Health Services - Gynecology- Women's Health Care

Okay, you've made an appointment and want to know how to get the most out of it. Here's what you might want to know:

Kean University Health Services employs Nurse Practitioners to perform GYN exams. In this article, we use the pronoun "she" and noun "clinician" to refer to our providers.

Table of Contents:

  1. Before your appointment

  2. On the day of your appointment

  3. During the exam

  4. The pelvic exam

  5. The results

  6. In case of past sexual trauma

Before your appointment

  • The ideal time to schedule your visit is in the middle of your menstrual cycle, but the clinician can perform the exam as long as you're not menstruating.
  • Know the date of your last period, and at what age you began menstruating.
  • Avoid having sexual intercourse, douching, or inserting anything into your vagina for 48 hours prior to your exam.
  • You may wish to fill out these forms prior to your visit - it will save time at the office.
  • Write down any questions you may have and remember to bring the list to your appointment.

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On the day of your appointment

  • Empty your bladder before the exam, unless you're having urinary symptoms (such as burning on urination).
  • The clinician will talk to you about your medical history and then discuss your menstrual cycle.
  • She will then answer any questions you may have regarding sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or contraception.

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During the exam

  • The clinician will ask you to replace your clothes with a paper gown.
  • Next she will ask you to lie flat on the examining table so she can examine each breast for lumps, and will review with you how to perform a breast self-exam. The breast exam will be followed by an abdominal exam.
  • The clinician will have you slide down to the end of the table and put your feet in the metal stirrups, which are footrests that make it easier to keep your legs separated.
  • She will visually examine all of the surface female organs, such as the vulva and the opening of the vagina. She will be checking for signs of irritation, discharge, cysts, genital warts, or other conditions.

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The pelvic exam

  • For the next part of the GYN exam, the clinician will gently insert a speculum, which is an instrument shaped like a duckbill, into your vagina. The speculum will gently hold the walls of the vagina apart. Relaxing your perineal muscles helps reduce any discomfort during the exam.
  • The clinician will examine the vaginal walls and cervix. She will use a tiny brush to collect cells from the cervix to be viewed later microscopically at the lab for possible abnormalities. This is a Pap test.
  • She will the test for the sexually transmitted infections (STIs), gonorrhea and chlamydia. These are standard tests done by swabbing the vaginal discharge. If necessary, she will also be able to test for other STIs such as HIV,human papilloma virus (HPV), herpes, syphilis and hepatitis B.
  • Next, if necessary, she will swab a small amount of vaginal fluid to view under a microscope. This checks for vaginal infections (e.g. a yeast infection).
  • Finally, your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are checked for abnormalities such as ovarian cysts. She does this by placing one hand on top of your lower abdomen and inserting two lubricated fingers inside the vaginal canal to feel the organs in between.

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The results

  • At the end of your exam, the clinician will review your results with you. She will describe any recommended treatments. She will review the schedule and side effects of any birth control method you select.
  • Most students will receive the results of the Pap test and STI results via phone call to the number you have provided to us.
  • Depending on your method of birth control and results of the lab tests performed, you may be asked to make a follow up appointment to see the clinician.

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In case of past sexual trauma

If you are a survivor of sexual trauma such as rape, or other form of sexual abuse, a GYN exam may feel traumatic. You may experience more fear or discomfort during the pelvic exam because of past events. Let the clinician know about your past experience of abuse, and what you are feeling now. This will help the clinician help you make the exam as comfortable as possible. It is possible to adapt the exam to your special needs.

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