photo by Simon Davison
For gynecologist Dr. Kate's take on the same question, check out her post on EMandLO.com. To ask Em & Lo your own advice question, click here.
Hey Em and Lo,
I know how important it is to see a gyno, but honestly, I am terrified to go. I've actually made several appointments since I lost my virginity about nine months ago, but every time the date approaches, I find myself canceling last minute. I've tried positive thinking, ignoring thoughts of the upcoming exam, and mentally walking myself through the steps that I expect the exam to take. However, every time I do, I get so nervous I nearly puke. I know how important it is to be checked regularly and especially now that I'm not a virgin. Can you give me any advice on how to overcome my fear?
Dear 'Fraidy Cat,
That's a bummer.
Okay, that's all the sympathy you're going to get from us, because you've got to get over it. Your health is at stake, especially now that you're sexually active - and there's nothing more important.
We all have to do things we don't like: take our vitamins, shovel snow when it's blocking the front door, pay our taxes, leave the womb. But we do it; we just get it over with as quickly and with as little fanfare as possible - and it ultimately makes our lives easier and better. When you were a kid, you certainly didn't want to get your shots, but you had to, your parents made you, you didn't have a choice - and at the time, you probably thought you were going to die. But you didn't. And because you got the shots, you've avoided getting terrible diseases which could have killed you. See, better!*
Since you haven't outlined what it is exactly that you're afraid of, it sounds like it's more an irrational fear of the unknown. Trust us, you're making a bigger deal out of it than it really is. (You probably thought the same thing when you finally lost your virginity: What's the big deal?) Yes, there are much more enjoyable things to do than go to the gynecologist - even listening to Spencer Pratt talk is better…but not by much! You lie back, bend your knees, spread your legs, breathe deeply and try to relax while your gyno takes a look down there (more deets from Dr. Kate tomorrow). It usually takes less than two minutes (though our nerves can make it feel like fifteen). It's not painful, just a bit uncomfortable and awkward.
Here are 8 things we'd recommend to make the whole thing less daunting, i.e. more comfortable and less awkward:
Read More »from Dear Em & Lo: I’m Terrified of Going to the Gyno!