Wondering if you should make an appointment? Those 20 minutes could reveal more about your health than you realize. Only 17 percent of women see their gynecologist for an annual exam. They can literally spot what's ruining your sex life. Many patients are hesitant to discuss their sexual difficulties, says Streicher, who is also the author of Love Sex Again.
What happens during a routine gynecological visit?
What the Gynecological Exam Includes
Crystal M. Newby, MD. The thought of having your first gynecology exam might be nerve wracking, but it is a straightforward and quick procedure that is an important part of maintaining your overall health. Once you understand the purpose of the annual well woman exam and what it involves, you will realize that there is nothing to worry or be embarrassed about. The purpose of your routine annual gynecology exam is to allow a health care provider to check your female organs to ensure and maintain good gynecological health. The physical portion of the exam takes about 10 minutes and there is a time before and after the exam to ask and answer any questions you and your health care provider might have. Women should start receiving annual gynecology exams between the ages of 18 and 21, or when they become sexually active. However, if you are experiencing any gynecological symptoms, you should schedule an exam sooner. Such symptoms include irregularities in the menstrual cycle , unusual or severe vaginal or pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge , swelling, tenderness, sores, lumps, or itching, or unusual changes in the breast.
Before Your Well Woman Exam
An obstetrician—gynecologist ob-gyn is a doctor who specializes in the health care of women. Girls should have their first gynecologic visit between the ages of 13 years and 15 years. It is normal to feel nervous about your first visit. It may help if you talk about it with your parents or someone else you trust. You may want to let your doctor know you are nervous. He or she can help put you at ease. The first visit may be just a talk between you and your doctor.
They deal with a wide range of issues, including obstetrics, or pregnancy and childbirth, menstruation and fertility issues, sexually transmitted infections STIs , hormone disorders, and others. In the United States, some women prefer to visit a well-woman clinic rather than a family doctor for general health issues. The gynecologist may then refer the patient to another specialist.