Post # 1
In the last few days I’ve developed a sore hard lump (ingrown hair, cyst, idk) and if home remedies don’t solve the problem, I may have to see a gynecologist. My SIL was pushing me to go just for checkups when I lived with her but I was not thrilled with the idea. I am not/have never been sexually active so maybe that is some of the shyness, but I am just a very private introverted person and having some stranger poking around there is honestly pretty terrifying/humiliating/embarrassing. I’m hesitant to ask even on here but I know you ladies can be trusted to be kind and helpful and non-judgmental to a naive twentysomething like me. 🙂
How was your first “girl doctor” visit? Any tips on how to deal with fears and nervousness? Anybody know if there is some kind of online gynecologist review site? Because honestly I’m not even sure how I will find one. I have a few relatives around here but I haven’t talked to them yet. I would definitely want a female doctor, I know that much lol. Any helpful stories or advice is greatly appreciated. 🙂
Post # 3
Honestly, it isn’t fun, but it really isn’t that bad. They’ve seen everything! Just relax and know it will be over quickly. Give yourself something to look forward to after…like buy some shoes or ice cream or something!
Post # 4
It’s really not so bad—don’t worry! Not the most fun in the world, but definitely better than, say, the dentist or other things like that. 🙂 And I would DEFINITELY go, even if the problem clears up—you should get checkups after age 18 whether you’re sexually active or not, because lots of the things they watch and check for have nothing to do with sex.
As far as finding a good doc, you might ask friends or co-workers to see if they have a doctor they like. (If it feels awkward, you could always say something like “I’m looking for new doctors, and wondered if you liked yours” and leave it open.) I also once had a GP who also did ob/gyn work, which was wonderful—they seem to be few and far between, but she was terrific because she could do everything all at one appointment.
Good luck—the first appointment will be the most daunting, but after that you’ll have someone you can call if you ever have any concerns, which is definitely important.
Post # 5
You should go anyway even if you’re not sexually active and over 18. It’s not that bad, especially if you let your doctor know that it’s your first visit.
I would ask around first, and see if any of your relatives or friends have recommendations.
PM me if you have any specific questions about what the visit is like or what goes on.
Post # 6
Honestly, my first well womans visit was at 16. It was a little awkward but my nurse practitioner was a sweet old lady and she walked me through what she was going to do and what i would feel each step of the way. She talked to me the whole time (so there were no awkward silences) and was just nice as can be. You definitely need to be going in for check ups every year–once you’ve gone, you’ll see it’s NOT a big deal. I think the worst part is the stupid hospital gown, personally!!!!
You can go to your healthcare provider’s website and click on gyneoclogists and look up ones in your area. Then, start calling and make an appointment with who’s available.
Post # 7
Honestly, you should have gone a long time ago. Even if you are not sexually active you should still have a yearly gyno every year starting at 18. Sometimes doctors will tell you you can go every 2 years if you have a few years in a row of normal pap smears. But you haven’t had any paps yet, so you definitely need to go and right now! Problems don’t come from just being sexually active, you could have other problems that you might not notice but your doctor can.
Anyways, just ask your primary care doctor if they can recommend a gynecologist in your area. You probably don’t even need to see a gyno in fact, most primary care doctors can do the check up and pap smear for you.
Anyways, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Doctors have seen everything. One more vagina is nothing to them. Give yourself a reward for going. I always do something nice for myself after my yearly check. A shopping trip, a dinner out, something for surviving the pap smear.
Post # 8
(Warning, a tiny bit TMI)
I always dread going to the gyno too (ugh…I’m two years over due actually, I need to set up an appointment). It really isn’t as awful as you’ll imagine it to be. It isn’t supposed to hurt, just a mild discomfort. I suppose my advice is:
- No sexual activity the day before! (I know you stated that you aren’t sexually active, but that includes anything that could be put inside of you-penis or not!)
- Try to poop before you take a shower in the morning. I’m not sure why, but I’m terrified that I’m going to have a bowel movement when they’re down there and going in the morning eases my mind a little…
- Make sure you shave your legs the morning of.
- Take a panty liner with you, just in case they don’t give you one after your exam. They do use a lubricant toward the end of the exam and you’ll feel…unclean…if you don’t have something to kind of absorb it afterward.
- Try to relax while you’re in the waiting room. Take a book, magazine, game, anything to keep your mind preoccupied. The first time I went, I took my Fiance (boyfriend at the time) to keep me calm.
- Go out to lunch aftward as a reward for going through with it!
Just remember that every woman has to have a pap smear sometime (yearly if they’re smart!) so your doctor will have seen it all. Count yourself lucky that you aren’t going because you think you have an STD…
Good luck, now I have to get mine done. :/ Thanks for the reminder…I guess… 😉
Post # 9
Thanks guys! You’ve all been really helpful…I feel a little better about it already. I guess I’m just not sure exactly what goes on and while theoretically I know they’ve seen everything, it still seems very awkward and intrusive. I just wouldn’t even know how to act lol.
@LindsayB – Thanks, that’s exactly the kind of “little things” I obsess about but didn’t know how to ask! So your post was really helpful and encouraging. 🙂
Keep it coming ladies! 🙂
Post # 10
No problem! If I can think of anything else, I’ll let you know. 🙂 If you want to PM me with other questions, go ahead. I’m willing to share!
Post # 11
Just try to relax – the most awkward part for me isn’t having the doctor down there its when she tries to talk to me while she’s doing it – it’s not a time for a conversation lady! LOL
Post # 12
I thought it was going to take forever, but it actually was a lot shorter than I was expecting. I’m not sexually active either, so it was a little weird, to be honest, but not terrible. But, my dr is really good, and talking to her actually really helped to keep my mind off of what was going on.
Try to relax, and I definitely agree with LindsayB and take a pantyliner with you!! I personally felt really gross afterward… I went right home and showered! So, it might be a good idea to schedule your appt for a time when you can go right home, at least for the first time till you know what to expect.
Post # 13
So, basically, they will do a breast exam, one breast uncovered at a time. Then they will feel your ovaries/uterus both externally and with fingers inserted into you. You should also get a pap smear, which is where they intert a speculum (looks like a duck bill – basically it expands you “down there” so that they can see your cervix. THey will insert a flexible brush that looks like a small mascara wand to take cell samples to test you for cervical cancer and other abnormalities. That’s the most awkward part (and when they use the lube to get the speculum in). You really REALLY REALLY REALLT need to go once a year, every year and get a pap smear. It is the best way to catch cervical cancer early.
If you think you will be uneasy, have them explain what they are doing before they do it. Also, I only ever see women doctors. Specifically request it if you want that!
Post # 14
I dreaded it the first time. However, they’re more than careful, if you feel uncomfortable they’ll know. They’ll reassure you to relax and use lubricant. If you go to an actual gynecologist or planned parenthood, then they’ll have different sizes of speculums. If you feel really uncomfortable, ask them to use a smaller size. It goes really fast, it really takes like less than 5 minutes to do everything. Btw, they’ve see LOTS of vaginas, don’t feel embarrassed (I’m really modest about things down there and I still get nervous). Also, take a panty liner, seriously. It feels so wet and unclean afterwards….I didn’t bring one the last two times and whoa, I needed to change my panties immediately. Just think of the peace of mind once it’s over….just stay relaxed as much as possible and let the nurses know when you get into your room that it’s your first time and you haven’t been sexually active ever. They’ll be really nice.
Post # 15
piglet, crayfish, and beekiss – Thanks guys! All of this is really helpful. I think I’m getting a better idea of what actually goes on so I can kind of mull this over and get used to the idea hopefully.
Post # 16
Okay, first of all, give the girl a break. Many doctors say to begin exams by the time you’re sexually active OR you hit the age 21. It varies from doctor to doctor. So she is fine.
Now, to kkkatieB12: I too was terrified of my first GYN visit because I put it off as long as possible (I’m not sexually active, either). But try not to stress too much.
If your doctor knows it’s your first time, she’ll be extra-gentle and she’ll walk you through what is happening. That really helped during mine. She explained exactly what she was doing and exactly what I was going to feel. It’s uncomfortable, for sure. And a little bit painful. Not the kind of pain to get nervous about—but just go in expecting a bit of pain and discomfort, and you’ll be fine.
In terms of modesty…yeah, it is embarrassing at first. But your lap will remain covered with a sheet and just remember, your doctor is a professional and is there to help you, not judge you.
And in terms of find your own GYN, do you have a family doctor that you currently visit? He/she may be able to make recommendations. Or do you have a close friend you could ask? To be honest, I got on the website for my health insurance and did a search for GYNs in my area, and then I looked at the website of several and chose the one that gave me the best “feeling.” Totally lame, I know. But my gut choice ended up working out.
Good luck and please let me know if you have more questions! (Feel free to private message me too if you want) 🙂