The first appointment with a gynecologist can sbe very stressful. What examination will he perform? When should you go for the first time? Here's everything you need to know to approach this moment with peace of mind!
Why consult a gynecologist for the first time?
There are many reasons why you might want to visit a gynecologist for the first time.
Doing a genital check-up
The first consultation for young girls is often a time for discussion between the professional and the patient. This may be to smake sure that puberty and development are going well, that you have no particular problems, pain, abnormal bleeding, etc. It's also a time when you can ask any questions you may have about your body and how it works, puberty, contraception, etc... periods
It's always a good idea to be followed up by a health professional, even if you're under no obligation to do so if you're not experiencing any particular problems.
The doctor may also prescribe a screening test for sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
The first periods
The first gynecological appointment can be made after the first periods for young girls. If you've just had your periods, you're under no obligation to consult a gynecologist.
Starting contraceptive treatment
Finally, some women consult their gynecologist for the first time when they need contraception, often at the start of their sexuality. You can ask your gynecologist any questions you may have about the different types of contraception available on the market. He or she will be able to advise you and show you all types of contraception (pill, IUD, implant, etc.), depending on your periods and your cycle, your age, what you prefer, etc.
Moreover, for this gynecology appointment, it's up to you to choose whether you prefer to be accompanied or not. A relative can accompany you, but usually remains in the waiting room.
What is the right age for a first appointment with a gynecologist?
The age of a woman's first appointment with a gynecologist varies. Some go for their first appointment at 15, while others go at 23. There's no ideal time.
However, from the age of 25 onwards, cervical cancer screening smears are strongly recommended. Before that, if you don't have any particular problems, there's really no reason to have a gynecological examination. It's up to each woman to decide whether or not she wants to be followed up by a gynecologist, even if she has no particular problem.
How does the first gynecological appointment work?
The first appointment takes place in several stages. To prepare you as well as possible, we've outlined below the classic procedure for a gynaecological appointment!
Dialogue and exchange with the practitionerIt generally begins with a discussion between the practitioner and the patient. This exchange is essential to establish a relationship of trust. The gynecologist will first perform what is known as theanamnesisIn other words, he or she will ask you a series of very general questions to establish your general state of health. The questions cover your medical history and that of your family. He will also ask you gynecological questions, about your menstrual cycle and how it works.
This information is of course recorded confidentially and subject to medical secrecy.
This exchange is important, and you need to make sure you answer it as well as possible, as it will help the specialist to prescribe the right medication or contraception.
Here are some examples of questions you might be asked:
- The date of your first periods if you have already had them
- If your periods are regular
- Medical treatments you have already received
- Operations you have already undergone, or if you have any scheduled
And much, much more!
Examination and auscultationThen comes the examination and auscultation. First and foremost: the examination at the gynaecological appointment is not a medical procedure. not systematic. However, the practitioner may find it useful to carry out certain examinations in certain cases, for example when fitting an IUD or when there is a suspicion of pathology.
Before examining you, the practitioner will explain what he or she is going to do and why.
Next, you'll lie back with your legs high up in the stirrups.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the examinations you may have:
- vaginal touch: this is a very common, painless procedure. The practitioner inserts one finger into the vagina, while using the other hand to palpate the lower abdomen. This examination is used to check the position of the uterus, ovaries and perineum.
- another frequent examination: palpation. Palpation allows you to check for lumps or abnormal bumps in your breasts and armpits.
- Screening smear test: as explained above, smear tests are only carried out from the age of 25. It involves taking a sample of cells from the cervix. To carry out this examination, the specialist uses a speculum to spread the walls of the vagina and reach the cervix with a cotton swab. Rest assured: this examination is quick and painless.
- lUltrasound of the abdomen: a probe is passed over the patient's abdomen to allow the organs to be seen.
- transvaginal ultrasound: this examination shows the uterine cavity, the endometrium (the mucous membrane of the uterus that leaks during periods), the size and position of the uterus, and the size of the ovaries.
These examinations are important to s'make sure you're in good shape!
After examining you, the gynecologist will give you an assessment of your state of health and present you with various solutions depending on your needs, etc.
Important: In any case, it's not compulsory: feel free to say no, to express your refusal.
How do you find your first gynecologist?Often, the gynecologist lwe go to see is recommended by our mother, older sister, friend, etc...
It's important to feel confident and safe with your gynecologist. A lasting relationship of trust sneeds to be established. You are free to change doctors at any time if you wish and feel the need to do so.
If no one recommends it, you can also :
- ask your GP which gynaecologist he recommends
- ask a family planning center
- look on the Internet for gynecologists near you (you can trust the reviews)
Your general practitioner may also carry out your gynecological check-up.
To book an appointment, you can visit doctolib, or make an appointment by telephone.
You can bring a relative (mother, sister, friend) to your gynecological check-up.
How often should I see my gynaecologist?
The frequency of a gynecological consultation depends on your age and your history. We generally recommend a visit every two years. However, you can also go every year or every 6 months. This is particularly useful if you are taking contraception. You can also book an appointment if you've had unsafe sex, or for any other problem.
First appointment FAQs
What is the first visit to the gynaecologist like?
The first visit is primarily a time for discussion between doctor and patient. The examination is neither systematic nor compulsory. Cervical cancer screening smears are only recommended for women aged 25 and over.
How to s'dress when going to the gynecologist?
You can dress however you like, the important thing is to feel comfortable.