Do you need to see a gynecologist or can your family doctor help you? A family doctor or nurse practitioner can help most women with all of the general questions and concerns that they have about their reproductive health. Whether it is birth control, premenstrual syndrome, questions about pregnancy or menopause, the doctor you see for your general medical needs can assist and treat you as required.
Once you get to the office, after some general questions are asked, you will be weighed and have both your pulse and blood pressure recorded. You will be given a gown to change into, so it is not a good time to wear clothes that are difficult to change out of. In some cases, you will be given a cup to provide the gynecologist with a urine sample. This can test for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, if applicable to you. If you are not sexually active, you will likely not get these tests, but you might still be tested for diabetes.
The most worrisome part for many is the pelvic exam, in which you will lie back and put your feet in stirrups. The gynecologist will put on some gloves and then examine the exterior of the area for anything that looks abnormal. The next step is inserting a speculum, which is a metal device that will prop you open so that the doctor can see inside.
They can also provide counseling about birth control. If you want to discuss PMS or irregular periods you have been experiencing, a nurse practitioner or primary health care provider is the one to do that with. You do not require a gynecologist for these concerns.
Before the Exam: Once you schedule your exam, but before you go, it’s a good idea to make a list of the things that you want to talk to your gynecologist about. Many times we’ll think about things and make a mental note to mention them, but when exam time rolls around, we forget all about them. Try to have a pen and tablet nearby, such as in your purse or in a kitchen drawer when you’re home.
During Your Exam: A gynecological exam will usually consist of a pap smear, a pelvic examination, and usually a breast examination. While the doctor is performing these examinations, be sure to speak up if you feel anything that concerns you. Do you feel pain in a certain area when the doctor is performing one of the exams? Bring it up right then, so the doctor can pay extra attention to the area.
Going to the gynecologist in Roanoke is something you should get used to. Healthy women usually go at least once per year. Despite it sometimes being uncomfortable, it is better to go annually than risk issues that could have been cured had they been caught early.