You are probably here because you have never been to a gynaecologist and you don’t know what to expect when you visit one.
Not to worry. You are not alone. A lot of women have never set foot into a gynaecologist’s office probably out of fear over what to anticipate.
Most women who have reservations on seeing a gynaecologist blame it on embarrassment and awkwardness.
However, what these women don’t know is, for gynaecologists, examining your vagina is their everyday job. In fact, gynaecologists have seen it all. So, there’s no need to feel embarrassed or anxious.
Don’t be Shocked to Find a Male Gynaecologist
A lot of women are shocked when they take the step to finally visit a gynaecologist and find that it’s a man. This is completely normal and you shouldn’t feel awkward or embarrassed to talk to him or let him examine your genitals.
The first visit to the gynaecologist is usually very simple and doesn’t have to even involve you taking off your clothes unless you have complications. Phew!
It can be as easy as a talk between you and your doctor.
You can expect the gynaecologist to ask some personal questions about your menstrual period or sexual activities (including vaginal, oral, or anal sex).
Make sure to be completely honest with your doctor because like I mentioned earlier, they have seen and heard it all.
If you have complications with your genitals, your gynaecologist may need to conduct an external genital exam.
In this exam, the doctor may examine the vulva. This exam is a good way to learn about your body and the names for each part.
If you are sexually active, you may have tests for certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
In other visits to the gynaecologist, you can always expect two types of tests depending on the type of visit.
The first is the pelvic exam. During the exam, the doctor inspects the vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes, vulva, ovaries, and uterus for any abnormalities.
During this examination, you should expect to get undressed and wear a gown that opens to the front, and a sheet to cover your lap.
With your knees bent and your feet in stirrups to keep them apart, the gynaecologist will use a speculum — a device that holds the vagina open — to view the inside of your vagina and cervix (the opening to your uterus). You might feel some pressure during this exam, but it shouldn’t be painful.
The other test you can expect is the pap test. It is usually done concurrently with the pelvic exam.
During the pap test, some sample of cells from your cervix will be taken using a small brush. Those cells will be sent to a lab and checked for cervical cancer, possibly the human papillomavirus (HPV) and other abnormalities.
Things to Avoid Leading up to the visit
Try to avoid having sex or douching within 24 hours of your appointment. Sexual activity could irritate the tissue of the vagina and affect your Pap test results.
Also, shaving or grooming your pubic areas is not necessary and do not affect how the examination will be carried out. Once again, remember that gynaecologists have seen it all.
How was your first experience on visiting a gynaecologist? I’d love to hear your experiences!