After you and the doctor have asked all the questions you want, the doctor or nurse will take you to an examining room. He or she will ask you to undress and put on a gown, then probably leave while you're undressing. Find out if they'll need a urine sample. If not, make sure it's okay for you to go to the bathroom. With a full bladder, it's harder for the doctor to feel your pelvic organs. And it's not as comfortable for you. A few other tips for your first pelvic exam: Unless you're told something else, take everything off—bra and underwear, too. But most doctors let you keep your socks on! When you put on the robe, remember—it opens in the front. Just sit at the edge of the table and relax. Once you get changed, the doctor or nurse will come back in and check your weight and blood pressure. Then the doctor may listen to your heart and lungs, and examine your thyroid (in the neck area) and abdomen (belly). Visual inspection for your first pelvic exam During the exam, you'll be lying on your back with your butt at the very end of the table and your heels resting in metal supports called stirrups. The doctor sits at the end of the examination table so that he or she can examine your external and some internal organs. The doctor will wear plastic gloves during all parts of the examination. This is the part of the exam that can feel awkward and embarrassing. There are a few things that you can do to make it easier:
Ask your doctor to tell you what she or he will be doing next so you know what to expect. Sometimes just talking a little bit makes the situation more comfortable. Take deep breaths and try to relax. (If you're relaxed, chances are the muscles in your pelvic area will be loose and relaxed, too.) If you're embarrassed, tell the doctor. Sometimes just saying it out loud makes you feel better. (You could just say, "This feels so weird.") Ask for a pillow if your head is uncomfortable. Interested in your own biology? Ask for a mirror so you can watch as the doctor examines the vulva. You can even look into your vagina during the next part the speculum exam.
Read about your first pelvic exam and get tips and advice for visiting the gynecologist at BeingGirl.com.