Going to any doctor can be daunting. But, visiting the gynaecologist feels the most terrifying. They ask intimate questions and perform tests on private parts. It’s natural for you to be scared.
If you ever felt lost before a gynaecologist appointment, you’re not the only one. Many adult women have said they hesitate to visit because of their fears.
But don’t be too scared. Gynaecologists exist to keep our reproductive health safe and sound. While the questions may seem embarrassing, they are all part of the process to ensure your health.
Prepping for a Gynecologist Visit
When Should I See a Gynaecologist
Gynaecologists recommend making your first visit between the ages of 13 to 17 when girls start puberty.
Ideally, you should consult a gynaecologist for a routine checkup once a year. But many people don’t visit the doctor unless they face irregular symptoms.
If you’re facing irregular cycles, absent periods, hormonal issues, menopausal symptoms, abnormal bleeding, abdominal pain, trying to conceive, vaginal itchiness and more, consult a gynaecologist as soon as you can.
Find the Right Doctor
A good doctor can make a world of difference. Your gynaecologist will handle the most personal aspect of your life. Try to find someone who is reliable, open-minded, and trustworthy. You can consult your friends, and family or look online.
It can be nerve-racking at first, but be calm. Gynaecologists are trained professionals with years of experience. If you get agitated, your doctor won’t be able to take proper examinations. You must feel free and relaxed.
Try to keep track of why you are consulting a doctor. Know your symptoms well so you can provide clear information. Ask questions when needed.
Be Prepared For Examinations
Your doctor will take a general physical exam, which includes measuring weight, heart rate, urine test, and blood pressure. They might also suggest a blood test to check for sugar and hormones.
They will perform genital exams as well. You will be asked to lie down and strip the lower half. They will inspect your abdomen and vulva.
Some doctors perform a bimanual exam which includes checking the vagina with two fingers. Generally, pap smears are done on adult women with the exception of special cases (painful period, excessive itching).
Know Your Cycle
Gynaecologists will take extensive medical history to understand your condition. They will ask about period dates, symptoms of your cycle, period flow, and more. If you have a tracking app, you can easily provide the information.
However, if you only memorise these dates, you may provide inaccurate information. Try to keep a tracking diary or use a period app to monitor your cycle.
You can use Chondo App to keep a record of previous and current periods and predict upcoming periods, and phases of the menstrual cycle.
Bring Medical Records
The doctors would like to see your past medical history, including the tests and reports of previous doctors. Telling them verbally won’t be of much help. You need to provide physical evidence and accurate data.
Inform them of family medical history as well. It can provide doctors with much-needed information to properly treat you.
Be Suitably Groomed
Many people worry about this aspect. Being properly groomed for a gynaecologist does not mean waxing your vagina and douching. In fact, doctors recommend that you do NOT do these before visiting. It will make your skin sensitive, itchy, and mess with your vagina’s pH.
Having pubic hair is normal. Your doctor is more than experienced enough to handle hair down there.
However, it is highly suggested that you don’t show up with excessively long pubic hair. Try to keep it reasonably short and clean. Try to clean and dry your labia with water only before your visit.
Don’t Visit During Your Period
When you schedule an appointment, try to work it around your non-menstrual days. Gynaecologists perform physical exams, such as pap smear. Periods can interfere with the results.
But, if you’re visiting about abnormal bleeding or a heavy period, there is little choice. Make sure to inform your doctor beforehand.
No Sex Before Visit
Do not engage in sexual activities at least two days before your gynaecologist consultation. Plus, don’t use any lubricants in the vagina as well. Your vagina’s pH will be off, and results will not come out accurate.
Remember, this visit depends on you as much as your doctor. They are there to help and guide you to a healthier life. Try to be as calm and prepared as possible.
Instead of consulting a gynaecologist who provides unsolicited advice, find the right doctor who can meet your needs. Have your medical records ready, and ask as many questions as you want. Your health is the priority.
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