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The How-To Lounge: Your Annual Pelvic Exam, Part II

Now that we all have a few reminders when preparing for an upcoming pelvic exam, I have some quick suggestions for the day of the appointment, too. To see them

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  • Always use the bathroom before undressing. Not only do most gynos advise this, but knowing that your bladder is empty may ease your nerves a bit.
  • Jot down the things you’ve been wanting to discuss so you can remember them all when your doctor is finally in the room with you. You only see her once a year, so make it count.
  • Mention any tests to check for STIs you're interested in having. Surprisingly enough, most tests are not included in a basic annual exam, but can be quickly added on — some may require a trip to the lab for a quick blood test.
  • Finally, bring up any issues you may be having with your birth control method, including concerns about a decreased libido. Your gynecologist is there to answer questions and help you find a birth control solution that works for your body and lifestyle.

And remember, don’t be shy! If you have a concern, speak up about it. There is no shame in your body, and it’s more important to face a moment of embarrassment then a dangerous health problem.

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