For many young women, that first visit to a gynecologist is a rite of passage, but it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous, too. While anxiety and apprehension are natural responses, your first appointment typically involves routine exams designed to gauge the state of your reproductive health and equip you with valuable information for routine care. The following guide can make you aware of what’s involved during the initial visit so that you are more prepared.
What Exams Will a Gynecologist Perform?
An initial appointment typically begins with a simple discussion with your gynecologist about the state of your health, medical history, past or current medications, whether you’re sexually active, and any concerns you may have. You may also be asked for blood and urine samples. Your doctor may ask questions about your menstrual cycle, such as how regular it is and how long it lasts.
The gynecologist will then ask you to change into a hospital gown before conducting a general physical exam and possibly an external genital exam. During a general physical exam, your doctor will record basic information such as height, weight, blood type, and blood pressure. When you feel ready, you’ll be asked to sit on the examining table and put your feet on the footrests. This can feel uncomfortable, but it’s necessary so your doctor can provide you with a complete overview of your health.
Physical examinations also include checking the breasts for any abnormalities and examining the genitals for irregularities or discomfort. If you’re over 21, your doctor may recommend a pap smear, in which a small tissue sample is taken from your cervix to test for the presence of cancerous cells.
Additional Help Your OB-GYN Can Offer
At all times during your appointment, you should feel free to alert your gynecologist to any discomfort or pain and to discuss your sexual activity and concerns freely. Your doctor can advise you on cramps or difficulties during menstrual periods, safe sex and sexuality, birth control, STIs and STDs, and your emotional well-being as it relates to your reproductive health.
They can also offer tips on staying healthy, such as avoiding alcohol and tobacco, effective sexual hygiene, immunizations, and advice for maintaining good mental and emotional health. After the exam, a nurse will contact you with test results and tell you when to set up your next appointment.
If you’re due for your first appointment with a gynecologist, place your trust in the caring team at Greece Obstetrics and Gynecology in New York. For over 30 years, the gynecologists at this local practice have offered expert health care for women throughout the Rochester area, from routine examinations to pregnancy care and family planning services. They now offer evening hours and have recently welcomed Dr. Zoila Velastegui to their team of compassionate experts. Call (585) 225-6680 to schedule an appointment, or visit them online to learn more about their women’s healthcare services.