Cosmopolitan (USA)

Read before you FaceTime your gyno

Possibly the most awkward telehealth appointmen­t… but hey, no stirrups?


Most of the time, you can keep your pants on. You don’t need to send pics to get a diagnosis or treatment for issues like irregular bleeding due to birth control, says Dr. Stanwood. Or for what seems like an otherwise uncomplica­ted yeast infection. Your doc can just go ahead and call in a prescripti­on for you (same-same when it comes to birth-control script renewals).

If your doctor *does* need visuals—like of new discolorat­ion or a growth on your labia—sending pics over a secure server could be enough for a diagnosis and treatment, says

Dr. Stanwood. (This, btw, assumes your doctor is using a platform with a telemedici­ne component like Athenaheal­th or Epic that securely encrypts photos…so double-check! Also: These images go in your confidenti­al records, not in your doctor’s camera roll, bless.) Or if you’re comfier video-chatting to show them the area in real time, you can totally do that instead.

Ofc, there will be times when all that isn’t enough for a diagnosis, at which point you’ll need to go to a testing lab or get an in-person exam after all, says Heather Irobunda, MD, an ob-gyn in NYC. And you’ll still have to go to the office eventually, bc science has yet to invent a virtual Pap smear or AI mammogram.

For now, though, you can relax knowing that lots of gyno concerns can be addressed from the comfort of your bed—no paper gowns necessary.

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