Anticipating your first gynecology appointment may do a number on your nerves—we get it. Rest assured, at Adriatica Women’s Health it is a quick, straightforward procedure that is essential for maintaining your overall health. If you are sexually active or 18 years of age or older you should make annual gynecology appointments a priority. They are vital for early detection and treatment of ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and early-stage cancer.
Your primary care physician may also recommend a gynecology appointment and pelvic exam if you are experiencing symptoms like pelvic pain, unusual vaginal bleeding, skin changes, abnormal vaginal discharge or urinary problems.
What to know before you go
While there’s not a lot you need to do to prepare for your gynecology appointment, here are a few tips we recommend:
- Let your gynecologist know that this is your first appointment; they will help you understand the process.
- Do not douche, use vaginal creams or have sex for 24 hours prior to your appointment.
- If you have your period during the time you are supposed to have your exam, you will need to reschedule.
What to expect at your first gynecology appointment
Knowing what to expect may help calm your nerves and alleviate worry. Here is a breakdown of what the gynecologic exam includes:
- Review of family health history
- Review of medications and/or supplements you take regularly
- Urine sample
- General physical exam
- Breast exam
- Pelvic exam (Pap smear)
- Evaluation of need for additional health screening tests (e.g., mammogram)
What to know about a Pap smear
The Pap smear is a quick 4-step process that screens for potentially precancerous or cancerous cells in the cervix and involves:
- External exam
First, your gynecologist will check your vulva for any irritation, swelling, redness, sores or other abnormalities.
- Internal exam
Next, your gynecologist will quickly check your vagina and cervix by opening your vaginal walls with a medical instrument called a speculum. This may be uncomfortable for some women, but should not be painful. Please tell your gynecologist if you experience any pain from the speculum.
- Pap test
With the speculum inserted, your gynecologist will quickly swab a small sample of cells from your cervix. This sample will be sent for additional diagnostic testing.
- Physical exam
Last, your gynecologist will insert two lubricated, gloved fingers into your vagina to check the size and shape of your uterus, ovaries while checking for abnormal growths, tenderness or other abnormalities.
If you’re looking for a highly skilled, caring gynecologist in McKinney and Prosper, Texas, please call Adriatica Women’s Heath at 972-542-8884.