Demystifying the first visit to the gynaecologist: Experts shed light on what to expect
A visit to the gynaecologist may not be the most enjoyable event, but it is essential for overall health. Regular visits to the specialist’s office are necessary, including periodic performance of specific diagnostic tests.
The initial visit can be particularly nerve-wracking. Despite advice from mothers or friends, many young women do not know what to expect. In an interview with "Her Campus" magazine, Dr. Ali Rodriguez and Dr. Lora Shahine offer helpful tips to prepare for a visit.
Details about the first gynecologist visit
Like other medical visits, your first trip to the gynaecologist begins with completing all the necessary forms at the clinic or office. It's important to complete these forms along with your medical history accurately.
"Bring a list of any medications and supplements you're currently taking," advised Dr. Shahine. Your doctor needs to know about any contraceptives, antidepressants, and prescription medications you're taking.
The doctor will also inquire about your last menstruation, its regularity, and your sexual activity history. Patients should not be afraid to share details regarding their sex life; the doctor is not there to judge, but to assess health.
"There's nothing too odd or embarrassing. We've likely heard it all before," Dr. Rodriguez reassured. The experts also suggest preparing a list of questions you want to raise during the visit.
Procedures during the visit
You don't have to dress a specific way for a gynecologist's visit. Some clinics provide paper dresses, but if not, wear something you're comfortable in and that is easy to remove and put back on.
The doctor isn’t concerned with whether or not you have removed hair from intimate places. It all boils down to personal preference as pubic hair has no bearing on the examination. "Just come as you are," Dr. Rodriguez confirmed.
After an initial conversation, the doctor will invite the patient to a specialized chair to conduct a standard examination involving a speculum and will collect a cytological sample with an appropriate brush. This sample is later sent to a lab for microscopic examination to detect any abnormalities.
If you experience any pain at any point during the examination, it's important to inform the doctor, as it could signal an underlying problem. As part of the visit, the doctor might also conduct a breast examination to check for lumps.