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i have a gynecologist appointment

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Many of us handle our yearly checkups like a literal checklist and move on with our lives. We report for duty, let our doctors do their things, and walk off, not giving it another thought. We answer their pre-loaded questions about our drinking, smoking, and exercise habits. We tell them what medications we’re taking and any surgeries we’ve had, but we don’t put much thought into specific events or symptoms that have occurred. Of course, a lot of time could have passed between the day something weird happened with your body and the time your checkup takes place. At that point, you don’t remember. And when the issue came up, you told yourself, “It’s probably nothing,” and so long as you felt better again, you filed that away as a non-issue.

These are just some of the ways in which we don’t make the best use of doctor’s visits. Why not really get your money and time’s worth? Once your doctor is standing in front of you, you have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. But the visit is only as useful as you make it, and while some doctors are fortunate to ask the perfect specific question to a question you had but didn’t ask, you won’t always be so lucky. We spoke with Dr. Lorie Johnson (pictured below), a board-certified OB/GYN and the owner of Just For You Women’s Healthcare, a private practice in Atlanta, about things your gynecologist wishes you’d keep in mind to bring up for your next appointment.

Dr. Lorie Johnson

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Unusual pain during or after sex

As women, we can grow to associate sex with a bit of discomfort, especially if our partners aren’t great at/generous with foreplay. It shouldn’t be that way, but for many women, a little discomfort is not something that gives them a cause to worry. Dr. Johnson says that some cramping after an orgasm can be normal since the uterus is a muscle that contracts during the climax, which can cause the feeling of cramps. However, if you experience painful penetration or extreme dryness, you should bring this up to your doctor. Irregular spotting or bleeding during or after sex should also be reported.

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