Visiting the gynecologist is a normal part of any woman's life, but it's normal to feel shy or a little nervous. You don't have anything to worry about, because pelvic exams are easy and pain-free. Here are four tips to help you prepare for your next pelvic exam:
1. Be mindful of your period.
If possible, make your gynecologist appointment for a time when you won't be on your period. Although your doctor will still be able to perform a pelvic exam if you're menstruating, heavy blood flow can make it more difficult for them to examine you. According to Self, your period can make pap smear results less accurate, so plan accordingly. While it's best not to visit the gynecologist while you're on your period, you should keep track of your menstrual cycle. Your doctor will ask you the date of your last period to help them diagnose any symptoms you may be having and to rule out pregnancy.
2. Freshen up before you go.
This isn't a requirement, but it can help ease your mind if you're feeling self-conscious or embarrassed about your pelvic exam. Before your gynecologist appointment, you can freshen up with a quick shower; if you're running to the doctor's office after work and don't have time to shower, an unscented wet wipe will get the job done. Don't douche, since this can upset the delicate balance of flora in your anatomy.
3. Be honest.
Your gynecologist may ask you questions about your sex life and history, and it's important that you're honest. Your doctor isn't judging you. They just need to know if you may be pregnant or if you could have been exposed to an STD. If you've had unprotected sex, make sure to let your gynecologist know. They can recommend birth control options to you and perform discreet STD testing.
It's okay to be nervous, but you should remember that there's nothing to be afraid of. Your gynecologist will be very gentle, and you should feel little to no discomfort. Remember that your gynecologist isn't critiquing your body. Your doctor is there to make sure you're healthy. They're a professional who sees body parts all day, and yours is perfectly normal.
Your annual gynecologist appointment is a great time to ask your doctor any questions you may have. A pelvic exam is one way that you can take good care of your body so you can remain healthy for a long time. These quick tips will help you get ready for your next women's wellness exam. For more information, contact a local clinic like Naples Ob-Gyn.