Preparing for Your Visit

Routine exams by a gynecologist are a critical part of your medical care and general well-being. Annual check-ups are the key to maintaining reproductive health, as well as ruling out serious health risks and illnesses, Checkups should not be delayed, postponed, or skipped except in the case of a true emergency.

This section of our website is designed to provide information to help alleviate stress and guesswork surrounding these appointments, so you can be well prepared for your next visit to our office.

To assist you in preparing for your visit, several forms are available in our Documents and Forms Download Center, including a checklist for your next routine exam. Please download the appropriate forms, print them, complete them fully and bring them with you. Dr. Thaxton and the staff will review these with you.

At your first visit and subsequent annual visits we will measure your weight, vital signs and test your blood for anemia (hemoglobin) and your urine for sugar and protein. You will receive a general physical examination, breast exam, pelvic examination and Pap smear, as well as any additional specific tests which are indicated.

After the exam, Dr. Thaxton will take time with you to discuss his findings and recommendations and give you an opportunity to ask questions.

Prior to arriving for your appointment, make a list of your symptoms and questions. Review your list with Dr. Thaxton at the beginning of the appointment rather than after the exam. It's easy to forget the little things when you visit your doctor, especially if you get nervous in the doctor's office. Having a list handy will keep you from blanking out.

As your yearly checkup nears, write down any problems you may be experiencing. It's also important to be realistic about what you can take care of at your yearly checkup. Schedule a separate visit to deal with bigger issues and not try to squeeze everything into a routine annual exam.

Douching washes out cells and other things we need to see. Douching is considered by many women's health experts to be unnecessary and even unsafe ; it can upset the delicate chemical balance of the vagina. The human body is very good at taking care of itself and really shouldn’t need help.

It is also a good idea to keep details about your periods including the date of your last period and the exact number of days from the end of one period to the beginning of the next. For your convenience, you can click here to download a menstrual diary.

If you don’t have any illnesses or conditions affecting the reproductive tract, you should not feel any pain during your exam, though if you tend to feel especially tense during pelvic exams, you may experience some mild discomfort. If you experience any pain or discomfort while you are being examined, tell Dr. Thaxton – more likely than not, there’s a simple solution, and it’s important information for him to know.

One of the best ways to reduce stress about your visit to our office is to be an informed and active participant in your own health care. Know what to expect, and be prepared with any information Dr. Thaxton  might need. Ask questions if you do not understand something or would like to know more, and remember, while Dr. Thaxton is an expert in medicine, he is not a mindreader and he can treat you much more successfully with your cooperation and participation in your own well being.