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You may be worried about first visit to the gynecologist. Don’t worry, this is normal, and with a little preparation it can be an empowering and educational experience. Let your doctor know that you are nervous and we can be more effective at walking you through the process. The American Congress of Obstetrician and Gynecologists recommends young women make their first visit to the gynecologist between ages 13-15. Your doctor will want to ask you questions regarding your medical and surgical history, menstruation history, sexual history, exposures to alcohol or tobacco, and review vaccinations you’ve received or may be due for. If these topics seem too personal, or you are uncomfortable discussing them, remember your conversation with the doctor is confidential. It may be helpful to go to the appointment with a parent or friend, but be sure some of the time is spent with you and the doctor in private, so you can voice concerns or questions that might be awkward to discuss around others. You may want to write questions down before-hand, as this is an opportunity for you to gain knowledge regarding your health and well-being.mind well-informed.
Most patients are particularly worried about having a pelvic exam. Remember, a pelvic exam is not always necessary, but should be done if you are having menstrual abnormalities, pain, or are sexually active. The pelvic exam allows us to both visually see the vulva (external female genital area), vagina, and cervix, as well as feel the uterus and ovaries. Again, this is a great time to ask questions, so that you can know what is normal. A speculum exam may not be necessary for all patients, but if so, the doctor will place the speculum in the vagina in order to see the vagina and cervix. This usually causes a pressure sensation, and should not be painful, the more relaxed you are the easier the exam will be. For the pelvic exam portion, the doctor will place one or two fingers in the vagina and the other hand on the lower abdomen. This allows us to evaluate for ovarian or uterine enlargement, or pain.While the idea of your first visit with a gynecologist may seem daunting, you can turn it into a positive experience. Your doctor and you want to keep your body healthy and you.
Dr. Michael Mahoney
Eastside Gynecology Obstetrics, PC
Grosse Pointe, Roseville, Macomb, MI