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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Totally confused on sexual health. .

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Author Topic: Totally confused on sexual health. .
Gwaihir
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Ok, I thought I knew it all, but it turns out I don't. . .
It says on this site that girls should get GYN exams when they start menstruating. I automatically think that means pap smear, so I go to my gynecologist for one, but am turned away since I'm not sexually active at all.

Now I find out that girls who are sexually active don't need to get pap smears, so then. . what is it this site is suggesting they get? Is it possible I just don't know the name for it? Is it called a pelvic exam? A gyn exam? What?

I remember I told the people at the doctor's office I wanted a pelvic exam, and they automatically went, "Oh, pap smear then." And I was like: "I. . .. . guess. . ."
I guess it's just a matter of me not knowing the terminology and needing clarification.

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Heather
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A pelvic exam.

generally, when you schedule an exam, the doctor will determine what you need. For women who aren't and haven't been sexually active, a pap smear isn't needed, just a bimanual exam.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Gwaihir
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What is a bimanual exam? I don't believe I've heard of that before.
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Heather
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A bimanual exam is where the doctor uses (gloved and lubed) fingers to simply feel inside the vagina, around the cervix, and the ovaries.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Gwaihir
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Ah. Thanks! I'll have to ask for that next time. .unless I do become sexually active before I schedule another appointment. .
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Heather
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So, your GYN just didn't give you any sort of exam at all?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Gwaihir
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Well, the first time I went I was a new patient and I asked for a pelvic exam and they asked if I wanted a physical and a pap. . .I assumed those meant the same thing, so I went and they gave me the physical part which turned out to be just a general checkup, blood and urine samples, etc, and my doctor was going to give me a pap but I said I was nervous and she said I really didn't need one if I'd never been sexually active before.

So basically I just didn't know the terminology and if I'd known what a bimanual exam was I would have asked for that, I guess. But so far I haven't had any kind of exam that deals with my reproductive organs.

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