An appointment with your gyno may not be at the top of your list of fun things to do, but it is of vital importance. It’s not easy having a conversation about your most intimate area and it’s made even more difficult when your legs are in stirrups and you’re feeling exposed and vulnerable. Whatever the embarrassment and discomfort your visit brings, you must remember to tell your gyno these things:
1. If Your Period Has Been Irregular Lately
Topping the list of things you should tell your gynecologist is if something is going wonky with your periods. This can often be the first sign of potential problems. If you’re missing periods and you know you’re not pregnant, or if your bleeding is particularly heavy or lighter than usual, it could signal the presence of a cyst, of hormonal imbalances, of an infection, or other health issue. You don’t want to keep information like this from your doctor.
2. How Many Partners You’ve Had
Your gynecologist may or may not ask about how many sexual partners you’ve had, but you should offer the information anyway. She’s not there to judge you, but anything that happens to your reproductive system, including your vagina, is her business. Anything that you can offer about your sexual health is important information. You should tell your gyno even more than you tell your best friend!
3. If You Can’t Get an Orgasm
Your gynecologist is the first person you should talk to if you are experiencing any kind of sexual dysfunction. She can then evaluate if there are any health-related issues that are interfering with your ability to achieve climax. There is usually some way she can help - even if that help is in the form of a referral to another sexual health specialist. Being unable to get an orgasm may be something treatable with the proper medication or therapy.
4. If You’ve Ever Had Unprotected Sex
Confess, even if you’ve only had unprotected sex once. You may have slipped up and not used a condom a few months back - however, you got your period and you haven’t seen any signs of an STD, so you may think you’re in the clear. What you may not know is that some STDs, like Chlamydia, don’t have any symptoms so you wouldn’t know if you had it. Other diseases, like HPV, can stay dormant for a number of years. However, your gyno understands this, so will be on the lookout if she knows you’ve had unprotected sex.
5. If Sex is Painful to You
There are a number of reasons that sex could be painful, and your gyno could help you overcome this. It’s important that you realize this isn’t an issue just for older women, younger women suffer from painful intercourse was well. Sometimes it’s a little tilt in your uterus causing the problem. Sometimes a medication, even the birth control you are taking, could be causing vaginal dryness. You can’t be treated for it if you’re too embarrassed to bring it up, and you need to say something for the sake of your sex life.
6. If You Notice an Unpleasant Smell
Not that vaginas smell like a garden of roses anyway, but you know your own smell, and you know when something’s off. It’s usually the result of a pH imbalance or some sort of an infection, both conditions being easily treatable. One common source of bad odors you probably haven’t thought of is tampons - either one left inside and forgotten or a piece of one that remained inside after it was removed.
7. Your Pregnancy or Fertility Plans
Bring up to your gyno if you have plans to become pregnant within the coming year. That way, she can give you advice and tips you might not get on a normal visit. If you are concerned about your fertility, she can advise you on healthy habits to preserve your fertility if you plan to become pregnant farther down the road. It may affect the type of birth control she gives you as well, so be sure to speak up. It’s her job to help you prevent pregnancy or become pregnant on the time schedule you determine.
Your gyno is a person you have to be 100% honest with 100% of the time - simply for your own sake.
How much do you hate your visit to the gyno? What do you hate most?