Guest Lil Tiger

Some Tips before you att your Gyno/Ob appt

70 posts in this topic

so... i had to schedual an appointment to get on birth control... will i have to have a pap smear done or anything like that??? i might just cancel that appointment.

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You most likely will need to have one done, as they want to make sure you're healthy before introducing those hormones to your system. Good luck...I think stressing about it may be worse than experiencing it for me. Is your doctor aware of your situation? That makes it a bit easier...telling the doctor can be hard, though. That's where I'm stuck now. I moved across the country and now I have a new MD. I know I should tell, but it's hard!

Again, good luck.

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if any of you are in t for these issues, or have a good relationship with your MD, ask them to write a letter to the doc explaining you are a survivor, let them give it to you, (my t gave me the option of reading it before hand so i knew what was said) and you can take it in to your ob/gyn appt so if you don't feel comfortable telling them, then at least there is that explaining, so they know. i did this at first, and it helped enormously, the doc was very accomodating and gentle with me. i don't know if this will work for everyone, but yeah, just something i thought i might add.

mel

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[quote name='SweetSangria' date='Jun 13 2005, 02:57 AM']if any of you are in t for these issues, or have a good relationship with your MD, ask them to write a letter to the doc explaining you are a survivor, let them give it to you, (my t gave me the option of reading it before hand so i knew what was said)  and you can take it in to your ob/gyn appt so if you don't feel comfortable telling them, then at least there is that explaining, so they know.  i did this at first, and it helped enormously, the doc was very accomodating and gentle with me.  i don't know if this will work for everyone, but yeah, just something i thought i might add.

mel
[right][snapback]195476[/snapback][/right][/quote]
I hadn't thought about it, but that's an awesome idea. Will probably do that next time I have to go through that ordeal again. Last time i freaked out pretty good. :blink:

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Something I found at the national center for post traumatic stress disorder entitled "PTSD Information for Women's Medical Providers:

[url="http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/facts/specific/fs_female_primary.html"]http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/facts/specific/fs...le_primary.html[/url]

If you have the courage, it might be something worthwhile giving to your gynocologist. It lists things that they can do to make the exam better for surivivors.

survivor

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i have to have one of these tests done. I now have the option of having it done at the rape crisis center - yarrow place. I think i might do that, because i don't need to say anything, because being a rape and sexual assault service, they KNOW we are survivors, and deal primarily with survivors. so yeah, i didn't have that option before, and am VERY grateful for it, even tho i love my doc.

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i backed out of the september appt pretty quickly. i don't think i am going to be able to back out of the one i need (see "yuck i don't want to do this" thread on "my life" forum for details) i have had smear tests, and they were hard enough. never a full pelvic. i don't want it. i don't really care who's doin it. doc or yarrow place. i just don't want anyone to touch me, esp. with what i remember. no one.

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I am going to a meet and greet with a new doctor. I have had such bad experiences with doctors in the past, but I know that I need a physical because I haven't had my period for two months. It is impossible for me to be pregnant, so I know there is something else going on. I have read all about pap smears and even seen videos. The whole idea of it makes me angry. Why does a doctor think they have any right to do that to someone? Besides, my grandma got all her physicals, they tortured her for years and she still died! I don't feel like subjecting myself to that kind of humiliation when it doesn't help anyway. I don't need two people I barely know staring at my crotch for fifteen minutes! I'd rather tell them all to f* off.

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[quote name='painfullynumb' post='188947' date='May 20 2005, 01:33 AM']so... i had to schedual an appointment to get on birth control... will i have to have a pap smear done or anything like that??? i might just cancel that appointment.[/quote]
If you want to have a pap to get on birth control. Sorry.

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[quote name='wunderkindlp' post='630052' date='Jan 13 2008, 05:58 PM']. I don't need two people I barely know staring at my crotch for fifteen minutes! I'd rather tell them all to f* off.[/quote]

I'm sorry for your past doctor issues, but I can tell you with confidence that a pelvic exam takes a lot less than fifteen minutes. It may seem like longer, but it's rather quick. I have had the same urge, and to be honest, the urge to kick the doctor before. Let us know if you need any "pocket riders," as I'm sure many of us will join you in spirit!

Take care,

Jennifer

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i had the worst experience at the gyno about a year ago. i was filling out the paper work before hand and i gott really weird when it came to the abuse questions ( i was just beginning to question my experiences) and then when it came time for the exam the woman was so rough with the speculum that my vagina closed right up! it took 3 nurses 20 mins to get inside me. they asked me if i was a virgin! about half way thorough i started doing these breathing exercises (which totally triggered me) and i started sobbing, and i never cry in public. it was awful. afterwards the nurse gave me a card for a social worker.

i guess that's the kinda treatment you get when you go to the health department. my prior visit was just fine, but you never get the same dr. there.

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I recently went to a Gyno first time. As I am discharging a disgusting fishy discharge (thought it was BV but am thinking I might have a small tear between my anal/vaginal wall. As both Vagina and anus are leaking different discharges)

Anyway when I got there, he had a student with him. The girl was my age/perhaps a year or too younger and she was filling notes. I handed him my referal, he questioned me about what things I have done and I replied that I have had anal sex. He looked at me and said "Is this consentual?" I felt my face go red and I couldn't bring myself to say most of the time it wasn't. So I looked behind him and automatically said "Yes, we do it once a week."

I think he could see through me as he went on to give me a lecture on it being a homosexual practice. I thought he was going to exam me but he didn't just filled out a prescription and sent me on my way. The medication hasn't cleared up the problem so it looks like I'm going to make an appointment with him tomorrow.

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ok...in order to understand...let me give you some backstory...

my first obgyn appt...
i was 17...i had just had my second ever period...due to severe anorexia, i had not had but one in my whole life...my then psychiatrist saw how it upset me and reccomended birth control...this was before i even "knew" i had been sa' d r'd. So i went...totally not knowing anything about my body or a gyn exam...the doc was nice, for her profession...she never complained about the black eye i gave her...and she spent over an hour and a half with me before, during and after the exam...
but despite her kindness i cant make myself go back...
when i was 23...i had my fourth period (due to anorexia i had been able to completely halt them till then)...i was at a DID treatment center...and had been there two or three days...it was supposed to be the best in the country (USA)...and omg! i freaked...they said i was too self destructive and that there was nothing they could do for any of my issues...if i was going to "let a natural bodily cycle rule my life)...of course the head psych there was a man...no surprise there.
so they left me in restraints for over 24 hours...which made thing worse...until my parents...who had just gotten back to ohio...after dropping me off...returned to take me home.

my psychologist...in ohio...suggested birth control

but...i couldnt just go to the pharmacy and get it...no...they make it hell...i had to have an appt...

i put it off for two years...each time i had the "monthly curse" i ended up in the ER with SI marks, carbon monoxide poisoning, od, it just went on and on...

finally i broke down and told a patient attendant that the blood was the trigger...and i would die if it didnt stop...

she "got it"...although my docs...even the good one...wrote it off as "just drama"...even though they supposedly understand DID, ptsd, abuse issues, triggers, etc...i guess this one is really abnormal?

i had no insurance so i made an appt at planned parenthood.

i went in filled out the paper...and was called back

i never made it to the exam room...
i walked into the hall...the nurse asked a few questions...
when was your last menstrual cycle?
are you s-xually active?
and...the clincher...have you ever been s-xually abused?
i lost it....
just started sobbing hysterically...and hyperventillating...and could not answer...
before anything bad could happen i left.

well...they had my phone number...

they called and i told them to lose my number...

now im 27...and if i calculate right....though my periods are never on a schedule...im due to "start" in a a little less than two weeks.

i have talked to a nice woman gynecologist...in the past month...via phone and letter...about options for birth control...
but she "needs to do an exam" before she goes through with the abdominal hysterectomy she has offered...
i really want the hysterectomy...
despite her (male) colleagues condemning her and telling her im too young and irrational to make a permanent decision...she and i and my psychiatrist as well as psychologist...not to mention my parents...all KNOW i will
(accidentally) kill myself if it doesnt stop.
she understands that even spotting will send me over the edge...so she doesnt want to waste all our time on pills, depo...the more common, less radical treatments.
and i vetoed ablation...essure, laparoscopic hysterectomy, etc...because they are done v-ginally...
even under general anesthesia...i dont want anyone touching me there...
so...i have an appt.
she promises that my first appt...or first two...will be in a neutral place...she suggested the coffee shop next to her office...
but...she explained that she needs to do at least an external pelvic exam and an ultrasound...and most likely get cultures...before she can (legally) proceed
and she got my records from the first...and last gyn
they were not able to get a "clean" swab because after 40 minutes all they managed was to inset a cotton swab...minus the speculum...why is that "not reliable"?
so...i have a coffee shop appt next monday...
she promised not to wear a lab coat...as it is a trigger for me...
and we are just gonna talk...
please please please help me...
i am absolutely terrified...
cant even read a lot of these posts...

oh..and i dont want kids...not bio...
and i dont have relations with anyone...
im a kinda as-xual homo romantic...
i guess...thats the best description...
if i have any attraction its to women

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ok...update...my friend...the woman i have a crush on...she just called to invite me on a "date"
i was an idiot and broke down and spilled all this and sent her the post i just made...
freaky thing is...

she wants to go with me to gyno!

aaaack...

i really dont want her to see me at my worst/lowest/ most frightened, etc

but...does it help... to have a friend with you?

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Gathering courage,

You wrote this a long time ago and I hope you did get to the gyno, but it really does help to go with a friend.

I am wondering if other people on this board have had problems with fear of gynecological surgery. I've been fine with gynecological exams, but I need surgery now, and the thought of being under general while people use scalpels on my is triggering me. Any suggestions for handling this?

Leah in California

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I really wish I knew a lot more about this years ago. I have been being triggered for years without understanding that was what was happening.

I have had a lot of problems over the years and have had to endure lots of procedures and poking and prodding and looking "down there." I had two ectopic pregnancies resulting in 2 emergency surgeries. Having the vaginal ultrasounds beforehand was incredibly distressing for me. Delivering my child was a major traumatic episode. Finally I developed cervical cancer and had 5 surgeries. Having my first vaginal colposcopy triggered me to a massive panic attack followed by a flashback. It's been horrible.

I am still seeing a gyn oncologist as I still have some problems. I decided to tell her my SA history and I did this by writing a letter to her to read before she performed a colposcopy a couple of months ago. She was brilliant and told me that this information was vital for her. She guided me through the procedure and helped me breathe through it.

Today I had to give blood in preparation for a surgery. That freaks me out as well. I can't bear anything that pierces my skin !!!

I really recommend saying. It is not easy but I am so glad I did. She knows something about me and can treat me in a way that makes me less panicked.

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@Leah in California

I don't know if this will help but the way I think about it is that the Doctors and surgical teams really want to make sure you are well and healthy. They really, really do care about that. They understand you are stressed and terrified and in my experience, make sure that you get through it. During my cervical cancer surgeries and treatments they looked after me with incredible care. I will always be grateful to them. I was extremely distressed and was not a great patient, as my anxiety levels went through the roof. But they were calming and reassuring. Once I stopped fighting it and put myself in their hands I felt better. At the end of the day, we have to do what it takes to be well and in good health. All the best.

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I'm so glad to have found this thread.

As I'm in the UK we don't have gynos here, it's usually a nurse that does your regular smear, mine is up to date but I have to go for a health check next week and I'm petrified!

I'll be trying some of your suggestions definitely, thank you all

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I had a cervical smear test appointment today.

This was my first as I had been ignoring the reminders for 18 months since I turned 25. It didn't go to plan as I couldn't go through with it.

I feel like such a fool. I got there, had planned what I was going to say so the nurse would understand why I was so scared. But it all went wrong and I totally freaked out when there was a male medical student who was was training and they asked if he could do it. I said I'd rather have the nurse but he was still in the room and I just couldn't do it. Not even close. I just didn't expect there to be a man there. I felt so bad for him as it wasn't his fault. I couldn't explain why I was in such a state as I just couldn't say the word r*pe. They probably thought I was crazy. I feel so ridiculous right now. I know I wasn't in any danger but I just didn't feel safe or in control of what was going on. I'm so cross with myself that I went through all the build up and now I'm back to square 1. I don't know why I thought I was ready when I'm clearly not. :-(

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Rachel, do not be mad at yourself! You did nothing wrong!!!!! I am actually really happy for you that you took care of yourself and said no to something you were uncomfortable with, you could've been re-traumatized if you went along with it. That is YOUR body and you have every right to privacy about it. If you don't want a male stranger looking at it or touching it that is more than reasonable.

You are NOT crazy. I would have done the exact same thing in your position. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone. You are the customer, it's your body, those health care provider people work for you and you are in charge. Good for you for saying no. I hope your next appointment goes more smoothly. It was insanely rude and presumptuous of them to even think you might be remotely okay with a male stranger anywhere near that situation. I would have walked right out and yelled at them to boot for assuming such a thing.

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I agree with gozorakgo, you should have been told before the appointment if anyone other than you dr or nurse would be present. I don't think all healthcare workers consider our reactions or the amount of time it takes us to prep for these appointment. Not to mention the time it takes us to pull ourselves together after an appointment. This has happened to me before and I apologized, though I shouldn't have had to, to the medical student. Though I would have LOVED the medical student to have learned from me and my pain, that's not my responsibility. I also don't think its ethical for my dr/nurse to share my concerns with the medical student. A good dr/nurse understands this without explanation. So very sorry you had to go through this. In time you will find the ability to make a new appointment and hopefully have a better experience. GOOD for you for having stood up for yourself, the risk of not having done so would have probably have been far worse emotionally.

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Thanks for the replies. I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking it was unfair for them to assume I would be okay with it, and that it's okay that I definitely wasn't comfortable with it.

They mentioned at the reception desk that the nurse had a medical student with her and would I be willing for the student to do it. I said I'd rather it was the nurse but they didn't mention it was a male medical student. So when I got into the room I was shocked to be faced with two people, one of whom was male and totally forgot about what I'd been practicing about explaining why this appointment would be difficult for me.

I was asked again about the med student doing it as reception obviously hadn't passed on my wishes. When I said no again I assumed he would leave the room but he stayed so he could give me 'moral support' and learn from how the nurse talked to me etc. Bless him, he was trying to be supportive but it was the worst possible scenario for my first smear test to be looking up at a man's face whilst in such a vulnerable position. I wish I'd asked him to leave at that point but I couldn't get the words out and didn't want to cause trouble.

She started trying to jam the speculum into me but it was all too familiar and I felt I was back there being raped again. There's something so powerless about the position and not being in control of what's going inside you. I tensed up and she couldn't get it in anyway. I was a crying mess by this point so she stopped and let me sit up. She asked if I wanted to try again. I said no and got out of there as quickly as I could. I partly wish I'd tried again but I doubt it would have been any easier as there was no way back from how I felt. I couldn't just switch off my thoughts and feelings.

I really hope this doesn't put anyone else off having a smear. Please learn from my mistakes and make sure you're comfortable in the environment before they begin. I can't help but think it would've been different if the medical student hadn't been there and I'd been able to tell the nurse what I'd rehearsed. She was lovely and the med student didn't do anything wrong, I was the only problem. However I can't help but feel angry that I had extra obstacles in what was always going to be a difficult appointment. I've not seen a med student ever before! Just typical!

I can't even begin to think about booking another test but I know this will be hanging over me if I don't do it at some point.

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It wasn't your fault or anyone's fault other than the person who hurt you in the past. I have to keep reminding myself of that, its hard to do, but its true. Maybe some day you can call the nurse and discuss what happened if you are feeling up to it. That way when you go in again (no rush) you both will be on the same page. From what it sounds you seemed to like her so maybe you can work through this with her. Thinking of you (()) if you want them.

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Thank you. I think I'm going to leave it for now and try again at some point when I feel ready.

Thanks for all the kind words and reassurances.

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