20-Somethings - Going to the gyno for the first time

04-22-2008, 09:56 PM
Hey everyone. Just joined here and wow, what a great place! I'm looking fo-rward to becoming a part of this community!

So, question...I'm going to see the gyno for the first time for BC and a checkup and I'm kinda dreading it. I've been putting it off for the past 2 years, but now, at 22, I'm ready to just go get it over with and make sure I'm healthy. Not going is starting to stress me out more than going, lol Anyway, the reason I've been putting it off for so long is because of my weight (currently 320 and dropping...yay!). I've had more than a few negative experiences with doctors because of my weight and I'm worried that this will be the same. I'm just wondering what some of your experiences are (if you don't mind sharing). I hear Planned Parenthood is pretty "fat friendly." Just curious...need to calm my nerves!


04-22-2008, 10:02 PM
Don't sweat it! I work at an OB/GYN office. Trust me, doctors have seen it all! I know in my little town we have patients from all different sides of the scale. Just take a deep breath and it will be all over before you know it! (just remember, no matter what size a girl is, she DREADS haveing a pap smear!)

And WELCOME! You will get addicted to this site and absolutely love the support here!

04-22-2008, 10:06 PM
ive gone a few times. basically, u get naked put on a gown, the dr checks ur boobs then u put ur legs in the stirrups and they insert the thingy. it feels kinda weird but shouldnt be painful. they lube it up and stuff. when they are actually inside taking the sample, basically sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesnt , but not bad though. just tell the dr if you cant deal with it and u should be fine. honestly just think about something else and dont worry about it. just think the dr has seen so many vaginas he/she is probably tired of it by now.
but honestly i would like to know what they tell u about the birthcontrol. my dr. wants me on depo (the shot) because of my weight. with all the studies saying that the pill isnt as good for bigger girls like ourselves. i have to go to planned parenthood myself and get put on BC so yeah if you could let me know what they say that would be awesome.
congrats on dropping the weight and goodluck. honestly its nothing to worry about.

04-22-2008, 10:55 PM
Don't sweat it is right! Mine is next week and while it's not my favorite thing in the world, it's so necessary for good health! Also, I go to Planned Parenthood (have for YEARS) and they are just "nice" in general :) In fact, they ROCK.

04-22-2008, 11:05 PM
Thank you all! Brat, I will let you know about the BC.

04-22-2008, 11:23 PM
The gyno's office is nothing to be scared of - I've been going since I was 16 or 17 (whenever I stopped going to the pediatrician) and I'm now 26.

As far as BC, at the time I started, I was unable to swallow pills. I started off on the Ortho Evra patch, and I was on it from 180lbs - 245lbs (when it stopped being as effective). That was about 3 years. I then switched a year and a half ago to Nuva Ring, as it is not as weight dependent and I still don't have to worry about a daily pill.

Something that always helps me, is asking what the doctor is doing, and why. They usually have no problems explaining what they are doing (and if they do, look for a new doctor!) I've also always gone to a female doc, however, some people prefer men. You can also ask someone to be present in the room with you and the doctor, as well, if you are uncomfortable. (When I had to get a vaginal ultrasound, a nurse stayed with me the whole time)

As was said earlier, you'll have to fill out a medical history, if you've never been. Then the doctor will give you a breast exam. If you are unsure of how to do a self-exam, asj your doc, he/she will show you the proper way to do it. Then, the doc will usually do a visual inspection of your vulva and vagina, to make sure every thing looks normal. The doc may then try to feel your ovaries. I know that it is harder to feel them in us heavier women, and it may be uncomfortable. Please speak up, if it is!. After she feels your ovaries, she will insert the speculum. If possible, ask her to warm it up - nothing worse than a cold speculum! The speculum may sting, and will definitely feel weird - she uses it to open your vaginal canal, so she can inspect your cervix and get a cell sample for your Pap smear.

Also, ask the doctor about Gardasil (cervical cancer vaccine), if you have not been vaccinated yet.

I wish you the best of luck with your visit!

04-23-2008, 01:30 AM
Ya know......no one likes it....but it's a necessary evil. It's an uncomfortable few minutes, but you'll feel great after...like you've conquered a fear!! It's just one of those things you have to do.

net knee
04-23-2008, 03:10 AM
No worries!! It's not bad at all. I still get a bit nervous just because I'm still not comfy with someone poking around down there! But in my opinion it's not painful. It is definitely something different but not painful.
About the Depo Provera Shot. I was on that for about 3 or 4 years, I can remember exactly and I actually gained weight on it. I only gained about 20 pounds over the first 2 years then the last year I gained very very fast!! And couldn't lose it! The doctor finally determined it was a reaction between the depo and another medicine I was taking and unfortunately the only one I could stop was the depo! So I stopped it and lost 20 pounds in 3 months without diet or exercise. Proving it was the depo reaction or whatever. Another blessing, well blessing in my eyes anyways, is I didn't have my period except for like 4 times that whole time and it only lasted 2 days each time! Didn't have any cramps or irritability/PMS either!
All in all... I loved depo-- and the shot doesn't hurt, don't let the size of the needle scare you!! IF your doc/nurse is good it will feel like someone flicked you, I suggest getting it in your butt, you hardly feel the "flick" feeling there.
I've been on just about every type of bc... pill, patch, nuva ring (which i had problems with that falling out while going to the bathroom so i hated it), shot... I'm back on the pill, one that you don't stop for your period, like it so far... my next move is the Mirena IUC (intra uterine contraceptive) lasts 5 years and can be removed if you change your plans and want a baby!!

04-23-2008, 12:03 PM
I just keep thinking "I'm a sink, he's a plumber, I'm a sink, he's a plumber." I definitely dread it, but it is over really really fast! I always seem to spend more time sitting around naked in that drafty robe than in the actual exam. Take a book!

04-23-2008, 03:53 PM
I just keep thinking "I'm a sink, he's a plumber, I'm a sink, he's a plumber."!

ROFLMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! omg thats funny!!!!

04-23-2008, 04:03 PM
Your first time can be pretty scary (I was 15) but it's not that bad.

04-23-2008, 04:08 PM
It's over before you know it. My first time, I remember thinking, "That's it? That is what I was SO worked up about?"

I would say if you start to get the weight lecture, just tell him/her that you're already on a program and losing and cut them off. I personally don't need to be told I'm fat (REALLY? Are you SURE? Can you check again? This is all so sudden!) and I don't need diet advice from a gyno who isn't trained to GIVE that advice.

04-23-2008, 04:58 PM
I DESPISE going, I've been going since I was 16, I'm almost 21 now. I HATE IT! I go to Planned Parenthood and I have a different doctor and nurses everytime. As soon as I can afford health insurance I am going to a REAL gyno who I see regularly instead of jumping around. Also, I much prefer a woman because any man who gets into gyno had (at one point in time at least) something dirty on their mind. Creeps me out that a guy would look at vagina's all day.

04-23-2008, 05:14 PM
I'm sure a man looking at vaginae all day has nothing dirty on the mind. Lesbians can be gynos too, aren't you scared that they will have dirty thoughts?

04-23-2008, 05:16 PM
I DESPISE going, I've been going since I was 16, I'm almost 21 now. I HATE IT! I go to Planned Parenthood and I have a different doctor and nurses everytime. As soon as I can afford health insurance I am going to a REAL gyno who I see regularly instead of jumping around. Also, I much prefer a woman because any man who gets into gyno had (at one point in time at least) something dirty on their mind. Creeps me out that a guy would look at vagina's all day.

Wow. I guess it's just a regional thing, then. I've always had the same doctor at Planned Parenthood. In fact, she was recently featured in Glamour.

I'm sorry you've had such a negative experience with male OBGYNs. I personally have never had one, but I have had some not so fun female ones. I don't think bad doctors are gender exclusive.

BTW, I think Planned Parenthood provides an invaluable service. It's not a perfectly run operation, but I feel lucky to have had a place to go for reproductive health for the past 8 years as an un-insured American. In fact, even when I marry into "good insurance" this August, I may stick with them because they "know me" and I agree with their policies.

cephalopod gal
04-23-2008, 08:35 PM
Hmm my gyno's a dude and he's the nicest doctor I've ever seen. :shrug:

I've never actually gotten the exam, but I go annually so he can check for ovarian cysts (they do it by sonogram for me).

I've been overweight the entire time I've been there, and no one has said anything about weight. But, he may just recognize what someone else mentioned--he's not trained to give advice of that sort.

As for women over men and vice versa, it's totally a matter for the patient, but I've heard of some women gynos that are terrible, insisting that you can't POSSIBLY be uncomfortable because of course they've gone through it. It depends on the professionalism of each individual doctor, not by their sex. And based on what they're looking for/have seen, I really don't think they have ANYTHING dirty on their minds. :\

04-23-2008, 08:54 PM
Also, I much prefer a woman because any man who gets into gyno had (at one point in time at least) something dirty on their mind. Creeps me out that a guy would look at vagina's all day.

Must say I disagree here. In my profession I, on a fairly regular basis, collect semen through manual manipulation from dogs. I use a electroejaculator on cattle. I'm rather handy with an artificial vagina when collecting semen from stallions. Does that make me some kind of a sick freak? ;-) Seriously though - it's medicine. People. Parts. Science. Yes, there are bad apples in every aspect of every profession but a blanket statement like that isn't exactly fair, either.

04-23-2008, 09:30 PM
First off, let me say that I have a pretty severe fear of doctors (and anything medical, really)...I don't handle talking about it, TV shows about it, news reports, pictures, etc...anything to do with the medical field, and it can really freak me out.

Secondly, let me say that when I was 13 or 14, I had to go to the OB/GYN for the very first time because of a li'l situation down there (ended up being nothing more than a pimple, but my mom was concerned about it so she took me to the doctor)....this was not a good experience for me. The doctor did not talk to me at all, only my mom, and the doctor ignored me when I started crying.

As much as I hated that experience, I'm kinda glad for it, because now I am very forthright with any doctors I have to see. I tell them right up front (sometimes even the receptionist or nurse, if appropriate) to please be aware that I have doctor-fear issues, and that I will likely ask a lot of questions. All my doctors have been perfectly fine with this---in fact, they like giving information and explaining what's going on, usually.

I have been to the gyno 4 or 5 times since that first time, and each time it gets easier because I figure out ways to cope with my anxiety. Every time, I ask my doctor to just quickly explain the exact procedure. By now, I know the procedure, but I ask her to give me a quick explanation anyway, because hearing her explain makes it seem less scary. The procedure of a basic gyno exam is very short...and the shortest of it all is the part where they're "down there." I remember one poor girl I knew in college who went for her first exam, and she honestly thought they were going to be poking around "down there" for an hour! Bless her. We all immediately reassured her that usually that part of the exam is 5 minutes or less...the rest of the exam is checking your breasts and stomach, heart, etc.

Other things I do to help with my overall medical anxiety are the following:

1) I bring with me a piece of paper with 10-15 small stickers scattered on it...I use this when I am having my blood pressure taken, and all I do is I count each picture very slowly...one, two, three, etc....and by the time I am done counting the stickers, the blood pressure is done. This helps me relax and breathe calmly...my anxiety about doctors can make my blood pressure spike.

2) I bring my MP3 player w/earbuds. If you have one, I sooooo suggest you bring it!! It is incredibly comforting to have some music of my own choice in my ears during the exam. I always just let me doctor know before the exam starts that I would like to listen to my music if at all possible, and they have always been perfectly understanding and okay with that. It really makes the time go by! My doctor lets me wear the earphones the entire time, and I just made sure that the volume was low enough that I could hear her if she needed to talk to me.

3) for my annual gyno exam (and I'm not kidding here!) I wear pink and orange striped knee socks, with frogs printed on them!!! :) I figure, hey, if I'm going to be in an "uncomfortable" position, at least I want to see my feet covered in something fun while they're in the stirrups! So I always wear my fun socks. And they should let you wear your socks if you want to, along with the gown they give you.

4) for any doctor visit I am nervous about, I plan on something fun afterward...for me, that's usually a shopping trip, because I love shopping. :)

All my little coping mechanisms may sound silly, but anxiety about doctors is very common. The most important thing to remember is that you have the right as the patient to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable. Almost all doctors will welcome your questions and will work to help you feel more calm.

I completely understand any anxiety about doctors in general, and gynos in particular...but trust me when I say they are really no big deal. Every time I have to go, I get a l'il bit nervous, and then when it's over I almost want to laugh at myself for being nervous at all! :-) That's how "no big deal" it really is. You will be fine. And each time you go to the gyno, you'll be a little less nervous.