o you have wedding plans in the future?
It may be a good idea to schedule a visit with your obstetrician/gynecologist. The best time to schedule your appointment is three to four months before your big day to avoid adding one more thing to your to-do list as you get closer to the wedding. Although not a requirement for marriage, a premarital exam may help the bride-to-be answer many questions about her body and facilitate a healthy sexual relationship with her soon-to-be husband.
The premarital exam is a good time to discuss health history, any issues with menstruations, and age-appropriate screenings. Other topics that may be addressed include appropriate body mass index (weight), sexually transmitted diseases and vaccine history. Based on your needs, your OB/GYN may refer you to other specialists to help you with any issue your OB/GYN cannot help you solve.
Depending on the comfort level of the patient, the premarital exam may include a brief anatomy lesson and the basics of how sexual intercourse works. Basic knowledge may facilitate a healthy sexual relationship with your significant other.
Family planning is another topic often discussed at a premarital visit. Oftentimes, newlyweds would like some time to get to know each other before bringing children into the family. There are various methods of birth control. Some options contain hormones and require daily use while other options are long term or do not contain hormones. If children are desired immediately, then the conversation may be about conception and what to expect.
A pelvic exam may or may not be performed at the premarital visit. Current guidelines recommend the first Pap smear at age 21 even if no wedding date is in sight. Unless you have an issue such as pelvic pain, then the pelvic exam may be postponed until after your wedding. A pelvic exam is not necessary in order to get birth control.
Each woman has individual needs and questions that will be addressed at a premarital visit. It is a good idea to do some research ahead of the visit and write down any questions that you may have. You will establish a relationship with your OB/GYN who can help you for many years to come.
Samara Lazernick is an obstetrician/gynecologist at All Seasons OB/GYN in Tooele. The address of the clinic is 196 E. 2000 North.