How to prepare for gynaecologist appointment- 4 things you’ll want to consider

Gynaecologist Anita Mitra discusses vagina health and cleaning

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Gynaecologist appointments are almost back up to speed after more than a year of appointment delays and long waiting times for regular checkups. If you’re going to the gynaecologist for the first time in a while or even the first time ever, you might be feeling a little nervous about what happens in the appointment. 

Going to the gynaecologist is hardly exciting, but it needs to be done to keep an eye on your intimate health.

Whether you’re gearing yourself up for your first appointment or your tenth appointment, it’s easy to forget the etiquette.

You might be panicking about what to wear for the appointment or wondering if you can still go if you are bleeding, but don’t worry – we’ve got the answers. chatted to Heli Kurjanen, founder of menstrual cup brand Lunette, to find out everything you need to know.

What should I wear to the gynaecologist?

Your gynaecologist doesn’t care what you wear to your appointment, but some outfits will make the process smoother than others.

Heli said: “It’s more than likely that you will experience a physical examination during your appointment, so wearing clothes that are comfortable and easy to remove will make the process much easier.

“Jeans, leggings, and tights all make for very awkward undressing and redressing so try to stick to dresses or loose-fitting trousers and skirts.”

On your top half, you’ll need to wear something easy to get on and off too.

Heli explained: “There is also a chance that you will need a breast examination, so a separate top and bottoms will help with this.

“A button-down shirt will also make this experience a little more comfortable.”

Can I attend if I’m on my period?

This is a commonly asked question, so don’t be embarrassed for asking it.

If your visit involves a pelvic exam, it’s best to schedule it for when you are not on your period, as blood can interfere with the results of tests, Heli said.

However, the expert pointed out: “If you are having issues with heavy periods and extensive bleeding, then attending an exam on your period may be inevitable or necessary.”

If you come on your period unexpectedly and have an appointment scheduled before you stop bleeding and aren’t sure what to do, Heli recommends simply calling your doctor or gynaecologist to ask.

How should I prepare?

On top of worrying about your outfit and period, there’s hygiene to consider.

While it’s completely understandable to want to arrive at your appointment clean and fresh, Heli says there is no need to clean yourself any more thoroughly than you normally would.

The Lunette founder said: “In fact, too much cleaning (for example, douching) can have a negative impact on your hormonal balance and could potentially impact your exams.

“If you are getting a cervical exam, excessive washing can remove the cells that need to be examined.

“Also, any discharge that you have can help your doctor to understand your hormonal balance, so scrubbing this away means that they could miss important information, such as a shift in flora, a bacterial imbalance, or a yeast problem.”

All you need to do to prepare is have a regular shower, and avoid using any powders or creams in the genital area.

There’s also no need for hair removal, Heli said. She explained: “Your gynaecologist is only checking to make sure you’re healthy, they are never judging you for having hair down there.

“Waxing and shaving can cause swelling or inflammation that may make a pelvic exam more challenging.”

Can I have sex before my appointment?

You don’t need to worry too much about having sex before your exam, it won’t make a difference to your examination or results.

Heli explained: “The gynaecologist can clear away any semen from your sample to ensure that it doesn’t impact the results of your exam.

“Your gyno might see the evidence of last night’s romp, but she won’t care.

“If you think you’ll be embarrassed about that, hold off on having sex for two days before your appointment.”

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