Your First Pelvic Exam




Your Pelvic Exam


Most girls will start going for gynecological care when they are having any abnormal symptoms (such as vaginal discharge), if they have just started having sex (or are planning to start), or even if they haven't yet become sexually active but have reached the age of 18. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of exactly what is going to happen during the exam.

First off, the patient should make sure that she schedules her appointment during the middle of her menstrual cycle. If it gets too close to menstruation, the uterus will start to shed cells, which can interfere with the Pap smear results. If the patient feels that she may want someone to be in the exam room with her during the exam for support, she should ask what the doctor's policies are on this subject while making her appointment. Also during the scheduling, the patient should make it known that it is her first visit and exactly why she will be coming for the visit. Secondly, the patient should not put anything into her vagina for 2 days before the appointment, as this can cause an abnormal Pap smear. This means that the patient should not have intercourse, douche, or put dildos, tampons, or fingers into her vagina.

It is helpful for the patient to write down any specific questions, symptoms, or anything else she may be wondering about and take it to the exam. If considering birth control, the patient should think about her preferences before her visit. The patient will be asked about any current medications, so be sure to bring the bottles for any current medications and also any old medical records if uncertain about the details of any previous procedures. Also, waits at the doctor's office may be long, so if nervousness is going to be a problem, make sure to bring a good book or something else to do that can provide a distraction.

Before the nurse takes the patient back to the examining room, she may ask the patient for a urine sample in order to diagnose urinary tract infections or pregnancy. Even if a sample is not requested, it is a good idea to empty the bladder to aid in avoiding feelings of discomfort during the exam. Once back in the exam room (which will be set up with a tray for the various tests), the patient will have to give her medical history. She will be asked about such issues as family history of cancer of the female reproductive organs, past operations or hospitalizations, and any medications that the patient may be using.

The doctor and nurse will now leave the room so the patient can get undressed. She will either put on a hospital gown (maybe 2 if she wants to cover her back) or she will be given a paper top with a sheet covering her bottom half. After she is finished covering up, she should sit on the exam table and wait for the doctor to come back.

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An external examination of your genitals.

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An bimanual exam.

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The speculum exam and Pap smear.

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