Jump to content

Some Tips before you att your Gyno/Ob appt

  • Please log in to reply
69 replies to this topic

#1 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 18 July 2002 - 07:10 AM

I was thinking that I might be able to add something here, but it's more of a "look out" type thing.  
I got one of the worst triggers I've had in years (actually kind of stepped back from myself for a couple of minutes) when the midwife associated with the OB I was seeing asked (out of the blue) if I had ever been raped or abused.  Not long after that, I made a move to another state and another midwife.  Before she could ask me the same question, I told her (so as to be in control, I guess) and asked her why.  She said that it can cause added tension and trigger anger in childbirth, so they ask. It helps them to be on guard.
Anyhow, I just thought it could help someone to be aware that this question could happen at such an odd time.  It shocked me when the first midwife asked, and took me a while to get over.

(Edited by Fluxus at 9:12 am on July 18, 2002)

#2 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 24 January 2003 - 09:51 AM

Another suggestion -

For those who, like me, find the whole speculum experience not just uncomfortable but downright painful - ask for a pediatric speculum. So long as they can see what they need to see and accomplish what they need to accomplish, there's no need to use an adult-sized version, and most gyns will be accomodating with this. The doctor I just saw actually took it upon herself to suggest and find one, after learning that I was a rape survivor.

Another suggestion, one that she actually made to me - have an initial visit to simply discuss any problems or concerns, to get to know the gyn/doctor, BEFORE the exam, then come back another day for the exam itself. It may help you become more comfortable with the doctor, if you're seeing someone new.

#3 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 13 April 2003 - 03:36 AM

one time my gyn began to talk to me about my overweight while i was on that chair and not able to run away. sometimes gyn doctors are like dentists. they talk to u when they know u cant run away.
now when i meet a new doctor i tell them, i only want to talk about safe topics while its done (like school, the weather, the new movies whatever)
and to tell me everything else when im dressed and looking face to face. a doctor not respecting this roule has seen me the last time in his life. (and wont earn money with me no more :o)) im in the position of a customer and concentrate on that part. cause its the customer who really has the power.
now im more relaxed and it doesnt hurt anymore

oh yes and i dont wanna be told that "it wont hurt if i relax" thats what a*users says as well. i want that they make me think of different topic, then i relax.


#4 Guest_Lil Tiger_*

Guest_Lil Tiger_*
  • Guests

Posted 17 May 2002 - 10:58 PM

Hey Fam (((HUGS)))

Here are some sugestions we came up with in chat today to make the apt with the gyno/ob re:pap smears a lil easier...
anymore ideas please mention :)

* Ask your GP for a referral to a good gyno
* Ask friends for a good one (word of mouth)
* Ring your local crisis center they may have some that they know are good or refer to.

* Plan your day, reward yourself after you have had your Pap, like going to your fav restraunt, seeing a movie, having a massage etc..

* go with a friend

* plan with your friends that soemtime during the week you all have pap smears done andthat w/e have a special girl night with them all :)

* do somehting relaxing before your appt ie walk in the park, going for a swim etc..

*avoid caffiene the day of your appt as it increases anxiety

* if needed ask your dr about anti anxiety agents such as diazapam (valium) that you can take prior to your appt (at least 1hr before but if you do, get s friend to drive you there)

*write down a list of all things that cold hapen during the exam and have a plan of action...ie: Trigerred I will do my deep breathing techs, visualisation / guided imagery etc..

* This helps you have mre control and know that if soemthing does happen like being triggered you know there are ways you van help relive the stress and anxiety

* Get the gyno to explain the procedure step by step whilst he/she is examining you.

* Ask to be shown what will happen before the procedure so you know exactly what will happen.

* Choose a female doctor, or have a female nurse present during the exam if possible.

* YOU have the choice on what position you have the exam..ie lying on your back or on your side. Gynos do have their own personal preferences but this is about YOU not them. Do what makes YOU feel most comfortable.

* If at any stage you don't feel comfortable during or before the exam. You can ask the exam to be stopped. YOU are in control and have the right to say NO at any point during the exam.

* Some breathing Techs... Deep breathing exercises...
- counting back from 20 or 50 etc..

deep breath
I am safe
deep breath
I am in control etc


deep breath
I can't wait to buy that new dress tonight
deep breath
I might have chicken tandoori tonight fro dinner..etc..

It depends what works best for you distractional or hitting your trigger head on. It's a personal choice.

Visualisation / Guided Imagery go to a safe place within yuor mind where you feel at peace, safe  and in a tranquil environment...

* Bring a walkman in case you need to escape into some happy music during the appt.

* The procedure is less than 5mins  though it can seem like a lifetime. Knowing exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it helps...Knowledge is power and helps you to be in more control. NEVER forget that YOU are in control. YOU have the right to say NO at any point. You are a paying customer, and the customer is always right ;)

Anymore IDEAS.....

#5 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 15 July 2002 - 12:34 PM

Just one thing I remembered which I always forgot in the beginning:

When you do the counting back thing or any similar exercise remember that your subconscious mind doesn't recognize a "no" so something like "I am not afraid" is likely to reinforce the feeling of being afraid...go for things like "I am safe" instead...and yes, I actually made that mistake last week before my gyn appt. :P


#6 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 22 July 2002 - 11:42 PM

Oh and when you go to a gyn you can leave on a skirt and a blouse or something without underwear...you may get a surprised look, but this thing was actually suggested in many youth magazines and I'm glad I remembered it because I felt a lot safer :)

And it's ok to be nervous...there's a multitude of reasons why you could be nervous, and you don't have to say that you're a survivor...for me saying that it was my first gyn visit did the trick just fine

Another thing is: if you decide to tell the doc you are a survivor, don't just say survivor, that is a loose term and not everyone will know that this means you have been ab*sed/r*ped.
If you can't bring yourself to *tell* but want them to know a good idea is giving them a card with that info.

Art *who has a gyn appt in 6 hours and tries to calm down*

#7 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 08 August 2002 - 04:33 AM

Thank you for boosting this wonderful thread Stacee!

I need to go to get a pap smear badly. It has been almost 6 yrs (since my last child) and I have even less excuse then most people since I am a cervical cancer survivor.

I WISH I had found these great tips before I got cancer, the treatments were beyond traumatizing.

One doctor casually asked me to get undressed and put myself in stirrups before he came in the room!

Him I told, no way, you'll have to deal with me face to face mister and reported his behavoiur with a complaint to the hospital. Horrifying.

Anyway, I am feeling inspired to make an appointment right now. Hopefully it will last long enough to gert me a nice clear pap smear.

Thank you friends.


#8 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 01 March 2003 - 10:41 PM

Hello all,

So glad I found this board!  I am a rape survivor, and I'm a writer.  I am planning to write an article about how women who've been through sexual abuse have problems getting Pap smears.  Is there anyone on this board who wouldn't mind being quoted about it?  I know it's a sensitive topic, but it would really help if I could get a few quotes from people who've "been there."

If you're willing to be quoted, please write to me at Jenglatzer@aol.com and tell me...

1.  Are you afraid to get a Pap smear?  If so, why?

2.  When was the last time you had a Pap smear?

3.  If you are NOT afraid, please send me tips for how women who have been through sexual abuse can feel more comfortable getting an exam.  The kind of advice that's posted in this thread is perfect-- you can just send me your posts if you like, and let me know I have permission to quote from it.  (I won't quote from here without your permission!)

Also, let me know how you'd like to be quoted (for example, Jane Smith, childhood rape survivor, or Jane Smith, sexual abuse survivor).  Thanks so much for your help.

Take care,

#9 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 02 March 2003 - 12:17 AM

I would just like to strongly agree with Anna.  I went for a smear at my Docs, where I met the Nurse for the first time.  Well, you can imagine the build up there, the changing of my appointments, etc.  Anyway, I nervously tried to explain why I was worried, but struggled to fight the tears.  She got annoyed that I was taking so long, and said, 'I haven't got time for this, if you have problems, can you make another appointment when I have more time.'  I was distraught and completely lost it, I was crying and shaking and a total wreck.  I ambled to the door as quickly as I could drag myself, even though I was sucking oxygen in like a mad woman, and then she must have panicked, and tried to stop me.  She was awful, her behaviour was terrible, but I was too shaken up to complain at the time.  I left it a year, but then I went to the local family planning clinic where they do free smears.  And I spoke for ages with the Nurse there, she was amazing.  I was able to set the appointment for a later date, and knowing it was going to be her and how comforting she was, it helped.  She asked me if I wanted another Nurse to hold my hand, and talked to me the whole time. I felt so much better when I left.  So, if you can arrange to meet first, I would strongly recommend it.

#10 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 14 April 2003 - 09:16 PM

THANK YOU for these suggestions. I am supposed to go once a month, and ahve not been in a year and half. Can't seem to MAKE myself go, and I think it is because I feel the only way to have control over that is by not going. Working hard to convince myself that this is NOT a situation where I am powerless, but actually taking care of myself by paying attention to my health.

#11 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 16 August 2003 - 09:53 PM

I read a site once that suggested you write a letter/call your doctor before hand and explain the situation so there are no surprises.  I usually email people when i feel i will have trouble verbalizing something.  Also- making a plan to be with a good friend or do something nice afterwards helps ground you.

#12 Shannon

  • be the hero of your story

  • Administrator
  • posts: 19,430

Posted 08 July 2002 - 10:44 PM

#Moderation Mode

This thread has been moved to the wonderful threads forum.

<a href="http://www.welcometo...rum=9&topic=42" target="_self">Moved here</a>

I moved it here cause it is awesome and a questions lots of people ask...

#13 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 07 August 2002 - 08:29 PM

I can't tell you how glad I am to have just read this post and all its threads ... I have my first gyno appointment since my daughter was born 6 years ago and even though it is a little over 2 weeks away, I am already halh hysterical over it.  

My friends at work were appalled to learn how long it has been since I last went for an exam and were pestering me that this was something I had to do.  I "hemmed and hawwed" for as long as I could but short of just coming out with the truth of my fears, I finally caved and made the appointment.  

At least by reading this I don't feel stupid about being so afraid of going and can use these valuable tips to make sure I keep the appointment.  Many thanks.

#14 Guest__*

  • Guests

Posted 09 March 2003 - 12:56 PM

The *most* important thing for me is for the medical professionals around me to *know* i was abused.  

this reminds them to be extra theraputic, and to understand your body language.  Also, they can use smaller equipment.

i've never had to much fear, because it was something i knew i had to do.  i don't like it, but i know everyone goes through this.

also... a have a gay male gyno.  makes me feel completely safe.

#15 hilary

  • hurt, but healing

  • Member
  • posts: 2,851

Posted 17 April 2003 - 10:02 AM

i'm 24 and i've never been to a gynecologist.  the thought of it brings me to tears and panic.  i know i need to go.  i need to be tested for hpv because i got together with my best friend and she found out later she had hpv and had to have her cervix frozen because of precancerous cells.  

i'm terrified.  


Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. is not intended to be a substitute for professional assistance. All members and visitors are encouraged to establish a relationship with a trained counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist. Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. offers rape and sexual abuse survivor-to-survivor support only. Despite any qualifications staff or members possess, they are not engaged in a professional relationship with any other member. Survivors in crisis are urged to seek local help by contacting 911 or their local rape crisis center. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Service located here.