Going to the gynecologist can be nerve-racking. They're asking you all these questions about your sexual history and your vagina is laid as bare as the new-fallen snow. It's stressful AF, and you might be wondering what's going through the head of the doctor whose face is so very close to your labia. To help lessen that stress, Cosmopolitan.com spoke with Alyssa Dweck, MD, a gynecologist in Westchester County and the assistant clinical professor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, to find out the things your gyno is definitely not judging you for.
1. Your sexual orientation.
Dr. Dweck says doctors don't care if you're gay or straight or questioning and if anything, they only want to know so they can give you the proper information. Dr. Dweck says, "Why waste our precious and limited time in the office discussing pregnancy prevention and contraception if that is irrelevant or unimportant to you?"
2. Your number of sexual partners.
Dr. Dweck says that she doesn't care how many people you've slept with and she only asks her patients this question so she can know their chances of contracting an STI. Dr. Dweck explains: "There are medical risks to multiple partners, such as an increased chance of STIs. Knowing how many partners you've had may actually guide my treatment plan in a different direction."
3. Whether you use a menstrual cup, tampon, or pad.
Dr. Dweck says she doesn't care what you use, but it's helpful for her to know because if you're using tampons, you run the risk of getting toxic shock. If you're using a pad though, that won't be a problem.
4. How much pubic hair you have.
Dr. Dweck says she doesn't care if you have a big bush or if you're bald. It changes literally nothing.
5. Whether or not you shaved your legs or got a pedicure prior to your visit.
It can be super stressful to feel like you need to look like a hairless, pedicured doll when you go to the doctor (seriously it is so messed up that some of us are still conditioned to think like this! it's the freaking doctor!). Rest assured though, Dr. Dweck says, "Frankly, I don't even notice if you have or haven't shaved or gotten a pedicure." So go to your appointment and just be honest. They're there to help you, not judge you.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.