There are very few things that can make me break out into a cold sweat like an impending visit to the gynecologist.
Last year my visit landed in the winter and I found myself shaving my winter pelt of leg hair so that the doctor would not be distracted by its luxurious growth and assume I am related to Sasquatch. (I take No Shave November quite seriously and have on occasion stretched the no-shave period for, well… about four months is my high.)
I blunted a new razor blade this time with the shaving of my leg hair. The length had reached the spot where after I got out of the shower and the hairs were bursting with volume the little lengths would whish in the wind when I walked.
Men will never understand the sheer enjoyment of a freshly shaven leg. Well, most men. I guess professional bicyclists and swimmers get to experience it frequently, but the majority of men only lose their leg hair after a particularly nasty game using duct tape to try to make someone scream, “Uncle!”
Wanting to achieve maximum pleasantness for the visit last year, I persevered through the shearing and emerged from the shower feeling like the freshly-shorn sheep from Pixar’s Boundin’ short movie yet a bit awkward about the doctors visit to come.
What is it about a visit to the gynecologist or obstetrician that strikes such fear into a woman’s heart?!
My best guess is that natural shyness combined with a knowledge that our hooha is about to be explored by metal instruments with names we can’t work into everyday conversation has something to do with the high level of anxiety we experience.
Despite thinking well of my doctors, my comfort-level with the yearly exam has never been high. Having three children and visiting the OB/GYN on a frequent basis for baby check-ups has given me a comfortable relationship with my doctor, however, so I decided to just go ahead and make a list of some of the questions that go through my head every time I prepare for my “yearly.”
- Do I really have to go every year?
- Why can’t the metal objects be coated with something soft, fuzzy, and possibly pink? With sparkles? And have friendly names?
- What’s a pap and why must it be smeared?
- Are male gynecologists perverts and female gynecologists lesbians? If not, why on earth would anyone go to medical school to spend their day looking at a hooha?!
- How should I respond to you if I see you in the grocery store or other social situations?
This is my starter list. I figure I might as well make it an exhaustive one and get full value for my time spend with the doctor this year.
Help me think of any questions I may wish I had asked… what would you ask the OB/GYN?
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