- When should I have my first gynecologic visit?
- Is it normal to be nervous before the first visit?
- What should I expect at the first gynecologic visit?
- What exams are performed?
- What happens during a general physical exam?
- What happens during an external genital exam?
- What are the pelvic exam and Pap test?
- What are vaccinations?
- What special concerns can be discussed with my OB/GYN?
- What can I do to stay healthy?
When Should I Have My First Gynecologic Visit?
We suggest that you schedule your first gynecological exam between the ages of 13 and 15.
There are some cases where girls younger than 13 may need to be seen, due to symptoms like pelvic pain or chronic UTI’s.
Feeling Nervous Before Your First Gynecological Exam?
It’s quite normal to be nervous before your first gynecological exam! It may help to speak to close friends, family or someone else you trust before your appointment. To help ease your nerves, you can also let your OB/GYN know how you’re feeling and they can work with you to make your visit to our offices easy for you.
A general exam is just that – general. Your weight, height and blood pressure will be checked and recorded for review. You will be checked for any health problems that you may have.
During an external genital exam, your OB/GYN Specialist will check your vulva, which is is the external area of female genitalia.
The doctor may hand you a mirror so you can understand what they are checking and get a better look at your vulva.
Your doctor may not perform a pelvic exam on the first appointment but it’s important to know what it is. A pap smear is generally done later on (in your 20s) unless you have been sexually active before then.
During a pelvic exam, the vagina and labia are inspected for lesions and discharges. A speculum is placed in the vagina to evaluate the upper vagina and to perform an HPV test and the PAP smear. Cultures may also be obtained to screen for sexually transmitted diseases, depending on age and other circumstances. The uterus and ovaries are also examined.
What are vaccinations?
Vaccinations help protect against some diseases and are given to women ages 11-18.
What are some of the immunizations?
- HPV vaccine
- Meningococcal vaccine
- FLU vaccine
- Tetanus booster
- Pneumococcal vaccine
- Hepatitis A vaccine
What special concerns can be discussed with my OB/GYN?
During the first gynecological exam, many topics that can be discussed include some of the following:
- Birth control options
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Menstrual period problems or concerns
- Alcohol, drugs, and smoking
- Emotional changes
What can I do to stay healthy?
Making good lifestyle choices can help you to be strong and healthy for years to come:
- Maintain a healthy weight, a well-balanced diet and exercising often.
- Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs.
- Seek help if you have emotional ups and downs or feel depressed.
- Use birth control if you are having sex and do not want to have a baby.
- Protect yourself from STIs by using a latex condom.
- Know your partners and limit the number.
- Keep up with routine exams, tests, and immunizations.