There are a number of things that are a given when it comes to your regular ob-gyn appointments: you’ll probably get pee shy, the stirrups will be uncomfortable, and you will obsess about what exactly is going through your doctor’s head when they are poking around down there.
Suppress your fear, we’ve asked five ob-gyns to tell us what they really want us to know about our regular visits. What she seemed to realize a few things: They do not care about what you do with your body, your her, there is very little that embarrasses them, and they only really care that you’re honest. Here is exactly what they had to say.
1. We Really Don’t Give A Sh*t About Your Care
It is the alarming situation that you always seem to find yourself in: It’s the night before your gynecologist appointment, and all of a sudden you get—you down the region is not exactly, err, taken care of. If the thought of stripping without a clean-up drives you bonkers, go ahead and do what you need to do. Otherwise, forget it, because your gyno doesn’t care. “You don’t have to shave your legs or wax your vulva,” says Draion M. Burch, D. O., a board-certified ob-gyn and sexual health advisor for Astroglide. “I’m not the only one to pay attention to those things.”
2. Don’t Worry About How Your Vagina Smells
“Patients are worried about how their vagina smells, but I really have to worry about how their feet are going to smell,” says Burch. “When a patient is getting a pap smear, her feet are closest to my nose.” Fair enough, nice enough.
3. Yes, You are Probably Going to Poop on the Table When You gave birth
Many women are afraid of pooping during delivery, but the doctors could not care less. “Almost all women poop while pushing their babies,” says Leena Shankar Nathan, M. D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA. “We are used to it and know how to deal with it, so just accept that it’s probably going to happen and don’t worry about having a bowel movement in front of us.” In other words, stay calm and press on.
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4. Save Your Appointment Because You Have Your Period
Let one thing be clear: Menstrual blood is not your ob-gyn nauseous, so if you in the calculation of the dates is wrong (or just forget) and the wound with your period on the check-in days, not oppose it. “Births, in particular, C-profiles, are very bloody, so I can assure you that you will with your time, I am examining is not a problem in the slightest,” says Mary Jane Minkin, M. D., a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale University. Just be sure to call the office of your doctor in advance if you are due for a pap smear—some offices use an update of the test that can separate from the menstrual blood, cervical cells, but others are not, so you’ll need to know that your office capabilities.
Brush on this vagina do’s and don’ts for your next visit to the doctor:
5. We Really Want to Know About Your Itch
You may feel uncomfortable about that down the itch, but Barb DePree, M. D., director of women’s midlife services at Holland Hospital in Holland, MI, says it is actually important that you fess up to that kind of detail, especially because an exam can really help. “If you suffer from itching in your vulva, it is actually not at all crazy to think that it is likely to be a yeast infection,” she says. “It is more likely to be related to something that causes contact irritation, or a vulvar skin problem. Some women with months to years of irritation for the search of a examination, so don’t take that itching and irritation is just a normal part of life for women. That’s not it!”
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6. We Have a Preference for birth control
The best form of birth control is different for every woman, and the ob-gyns will do their best to guide you to the method that for you…but the truth is that there is one they think will rise above the rest: Iuds. Why? They are safe, long acting, and require no maintenance: a win-win-win for doctors and patients, says Leah Torres, M. D., an OB/GYN in Salt Lake City. And Nathan agrees: “The levenoregesterol IUD (aka Mirena) is our go-to birth control for patients,” she says. “It reduces the bleeding and cramps, and can even help in the prevention of uterine cancer.” (Heal your whole body with Rodale’s 12-Day power plan for better health!)
7. No Sex Detail Is Considered TMI
To know about your sex life, including the kinds of sex you have (anal, vaginal, oral, etc.) and what is your gender preference, your doctor will help you the best care, says Nathan. And not lie about how many sexual partners you’ve had or currently have. “We are not here to judge,” she says. “We only want to help you through the screening for the [right] sexually transmitted diseases and advice on safe sex.”
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This article originally appeared on WomensHealthMag.com.