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Is it okay to have sex the night before my OB/GYN appointment?

Angela T. Valle, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Generally, it’s okay to have sex the night before your OB/GYN appointment. If you're seeing your doctor for a preventative exam and you don't have any complaints, it won’t change the exam at all. Usually Pap smears can still be done and still be satisfactory. However, if you don't want the small risk of having an unsatisfactory Pap smear, it's best not to have intercourse the night before.
Having intercourse without a condom the night before a Pap will not make a normal Pap smear abnormal, but it might obscure cervical cells so that it cannot be accurately read.

Should you cancel if you “forgot” the night before? Realistically, after waiting two months for an appointment, asking for the afternoon off work or desperately needing a refill on your birth control pills, it may not be practical to take a pass. Be sure to mention to your gynecologist that you had sex, and be aware that you may get a call back if the Pap can’t be read accurately.

On the other hand, if you are coming in specifically to check out an abnormal discharge or odor, you should probably reschedule. It’s pretty much impossible to figure out what is going on if you had intercourse hours before your visit.

If you are coming in for another problem, say abnormal bleeding, an STD check or pelvic pain, it really doesn’t matter.

Is it ever a good thing to have sex before your appointment? Actually, yes. If someone tells me they bleed every time they have sex, it is helpful to see where it is coming from -- the uterus, cervix or vagina.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The answer depends on why you're going to the ob-gyn. To find out when having intercourse the night before an exam is not recommended and why, watch this video to learn more.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.