Is it normal to be nervous before the first visit? What should I expect at the first gynecologic visit? What happens during a general physical exam? What happens during an external genital exam? What special concerns can be discussed with my ob-gyn? An obstetrician—gynecologist ob-gyn is a doctor who specializes in the health care of women. Girls should have their first gynecologic visit between the ages of 13 years and 15 years. It is normal to feel nervous about your first visit. It may help if you talk about it with your parents or someone else you trust.
Why it's done
A pelvic exam is where a doctor or nurse practitioner looks at a girl's reproductive organs both outside and internally. This includes feeling a girl's uterus and ovaries to be sure everything's normal. Teens don't usually get pelvic exams. Sometimes doctors do pelvic exams if they think there's a problem. For example, if a girl complains of heavy bleeding, missed periods, or discharge, the doctor will want to check for a cause. Otherwise, doctors don't recommend regular pelvic exams or Pap smears until a woman is 21 years old. A medical assistant or nurse will give you a robe to wear and a sheet to cover you. You'll be left alone to undress — either fully if you're getting a breast exam as well or from the waist down.
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A pelvic exam is a way for doctors to look for signs of illness in organs in a woman's body. The word "pelvic" refers to the pelvis. The exam is used to look at a woman's:.
The ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and vagina vaginal canal make up the female reproductive system. During a pelvic exam, a doctor evaluates your reproductive organs. You might have a pelvic exam as part of your regular checkup. Or your doctor might recommend a pelvic exam if you have symptoms such as unusual vaginal discharge or pelvic pain. A pelvic exam usually lasts only a few minutes. Your doctor checks your vulva, vagina, cervix, ovaries, uterus, rectum and pelvis for any abnormalities.