There are doctors that specialise in the reproductive health of women. These doctors or specialists are known as gynaecologists. There are also doctors that care for women during their pregnancy and just after their baby is born, and these doctors are known as obstetricians. The consultant gynaecologist at Gynaecology Clinic London are also trained to deliver babies and aid womenin childbirth. Finally, an ob-gyn is a doctor that has been trained to do all the duties of a gynaecologist and an obstetrician.
Your ob-gyn will help you deal with some of the most important health issues in your life, and this includes birth control, childbirth and menopause. They can also screen women for cancer, treat infections and perform surgery for pelvic organ or urinary tract problems.
Due to the nature of their work, and how they deal with personal and sensitive health issues, it can be difficult to see one, and it can also be difficult to set your mind at ease for your first visit. Know that it is perfectly fine to be nervous or reluctant to discuss sensitive issues, but below are some helpful tips that can set your mind at ease during your first ob-gyn visit.
Finding an Ob-Gyn that you can trust
It can be very difficult to entrust anyone with sensitive and personal information about your health, and this is one of the reasons why you must be very careful before making your choice of an ob-gyn.
One thing you should not do is just pull out anybody’s name from the health insurance list. Start by asking family, friends, and good neighbours for recommendations. You can even ask your direct primary care provider for recommendation and opinion. They are more likely to have good referral resources if it is required.
When choosing an ob-gyn, consider if you would like a male doctor or a female one. Lots of women are more comfortable with a female ob-gyn because they will have to undress completely in front of them. Before you make a decision, you should meet with the ob-gyn and familiarise yourself with their medical experience, certification and attitude about important reproductive issues like birth control. You can also ask them some questions like the following
- What are your office hours?
- Do you accept my health insurance?
- Who will cover for you if you are not available when I need to see you
- Which hospital do you have admitting privileges
What to expect during ob-gyn visits
The congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommend that girls should have their first ob-gyn visit when they are 13 -15 years old or when they become sexually active. For teenage girls, the first visit may just include a talk with the doctor and no examination.
Before your appointment however, avoid douching or having sex within 24 hours as this activity can irritate the tissue of the vagina and affect your pap result. Your appointment usually begins with a general health check, after which you will be weighed by the nurse, and your blood pressure, blood and urine sample taken for tests.
When the time for physical examination comes, you will be led to the examination room by the nurse and asked to undress completely. A gown with an opening at the front will be handed to you, and a sheet to cover your lap. The ob-gyn will begin by asking you some questions about your general health and family medical history. A nurse or another healthcare professional will be around for the pelvic examination.
The pelvic examination begins with the doctor examining the outside of your vagina for abnormalities, and this includes the vulva area and the vaginal opening. Next the reproductive organs are examined from the inside. To do this, your knees will be bent and your feet held in stirrups to keep them apart. A speculum is then used to hold the vagina open, so that the inside of the vagina and cervix is viewed. You may feel some pressure at this point, but it should not be painful and will disappear quickly. The walls of the vagina and cervix will also be examined.
The next thing involved in a pelvic exam is a pap test. Here the doctor will collect some cell samples from your cervix suing a small brush, and the cell samples are taken to the lab where they are tested for HPV, cancer and other abnormalities. If you are sexually active, your ob-gyn will also test you for STIs. To do this, a swab of tissue will be taken during the exam, and blood samples as well.
Finally, the doctor will perform an internal bimanual exam by placing one or two gloved fingers into your vagina, and then the other hand is placed on top of your lower abdomen in order to feel your cervix, fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries from the outside. If it is required, a rectovaginal exam will also be performed, and it involves the ob-gyn placing a gloved finger in your rectum. The examination can be concluded with a breast exam to check for abnormalities.
Talking to your ob-gyn
You should use your ob-gyn appointment as an opportunity to ask questions that are important. Also create room and try to relax when your ob-gyn asks you question surrounding your sexual and menstrual health. Some of the questions your doctor will ask you will concern the following areas
- Sexual issues or problems
- Vaginal discharge
- Period problems and any other issue associated with period
- Number of sexual partners in the past and presently
- Whether you are sexually active or not
Remember that you are meant to feel free with your ob-gyn and tell them any issue or problem related to you as a woman. For more information about private gynaecologists in London, contact us at the Gynaecology Clinic. You can also contact us if you want a private gynaecologist.