I’ve been reading along here on the forum for a while and I finally had the courage to create an account and write something down.
Sorry for asking, but how old were you when you had your first pelvic exam, LBS1515?
I have the impression my story is pretty similar.
I’ve had heavy periods when I was a teen, so heavy my mom decided to take me with her to her gyn to see what was going on. At that moment I was 17 and I had ZERO sexual experience. I never masturbated, never used tampons, never put a finger inside… I even never kissed a guy! So when I was asked to lie down on the table and got my first internal exam, I was TERRIFIED. Why would a gyn do this without asking if I was okay with this? Why couldn’t she just LOOK or prescribe me some pills or whatever? I was TOTALLY unprepared for this, I had to go nude in front of someone I didn’t know, I didn’t even know how to lie down on the exam table. The whole experience turned out to be super painful and traumatic and I while I was having tears in my eyes, I could see on the face of the gyn she thought I was exaggerating. When I came home and went to the toilet, I found blood in my underwear, which upset me even more.
One year later, I went to Amsterdam as an exchange student, and one of my periods was so heavy my “second” mom (that’s how I called her) drove me to a Dutch gyn. I’ll never forget what happened there. The gyn asked me if I was sexually active, and when I said no, she said they don’t do internal exams on those girls unless it is really, really necessary! This gyn was SUUUPER friendly, and when I told her what happened in the States she said in Holland the reason they don’t do that is because they are causing too much trauma. FINALLY someone who knew what I went through! And I remember I kept on thinking: WHY WHY WHY do they keep on doing this in the States?
I don’t know if Maze has any data on this, but I’m following different sites on vaginismus and in a LOT of cases the condition seems to be triggered by a traumatic first internal exam. So I think the medical world has a giant responsibility to take here. Change the rules and make sure those first exams are less traumatic for teens!
As for me, I should make an appointment to get my first PAP smear, but I want to finish my therapy first. So I’m reading along here, hoping to find some tips and tricks as well.