Having someone examine your genitals is definitely not a pleasant idea, especially if you have never gone through this before. It is not hard to understand why most girls are scared of their first visit to a gynecologist. It is absolutely legitimate to ask questions like: “Do I really need to get an appointment?”, “Why?”, “What happens at a visit?” I will briefly try to answer these questions here.
Why do I need to see a gynecologist?
All women should tend to their reproductive health as part of their normal preventive healthcare, just like everyone should go to the dentist once a year and their general doctor for a yearly checkup. Think of this visit as a routine medical exam. This will help you feel better about it. If it makes you more comfortable, you can have your mom, sister, or a friend stay in the room with you during the exam.
A Pap test and pelvic exam are important parts of a woman’s routine health care because they can detect abnormalities that may lead to cervix cancer. These abnormalities can be treated before cancer develops.
Besides finding problems early so they can be treated or kept from getting worse, your doctor will also help you understand your body and how it works, how to take good care of it and protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections.
When do I need to see a gynecologist?
You should get an appointment if you:
- have ever had sex.
- are 21 or older.
- have abdominal pain, irregular or painful menstrual periods, or vaginal discharge.
What happens at a visit?
Part of your first visit will be just talk, so you can get to know each other. Your doctor may ask a lot of questions about you and your family. You can also ask the doctor any questions you have. It is a good idea to put down some questions before your visit, so that you don’t forget them because of being nervous. You can talk to your doctor about cramps and problem periods, acne, weight issues, sexually transmitted infections and any other concerns you have. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask. Take advantage of this time to get good answers to your questions.
Your doctor will check your height, weight and blood pressure. He or she may also do the following exams:
- Breast exam –your doctor will check your breasts to make sure you don’t have strange lumps or pain.
- Pelvic exam –The doctor will examine your pelvic area to make sure your reproductive organs are healthy.
- Pap test –This test is done to make sure the cells in your cervix are normal. If you are sexually active, it is especially important to have a Pap test. The Pap test helps the doctor know if more tests are needed to see if you are infected with the HP virus. Left untreated, this virus can lead to cervical cancer.
So, a visit to the gynecologist is a necessary part of keeping yourself healthy as a woman, and your gynecologist can turn out to be a great source of honest, accurate sexual information for you for years to come.