Being nervous about getting your first gynaecological examination? You are definitely not alone. The thought of having a medical professional examining your private areas might be nerve-wracking and embarrassing. However, it is actually a straightforward and quick procedure that is an important part of maintaining your overall health.
Understanding the purpose of the gynaecological examination and what it involves, you will realize that there is nothing to worry or be embarrassed about.
Why the gynaecological examination is important?
The purpose of your gynaecology examination is to allow a medical professional to check your female reproductive organs to ensure and maintain good gynaecological 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 healthcare provider might have. This allows you and your doctor to figure out any issues and tackle them early to ensure you have a safe and healthy pregnancy.
What does the gynaecological examination involve?
The examination involves multiple examinations which include a general physical examination, gynaecological examination and chromosomal or genetic testing. These are all done to ensure that the expecting mother will be safe during the course of the pregnancy and to anticipate any potential genetic problems in the baby, so both the parents and the doctors are prepared and well-informed ahead of time.
Generally, the examination is done 3 to 6 months BEFORE you plan to get pregnant, so that if there is any treatable or manageable condition detected, it can be identified early and dealt with. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that you plan your check-ups earlier.
Preparation for the examinations
As part of your examination, you may be asked some aspects listed below that will be quite personal in nature but it is important that you answer honestly. Do not let shyness be a health risk. Trust that what you say is kept confidential.
This is also the time for you to ask any questions that you may have related to your health. There are no wrong questions to ask when it comes to your personal health and the more knowledge you have about your body, the more confidence you can have about taking care of it.
There is a number of things that your doctor will ask you during the examination. You may be inquired about:
- the type of birth control you are on
- your menstrual cycle
- your diet and lifestyle habits
- the list of medication you are currently on
- any chronic condition you have
- past medical or surgical history
- family history or any genetic disorders
- Prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask your doctor. Don’t leave any stone unturned. Ask away!
- Do not schedule your appointment on the day that you are having your menstruation as your doctor might need to perform pelvic examination on you.
- Avoid sexual intercourse a day or two before the scheduled examination.
- Do not have a vaginal douche. In fact, do not douche ever because douching can cause imbalance to your vaginal flora and cause more problem.