Having a visit to your gynecologist isn’t always the most comfortable situation. We often deal with patients during difficult and uncertain times. We also see many patients that are having pap smears, STD exams, and other procedures for the very first time. Patients may not know what to expect and feel nervous or anxious. Here at Stony Brook Women’s Health, we are here to make your visit comfortable, confidential, and thorough.
There are many things we see our patients doing that we would like to caution them against. Read on to learn how you can make your visit to the gynecologist more beneficial.
This post is updated from the original post in December 2015.
1. Assuming that Heavy Menstrual Bleeding is Normal
The average menses lasts about five days, with one or two heavy days, although this tends to be slightly less for women who are on the birth control pill. If your period lasts ten or more days, especially if it’s very heavy or accompanied by clots and cramps, this needs investigation. Not only can it be caused by a variety of treatable conditions, but excessive bleeding can lead to severe anemia. A gynecologist can help you to determine the cause of this bleeding, and treat it to prevent future issues.
2. Self-Treating What You Think Is a Yeast Infection
A common misconception is to consider any vaginal discharge or irritation to be a “yeast infection” and to treat it with over-the counter remedies. However, there are several different types of vaginal discharge, and some may indicate an STD. Other vaginal discharges may simply be the vagina self-cleaning. Before self-treating, be sure to visit, or at least call your gynecologist.
3. Enduring Painful Sex
Sex is supposed to be pleasurable and enjoyable. It may not always lead to orgasm, but it shouldn’t hurt. Painful intercourse may be caused by numerous conditions, including infections, endometriosis, hormonal problems, and sexual arousal disorders, among others. Most of these are treatable, so please don’t suffer in silence. Bring it up during your visit.
4. Believing Everything You Read on the Internet
While there is much useful medical information online, there is a great deal that isn’t. Many “opinion” and “in my experience” pieces are written by people without a medical background. Their advice might be incorrect, misleading, or downright dangerous. If you have questions about the female reproductive system or specific symptoms, then bring it to your doctor’s attention. Gynecologists can answer these questions with a higher level of authority, and also address any symptoms that may be specific to your own body.
5. Using Your Cell Phone During Your Exam
Your visit to the gynecologist should be focused toward your reproductive health. During your visit, try to refrain from texting on or answering your cell phone. Instead, be sure to bring up any questions you might have. By doing so, you can allow the gynecologist to ensure that you are fully healthy.
6. Addressing Other Concerns During an Emergency Visit
Gynecologists are fully prepared to help women experiencing medical issues like heavy bleeding, vaginal discharges, and pregnancy-related problems. However, emergency visits like these are not the time to address other issues. Most gynecologists have limited time to deal with these emergencies, and have other scheduled appointments as well. Because of this, it’s often impossible to address other concerns during this time. If you do have other issues to discuss, then be sure to schedule an additional appointment.
7. Confusing Your Gynecologist With Your Primary Care Provider
Gynecologists are specialists in reproductive women’s health. While we may have knowledge of other specialties, we’re not always “up with the latest” in those fields, nor are we familiar with your ongoing care by your primary doctor. So, gynecologists cannot accurately answer questions that are unrelated to women’s reproductive health. While we might, out of courtesy, occasionally fill a prescription for a non-OB/GYN condition, it’s wiser to get those refills from your primary doctor.
Gynecology Long Island
At Stony Brook Women’s Health, our team is committed to providing the best possible care and information for our patients. Call us to schedule an annual examination, or an emergency appointment to discuss any specific reproductive issues.