For many women, the thought of an appointment with a new OBGYN can be nerve-wracking. Still, if you have a sense of what to expect at your first gynecologist appointment, you can feel more comfortable. My goal in this article is to empower you to approach your first appointment with confidence and knowledge.
Regular OB-GYN appointments are vital for reproductive health
If it’s been a while since your last OB-GYN appointment or if this is your first one, go ahead and schedule an appointment if you have a doctor in mind. Yearly check-ups are necessary for gynecological and reproductive health.
You may also want to make an appointment outside of your regular check-ups if a gynecological health issue arises. Some of the most common reasons to visit a gynecologist include:
- contraception and family planning
- menstrual irregularities
- fertility issues
- menopause management
- pelvic pain
- postpartum care
Let’s break down your first appointment into nine steps
I find that many women who come to see an OB-GYN for the first time feel nervous because they don’t know what the experience will be like. It drastically reduces stress and worry if you have an idea of what to expect at your first gynecologist appointment.
I’ll walk you through what’s likely to happen at your first appointment with a new OB-GYN, broken down into nine steps.
Step #1. Know what to expect at your first gynecologist appointment
First, you need to choose an OB-GYN you’re comfortable with. I have an article titled “How to find the best OB-GYN.” If you haven’t selected a gynecologist yet, I recommend reading it.
Once you’ve got a doctor, it’s time to gather information to make your first appointment smoother. Take a few minutes to write down any questions or concerns you have so you don’t forget to discuss them during your visit.
Be prepared to provide details about your menstrual cycle, birth control methods, and general medical history. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers—your gynecologist is there to guide you.
Step #2. Meet the gynecologist
You’ll have to complete some paperwork, either before you arrive at the doctor or in the waiting room.
Once that’s completed, you’ll be shown to an examination room, where you’ll meet your gynecologist. This initial conversation is an opportunity to discuss your concerns and ask any questions you came prepared with.
Step #3. Discuss medical history
Your gynecologist will review your medical history with you. The discussion will cover any gynecological or reproductive issues, medications, family medical history, and overall health history.
You’ll be asked about your menstrual cycle and birth control methods. Try to be as open and detailed as possible during this conversation. That way, your gynecologist can provide the best possible care for you. But, just so you know what to expect at your gynecologist appointment, reast-assured that teh questons are outine and not-overly intrusive.
Step #4. Physical examination
The specifics of your physical examination will vary based on your age and medical history, but it will usually consist of two parts—the external and internal examinations.
Here, the OB-GYN will perform a visual inspection of the external genitalia, looking for any abnormalities, rashes, or signs of infection.
Next, the doctor will use a speculum to examine the cervix. They may also perform a Pap smear. Keep in mind while this can be uncomfortable, it should not be painful.
Step #5. Breast examination
Your doctor will check for any lumps, changes in breast tissue, or other abnormalities. Regular breast exams are crucial for early detection of breast cancer and overall health.
Step #6. Conduct additional tests
Depending on your medical history and specific concerns, your gynecologist may recommend additional tests or procedures. You’ll receive screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as a pelvic ultrasound.
Step #7. Discuss sexual health and birth control
Your gynecologist is a valuable resource for information about sexual health and contraception. If you desire, they can help you find the most suitable birth control method based on your preferences.
Step #8. Talk about options for pregnancy planning
Obviously, this step depends on your situation. But if pregnancy is a concern, your OB-GYN will provide guidance on preconception health, including recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, prenatal vitamins, and vaccinations. The doctor will also offer support or provide a referral for fertility treatment.
Step #9. Address final concerns
Before you leave, your gynecologist will discuss the findings and any necessary follow-up steps. This might include additional tests or appointments.
Here’s your chance to raise any topics that haven’t come up yet. Don’t hesitate to ask—your OB-GYN is there to support your health.
If you’re in the Houston area, contact Plaza OB-GYN
If you’ve still got questions about what to expect at your first gynecologist appointment and you’re in the Houston area, give us a call at (713) 522-3333. Our care team will be happy to address your concerns.
As Plaza’s founding OB-GYN, I’ve been recognized as one of the top doctors for women’s health by H Magazine, and I was Chief of the OB-GYN Park Plaza Hospital from 2005 to 2012. Credentials and experience are critical, but be sure to check our reviews to determine if Plaza OB-GYN is right for you.