If you are a girl or a woman, there will come the time for your first GYNO visit – it’s a normal part of being a lady! Although you might feel uncomfortable or intimidated by visiting a gynecologist, the truth is there is no way to avoid it or valid reasons to do it.
It’s normal to feel what you’re feeling, but we can assure you that going to the gynecologist doesn’t have to be scary if you prepare yourself for the exam in advance. If you know exactly what to expect and how to behave, you can relax and really benefit your GYNO exam. With some tips we prepared for you, you will be able to remain calm and confident making your fist GYNO visit a successful one. Stay tuned!
What Happens at a Gynecologist Appointment?
Before you are able to feel okay with visiting your gynecologist for the first time, you should be prepared for what is going to happen. Even though it might sound scary, it most certainly isn’t! Here’s what steps you can take to make your first GYNO appointment a positive experience and what to expect:
- Know why you need this GYNO appointment
It is recommended that girls have their first GYNO appointment between the ages of 13 and 15 because they usually hit puberty at that time. After the first time, annual visits are a normal thing you should practice to maintain your reproductive health.
Considering how many girls and women decide to visit a gynecologist only when they have some sort of a health problem, you can go to your gynecologist even when everything is okay? Why is this important?
With regular visits, you give your gynecologist a chance to detect any issues that appear without symptoms but are potentially very serious and have to be treated. Besides, use your first GYNO appointment to talk about your cycle and sex life, and ask questions about birth control, advice, screenings, and everything else you might be interested in.
- Find a trustworthy gynecologist
Second, a really important issue for women of all ages is to find a gynecologist they trust and feel comfortable with. Experience shows that many women find male gynecologists easier to confide in, but the choice is completely up to you. If you opt for one gynecologist and don’t feel okay visiting them, you can book an appointment with someone else until you find the right one. You will be seeing your gynecologist at least once a year, so why stress and panic every time when you go in for a regular check-up?
At Women’s Care of Bradenton, we specialize in various medical fields such as gynecological, obstetrical, and infertility services, as well as procedures and surgeries. Our team of gynecologists and obstetricians is at your disposal for all questions. Book an appointment with someone from our team of experts and let us make your experience a positive one!
- Know what GYNO examinations to expect
Depending on your age and personal lifestyle, your gynecologist might suggest running a few routine tests and screenings at your first gynecologist appointment. Don’t be afraid of these tests because these are usually done for preventive purposes. During this first appointment, you can expect questions about your weight, height, diet, and overall well-being. Finally, don’t be ashamed to ask any questions that are troubling you concerning your reproductive health! Your gynecologist is there to answer all your questions and give appropriate advice.
Additionally, if you’re over 21 and sexually active, your gynecologists will probably check your blood pressure, perform a pelvic exam, and do a Pap smear test to exclude the possibility of any genital problems or STDs. Your gynecologist might even perform a breast examination to rule out the possibility of breast cancer.
If you’re coming for a different type of examination, your gynecologist might perform an ultrasound or colposcopy to get a better insight into your reproductive organs. If you are afraid or uncomfortable, your gynecologist can talk you through the procedures so that you know what is going to happen.
- Forget about physical looks
Many women feel judged and exposed when they go in for a gynecological examination, but the truth is there is no reason to feel this way. Your gynecologist’s job is to assess your medical state and health, so they rarely pay attention to other little things like your physical looks. They are there to make you feel comfortable and provide you with proper care and treatment.
If you know you are going in for a vaginal exam, you can shower before the appointment to feel more comfortable, but you don’t really have to do it. If you’re feeling stressed and uncomfortable, talk to your gynecologist about it and they might have a piece of good advice for you.
- Be prepared for a pelvic floor examination
When you visit the gynecologist for the first time, they probably won’t do a pelvic floor exam, but it’s good to know what this type of examination entails.
A regular pelvic floor exam has three routine parts:
- The first part includes an external genital examination to assess every organ that’s on the outside of your body. This can help your gynecologist rule out certain genital problems and serious health conditions.
- After that part, your gynecologist will insert a speculum to perform a vaginal and cervical exam, and probably do a Pap smear and an STD test on the way. Although this might last for a minute or two, some women feel slight discomfort during this part, but you can tell your gynecologist about it to find a solution for it. Speculums come in different sizes, so they can use a smaller/bigger one if necessary.
- Finally, the last part includes a bimanual examination to assess your reproductive organs. Your gynecologist will place a hand on your lower abdomen and insert two fingers into your vagina to feel around it and make sure your uterus and ovaries are in good shape. This also lasts for about a minute, so you don’t have to worry.
- Talk openly about your life and health
Your gynecologist will be interested in your menstrual cycle and sex life to be able to treat you properly. You should know the date of your last period at all times, so it’s a good idea to write this down somewhere.
Also, talk about your menstrual cycle and anything you find unusual or problematic such as heavy bleeding, painful periods, or cramps. All these can be symptoms of something more serious, so let your gynecologist know. Being honest is very important in this case because it can save your life at a certain point.
- Know your medical history
To enable your gynecologist to provide you with proper care and treatment, talk about your medical history at your first-time GYNO appointment. they will want to know about your medical conditions and diseases, medications you are taking, and previous surgeries if you had any. All this information can help them in evaluating your health and making sure you’re doing okay.
Even though you might think it’s irrelevant, tell your doctor everything concerning your health because it can be essential in some cases. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Ask about birth control options
If you’re sexually active or you want to be, feel free to talk about birth control to your gynecologist. More often than not, they don’t have to perform a physical examination to give you a birth control prescription. You will probably have to talk about your medical history and personal habits so that your doctor can decide on the best birth control option for you.
If you’re older, you can ask for a more permanent birth control solution such as an IUD that can last up to 5 years. For some of these, you will have to undergo certain examinations and tests to see what device is the best for you.
- Expect a follow-up appointment
If you had your gynecological appointment today and your gynecologist ran some tests such as Pap smear or an STD screening, you can expect to go in for a follow-up appointment in a week or two. If your tests come back normal, you probably won’t even receive a call from your gynecologist’s office, but to be safe simply ask about that before you leave.
Even if you get a call, don’t panic. It doesn’t have to mean something is wrong or that your results are not okay. It might be a preventive check-up so go in there with confidence. Being responsible about your reproductive health is the best thing you can do for yourself!
- Schedule your next appointment on the spot
After your first gynecologist visit, it would be a good idea to schedule your next appointment. This can help you stay on track and avoid forgetting when you should actually go in for another visit. Since it can be crowded at times at a gynecologist’s office, if you book your next appointment in time you minimize the risk of not having an appointment at all.
It’s recommended that every woman and girl visits her gynecologist once a year, but if you notice any unusual health issues, you can do it more often as well. You decide on when to go to the gynecologist.
From the first GYNO visit, every woman should make it her responsibility to visit her gynecologist at least once a year. Your health is what matters the most, so don’t avoid examinations and gynecological appointments because this is the only way to stay healthy and happy!