The first visit to the gynecologist is the hardest, it leaves many women feeling confused, anxious, nervous, and scared of what's to come. However, that mix of emotions isn't necessary.
Going to the gynecologist is a completely normal, natural, and necessary part of life that every woman does. There is no need to feel scared, self-conscious, worried, or anything of that nature because your gynecologist won't judge you, and will do their absolute best to make you comfortable.
Read on to learn everything you need to know before your first visit to the gynecologist!
Age is just a number
When it comes to visiting the gynecologist, you'll start off in the waiting room, and when you look around you can see girls as young as 13 to women who are much older.
Don't be startled thinking you are late to the game because you are much older than the others in there. As well, don't be scared if you are much younger than all the others.
When it comes to visiting the gynecologist, you become part of a club filled with women of different ages who are there because they have started to have sex, who are going just as a precaution, who are going because of irregular periods, abnormally painful period pains and cramps, abdominal issues, or if they are prone to vaginal infections.
Women also go when they’re trying to get pregnant, or are pregnant, so there will be women of various ages and for various reasons.
How to prepare for your visit
You need to book in advance for your gynecologist appointment, which is expected. However, you need to track your period so you can book your gynecologist appointment for when your menstrual cycle is all done.
Luckily, there are tons of apps to help you track your period so you can see when you are supposed to get it. Sadly, many women, like myself, have irregular periods which means it is very difficult to track.
This can cause difficulty with making your appointment at a good time, so keep in mind that you have to make an educated guess as to when would be a good time to visit. If you guess wrong, just call and reschedule, the gynecologists office you see will be completely understanding.
Many women don't know how to dress for this appointment, some feel the need to dress up, while others just want to wear pajamas.
However, there is a trick for the outfit you should wear to your gynecologist appointment, and it will make your first visit much easier. Wear the comfiest clothes you own because you will have to take off everything you are wearing minus your socks.
If you get cold easily, or want to cover up as much as possible then wear knee high socks. As well, if you are going just for a mammogram, wear a shirt and pants so that way you can keep your pants on, and you will only have to take your shirt and bra off.
Understandably, many women also fixate on ensuring they are as clean down there as possible. Don' t panic thinking you need to spend hours washing down there or even take 3 showers that day.
Do your usual routine, shower, use soap, and then just get on with your day. This way, gynecologists see you as your normal self down there, and can get all the samples they will need without them being damaged, or missing. For your first appointment, it is okay to be nervous and scared, but make sure you don't over clean or douche because that will eliminate all samples.
As well, don't feel self conscious or like you need to do some hair removal down there. None of that matters to your gynecologist, so just do as you usually do.
Your gynecologist doesn't care in the slightest about how much or how little hair you have down there. All they care about is doing their job and making sure you are healthy.
So do not panic, your first appointment will go perfectly as long as you are honest, open, and just your self personality wise, and down there too.
A big question many women have before their first gynecologist appointment is whether or not they can have sex the night before, or even a week before. The answer is yes, of course you can.
Your gynecologist may be able to tell you had sex recently, but they won't care in the slightest and it won't interfere with your tests either. As well, you have to be honest about your sexual history, and everything else. So don't put your sex life on hold because of this appointment.
Lastly, the most important way to prepare your self for your first visit to the gynecologist is to prepare mentally. You need to remember to relax, remain calm, not to stress, and that every woman has to do this.
Don't be self conscious, nervous, or anxious as your gynecologist isn't going to be judging you, or anything else, they are doing their job and they do the same things to countless other women too. As well, you have to be prepared to answer all their questions honestly and to discuss various topics.
What the appointment will entail
Like any doctor’s office, you sign in and then wait. After this is done,you will either sit in the examination room, or your gynecologists office where they will ask you questions about your medical history, your family’s medical history, any medication you are on or have taken, if you drink or do recreational drugs, your sexual history, and even your partners (past and present) sexual history.
Remember to answer honestly and to talk freely about everything. While they ask these questions they will also ask other questions or make pleasant and relatable conversation to help you relax and ease you into your appointment, especially if it's your first visit. This is also a good place to ask them any questions you have, or to share any of your thoughts, concerns, worries, feelings etc.
After this, they will leave the room, give you a robe to put on and tell you that you need to take off all of your clothes. There are four exams that they will do, sometimes they only do certain ones, or sometimes they do all of them. While they do the exams you can also talk about any thoughts, feelings, concerns, or even about how your results are.
The general physical exam, is where they take your blood pressure, weight, and height.
The breast exam, is when they will use their hands to see if there are any lumps or abnormal discharge occurring.
The pap smear exam, is when they use a brush to scrape off a few cells from your cervix, they then send the samples to their lab. This test is used to see if you have any signs of cervical or other kinds of cancer.
The pelvic exam, is only done to women who are sexually active or to women who have severe abdominal pains. This exam involves them sticking 1 or 2 fingers in your vagina while pressing on your abdomen with their other hand, in order to feel your cervix, ovaries, and womb.
For the pap smear and pelvic exam, they get you to lie down and put your feet on stirrups while they feel and look at the outer part of your vagina, they then use a speculum to open your vagina to look and feel inside.
As scary as this sounds, it is pain free and is nothing to worry about, instead, it is something that must be done at least once a year to ensure you are healthy.
What to talk to your gynecologist about
The first visit to the gynecologist is the hardest, and scariest. That being said, it also will leave you clueless, and not to sure of what to say, ask, or even expect. When it comes to any questions you have, ask them.
Feel free to tell them everything about your sex life, health, periods, how you feel about birth control, any strange smells, stomach problems, or even your home and work life. They will either answer your questions or refer you to another doctor. Whatever questions you have, ask, never google or self diagnose.
As alarming as going to the gynecologist for the very first time seems, as soon as you get there and go through it all, you'll realise that there's no need to stress, be scared, or nervous.
In fact, these exams and tests are supposed to reduce any stress or worry as it is ensuring that you are healthy, and that things are going well for you. Feel free to share your thoughts below, and good luck at your first gyno appointment!