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.