Things You Don’t Want to Talk About But Should: Gynecologist Edition
There’s one thing all girls have in common: vaginas. Most of the time they are just there, hanging out with all our other body parts, but sometimes they require a little more maintenance. Especially as you get older, those visits to the gynecologist will be necessary. Contrary to popular belief, however, it doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. Here are a few things you might not know.
1. No need to be nervous
If there’s one person in the world you shouldn’t get nervous around, it’s your gynecologist. This person looks at vaginas for a living. They are not going to judge you or make you feel uncomfortable. They don’t care whether you shaved that day or not and they don’t think any of it is awkward. To you, it might be a big event to have someone looking around down there. To them, it’s just another day at the office.
2. It’s not going to hurt
In a typical gynecologist appointment, the doctor will probably do a pelvic exam (if you’re just going in for a birth control prescription, this won’t be necessary). A little tool called a speculum will go inside the vagina to widen it just enough for the doctor to be able to see inside and swab for a cell sample. It’s nothing crazy, doesn’t take long, and it isn’t painful. The worst part of a gynecologist appointment will be your own anxiety. Just try to relax and it will be over before you know it.
3. Don’t wait
You don’t need to have a problem in order to go to the gynecologist. Just like you used to go in for a yearly check up at the pediatrician, your vagina can benefit from that same routine. It is suggested that you go in at 21, or when you start becoming sexually active, whichever happens first. Even if you think everything is perfectly fine and healthy, it doesn’t hurt to go in for a quick check. They will also probably do an STD test just as a standard procedure, which is another good thing to get done every now and then.
4. Honesty is the best policy
Another thing that the gynecologist won’t judge you for is your symptoms or sexual history. Don’t downplay the facts to make it sound better. Your sexual health is extremely important and false information or leaving out details could mislead the doctor and prevent them from giving you what you need. It’s best to be brutally honest at the gynecologist. Additionally, thanks to doctor-patient confidentiality, your parents definitely won’t find out.
The most important thing to remember is that your doctor is there to help you. They can only help you if you are willing, so be honest, be open, and your appointment should be a breeze.