Have you ever heard ladies say that they are friends with their gyno? If you have a lady, you will need to visit a gynecologist at some point in your life. However, most women feel conscious about sharing details related to their reproductive health.
The truth is you shouldn’t be afraid to communicate with your OBGYN openly. OBGYNs have seen and heard it all. This will make it easier for you to be 100% honest with your gynecologist.
We understand that being honest is easier said than done, especially if it’s your first time visiting your OBGYN. To help you prepare for your first visit, we have prepared a list of 10 things to know before your first gynecologist appointment.
1. Understand your reasons for scheduling an appointment
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a girl’s first OBGYN visit should be between age 13 and 15. The reasons for visiting your gynecologist are varied. If you are aware of why you’ve visited the gynecologist, then you’ll be able to discuss what’s on your mind. Preparation also helps you calm your nerves.
2. Don’t worry about grooming your Area
We’re sure you understand why this can be a touchy subject. During your first OBGYN visit, it’s likely that you will feel exposed and uncomfortable. And it’s normal. As a result, most girls and women end up worrying about how their private parts look.
You can rest assured that your OBGYN isn’t interested in how you look. They are interested in evaluating your health. We do advise you to take a shower before visiting your gyno. However, avoid douching your area, as this could affect your test results.
3. What to expect during your first meeting?
During the first meeting, your gynecologist is likely to engage in discussion with you in most cases. Your gyno could also perform a general exam.
You should also be prepared to talk about your periods and sex life. Answer all questions asked honestly. The gynecologist is there to support you, not judge you. Also, be sure to plan for future visits.
The first meeting usually lasts between 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Reschedule if you’re on your period
OBGYNs will tell you that it’s not a good idea to schedule a visit when you’re on your period. If you’re on your period, reschedule your visit for another day. We advise this for several reasons, vaginal bleeding results in a messy pelvic exam. The presence of blood could lead to inaccurate results if you have a Pap test. Hormonal changes can contribute to an uncomfortable breast exam.
5. Understand you have complete control over the appointment
Before you visit a gynecologist, make sure that you select a gynecologist you’ll feel most comfortable with. It could either be a male or female gyno.
It helps to inform your gynecologist that this is your first visit. It would also help if you asked the gynecologist to explain what they are doing. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, you can ask to end the appointment.
6. Understand your personal and family medical history
It’s hard to remember stuff, especially if you’re nervous. Therefore, you should make a point to write down your personal and family medical history. Your gynecologist will be interested in any medication you use, surgeries you’ve had, history of blood clots in your family, and your mom’s medical history.
The information provided dictates the type of care you’ll receive.
7. You have the right to bring someone along with you
The first gynecologist visit can be nerve-racking. It is important that you feel comfortable and in control during the appointment. Therefore, you can ask your friend, sibling, or parent to accompany you to your appointment. It is wrong for a gynecologist to ask your companion to leave unless you have requested it. If you didn’t bring a companion along, you could ask a nurse to join you.
8. Is the information confidential?
Privacy is paramount, and we feel more comfortable in situations where our privacy is assured. For patients above the age of 18, any conversation with your OBGYN should be kept confidential. For patients below the age of 18, your conversation with your OBGYN is also confidential. However, there are cases when your OBGYN could share some information with your guardian if they deem it necessary.
9. Expect a follow-up call
If your gyno conducts some tests, expect to receive a call to give you your results. They could also ask you to come in to re-test you or review the results. Some hospitals don’t call if tests reveal there is no concern. So, before you leave, make sure they clarify whether you should expect a follow-up call.
10. Contemplate scheduling your next visit
Today’s guidelines suggest that women should have a pelvic exam every three years. However, most women visit their gyno’s once a year for STI testing, birth control prescriptions, or to check for other reproductive health concerns. You’ll need regular STI testing if you engage in unprotected sex or have a new sex partner.
You should schedule your next visit before leaving since it can be difficult to schedule an appointment based on your gynecologist’s calendar.