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First Times - Sex & GYN. Visit

Published: June 27, 2005
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I have heard that going to a gynecologist for the first time can hurt you and/or can break your hymen if you still have your hymen intact, because of the tools that they have to use for the check-up. I am in a serious relationship and my boyfriend and I will start having sex soon. We are both virgins. He says that I should visit a gynecologist to talk about birth control options before we begin having sex. But I am terrified that the gynecologist will end up tearing my hymen. I want to lose my virginity to my boyfriend, not to "sterile tools." Please help!
Signed: First Times - Sex & GYN. Visit

Dear First Times - Sex & GYN. Visit,

 

TeenHealthFX applauds you and your boyfriend for taking on the responsibility of learning about birth control options before having sex. Your doctor can discuss these options in detail and help you make an informed decision.  Regardless of the birth control method you choose, we advocate using condoms to prevent getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD).  You can discuss this with your primary care doctor or you may choose to see either an adolescent medicine doctor (doc who specializes in treating teens) or gynecologist.  Because you have not had sex yet, a gynecological (gyn) exam involving a speculum (the instrument used to better visualize the cervix) may not be necessary.  Your doctor may do a general physical exam especially before starting you on the birth control pill or patch. 

 

Here’s a little information to address your concern about your hymen being torn during a gyn exam. The hymen is a thin membrane that partially blocks the opening to the vagina. The hymen can break for any number of reasons. It can separate by inserting a tampon, when the body is stretched strenuously, like in sports and horseback riding and sometimes it will tear for no apparent reason at all. While it is common for some slight bleeding and slight pain to accompany the separation of the hymen, many women experience the process without even noticing it.  Even if your hymen breaks through other activities, you are still considered a virgin if you have not had sexual intercourse.  While some people experience some discomfort during their first gyn exam, this generally does not result in tearing of the hymen.

 

Doctors agree that once you become sexually active, it is important to have a yearly gynecological exam.  Some women need a gyn exam more frequently if they are experiencing problems with their menstrual cycles, have concerns about sexually transmitted diseases or think they may be pregnant. Just like doing anything you have not yet experienced, going to the gynecologist for the first time can be scary in some ways for just about everyone. But, rest assured there is nothing at all to be frightened of. Most doctors are sensitive to their patient’s medical and emotional needs and will do their best to make the patient feel comfortable. For detailed information on this topic, and particularly what to expect during your first visit have a look at our answer to Sexually Active and Wondering About a GYN. You can schedule this at your local teen health center. Most towns have centers that see teenagers for sexual health reasons without a parent's consent and on a reduced or no cost basis. If you live in Northern New Jersey and want to go to a teen health center, please call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475.

 

 

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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