As a woman in her ’30s, I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about my body. If you had asked me, I would have sworn I was well-informed. And then I started going to a new gynecologist and she literally blew my mind when she told I’d been checking my breasts all wrong. What? How had I missed this? I knew about the circular check but not the up-and-down pattern. Well, maybe because the last time I learned about breast self-examination was from a pamphlet I got in high school. That was a while ago. After the jump, I asked other women about the most surprising things they learned from their gynos. Keep reading »
Your annual visit to the lady doctor isn’t necessarily the most pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Between the poking, prodding and your casual evasion of pointed questions like “How many drinks do you have a week?”, going to the the gynecologist is a necessary but not entirely awesome experience. I usually leave the gynecologist with a list of unanswered questions, and I always resolve this situation by taking to Google with a glass of wine, self-diagnosing through the mess of Yahoo! Answers forums and WebMD. It goes without saying that this never really works out for the best. This time, we’ve decided to do the work for you! We consulted the best of the best on the Internet to come up with answers to all those burning questions that feel a little too personal to ask your doctor. Keep reading »
I didn’t think I was ashamed of the number of sexual partners I’ve had in the 20 years I’ve been getting it on until I found myself filling in a number half the true total at a recent gynecologist appointment. Although I know doctors are trained not to judge, and this doctor in particular had been particularly kind, helpful and professional when I’d seen her previously, in my head, all of a sudden the number (at best an approximation as I haven’t kept an exact count in year) seemed like cause for alarm. Even if I never had to say it out loud and its size was simply one more piece of data for her to use in evaluating me, something about it made me erase what I’d typed in the online form and halve it. As it turned out, she didn’t even ask me a single thing about my number, so that fretting was for naught—except that it taught me a lesson: slut shaming isn’t just something other people do to us, but something we can do to ourselves. Keep reading »
Important news about your vagina: the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that instead of annual Pap smears, you can now get screened for cervical cancer every three years. ACOG has actually been saying for awhile that women don’t need annual Pap smears, but this recommendation was finally put in writing yesterday by the United States Preventative Task Force and the American Cancer Society.
So, why have the recommendations changed? Keep reading »
I have a new gynecologist. Let’s call her Bev. She’s a mid-wife so she’s not actually a doctor, but I am already more impressed with her than any other lady doctor that I’ve ever had. That’s because while she was down there, collecting cell samples from my ladyflower, she offered to show me my cervix. And I was like, “Uh, okay. Why not?” No other doctor had ever offered and I had never asked, but in that moment, as Bev handed me the world’s longest armed mirror, I was like, Fuck yeah, I am about to meet my cervix for the very first time. Keep reading »
The last time I spread my legs for a doctor (and no, I haven’t slept with anyone in scrubs), Lindsay Lohan was a law-abiding citizen. Somehow, I had managed to put off my visit to the friendly gyno longer than I cared to admit. A close friend’s recent alarming diagnosis post-gyno visit had fueled me into action. Oh, and my medical insurance suddenly had an expiration date. I’d just been laid off from a job I’d held down for the last six years, the lease on my New York City apartment was about to end, along with the dollars in my bank account. I was, in what you might call, a very large pickle. Keep reading »
Imagine going to the doctor for a routine hysterectomy and finding out that your doctor has branded your uterus? That’s exactly what happened to Ingrid Paulicivic, a 47-year-old Californian woman, whose gynecologist used a “electrocautery device to carve and burn” her name “Ingrid” on her uterus.
Before you totally freak out — the uterus had been removed from Ingrid’s body at the time. Dr. Red Alinsod admitted that he branded her name onto the removed organ, but says he did so as a “friendly gesture.” Keep reading »
This week marks National Women’s Health Week here in the U.S., which conveniently comes just in time for my annual pelvic exam. If, like me, you’ve been putting off making an appointment to see your gynecologist (I’m long overdue to see my dentist, too, shh!), I thought I’d run a follow-up list to this post I wrote last year to motivate us all to make our health top priority. After the jump, 15 (more) things that suck more than going to the gynecologist. Keep reading »
A blogger for the Guardian recently wrote about her experience at the gynecologist, admitting it was her first time getting a pelvic exam in ten years (she was inspired to go after the recent death of reality star Jane Goody, from cervical cancer), and that it would most likely be her last. The problem, she said, is that her doctor wasn’t very “encouraging,” something she thinks all physicians should be, especially with patients who suffer from mental health problems, learning disabilities, and/or a history of sexual abuse. She found it difficult to relax during her exam, but instead of asking her physician for relaxation techniques or getting recommendations for a different physician altogether, this woman is swearing off pelvic exams for the rest of her life — because potentially dying is a better fate than a few minutes of discomfort. Ladies! Don’t be like this woman! Don’t let a little fear stand between you and your health. If you aren’t getting a yearly pelvic exam because you’re afraid or embarrassed, keep in mind that you’re already suffering through plenty of things that are far worse than lying naked in a pair of stirrups for five minutes. After the jump, 15 things that are worse than going to the gynecologist. Keep reading »
Last night I was a having dinner with a friend of mine, who recounted a hilarious tale about her recent trip to the gynecologist, in order to get a birth control prescription. She’s currently sleeping with a younger guy (she’s 30, he’s 22) and they apparently have, uh, rather enthusiastic, somewhat rough, sex. My friend also has mild anemia, so she bruises easily. When she got to the doctor and was putting on her gown, she realized that she had forgotten that her chest was majorly bruised from a recent romp. Given that a breast exam is a routine part of a gynecological check up, she was instantly mortified about what her doctor would think. During the exam she pretended to be distracted by a particularly compelling article in Us Weekly, but after her doctor was through with his poking and prodding, he asked her to get dressed and come into his office. When she sat down, he said to her, “The bruises on your chest are cause for concern. Are you being abused by your boyfriend?” It was bad enough that he had noticed them, but to have to explain to her doctor — who’s pushing 70 — that her bruises were the result of rough sex and not physical abuse was downright mortifying. “No, I’m not being abused. I’m just dating a 22-year-old,” she said, in hopes that he would get her drift. She’s not sure if he understood what she meant, but she definitely thinks he didn’t believe her.
This story cracked me up, but also made me think that everyone must have at least one embarrassing gyno tale in their pocket. Tell yours, in the comments! Keep reading »