The first visit to the gynecologist
The first visit to the gynecologist is an exciting moment for many young women, which brings with it numerous questions and is often accompanied by fears. The reasons for attending this first visit can be very different. Young people, for example, can be encouraged to do so by their parents, others go for a preventive check-up or contraception every now and then because of complaints. The examination only takes a few minutes and is usually painless. The doctor can be asked any questions about your period, sexuality, venereal diseases, contraception and complaints.
Read more on the topic: Gynecological check
When should the first visit to the gynecologist take place?
There is no generally applicable ideal age for the first visit to the gynecologist. Most gynecologists recommend the first visit before the age of 18. The age largely depends on the individual needs of the patient. One reason for the first visit to the gynecologist can be, for example, the desire for sexual intercourse that arises at different ages and thus advice on suitable contraceptive methods is desired. A routine check-up, the so-called cancer check-up, can also be carried out starting in adolescence at any age. Here, as with many other examinations, the earlier and the more regularly you do it, the better.
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The desire for the HPV vaccination, for which the vaccination age recommended by the standing vaccination committee is between 9 and 14 years, can lead to a visit to the gynecologist at that age. In principle, every adolescent or woman should consult a gynecologist if they experience problems in the abdomen, changes or pain in the vaginal area or pain during sexual intercourse, regardless of age. Some gynecologists offer special consultations for teenagers. In the case of gynecological complaints in childhood, both the pediatrician and a gynecologist specializing in pediatric gynecology can be consulted.
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How does the first visit to the gynecologist work?
After an initial conversation with the gynecologist, the gynecological examination follows. The patient only undresses as much as is necessary for the examination, i.e. she is never completely naked. Whether the chest or the lower body is examined first depends on the doctor treating you. The examination only takes a few minutes and can be interrupted by the patient at any time.
Breast examinations are used to prevent breast cancer and are usually not performed routinely in young girls. After the patient has taken off her top, the breast is examined. The gynecologist carefully scans both breasts for nodular changes. The armpits are also examined. The doctor may ask the patient to raise their arms for the exam or to put them on their hips for a better exam. After completing this examination, the patient puts her top back on and undresses her lower body.
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You will now sit on the examination chair. The back rests against the backrest, which has an approximately half-lying position, and the legs are spread apart and placed on the brackets provided for this purpose. First, the external genitals are assessed. Then small mirrors called specula are inserted into the vagina. This pulls the vagina a little apart and makes it easier for the examiner to see. If the patient has not yet had sexual intercourse, the smallest possible specula is selected so that the examination can be carried out gently. Then the vagina and cervix are assessed with the aid of a light source. A cell swab is taken from the latter using a cotton swab, which is then examined microscopically. This examination is part of the cancer screening examination, since the most common tumors of the female genitals can form from the cervix.
Finally, the palpation of the abdomen takes place. The gynecologist inserts one or two fingers with some lubricant gel into the vagina and places his other hand on the patient's lower abdomen. This means that tactile movements can be performed from the inside and something can be pressed against it with the outside hand. This allows the position, size and mobility of the uterus and ovaries to be assessed. If the patient is still a virgin, this examination is not carried out through the vagina but only by applying light external pressure on the lower abdomen and groin. This ends the examination and the patient dresses again. Any questions are then clarified, the examination results discussed and, if necessary, prescriptions are issued.
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What questions do you get asked?
Before the actual examination, the gynecologist has a conversation with the patient in which the first essential questions are clarified. If desired, especially with young patients or particularly shy of visiting a gynecologist, initially only a consultation and the examination can be carried out at a different appointment.
At the beginning of the conversation, the reason for the visit is asked. The next question is whether the patient is taking medication on a permanent basis, and if so, which one. It is also important for the doctor to know whether the patient suffers from illnesses or whether any are known in her close family. The special focus is on gynecological diseases, in particular on cancer diseases within the family. Before going to the gynecologist, it can be helpful to ask relatives whether the family knows any illnesses in order to be able to provide the doctor with information. It is also of interest to the gynecologist whether the patient has already had an operation in the course of her life.
Another part of the conversation is usually the period. It is important to know at what age it first occurred and when the last menstrual period was. There are also questions about how regularly this happens, how heavy the bleeding, any pain and how long the period is. The gynecologist also asks whether sexual intercourse has already taken place or whether the patient is still a virgin. This question is important in order to make the right choice of instruments during the investigation. If sexual intercourse has already taken place, the question usually arises as to whether it can take place without any problems or whether symptoms arise. The gynecologist can also ask whether and how contraception is used. The doctor also asks whether and which vaccinations the patient has received. It is important that there is always the opportunity to ask your own questions and address problems without hesitation.
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Which questions can / should you ask?
Right at the beginning it should be emphasized that every question about gynecological complaints, worries, sexuality or the functioning of the female body is justified and may always be asked. There are no wrong questions and you can talk to your gynecologist about the desired topics without shame. It can be helpful to put your own questions in writing before visiting the gynecologist so that you can ask them specifically during the consultation.
The gynecologist is the right contact if you want contraception. Here the patient can ask questions about the best individually suitable method, the mode of action, risks and side effects. If a pregnancy is planned, a consultation can also take place, questions can be asked and the necessary examinations can be carried out. Many women have the monthly cycle explained to them and answer questions about it, especially when they first visit the gynecologist. At this point, the patient can ask any worries or questions about a lack of regularity or particularly severe pain. You can also ask questions about the investigation and the instruments used.
Read more on the topic: Contraception
How do I ask the question about the pill?
Since the pill requires a prescription, the question of a pill prescription is a frequent reason for a visit to the gynecologist. The reason for the desired issue of the prescription is primarily to prevent pregnancy, but also to improve the appearance of the skin in the case of severe acne, cycle irregularities and particularly severe ones Pain during your period can be the cause (see also: Acne - this works best). It is important to tell the gynecologist your reasons for taking the pills you want. This enables him / her to select the right drug with the appropriate active ingredients and in the most sensible dosage. The question about the pill can be asked as part of a preventive examination, but also at any other time after making an appointment for a consultation. Before the prescription is issued, the gynecologist will perform a physical examination and ask questions about the risk assessment. It is possible that for certain reasons he / she refuses to issue a prescription and recommends other contraceptive methods.
There is no minimum age for the pill prescription. For girls younger than 14 years old, the pill is only prescribed with the consent of a parent or guardian. Between the ages of 14 and 16, the gynecologist decides, based on a personal assessment of the mental maturity of the adolescents, whether, in his / her opinion, responsible contraception can be assumed. Depending on his / her assessment, the parents will be informed or not. From the age of 16, young women receive a prescription independently without the knowledge of their legal guardians.
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What can I do about my fear?
Many women worry and get excited before going to the gynecologist for the first time. One can reduce anxiety, for example, with the right choice of gynecologist, since trust plays a major role due to the intimacy of the examination. If necessary, a friend can share her experiences and, if necessary, recommend her gynecologist. Many, especially young women, choose a doctor first. It can also help to bring someone you trust, such as your mother or partner, to the appointment.In order to feel better prepared, you can write down any questions you may have to the gynecologist and the time of your last period so that you have them ready at the right time. Proper personal hygiene can also improve well-being and reduce anxiety. It is completely sufficient to wash the lower body with clear water and do without intimate sprays or perfumed soap. Many women also feel more comfortable when they wear comfortable clothes for the examination, such as a wide skirt or a loose, long T-shirt. As a result, many do not feel completely naked even without panties.