What to Expect During Your Annual Gynecological Exam
Going to the gynecologist isn’t usually something women eagerly anticipate. The anxiety and discomfort women feel is increased particularly when it’s their first annual exam. At Augusta & Waterville Women’s Care in Waterville, ME, we are committed to making all of our patients feel comfortable and relaxed. Here are a few things to expect during an annual gynecology examination.
How should I prepare for my exam?
The most important thing to do before your appointment is research. Women should be prepared to discuss their family medical history and be ready for questions about their menstrual cycle. Some of the most commonly asked questions your provider may ask include:
- When was your last period?
- How long does your period typically last?
- What age did you start your period?
- Are you sexually active?
What should I expect for my annual exam in Maine?
The pelvic exam only lasts a few minutes and the exam itself doesn’t hurt. Most physicians will explain the process before beginning the exam, and asking questions throughout the process is encouraged. The pelvic exam consists of the following steps:
- Your doctor will typically begin the annual exam with a breast exam to check for lumps that may be a sign of cancer.
- Your physician will then check the external genital area for irritations, cysts or other problems.
- Next, the physician will insert a speculum, which is an instrument that is used to examine the cervix and vaginal walls. During this time, the doctor will also conduct a pap smear to check for cancerous and pre-cancerous cells.
- The last step in the physical exam is for the physician to check the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries by inserting gloved fingers into the vagina and pressing on the abdomen.
Not only does the annual exam ensure that you maintain good gynecological health, but it is also an opportunity for you to catch health problems in the early stages.
If it’s time to schedule your annual exam, please make an appointment by calling (207) 877-7477 today.