Seeing a gynecologist is a necessary part of being a woman – and should begin sooner rather than later. As recommend by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), teenage girls should schedule their first visit with an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) between the ages of 13 and 15.
Knowing what to expect ahead of time can help make your first visit a more pleasant and comfortable experience. At Virginia Beach OBGYN, we offer the following top five things to know before your first gyno exam.
You Won’t Need a Pelvic Exam Yet if You Are under 21
When you come to us as a teen for your first visit with a gynecologist, we will not perform the routine Pap smear (screening for cervical cancer) or pelvic exam indicated for patients age 21 and older. During your first visit, we focus on information, prevention, and any treatment you may need for painful or irregular periods, or any other gynecologic problems.
Birth Control Can Be Prescribed without an Internal Exam
It is not required that you undergo a pelvic exam to be prescribed hormonal contraception (birth control pills). A negative pregnancy test allows patients to start oral contraception right away. In most cases, if periods are normal, patients start birth control pills soon after their next menstrual cycle.
You Can Bring Someone with You If You Like
If it will make you feel more comfortable, you may choose to have a friend or family member with you for your first appointment with an OB-GYN. It is entirely up to you if you have a companion present for the examination.
Drink Water before Your Appointment
Before your first gyno exam, you will be asked to pee in a cup. A simple, in-office urinalysis can help detect any problems you may not be aware of, such as bacteria (indicating a bladder infection) or glucose (suggesting the possibility of diabetes).
Reschedule If You Have Your Period
Having your period on the day of your exam can affect test results and make the process uncomfortable. It is best to call and reschedule if your appointment falls during that time of the month.
It Is Not Necessary to Shave or Wax before You Visit the Gynecologist
For some women, vaginal grooming is part of their regular hygiene and beauty routine, but this is a personal choice. Shower or use a vaginal hygiene wipe before your exam. There is no need to shave or wax unless you simply prefer to do so.
Be Prepared for Open, Direct Communication with Your Doctor
Clear lines of communication need to be established to allow for productive and effective health care. Be prepared for direct, honest, confidential communication with your doctor about your health, sexual habits and history, and any concerns you may have.
At Virginia Beach OBGYN, our goal is to make your first gyno visit a pleasant, productive, comfortable patient experience. In your first visit to our practice, our three main purposes are:
- To provide you with accurate, confidential information
- To assist you with preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and living a healthy lifestyle
- To provide high-quality treatment for painful periods or any gynecologic issues you may have