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How to Prepare for Your Gynecology Appointment

Most women are worried or anxious about their health during gynecological exams, and many are embarrassed or concerned about pain. It’s normal to have a bout of nerves when you’ve got an upcoming appointment, but the benefits to your health, now and in the future, greatly outweigh the discomfort of the moment. 

Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG, is an experienced gynecologist with a respectful and friendly manner. He and our staff do our best to put you at ease — we understand your nervousness and place a priority on your comfort. You can help make your appointment go quickly by considering these tips in preparation for your exam.

Know what to expect

This is obviously more difficult when it’s your first gynecological exam, but even a veteran can ease the process by knowing what’s scheduled for each appointment. As with any type of physical, your session typically starts with a discussion of your medical history as well as any changes to your life or health that may have occurred since your last visit. 

This includes frank discussion about delicate topics like your sexual activity. This is necessary to establish influences on your health. While it may be embarrassing, it’s important to conquer your shyness and be honest, since your best health care may depend on complete answers. Keep track of things like your menstrual cycle and other tests and procedures you’ve had.

The pelvic exam isn’t always necessary, but it’s usually included, since it can detect precancerous changes to your cervix, along with a Pap test. You can discuss the timing and frequency of these with Dr. Zikria, based on your health history and lifestyle. 

Breast exams are often done, again screening for potential problems that might indicate cancer. If you’re unsure how to perform self-tests at home, now is the time to learn. 

Well-woman visits are important

Life gets busy, and of course it’s tempting to save yourself some time by skipping a gynecological exam when you’re feeling fine. However, your well-woman exam has the potential to detect some serious conditions before they impact your life. Early detection virtually always simplifies treatment and increases your chances of avoiding serious illness. Make your gynecological appointments a priority investment in your future. 

Prepare notes and questions

Even just a bit of nervousness can scatter your thoughts. Having a few discussion points prepared and available during your gynecological appointment can make the entire process easier, and you’ll be comfortable knowing that you addressed the points that you wanted. 

Scheduling is important

Whenever possible, avoid scheduling an appointment that involves a pelvic exam during your period. Menstrual blood can interfere with Pap test results. If you’re experiencing irregular bleeding, though, it may be a good time to see Dr. Zikria. If you’re in doubt, call the office for clarification. 

The benefits of a good gynecological exam abound in both preventive health care and peace of mind. Contact Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG, to arrange your next appointment now. 

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