When it comes to gynecological appointments, one of the most common questions asked by female patients all over the world has to do with her period. We all know that booking that annual appointment a year in advance is oftentimes the only way to ensure you are able to see your doctor on time—and for many, it’s the only way to hold yourself accountable to keep it. So, what do you do when your favorite monthly guest decides to stop by for an early, late, or altogether unexpected visit, just in time for your annual check-up? Do you cancel? Do you show up and hope for the best? Not to worry, ladies—we are here to help.
Your Doctor’s Preference
Whether or not you should visit your gynecologist when you are on your period truly depends on the preference of your doctor. If you know you will have your period on the day of your appointment, the first thing you should do is call your doctor’s office and explain your situation. They will likely ask you how heavy your flow is and decide on a case-by-case basis.
Generally speaking, if you are visiting your doctor for a health concern related to your period, then it is highly likely that you will be told to keep that appointment. On the other hand, if your appointment with your gynecologist is for your yearly check-up and Pap Smear, they may decide to postpone your appointment until your period is over.
Many times, doctors recommend patients keep their scheduled appointment unless a period is heavy and saturates a tampon or pad within an hour. This is because a large amount of blood can interfere with the results of the Pap Smear and cause inaccurate results. This important test is performed by collecting a swab of cervical cells to inspect for cancer or other abnormalities. Depending on the type of test your doctor uses, the blood from your period could obstruct the view of your cervical cells during a pathological examination. But with the advancements in technology, a small amount of blood is often not an issue, so be sure to call your doctor to see if you can keep your appointment and do not just assume you should reschedule. And remember, don’t be shy! “TMI” is not an issue with Dr. Evans—she understands!
Advantages to Seeing Your Gynecologist While Aunt Flo is in Town
While there are some times when it is best to reschedule your appointment with your gynecologist during your period, there are actually other occasions when being on your period makes for an advantageous appointment.
Specifically, if you plan to have an IUD inserted as your preferred method of birth control, your period will make for a much easier procedure. During your menstrual cycle, the cervix is more open than any other time of the month, which means this quick procedure will be much more comfortable.
Additionally, your doctor may be able to more accurately diagnose period-related issues when you visit during this time of the month. Be sure to fully communicate all of your symptoms with your doctor when you call so they can collaborate with you to make informed decisions about your care.
Call Your Doctor if You Have Questions
As long as you are not uncomfortable doing so, you should always try to keep your scheduled appointment with your gynecologist. Remember, they are all used to seeing blood and know how to properly examine women even if they are on their period.
If you are in the Houston area, consider reaching out to Sugar Land Medical Spa’s board-certified OBGYN, Dr. Evans. She has nearly 20 years of experience providing female health support for women of all ages.
You can reach a member of her friendly team today by calling (281) 277-7721.