Visiting the gynecologist is seldom a fun experience. Even women who are super comfortable with their bodies can have a moment when her feet are in the stirrups. It is cold and clinical and there you are, showing it all to the doc. The thing to remember is that s/he is a professional and are there to keep you healthy. Here are 7 things gynecologists say you should never be embarrassed about when coming in for a check up.
1. Your Sex Life
Do you use condoms every time? Are you sleeping with someone on the side? How many partners do you have? These are not asked in order to shame or embarrass you. The last thing your doc wants is to embarrass you and there is no right or wrong answer. As Sherry Thomas, M.D., a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says, “We don’t want to judge you, we just want to help you. There’s not too much you can do or say to shock us. In 25 years of medicine, I think I’ve heard everything.”
2. Your Down There Hair Situation
If you forgot to shave your legs or haven't had a bikini wax in goodness knows how long? Don't worry about it, your gyno isn't worried. “We are so focused on the patient, we are not concerned in the least if she has shaved or waxed,” says Jessica Shepherd, M.D., assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Plus, we are doctors. We know hair grows there for a reason.”
3. Telling Her That Something Is Smelly, Itchy, or Burning
This is not cause for mortification. Those signs are a barometer for your vaginal health. Your gynecologist wants to know about changes in your vagina, vulva or discharge. They can't help if they don't know.
4. How Your Vulva Looks
Like your fingerprint, your vulva is unique to you. Labia have more variances than you could even imagine. Shepherd says, "women shouldn’t think they should look one certain way.” Believe it.
5. Sexual Difficulties
Your gyno wants you to have a great sex life. If you have difficulties with intercourse, it doesn't mean something is wrong with you. Research shows that 30 percent of women suffer through painful sex. There is no need for this. If you say something, you can get help. Once again, you can't help if you don't say something.
6. Asking for an STI Test
“If a women asks to be tested, we don’t assume she’s promiscuous,” says Shepherd. “We assume she is being smart. STI tests are something everyone should ask for.” Exactly. There is not shame in asking. If nothing else, it can give you peace of mind. A large number of women have never been tested and it is time to change that. It is the responsible thing to do.
7. Saying “I Want a Different Gyno”
You should be entirely comfortable with your gynecologist. If you feel you are being judged or made to feel guilty, it is time to find a new doctor. “You should feel completely comfortable with your gynecologist,” says Thomas. “You shouldn’t feel embarrassed or worry about what she will think. You should be able to let your hair down." If you don't feel right, there is someone out there that's a better fit for you. Don't be afraid to find that fit.
Does this help ease some of your pre appointment worries?