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  • What should I expect at my doctor’s appointment?

Your doctor will ask you questions about your health, and let you know if you need an exam, tests, vaccines, or treatment. It’s normal to be nervous, but doctors see lots of bodies — there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

What happens at the gynecologist?

A gyno appointment usually starts with the nurse or doctor asking questions about your body, health, daily habits, relationships, sex, and/or birth control. It’s really important to be honest —  they need to know this stuff to give you the best care. They’ll probably measure your height, weight, and blood pressure, and might give you a physical exam. If you have an exam, they might:

  • check your genitals and reproductive organs, like your vulva, vagina, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes — this is called a pelvic exam.

  • have you pee in a cup.

  • check your breasts.

  • test you for STDs (if you’ve had any kind of sex). STD testing is usually easy and painless.

  • give you the HPV vaccine.

  • give you a Pap test. You don’t usually need a Pap test until you turn 21, but some doctors do them sooner.

It’s normal to be a little nervous the first time you go to the gynecologist. Tell your doctor if you feel anxious or awkward, and they’ll do their best to help you feel as comfortable as possible.

You can bring a parent or other adult that you trust to your appointment, and they can be in the room with you during your visit if you want. But you also have the right to talk with your doctor or nurse alone — and most of the time, the doctor will keep the info that you share private. Read more about privacy at the doctor

What happens at a doctor’s appointment for guys?

Your nurse or doctor will usually start by asking questions about your body, health, daily habits, relationships, and/or sex. It’s really important to be honest  —  they need to know this stuff to give you the best care. Then they’ll measure your height, weight, and blood pressure, and might give you a physical exam. During your check-up, the doctor or nurse may:

  • give you the HPV vaccine.

  • feel your testicles for signs of testicular cancer — testicular cancer is most common in younger adults (20-34 years old).

  • look at your penis and genital area to make sure everything is healthy.

  • ask you to turn your head and cough to check for hernias (holes that can form in the muscles of your belly).

  • test you for STDs (if you’ve had any kind of sex). STD testing is usually easy and painless — you’ll probably just pee in a cup.

None of these things should be painful. If you feel pain or are uncomfortable during your exam, tell your doctor or nurse — it could be a sign of a problem. Also let your doctor or nurse know if you feel any lumps or notice changes in your testicles.

You can bring a parent or other adult that you trust to your appointment. They can be in the room with you during your visit if you want. But you also have the right to talk with your doctor or nurse alone — and most of the time, your doctor will keep the info you share private. Read more about privacy at the doctor.

What will my doctor ask me?

Your doctor or nurse will probably ask you a bunch of questions during your sexual health check-up. Some of them may be super personal, but it’s important to be honest — even if it feels a little awkward. Doctors aren’t there to judge you or tell on you. They just need to know as much info as possible to help you stay healthy.

Doctors and nurses ask lots of questions so they can figure out if it’s good idea to give you certain tests, help you use birth control, or talk with you about your relationships. Here are some common questions that doctors and nurses ask during sexual health check-ups:

  • Questions about your period — like when was your last period, are your periods regular, and how long do they last? Do you have spotting or bleeding between your periods?

  • Do you have any pain or irritation in your genitals (penis, testicles, vulva, or vagina)?

  • Have you noticed a change in your vaginal discharge?

  • Are you sexually active? (Tell your doctor about any kinds of sex you’ve had — including anal, oral, and vaginal sex.)

  • Have you ever had an STD, or think you have an STD?

  • Are you using birth control, and what kind?

  • Do you have any pain or bleeding during sex?

  • Have you had any medical problems or allergies to medicines?

  • Have you ever been pregnant, or do you think you might be pregnant?

  • Have you ever had sex without a condom or dental dam?

  • Have you ever used drugs or alcohol? If so, how often?

If you're thinking about having sex or are already having sex, your nurse or doctor may talk with you about things like birth control and protecting yourself from STDs.