Annual health exams, like a physical, are an important part of preventative healthcare. For women, a gynecological appointment is just as important. After all, our reproductive system plays a large role in our general wellbeing. Many women are nervous when they come in for a gynecology appointment, however, the healthcare professionals at Rocky Vista Health Center want you to know that there is nothing to fear.
When Should You Schedule Appointments?
Regular exams can help catch issues before they become serious problems. Because of this, most doctors recommend regular checkups start between the ages of 13 and 15. However, there are plenty of women who wait until their begin having intercourse or encounter a problem. (Problems can include but are not limited to, irregular discharges, burning, intense cramping, or period irregularity.) Whether you started your visits early or not, an annual exam is highly recommended. For those who have started their period, it is best to schedule your appointment when you are not bleeding.
What to Expect During Your First Exam
We understand that any type of doctor’s appointment can make an individual feel nervous. When it comes to your more private regions, this can be even truer. However, at Rocky Vista Health Center, we want you to know it’s ok to be nervous. You are safe with us. Your initial appointment is typically simple. Your doctor will ask you questions regarding you and your family’s medical history, your lifestyle habits, and your sexual health. While these questions may feel very personal, being honest is very important. After all, we are not here to judge you – just to keep you healthy. As a gynecologist, your healthcare professional has seen and heard it all. There is really no reason to be worried about them judging you or treating you harshly no matter what your sexual history may include.
Most people associate gynecological appointment only with pelvic exams. However, there are actually four different types of exams. Each depends on the reason for your exam, age, sexual history, and symptoms.
General Physical: This includes an examination of your weight, height, blood pressure and other similar items.
Breast Examination: Using their fingers, your doctor will apply pressure around your breast in order to check for lumps or discharge.
Pap Smear: During a pap smear, your doctor will scrape a few cells from your cervix to send to a laboratory for testing.
Pelvic Examination: Not every woman needs to have a pelvic examination as this is generally reserved only for those who are sexually active or showing certain symptoms. During this exam, the doctor will have you lie down, with your legs open and feet in special stirrups. Using a speculum, the doctor will open your vagina to allow them to perform a full visual exam, collect necessary samples, and check for lumps or other irregularities. This can be uncomfortable, but should not be painful.
Ready to make an appointment with one of our gynecologists?
Complete the form on this page or call us at 720-875-2880.