16 Things to Know Before Your First Appointment With The Gynecologist

13. The exam is for you Your gynecologist should go out of their way to make you feel comfortable during your appointment and physical exam. After… Simi - July 8, 2018

13. The exam is for you

Your gynecologist should go out of their way to make you feel comfortable during your appointment and physical exam. After all, you are there to look after yourself. If you feel in any way uncomfortable, you can always opt out of the physical exam and have it at a later stage.

You should also decide whether you feel more comfortable with a female gynecologist or a male. Both male and female gynecologists undergo the same training. In most countries, it is a further four years of specialization after a medical degree. Having a male or a female gynecologist is a different experience, and you should think about what you would prefer.

You also need to know when you feel ready to have a physical examination. You can start seeing a gynecologist within two years of starting your periods, but you don’t need a physical examination until you are sexually active or have reached 21.

Once you have started having sex, then it is a good idea to have regular check-ups and plan your contraception. You can choose when you want to have your first appointment, and you can choose who you want to have examine you.

14. Follow up call

If you have an appointment at a private clinic, then you can expect the clinic to give you a follow-up call. Your gynecologist will also want to see the results of your pap test before it is handed over to you. You might have to go to the clinic to collect the results of the Pap test, and this will be given to you in a sealed envelope.

Your doctor might want you to pop into their office to look at it together. They might have time to explain to results to you, or they might want you to schedule a follow-up visit. In this case, they will check up on any treatment they might have given you. If you have been given the birth control pill, they will want to check your blood pressure and weight and your general health, to check that your body is functioning smoothly under the new hormonal regime of the pill.

If you have had your blood and urine tested, the gyno will want to see the results along with the results of the Pap test. If the Pap test is normal, then you will only need to take that again in three years’ time. If there is anything that is not one hundred percent normal the doctor will want to have another look at it.

They should also give you antibiotics or the correct treatment for any kinds of STDs you might have. If the gynecologist gives you a prescription for anything then you can ask what it is for and what it does. Make sure you know how long you need to take it for and if it has any side effects.

15. Schedule your next appointment

Although you might have felt nervous on your first visit, now that you know what to expect you will be able to take the next appointments in your stride. You may as well get used to them because, from the time you start seeing one, you should have a gynecologist checkup at least every two years and a pap smear every three.

If you are sexually active and at risk of STDs then you should see your gynecologist at least every year. You should also be looking after your general physical health so that your weight to body mass index falls into healthy parameters and your lifestyle is healthy.

This includes eating a healthy diet, doing some exercise and not smoking. If you make good lifestyle choices, you will be able to stay healthy over time. If you keep yourself free of STDs by using a condom, you will also ensure your future reproductive health.

You will need to see the gynecologist if you have frequent lower back pain, pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, itching, pain, swellings or lumps in and around your vulva and any changes in your breast or armpits.

16. What you take home, information, treatments

After you have finished your first appointment with a gynecologist, you should know and understand a lot more about your own body and your reproductive health. Your gynecologist should have shown you how to do a breast exam on yourself and explained various contraception methods. They should also have suggested the possibility of having some specific vaccines for young women like the Human papillomavirus vaccine, or the Hepatitis A vaccine.

You need to evaluate whether these vaccines are necessary and will be good protection for you. The choice to have them is yours, and you should be informed about any side effects before you decide to have them done.

You should also have been given exhaustive information about the different types of birth control that are available to you. You should have decided together what form is best for you. If you have decided on birth control that requires a prescription, then you should leave the doctor’s office with the prescription on hand.

If you need to have a blood or urine test, or a further specialist checkup, then you should have all the prescriptions and referrals in hand when you leave. If you need to follow a treatment scheme you should know what it is, what it does and how long you will need to do it for. You should also know when you need to go back and over what kind of time period. You should know when to keep up with routine exams, tests, and immunizations.