Tell your health care provider what tests you are and are not comfortable having done. Most doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses will understand that it is difficult going for sexual health care the first time. Tell your health care provider if you want to have some parts of the testing done at a later time. You might choose to have a blood test or an internal exam at another appointment.
The health care provider will talk to you about concerns you may have, body parts (throat, vagina, penis, anus) that need to be examined, symptoms, and condom use. The health care provider will ask you to undress from the waist down and will give you a drape to cover yourself.
A good sexual health examination includes the following:
- Examine the outside of the genitals.
- Take a urine sample.
- If you have had oral or anal sex, take a swab from the throat or anus.
- Take a blood sample.
- For male bodies, feel the testicles and penis.
- For female bodies, an internal exam includes putting a speculum into the vagina to look inside of the vagina and cervix, a Pap test (they take samples from the cervix to check for changes) and a bimanual exam (the health care provider places one or two fingers inside the vagina and their other hand on the lower abdomen in order to feel the ovaries and uterus)
If you feel more comfortable with someone else in the room, whether you are male or female, you can tell the health care provider. Most male health care providers will ask a female to enter the room when they examine a female’s genitals.
Remember, you are the one who has asked for testing. You have the right to ask the health care provider to do only those things you are comfortable with.