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Pelvic exam – be prepared

First Pelvic Exam

If you are already 21 or older and/or if you are sexually active – it is a right time to start your first Pelvic Exam. First, call to your family doctor to book an appointment. Day of the appointment should be selected by you – be sure to book your appointment at a time when you won’t be on your period, because blood can affect the results of your “Pap smear” test.

If it is your First Pelvic Exam, it would be a good idea to talk to someone you trust and who already had Pelvic Exams. You can speak with family member what the test is like?
Mothers, aunts, older sisters, cousins can all give you the first-hand scoop about what to expect. You can also speak with a friend who has had the test before or a teacher or school nurse.

Pelvic Exam is a right time to ask all questions about your reproductive system. Before your Pelvic Exam you may want to prepare some of the questions you’d like to ask your doctor. If you have any questions about your menstrual cycle, periods, personal feelings, sexuality, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, etc., it is a good idea to write all your questions just to be sure you would not miss any important points. Be sure to ask your doctor about any concerns you might be having about your reproductive health.

On the day of your exam, it might be a good idea to wear comfortable clothing that is easy to change in and out of. If you’d like, you can bring a friend to come with you to the exam. You’ll need to bring your health card with you and you may want to show up a little bit early for the appointment.

Pelvic exam chair

Pelvic exam chair

Once you are already in the clinic – let the staff know that you are there. Most probably you will be forced to wait a little bit as your doctor has other clients scheduled before you. While waiting you can be asked to fill out some quick paperwork before the doctor sees you. Next the examination room will be shown and you will be asked to change into a gown for the examination. Sometimes, a nurse may take your weight and blood pressure before the doctor arrives for the exam.

Should your parent know about your Pelvic Exam?

By 21 years old regular pelvic exams are an important part of staying healthy for every woman. However, if you are sexually active, then it is important to get your first pelvic exam a little earlier.

Some young women may be afraid to tell their parents about getting a pelvic exam because they don’t want their parents to know that they are sexually active. While it is important to have an open relationship with your parents (and they may be happy to know that you are being responsible about your health), you do not need a parent’s permission to have a pelvic exam. You can arrange the exam yourself directly through your local clinic or family doctor.

Remember that what you tell your doctor is just between the two of you. All information given to the doctor is fully confidential.

What doctor will ask during Pelvic Exam?

Usually doctor will ask questions about your general health and especially about your reproductive health which includes menstrual cycles, periods, sexual activities, discharge, contraception, any complains.

Menstrual cycle – if you have irregular cycles, any spotting, pain, or unusual bleeding, be sure to let your doctor know. Your doctor may also ask you for the date that your most recent period first began, how long your periods usually lasts, and when you first got your period. If you have your menstrual calendar, better take it with you and show it to your doctor.

Sexual activities – your doctor will ask you if you’ve ever had sex, and may ask some questions about your sex life. Be honest. Remember, except for some rare cases (if you are being abused or if your doctor feels that you are in danger, for example), what you and your doctor talk about is just between the two of you. Your doctor will not speak to your parents or anyone else about the exam or anything you talk about.

Discharge, pain or other problems – you may be asked if you’ve had any unusual vaginal discharge, pain or other symptoms that could be a sign of an infection or other problems. You should also inform your doctor if you think that you may be pregnant.

Contraception – if you are using birth control or if you have any question about contraception, or if you’re having any concerns about the birth control method you’re using, be sure to ask your doctor.

Pelvic Exam

Pelvic Exam

During Pelvic Exam

After you’ve had a chance to ask and answer questions, or possibly at the same time, your doctor may perform a general check-up exam, which may include a breast exam.

If you’ve never had a breast exam before, you might be a little embarrassed. Don’t be. Breast exams are really important because they can find any lumps or changes in your breasts, which can help your doctor spot any potential problems early. During this exam,
your doctor will press down lightly on your breasts, feeling for any lumps or anything that feels unusual.

If you’ve noticed any unusual changes to your breasts recently or if you’ve been having any pain in your breasts, this would be a good time to ask your doctor about it Pelvic Exams can be a bit embarrassing, especially the first time. It’s perfectly normal to be
embarrassed, but remember that your doctor is a professional who performs “Pap smear” tests all of the time, and there’s really nothing to be afraid of.

If you’d like, you can have someone stay with you in the room during the exam. It could be a parent or another family member, or a friend who will sit with you through the exam. Or, if it makes you more comfortable, you can ask that another staff member at the doctor’s office stay in the room. It’s totally up to you; just let your doctor know what you’d prefer.

Scared about your first pelvic exam – What to do?

Talk to someone you trust and who already had Pelvic Exams. You can speak with family member what the test is like? Mothers, aunts, older sisters, cousins can all give you the first-hand scoop about what to expect. You can also speak with a friend who has had the test before or a teacher or school nurse.

Do your homework. Pelvic Exam is a lot like any other exam – if you want to breeze through it, you’ve got to do your homework. There are lots of good websites, brochures, and other resources out there to give you an idea what you can expect. Knowing what the exam is all about is the best way to put your mind at ease.

Let your doctor and/or nurse to know that you are nervous. If it’s your first time getting a pelvic exam, your doctor knows it can be a bit scary. Let them know that you’re a bit nervous about the exam. Ask for full explanations how and what the Pelvic Exam will be done. Service providers can go through the exam with you step-by-step so there are no surprises.

If you are still scared … Just relax and remember – it should be done and it will take very little time. Just start from simple discussions with your doctor about your problems and about your feelings. Relax – even if you know exactly what to expect, it’s normal to be a bit scared. Once you’re there, chances are it won’t be nearly as scary as you may think. And, if all else fails, remember that the embarrassing part of the exam doesn’t last that long, and once you’ve had it once, it gets a whole lot easier the next.


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