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My Body & Wellness

Going to the Gynecologist

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Added August 01, 2013

What You Should Know Before Going to the Gynecologist

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Going to the gynecologist, a doctor focused in women’s health, is a normal part of growing up. You want to be healthy inside and out, so it’s important to visit the doctor regularly. Most women visit their doctor for a pelvic exam once a year. But, we get it! You’re nervous! You might be wondering what the doctor is going to do. What should you know before an exam? Check out our list of dos and don’ts below to ease your worries and to become fully prepared for your next trip to the doctor.


DO go with a parent. A pelvic exam can be nerve wracking, and you want someone there for support. Your mom, or another trusted adult, will stay in the waiting room unless you want her in the room for the exam. Talk to the doctor about whether you want your parent in the room the entire time or if you want some privacy with the doctor to discuss things you may be embarrassed to bring up in front of your parent. But also know your parent can help answer the doctor’s questions about family health history and your health history. It’s your appointment, so do what is comfortable for you.


DON’T be nervous. This is a natural part of being a girl now that you are a teen. Be calm and confident. You’re a woman now and you’re smart to keep up with your health!


DO shower or bathe on the morning of your appointment. You’ll feel more confident and your doctor will have an easier time completing your pelvic exam.


DON'T douche before an annual exam; it could cause irregular test results. Douching should never be done to cover up odors, discharge, pain, itching or burning before a pelvic exam. Your vagina naturally cleans itself, so there’s no need to douche.


DO write down the date your last period started, how long it lasted, and how often you have them. You should be keeping track of your menstrual cycle. (Check out the BeingGirl Period Predictor—it's a great tool for charting your period.)


DON’T forget to call your doctor’s office if you are on your period the day of your appointment. The doctor’s office should be contacted to see if you should still come in, depending on the purpose of the visit. If it was an appointment to become familiar with the doctor, then being on your period shouldn’t be an issue. However, if the reason was something more then just getting to know the doctor and asking questions, you may want to reschedule your appointment for a time when you are not on your period.


DO ask questions. A doctor’s visit is a great opportunity to practice talking about your health. Before you go, make a list of questions to ask. You can ask your questions before the actual exam, when you're first meeting with the doctor, during the exam or after.


DON’T be afraid to ask anything at all. There are no dumb questions when it comes to your health. You want to be able to ask questions and feel that your doctor is really listening. With any doctor, you should ask what exams you need that day and why, what medications you need and why, and what you can expect during your visit. If you don't feel comfortable asking, or if the doctor isn't answering your questions, you may want to ask to change doctors.


DO go totally prepared. Annual exams are only once a year. Make the very most of each appointment. Write things down! You will be nervous and may not remember all the points you’d like to discuss or questions you’d like to ask. Here’s a checklist of info and questions you might want to bring to your pelvic exam:


  • The dates your last period started.
  • The length of your periods and your cycle.
  • The names of any medications you're taking. (Write down the name of the medication and the dose, or just put the bottle in your purse and show the doctor.)
  • Any problems with your period, like cramps, and a list of questions for the doctor and any issues you'd like to discuss.

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comments so far
Posted September 10, 2013
@gymnasticsismylife4ever *letters not words...
Posted July 03, 2013
im 14 and never had one of these. what age should i have it done??
Posted July 10, 2012
five words:RELAX
Posted September 10, 2012
And how do we do that? :) not excited either.
Posted February 21, 2012
Im really nervous for this! its gonna be weird! but every one needs to know they are doing ok!
Posted May 08, 2012
Omg I so do not want to go. I just hope my doctor's a girl.
Posted January 14, 2012
points sdihdfoviefipefoervlbjr[omnvpoirnbwrwrrb
Posted January 14, 2012
i love beingirl.comm
Posted January 14, 2012
i love
Posted January 25, 2012
MeggiMoo30,TheSingingBee,RANDOM123,im right there with you. i dont wanna have it done. im so nervous about it that im worried once it starts i will have some freak out episode.
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