5 Things You Should Know Before Your First Visit to the Gynecologist
Being a woman, it's necessary to stay connected with a gynecologist and schedule regular checkups with them. As suggested by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), your gyno appointment should begin when you're a girl (between the ages of 13 and 15).
What To Expect At Your First Gyno Appointment?
Since it's your first gyno appointment, expect an introduction and a pleasant conversation with them. By the first visit, you can analyze how the future visits are going to be and what to expect next. At the same time, your gynecologist will learn more about you and your medical history.
To prepare ahead of time, know that your doctor may ask a lot of questions, general and personal so please cooperate with them. This is part of their job to learn about your physical and mental wellness.
Giving truthful responses to these questions is critical to your treatment. If you are worried about confidentiality, you should discuss it with your doctor before answering any questions. Much of the information you provide can be kept private.
At Dr. Joya's Women's Healthcare, we've seen many patients coming unprepared on their first visit. Therefore, we've compiled these 5 necessary things that any girl/woman should know on their first OBGYN appointment.
Being Nervous is Absolutely Normal
We know it's not like you're visiting a general physician where you tell them you have a fever, and they give you medicine. Visiting a gynecologist can be intimidating for some people, and let us tell you, it's completely okay to be nervous and hesitant.
Any experience that is new and personal can be frightening, and you wouldn't know if you can trust the person you're visiting.
But the only thing you need to remind yourself is that there's nothing to panic about, and it's going to be a comfortable and pleasant experience for you. Visiting a gynecologist is highly important, and you shouldn't shy away. It's better to take someone from your family or friends so you feel more comfortable.
Know Why You Schedule an Appointment
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), girls should schedule their first gynecology appointment between the ages of 13 and 15 and routine checkups once in 6 months onwards. Prepare a list of questions for a first visit like period issues (cramps, aches, bleeding), birth control options, and awareness about STIs.
You may then ensure that you discuss everything on your thoughts and become a stronger advocate for yourself. For a new patient, most doctors will schedule 20 to 30 minutes. By preparing ahead of time, you can maximize your time and get your questions answered. Furthermore, preparation might help you overcome pre-exam anxieties.
Your First Appointment Is Usually Quick
The first visit is usually a quick one where you and your gynecologist only exchange introductions and past medical history, if there's any. In the first appointment, the OB/GYN doctor will only conduct a general exam, including your weight, height, and blood pressure. If you're under 21, there won't be any need for a pelvic gynecological examination or Pap smear test.
If you're over 21, sexually active, or have other reproductive health issues at your initial session, your doctor may do a pelvic exam and/or Pap screening test. It's a good idea to be aware of what it entails in case it pertains to you.
You Have to Honest with Your Gynecologist
Some people are too shy or reluctant to share their intimate details with their doctor, so either they lie or refuse to disclose. It can cause problems for you only as your gyno wouldn't know what to prescribe or suggest to you.
Just remember, any detail you share will stay between you and your gynecologist. They won't leak it or judge you based on your information. It's better to share details like past medical history, sexual activities, unusual symptoms, menstrual cycle, etc.
Be Prepared to Discuss Your Menstrual Cycle—and Sex Life
Note the date of your first day of your period, as your doctor can ask you that. Let your doctor also know if, during periods, you're experiencing severe cramps, more heavy bleeding than usual, and unjustified mood swings, which isn't normal.
Now, if you're sexually active with your partner, then be prepared to discuss them with your OBGYN Portland doctor to eliminate the chances of STDs like STIs. Make sure to be open and honest about it as it's important for them to suggest you further.
Keep in mind that your oral and anal sex histories also count here since both might result in STIs. If you're concerned about being pregnant because you're sexually active and have missed a period, be honest about it and ask your doctor for a pregnancy test.
Who is the top-rated OB/GYN doctor in Oregon?
According to a recent survey and patients' reviews online, Dr. Joya is the top-rated OB-GYN in Portland, Oregon. You can schedule your appointment with her online or on call.
When should a girl have her first pelvic exam?
Doctors recommend regular female reproductive system exams beginning between the ages of 13 and 15. They are sometimes referred to as well-woman visits since they can detect minor concerns before they become major ones.
What do you wear to a gynecologist?
Wear comfortable clothes to your gynecologist visit, so if you're required to take them off for a checkup, it's easier. Wearing clothes like rompers and long zippers could be a struggle to take off and wear back immediately.
Do pelvic exams hurt?
While you might experience minor discomfort, it's important to note that your pelvic exam should not be painful. If you do feel pain during the gynecological examination, don't hesitate to inform your ob-gyn immediately. They can potentially adjust the procedure to enhance your comfort.
So, these are the 5 things every woman should know before their first gyno appointment, and come prepared to discuss everything with their OB-GYN. If you’re located in Portland, Oregon, schedule your first visit with Dr. Joya, a renowned OB-GYN.