5 Important, Valuable Things to Know Before Your Next Exam
“The doctor-patient relationship is built upon a sacred trust. We have treated generations of women in the same family, and we are truly dedicated to your health and well-being,” said Dr. Joshua Hardison, of Chapel Hill OBGYN’s Durham Southpoint Office. Dr. Hardison also practices at our Chapel Hill location. “This is why we want to share these valuable things you should know before your next appointment.”
We don’t see a yearly well-woman exam as merely a time for a Pap smear; we see it as a crucial time to address health issues you may be susceptible to as you age.
5 Valuable Things to Know Before Your Next OBGYN Exam
1. Please, be completely honest with us.
We are only interested in ensuring that you are—and remain in—good health. We want you to be confident that you can ask questions that deal with such issues as incontinence, low libido, or painful sex.
2. Let us know before you’re planning to conceive.
Ideally, prenatal vitamins should be taken before you get pregnant so you can help prevent any neural defects in your baby’s early development. We will also examine your family’s medical history and advise whether or not genetic testing would be advisable.
3. Don’t douche before your exam.
Some women want to douche before an exam. In fact, it’s estimated that almost one in five women douche. We recommend that you let your vagina clean itself naturally. Douching can actually cause many issues, including vaginal infections. It can even make it more difficult to get pregnant. (Office of Women’s Health)
4. Let us know about your sleep patterns, any irregular periods and any other health issues you have.
We want to be an active partner in your overall health. Therefore, if you have issues with high cholesterol, high blood sugar or any other chronic health issues, we want to know! We particularly want to know about your sleep patterns. Sometimes, poor sleep combined with irregular periods may indicate you’re entering menopause or perimenopause, and we can discuss your treatment options.
For more information about what constitutes a normal period and what could indicate a problem, you can review our previous blog posts:
What To Do If Your Period Stops and You’re Not Pregnant
What’s the Difference Between PMS and PMDD?
5. Don’t cancel your exam just because you’re on your period.
Ideally, you would have your annual exam between periods, but we understand that many women have irregular periods, and sometimes it may fall on the date of your annual exam. First, know that we can usually reschedule your appointment easily and quickl1y for a time you’re no longer on your period. Second, your period will typically not interfere with your examination.
Remember that there is more to an annual exam that just a Pap smear. We want to take the time to talk to you about your overall health—especially if you are having irregular periods. Painful and unpredictable periods can be indicative of another health issue, and we are here to help you.
For more information, please review our previous article: Can You Have Your Annual Checkup While On Your Period?
Chapel Hill OBGYN is the Practice of Choice for Women in the Triangle Area
Your health is one of the most important aspects of your life. Taking care of yourself enables you to take care of those you love. We want all of our patients to take an active role in their health care, whether that’s through taking our Centering Pregnancy classes or scheduling a routine exam. We combine the best in state-of-the-art treatments with personalized care at all of our convenient locations—including in Durham near Southpoint and our Chapel Hill office.
We’ve treated generations of women—many in the same families. See why women have trusted us for more than 40 years. Schedule an appointment today.
Office on Women’s Health. “Douching.”