What is a “GYN” exam?

A gyn (short for gynecological) or Women’s Health exam typically may include a pelvic exam, testing for many vaginal infections (including yeast infections and STIs), and may include a pap smear  – a test for cervical cancer depending on your age. Pelvic exams and breast exams are not routinely performed but are done, as needed, based on your symptoms and your history.

Who should have a GYN exam?

The RCSWC recommends that all women who are sexually active, regardless of age, and all women who are 21 or older have an annual gynecological exam.


Several important things happen at a gyn exam. There is an opportunity to ask questions about a wide range of topics including (but not limited to):

  • Sexuality
  • Contraception (birth control)
  • Vaginal infections
  • Preconception counseling (planning /preparing for pregnancy in the future.)
  • A complete medical and family history is taken and a general physical exam is performed.  This can help identify any general health problems.
  • A breast exam may be  performed and self-breast exam techniques are discussed and/or taught.  It is important for you to get to know what is normal for your breasts. This is important as 1 in 8 women will eventually develop breast cancer.
  • A pelvic exam (including STI testing and possibly a pap smear to check for any pre-cancerous lesions on the cervix) may be performed.
  • Contraception may be discussed, with the pros and cons of each method described.  If you wish, and there are no medical reasons why you should not have it, a prescription for the birth control pill or other contraceptive may be written.

Will my parents find out?

Not unless you tell them.  Your medical  records are kept strictly confidential and will not be released without your explicit written consent.

How much does it cost?

The exam and testing is FREE for all students who have paid the student health fee (all full-time students have).  If you receive a written prescription and are covered through your personal health plan or the student insurance health plan; prescriptions will cost whatever your copay is for that medication. If you receive the medication from our providers you will need to pay the Wellness Center price, and it will not be reimbursed by your insurance coverage.

How do I schedule an appointment?

  • When you call, make sure you say that you want to schedule an:
    • “Initial GYN exam” (if you have never had one done at Rutgers)
    • “Annual GYN exam” (if you have had one done at Rutgers)
    • “GYN problem” (if you are having a problem such as vaginal discharge)
  • If you prefer, you may request a female clinician
  • If you prefer you may request a chaperone during your exam.