When you are deciding what kind of birth control is right for you, you need to make an appointment with a gynecologist to discuss your particular sexual health needs. Some women feel apprehensive about birth control options and they can be concerned about side effects and have other questions about engaging in routine sexual activity. Here's what you can expect when you meet with the doctor for the first time.
First of all, when you meet with a gynecologist, you might be concerned about how private your appointment will be. If you are a teenager, your appointment does not need to be shared with a parent, although your doctor might recommend being open with a guardian about your medical needs. Spouses and partners are also not party to your health care unless you give permission for the doctor to share information with them.
To begin your birth control appointment, a nurse will ask you questions about your health history, including whether or not you've been pregnant before and tracking your last menstrual cycle. If you do not know the date or have trouble menstruating, you can discuss possible causes with your doctor. You also need to be honest about your use of tobacco products, including cigarettes, as these can affect the safety of certain types of birth control. Blood clotting disorders and existing medical conditions can also help narrow down which types of birth control are right for you.
Questions and Answers
This appointment is the right time to ask any questions you might have about birth control and your sexual health. Hormone birth control, for example, will not protect against sexually transmitted infections, so your doctor can give you advice on safe sexual practices while using birth control. You also might be concerned about how much birth control can cost, how easy it is to maintain the routine of taking medication each day, and how your emotions can be affected by hormone changes from birth control. You can also discuss your periods — some types of birth control, like the copper IUD, can make period flow heavier, so if you are already a heavy bleeder, this type of birth control might not be right for you.
Routine Health Tests
Finally, part of your appointment will consist of routine health tests. Your doctor will do a pregnancy test before prescribing birth control, just to be safe, and they might suggest a pap smear and breast exam as a routine part of women's health care. If you've been sexually active already without protection, it's also a good idea to test for latent STIs, just in case you need treatment.
To learn more about a visit with a gynecologist, check out sites like http://www.centraliowaobgyn.com.