Women’s clinics usually run a practice of drop-in appointments at various points throughout the week, so call in advance, register on entry and take a seat in the waiting room.

On your first visit, present your health insurance card, but be warned that a number of female-specific conditions may not be covered by it. Those include getting a birth-control pill or even a voluntary mammography or cervical cancer screenings for precaution. Even if you’re visiting the gynecologist for a regular check up, it is a common practice to tell them that you’re following up on a previous condition or have been feeling a slight pain.

Once with your doctor, you will be guided into a changing room (or a private space covered by a curtain), asked to take off your underwear and sit on the gynecology chair. Be aware that the chair moves. In a matter of a few moments, the chair will be adjusted, transporting you — legs wide open — to where your doctor is. Typically there will be a curtain between you and your doctor, so you will not see his or her face.

The doctor will then examine you and will usually end the procedure with a chitsusenjou (膣洗浄, vaginal cleaning), which feels like a jet spray into your vagina. When the procedure is completed, you will be invited to change and wait to pay at the waiting room.