How should you prepare for your first appointment with your gynaecologist?

Comment se préparer pour son premier rendez-vous chez le gynécologue ?

The first appointment with a gynecologist can be very stressful. What test will he perform? When should you go for the first time? We'll tell you 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 your gynaecologist for the first time.

To have your genital health checked

Often, the first visit to a gynecologist for a young girl is a time for discussion between the professional and the patient. It may be, for example, to make 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 all the questions you like about your body and how it works, puberty, menstruation, the different forms of contraception, etc.
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.

Onset of menstruation

The first gynecological appointment can be made following the first menstrual period for young girls. If you've just started menstruating, you're under no obligation to consult a gynecologist.

Starting contraceptive treatment

Last but not least, some women consult their gynecologist for the first time when they need to take contraception, often at the start of their sexuality. You can ask your gynecologist any questions you may have about the various contraceptive methods 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 period and cycle, your age, what you prefer, etc.
For this gynecology appointment, it's up to you 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 for a first appointment with a gynecologist varies from woman to woman. 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.

What happens at the first gynecological appointment?

The first appointment takes place in several stages. To prepare you as well as possible, we've outlined below the classic procedure for a gynecological appointment!

Dialogue and exchange with the practitioner

The appointment generally begins with a discussion between the practitioner and the patient. This exchange is essential to establish a relationship of trust. First, the gynecologist will take what's known as ananamnesis, i.e. he or she will ask you a series of very general questions about yourself, to establish your general state of health. The questions concern 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 is 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 you a particular medication or contraception.
Here are a few examples of questions you might be asked:

  • The date of your first period, if you've already had one
  • Whether your periods are regular
  • Medical treatments you've already received
  • Operations you've already had, or if you have any scheduled

And much more!

Examination and auscultation

Next comes the examination and auscultation. First and foremost: an examination during a gynaecological appointment is not systematic. However, the practitioner may deem 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's going to do and why.
Next, you'll lie down with your legs high up in the stirrups.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the examinations you may undergo:

  • vaginal touch: this is a very common, painless procedure. The practitioner will insert a finger into the vagina, while at the same time palpating the lower abdomen with his other hand. This examination is used to check the position of the uterus, ovaries and perineum.
  • another frequent examination: palpation. Palpation is used 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.
  • Ultrasound of the abdomen: a probe is passed over the patient's abdomen to reveal the organs.
  • transvaginal ultrasound: this examination shows the uterine cavity, the endometrium (the mucous membrane of the uterus that leaks during menstruation), the size and position of the uterus, and the size of the ovaries.

These examinations are important to ensure that you are in good shape!
After examining you, the gynecologist will give you a report on 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 I find my first gynaecologist?

Often, the gynecologist we go to see is recommended by our mother, older sister, friend, etc.
It's important to feel safe and secure with your gynecologist. A lasting relationship of trust needs 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 advises you to do so, you can also :

  • ask your GP which gynaecologist he or she would recommend
  • ask at a family planning center
  • look on the Internet for gynecologists near you (you can trust the reviews)

It is also possible for your GP to carry out your gynecological check-up.
To book an appointment, you can go to doctolib, or make an appointment by phone.
You can bring a relative (mother, sister, friend) to this gynecological appointment.

How often should I see my gynecologist?

The frequency of a gynecological consultation depends on your age and your previous 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 FAQ

What's the first visit to the gynecologist 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.

What should I wear to the gynecologist?

You can dress as you like - the important thing is to feel comfortable.

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The information contained in the articles on www-elia-lingerie.com is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.