As us people with uterus’ start to mature and go through puberty it is important that we start to plan our first visit to the Gynecologist. A Gyno is a doctor who specializes in the biological functions of the reproductive system including … menstruation, menopause, and childbearing. Usually, you want to start seeing a Gynecologist when you are in the early stages of puberty (13-15yrs approx.) or when you become sexually active, whichever comes first. If puberty comes first, then your very first visit won’t cover much other than an overview of what to expect in growth and menstruation. Therefore if sexual activity comes first, your doctor should cover basic information, prevention, and treatment at the VERY LEAST. You are trusting them with your body and they should give you all the tools to stay safe and healthy.
*virginity is a social construct, a gynecologist can’t tell if you have had sexual intercourse before*
An OB is a doctor who specializes solely in pre, during and post-natal care. They take care of all your pregnancy and family planning needs. Generally, you begin to see an OB when you want to get pregnant and all throughout your pregnancy. Most OBs are also Gynecologists, which is why you most often hear “OB/GYN” because these two specialties sort of go hand-in-hand.
Some questions or concerns you might want to go in for might include…
- Birth Control
- STD/STI Screening
- Pap Smears
- Pelvic Exams
- Abnormal Discharge or odor to the Vulva and/or Vagina
- Cysts in the bikini area
- Any questions or doubts you may have about your general health
Above all, you should always be 100% honest with your gyno. They are there to help you, not judge you. The more you give the more you will get out of your appointment. If for whatever reason you don’t feel comfortable with the doctor assigned you can always request another or go to a different establishment. In other words, it is important that you stand up and advocate for yourself. Don’t let them push you to do anything you don’t want to do, you come first.