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I'm 15 years old and have really bad period pains. I want to start to use birth control regulate and help with period pains. My mother has been pushing me to go to the gyno. I really really don't want to because i'm scared of being forced to have a pelvic exam. I am not sexually active and haven't had any problems down here. I have done a lot of research on if they can force you to have a pelvic. Some people say that they can't force you when others say they can, even to the point of sedation. A lot of people say is no big deal to have a pelvic exam. I'm just very very uncomfortable with the thought of it. :crying: Does anyone have any advice? Can they physically force me to have a pelvic? Do I really need one, if I'm NOT sexually active and never had problems down there and only using BC for period related things? Are pelvics really need at my age? Please help I'm really scared. I have never missed a period before either.
 

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Good news - you do not need a pelvic exam to get birth control. At 15, a Pap smear is not even recommended anymore until you are 21 regardless of sexual activity, although a pelvic exam could be helpful if you have any questions or concerns about your body.

A physician cannot force you to have a pelvic exam. Most physicians will meet with you fully clothed before any exam. Do you have a family physician or pediatrician you have gone to? You do not need to go to a gynecologist to get birth control - any primary care physician who sees adolescents would be able to help you with heavy periods and choosing a birth control pill.

Planned parenthood's website has good information on what to expect when you do decide to have your first pelvic exam.

Hope this helps a little!
 

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I'm 15 years old and have really bad period pains. I want to start to use birth control regulate and help with period pains. My mother has been pushing me to go to the gyno. I really really don't want to because i'm scared of being forced to have a pelvic exam. I am not sexually active and haven't had any problems down here. I have done a lot of research on if they can force you to have a pelvic. Some people say that they can't force you when others say they can, even to the point of sedation. A lot of people say is no big deal to have a pelvic exam. I'm just very very uncomfortable with the thought of it. :crying: Does anyone have any advice? Can they physically force me to have a pelvic? Do I really need one, if I'm NOT sexually active and never had problems down there and only using BC for period related things? Are pelvics really need at my age? Please help I'm really scared. I have never missed a period before either.
I totally understand why you're uncomfortable with it. It's scary even after you've had sex, so don't feel too bad about that.

You can ask your mum to go with you and tell her you're worried about them trying to do a pelvic exam on you. They're not allowed to physically force you to have a pelvic exam, I'm fairly certain that would be considered assault.

That's not to say it will be completely ruled out. If the birth control you're looking at using is something along the lines of the NuvuRing, then they would need to examine you. They might want to investigate the cause of the period pains and that might require some sort of examination. BUT, the examination doesn't need to be on the first consultation, you can just go and enquire about the options and decide from there. It's YOUR body. They don't get to touch you unless it's a medical emergency.

In my experience with getting birth control (and I'm sure it varies from place to place), they just took my blood pressure, told me smoking was something I shouldn't do and reminded me that the Pill only stops you getting pregnant, not from getting STIs.

As for pelvic exams? Yeah, they're uncomfortable but they're also a necessary part of being healthy. When the time comes for you to have one (we're recommended to start at 18 over here) request a female nurse or doctor to do it, if you think that will help you.

You're allowed to tell the doctor you feel uncomfortable about it, you won't be the first woman who's gotten freaked out by it and you won't be the last. One trick I have, is to ask them what's going to happen during the procedure before anything happens. That way, I work out whether I want them to do it, while I've got my pants on. They'll show you the instruments they use and usually talk you through each step. There are a few strange looking instruments, but all the doctor's I've gone to have used plenty of lubricant and the shape of the instruments are designed so it's not meant to be a painful experience.

Good luck with it.
 

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Hi Softball31. I'm an RN who works at a GYN office. You do not have to get a pelvic exam, they cannot force or sedate you against your will, and no decent doctor would want to. It is assault and illegal. Finding a GYN (preferably female) who sees adolescents frequently is your best bet.

One possibility, though, is the doctor (and maybe your mom if she's there) trying to "convince" you to have the exam. They shouldn't, but might. Tell them you are not sexually active and will not have the exam even if they won't prescribe for you if you don't agree.

Print the following out and bring it if you want to have proof. From the ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) website, the Bible for GYNs:

"Do I need to have a pelvic exam to get birth control from my health care provider?

A pelvic exam is not needed to get most forms of birth control from a health care provider except for the intrauterine device (IUD), diaphragm, and cervical cap. If you have already had sex, you may need to have a pregnancy test and STD test before birth control can be prescribed."
http://m.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Birth-Control-Especially-for-Teens?IsMobileSet=true#pelvic
 

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Agree with what everyone has said already, no one can force you to get a pelvic. I remember some of my friends telling me that you HAVE to get one when you turn 18, that it's a law. Total BS. I got my first pelvic in my 30s! I realize though that it is not recommended to wait that long.
One thing to ask the Dr office when it does come time to get a pelvic exam, do they use plastic or metal speculums? The speculum is what they use to open the vaginal canal so they can see the cervix. The metal speculums are WAY less uncomfortable than the plastic. I won't go to a Dr who uses the plastic ones.
 

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What runnerveggie said is completely accurate.


However, you really should mellow out about reproductive health. When you do hit 21 or become sexually active and get an exam, it's not that big of a deal. Unnecessary anxiety about it can cause you to asks necessary healthcare.

At your age, you should talk to your mother about starting the HPV vaccine set as well. Just a thought.
 

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hi softball31, I am in my early 30s now, and I have had I think 5 pelvic exams so far. Back in 2003 I went to Family Planning where I grew up in Maine, and they made you have a pelvic exam before they would give you birth control. It was an awful first experience with a very rude older doctor who should have retired by then. Here are things I wish I had done differently in my youth....

#1- I had horribly painful periods since starting them when I was 14, I would miss a day of school, a day of my life every single month because I could not get out of bed. It felt like a professional boxer punching me in the stomach every 5 seconds. I wish someone had told me the pill would virtually erase my crippling cramps and give me my life back.

#2- I wish I had gone to a regular doctor in a regular practice with my mom when I decided to go on the pill at age 21. Instead I went alone to a Family Planning place, it was scary to go alone and to be in a slightly depressing atmosphere.

#3- I wish I could control my anxiety when I still get paps every few years for health check ups, but I can't, and everything locks right up so to speak. Thank goodness I have a great doctor that prescribed me a relaxing medication to take in the waiting room before I go in for my paps. This helps me a lot.

Anyway, I hope this is not too much info, I just wanted to let you know that you are not the only girl in the world that has painful periods, and dreads getting a pap smear. You will need to have one eventually just to make sure you are healthy....but its ok, you will get older and with that comes more bravery...and logic will win out over fear more easily. I am glad your mom is going with you.....and you don't have to do anything you don't want to do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
you have a family physician or pediatrician you have gone to? !
Do you suggest going to my family physician or a gyno? I have had bed experiences with doctors and try to avoid them at all costs. But I play sports and have to see them. I never really have able to trust or feel comfortable with any doctor I go too.
 

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Do you suggest going to my family physician or a gyno? I have had bed experiences with doctors and try to avoid them at all costs. But I play sports and have to see them. I never really have able to trust or feel comfortable with any doctor I go too.
Hmm. Well, no one really likes going to the doctor, but I guess you'll have to weigh the unknown of seeing someone new vs. going to a doctor you have seen before. If you had a particularly bad experience, this might be a good time to find a new doctor. What do you think has been going wrong with your doctors appointments in the past? Family medicine doctors or gynecologists are both well qualified to help with choice of birth control.
 

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When I was suffering from severe menstrual cramps, I had a consultation (no pelvic exam) and was offered BC or prescription strength Tylenol. I wound up not taking the prescription for personal reasons, but the doctor was happy to write me a prescription with no physical exam. Of you're concerned bout a pelvic exam, call ahead and talk to the doctor you'll be seeing to clarify that you under no circumstances want one.
 

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Agree with what everyone has said already, no one can force you to get a pelvic. I remember some of my friends telling me that you HAVE to get one when you turn 18, that it's a law. Total BS. I got my first pelvic in my 30s! I realize though that it is not recommended to wait that long.
One thing to ask the Dr office when it does come time to get a pelvic exam, do they use plastic or metal speculums? The speculum is what they use to open the vaginal canal so they can see the cervix. The metal speculums are WAY less uncomfortable than the plastic. I won't go to a Dr who uses the plastic ones.
Really? I prefer the plastic ones to the metal ones.

As long as it's not cold. Honestly, the day I got a pap smear and the doctor was all "Now, I'm going to warm the instruments up first"....I almost proposed to her. (I didn't propose. But I did make a few jokes about how usually someone has to take me to dinner first.....>:p)

Softball, as far as who to go to....It's up to you. GPs can do pap smears and prescribe contraception.It's more important, in my experience, to find someone who's good and who you're comfortable with than worrying too much about whether it's their speciality. And it's also about finding someone who's comfortable with you! It may sound strange, but the look of relief on the face of most male doctor's I've gone to, when I've said "Oh no, I have a female doctor do my pap smears" is amazing. Sometimes they're more afraid of you, than you are of them.
 

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I agree with Tiger Lilly, it's more important to find a doctor you trust and have a comfortable relationship with than find someone in any particular specialty, at least as far as paps and birth control go. I had a hard time with pelvic exams because I am very narrow and small down there and I also had endometriosis for years which made it painful. Thankfully early on a doctor told me they have small speculums and I always asked for one of those. I had much better experiences with pelvic exams when I had my family doctor do them (who also knew my history very well) than when I had a gynecologist I didn't know well do one before I had a series of surgeries for my endometriosis. When I did see a male gyneocologist for a while for my condition, thankfully there was always a nurse present for those exams because they were a traumatic experience for me. My family practice doctor was always much gentler.
 
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