You have officially become a woman. Welcome to the land of stirrups and cervical clamps and a gown that you know is most likely not covering all of the things.
I often wonder with a sincere heart why (oh, why?) would anyone say these kinds of things to a young woman who has made the intelligent choice to have her very first periodic well-visit with an Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB/GYN).
She’s already scared. She’s probably nervous. Fear of the unknown is real.
And yet we say these things. I will never understand why. Instead, I am a firm believer in the philosophy that you will be less scared if you’re prepared.
My career has afforded me a multitude of experiences to learn a handful of lies about a woman’s first well-visit with an OB/GYN. Digging into these five lies you hear about the experience will arm you with the insight you need to walk into the doctor’s office with your head held high.
Lie #1: You need to tend to Sparkle Valley
If landscaping is your thing, that’s fine. But I’m going to be really honest with you. We have, as professionals, quite literally seen it all. It is not our job to applaud the work Stacey did on your Brazilian. We are here to make sure what’s inside is healthy.
Lie #2: They’re going to scrape my cervix out
Is it uncomfortable? Sure. Essentially what’s happening is we are carefully placing a piece of metal or plastic inside your vaginal canal so that functions to open the gates to the cervix. It doesn’t feel pleasurable, but if it is inserted properly it should not be painful. That being said, remember that it can also be done in the blink of an eye.
Lie #3: My mom is going to find out I’m having sex
There is paperwork very few patients take the time to read that specifies in long, legalized sentences exactly why this is not a thing. Your privacy is protected by doctor-patient confidentiality and you owe it to yourself and your overall health to be honest with your OB/GYN.
Lie #4: They do too many tests
Think of your sexual health over time in stages. As a general rule, teenage girls may not need to have their first appointment until the age of 21. If you are sexually active, it is essential for you to have a well-visit when you make that decision. In most cases, the annual visit in this initial stage of your life takes the form of conversations. A pelvic exam with the (not-so-scary) PAP smear may not even be needed until the age of 21.
Lie #5: It’s okay to lie about your sexual history
This one is crucial. We are doctors, not mind readers. We can only treat you based on a combination of what you share with us and what we learn from the physical part of the exams. I cannot stress this enough that it is simply in your best interest to be honest, open and up front with your OB/GYN from the starting point. That may mean having initial appointments with multiple doctors to make sure you find the right fit, but it’s essential to do so for the future of your sexual health.
Feeling nervous about anything else you may have heard about your first visit to your OB/GYN? Don’t hesitate to get in touch – I’m happy to help!