Home Forums Vaginismus Support Group Vaginismus General How to get over fear of speculums? Reply To: How to get over fear of speculums?


It’s so frustrating to hear stories like these (especially as a resident of the US as well) – I think we have a really unfortunate culture around early visits to the gynecologist. There’s a big emphasis on it being necessary for your health and “enduring” the pain of an examination without thinking about the kind of trauma THAT can do. There’s an interesting thread on the forum (see below) where we’ve talked a bit about the differences in how the US vs. Europe handle early sexual experiences:

The medical realm definitely deserves to take a large share of the blame for why vaginismus goes so long without being diagnosed and probably many cases where it begins. Girls who have to be examined for things like heavy periods should be better prepared by gynecologists and it should be prioritized NOT to do an internal exam without trying other methods first, in my opinion. The US’s for-profit medical system in many disciplines encourages an assembly-line treatment of patients where doctors must see as many people as possible to make more money without taking time and care to understand them or put them at ease.

LBS1515, as to your question about addressing your fear of speculums, something I’ve seen recommended by the Maze clinic’s doctors are to see if your gyno can insert a smaller speculum or one made of plastic, or possibly better yet, to let YOU insert the speculum yourself (you may even be able to get one to practice with). Inserting it yourself could give you back some control of the situation, which can help anxiety.