As young women mature, it is important they have their first GYN visit and learn to make good choices for their overall health. A woman’s first women’s health visit can cause feelings of nervousness and apprehension. In many cases, it may be appropriate for a first visit to simply consist of speaking with the physician regarding what to expect and getting to know one another.
During these first appointments, physicians will ask a variety of questions regarding your menstrual cycle, sexual activity and family health history. Giving honest answers to the questions asked is imperative to receiving accurate care from your physician. Remember, your doctor is there to answer any questions you may have.
At your first visit, depending on your age, there are several types of exams that may be performed. These include: general physical exam, breast exam, pelvic exam, pap test and past due vaccinations. During a physical exam, items such as height, weight and blood pressure will be recorded. When a breast exam is performed, your doctor may check your breasts for abnormal growths or lumps. This is carried out by simple moving their fingers around the breast in a pattern and applying slight pressure.
In many cases, at a first appointment, your doctor will not perform a pelvic exam. However, if this is necessary (you have engaged in sexual intercourse or have certain issues) your doctor will look at the vulva, internal organs (through the use of a gloved hand) and use a device known as a speculum to view the vagina and take a small sample to test for STDs. This process allows the doctor to check for and detect possible abnormalities. This procedure may cause brief discomfort, but not pain. If needed, a Pap Test may be performed during the pelvic exam which consists of taking a small sample of cells from the cervix using a swab. After removed, these cells are examined under a microscope for abnormalities.
Finally, your physician will want to review simple tips for staying strong and healthy and review that your vaccinations are up to date so you are adequately protected from viruses and disease. Please know that we understand this first visit can be a nerve-wracking experience. We want to ensure the experience is as easy and painless for you as possible, so we encourage you to ask questions throughout the appointment or even meet with us beforehand to gather information about what to expect!