Pelvic exams are very important for women’s health. But many of us feel nervous about getting pelvic exams because they are about our sexual and reproductive organs. It’s very common for women to be especially worried about having their first pelvic exam. If you are feeling anxious or uneasy about your pelvic exam, the information on this page may be helpful. Knowing what to expect can help you relax. At JoyRich Health Care Centers, we treat all our patients with courtesy and professionalism. We not only want to treat you when your sick, we want to keep you healthy!
What Is a Pelvic Exam?
No matter your sexual preference or activity, your pelvic exam is a normal and important part of taking care of your body. During a pelvic exam, a health care provider examines your pelvic area. It includes your vulva and your internal reproductive organs — your cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and vagina.During your pelvic exam, your provider will look for signs of infection and other conditions. It will most likely include taking a few cells from your cervix for a Pap test. This is to protect you from cervical cancer. Detecting problems early can help you get the treatment you need to keep healthy.
When Should I Have My First Pelvic Exam?
Unless you have a medical problem, you should have your first pelvic exam when you become sexually active or turn 21.
When to Contact Your Health Care Provider
Contact your health care provider if you have any concerns about your sexual and reproductive health or you have any of these symptoms:
- changes in vaginal bleeding or discharge
- increased pain or discomfort before your period
- pain, swelling, or tenderness of the vulva or vagina
- sores, lumps, or itching of the vulva or vagina
- severe or unusual vaginal or pelvic pain
These may be signs of an infection or serious condition that may need treatment. It is best to get them checked out as soon as possible.
How Do I Get Ready for My Pelvic Exam?
There are some simple steps you can take to prepare for your Pelvic Exam.
- Plan your pelvic exam for a day you when you will not have your period — unless you have a bleeding problem your health care provider wants to see. Menstrual fluid can affect the results of some lab tests.
- Don’t have vaginal intercourse or insert anything in your vagina for a day or two before your visit.
- Women shouldn’t douche. But if you do, don’t douche for at least 24 hours before your visit. For more accurate test results, don’t use any other vaginal products, either. They can hide many vaginal conditions.
- Make a list of the questions you want to ask your health care provider. Some women write them down so that it is easier to remember them during the appointment.
- Ask if you can have a friend in the room with you if you think you would feel more comfortable.
What Kind of Questions Will I Be Asked During My Medical History?
First, your health care provider will ask you questions about your medical history and your family’s medical history.
These questions help you get the care that’s right for you, so try to be as honest and as complete as you can. The questions may include
- When was your last period?
- How often do you have periods?
- How long do they last?
- Do you ever have bleeding between periods?
- Do you have any unusual pain, itching, or discharge from your vagina or vulva?
- Do you have any other medical conditions?
- What medical problems do other members of your family have?
- Are you having sex?
- Do you have sex with men, women, or both?
- Do you have any pain during sex?
- Do you have bleeding after sex?
- Are you using birth control?
- Do you suspect you are pregnant?
- Are you trying to become pregnant?
- What do you do to prevent sexually transmitted infections?
Other questions might be about alcohol or other drug use, allergies, illnesses, previous pregnancies, problems holding urine, risk for infection, smoking, and any surgery you might have had.
You can ask questions, too! You might want to ask questions about
- birth control
- bleeding after sex
- heavier than usual menstrual flow
- pelvic pain
- pregnancy test
- tests for chlamydia, herpes, HIV, HPV, or other infections you may be concerned about
- unpleasant vaginal odor
- vaginal discharge
Don’t let embarrassment be a health risk. Make sure you ask all the questions that you want to ask. Tests that you may need usually can be done quickly during the appointment.
How Will My Pelvic Exam Feel?
The pelvic exam part of your gyn exam should only take a few minutes. Some parts of the exam may be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful. If it hurts, be sure to tell your health care provider, who may be able to adjust things to help you be more comfortable. This exam is for you, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
At JoyRich Health Care Centers, We provide primary care to all patients in an ethical, high quality and compassionate way. We go above and beyond to understand each patients individual needs.
If you are looking for a Primary Care Center that not only answers the question
about Pelvic Exams but we are here to meet ALL your Primary care needs.
We are here to help!
JoyRich Health Care Centers &
BeFree Centers for Addiction
2387 Professional Heights Plaza
Lexington, KY 40503