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What should you expect in a gynecological exam?

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Quick Answer

A gynecological exam involves a brief conversation with the doctor, a basic physical examination and an examination of the breasts and pelvic region, according to WebMD. Females usually receive their first gynecological exam by 15 years of age.

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If a teenager is getting her first gynecological exam, she may feel comfortable having her mom or another female adult with her, says WebMD. She may also want to choose the gender of her doctor. During the first part of the exam, the doctor discusses the woman’s health, including her lifestyle and whether or not she is sexually active. The doctor also wants to know if she has had an exam before. If not, the doctor explains the process more thoroughly before beginning.

During the exam, the doctor first looks at the breasts, checking for lumps and other signs of breast cancer, notes WebMD. The doctor also checks the outer genital area. The doctor doesn't perform an internal vaginal exam at every appointment. In most cases, she only does this during a full pelvic exam or when she needs to perform a pap smear. A woman who is sexually active at the time of the gynecological exam should get the full vaginal exam to look for signs of a sexually transmitted disease or other issues.

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