You might be surprised to discover that it’s recommended for girls to have their first gynecologist appointment between the ages of 13-15. When preparing for your first OBGYN appointment it’s completely normal and understandable to feel nervous.
Arming yourself with a bit of information on what to expect will help you to feel prepared and more relaxed. If you’re seeing the gynecologist for the first time, find out what happens during a gynecologist appointment with this guide.
How to Prepare for Your First Gynecologist Appointment
Try to book your first gynecologist or obstetrician visit for the middle of your cycle so that you’re unlikely to be bleeding at the time of your visit. To track your cycle and know when the middle of your cycle is, you could try a menstrual cycle tracking app.
If you have an irregular cycle or no periods, make sure you let the gynecologist know about this.
It’s also a good idea to make a note of any questions you’d like to ask the doctor. They’ll be used to this, so don’t be shy! You may also choose to take a family member with you for support if you’re a minor or young adult.
No other preparation is needed – just turn up on time!
What Will the Gynecologist Ask?
As well as an opportunity for you to ask questions, your doctor will probably have a lot of questions for you too. Be prepared to answer questions around the following topics:
- If and when you started your periods
- The usual length of your menstrual cycles
- How long you usually bleed for each period
- Whether you experiencing any irregularity with your periods such as heavy bleeding or bleeding between periods.
- If you’re sexually active (any sexual activity, including penetrative sex)
- Whether you’re using any birth control or if you need any
- If you could be pregnant or have come into contact with any STIs
- Whether you experience pain or bleeding after sex
Depending on your responses to these questions, your gynecologist may suggest a pelvic examination, Pap smear, and/or breast examination.
What Happens During a Pelvic Examination?
The pelvic exam consists of three different stages. Your doctor will explain what they’re doing at each stage so there are no surprises!
Firstly, your doctor will conduct an external exam of the vulva. This includes the clitoris, labia, and entrance to the vagina.
Second, your gynecologist might conduct an internal examination. This is when a speculum is inserted into the vagina to hold the vaginal walls apart so that the doctor can examine your vagina and cervix. They may also take samples using a long q-tip if they’re testing for STIs or conducting a Pap smear.
This process shouldn’t be painful but can be a little uncomfortable. If you can physically relax, it will go a lot smoother. You can tell your doctor if you’re experiencing discomfort and they can adjust accordingly.
Finally, your doctor may conduct a bimanual exam. This is when they place one hand on your lower belly, and with the other hand insert two lubricated and gloved fingers into your vagina. This is to feel for any growths or cysts.
Gynecologists Are True Professionals
If this is your first OBGYN visit, you might be feeling self-conscious about being so exposed to a stranger. Remember, gynecologists are professionals. They will have seen it all before!
All sizes, shapes, ages, smells, and all manner of pubic hairstyles. Nothing you have to show them will shock them, they just want to make sure you’re healthy.
Over Within Minutes
With this information, you’re ready to go to your first gynecologist appointment! Even if you’re still feeling nervous, just remember it will soon be over, and it’s nowhere near as scary as you might think. You’ve got this!
For more informative guides and inspiring articles, check out our other blog posts.