Doctor appointments in general are never fun, but I think all females can agree that going to the gynecologist holds a special place in our list of “things we would rather not do but have to do anyway.” You’re literally paying to see a stranger who will stick a metal object as far into your vagina as possible and then send you on your way. It’s not fun.
I was 16-years-old when I went to the gynecologist for the first time, and I was pretty scared of the appointment. While the idea of the Pap smear really freaked me out, I was also nervous about getting totally naked in front of a person other than my boyfriend. I also found myself stressed out, wondering if the gyno was going to tell me I had some horrible vagina disease or, horrors of all horrors, that I was actually pregnant.
To make a long story short, it was fine, and now I literally don’t care about going to the gyno. But I do wish that I had known the below information before my first visit. Here are 18 things no one ever told you about going to the gyno:
1. You have to pee in a cup.
They use that to do a pregnancy test, to test for some STDs or STIs, and to make sure you don’t have any infections. Make sure you drink water before you go because they WILL make you pee!
2. You usually have to get totally naked.
Like, not just shirt off or underwear off. Everything comes off. And the gown they give you is usually pretty pathetic. Luckily, it’s a short amount of time, so just deal.
3. Your gyno will know if you had sex the night before.
Having sex the night before can also mess up the results of a Pap smear, so just wait until your after appointment to get frisky, okay?
4. Speaking of Pap smears, you probably need one.
To answer Schmidt’s question, yes! A Pap smear is a way for your gynecologist to check for cervical cancer. They scrap your cervix to send to a lab to test it. This means your legs have to be wide open, and a metal object is inserted in there.
5. The tool is cold.
6. Pap smears definitely aren’t pleasant, but they’re also not as bad as everyone makes them seem.
Pap smears hurt a little because of the tool inside of you, the pressure you’ll feel when your doctor is scraping the cervix, and also probably because you’re nervous and tensing up. They’re uncomfortable and awkward, but they’re SUPER fast, and honestly, they aren’t the worst things in the world. Plus, they keep you healthy!
7. Your gyno will see EVERYTHING, so there’s no point in trying to cover up.
Don’t even bother trying to hide anything. They are all up in your vagina.
8. They’ll ask you personal questions, and things will be easier if you’re honest.
Your gyno is going to ask personal questions about your sexual history and many more things. Just tell him/her the truth. They don’t care what you do and I’m sure they’ve honestly heard everything. They just need to know so they know how to treat you properly.
9. They will not tell your parents things if you don’t want them to.
Just let your doctor know that you don’t want your parents to know if you’re sexually active or whatever. Legally, they cannot tell them if you say they can’t.
10. But if something has to go through insurance, your parents WILL find out.
Your parents won’t know what’s going on until they see what’s going on with their health insurance (assuming you’re covered under their plan). They’ll see the bill for the doctor, for the lab work, and for birth control (if you go on that). If you don’t want them knowing something, go to a clinic like Planned Parenthood so you don’t have to go through insurance.
11. They will probably try to talk you into some form of birth control.
Gynecologists are obviously big on birth control because it prevents pregnancy, keeps you safe, and makes them money. They’ll bring it up, and they might pressure you a little, but a good doctor will respect what you want to do.
12. Gynos have lots of samples and they usually understand insurance and money woes. Sometimes they’ll give you samples if you ask.
When my old birth control pill was no longer covered under my insurance, my gyno gave me a few months worth of samples, which was really nice. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
13. They will not give you a refill on your Pill if you’re overdue for an appointment.
Stay on top of your gynecologist appointments, because if you need a refill, they usually won’t do it unless you come in and get checked. It’s annoying, but it’s done for your safety.
14. The gyno isn’t the only one seeing you naked – the assisting nurse is also in there.
15. You can’t go when you have your period, so plan around that.
16. Breast checks happen. They also hurt.
I know breast exams are important, but sometimes I want to be like, “You know boobs are sensitive, right?”
17. They’re going to ask you when your last period was, so try to remember.
18. You’re going to feel weird at first, but don’t worry – you’ll get over it pretty quickly.
Which of these things do you agree or disagree with? What did I forget to include? Tell me in the comments.