exam during their annual appointment. For instance, teenagers who have not yet become sexually active typically do not need the pelvic exam. 

Why It’s Important To Have Annual Gynecological Exams 

If you’re a young woman contemplating her first gyn appointment or a mother looking to set her daughter’s mind at ease—below is an overview of what to expect during your first gynecological visit and helpful hints on how to prepare.  

Regular gynecological exams have, at least, three primary purposes: 

  1. Be Informed.
    You can get confidential answers and accurate information about any questions you may have concerning your changing body, sex, sexuality, and menstruation. 
  2. Learn About Prevention.
    You can learn about healthy lifestyles, pregnancy prevention, and sexually transmitted diseases.
  3. Get The Right Treatment.
    For women who frequently experience missed periods, pain, or other reproductive problems, your provider can look into why the issues are occurring and offer treatment. This includes both your provider and you becoming more familiar with your family’s medical history. Before you go for your first gynecological visit, it is very helpful to find out as much about the past medical history of other women in your family. Have they had painful periods? Surgeries? Ectopic pregnancies? Endometriosis? Anemia? Diabetes? Cancer? Other chronic illnesses?

Before Your Exam

When you’ve decided to make an appointment for a gynecological exam, make sure to schedule the visit for when you’re in the middle of your menstrual cycle. Avoid any sexual intercourse, having a vaginal douche, or putting anything (such as tampons) into your vagina two days before the exam.

Plan ahead and think about the questions you’d like to ask your provider during the visit. Writing your questions down will make them easier to remember. If you don’t know where to begin, some areas where you may have questions include irregular periods, birth control methods, painful periods, common infections, and mood swings related to your periods. Here are 7 questions to ask your gynecologist.

Again, gather information on your family’s medical history, especially your mother’s history. Also, if you have older sisters, you’ll want to know about them as well.

On The Day Of Your Exam

On the day of your first annual pelvic exam, wear uncomplicated, comfortable clothes to feel calm when it comes time to undress. 

Before your gynecological examination, the nurse will take your blood pressure, measure, and weigh you. Often, new patients will then meet their provider for an introductory phase of the appointment. If you need a pelvic exam, you’ll be given a robe and asked to undress in the room’s changing area (behind a curtain, for privacy). Then you’ll sit on the exam table waiting for your provider to return.

When your provider comes back into the room, they’ll do your exam. If you have a pelvic exam, you’ll be asked to put your feet in the footrests/stirrups and scoot down the exam table. This can feel a bit invasive and uncomfortable, but keep in mind that these exams are necessary and vital for keeping you in the best of health. There is no need to feel embarrassed. It is a routine part of an annual gynecological exam. Just remember, most American women have these exams yearly. 

Physical and External Genitalia Exams

Your gynecologist will examine your external genitalia with latex gloves and your vulva for any pathologic symptoms. Physical examinations should not be painful, but if it is, tell your gynecologist right away.

Speculum Examination

After examining your externals, your gynecologist will insert a speculum into your vagina to check for abnormalities. Again, this should not be painful. Once the speculum is positioned in place, your provider will obtain a specimen for culture or Pap smear.

Bimanual Exam

A bimanual exam ends your gynecological examination, which usually takes no longer than 5 minutes. Your provider will palpate the ovaries and uterus and check for any growths or swelling. You will then be able to remove yourself from the stirrups and get up from the examination table and get dressed.

After the Exam

A Roswell office nurse will follow up with any test results, either by phone or by email.

Helping You Feel Comfortable and Well Informed

Our Roswell provider and office staff will ensure you understand the exam elements and feel as comfortable as possible. Be sure to voice any of your concerns or questions.

Learn more about getting your first gynecological exam: