What to expect during a trip to the gynecologist?

There is nothing to fear here.

It’s no surprise that when I start typing “What to expect…” into Google, one of the top results is “from a visit to the gynecologist.” (“…when you expect” is of course the search engine’s favorite response). Does it say more about my search history or society in general? Who knows but it’s a red hot topic.


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To be honest, I’ve only been a few times in my life, and each experience was barely memorable. All the North American podcasts I listen to to discuss their “annual medical”, which always involves an extra gynecological check-up, it seems. Did I miss these important annual appointments? And what can I expect? I spoke with dr. Latika Cillya Melbourne-based obstetrician and gynaecologist, to get the answers.

How often should we see the gynaecologist?

“There’s no real set duration that you have to see one,” Dr. Cilly tells me. (My podcast-related fears are relieved immediately.) Instead, it depends if you’re having trouble. “If you’re not getting answers, if you’re suffering and you’ve tried multiple avenues, and you think you need to see a specialist, then you need to see a specialist.”

If you have a strong family history of gynecologic cancers (ovarian, uterine, cervical, vulvar, or vaginal cancer), Dr. Cilly, however, has a checkup every two to three years. “Otherwise, in general, if you’re fit and healthy, most things can usually be done at your GP level.”

What are the most common reasons to see a gynecologist?

The most common reasons, she tells me, have to do with: abnormal menstrual bleeding “Most of the time, we find that as women we are obviously tough creatures who handle things and struggle when we have iron deficiency or anemia.

“We still don’t attribute it to our periods, [the] amount of blood we lose,” said Dr Cilly. An important indicator of excessive blood loss is the passing of large clots. “Your body is trying to prevent you from losing that much blood,” she explains. These kinds of symptoms can be reasons to see a specialist.

Other issues include abnormal cervical screening tests (the updated term for ye olde pap smears), postpartum prolapse, and cell fertility options.

What can one expect on their first visit?

“Don’t worry,” Dr. Cilly says. “It’s like seeing other doctors.” In her soothing presence, the thought of a visit isn’t so bad. As she puts it: “It’s a part of your body” [and] it’s a system that also needs care, just like any other part of your body. That’s all you do. You go to a doctor with a problem.’

Before making an appointment, Dr Cilly reminds me that a referral from a GP is required. It’s also helpful to have past health information to hand, including any studies done with your GP (or at the very least knowing who and where your GP is). Be aware of both your own and your family’s medical history to provide more background information.

dr. Cilly says most gynecologists will try to put you at ease before getting into the nitty-gritty, talking about life and pets and nicer things. If you delve into the matter, you can answer questions like: When did you have your last Pap smear? Did it go well? What is your sexual frequency? Have you had sexually transmitted diseases in the past? What do your periods do – how often do you get them and how heavy are they?

“A gynecological check-up should not be painful,” she assures me. If an internal check-up is required, we should not leave the appointment feeling traumatized or in excessive pain. “Yes, it’s uncomfortable. It never gets comfortable. It’s not a fun exam. But it’s not painful, and it shouldn’t be. If so, then it was done wrong.”

Dispel the myths

Do you have to be all? hair free and shaving before your appointment? “You really don’t have to… that is not a condition for your examination with a gynaecologist.”

Another common question Dr. Cilly is asked is ‘What if you have your period? Can you really take an exam then?’. “That’s probably the best time to examine a patient because most pathologies are pretty obvious,” she says. Endometriosis, in particular, is more detectable during your period, so don’t hesitate. “We do this all the time. And we don’t mind.”

Something that is very clear from our chat is that nothing puts off a good gynecologist. They’ve all seen it. There is also nothing embarrassing or embarrassing about making an appointment.

Before we end the conversation, Dr. Cilly a reminder on the cervical screening test changes – they are every five years if you are sexually active or 25 and older. “Australia is one of the countries leading to the eradication of cervical cancer. So when we’re done with the program, we won’t see cervical cancer as soon.” It’s as easy as a visit to your GP (and not as scary, really).

Fortunately, I don’t have to make an annual appointment, but when the time comes, I know there is nothing to be afraid of. Find a gynecologist with whom you feel comfortable and entrust your problems to professionals.

For more information on when to see a gynecologist, try this one

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