Whether you’re heading to the gynecologist for an annual checkup or to get help with a medical issue, there are several things you can do, or avoid, beforehand to make your visit as streamlined as possible. Having efficient and thorough appointments is important because many women use their OB-GYN as their primary care doctor.
1. Make sure you ask for the appropriate type of appointment.
Physicals can be quicker but if you are having concerns make sure you ask for adequate time with your doctor or ask for an additional problem visit another day.
2. Try not to schedule your appointment while you are on your period.
Many times a visit to the gynecologist will involve a pelvic exam, it is best to not be on your period for these exams. Blood may interfere with the results of tests, like a Pap test. Although, there are certain situations when making a visit on your period may be inevitable or necessary, for example if you have heavy or irregular periods. However, if you happen to be on your period during your scheduled appointment, do NOT cancel! While the situation may be a little ‘uncomfortable’ for you, remember it’s not for your OB-GYN – it’s what they do
3. Keep track of your cycle.
At some point during your appointment, your provider will ask you, “When was the first day of your last period?” Make it easier on yourself, and your gynecologist, by knowing the answer to this question. You can keep up with your cycle in a planner or in your phone, there are even period tracker apps!
4. Have health updates for your doctor.
It is important to tell your doctor about any medications you have begun or stopped taking. You should also note any changes in your health since your last visit. Bring up the “small” stuff too. Remember, the more your doctor knows about your health, the better! Don’t overlook family medical records, either. If your grandmother was just diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor should know. This will give your provider more information about your potential health risks, which will help give you a more thorough and focused checkup.
5. Come prepared with questions.
Do you ever think back on an appointment and kick yourself because you forgot to ask something you wanted to? Feel free to keep a list of questions for your provider. At Greenville Women’s Clinic we want to give women the knowledge and power to take control of their health.
6. There are certain things you should avoid doing before your appointment.
It is advised to not have intercourse or douche before going to see your OB-GYN. Both can obscure or mask abnormal cells that the Pap test is screening for, which can lead to an erroneous result. You do not need to clean in any way outside of your normal routine before an appointment. You should be using a gentle cleanser daily.
While going to the gynecologist isn’t something many women look forward to, it is an important part of staying healthy. At Greenville Women’s Care, it is our goal to make every woman feel as relaxed as possible, no matter the reason they come to see us. Our doctors, nurses and staff are here to make sure you have a pleasant experience in our office. By following the above advice and with just a little preparation, you can help make your next appointment the most informative and productive yet! Are you due for your annual checkup? Call us today to schedule your appointment!