Most women have wondered it at one time or the other: if I have my period, can I still go to the gynecologist? The answer is: yes, but there is an exception.
Most of us schedule our annual gynecology checkups months in advance. It’s tricky to know if we’ll be on our period or not during our appointment, which is normal – and typically not an issue.
Dr. Leanne Olshavsky, obstetrician/gynecologist at The Christ Hospital, weighs in on this important topic.
“If your period is very heavy, especially the first few days, it may be best to postpone,” says Dr. Olshavsky.
She explains that if you are scheduled for a pap smear, your gynecologist will need to swab the cervix during the exam. If you are experiencing a heavy menstrual flow, the pap smear won’t be effective and the test results will be inconclusive – meaning you’ll have to come back anyway.
If you’re wondering about what to do if your appointment falls during the heaviest part of your period, call your doctor’s office to talk with a nurse.
No prep necessary
A similar question that many of us wonder: do I need to wax or shave prior to my gynecology appointment?
Dr. Olshavsky assures us that no prep or maintenance is necessary before your office visit.
“No gynecologist cares about that whatsoever – we don’t even notice!” says Dr. Olshavsky.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends an annual well-woman exam once a year. Your OBGYN may perform a pap, and also provides additional cancer screenings, necessary vaccinations, addresses any weight or health concerns you might have and will provide counsel on birth control or family planning questions. Need to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist? We’ve got you covered. Schedule an appointment online with a women’s health expert at The Christ Hospital today!