New Here. Sharing my story hoping someone has insight.
February 21, 2019 at 1:49 am #24438FourEyedWidowParticipant
Hi, I’m a 53 year old woman. My husband passed away in 2014 at the age of 49. We didn’t marry until we were 34, and he was ill through a good part of our marriage. Our physical intimacy was practically nil, which was ok with me. I’ve never had a drive anyway.
Picking the story up in June of 2018. I hadn’t been to the gynecologist since before hubby got very sick. I was busy being his only caretaker. I decided it was time to go find out why I’m bleeding all the time. Probably peri-menopause. When she tried to insert the specuulm (sp) it was very painful and in reflex, I flinched. She told me to stop clamping down. I told her I wasn’t intentionally doing that. She tried over and over with me trying to tell myself to relax, and curling my toes in pain. She began to get really frustrated with me and started to raise her voice for me to stop clamping down or she couldn’t get a proper pap smear sample. At that point, I was in tears and told her it had been a long time for me, and that I was doing the best I could, and that what she was doing was extremely painful.
I felt so embarrassed, frightened that I was crazy, and like I was wasting her time. She was pretty nice otherwise. I’m just wondering if anyone has an idea what I can do before my next appointment to make it go smoother for both me and the doctor. Heaven knows, my idea of fun isn’t being in those stirrups for over an hour when she tries to finish.February 21, 2019 at 10:39 am #24439Cathleen Kneidl, RPA-CParticipant
I’m so sorry you had such a difficult experience. You could possibly have vaginismus and/or some vaginal atrophy due to changes in your hormones. I would recommend finding another clinician to be evaluated. Someone who has more experience and patience.February 24, 2019 at 2:11 pm #24448recessivegenequeenParticipant
FourEyedWidow, I’m really sorry to hear about this horrible gynecological experience. I’ve had similar challenges with gynos because of my own vaginismus and I know it can feel painful and embarrassing. I second what Cathleen says – try to find a more compassionate gynecologist. They aren’t all so impatient and someone who should be medically helping you shouldn’t also be making you feel bad.
I think it’s very brave that you’re investigating your difficulties. In the event that you do have vaginismus or vaginal atrophy, the good thing is that you have options for how to proceed.August 27, 2019 at 7:08 am #25635Sks823Participant
So sorry to hear about your experience. I think a lot of us here on the forum have dealt with similar difficulties with pap smears/checkups at the gynecologist, so we truly feel for you.
I also recommend finding a more compassionate gynecologist if you can to help get to the route of your issues, it can make a huge difference! Also, reading some stories or asking questions on these forums can help a lot too – many of us may have similar experiences and advice.
Hope you’re well!
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