Visiting a gynaecologist is an important step in any girl/woman’s health journey. As a first-timer, it can be scary, but knowing what to expect can help ease those nerves. If you (or your daughter) have booked your first gynaecologist appointment, here are some things you know to know before attending.
Schedule According to Your Cycle
While technically, you can see your gynaecologist any time of the month, it’s best to choose a date that aligns with the middle of your cycle. That is to avoid being on your period for your first appointment, as this could make things a little more nerve-wracking. Plus, your vagina tends to be a little more relaxed around the middle of your cycle, making the appointment more comfortable all around.
Know What You Want to Talk About
If you have any concerns you want to talk about, make a list before heading to your appointment. That way, you won’t forget to bring anything up. If you suspect you are pregnant, for example, make sure you ask for a pregnancy test and advice. Gynaecologists can help with unwanted pregnancies, too, by pointing you in the right direction of an abortion clinic and crucial advice.
Don’t worry if the concerns seem insignificant – your gynaecologist has heard it all, and they are there to give you peace of mind as well as check-up on your reproductive health.
Avoid Sex a Few Days Before Your Exam
If you are sexually active, you should avoid any form of intercourse at least two days before the exam. In fact, you should avoid putting anything in your vagina beforehand, including tampons, as this can mess with the results. If you’re used to a menstrual cup or tampons during your cycle, don’t worry, as there are plenty of great sanitary towels to see you through.
Relaxing won’t only help your nerves, but it will also help the appointment in general, especially the pap smear. A tense body can lead to difficulty entering the vagina, resulting in even more discomfort, so practice breathing exercises before you go if you’re worried you will tense up. The four-seven-eight method is particularly helpful!
Know Your Menstrual Cycle and Medical History
Your gynaecologist will ask you several questions about your menstrual cycle and medical history, so make sure you know how to answer both before attending your appointment. It’s good practice to keep track of your period, anyway, so you know what to expect each month – there are excellent apps available to help you do this. If you don’t know much about your medical history, ask your doctor or your parents for more information on it.
There’s No Need to Feel Embarrassed
First-timers might feel embarrassed about showing their bodies to their doctors, and while that is understandable, there is no reason to feel this way. Think about it – gynaecologists see many women every single day, and to them, you are just another patient they wish to help. By seeing the appointment as an opportunity to understand your body better, you will get the most out of it.
Every woman’s first time at the gynaecologist is frightening, but by being prepared, your nerves are more likely to settle.