Making Decisions About Home Care

A Man's Guide To His Significant Other's Routine Gynecological Exam

by Mae Ferguson

Most women feel unease and some level of discomfort when the yearly gynecological exam is on the horizon. If you are a male, however, you might not completely understand what your significant other is experiencing and why she might feel the dread that she does. Here are the basics of what happens during your significant other's routine gynecological exam so that you can better understand why she is going and what exactly happens during the appointment.

What Happens at Her Exam, Anyway?

When your significant other goes to her yearly gynecologic exam, her OBGYN will perform four different exams:

  • General Health: Her doctor will check her vitals, such as her temperature, her weight, her blood pressure, and other tests that a primary doctor would also perform. The doctor will also check to see if she is pregnant.
  • Pelvic Exam: During the pelvic exam, the doctor will check your significant other's internal sex organs, such as the uterus and cervix. The doctor will check for bumps and lumps, which might signify cancer, and rashes and discharge, which might signify an infection.
  • Pap Smear: A "Pap smear" is used to identify the early signs of cervical cancer. The doctor takes skin cells from the cervix and, in the following few days, will contact your significant other with the results.
  • Breast Exam: The doctor will examine her breasts for any unusual lumps, discharge, or abnormalities. This is primarily to ensure that she does not have any symptoms of breast cancer. The doctor will also provide instructions for how to perform monthly exams as well.

What About Birth Control?

During the exam, the issue of birth control might arise. Before the exam, you and your significant other should discuss birth control and whether an unwanted pregnancy would be welcomed. The two of you should also discuss different methods to determine which one would complement your lifestyles. Some of the most common birth control options are daily pills, scheduled injections, an implant, and condoms. The internet is a great place to review different options before the exam and even read reviews from people who have experience with different birth control options. Furthermore, the doctor will be more than able to discuss options, answer questions, and address concerns.

What If She Is Pregnant?

If your significant other is going to her gynecological exam because she is pregnant, the exam will be a little different. The doctor will still perform many of the same exams to ensure that she is healthy in all other aspects, and then also perform additional tests to make sure that the pregnancy is off to a healthy start. For example, the doctor will likely take some blood and urine samples, find out about any risk factors that could cause complications during the pregnancy, and offer guidance for lifestyle changes, like recommending prenatal vitamins.