Many women neglect gynecological examinations. However, you should know that regular pelvic examinations are important for maintaining a woman’s health. The correct preparation for the examination reduces the patient’s confusion before the visit to the gynecologist and allows the doctor to perform the examination more thoroughly and quickly. Here is a list of five common questions about the gynecological examination.
1. How often should I visit the gynecologist?
The most appropriate option is to visit the gynecologist every six months but if you don’t have any diseases, you can undergo a gynecological check-up once a year. If you visit the doctor for the first time, you should provide him or her with the information about your menstrual cycle, sexual life, and pregnancies.
If the doctor has noticed signs of an inflammatory process in the cervix, he or she may recommend you to perform a colposcopy as an additional research method. During a routine examination, two smears are taken, bacterioscopy and a Pap test. Pap test is one of the most effective screening methods for diagnosing cervical abnormalities.
The pelvic exam provides your gynecologist with information about the presence or absence of inflammatory processes. The doctor’s hands can detect an increase on one side of the ovary, fibroids, or an increased uterus.
2. How to prepare for the examination?
First and foremost, it is necessary to recall the date of your first menstruation. Be sure to report if you have had malfunctions during the formation of a menstrual cycle like prolonged delays or increased frequency of periods.
It is also important to tell the gynecologist about the onset of sexual activity, the number of sexual partners, and the methods of contraception that were used. If you used hormonal contraception, try to recall how they were called and how long you took them.
When you are trying to conceive, it is important to know that if pregnancy doesn’t occur within one year of regular sexual activity without any contraception, this is a reason to be examined more thoroughly.
3. How often do I need to be tested for STI?
Despite the fact that you can believe that you or your partner have no sexually transmitted infections, it is better to undergo STI testing at least once every few years. However, if you experience symptoms of an intensive inflammatory process, you can be tested for STIs according to doctor’s recommendations. If you don’t have a regular partner, it is better to undergo STI testing more often. You should also know that such STI as human papillomavirus can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. This means that condoms can’t guarantee complete protection
4. Should I visit a gynecologist before the start of my sexual life?
Even without sexual life, there are some conditions that can affect women’s bodies. A girl may have an abnormal microflora, genital candidiasis, or an inflammatory process that should be treated. If you haven’t had sex, a specialist conducts a careful examination and takes material for subsequent microscopy of secretions.
5. When is it necessary to urgently consult a gynecologist?
If you experience sharp abdominal pain, that intensifies and completely interrupts your daily activity, it is a reason to make an appointment with the gynecologist as soon as possible. However, there are not so clear complaints that require an immediate visit to the doctor:
the appearance of abnormal discharge (with an unpleasant odor, strange color, and texture)
aching pain in the lower abdomen that is accompanied by an increased body temperature
irregular menstrual cycle (changes in the schedule of menstruation or in their duration)
You should remember that any discomfort in the pelvic area requires immediate attention.