Too embarrassed to go to gynecologist, ever - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-10-2005, 09:33 PM
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I'm just too embarrassed. I couldn't deal with feeling so exposed, legs spread, everything out there for all to see. Too much! There has to be a better way. Pelvic exams are so barbaric.

Also, I'm afraid it would just hurt too much. I've never...ahem. So you can imagine it would hurt to stick something in there.

anyway, anyone who has similar anxieties...please, share. I feel so alone.
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#2 Old 05-10-2005, 09:38 PM
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I visited the gyno when I was 16, and I had not had sexual intercourse. I actually just wanted some birth control so I could grow some boobs (didn't work anyway)...

At any rate, it's a necessary evil. Think of "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"...going to the gyno once a year for the annual exam is FAAAAR less painful/uncomfortable/etc. than going once because "something's wrong" and you find out you have ovarian cancer or uterus cancer...

Really. Think about it. Of course, if you're not sexually active, you could get by once every two years or so, but when you get into your 20's and start having sexual relationships, you really shouldn't avoid it.

And it can be an embarassing uh...position, but it's you and the doctor and maybe the nurse. Imagine going through school having to look at all that stuff in a room full of people. Grant, they should be mature enough by then, but there's one in every crowd If it would help, seek out a female doctor. There are plenty of them out there, and that may ease your tension, since they understand the feelings/anxiety you might be feeling.

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#3 Old 05-10-2005, 09:40 PM
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I was very scared the first time I went to the gyno. I was 20 years old and cried. It wasn't because it hurt. It was just because I was uncomfortable, didn't know exactly what they were doing, and hated the idea of it all. Being put in such a vulnerable situation is intimidating, but you have to weigh whats more important to you ... avoiding uncomfortable situations .... or your health. When you find the right doctor and learn the routine, its really not that bad. I now go to hot young chic whos very gentle and has small hands
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#4 Old 05-10-2005, 09:46 PM
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I've been lucky enough to always have a female gyno. At this point I don't think I'd really care, though I'd still prefer a woman. It's something you have to do... I know way too many women who've had problems to think it's something you can skip.

Get a doctor recommended from a friend, make an appointment, and go. It doesn't take long, the most you feel is a little pinch (unpleasant, yes, but very short), and you have a blanket over your legs, so at least you don't have to watch the gyno looking at you, so that's a little helpful.

As far as being a virgin, it makes no difference at all. In fact, you may feel more calm since you're not so worried they might find something wrong.
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#5 Old 05-10-2005, 09:57 PM
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I second Mskedi's idea of asking a friend for a recommendation. There can really be a big difference from one doctor to the next (duh). Some are very sensitive to the people that are uncomfortable or going in for the first time, and they tell you everthing they're doing and why, so there are no surprises. I've had this before, and I'm at the point of "yeah, yeah, bla bla bla, same old-same old" Heh.

Anyway, I know you're not alone in the way you feel. I know a 39 year old DOCTOR who has never had a gynocological exam.
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#6 Old 05-10-2005, 10:03 PM
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My roommate just went to her first gyno appointment about a month ago and thank goodness she went because they found problems! Not bad ones though. Anyway, she said that the doctors really don't think about the woman he/she is examining. It's just another day at work for them. They don't feel uncomfortable, therefore it makes the patient feel more at ease. Please go! And good luck!
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#7 Old 05-10-2005, 10:05 PM
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I understand. I finally made an appointment for the first time in almost five years. I don't really like going to any kind of doctor because I feel exposed. But it's worth going for a check-up once a year to make sure you're healthy. The exam IS a little uncomfortable, especially if you've never had intercourse, but I don't remember it being painful.

If you feel self-conscious, remember that the doctor has probably seen it all.
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#8 Old 05-10-2005, 10:08 PM
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I can appreciate that it is difficult, and its taken me a long time to get to this place, but leave your modesty at home and go. Its all business when you're there anyway. It will only be embarassing if you let it be.

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#9 Old 05-10-2005, 10:51 PM
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Try going with a close friend or significant other. I went with my mom the first time. She held my hand.
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#10 Old 05-10-2005, 10:57 PM
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The first few years I went I was a virgin. It has never hurt. My doctor is really nice and gentle and talks to me the whole time, with interjections about exactly what she's doing and what to expect, and the entire thing takes under 5 minutes. You really need to start going annually when you're 18. Its nervewracking for everyone the first time, but its certainly not worth the risk to your health NOT to go. You need to try to get into a positive state of mind. Trust me, it is going to be a LOT more embarrassing if the first time you have to go its because you are complaining of a raging yeastie rather than just a normal checkup.
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#11 Old 05-11-2005, 02:36 AM
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The first time I went I closed my eyes and silently sang the Internationale in my head, the proceedure was over before I'd finished the song. Nowadays I talk to the nurse about things like congestion in the car park or how I can see a squirrel in the tree outside. It's not as bad as going to the dentist.
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#12 Old 05-11-2005, 02:40 AM
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I'm 23, and have never gone. I've actually wondered if I should. I can't right now, since I'm a Canadian in the US with no health coverage here, but maybe when I can? I just kept waiting, as a teenager, for one of my parents to say it was about time I should go, and it just never happened.
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#13 Old 05-11-2005, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by spud View Post

It's not as bad as going to the dentist.

I agree! I'd go to my gyno ANY day over the dentist! My gyno is actually my favourite out of my doctors (with the exception of my contact lense specialist at my opthomologist.. but she's not a doc) cause she actually listens to what I'm saying and makes efforts to resolve problems, as opposed to blowing me off like I'm crazy (my GP does this...).
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#14 Old 05-11-2005, 07:12 AM
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you're not as exposed as you think you will be. usually, there's only one person in the room with you (the examiner, unless the examiner is male, in which case a female nurse is also present).

it doesn't hurt really at all. i went to the ob/gyn before i started having intercourse. i didn't (still don't actually) use tampons and i didn't vaginally masturbate, so literally nothing had been in there. it's really quite simple.

it's actually a very easy and quick process. it takes only a few minutes (30 tops) and the examiner usually tells you everything that is going on as s/he is doing things. they'll also give you fair warning before doing something (that is, i'm going to do this now) and if you're nto ready, or afraid, they'll wait.

These things are not a "necessary evil." they aren't 'evil" at all. changing your perspective of why you're doing something will help you overcome a lot of the fear involved with it. it's simply an easy observation of your body for the purpose of supporting your health and your sexual well being (even if you aren't sexually active).

it's ok to be nervous or afraid, and it's ok to be self conscious. it may be helpful for you to set an appointment a few months away, learn as much as you can about the process, and then prepare yourself for going.

personally, i go to a nurse-midwife instead of a gyn now. she has the same training (as far as the exam goes) and a gyn looks over the information rfom the pap. starting a relationship with this woman now is a good idea so that when i become pregnant (which is a long way from now), i have someone who knows my body very well and can help me have the birth that i want to have.

choosing someone whom you feel comfortable with is a good idea. If you need to go to different doctors and interview them and their nurse-examiners to determine whom you want to do your exam. that also takes a lot of fear out of the matter.
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#15 Old 05-11-2005, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Elena99 View Post

I'm 23, and have never gone. I've actually wondered if I should. I can't right now, since I'm a Canadian in the US with no health coverage here, but maybe when I can? I just kept waiting, as a teenager, for one of my parents to say it was about time I should go, and it just never happened.

If you're in a city with Planned Parenthood (, you should look into that. They offer "annual exams" for around $75-$100 (varies by city probably), which isn't that bad. I had to do that before I got health insurance. I think most of them are also really willing to work with you based on income, as well, especially if you're a student, etc.


P.S. That whole thing about gyno vs. dentist...
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#16 Old 05-11-2005, 08:06 AM
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oh god. oh godddddddddddddddddd.

I've been once. And I wept. I was in agony and I felt humiliated even though the gyno was really sweet.

I could hardly walk after.

Thankfully I don't have to go back for 2-3 years.

I'd rather go to the dentist, and have blood drawn, and get a broken nose to be honest.... but then it is a necessary evil
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#17 Old 05-11-2005, 08:16 AM
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It's recommended that if you're over 18 you should get a Pap test done. But, if you've never been sexually active or you don't smoke it isn't absolutely necessary to have one done.
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#18 Old 05-11-2005, 08:25 AM
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They've changed the age to 20 for getting a Pap smear, if you haven't been sexually active.
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#19 Old 05-11-2005, 09:57 AM
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my roommate in college was terrified to go but she has the worst period cramps known to man and had become sexually active that year so i convinced her she should go get checked out. well neither of us had doctors in the area since we'd just moved there and the guy she went to was an a$$ and didn't seem to know what he was doing. that didn't help.

however, she was so freaked out and nervous especially at having a guy doctor, that she asked if i could stay in the room and they had no problem with it.

if you're really nervous have a good friend go in and sit with you.

ask around to your friends and family to find a good doctor that they all like. don't just go to some random one out of the yellow pages, that never turns out well.

but yeah there's no way to avoid it, you'll have to just suck it up and go. i know it's uncomfortable but everyone's right, a checkup now and then is way better than having to go years from now because something is wrong and finding out you're sick and that it could have been prevented or caught early

was it mouse that posted in the patch about someone in her family having cervical cancer in her 20's? these kinds of things can strike at any age without warning, the only way to fight them is to know early enough and you can't do that if you don't get examined regularly.

anyways my doctor was always pretty good about it and because he was male there was always a female nurse in the room. they don't just leave you alone with a guy with his hands you know where, they are required to have a female in the room at all times (here anyways). but yeah they normally will explain what they're doing step by step

and honestly it's not all that bad. the worst part is where they check the cervix, they use a little brush and you feel a tiny bit of pain for like half a second and then the whole thing is over.

I'm singin' here to get rid of fear
Hope it disappears right here with the rain
But I know life is pain, not like a fairytale
Meaningless to pray, so just goin' on my way
~Miyavi "Torture"
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#20 Old 05-11-2005, 10:08 AM
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I'm now 26 and have only been twice. And if they would just continue my BC without forcing me to go to the Dr., I wouldn't have even gone that many times. It sucks and like a few here I scratch that...sobbed out of sheer humiliation. My bf hasn't even seen me in that position let alone a stranger...heck I haven't seen myself in that position! So thank God because I got off of bc, had refills left and now am back on, I am able to stretch it out another 7-8 mths before I have to go back
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#21 Old 05-11-2005, 10:21 AM
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I went in for the first time at 14 years old, before I'd ever had intercourse (I wanted to go on the pill to regulate my period, because I was getting it twice a month for 4-5 days each cycle).

The first time that I went, I went alone. I rollerbladed to the clinic, checked myself in, and went through the appointment, spoke with my doctor about what I wanted and why I wanted it, left the clinic, rollerbladed to the pharmacy, had my perscription filled, and rollerbladed home.

Before I ever went in, I read about it online so that I would be prepared for whatever it was the doctor was going to be doing.

I won't lie, the first time it was a little awkward. That's to be expected. You just have to suck it up and do it, because it's so important. I have gone every year since then, and I can now say that I'm perfectly comfortable with it. The doctor sees at least 10 vaginas a day, you don't have anything to feel uncomfortable about. He/she is just doing his/her job.
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#22 Old 05-11-2005, 11:23 AM
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I was terrified the first time and felt nauseous afterwards, and after years and years of going I still don't particularly enjoy it, but good health is incredibly important to me and I'd rather spend 5 uncomfortable minutes a year than have a serious illness go undetected and suffer through that illness or die an early death. If you think about it that way, it's easier to just go. As others have said, ask around to find a really nice one. I personally have to have a female doctor because I don't really trust a male doctor that would choose gyn as his specialty. (Perhaps that's unfair, but I think that movie "Dead Ringers" had a big effect on me when I was younger.) The one I currently have is very nice and has a sense of humor, so the whole experience is not bad at all. You really should start going...
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#23 Old 05-11-2005, 12:26 PM
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My first time was nerve-wracking, but not bad. The doctor described what she was going to do and talked me calmly through it all.

I now have a doctor whom I see regularly and she's fabulous. Honestly, I've had so many pelvic exams that I could be seen by any doctor, but my regular doctor is just so cool and friendly that I actually look forward to my visits, no joke! So, definately talk to your friends, ask them for recommendations (if you're in Madison, WI, I'd recommend mine!) and try to relax. The doctors are professionals; it's a little embarassing for you at first maybe, but only because in our society knowing all about ourselves and our bodies isn't really encouraged, but the right doctor can set you at ease; pelvic exams are VERY important to a woman's health.

Funny story: I read a book discussing how some women try to 'clean up' before their exams by waxing/shaving (which is up to you--doctor won't care either way) or deodorizing (which is NOT recommended---you shouldn't be using things that could disguize a problem. and you're probably fine, anyway). Anyway, one girl went to the doctor and when beginning the exam he said, "Fancy." The exam went well and she went home. Once there, she checked herself out to see what the doctor was talking about (she wasn't pierced or anything) and she realized that instead of using a spray deoderant, she'd used her glitter hairspray!!! Hah! that just cracks me up.
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#24 Old 05-11-2005, 01:21 PM
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#25 Old 05-11-2005, 01:38 PM
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i love that the doctor said "fancy"--that's a trip. oh my goodness.

i'm gonna pass that one on. . .
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#26 Old 05-11-2005, 05:11 PM
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I know I have to. It's so unfair--I've never had sex with anyone, yet still I have to go. *sigh*

I'm so ashamed.
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#27 Old 05-11-2005, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rabid_child View Post

I'd go to my gyno ANY day over the dentist! My gyno is actually my favourite out of my doctors

I agree 100%. I love my gyno. She's like the first doc I had that takes me seriously.

I was scared to death my first time of course.

The key is to get a good one, get recommendations from your friends. Good luck.
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#28 Old 05-11-2005, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mysteriouspoet View Post's just so embarrassing. I don't know if I can withstand the humiliation. someone seeing...everything.

I know I have to. It's so unfair--I've never had sex with anyone, yet still I have to go. *sigh*

I'm so ashamed.

This isn't some sort of event that is designed so you'll be embarrassed and humilitated. Its a DOCTOR taking care of your HEALTH. What is there to be ashamed of? You have a body, same as everyone else. You have nothing the doctor hasn't seen before. The doctor isn't getting his/her jollies by examining you. Taking care of yourself is just part of your adult responsibilities.
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#29 Old 05-12-2005, 09:13 AM
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what is embarassing or humiliating about it?

i don't find it at all embarassing or humiliating, and i'm actually relatively modest. some people consider me *very* modest.

perhaps if you could find out why you feel embarassed or humiliated by the idea (why you feel such intense shame), then understanding and reconciling it with what you need to do will help make the process easier.
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#30 Old 05-12-2005, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mysteriouspoet View Post's just so embarrassing. I don't know if I can withstand the humiliation. someone seeing...everything.

I know I have to. It's so unfair--I've never had sex with anyone, yet still I have to go. *sigh*

I'm so ashamed.

It won't be as bad as you think. Don't let it build into something huge in your mind. Just go. Soon.
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