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first gyno vist basically ever
TMI questions, being a wuss

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#1 la di dah

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:47 PM

So anyway, being the redneck that I am, I have had 1 gyno visit in my life to date. It was pretty unpleasant, I needed painkillers after the exam. And it was only a basic exam/smear.

This was in 2008 and I haven't done it again, partially because of coverage/billing issues - no health insurance etc. etc. - and partially because I am a huge, avoidant, sobbing idiot.

But you know what? I hear that a) they're helpful for TTC and b) if I DO manage to get pregnant, probably someone will eventually want to look at, or even touch, my bits. For non-recreational purposes.

Anyway, I am scared. But what do I need to do to be ready for my visit tomorrow? I have trimmed the hedges and stuff but don't really feel like going total hairless for the first time the day before the visit because what if she's distracted with my ingrowns or whatever?

What are the done things? I don't stink or have anything graphically wrong, as far as I know, so is it fair to assume it's hard to frighten a person who does pap smears for a living?  

Can I take ibuprofen beforehand?

You can make as much fun of me as you want if you post anything helpful.

#2 Guest_zeus359_*

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:51 PM

I hate going for pap smears or anything like that too, but the reality is they really don't care as long as you are clean.

#3 Apageintime

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:55 PM

I always tell them as soon as I'm through the door that I'm a bit nervous and I haven't been in a while. I find doctors understand this and go out of their way to help me.

I had a really bad pap smear 6 years ago (Canberra is a hard place to find a decent lady doctor) and when I got up the courage to go back I told the new doc about my experience and my fears, she was so great about it.

So I think, be honest with the doc, wear your good undies (but not the super lacy ones) wet wipe 'down there' before if you feel you need a freshen up, and accept it will be awkward as hell.

I always like to remind myself that I'm sure the doc has seen way worse than my bits for a routine pap smear so she won't even remember them when she goes home that day.

#4 Therese

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:56 PM

I am sure it is incredibly hard to scare a gyno. And as long as you are clean I am sure they don't even notice anything else.

I hope your appointment goes well.

#5 Allymeg69

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:56 PM

Relax! .... I know, easier to say than to do, but consider this - a lot of gynos also do obstetrics work as well, so they will have seen a woman's nether regions in a lot worse condition than when just doing a smear.

Like the PP said, just clean is fine. I try to schedule my smear appts first thing in the morning so I can have a shower and get there while I am still fresh.

If you feel the need for a painkiller beforehand I don't see why that would be a problem, but really, a properly done smear test, even with the current method using a little brush thingy, shouldn't give significant pain, I've only ever noticed a tickling sensation, but if you tense up too much it might make things worse.

And thanks, you've just reminded me I need to book my next smear!

Good luck

#6 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:56 PM

Yep..what Zeus said....honestly, they have seen it all before.....depending on what kind of exam you think you might have take a nurofen or a naprogesic .....oh and re pregnancy: I had some (relatively) invasive stuff TTC  (a HyCoSy.. Not nice think Pap smear ON STEROIDS) but throughout my entire pregnancy I din not have one internal exam. Zip. Nada. Good luck!

Edited because my iPad keyboard hates me.....

Edited by Lucretia Borgia, 13 November 2012 - 12:58 PM.

#7 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

You made me LOL  

Good on you for going back.  

The doctor will have seen hundreds and hundreds of them, and won't care in the slightest.  Besides they dont really look that much, they have a sheet over you and they know where they are going.  

I'd be open with the doctor that you are nervous about the exam and had some pain last time.  

FWIW I had a hycosy (a type of scan of the uterus) and they advised taking nurofen an hour before so I don't think there would be a problem.

Oh snap LB.

Edited by meggs1, 13 November 2012 - 12:59 PM.

#8 noi'mnot

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:58 PM

By all means take a painkiller beforehand, if you think it will help. There aren't any "expectations", though, apart from basic hygiene. People who look at vulvas and vaginas for a living are used to working with all lengths of hair, all shapes and sizes.

I'm sorry that your last visit was so bad. It really shouldn't be - a pap smear should not involve anything beyond minor discomfort, unless there is a medical reason for anything else*. Sometimes anxiety and stress can make it more uncomfortable because when you're tense your whole body tenses up in anticipation, making it more painful. If you are in to using relaxation techniques, these might help you to make your experience tomorrow easier. I would also recommend that you let your care provider know, as soon as you walk in the door, that your last experience was so painful and you're nervous. It's their job to make you feel relaxed and at ease and comfortable.

Good luck! original.gif

*Also, sometimes women with a history of sexual assault, or difficult pap smears in the past, or a wide variety of other reasons, find pap smears to be really uncomfortable/painful. This is really normal, and can be managed with an understanding and experienced care provider.

#9 causeway

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:58 PM

I have an IVF baby. After everything I've been through, a papsmear is a walk in the park! Maybe keep this in mind! Yes, it's uncomfortable, but only for a few minutes and the benefits certainly outweigh not having it done. Think of all the people who will want to have a look, touch, feel etc. if you needed treatment because you didn't have regular check ups. Also, (this thought helps me...) Who am I to think that my bits are so exceptional that they are going to be ingrained in the OBs mind forever?. I hope this helps. It only takes a few minutes!

#10 Sancti-mummy

Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:59 PM

I would probably mention your fears and issues up front - if you are too afraid to voice them, write down that you have had a previous bad experience and would like your fears to be put to rest before going into harness (that was a joke) - hopefully s/he has had enough training to be considerate and understanding.

#11 bakesgirls

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:00 PM

As long as you are clean, and have had a shower recently, then that's about all you need to do. No one cares about hairy legs or how your hedge is trimmed.

People do care about manky, unwashed, smelly vaginas though. You'd be suprised how many people rock up without attending to their personal hygene, you can tell they probably haven't showered for days. That person may not care, and the person doing the exam is a professional, so although they might not say anything, they will certainly be thinking it.

Besides that there's nothing to worry about, they have seen and heard everything.

ETA- tell your doctor how uncomfotable your last smear test was. It really shouldn't have been that bad. The only thing I can think of is that your doctor last time used a speculum that was too big for you. They come in different sizes, so they should be able to use one that will make it much less unpleasent for you this time.

Edited by bakesgirls, 13 November 2012 - 01:08 PM.

#12 halcyondays

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:01 PM

I read in a post by a doctor saying they appreciate you wearing your "non stinky shoes", as your feet are right near their face!
Your gynae has seen it all- explain you are a bit nervous and go from there.

#13 Floral Arrangement

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:03 PM

I always take dh. I am absolutely beside myself pre smear. I bleed easily and always end up bloated and a bit sore after I have gynaecological issues. I am not going to go to my gp this time as I feel that it is a no appointment clinic you get any doctor and then you go in and say "I need a smear" feel on the back foot from the beginning. I am going to a women's clinic that deals in sexual health and has female staff only. I am hoping this alleviates my stress level to a degree.

I just wanted to let you know that I empathise completely.

#14 Feral Madam Mim

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:05 PM

Ask for the smallest thingamagig that they have (very technical term I know, their proper name isn't coming to mind) for the pap smear, my gyno has them in different sizes and I as I get a little tense leading up to it he knows the best one for me would be the smallest. Make sure they know your fears so they can talk you through it and help calm you down, you can even have someone come with you or ask for the nurse to come in and hold your hand if you think it would help keep you that bit more relaxed.

#15 la di dah

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

Thanks guys. I just wanted to make sure with the ibuprofen it wouldn't mess anything up because I really don't want to have to do it over again all that soon.

My previous time he wasn't cruel or mean about it - I don't hold a grudge -  it was just physically quite painful. I have other issues with excessive tightness down there though.

Part of this is actually asking if there's any physical reason for all that drama down there because it's unpleasant and I can't even use a tampon or the much-beloved EB Luna cup. original.gif

I know I have to go back, avoiding it will make it worse eventually. And I want to get serious about getting pregnant!

#16 premmie_29weeks

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:12 PM

It's honestly no big deal to the doctors, they have seen woman in labour in much worse shape than anything that will be seen in a regular ps. Before my kids were born I went out and got a good full leg, bikini wax and got my toes painted, vain I know given I couldn't actually see them original.gif but made me feel better that at least I was we'll groomed when everyone an his dog was going to see me in all my glory!

Seriously have a good shower beforehand...that's all they would expect.

#17 Mamabug

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:14 PM

All I'm gonna say is, if you get an unexpected fit of the nervous giggles, do not be surprised if the speculum decides to shoot out and across the room startling the doctor and rendering the whole situation rather silly and somewhat embarasing..... but I'm sure that doesn't happen to everyone..... blink.gif unsure.gif  

Oh, but I also asked a dr once what was the worst thing about doing a pap smear and she said foot odour!!!! Never really thought that they would be close to your feet as well... so don't wear smelly shoes.

#18 la di dah

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:21 PM

QUOTE (Mamabug @ 13/11/2012, 02:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All I'm gonna say is, if you get an unexpected fit of the nervous giggles, do not be surprised if the speculum decides to shoot out and across the room startling the doctor and rendering the whole situation rather silly and somewhat embarasing..... but I'm sure that doesn't happen to everyone..... blink.gif unsure.gif

I cried the last time so unexpected giggles would be an upgrade.  ph34r.gif

He gave me 800 mg of ibuprofen afterwards and it still hurt so I'm not sure about this "it shouldn't hurt" business of PP's, but I like the idea.

#19 Bwok~Bwok

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:25 PM

Thanks guys. I just wanted to make sure with the ibuprofen it wouldn't mess anything up because I really don't want to have to do it over again all that soon.

My previous time he wasn't cruel or mean about it - I don't hold a grudge - it was just physically quite painful. I have other issues with excessive tightness down there though.

Part of this is actually asking if there's any physical reason for all that drama down there because it's unpleasant and I can't even use a tampon or the much-beloved EB Luna cup.

I know I have to go back, avoiding it will make it worse eventually. And I want to get serious about getting pregnant!

First off, if you are TTC stop taking Ibuprofen, it can interfere with TTC.

As for 'excessive tightness' and not being able to use Tampons etc - if it was 'excessive' - you would have problems with DH's penis. You will most probably find that you a 'clenching' without realising it. Breath and relax through it.

#20 noi'mnot

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:26 PM

It looks to me, from what you said, that you do have some kind of "thing" going on where it is going to cause pain (where you  talked about excessive tightness). I, clearly, have no idea what it's all about but it makes sense that if you have trouble with tampons then you'll have trouble with a speculum (the instrument they use to open up the vagina to see the cervix).

Relaxation techniques may work to a point, but I think that taking some ibuprofen beforehand (just tell the gyno that you took it) and having a good chat before the procedure is the best bet.

Good luck, and well done on having the guts to go ahead with it again after your last experience.

#21 bonnybabe

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:28 PM

Hi Op,

I think you should mention your fears and the pain/dryness in your vagina, that way the dr should use a little bit of lubricant or warm water on the speculum which will make it much easier.

Also, you don't need people looking at your vagina when you are pregnant unless you need an internal ultrasound (very early on to establish dates).  You can also refuse an internal exam when you are 40 weeks.  When you are in labour you won't care about them as you will be so eager to know how dilated you are.  

good luck

#22 Lokum

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:29 PM

There's an urban myth about a woman who gave herself a quick freshen up with a face washer before her appointment. Her kids had been doing craft and wiped their glittery hands on it a few minutes earlier... so she sparkled!! The dr said, 'You needn't have gone to so much trouble!'

I think it's fine to take panadol/ibuprofen before - or even have a G&T or glass of wine if that will relax you. (A GP told me this!)

Tell the doctor about your nerves and anxiety. I used to find exams horrific, and would generally cry and be over-wrought by the end. That kind of anxiety is almost guaranteed to make the procedure more painful/uncomfortable than necessary, but it's not a rational thing. Ask them to take it slowly, and certainly if you're very tight (or hyper-tense more likely) it's worth discussing in light of TTC.

It's unpleasant, but so important for your healthy future, as a child bearing woman or otherwise. Plus, the more you do it, the easier it gets.  

Nothing like a bit of IVF to reduce internal ultrasounds to merely another opportunity to discuss the football...

#23 noi'mnot

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE (Bwok~Bwok @ 13/11/2012, 02:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As for 'excessive tightness' and not being able to use Tampons etc - if it was 'excessive' - you would have problems with DH's penis. You will most probably find that you a 'clenching' without realising it. Breath and relax through it.

There's a big difference between the environment when one uses a tampon or has a speculum inserted, and that whilst having sex. There may or may not be psychological or physical reasons for any one individual's "excessive tightness", and whilst breathing and relaxing through it might help for some the anxiety (and other physical issues) around a procedure such as a pap smear can make it extremely painful for some despite their best efforts. An understanding and experienced care provider is the key here, alongside not rushing with the procedure.

#24 Velvetta

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

Why ibuprofen? It's not a relaxant, just an anti inflammatory.

I imagine a good dollop of lube would be more efficacious: the speculum will just slide in. The doctors usually use this anyway.

Maybe you could practise on yourself a few times first using something hard and plastic and try relaxing your muscles when it's going in.

Can I just add that most gynos appreciate a shampoo and blow dry and a bit of glitter gel.Brightens their day.

Edited by Velvetta, 13 November 2012 - 01:35 PM.

#25 la di dah

Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

QUOTE (Bwok~Bwok @ 13/11/2012, 02:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
First off, if you are TTC stop taking Ibuprofen, it can interfere with TTC.

As for 'excessive tightness' and not being able to use Tampons etc - if it was 'excessive' - you would have problems with DH's penis. You will most probably find that you a 'clenching' without realising it. Breath and relax through it.

I do actually.  blush.gif I like *everything else* an awful lot, but penetration itself has always been painful to sometimes impossible even with me really trying.

Good to know about the Ibuprofen but I don't actually take it all that often at this point, like once a month or so. I might make a special occasion of it tomorrow and then cold-turkey it for awhile. I think if I was less bad at intercourse things might procede naturally a bit better or at least have more chances to as it would be easier if it were funner.

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