We totally get! You’re nervous! You might be wondering what the doctor is going to do. What should you know before an exam? Will it be embarrassing? Check out this list of do’s and don’ts to ease your worries and to become fully prepared for your trip to the doctor.
DO go with a parent. A pelvic exam can be nerve wracking, and you want someone there for support. Your mum, or another trusted adult, will stay in the waiting room unless you want her in the room for the exam. It’s your appointment, so do what’s comfortable for you.
DON’T be nervous. This is a natural part of being a girl now that you are a teen. Be calm and confident. You’re a woman now, and you’re bright enough to keep up with your health!
DO shower or bathe on the morning of your appointment. You’ll feel more confident.
DON'T douche before an annual exam; it could cause irregular test results. Douching should never be done to cover up odours, discharge, pain, itching or burning before a pelvic exam. Your vagina naturally cleans itself, so there’s no need to douche.
DO write down the date your last period started, how long it lasted and how often you have periods. You should be keeping track of your menstrual cycle.
DON’T forget to call your doctor’s office if you are on your period on the day of your appointment. You may want to reschedule your appointment for a time when you are not on your period.
DO ask questions. Before you go, make a list of questions to ask. You can ask your questions before the actual exam, when you first meet the doctor, during the exam or after.
DON’T be afraid to ask anything at all. There are no stupid questions when it comes to your health. With any doctor, you should ask what exams you need that day and why, what medications you need and why, and what you can expect during your visit. If you don't feel comfortable asking, or if the doctor isn't answering your questions, you may want to ask to change doctors.
DO prepare. Make the very most of each appointment. Write things down! You may not remember all the questions you’d like to ask. Here’s a place where a cheat sheet is totally allowed. Write your questions down before you go and you’ll be able to tick them off right there in the exam room.
What was your first experience like?