Can we talk hoo-has for a minute? Good, because I visited my gyno for my well women’s exam today and he’s still on my mind.
My gyno is better than yours.
He really is the best. I go every year and I actually look forward to it.
A few weeks back while surfing my Facebook newsfeed, I came across a thread about gynecologists and yearly visits. A friend of mine wanted to know how long it had been since the last time her girlfriends had been in for their well women’s exam. Out of sheer curiosity, and seeing that I had my yearly appointment coming up, I clicked to read through the comments. Let me just say that I was floored by some of them.
Some women said two years or five years, some women said that it had been EIGHT YEARS or longer since they had visited their gyno. One woman said that she knew it had been 12 years because that’s how old her youngest child is. o.O
Call me a hypochondriac, or a weirdo for wanting to go, but if I skip a year I feel guilty and I get paranoid. (and I like to catch up with my doc)
That thread got me thinking, so while I sat on the crinkly paper with my little tube-top Mumu and that pathetic excuse for a sheet draped over my legs this morning I asked him “what are some things you’ve always wanted to tell your patients (or women in general) regarding gyno visits?” and his responses were both hilarious and insightful.
Things Your Gyno Wants You to Know
They all look the same. Having a strange face all up in my most personal business is unsettling, sure. I get it, I totally do. But you know the first thing he told me today?
“I will not remember you for your labia” he said. AND I ABOUT DIED.
That is a direct quote. His point is that by the time you’ve sat back up and the stirrups are put away, while you are preparing to end your visit, he has already forgotten what you look like “down there”. I mean really, he sees multiple a day and after years and years. A peach is a peach is a peach (even if it is your most personal peach).
If that is the reason why you’re not making and keeping regular checkups with your gyno, it doesn’t need to be.
The answer is half and half. Let’s not beat around the proverbial bush, we’ve all wondered what other people do downstairs. I asked him the ratio of women that take care of business and those that completely take care of business. You feelin’ me? He said its about half and half.
Sometimes the most conservative of women are the ones with piercings. I can’t imagine. Oh, I’ve heard stories, but to pierce what? Where?? According to my gyno (who has been practicing for twenty years), it is often the most conservative looking females that have piercings in the strangest of places.
Kinda makes me wonder what TSA can see when they go through the body scanner at the airport. LOL
They won’t notice if you don’t shave your legs (or paint your toenails). Unless you bring it up or otherwise draw attention to it, your doctor will not notice if your toenail polish is 4 weeks old and you haven’t shaved your legs in a few days. Glitter on your girly bits will get noticed though, that’s for sure.
They aren’t looking at your hairy legs.
You really do need to keep regular appointments. My gyno is more like my regular family doctor when it comes down to it. The nurse checks my blood pressure and heart rate, my thyroid; he does my breast exams and yes, the dreaded pelvic exam.
If there is something seriously wrong with me, chances are he’ll find it (and not just women’s health). Not to say that well women’s checkups should completely replace your regular family doctor, but it is better than no checkup at all!
Self breast exams must be done regularly. If you’re doing self breast exams – GREAT! But you must remain consistent with them. Mammograms are not generally recommended until you reach age 40.
He did mention that if he were a woman (with NO family history of cancer) he would get mammograms at ages: 40, 42, 44, 46 and then yearly from there on out.
The trick to staying regular with your well women’s exams is finding a gyno that you love, that is humorous and easy to talk to. A gyno that isn’t afraid to shoot you straight, tell you like it is – and not make it personal. Because as personal as it feels when your feet are in the stirrups, it really IS NOT personal.