Your First Visit to the Gynecologist
July 21, 2016
The first visit with a gynecologist (GYN) can be nerve-wracking, and we understand. There is a lot of brouhaha and myth constructed around this female rite of passage. That’s why we want to take a moment to set things straight.
Establishing a Relationship With a Gynecologist is a Proactive Self-Care Step
We recommend that young women establish a relationship with a gynecologist between the ages of 13- and 15-years, or when they become sexually active – whichever happens first. For more on that topic, we recommend reading, 5 Reasons to Schedule Your Daughter’s First Gynecologist Appointment.
The primary goal of your first visit with your OB/GYN is to get to know her a little bit and to become more familiar with the office and its staff. We want you to feel safe, secure and cared for. The large majority of the time, we will not need to do anything at that first appointment other than greet you, complete your medical history and paperwork, and find out a little more information about you and your reproductive system.
Want to be seen by a female OB/GYN? Give us a call here at Women’s Health Associates where every single one of our doctors is a woman. (913) 677-3113.
Your Information is strictly confidential: We are fortunate to live in a state where mature minor children can electively select birth control and seek reproductive care without parental consent. While we firmly believe that the happiest and healthiest families are those that keep an open dialogue about sexuality, birth control and sexual activity in the mix – we understand that isn’t always possible. You are welcome to call or email us anytime if your parent insists on being with you in the exam room and/or if you feel uncomfortable talking about these sensitive issues in your parent’s presence, or face-to-face with your doctor.
What Happens During the First Visit With a Gynecologist?
First, we should point out that in almost all cases, you have a choice in regards to who you are going to see. We have found that, in the case of young women, it’s best to request a female doctor. The exception would be if the mother has a trusted, male OB/GYN with whom she has an established relationship. Women, especially younger women, will typically feel safest and most comfortable with a female GYN, especially when it comes to the issues of reproductive parts and sexual behaviors.
Here are some of the things you can expect to happen at your first GYN visit:
- The basics. We’re going to weigh you, measure you, take your temperature and ask about your general lifestyle and dietary habits. This part of the exam will seem just like a typical physical exam with a general practitioner, but it helps us to get a basic understanding of who you are so we have a benchmark from which to move forward.
- The questions. We’re going to ask you questions, and these questions will get pretty personal. Here is the tricky part: even though these questions – or their answers – may make you feel uncomfortable, it is so very important that you tell us the truth. The care we provide is highly-dependent on the accurate information you supply us with. We have heard it all, believe us. There is nothing you could say to us that we haven’t heard oodles of times from other women both young and old. And remember, we keep your information completely confidential. Of course, you are also invited to ask any questions you may have about your body, sex, health, sexuality, etc. etc. The more detailed, the better, because the more we know and understand about you – and the more accurate information you have – the healthier you will be!
- Tests and vaccines. We may have you supply us with a urine test, from which we can find out lots of information about your body and its health. This will screen for infections, including gonorrhea and chlamydia – two STDs that can live in your body without symptoms and that can be very devastating in the long-term if they aren’t caught and treated effectively. If you haven’t had your HPV vaccine yet, you may get that as well. HPV is another STD that can go unnoticed by you, but that can lead to serious health issues down the road, including cervical cancer. We can also administer other vaccines such as the tetanus–diphtheria–pertussis (Tdap) booster and others.
For your first appointment, that may just about cover it. Your doctor may talk to you about what will take place when the time comes for you to have your first pelvic exam and pap smear, and we can show you what we do and what we use – demonstrating on our handy dandy pelvic models with instruments and props.
If you are having irregular periods, uncomfortable periods, pelvic pain or other unusual signs and symptoms, we may recommend a pelvic exam (which consists of exterior palpations of your abdomen, ovaries, bladder and groin) as well as an internal pelvic exam (using a speculum – which opens your vagina and gives us a clear view of your interior tissues and your cervix) so we can get a better idea of what is going on. You may also be scheduled for an ultrasound if we suspect you may have endometriosis or if PCOS is a consideration.
We encourage you to laugh, crack jokes, and ask any random questions that pop up. The more familiar you are with everything, the less uncomfortable it will be the next time around.
Are you ready to schedule your first GYN appointment? Give us a call here at Women’s Health Associates. Our practice is run by female OB/GYNs and an all-woman staff, dedicated to providing the very best of care to our patients. We look forward to making you feel right at home – or as close to it as we can come!