As an experienced OB-GYN and cosmetic surgeon who has treated patients from around the world, you’d be amazed at how little I am asked about certain things that may or may not be a concern for some patients.
Believe it or not, it is okay to ask those embarrassing questions and here are a few that many gynecologists do not being asked.
Here we go!
Do my lady parts smell bad?
Chances are, no. Showering with water and a gentle washcloth is great before an exam. If you use soap, make sure it’s gentle, without perfume, and rinse, rinse, rinse. Perfumes and douches only make the smell worse.
Your normal bacteria prevent you from having infections and odors. If you do have an odor that worries you, tell us! We can do a simple test using a microscope to see if you have a bacterial overgrowth.
I have my period, should I cancel my appointment?
We are not afraid of blood, in general, we also are surgeons and deliver babies it’s what we do. If your bleeding is very heavy, call the office to ask the nurse. The newest Pap smears are not affected by the presence of blood.
Feel free to leave your tampon in while you talk to your doctor and then ask them to step out while you remove it. Trust me, you are not alone and we do not mind.
What if I wax/shave/don’t shave/pierce/don’t pierce my bits and pieces?
Fashion comes and goes. Landing strips, lightning bolts, nudie style — I think I’ve seen it all. If you do shave, use a new razor and shave with the direction of the hair growth to avoid bumps/ingrown hairs/ugly infections.
If you prefer the longer-haired look, you may want to slightly trim with some blunt scissors to avoid having the yucky sensation of your hair being pulled by the speculum.
What’s up with my vaginal discharge?
It is completely normal to have a small amount of clear to white vaginal discharge on your underwear. Your vagina is actually self-cleaning. If you need to wear a pantyliner or the discharge has a strong odor, is green or bloody, you need to be seen by your gyno right away.
Can I bring my partner/mom/friend/milkman to the appointment?
Sure, but expect the nurse to ask your partner to leave while you talk to your doctor. If you want that person to be in the room for the exam, speak up, there’s no harm in asking.
However, just don’t expect us to allow that person to look between your legs, that would be a bit awkward for everyone in the room.
If you have more questions or want to hear my take on industry insights, women’s health, and wellness, follow me on Twitter @Dr_Simopoulos