Sexual Health 101: Visiting the Gynecologist
By on 01 September 2017
If you’ve never been to a gynecologist, it’s completely normal to be a little nervous. I know I was! But you should know that there is nothing to worry about. Your gynecologist is there to help you.
If it’s your first visit, you might be wondering what to expect and why you need to go in the first place.
Some of the main reasons women visit the gynecologist can include discussing birth control options, learning about how to prevent and test for STI’s, annual pelvic exams, and getting screened for reproductive cancer.
When Should I See a Gynecologist?
Typically, it is recommended to begin regularly seeing a gynecologist at 21 years old, but if you become sexually active before then, it’s best to pay him or her a visit. You can also go if you have irregular or extremely painful periods, weird or smelly discharge, or pelvic pain.
If you have no issues, it is still recommended to go once a year for a quick check up.
How Should I Prepare for my Visit?
It is recommended that you do not have sex, douche, or use any vaginal creams for at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment. If there are multiple topics you’d like to discuss during your visit, write them down in a notebook so you don’t forget anything. This is also helpful because you can write down their answers to your questions.
You should also bring a list of any medications you currently take, including home remedies and herbal supplements. You should also know your family history, especially sexual and reproductive health issues.
You may be feeling a little scared before your first visit, as I’m sure many women are. Although, you should remember that they are trained medical professionals and you are in good hands. After the first visit, the rest will be a breeze.
Also, remember that it’s very important to have a gynecologist that you trust. Sexual and reproductive health is a very personal topic. If you don’t like your gynecologist, it’s 100% okay to keep looking until you find the right one for you.