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Myths and Misconceptions About Visiting the OB/GYN

By HERWriter
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Misconceptions and Myths About Visiting the OB/GYN ruigsantos/fotolia

We've prepared a quick pop quiz for you, dear readers. Ready?

Let's begin!

1) How often should a healthy, sexually active person in their reproductive years get a pelvic exam?

a) Every six months, like visiting the dentist
b) Once a year, unless you are having any abnormal symptoms
c) Every three years, based on the CDC recommendation for how often you should receive a Pap smear
d) If you are healthy, you do not need a pelvic exam

2) When you go to visit the OB/GYN, all providers will offer you the same services:

a) True
b) False

3) Standard sexually transmitted infection (STI) screenings include (check all that apply):

a) Every possible STI
b) HIV
c) Herpes
d) Chlamydia
e) Gonorrhea
f) Syphilis
g) HPV

4) When you go for a regular women’s health checkup, you will be required to (check all that apply):

a) Take off your clothes and put on a paper gown
b) Step on a scale to get weighed
c) Get screened for STIs
d) Get a Pap test
e) Allow the health care provider to share your medical information with parents or partners
f) All of the above
g) None of the above

5) Your health care provider will sleuth out your health concerns. If you don’t mention something, they'll probably figure it out anyway.

a) True
b) False

Feeling confident that you know the answers?

In order to get to the bottom of some of these classic myths about visiting the OB/GYN, I interviewed Dr. Lauren Streicher.

Streicher is an associate clinical professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois and the medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause.

With her help, let’s clear up the previous questions.

1) How often should a healthy, sexually active person in their reproductive years get a pelvic exam?

Dr. Lauren Streicher. Author of: “Sex Rx: Hormones, Health and Your Best Sex Ever.” (2015) (Interview for this article: October, 2016.)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “What should I Know About Screening?” Website accessed: 11/4/16.

Advocates for Youth. “Adolescent Access to Confidential Health Services”. Website accessed: 11/4/16.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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