Gynecological Exam: The Time Has Come
A gynecological exam is all about keeping a healthy reproductive system. A gynecologist is a doctor that will knows all about your reproductive organs and can make sure that you are free from disease and everything is functioning properly.
Part of growing up and going through Female Puberty is keeping yourself healthy, and that includes your girl parts that are now starting to function like a woman. Going for a gynecologist visit is just part of being mature and responsible and showing that you care about your body.
When should you go for your first gynecological exam?
Start early. People will tell you different things about when is the right time to go. Some feel it is necessary as soon as you start puberty or start menstruation. Others think it is okay to wait until you are at least 18 or sexually active. After you are sexually active, you should start going every year.
Whatever you decide, it does not hurt to start going early. You will learn a lot from your gyn exam and know better how to prevent certain life threatening reproductive diseases like breast cancer, cervical cancer and STD's.
Who does the gynecological exam?
Health care provider: doctor, trained nurse, or physician assistant.
What is examined during the gynecological exam?
Your breasts, vulva, vagina, cervix, reproductive organs. You also may be tested for cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.
What happens during a gynecological exam?
It starts with just the typical doctor visit procedures: they will take your temperature, measure your blood pressure, and weigh you. You will probably have to fill out some paperwork and they may ask you questions about your medical history (any medical problems you have had in the past).
Some of the questions they ask you may not be what you are used to with other doctors. Like asking you questions about your period, sexual activity or inactivity, and things having to do with your reproductive history. According to your answers, she may recommend birth control or testing for STD's. It's important to be open and honest because this is your health we are talking about, and the doctor isn't there to judge you, just to help.
Next, you will be escorted to the exam room where you will be asked to take your clothes off and put on a hospital gown or robe (you will have privacy while you are changing).
When the doctor comes back in, which would be a good time to ask questions if you are feeling concerned about what is about to happen, the gyn exam will start. The doctor will wear latex gloves during the gynecologist exam for sanitary reasons.
A pelvic exam is where the doctor checks out your
and cervix. You will be asked to lie on a exam table that is equipped with stirrups for your feet. These stirrups are at the end of the table and allow for your legs to be spread in the air to allow easy access for the doctor to open your legs and examine your vulva (area surrounding your vagina). The doctor will make sure that everything looks healthy.
Next, the doctor will examine the inside of your vagina. In order to see inside, she will use an instrument called a Speculum. A Speculum is either plastic or metal and it is inserted into the vagina to hold the walls open.
If you have not worn a tampon or had sex before then this may be somewhat painful. The important thing is to stay relaxed, this will allow the muscles in your vagina to also relax instead of tightening up and make it hurt less.
Also, remember to continually communicate with your doctor during the gyn exam so she knows what is going on and can help you along. For most female puberty girls, it will feel a little uncomfortable, but not anything to be nervous about. During the internal exam, the doctor will look at the texture and color of your vaginal wall and its' secretions.
Part of the Internal exam also included a Pap Smear or Pap Test. This will test for cervical cancer, which generally is hard to detect any other way. For the test, the doctor will insert something that looks like a long q-tip into your vagina and up to your cervix (the cervix is a thin neck like canal that links the puberty vagina and the uterus). It may just tickle a little bit while she takes a swab or sample of some of the cells on your cervix wall.
That sample will be sent to a lab to analyze if there are any mutated or irregular cells which could signal there may be cancer. You probably will not get the results of that test for a couple days to a couple weeks.
Reproductive Organ Examination
Take a deep breath, the tricky part of the gynecological exam is over. The speculum is removed. Now the doctor is just going to feel around a little bit. You will just feel some pressure as she inserts her index and third finger into the vagina and her other hand on your lower stomach and presses on the inside and out. She is feeling your reproductive organs to make sure they are all good and healthy.
She will likely do this exam with you both seated and lying down. The doctor will feel around your breast tissue looking for unusual lumps (could be breast cancer). She will be mildly pressing and doing circular motions on your breast with her fingers. Don't freak out if she finds a lump because Not all lumps are cancerous. It could just be a cyst, swollen gland, or fibroandenomas (common in young adults).
You can, and definitely should, do breast exams on yourself at home (ideally one a month). Just get naked and check out your breasts in the mirror, looking for swelling, odd looking nipples or skin changes. Look at them in several different positions: Arms above your head, arms at your side, hands on your hips etc.
Also lie down and feel the breast tissue. Keep your fingers flat and press around the nipple and all over looking for lumps (they can be as small as a pea)including the area slightly under your arm and around breast. Contact a physician if you find abnormal coloring, lumps, or discharge coming from the breast.
Testing For Sexually Transmitted Diseases
If you are sexually active, you may also be tested for STD's. The most common are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphillis. Testing may include another vaginal swab, urine sample, saliva sample, or blood test.
How often should I get a gynecological exam?
Once a year(minimum). If you are sexually active, you may need to get a gyn exam as often as every 3 months because you have a greater chance of sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, and pregnancy.
Tips on getting the best gyn exam:
When you are scheduling an appointment for a gynecological exam, let the medical office know if you prefer to be examined by a woman.
If you are examined by a man, be sure there is someone else in the room with you(a nurse,your mom, a friend,etc.).
Find a provider that you feel comfortable with and that gives you the service you want. If you don't feel that you are getting what you need or are uncomfortable, switch clinics or providers until you find one that you like.
Ask lots of questions both before, during, and after the gyn visit. You want to be prepared and also know what's going on when they are doing the exam and what everything means. This will help you feel more comfortable.
If you have had sex, make sure as part of your gynecological exam that you are tested (or recommended for tests) for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and/or syphilis. These are common, especially if you have had unprotected sex.
What did you think after your gynecologist visit? Now is your chance to give advice to other girls who are nervous about it
Was it as horrible as you thought it would be?
Share your thoughts and advice for other girls on what it is really like when you get a gyn exam.
What Other Visitors Have Said
Click below to see advice from other visitors to this page...
Scared Not rated yet
I guess this is an exam that must be done but it doesnt stop it from being uncomfortable and nerve racking.
Scared Not rated yet
I've never had a GYN exam, but now I don't want to get one. I'm only 11 years old and this is pretty scary for me. I have vaginal hair and it will be embarrasing …
i was molested by my gyn doctor recently Not rated yet
i had this doctor for a year M.D Sophia n palmer i felt like i was starting to trust her and she sexually violated me during a papspear test.I am 41 years …
scared Not rated yet
My parents don't talk to me about this stuff so my doctor does. I'm really shy I'm only 12 yrs old my doctor recommended this site. I'm scared
Never go to a male Not rated yet
Never ever go to a male gyn. There only into it for one reason and it not a good one , they dont even have the same body parts. Too many woman have been …
carol Not rated yet
I was glad that mum made me go, i started my periods when i was only 9, i was having lots of pain with it ,
im no oging into what he had to do but the …
It's not as bad as it sounds. Not rated yet
I turned 21 this year and had my first pap test. I was scared, since I'm studying abroad and my language skills aren't that great, but I needed to do it …
Kelly Not rated yet
Most of these comments seem to come from kids who don't really know anything but are just trying to scare you. I suspect little boys who came to this …
Dear girls, Not rated yet
You girls shouldn't get scared about this exam. It doesn't take much time unless something is wrong with you. If there is something wrong, it needs to …
paradise Not rated yet
Lol gyn exam isn't as nasty as you think and guys are profesionally trained to do things like that so don't worry but girl doctor is the best it is kinda …
scared Not rated yet
i haven't gone, and I don't want to. Can I avoid going?
What if you pee or poop when the doctor is examining you?
Does it hurt?
Do you have to …
Wrong impression Not rated yet
I think that too much attention is given to the "make sure there is a woman in the room if your Dr. is a man" stuff. I know in this society what I'm saying …
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