If you are about to get your first pelvic exam, you may be feeling anxious and nervous. It may be that doing such an intimate exam makes you feel self-conscious. If this is the case, then you need to get as much information as possible so that you can put your mind at ease. Here is a look at what you can expect during this examination.
A Round of Questions
Before the exam, you will be asked about your overall health. The doctor is likely to ask when your last period was. Your doctor will also want to know if you have cramps and if you have been experiencing any unusual discharge or odor from your vagina.
Getting Ready for the Exam
The best way to prepare for the exam is to use the bathroom ahead of time. When you empty your bladder, the pressure will be lessened on your pelvis. There will normally be a nursing assistant in the room with you. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can ask a family member or friend to be in the room with you as well. Once you have been weighed and had your blood pressure checked, you will be given a hospital gown. You will be asked to take off your underwear and bra. This is because a breast exam is also done as part of the routine when you get a pelvic exam.
What to Expect During the Exam?
The first thing your doctor will do is talk to you about the different parts of the exam. You will then be asked to lay down on the examination table. A sheet will be given to you and you will be asked to cover your stomach and legs with it. You will then be asked to place your feet in stirrups. Stirrups are designed to hold your feet in a certain position. You will then have to bend your knees and let your legs spread apart for the exam. This is often the embarrassing part for a lot of women. Ask your doctor to walk you through the procedure again once the exam starts so that you know everything that is happening at any given time.
Getting your first pelvic exam can be nerve-wracking, but now that you know what to expect it will be easier. If you want more support, be sure to bring a friend or a family member with you. Tell your doctor when you feel uncomfortable or are in pain, so that the exam goes more smoothly.
For more information about having a pelvic exam done, reach out to a local women's health clinic, like Naples Ob-Gyn.