The prospect of a first visit to a new OB/GYN can make people feel anxious. When patients know what to expect, it can help to lower their anxiety and stress level. At North Carolina OB/GYN & Midwifery at Holly Springs UNC Health Care, we help our new patients feel comfortable during their first visit in Raleigh.
What To Expect
During the first part of the exam, one of our nurses checks your height, weight and blood pressure. The nurse then asks you to remove your clothes once she leaves the room and you are given a hospital-type gown to put on.
When your doctor comes in, he or she asks you questions about your general health, including questions about your menstrual period and sexual activities. You then lie back on the examining table for your breast and pelvic exams. If the doctor is male, a female nurse remains in the room during your exam. You can also ask a family member or friend to stay with you during the exam if it makes you feel more comfortable.
I would follow this doctor anywhere to remain his patient. I’ve never met a smarter, more compassionate, better communicator physician in my life.
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The Breast Exam
During your breast exam, the doctor checks your breasts for growth and signs of any potential problems, such as a lump. The doctor examines each breast by moving his or her fingers around your breast in a pattern.
You may also be shown how to perform monthly self-examinations.Learn more by visiting our Breast Care page.
The Pelvic Exam
During your pelvic exam, the doctor examines your vagina and cervix and checks the health of your reproductive organs. At the start of the exam, you are asked to place your feet against footrests at the end of the examining table and to slide forward. The doctor inserts an instrument called a speculum into your vagina and gently spreads the walls apart to examine the area. Specula come in various sizes and your doctor chooses the one that causes the least discomfort. The doctor then places one or two gloved, lubricated fingers into your vagina. The other hand presses on your abdomen from the outside to check the size, position, and shape of your internal pelvic organs. The pelvic exam may feel uncomfortable, but should not hurt.
How to Make Your Pelvic Exam Less Stressful?
- Try to distract yourself by closing your eyes and thinking about something else.
- Try to relax to make the exam more comfortable.
Tips for Coping with First Visit Anxiety
Here are some ways you can cope with first visit anxiety:
- Ask your friends or family about their first visit experience – First visits are usually quite similar. Learning about the experiences of your friends and family will help you set expectations and minimize anxiety.
- Find a doctor you are comfortable with – The first visit experience will differ depending on which doctor handles your exam. At North Carolina OB/GYN & Midwifery at Holly Springs UNC Health Care, our friendly, compassionate, and accommodating professionals will surely make your experience comfortable.
- Inquire about anxiety medication – Certain anti-anxiety medications may be helpful prior to your exam. Consult with your doctor if you are considering these medications.
- Bring someone to accompany you – Having a source of emotional support with you can help you feel less anxious during the exam.
- Breathe deeply during exams – Deep breathing can help relax your muscles, which is very useful when it comes to pelvic exams, making the exam smoother and quicker.
- Ask the staff about possible distractions – Having a distraction during examinations or treatments can minimize anxiety. If this is an option during parts of your first visit, you may be able to read or use your mobile device.
Ongoing Good Health
Your first gynecological visit is a great chance to take charge of your ongoing health. You may feel nervous at first. Knowing what to expect during the exam will ease your fears. Also, remember that the nurses and doctors at Capital Women’s Care are here to help and to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
Taking Charge of Your Healthy Lifestyle
- Be involved in your health care.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Be open with your doctor about your sexual history or any symptoms you may have.
- See your doctor on a regular basis or as soon as a problem develops.
Schedule Your First Visit
To set up your first visit in Raleigh, contact us at North Carolina OB/GYN & Midwifery at Holly Springs UNC Health Care! We’ll be happy to make your first visit a pleasant one.