When you reach puberty, you need to take care of your body in a different way. It’s always good to know that everything is going well with your puberty and your overall reproductive health. That’s why a visit to the gynecologist is essential at this time, which is full of changes.
Why should I visit a gynecologist?
By visiting a gynecologist, you will learn about your changing body and how to take care of it. You will also understand what is “normal” so you can discern any problem, and treat it before it gets any worse. Normally, the first visit should take place between the ages of 13 and 15. However, if you are having problems with your period, such as extreme pain, heavy bleeding, or if you’ve had an irregular cycle for more than two years, then you should visit the gynecologist as soon as possible.
What should I expect during the first visit?
It’s only normal to feel anxious about your first visit. But you will probably spend most of it just chatting! The doctor may ask questions about your lifestyle and your family history to better evaluate your needs. You may ask questions too! Don’t be ashamed, your doctor has probably heard all kinds of questions imaginable. You should be able to share any concern regarding your period, or other issues related to weight, acne or emotional changes.
There are no special preparations for your first consultation, just shower and wash your intimate area as usual with an intimate wash. If you have your period, you don’t have to cancel your appointment. You can still get examined. However, if you feel uncomfortable, you might as well postpone.
The gynecological exam
Like any other doctor, the gynecologist will start by weighing you and measuring your blood pressure, and then perform a basic abdominal exam, by massaging your stomach and asking you if any areas feel tender or painful. Next, your doctor will do a breast examination to check for any lumps or soreness.
If you have no reproductive health problems, your examination will probably end at this point. The doctor may recommend a blood test as a routine procedure. But if you do have problems with your period or your menstrual cycle, or if you have been experiencing any pain, unexplained bleeding, unusual vaginal discharges or discomfort, then the doctor will likely perform a pelvic exam.
During the pelvic exam, the doctor examines the vulva, or your external genitals, and then uses a tool called speculum to check if your ovaries and uterus are okay. You may feel a slight pressure, but try to relax as much as possible. Keep in mind that the pelvic exam is perfectly safe and won’t affect you in any way.
Your first visit to the gynecologist may be stressful, but you can always count on your mother or sister to help you feel more comfortable.