5 Tips to Overcome Anxiety about an OB/Gyn Visit
Every woman does it (or should do it!) regularly, but this doesn’t mean we like it. Even If it’s just a routine check-up a visit to the gynecologist typically generates anxiety. It’s not just young girls who visit the gynecologist for the first time who feel nervous about it; even women who have been doing it for years would still rather do (almost anything else).
Sorry, but this article does not provide a magic solution to help you avoid such visits. They are an absolute necessity; it’s your health at stake and there are few doctor’s visits more important than this one. Plus we all do things we don’t like: take our vitamins, shovel the snow off of our drive way, pay our taxes and so one. Unlike all these menial tasks, a visit to the gynecologist can save your life. Did you know that a manual breast exam done by a doctor is more effective than a self-check? Plus, don’t forget about the Pap you have to take each year! Bottom line, there’s no way around your yearly gynecological check-up, but there are things you can do to make your visit less unpleasant.
1. Get to know your body
This may sound hippy, but the better you know your body, the more empowered you will feel. In fact, most of our anxiety related to gynecologist visits resides in the fact that the doctor seems to be the one with all the power. Doctors know a lot about our body, indeed, but so can we. Plus, getting to know your body better will help you realize when something is wrong sooner.
So, grab a mirror and start looking at yourself in detail. Your vagina and your breasts should hold no secrets for you. If you really want to commit to this, you can even order your own speculum; this will help you see exactly what the doctor sees and empower you even more.
2. Have a “wingwoman” accompany you
Talk to your best friend or to a close family member about your anxiety. They will surely know what you’re feeling; they’ve all been there! Ask them to accompany you for your visit. Even if they don’t go inside the doctor’s office with you, just knowing they are in the waiting room will help you a lot.
Having someone close to us nearby is always a source of comfort. Plus, they might also open up to you about their own anxieties and this will help you come up with new ways to get over it.
3. Be honest with your doctor
Most women dread seeing a gynecologist because they are embarrassed to ask the questions they want to, usually those related to their sexual health and/or sexual behavior. But you should know that this is a big part of your general health, so you should really open up about your sexual problems. Don’t be scared – doctors have heard it all before and they will treat everything you say professionally. No one will judge you; your doctor is here to help you maximize both your health and your sexual comfort. Did you know that as much as 40% of women have trouble admitting to their gynecologist that they sometimes have unprotected sex? This is one of the most important things you should tell your doctor; he needs to know what tests and screenings to perform and this information is crucial for making the right decision.
In fact, psychologists say that if you want to be more comfortable during your gynecology visit, you should start with what you consider to be the most embarrassing issues first. Get them out of the way and the rest of the visit will seem like a breeze.
4. Get informed
Most women don’t know how to choose between the different Pap tests. For instance, the newer ones are liquid-based, which helps in filtering out the blood and other fluids; this way, the cervical cell samples are much easier to read. You can also ensure a more accurate reading of your Pap smear if you don’t schedule your appointment during or immediately after your period.
Before your appointment, try to read something about the Pap smear and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions about the things you didn’t understand. Don’t just settle reading about the Pap test; try to get informed about the whole consult. Each doctor has a routine and if you understand why he does certain things, it will be easier for you to accept them as natural and your anxiety will be half gone.
Information is key to everything, especially self-confidence. But you shouldn’t think that, just because you read something online, you can diagnose yourself. You still need a doctor to see you and it is advisable to discuss with him about everything you read online. Ask for his advice; it may save your life.
5. Choose a doctor you like
Some women feel more comfortable with a female gynecologist while others, on the contrary, feel more comfortable with a male one. Whatever your preference, it is very important to make sure that the doctor you see on a regular basis is one that you like and trust.
When dealing with something as intimate as your reproductive system, you need all the reassurance and trust you can get. Thus, it is crucial that you feel that you can tell your doctor anything, without any restraints. This is the only way for you to make sure that you get all the medical attention you need.
If you are searching for a gynecologist in Barrie, Ontario, then you have come to the right place. Dr. Evghenia Fefelova is an experienced professional with a team that can cater to your every need. She has worked with women of all ages and is not only an excellent medical professional, but also a warm person that you can easily open up to. Call us and schedule your appointment now! We want to make sure you are OK.