What to Know Before Your First Gynaecologist Visit?

obstetrics and gynecology Melbourne

What do you expect in your first gynaecology appointment? How do prepare yourself and how do you find a good specialised doctor for you? What happens in your first visit and what are the concerns you need to consult the doctor about?

If you are someone who is seeing a gynaecologist for the first time, these might be some of the questions that you have. But don’t worry. Here are some of the answers to frequently asked questions for anyone who is going to have their first OB-GYN appointment.

Who is a gynaecologist?

A gynaecologist or an obstetrician-gynaecologist (OB-GYN) is someone who specialises in women’s health. Specifically, they are someone who specialises on the different issues of female body and treatment of issues relating to reproductive organs including the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and breasts. You can consult an OB-GYN on matters relating to health, including reproductive health such as menstruation, childbirth and menopause.

When to Visit?

Common misconception around OB-GYN visits is that they are not for women who are not pregnant or that they are not for women who are virgins. However, this is not true. You can see a gynaecologist for any issue concerning your reproductive health which means it does not have to be just childbirth or menopause or consultation regarding your sexual activities.

Most women are encouraged to have their first visit between the ages of 18 to 21 or when they start to become sexually active. In addition to this, a woman or a girl who are experiencing issues relating to their menstruation, hormonal balance, sexually transmitted diseases or other conditions in reproductive organs such as endometriosis.

Some of the reasons to see a gynaecologist include conditions relating to, excessive bleeding during menstruation, injury t reproductive organs, yeast infections and urinary tract infections, hormonal imbalances in body and conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, acnes, feelings and mood changes or weight fluctuations, birth control prescriptions, STI (sexually transmitted infections) tests and treatment, cancer tests, and pregnancies and pregnancy complications.

For young girls or adolescent girls, late development of breasts and delayed first menstruation, serious pains in during the menstruation and matters concerning contraceptives are reasons to see an OB-GYN.

First Visit to an OB-GYN

It is also important that women have routine check-ups with their OB-GYN. Routine check-ups help to find diseases early which makes them easier to treat. The initial visit to an OB-GYN also consists of a pap smear and a pelvic exam.

 A pap smear is a test for cervical cancer. This would only take around five minutes and is painless. The doctor will take a sample from your cervix to test for cancer. A pelvic exam is a check-up on your vulva and the inside of the vagina. During the exam, the doctor will face one hand inside the vagina and the other on your stomach to feel the organs. This might feel a little strange but it will not be painful. The pelvic exam will test for any abnormalities relating to your reproductive system.

How to Prepare?

Firstly, you need to find an OB-GYN with a good amount of research. Find someone who you are comfortable to work with and someone who you can easily communicate with. For experts in obstetrics and gynecology Melbourne will have plenty of clinics. Look them up to find a place that is close to you so you will have no issues going for check-ups.  After some research on their experience and service, you can contact the best doctor of your preference to make an appointment.

When you prepare for a visit, firstly gather information about your menstrual cycle. You will be asked about the date of your first period, how long does your period start or your usage of pads or tampons.

It is also recommended to know a little bit of family health history specially that of older women in your life like your mother and sister. Remember to make your appointment in the middle of your menstrual cycle, on a day that you are not menstruating. Otherwise, it is not possible for you to participate in tests.

Once you have the entire information ready, go ahead and make an appointment. Don’t worry about things such as your appearance or being judged for it. Remember that OB-GYNs, like any other doctor, will protect the confidentiality of your information.

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