Things you should know before your first visit to gynaecologist

Things you should know before your first visit to gynaecologist

Q1. What is a gynaecologist?

Ans. A gynecologist is a surgeon who specializes in the female reproductive system, including cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, vagina and vulva. 


Q2. What do they do ?


  1. A gynaecologist diagnose and manages the medical and surgical problems affecting reproductive system
  2. The various disorders treated by them include:
  3. Pregnancy
  4. Child birth
  5. Menstruation problems such as menopause
  6. Sexual health including contraception 
  7. Sexually transmitted diseases

Infertility issues

  1. Gynaecologic malignancies
  2. Urinary incontinence
  3. Lower abdominal pain.
  4. Moreover, most gynaecologists provide prenatal care while some of them also offers primary care.


Q3. What kind of test does a Gynaecologist do?

Ans. Various test done by a gynaecologist are as follows:

  1. General physical examination
  2. External genital examination
  3. Pelvic examination
  4. Pap test.


 Q4. How Gynaecologist test ?

In general examination, height, weight, and blood pressure of the patient will be checked. Doctor also checks for any other health problems


  1. In external genital examination, gynaecologist examine vulva. He may give the patient a mirror so that she can look at the vulva as well. 
  2. The pelvic examination is comprised of three parts:
  3. Looking at the vulva
  4. Looking at the vagina and cervix with a speculum
  5. Examining the internal organs with a gloved hand.
  6. Pap test, a painless test is usually done at age of 21 years or above, it is done to check abnormal changes in the cervix that may cause cancer. 
  7. During the test, a sample of cells is taken from patient’s cervix with a small brush.


Q5. When to see a Gynaecologist ?

Ans. A gynecologist can treat a girl or a woman at any age

It is recommended that an individual should start visiting a gynecologist from the age of 13 to 15 years

  1. A girl or women can visit a gynaecologist, if you have one of the following concerns:
  2. If she has questions in respect to the female reproductive system involving breasts, uterus, ovaries and vulva
  3. If she has any menstrual, pregnancy, fertility or contraception questions
  4. If she has any sexual health concerns
  5. If she is seeking a preventive health exam and age-appropriate screenings.
  6. A younger girl can visit a gynaecologist in cases like:
  7. If the girl has delayed puberty, for example no breast tissue changes before the age of 14 years
  8. If she has delay in starting of menstrual cycles, i.e. prior to age of 16 years
  9. If she has painful periods, that can lead to missing school or activities due to symptoms
  10. If she is unable to wear a tampon.


Q6: Is shaving necessary for a Gynaecologist visit ?

Ans. No, it is not essential to shave or wax around the vagina before a gynecologist visit. However, maintain a proper vaginal hygiene by using a gentle soap.


Q7. Should I visit a Gynaecologist during my period ?

Yes, you can visit a gynaecologist during periods.

  1. There is no need to feel gross because of the bleeding
  2. It is considered advantageous in conditions when you need a intrauterine device (IUD) 
  3. It makes the procedure of IUD insertion more comfortable as the cervix is more open at this time in your cycle.


Q8. What to Expect on your first Gynaecologist visit?

The first visit to gynaecologist involves a talk between you and your doctor including personal questions

Conversations that take place during your visit will be kept confidential for patients who are older than 18 years 

However, for patients younger than 18 years, some information may be shared with parents or guardians, if the doctor feels the need to do it

Following steps will be done on your first visit:

  • History
  • While history taking , your gynaecologist may ask you about the reason of the visit, your symptoms, if you have any pre-existing conditions and medical history of your family that can assist the doctor making a diagnosis.
  • Examination
  • Your gynaecologist will perform a vaginal examination with help of a speculum so that the cervix can be visualized.
  • Investigations 
  • our gynaecologist can arrange specific investigations including blood tests, urine tests, pap smears, and ultrasounds.
  • When the results of the investigations are collected along with proper analysis of all the information, gynaecologist can be able to make the accurate diagnosis and will be able to offer you appropriate treatment.

References:

1. What is a gynecologist? Available at: https://www.healio.com/news/hematology-oncology/20120331/what-is-a-gynecologist

2. What Does a Gynaecologist Do on Your First Visit? Available at:https://healthengine.com.au/info/your-first-gynecologist-visit

3. Your First Gynecologic Visit. Available at: https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/especially-for-teens/your-first-gynecologic-visit

4. Can You Go to a Gynecologist Appointment When You’re on Your Period?Available at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/can-you-go-to-a-gynecologist-appointment-when-youre-on-your-period/

5. 10 things to know before your first gynaecologist appointment.Available at: http://www.aoafamily.com/blog/10-things-to-know-before-your-first-gynecologist-appointment/

 More FAQs by Dr. Anita Kant