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WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

[Potentially NSFW] Any other ladies hate going in for your "well-woman" exam and having that feeling of a full on invasion of your territorial bubble?

Asked by WillWorkForChocolate (22623 points ) January 16th, 2012

I was poked, prodded, probed and pinched. Yes, I know it’s important to have it done, but holy shatner, I really HATE having people’s faces and hands all in my bits. I needed a really hot, cleansing shower afterward to get rid of the oogies. <shudder>

Anybody else do that?

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57 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

Uninvited man says: I don’t know how women do it. Birthing, exams, menstration, menopause. Women are truly remarkable creatures.

Judi's avatar

Nothing at all pleasant about it.

Jude's avatar

I have a male doctor. It is hard to get into see a female doctor ‘round here. When he goes in for the dip and stares up at his medical diploma, while I stare at the ceiling = awkward.

tinyfaery's avatar

No. I always have a female doctor, for one, but the whole process is strictly non-sexual. If I felt the way you do, I’d get a new doctor.

HungryGuy's avatar

Another uninvited man says: I don’t know how women feel about this, but I seek out female doctors because it feels gay to me (not that there’s anything wrong with being gay) to have another man poking around my man bits.

Keep_on_running's avatar

I know this is probably out of the ordinary, but I will probably never get one of those exams, unless it was completely life or death necessary. I just can’t handle that kind of invasion, I value my privacy more than anything else in the world, I couldn’t do it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@tinyfaery It’s not that it feels sexual to me, it’s just a really oogy feeling of having someone other than my husband touch me there. It still feels sterile and non-threatening, but I just hate it, hate it, hate it. Even when I had a female gyno I hated it. It doesn’t matter which gender is down there, if it’s not my husband, I feel creeped out and dirty.

I’ve had issues with being touched for many, many years due to two unrelated terrible experiences. Even having my breasts touched creeps me out.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I used to feel that way, but finding the right doctor helped. For me, anyhow. It sucks, there’s really no way around that part. Not fun.

Jude's avatar

It doesn’t help that mine looks a bit like Ron Jeremy (minus 50lbs). I really try not to go there in my head during the exam.

marinelife's avatar

I turn my personal feelings off during the exam. I take a clinical attitude. That said, with the wrong doctor, it can be awful.

tedd's avatar

Yah I can’t imagine how you ladies do it. Even the thought of my significant other or family members going in for that stuff irks me out. If I were a girl I think it would have to be a female gyno, and I would probably only do it for like serious medical issues, or if I was prego.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@tedd I used to know a guy who would get angry when his g/f went to the gyno. Not with her, but, he would build up this rage toward the doctor. Weirdest thing.

FutureMemory's avatar

Heh…a girlfriend returned from an exam once complaining that the male doc stuck his finger in her butt without warning her first…Not cool.

AmWiser's avatar

The only thing that keeps me sane during this uninvited intrusion is keeping in mind that it is a necessary evil. And also that it won’t last forever. Keep repeating….This too shall pass…...

JilltheTooth's avatar

Between infertility and cervical cancer, I’ve had more strangers cruise up the tunnel of love than friends, and it still skeeves me out a bit. For a while there I could mentally separate myself from my bits, and discuss cooking with a nurse during particularly invasive exams, but I really hate the need to get stuff checked out. Male doctor, female doctor, it doesn’t matter, when someone tells me to “relax” I just…well…you can imagine…

janbb's avatar

Don’t love it but it doesn’t bother me overmuch. The gynecologist I have now is a very caring man who helped me out some years ago with a medical condition that a female gynecologist was convinced I needed a hysterectomy for. For me, it’s not about the gender, it’s about the person.

I’d take a pap smear over a root canal any day!

nromstadt's avatar

Honestly, it does not bother me one bit. Male or female doctor, they are doing a very important job. Having had experience with shadowing in a health clinic, let me tell you – it is probably even less enjoyable for the doctor or nurse.

nikipedia's avatar

Doesn’t bother me at all.

I don’t like the scrapey part though. Ouch.

SpatzieLover's avatar

In the beginning it bothered me.

Now, I try to remind myself that my docs are able to look at my body as just another body. I try to focus on “it’s just a body”...it helps me not focus on the pain or dicomfort of it all. Also, I think “this bit will only last a few seconds”. It helps me to rationalize it all.

Jude's avatar

I hate the cold instruments (even though they warm them, they feel cold to me. It’s a shock to the system). I also don’t care for “scoot further down”. The good thing, though is that it is over rather quickly.

jonsblond's avatar

@Keep_on_running Do you value your privacy more than your own health? Pap smears are very important! Please get this done if you haven’t. You would never know if something was wrong if you don’t have this exam. I wouldn’t have known that I had severe dysplasia had I not gone to my lady doc for my annual. I had no symptoms at all. My doctor caught it just in time and scheduled an emergency LEEP procedure. The discomfort of the annual exam is only for a few minutes.

picante's avatar

I’ve had the same OB-GYN for 35 years, so now it feels “expected.” The doctor and the familiarity make all the difference. I will say I’m more relaxed generally for my annual pelvic exam than I am for a lot of dental work—even a pedicure can be uncomfortable when delivered poorly. And the importance of this exam far outweighs the few moments of discomfort or unease.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Keep_on_running : I guess I hadn’t read your post, sorry, but @jonsblond brought it to my attention. Two words for you, sweetie. Cervical Cancer. See my post. Believe me, getting a regular pap smear beats the hell out of cancer treatments. Your privacy is a little more invaded when the cast of Stomp rehearses up your yahoo (that’s what the deep tissue exam feels like when they determine at what stage your cancer is.) And then there’s the chemo and radiation, which do lovely things to your digestive system, and control is not always an option. And then try to remember if you’ve been introduced to every tech who has his or her hands up to the elbows inside you, and there’s always some guy with a miner’s lamp on his forehead peering up in there. And don’t forget med students. They seem to be around a lot when there’s a tumor to be seen when your feet are in the stirrups.
Or you can go in once a year, and have a gentle woman take literally 3 minutes to keep you in good health.

Judi's avatar

A Line from the Vagina Monologues. “My Angry Vagina”
...“Then there are those exams. Who thought them up? Why the scary paper dress that scratches your tits and crunches when you lie down so you feel like a wad of paper someone threw away? Why the rubber gloves? Why the flashlight all up there like Nancy Drew working against gravity, why the nazi steel stirrups, the mean cold duck lips they shove inside you? What’s that? My vagina’s angry about those visits. It’s gets defended weeks in advance. It won’t go out of the house. Then you get there. Don’t you hate that? “Scoot down, relax your vagina.” Why? So you can shove mean cold duck lips inside it? I don’t think so.
Why can’t they find some nice delicious purple velvet and wrap it around me, lay me down on some feathery cotton spread, put on some nice friendly pink or blue gloves, and rest my feet in some fur covered stirrups? Warm up the duck lips. Work with my vagina…”

cazzie's avatar

I have had male doctors and female doctors. I guess I’m not shy. When it comes to looking after my lady bits, I know what I have to do, I will pull my pants off and present before the doctor has his gloves off. No harm done. It is only for my good and it is never a trouble.

I am NOT a casual when it comes to sex, by the way. Sharing my parts in a sexual way is a completely different stem. For health’s-sake, I will down trousers, but if you want to get there for another reason, I had better love you or have very strong feelings for you.

JLeslie's avatar

Only once did I feel violated, it was not time for my yearly and I had tried to decline a pelvic and he insisted. I was young, and would never let that happen again.

Otherwise, it doesn’t bother me much at all, and having had some pretty serious GYN problems, especially on my vulva I am pretty pissed off that doctors did not take more time looking at that part of my body and examening it more carefully. The doctors who have helped me most observed the changes and abnormalities of the area after multiple doctors having said, “everything looks good.” When, basically they had barely looked. When I was well it was great to get it done quickly, but when you are sick, it feels like the doctor does not care and is incompetent.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Sort of like a male and his annual prostate exam?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Perhaps… I just think it’s more uncomfortable to have someone’s hand actually in your bits instead of cupping them and saying, “cough”. I’d rather have to cough while being cupped than have some person with a miner’s hat and a cold hand playing foosball in there.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@elbanditoroso ; With all due respect to our XY Jellies, it’s really not like that. A blood test and a finger are a far cry from a speculum, some probing and a scrape. Which we start having to deal with around puberty. None of it is fun for any of us, when all is said and done.

ETA: And we also have the blood test and the finger up our asses sometimes.

wilma's avatar

At my last exam the nurse pulled out a real cloth gown for me to put on instead of that half sized paper towel that they used to give me.
I was so excited! Real fabric that covered me and I could actually have run out into the hall if someone had yelled fire!
After that, the rest of the exam was easier because I was more at ease from the start.
I asked why the change and she said, “we are trying to cut costs and laundering the cloth gowns is cheaper than buying the paper.”
WTF??? All these years it was more expensive to have us use those vile paper-towel things and it would have been cheaper to use cloth?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

LOL “half sized paper towel.”
I would be so much happier if they gave me a cloth gown, instead of paper.

Leanne1986's avatar

I had my smear test last week and, whilst it wasn’t fun, it was a much better experience than I was expecting. The nurse was lovely and apart from being a little uncomfortable for a few hours after it was mostly pain free. I’d actually rather go for a smear than go to the dentist!

Mariah's avatar

Ugh, my only experience with an OBGYN so far is getting a cyst excised…there were stitches involved…and the local wasn’t quite sufficient…needless to say I’m not a fan! Also don’t like it for the reasons you described, too.

JLeslie's avatar

Two surprises in the answers for me.

One is @Leanne1986 says she is uncomfortable for a few hours after? I have never heard of someone being uncomfortable for hours after. Not saying others don’t have that experience, I have just never heard it before.

And @JilltheTooth said we start to deal with around puberty? I know now they are recommending girls go for the first exam sooner than when it was recommended 30+ years ago, but puberty? Average age is 12 years old for menses onset. I don’t think anyone is recommending a PAP smear that young, are they? Unless the girl is sexually active or having some sort of problem of course.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@JLeslie I get cramps and light bleeding after a pap. It’s not uncommon.

JLeslie's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I see. It makes sense actually. The only time that ever happened to me was after a procedure where a tube was actually inserted through my cervix, and even then it only happened one time I had that done. For a regular PAP or basic exam it as never happened to me.

jonsblond's avatar

@JLeslie I also feel discomfort for quite some time afterwards. I’m very, very sensitive. I could feel some discomfort now and then several months after my LEEP (which I guess is very uncommon).

elbanditoroso's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate – this isn’t the cough test. This is the “doctor puts a glove on, covers finger with vaseline, and sticks it up the rectum” test.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond No wonder some people feel more traumatized after a visit to the GYN. If the discomfort lasts much past the visit, it would be psychologically with the person for a longer period. Not just something you do and it’s over.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@JLeslie OK, then 15 for a lot of girls. And unless my friends with sons are all neglecting the health of their children, regular prostate exams don’t tend to start til much later. Geez

Leanne1986's avatar

@JLeslie I had very minor cramps, nothing that stopped me getting on with my day but a little irritating nevertheless. Apparently it’s fairly common. I googled it to make sure my insides weren’t going to fall out!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@elbanditoroso Ahh yes. I’ve had that done before also. I’d much rather have a finger up my ass than the rib spreader and multiple fingers in my yahoo.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate – I don’t doubt that for a minute.

wilma's avatar

Yes @elbanditoroso we women get that one too sometimes.
My Dr. tells corny jokes when he is doing my exam. I guess he thinks it distracts, and make us all more at ease.

rooeytoo's avatar

For me, the older I get the more painful it has become. I assume because of the dryness of age.

In Australia they suggest pap smear every 2 years instead of every year. And it seems I read recently USA was going in the same direction? Similar questions were being asked regarding the frequency and need for mammograms. It all makes me wonder sometimes, if it is not overkill. Now I realize if a problem is found and cured then it is working as it should. But for me personally I hate going to the doctor unless I feel like I am dying, so I never have anything done unless I absolutely have to. I am a coward and I think I believe ignorance is bliss.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Tension, squeezing up tight, pain, sweating, anger and then release to squirm away like a hosed down cat. Hate it.

JLeslie's avatar

@JilltheTooth Is it 15 now? Is that the recommended age? I am not trying to challenge you, I am interested in the recommendation. When I was a teen it was at age 18 or when the girl became sexually active, whichever came first. I can’t imagine a 15 year old having to have an exam if she still has her hymen intact, or even if she is simply sexually inexperienced, whether she has her hymen or not. I would not want my daughter to have to do it at 15. But, I guess they assume the girls all too often don’t tell when they do become sexually active.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@JLeslie It depends greatly on the family history, too. In some cases the peditrician/family doctor will recommend the pre-teen/teen starts going prior to their first period or at the start of their first period. My mom had severe endo. Our family doc strongly suggested my sis and I begin seeing the gyn early. My aunt began taking my cousin at 11, due to her cyst/endo history.

Most of the families I know begin regular visits at 16.

JLeslie's avatar

@SpatzieLover I don’t understand why a family history of cysts or endo would require an appointment at a younger age? What is the doctor going to do? Cysts usually indicate PCOS, not always of course. Endo is removed with surgery, or symptoms can be reduced with birth control pills. A regular GYN exam does not let the doctor know anything about how much endo a girl has, and an ultrasound would only be done if the girl was symptomatic with amenorrhea or painful ovaries.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@JLeslie One, so the doctor has recorded a baseline.

Two, so they can recommend appropriate treatment (usually birth control) to help eliminate painful cramps. My sister had extreme cramps from the onset of her initial period. Her gyn tried various treatments to help her have more “normal” periods.

FutureMemory's avatar

I’m 38 and have yet to experience my first prostate exam, although my doc did say I should have it “soonish”, maybe at age 40.

JLeslie's avatar

@SpatzieLover See, that is where I am confused. If a girl has very painful cramps she will bring herself into the doctor, I don’t see why family history would dictate going in. The thing about birth control pills is it used to be at least, that doctors were required to do a pelvic, PAP, and I think bacterial culture (not sure about the bacterial culture) to give out birth control. It wasn’t that a girl needs those things done, it was just a requirement to prescribe. That’s why those young girls had to get pelvic exams and probably still do.

I went to an adolescent doctor in my teens, I think that specialty should be expanded.

Keep_on_running's avatar

@JilltheTooth I’ll take my chances…as reckless as some may see it and I do honestly sympathize with those suffering from cervical cancer. But I do also think once a year is a bit excessive, and starting these tests as a teen? I would’ve been very traumatized at that age, I could barely handle anyone touching me let alone in such a private place.

Aster's avatar

After being misdiagnosed by a GP , and turning out fine , I gave it all up. Too stressful. If you’re pregnant you get so used to it but that was ages ago.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Keep_on_running : Always your choice, of course. I would hope you would rethink if the pain got so bad you couldn’t stand up straight, and maybe there would still be time to save your life.

Leanne1986's avatar

@rooeytoo In the uk it is recommended that we have a smear every three years unless your last smear showed any sign of abnormal cells and then it goes up to one a year or even every 6 months.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Leanne1986 – I like that idea even better than the 2 year recommendation here!

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