You Can Get The Birth Control Pill Without Having An Internal Exam
It is not necessary to undergo a vaginal examination to start hormonal contraception. A directed abdominal-pelvic exam can be considered it does not require a genital exam and it will provide a great deal of important information, says Dr. Pizarro. The timing of when to start hormonal contraception depends: If periods are normal, then start soon after next normal period without a pregnancy test but a negative pregnancy test will allow for contraception to start right away.
When Should I Talk To My Ob
Since each womans body is unique, it can be difficult to tell whether the cramps youve grown used to are actually chronic. Use these common symptoms of chronic, severe menstrual cramps as a guideline to decide if its time to talk to an OB-GYN about your cramps.
- Your cramps interfere with your daily life
- The cramps last longer than two days
- No or minimal relief from over-the-counter pain medication
- You have cramps outside of your period
- You notice a change in how your cramps feel over time
Wondering If You Can Still Come To Your Gynecology Appointment When Youre On Your Period
Most of the time, yes. If its for your annual exam, sometimes the Pap Smear Test can be inconclusive if youre bleeding heavily, but if its one of the lighter days of your period, you should be fine. We have patients apologize all the time for needing to be examined when theyre on their period. Let us assure you, your bleeding will never shock or bother your gynecologist. We deal with bleeding all day, so please dont feel embarrassed. If you think you might have a vaginal infection, it can be difficult for us to see anything when youre bleeding, so that may be worth rescheduling your visit until your period is done.
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How Are Severe Menstrual Cramps Treated
When the usual home remedies to relieve period cramps are no match for your cramps, an OB-GYN can help you find relief from the pain. The most common treatments for severe menstrual cramps are:
- Hormonal birth control methods If your menstrual cramps are caused by a hormone imbalance, your doctor might recommend using a hormonal birth control. In addition to preventing pregnancy, taking hormonal birth control can help correct the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body, which effects the thickness of the uterine lining. Thinning the uterine lining can reduce prostaglandin and bring pain relief. Some birth control methods can cause women to skip their periods, eliminating cramps altogether.
- Prescription medication When over-the-counter medicines dont work, your doctor might prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These medicines are much stronger than similar ones youll find over-the-counter. They can significantly reduce prostaglandins in your uterus, which might thin the uterine lining and alleviate cramps. Prescription medication is used when a woman experiences severe, chronic cramps.
Can You Get An Annual Exam While On Your Period
While it may be possible to have inconclusive pap results while youre on your period, its also very likely that they would come out without any issues.
The reality is that we often schedule these appointments weeks in advance. Unless your period arrives every month like clockwork, its hard to figure out whether youre going to be on your period that far ahead.
About 30% of women have irregular periods, and all of them need to get regular pap tests. It would make no sense to have almost a third of the female population put off going to their gynecologist because they are experiencing one of the very things OB-GYN are experts about.
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Should You Remove Pubic Hair Before A Pelvic Exam
Everyone is free to make their own choices about how their pubic area looks, and this doesnt affect the procedure of a pelvic exam itself.
The decision has more to do with aesthetics than health. Pubic hair doesnt interfere with the examination or affect test results.
When preparing for an appointment, youre free to do whatever is most comfortable for you personally.
Intestinal gas formation is a natural process of the human body. During a pelvic exam, the health care provider will press on the stomach, which may sometimes lead to gas.
This is absolutely normal and part of a health care providers daily routine.
Avoiding foods that cause excessive gas before the appointment can help.
Some common gassy foods include legumes, dairy, grains, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, apples, peaches, pears, prunes, onions, candy, and chewing gum.
Having an empty bladder can also result in a more comfortable exam.
Continuous gas formation and bloating may be a symptom of ovarian disorders, so be sure to tell the gynecologist about it.
Pelvic exams are an important part of maintaining overall health. Lots of people feel nervous before the appointment, but a little planning and preparation can help ensure its a comfortable experience. Be honest with the health care provider, and feel free to ask any questions you may have.
Things You Should Always Discuss With Your Gynecologist
When it comes to sexual and reproductive health, it can be hard to know what’s “normal” and what may be a sign of a potential health problem. Even if you feel embarrassed about certain issues, your gynecologist has seen and heard it all and is there to help you, not to pass judgment.
Here are seven things you should always discuss with your gynecologist:
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What To Expect During The Exam
What happens during a gynecologist appointment will vary based on why youre there.
Wondering what a pelvic exam is like on your period?
Before the pelvic exam, the gynecologist will send you to the bathroom to remove whatever menstrual product youre using, says Gersh. Meaning, youll pull out your tampon, slip out your disc, or remove your cup.
Next, if youre at a heavy stage of your cycle, the doctor will likely take a giant Q-tip to remove some blood still in the vaginal canal. The blood can obscure the cervix and viewing, she explains.
Then, the appointment will proceed as it would if you *didnt* have your period.
There would be no other changes, says Gersh. The patient wont experience any additional pains or procedures just because theyre currently menstruating.
How Do I Know If My Menstrual Cramps Are Normal
Menstrual cramps feel a little different to every woman. They can feel like a constant dull ache, occasional shooting pains or anything in between. Typically, women feel cramps in the lower stomach but they can also affect the groin, thighs and lower back.
Each woman experiences unique menstruation symptoms and theres no true normal. Some women might have cramps during every period. Some might notice that their cramps lessen with age. Others might never experience period cramps. But up to 20 percent of women experience painful cramps, or whats known medically as dysmenorrhea, making it difficult to enjoy their daily activities. Still, many women are afraid to speak to their doctor about their cramps.
Theres no reason to stay quiet about your cramps. Our OB-GYNs are here to listen to your concerns without judgement and help find a way to make your periods as painless as possible.
If youre not sure whether medical treatment is needed to help with your cramps, just ask us! During your next appointment, talk to your doctor about:
- The level of pain cramps cause you
- How long your cramps last
- The average length of your cycle
- How much you bleed during your period
- Other things you may have noticed, like spotting or pain outside your period
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Your First Gynecologist Visit: 10 Things To Expect
There comes a time in every person with a vaginas life that they must start seeing an ob-gyn. I went for my first gynecologist visit after I got my first period, and she just acted like the blood coming out of my vagina was normal, so I did too. When I got to college, I had a few friends claim to be best friends with their gyno. Complete honesty without shame? Sign me up. Talking to your gyno about things like vaginal discharge might seem odd if youre not used to talking about that stuff, but your ob-gyns job is to make you feel comfortable about the uncomfortable. Got a question about a new smell? Ask it.
Before you make your first appointment, we found out exactly what you should know before your first gyno visit by talking to Sherry Ross, M.D., ob-gyn and womens health expert at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California, and Antonio Pizarro, M.D., a board-certified gynecologist in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Below are 10 more things every person should know before going to the gyno.
Can You Get A Pelvic Exam When You Have Your Period
can you still get a pelvic exam at planned paernthood if u are on you period?
Yes, its totally okay to get a pelvic exam when youre on your period. But most nurses and doctors would rather do your pelvic exam on a non-period day when youre not bleeding, or at least not bleeding heavily. Thats because menstrual fluid can affect the results of some lab tests. But if you have questions about your menstrual fluid or another issue with your period that you want your nurse or doctor to take a look at, go ahead and schedule your pelvic exam during your period.
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Can You Get A Pap Smear On Your Period
Now that you know what happens at a gynecology appointment, we would like to answer some common questions about testing. Can you get a Pap smear at an OBGYN appointment during your period? Yes, you can. It is ideal, however, to schedule your Pap smear test, short for Papanicolaou test, about 5 days after your period, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. You can read more about this at www.ASCO.org.
Is it ok to go to the gynecologist while having your period and still get a Pap smear? Yes because it can detect precancerous or even cancerous changes in the cells of the cervix, it is important to not miss a Pap smear. Your doctor will normally wipe away the blood or any vaginal discharge before taking the sample. This process will help enable the lab to detect any cell abnormalities in the sample.
Can you get a Pap smear on your period and it still be accurate? A Pap smear test can still be performed even if you are having your period and the accuracy of the test is rarely affected with light or normal bleeding, according to studies done by The British Journal of Cancer please see www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov for further research on this topic.
If your pap smear interpretation is inconclusive, you may need to reschedule a second Pap smear test. Make sure and reach out to us with any questions you have about getting a Pap smear, especially if your period is heavy.
You Dont Need To Wax Or Shave Before Your Appointment
Some women consider grooming their vaginas as part of their weekly or monthly beauty prep along with their mani-pedi and brow wax. Its not necessary to shave or wax your vagina before getting a gynecologic exam, Dr. Ross ensures. Vaginal grooming is your personal choice. The main consideration on how to prepare for an exam is to simply be clean, so showering or using a vaginal hygiene wipe prior to your visit is suggested.
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Drink Some Water Before You Show Up Youre Going To Pee In A Cup
You will need to pee in a cup during your gynecologic exam. When you pee in a cup the gynecologist is able to perform a dipstick test of your urine, Dr. Ross says. This simple office test can check to see if you have anything you may be unaware of happening in your body. Finding bacteria can suggest a bladder infection or finding sugar may suggest you have diabetes.
When Should My Daughter First Go To The Gynecologist
My daughter is 13, and I’m not sure when she should start seeing a gynecologist. What is the right age to take this step? Erin
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that girls first see a gynecologist when they’re between the ages of 13 and 15. Most girls will not need a pelvic exam during this first visit, though. Many gynecologists will just do a regular health exam and talk to a girl about her development.
This is a great way for your daughter to develop a relationship with her gynecologist, so that she is comfortable sharing personal information in the future.
While all teenage girls should see a gynecologist, it is especially important if your daughter has been sexually active or has problems with her period.
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Reasons You Should See Your Obgyn Or Gynecologist
There are many reasons to visit your OBGYN or gynecologist. Below are the typical reasons someone would come in for an appointment at Madison Womens Health.
- Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Pain while going to the bathroom
- Age-related screenings for breast cancer, colon cancer, osteoporosis, and bone health.
- Pap smear and pelvic exam
- HPV screening beginning at age 25
If you have other health symptoms or concerns, such as questions about skin issues, painful joints and aching muscles, anxiety and depression, it is perfectly fine to ask your OBGYN about them. As a primary care provider, your OBGYN can give you care and write prescriptions. They will also refer you to other specialists as needed.
When And Why A Teen Should Start Seeing A Gynecologist
A pediatric and adolescent gynecologist explains how to know when your daughter is ready for a visit, and how to prepare.
For many parents of teen girls, the question of when teens need to start seeing a gynecologist sparks uncertainty.
The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology recommend annual Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer starting at age 21, regardless of sexual activity. But issues can come up long before then.
Because the average age for starting menstruation is 12 years and 9 months in the U.S., its appropriate for girls to begin seeing a gynecologist as early as age 13, says Melina Dendrinos, M.D., a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist at Von Voigtlander Womens Hospital and the Brighton Center for Specialty Care.
Dendrinos explains more about when and why teen girls should visit a gynecologist as well as what parents should know before they go.
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