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Preparing for Your Well Woman Exam

A well woman exam typically includes a pelvic exam, which can be an unnerving experience (especially when it is your first exam). However, preparing for the exam and understanding the health reasons behind the exam may lessen your anxiety. Important: to ensure accurate results, women who are scheduled for a well woman exam should not place anything in their vagina for at least 48 hours prior to the examination. This includes abstaining from any sexual intercourse, tampon use, application of creams, douching, etc.                                If it is your first visit to the clinic for a well woman examination, the provider may ask you to fill out a Women’s Health Questionnaire. It can be used to establish your current state of health, as well as any pertinent personal and family medical history. You may be asked about your menstrual cycles, if you are sexually active and if your sexual relationships place you at any risk for pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. In addition, you may be asked about dietary habits, social interactions and any exposure to physical harm that may be placing your health at risk. If you have any questions for the health care provider about your health during this examination, please do not hesitate to ask.

In preparation for the exam, you will be asked to undress in the examination room. You will be given a gown to wear and a drape to cover your lap. You may prefer to keep your top/shirt on during the exam, but you will be asked to unhook your bra to facilitate the breast examination.

Preparing for Your Pap Test

Two days before your Pap test:

  • Do not have sexual intercourse or use tampons, creams, lubricants or douches. 
  • Please schedule your exam for a time when you are not having your menstrual cycle.