If you have a vagina, a cervix or breast tissue, it’s important to make regular visits to a gynecologist— regardless of your gender or sexuality. A gynecologist can provide cancer screening, sexual health checkups and safer sex advice
If you currently have a gynecologist with whom you feel comfortable, coming out to them is an important step to being healthy. Being open about your sexual orientation, sexual behaviour and gender identity means that your provider will be able to offer care that is personalised and relevant to you.
If your gynecologist is not understanding, or your don’t feel comfortable with them, find a new one. Your health is important, and you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
Tell your doctor your pronouns and the names you prefer that they use for your body parts at the consultation.
If you have a uterus and ovaries, your ob/gyn may want to check them with a pelvic exam. If you’re anxious about being examined, you can ask the doctor to talk you through the procedure first, while you still have your clothes on.
It’s important that your gynecologist checks for any irregularities of the cervix, uterus and ovaries if you have these parts. If you have a cervix you may also need a smear test which looks at cells from the cervix to see if there are any signs of cancer. If you have a vagina you should get checked for any sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or vaginal infections.
Whether you have breasts or not, it’s important for the doctor to examine your chest. Breast cancer can affect people of any gender.
Tell your doctor about any family history of breast cancer, and let them know if you have breast pain, lumps or any other changes that worry you.
The doctor will probably ask you for the date of your last period, if you menstruate.
If you need any follow-up tests done, you can ask your provider to recommend an LGBTQIA-friendly specialist. Your OB/GYN should also let you know when you should come back for your next checkup.