- Modesty. You may know that your doctor looks at boobs and vaginas for a living, but it may not make it any easier to get naked and put on one of those awful, one-size-fits-nobody paper gowns. You worry about how you look and how you smell. You wonder if the doctor notices that you haven't shaved. You fear that she's comparing you - in any way - to any other patient.
- Fear of pain. Especially if you haven't been to the gyno in awhile. Thoughts of the speculum placement - the cramp with the pap smear - the achiness with the internal exam...it's enough to make anyone's knees lock together.
- Fear of arousal. Your arousal - what if you get turned on during the exam?? And the doctor's arousal - after all, don't straight men and gay women get turned on looking at a naked lady?
- Fear of bad news. Bad enough you have to endure the indignity of an exam, but then you need to wait a few weeks for your lab results to hear that you're in good health...or not.
- You're just like every body else. You most likely look and smell completely normal. I don't care if you're shaved, or waxed, or powdered, or toned, or not. I do care if you're pierced, only so I can advise you on safe piercing practices. While I care about all aspects of your personality when we're talking, when you're undressed I'm only caring about the square inches of skin I'm examining. And that's all I see at that moment.
- I really don't want to hurt you. First, because I want you to have a good experience. But if you're in pain and pulling away, I can't examine you as well as I need to. So the exam goes better for both of us if you're comfortable.
- There's nothing sexy about a GYN exam. I'm a straight woman, and I have gyno friends who are men and who are lesbians. We all agree that the clinical environment of a gynecologist's office--the bright lights, the creaking stirrups, the frigid temperature--does not breed sexy thoughts. And I've never had a patient get aroused, much less climax, during an exam.
- Knowledge is power. And knowing even the worst, is better than being in the dark. A good gyno will deliver your test results in the way that works best for you--whether that means a return visit to talk about them in person, or a phone call, or even an email.
Photo credit: maigh