Body examinations

During a visit, a doctor or a nurse will probably check on your body: take your temperature, listen to your heart, weigh you, and measure your height. They may also look at parts of your body like armpits, breasts, back, and genitals to make sure they are growing well.

During puberty, when your body is changing, it’s normal to feel uncomfortable about having your body looked at. These ‘exams’ happen for different reasons, some of which probably have to do with puberty.

Remember: Doctors are only looking to understand your body better and make sure it is healthy and growing well, in order to make good recommendations for your health.

An exam is just something that doctors may recommend, and you can always say Yes or No to it.

Here are the top 5 tips to improve body examinations :

  1. Ask the doctor to explain what he or she is doing, for what reasons, and why now.
  2. Ask in more detail what the examination may involve. Will it be just looking? If there is any touching, can you handle your private parts yourself. If anything material is to be used (like a measure, beads, or a cotton tip/bud), how can you signal to the doctor that it is too uncomfortable. Some doctors show patients their drawings and ask for patients to compare their bodies with the pictures, so you can look yourself and tell your doctor what you see.
  3. Now that you know the deal, think who you’d like in the room: the doctor (or doctors) only, the doctor and the nurse, your parent?
  4. If you feel uncomfortable, say so. Even the best doctor can’t read your mind. Remember, you can always say “No” and choose not to have the exam.
  5. Body exams aren’t always important. However, if you’ve noticed changes in your privates and are concerned, then talk to your doctors about it.