Going to the Gyno for the First Time

You may be thinking, "What happens during a pelvic exam?" or "Do I need to see a doctor to get birth control?" No matter your reason for scheduling your first gynecology visit, knowing what to expect can make the experience easier! We sat down with Jamie L. Benway, MD, a physician practicing at Women’s Comprehensive Health Care, to learn the top reasons that teens and young adults choose to see a gynecologist or women’s health specialist for the first time:

1) Find out if your period is normal.

You may be having trouble with your periods or having hormonal issues related to your periods. Some people experience irregular bleeding, heavy bleeding, cramping, or PMS symptoms such as mood swings and bloating. We have many ways to help manage these symptoms.

2) Find the right birth control.

New patients often come to discuss birth control options, including condoms, birth control pills, implants, injections, IUDs, and vaginal rings. Together, we’ll discuss the different options and help you decide which may be best for you.

3) Get any problems checked out.

Some people have gynecology concerns related to infections or pain. We’ll evaluate those symptoms using exams, ultrasounds, specialist referrals or labs. Then, we’ll decide which treatment options can help.

4) Have screenings to make sure you're healthy.

Many people see us for routine checkups, with no specific concerns. In this case, a visit may include instructing you on how to perform a breast self-exam. We may also perform a pelvic exam, particularly if you are sexually active. A pelvic exam usually consists of two parts: the speculum exam and the bimanual exam. Aa speculum is a small duck-bill-shaped instrument that allows us to see within the vagina and into the cervix. This may be done to check for infections, to perform a pap smear or to check for causes of irregular bleeding or pain. The bimanual exam allows us to feel over your uterus and ovaries to check for cysts, causes of pain or masses. This exam is performed by placing one gloved finger within the vagina and one hand on your abdomen. With gentle pressure, we are able to assess for problems.

5) Take a pregnancy test.

Some people see us once they become pregnant. We can help guide you through pregnancy options and pregnancy care.

Your Women’s Health Connecticut provider is here to answer any questions you may have about your gynecological and reproductive health. While your first gynecology visit can sometimes be intimidating, know that we’re here to make you as comfortable as possible. If you would like a chaperone to accompany you during any visit, just let the front desk know upon your arrival. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns before your first appointment. We’re happy to help!

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