Whether you are visiting the gynecologist for the very first time or you are a pap smear veteran, it’s always good to know what’s expected of you when you go in for a visit. Be the most prepared patient by reading up on our lovely gynecologist 101 guide!
First off, don’t freak out! I know that someone looking at your vagina can be super weird and uncomfortable but they are professionals and know their way of the land. Make sure to go to a gynecologist you trust and that is recommended by your peers!
When scheduling your appointment, make sure to schedule it around your period. The best time to go is 2 weeks after your last period. Also, make sure to not have sex or douche (well you shouldn’t do this ever) right before your appointment.
There are some questions about your medical history that they are guaranteed to ask at your visit so it’s better to know the answers ahead of time. Some of these questions will include:
1. When was your last period?
2. Are you sexually active?
3. Do you have any issues with your V? Like heavier bleeding, pain, itchiness, etc.
It’s also good to round up any questions that you would like to ask them before you go in for your visit. This can include questions about birth control, talking about discharge, or the best lube to use for your V!
It’s time to get into the appointment. If it’s your first time at the gyno and your 15 or younger, don’t worry too much. There most likely won’t be an internal pelvic exam, just a nice conversation and they may take a peek to make sure everything looks good. Once you become sexually active or you turn 21, it’s recommended that you start having an internal exam.
The first thing they will do is take your blood pressure, take your weight and will leave the room while you undress. Once you undress completely, you’ll be put into a lovely opened top and a sheet that covers over your lap (like a dinner napkin lol). When the doctor comes back in and you will be asked to lay back and put your feet in the stirrups. They will check out your V externally first and make sure everything's looking a-ok.
Moving on to the speculum! This is used to examine the inside of your vagina and you may feel a little pressure and it can be cold. Once that is open and in place, they will take a pap smear. A pap is taking some cells from the wall of your cervix with a small brush to test for cervical cancer, STDs and other abnormalities. This may hurt a tiny bit and there may be spotting but it’s nothing to worry about!
Next is the bimanual exam, which is when they two lubricated fingers inside your vagina and they lightly push against your abdomen with their other hand. This is done in order to feel around for any growths. Once that’s done, they will do a quick breast exam to check for any lumps. You should do a self-breast exam every month at home to make sure you don’t have any new growths.
And that’s it! Tbh, the exam can be done and over within 10 minutes and is so essential to having a happy and healthy V. Make sure to do this exam annually and let your gynecologist know if anything abnormal is going on with your vagina so they can help you out!