I am almost positive I have a vaginal infection. I am a teenager, and I don’t fully know about possible infections and their symptoms. I’ve had vaginal odor for a while now, and I have waited a very long time to look it up. In about the past week, it has gotten horrible. It’s also me and my boyfriend’s anniversary today, so sometime this week we were planning on losing our virginity to each other. I may have to postpone that. Because I self-diagnosed an infection, I know I need to go to my mom to bring me to the OB/GYN. But the problem is, I am nervous to have someone looking down there. Any tips to help me be more secure about it?
It’s completely understandable that you’re nervous about going to the gynecologist for the first time. Here’s the unfortunate truth: a trip to the gyno’s office is never going to be particularly fun. But I can guarantee that it’s probably not going to be as bad as you think it will be.
First things first: if you think you have an infection, you definitely need to tell your mom and get yourself over to the doctor. Some vaginal infections will heal themselves, but others won’t, and they need to be treated, especially if you’ve had it for a while. I don’t know your symptoms and I’m not a doctor, so I can’t tell you that you definitely have one. But if you have a strong odor, more discharge than usual, and any kind of discomfort down there, you should definitely get checked out.
That being said, this is nothing to be embarrassed about. gURLs get vaginal infections all the time. While it might be super uncomfortable, it’s totally normal, nothing to be ashamed of, and you can get infections without even being sexually active.
And if you’re worried about your doctor looking at your vagina, you shouldn’t be. This might sound a little weird, but a gynecologist has seen a lot of vaginas, and she or he definitely isn’t going to judge you or be shocked by anything. It might feel extremely awkward to have someone up close and personal down there, but just think of it as that this is his/her job. Asking to see a female doctor might make you more comfortable, too.
When you’re there, your doc will probably do something called a pap smear, where a metal speculum (sort of like kitchen tongs!) is used to open up your vagina so it can be checked more thoroughly. Having this done doesn’t affect your virginity, and it’s only uncomfortable for a couple seconds. The more you relax, the easier it’ll be.
Long story short, the gynecologist’s office isn’t nearly as bad as people say, and that you’ll be so glad you went when you’re all healthy and better.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org