Question from ANON: I'm scared to go to the gyno...

  1. Hi ladies,

    I received an email from a tPF member who wishes to remain anonymous asking that I post this here. I have already responded to her with my opinion, but I'm sure she woudl like to hear the rest of yours too. I've re-typed the question because she may be able to be identified by the way she types.

    Hope you're all well,


    So...Here's the question:

    I am a 24 year old female and have never been to the gynecologist's office. I've had 2 sexual partners in my life and lost my virginity when I was 17 years old. I'm scared to go. I don't feel like I can talk to my mom or my girlfriends about this because I'm embarrassed. I'm not so much scared that it will hurt, I'm more scared that I will do something wrong. I don't know the "procedure".

    1. Do I need to shave or do anything "down there"? Right now I'm without a partner so I am au natural. Is it customary to do some prepping?

    I hope I won't be berated by the doctor that I haven't been. I've heard that customary is to start when you are 18, correct? The reason why I'm even wanting to go is so I can get a prescription for the BCP. There is this guy that I really like, but we are not together yet, and I'd like to have the pill just in case. Know what I mean? If I were certain that my regular doctor would be able to give me a prescription, I probably wouldn't even be asking this!

  2. You should make an appointment, and if you would be more comfortable with a female doctor, then seek one out. A good doctor will be understanding that you haven't been seen and WILL NOT berate you for having not been seen thus far. It's important to go, because a cervical cancer screening will be done and your doctor will be able to detect any problems early on.

    A doctor should not judge you based on your decision to either have a full bush or clear cut the whole area. He/she is there to make sure that everything is medically ok with you.

    Good Luck! I'm sure you will be fine!!!
  3. It'll be better if you make an appointment after your monthly period. Doctor may do an annual exam that inlcudes STD screening and breast check (MD will feel for any breast lumps). As we all know, our breasts get tender just before we get our period, so it's better to do it after. MD will use a speculum to visualize the cervix and get sample for pap and std screen. MD might also do ovary/cervix palpation and will insert fingers into the vagina while pressing down your lower abdomen. Might be a little bit uncomfortable. Just be honest and have open communication with the doctor if you're hurting. MD will also reassure you. Let your doctor know how you feel as this is your first time. MD are not judgemental about that. They're very professional with what they do. Good luck.
  4. I agree with what everyone has said...I really do think you should ask your friends to "recommend" a gyno...if they have been going for a few years, they will know who they like and who they don't like. That is so important when it comes to being comfortable.

    I have been going for 10 years, and I still get nervous. I am now most comfortable because of the number of docs I have gone to, I finally found the one that makes me comfortable! She's great! I go to her now for everything.

    That is what they are there for. You are young now, but I encourage you to establish a good relationship with a doc now, because as you get older (and maybe have babies?!?) you will need someone that you can go to for those embarrassing questions! And believe me, the older you get, the wierder your body gets, especially while pregnant or after childbirth. I know that seems like a lifetime away, but you need to think ahead. You are a woman now! You need a good doc that can help you through all the womanly things your body will experience, whether that be now, or 5 years from now!

    Good luck to you, dear! If you want, PM me. I do not mind at all!!!!
  5. I'd also like to add to the comments above that this type of an exam is not painful. A little weird, sure, but it does not cause pain. Also, good doctors realize that it is not any female's favorite thing to do so the lower body exam itself is over in two minutes or less. Seriously.
  6. i have to say of all my dr's the one i'm don't mind going to see is my gyno. they're the only drs that i actually go to every year like i'm supposed to. personally i like a female gyno (actually i usually see a nurse practioner. i find they're much more open and easier to talk to than the gynos i've seen) but that is a matter of preference. don't worry about what you look like "down there" this is what they do! they've seen them all i'm sure. it is a little odd being so exposed but all in all the exam doesn't hurt and is usually very quick. but it's a great chance to ask any and all of your embarassing questions! they really know their stuff! don't worry about having not gone before- you're going now and that's all that matters. good for you for taking the bull by the horns! definately ask your friends for recommnedations. i lucked in to my gynos- i went to one for something, ended up staying and then every time my nurse practioner left another great one came up. and that place was bought out so they sent me to someone else. sometimes it's trial and error to find someone you like. incidentally it's the same with BC. sometimes you need to try a few before you find the one that really works for you (in my case i've tried what felt like every pill and the patch before i settled on the nuvaring which i love). good luck!
  7. Some good information so far. A good doctor will not make you feel badly about not going before now. My last 2 gynecologists have been women and they seem to very careful to lessen any discomfort. They tell me what they are doing, too, which helps. Other than bathing/normal cleaning down there, you have no specific preparation. Usually they have a paper sheet to cover yourself below the waist after removing clothing and unhooking your bra to make the breast exam easier. The nurse initially asks some questions, then instructs you about the undressing before the exam.

    It's simply good self-care to start seeing a gynecologist. Not my favorite thing to do, but it's part of a good health regimen.

    good luck!
  8. There is nothing to be worried about. The dr should be happy that you decided to come in. It is very important to see the gyno yearly, especially if you have had sexual partners.

    The procedure takes minutes- at the most. The gyno does do a breast exam also. The procedure involves the gyno taking a look, and then doing the pap smear. The pap may be a little uncomfortable, but since you have had sex, it should not be too bad at all. It takes minutes, literally. He/she will ask about your history, some other questions, and then tell you when you will get your pap results.

    Nothing to worry about!!
  9. It's not like you're going to be lying naked, spreadeagled on the table, or anything.

    The doctor will leave the room when you change. Everything except what, specifically, needs to be looked at will be covered up. When they're done looking, they'll cover said place back up.
  10. A gyno visit is certainly nothing to be afraid of. Sure, it's not going to be the highlight of your day, but it isn't painful or scary. Megs is right. The amount of time you actually spend being examined is just minutes. You will probably spend more time clothed and talking to the doctor about your health history and concerns.

    Don't worry about going to the gyno au naturel. I've been to the gyno au naturel, shaved bare, Brazilian, you name it. The gyno doesn't care.
  11. Don't worry! Like Megs said it's really fast--mine is wicked quick! seconds!!. Don't worry about prepping! No prep needed....
    I actually have a funny gyno story--this year my gyno appt fell on my birthday. I was! But whatever I figured it's just another day, I'll go and get it over with!
    So I get in the room and change into the "johnny" and drape the sheet over my legs and wait. She comes in (I see a nurse practitioner) and says, : "I have a student here interning--she is studying to be a NP. Would you mind if she does your exam today?" So I'm like "OK I guess it would be fine". I've had 2 kids so the shyness is long gone!!
    So she comes in and she's this cute, young, girl. And here I am mostly naked and feeling OLD and she's asking me intimate questions and feeling my boobs and my vajayjay!!:blush:Good grief! My DH told everyone I was felt up by a girl on my bday!!:nuts:
  12. Awwww, as old as I am now, I actually can remember my first gyno visit and I was terrified too! The way I think of it as this in terms of "prep" since you said you were afraid that you would do something wrong. Prep the way you would for a "good date." I think since that is a concern for you, then do the shaving legs and "trim" area (however you want). Another thing, I just found that thinking of my doc as the pizza maker who sees pizzas all day just made mine nothing too special since he had been making them all day. This doc has probably seen it all, so probably not a thing to worry about. Ask your gf's or relatives for their gyno's name and if they like he/she. You don't have to let on you have not been, just say yours has retired or relocated. I had a woman for a while also thinking it would be for me... when I got pregnant I just decided that she was a little too short (personality wise) for me when I was going to be this basket case during my first pregnancy and found an older man with a kind, gentle disposition. It's funny because I remember in the "old days" (meaning my mom and aunts years when I was young) would make this whole production of that visit... left the house looking like they were going on a first day w/ a rich man. Now, pfft... you don't see that anymore, just throw on some jeans and go on in.

    As others said, the procdure is short, you will spend more time in the waiting room than on your back. I am a modest person, so that is really not a biggy. I keep my shirt on (my doc lets me), some have gowns you wear. The foot in the stirrups and the gown or blanket/sheet is drapped over your lower 1/2, so with your knees up... you don't see anything. A good ob/gyn will use a warmed up tool rather than stick a cold one in. You may hear 1 or 2 clicks and that's it, it's an in and out thing that is fairly quick. I promise when you leave, you will ask yourself why you were ever afraid. Seriously though, you do need to do this for yourself. If there is any history of any cancer's in your family, you can only stop what you are aware of. Good luck to this poster and even if you did want to remain ANON, the fact you did something by having someone else post for you is a huge step!
  13. One thing I remembered, your feet can get kind of cold, I always wear socks! It's comforting to have your feet covered.
  14. I'm 27 and I have never seen a gynecologist. I've always been told there's no reason to go unless you have a problem "down there".
  15. I'm 24 and I've never seen one either :oh:
    The thing is, I am terrified of doctors, and going in just for something trivial is a huge thing for me (until I turned 20 I basically wouldn't go unless I was passed out and someone was carrying me :shame:smile: I'm not on BC, mostly because I don't want to go to the dr. and ask for it... What I'm afraid of most of all is that my dr. is going to tell me I should get a gyno exam, because that would have to be the pinnacle of my fear of doctors :p:nuts::shame: