|THE DOCTORS‘, Lisa Masterson, is board certified specialist in obstetrics, gynecology, infertility, adolescent gynecology and family planning will share her “Girlfriend’s Gyno Guide” this Monday on the show|
More than 15,000 American women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer—the majority of which could have been prevented by having a regular Pap smear.
This Monday, March 5, the resident gynecologist on the hit syndicated Emmy-award winning television show, THE DOCTORS, will go through her “girlfriend’s gyno guide” on what to expect during your an OB/GYN appointment and especially why that firsts 5 minutes during the visit is so uncomfortable. Errr. Don’t we know it.
Here’s a sneak peak at what you can expect:
What happens at the OB/GYN and Why
- Doctor will take patient history.
- Patient gets in stirrups while the doctor makes the room comfortable for the patient.
- Doctor will place his/her hand on patient’s thigh and look at the outside – the vulva – for any bumps or lesions. Tip: trimming pubic hair makes the process a bit easier.
- Doctor warms the speculum and inserts it into the vagina. Speculums come in many different shapes and sizes. If it pinches or feels uncomfortable in any way, tell the doctor and he/she can try a different one. From this vantage point, the doctor is looking for any discharge or visual masses. He/she can also examine the cervix for any lesions, ulcerations or inflammations.
- Doctor takes a Q-tip to get a culture which can be analyzed to make sure the patient is free of infection and STDs.
- Once the speculum is taken out, it is time for the pelvic exam. The doctor places two fingers inside the vagina and feels the stomach from the inside, looking for any tenderness or masses on the uterus. Then the fingers slide quickly to the tip of the cervix where the doctor checks for tenderness or masses as well as mobility. The fingers slide over to the ovaries and fallopian tubes to check for masses or tenderness one last time.
- If a patient is over 40, the doctor will do a rectal exam by placing one finger in the vagina and one finger in the anus, feeling for any masses.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, all women need to have an annual Pap smear and pelvic exam beginning at age 21 but should start seeing an OB/GYN between the ages of 13 and 15 to establish a patient-doctor relationship and go over medical and sexual history. From ages 30 to 64, it is okay to go every other year, or as often as your doctor recommends. A patient may be asked to come in more frequently if she has recently had an abnormal Pap smear.