Are you nervous about your upcoming visit to the gynecologist? Don’t worry- many women have questions about how to prepare for their appointment and what to expect when they get there. Pap smears, STD screenings, and breast exams can all potentially save your life by detecting cancer and diseases early. We’re here to help answer some of the most common questions women have asked us.
Can I see a gynecologist on my period?
You can, but you should avoid it if you are able to. Blood in the samples may give improper readings when looking for precancerous cells in your cervix. If scheduling is impossible, try to make your appointment during your lightest bleeding days.
Should I avoid anything before my appointment?
Before your gynecologist appointment, you should avoid sex, douching, and any vaginal creams. All of these things can make it harder to read your cervical cells during the test. Also, don’t attempt to mask or cover-up any odors if that is what you are coming in for. It is very helpful for your doctor to examine the problem to properly diagnose it.
How often should I see my gynecologist?
We recommend coming in once a year for an annual checkup. It is recommended to get your first pap smear done at age 21, and every three years afterwards. During the exam your doctor will most likely perform a pap smear, vaginal exam, breast exam, and answer any of your questions.
What are some good questions I should ask during my appointment?
- Questions about current birth control, or methods you’re curious about.
- Any unusual smells or odor.
- Any pain of discomfort during/after sex.
- Vaginal itching.
- Urine leaking.
- Vaginal appearance changes.
- STD concerns.
- Period questions.
When is a good time for me to bring up my questions?
Sometimes, patients may feel embarrassed or nervous to bring up questions about STD screenings, yeast infections, or a an odor that their not used to. We recommend asking your doctor all of the important questions at the beginning of your appointment. It will give you peace of mind knowing that your concerns are being addressed with adequate time and with your doctor’s full attention.