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VERIFIED CONTENTAuthor: Klaudia Kierzkowska, graduate of chemistry at the University of Warsaw

The first visit to the gynecologist is a stressful event in the life of every woman, especially those who have not yet started intercourse. One of the more common reasons girls see a doctor is because they choose contraception or have an abnormality in the reproductive system. What is worth knowing about the first visit to the gynecologist?

A visit to the gynecologistdoes not require any special preparations, apart from the basic rules of personal hygiene. Epilation of intimate parts is not necessary. It's best to make an appointment a few days after your period ends. It is worth remembering that it is not a reason to be ashamed.

When to make your first appointment?

Regular visits to the gynecologist are a mandatory element of he alth prevention for every woman. Ideally, the first visit should take place within a year after the onset of intercourse, and in the case of virgins - until the age of 25.

However, an equally good time to be examined and consulted is to start menstruation. Unfortunately, in practice, it often happens that teenagers or older women visit a gynecologist for the first time only when they notice unpleasant ailments.

It also happens that only women who are expecting a baby arrange their first visit to the doctor, and thus the first gynecological examination. It's definitely too late.

What should prompt you to visit?

Some women come to the gynecologist's appointment right after the first menstruation, others after the onset of intercourse, and others only when they are pregnant. Determining the best moment is difficult and depends on a specific person.

If a teenager has regular periods, does not have intercourse, has not noticed any abnormalities, and her mother provides her with reliable knowledge, you can wait for a visit.

However, if you experience itching, burning, discharge, pain in the lower abdomen or painful and irregular periods, it is worth visiting a gynecologist. The examination should not be delayed if a woman is planning to become pregnant or wants to start using contraception.

What should you know before your first visit?

We don't need any referral to see a gynecologist. Each onea woman can sign up for a free visit under the National He alth Fund, as well as for a paid, private visit.

You will need an ID card, school or student ID or other proof of identity. Importantly, a woman has the right to choose the doctor she wants to sign up for. He can decide whether it will be a woman or a man. And although every doctor is competent, it is worth going to the gynecologist on the recommendation for the first visit.

Underage patients should go to the appointment with their guardian, who does not need to be present during the examination. However, the doctor will provide him with information about the state of he alth. Every person under the age of 16 has no right to make decisions about their he alth and treatment. The consent of the parent or legal guardian is required.

Importantly, the doctor is bound by professional secrecy, and thus he cannot inform the parent whether the girl is a virgin or not. Teenagers who have not yet started intercourse may visit a pediatric gynecologist for their first visit.

What is the doctor asking about?

During the first visit, the doctor will collect basic information about general he alth and medical history. The gynecologist will ask about the date of the last menstruation, the length of the cycle, medications used, any symptoms and the reason for the visit. The first contact with a gynecologist can be stressful, so you should prepare your answers on a piece of paper in advance.

How is the test done?

Every doctor knows that gynecological examination - especially the first - is embarrassing for a woman. After the medical interview, the gynecologist will invite the patient to the gynecological chair, where the examination will be performed in a reclining position. In a secluded place (usually a toilet located in a doctor's office), a woman has to undress from the waist down. In many offices, disposable skirts are available, which the patient puts on during the examination.

A gynecological examination consists of a thorough examination of the internal genitalia, and after insertion of a speculum (in sexually active women), an assessment of the cervix, vaginal walls and the collection of a cytology.

Cytology is a basic test that involves taking a smear of the cervical cells with a special brush. Cytology, which should be performed on average every 2-3 years, allows you to avoid getting cervical cancer. Irregularities are quickly detected, they are almost 100 percent. curable.

Next, the gynecologist performs a two-handed examination - he introduces one or two fingers into the vagina, touching the cervix with them, and at the same time the other hand compresses the lower abdomen. Thanks to the examination, the doctor can detectpossible abnormalities within the reproductive organ, check the position and size of the uterus. In some cases, the doctor decides to perform a transvaginal ultrasound, thanks to which he carefully examines the uterus and ovaries.

How is a virgin tested?

The gynecological examination of a virgin, through the vagina, should be very gentle so as not to damage the hymen. In women who are not yet sexually active, the gynecologist frequently examines the internal genitalia and performs a two-handed examination through the anus.

The test consists in inserting the index finger into the anus of the patient, who is then asked to push. Thanks to this, the gynecologist can assess the condition of the reproductive organs by touch.

In justified cases, the doctor may perform a vaginal examination using an XXS speculum or a children's speculum.

Examination with the use of a speculum is used to assess the cervical disc, and also allows you to take a cytological smear from the virgin's vagina. In sexually inactive women, the gynecologist can perform a classic ultrasound examination - through the abdominal wall. The bladder should be full of fluid to assess the internal organs as accurately as possible.

Breast examination

Some gynecologists also perform breast examination, which is particularly important in the context of breast cancer prevention. The examination, while embarrassing, is short and painless. The doctor, gently compressing the breast, checks if there are any abnormalities.

Moreover, each woman should "make friends" with her breasts and regularly check them in the shower. Touching and pressing allows for quick detection of abnormalities in their structure.

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