I thought cleaning up “down there” before I went to the gynecologist seemed like a good idea, but now I’m glad I know #3!

Going to the gynecologist can be a little embarrassing or even scary from time to time, but it’s something that every woman needs to do.

It’s amazing how little some of us actually know about our own reproductive health. It doesn’t help that there is a lot of false or misleading information out there, either.

Your gyno wants you to know these 10 crucial things about going to the gynecologist and keeping your body in check. Once you have this information, you are on your way to leading a healthier reproductive lifestyle!

If you’re at all worried about your well-being, you should never hesitate to reach out to your doctor, especially when it comes to the matters of gynecology. There is more to it than simply checking for infections or for pregnancy.

Your gynecologist is there for you to make sure that you are all-around happy and healthy.

1. There Is No Need To Shave For Your Appointment

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Wikimedia Commons / David Monniaux
 

Sure, it can be a bit revealing to go to the gyno and put your feet into those stirrups, but your doctor isn’t judging you for your pubic hair. More than anyone, they know that it’s natural, and they aren’t even paying attention to that anyway.

Allison Hill, MD, a Los Angeles OBGYN, swears that your doctor doesn’t care whether you’re clean-shaven or not.

2. You Don’t Need To Suck It Up About Period Pain

2. You Don't Need To Suck It Up About Period Pain

 
Pexels / Mabel Amber
 

It doesn’t necessarily have to be part of being a woman to endure immense pain during your period.

Your gyno wants to help you be more comfortable, so tell them exactly what you go through during your time of the month, and they will do their darnedest to make it less gruesome.

3. You Really, Really Shouldn’t Over-Cleanse

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According to NHS, your vagina, if healthy, will do the important cleaning and upkeep on its own. If you go overboard trying to clean it on your own before an OBGYN appointment, it will be harder to diagnose any potential issues, as many of the clues will have been washed away.

All you need to do is take a shower as you would normally, and you’ll be good to go.

 

4. No Question Crosses The Line

4. No Question Crosses The Line

 
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Try not to be embarrassed about any strange or worrisome happenings down there, and be sure to ask your doctor anything and everything that might be bothering you. He or she has heard and seen it all, and is there to cater to all of your “embarrassing” issues.

Make a list beforehand if you have to, just to make sure you don’t forget. This will also give you a script to read if you get shy.

5. There Is A Birth Control Option For Everyone

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Depending on your lifestyle and your specific medical needs, one type of birth control might be better than another for you. Have a conversation with your OBGYN about what is right for your body and lifestyle.

Many people do not know, for instance, that IUDs are highly recommended for women of any age, according to the Mayo Clinic.

6. You Need To Tell Them About What Happens In The Bedroom

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Your doctor needs to know about your sex life, as he or she is responsible for taking care of your sexual organs. He or she needs to know if you may need to be tested for any STIs or STDs, yes, but your doctor can also help address problems with libido and lubrication.

Jill Ginsberg at the Huffington Post asked her OBGYN spouse all about what patients should tell and ask about regarding sex life, and the answer is everything.

 

7. Getting Tested For ‘Everything’ Doesn’t Always Mean ‘Everything’

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If you go to the gyno with your hopes of getting every single test under the sun performed on you, you should know that probably will not be the case. For example, it’s not recommended to get tested for herpes unless you are displaying symptoms or fear you have been exposed to it.

You can read up about testing on American Sexual Health Association’s Website.

8. You Really Should Show Up For Your Yearly Visit

8. You Really Should Show Up For Your Yearly Visit

 
Health.mil / Julie Felix / U.S. Marine Corps
 

Even though it is no longer necessarily recommended that you get a pap smear every single year, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists still highly recommends you go to your yearly well-woman visit to check in with your doctor regarding your overall health.

Pelvic exams and updating your doctor with your habits and lifestyle will help them best care for you in the long run.

9. You Need To Be Aware Of What Is Normal For You

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It’s not enough to simply go to the doctor once a year and pat yourself on the back for taking care of yourself. You should be monitoring what is normal for you all year long.

Every woman’s body is different, and only you can know what kind of discharge and smells are normal for you.

10. You Should Like Your Doctor

10. You Should Like Your Doctor

 
Wikimedia Commons / Unknown / National Cancer Institute
 

Above all else, you should be comfortable speaking to your doctor. Your doctor wants you to feel comfortable, and if that doesn’t happen under their care, they would recommend that you find someone with whom you do feel at ease. The best care comes when you can be open with your doctor, and that won’t happen if you don’t feel comfortable with your OBGYN.