Can a Doctor Tell During Your Pelvic Exam If You've Had Sex?
Can a doctor tell during your pelvic exam if you've had sex?
Most of the time, a doctor will not be able to tell if a girl has had sex just from a pelvic exam. But you should let your doctor know if you've had sex anyway.
Why? Having sex puts a person at risk for getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) as well as unplanned pregnancy. When you tell your doctor you've had sex, he or she can look out for signs of infection. Treating STDs early is important not just for your health, but also for the health of your partner. If an STD is not treated, it can cause scarring of the reproductive organs and might lead to infertility (inability to have a baby) in men and women.
Even if you don't think you have an STD, only a doctor can tell for sure. That's because many people do not have signs or symptoms of an STD even though the STD can still cause problems later on. Your doctor can give you advice about protecting yourself against STDs. You can also discuss ways to prevent pregnancy, such as using condoms every time you have sex.
You may feel nervous talking to your doctor about sex, but he or she can be one of the best resources you have. Gynecologists, family practitioners, pediatricians, and adolescent medicine specialists deal with questions about sex every day, so don't be ashamed or embarrassed to ask them anything. Their goal is for you to stay healthy.
If you're worried that your parents will find out, just tell your doctor about your concerns. What you discuss with your doctor about sex can stay between the two of you.
Reviewed by: Julia Brown Lancaster, RN
Date reviewed: January 2013
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
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