Speculum

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  • #8601
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi ladies. In a recent post, one of the treated patients discusses seeing/touching a speculum post-procedure:

    “Post lunch Dr Pacik gave us a speculum that obgyn use, just to touch it and get the feel of it. as you all know there is so much history with all of us, of not being able to have a gyn exam in the past, so just by looking at it, tears rolled out from my neighbor friend. we all have gone through so much in the past that i actually sometimes felt in the past that i’ve fallen into a deep grave that is so deep where no one can hear me out. Looking at that dreaded device, all the episodes of my pain of not being normal in the past just flashed back. That was truly an emotional moment for all of us and i could hardly keep my tears inside.”

    This writer was entirely correct in that each one of us has gone through so much in our own personal journeys of overcoming vaginismus that this can bring up a lot of emotion. For me, it was very important to see the size of the speculum in comparison to the large dilators that I had successfully inserted. It was so much smaller and this made me less nervous about the whole process. Fast forward to my first post-procedure ob/gyn appointment and I had complete success with the exam and use of the speculum. What helped me in advance of the exam was using the largest blue dilator and, again, knowing that if I was able to successfully dilate in advance with this large dilator, I would have no pain or problems with a doctor inserting a small speculum.

    What have been your own experiences in seeing/touching the speculum on day 2 post-procedure?

    #10632
    Diana
    Participant

    Hi Heather. I panicked when Dr. Pacik showed us the speculum, even when I had Mr. Blue inside me. The panic went away little by little with the help of Dr. Pacik who asked me to touched it and assured that it wasn’t sharp at all (even when the metal looks like it will cut you). Then, I took Mr. Blue out and proceed with inserting the speculum. This was so easy that I bearly could believe it!!! Dr. Pacik was great at explaining every step and helping me to know that everything was going to be just fine. A couple of months later, I had my first successful OB-GYN exam at a regular doctor’s office! I could not stop smiling on my way home while driving, I wonder if people thought I was crazy, LOL!!

    #10636
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    Heather, on day two when Dr. Pacik brought out the speculums I immediately went into panic mode. I hate, hate, hate those things and in fact a couple of years ago I was able to find something on line that is an inflatible speculum which is inserted like a tampon and then is slowly inflated with air. I have been looking for them on-line so that I can share with everyone but unfortunately they don’t make them anymore. Thank goodness I had bought a cse of them. This has been the only way that I have been able to have a pelvic exam. My nurse practitioner is so very patient and understanding. I always lube up with lidocaine before going, then add more lidocaine when I’m in the office and then I’m the one that has to insert the tampon like applicator. It is always a very emotional exam for me, lots of tears and feelings of humiliation. So when I saw the speculums on day 2 I retreated. Dr. Pacik wanted us to touch and feel them and even though I did touch them (with a lot of convincing) alot of negative emotions came up for me. I was very thankful that we did not have to insert one. We did compare the blue dilator with the speculum and was amazed how much bigger the blue was than the speculum but unfortunately I still have an extreme fear of them.

    #11139
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi ladies. I have an idea of not actually referring to the speculum by its name as it truly can be intimidating. I never think of it as a “speculum” but always think of it and actually call it the name of a dilator or insert as it is even smaller than the purple “pure romance” dilator. Believe it or not, this truly, truly helps so much! Not many people would understand this aversion that I’ve always had but I know that you guys can.

    Please see Nakitalab’s post today about true success with her first ob/gyn exam:

    http://www.vaginismusmd.com/vaginismus-md-forum/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=491.0#postid-2285

    I am so very proud of you Nakitalab! For others reading this, please know that you too can and will have complete success with ob/gyn exams. I never ever thought this was possible prior to my procedure and post-procedure, I’ve had every single exam completely pain-free!!!

    #11152
    Allie
    Participant

    I definitely like the idea of calling the speculum a dilator. Makes it seem not as bad. My gyno appt is next monday, and I have to say I’m freaking out about it. Makes me sick to my stomach. Definitely going to dilate before. Just ready to get it over with!!!!

    #11154
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi Allie. I seriously KNOW that you will succeed with this exam and do so, so great. What helped me beyond words is to dilate ahead of time with the pure romance “blue” dilator and to actually wear the dilator to the exam. In dilating in advance, you will know that you are more than adequately stretched out in advance and this also helps just so, so much to reduce anxiety. Calling the speculum a dilator/insert is a great idea and exactly what I did and this, too, helped to reduce anxiety. This dilator/insert is just incredibly smaller than the dilator that you had been dilating with for hours prior to the exam. Then, the timing of it is so important. I was nervous that it would take so much time and it literally takes 3-5 minutes max and is then over and done with. I know you are going to do so, so good and have complete success!!!!

    #11156
    Allie
    Participant

    Thank you Heather!

    #11158
    Vashalla
    Participant

    Good luck, Allie! You’ll do great! If it helps, ask them for the smallest insert they have. They can do everything they need to with that. They don’t need to use the regular sized one.

    #11164
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    Hi Allie, I can totally relate to how you are feeling as I was feeling the same way last week. You are doing so well and I know you will be pleasantly surprised like I was with the exam. I highly recommend dilating for at least an hour or more (I did for 2 hours) and arrive with #6 in place. Not only will it prepare you physically but it will help you mentally as well. I also used lidocaine as my lube. Do you have anything you can take like lorazapam or anti-anxiety meds? something to take the edge off? It really helped me. And Heather’s advice of referring to “s” as a dilator or insert. Also, I told my nurse practitioner that I didn’t want to see the “s” as I personally have a real aversion to it. Allie, I’m so confident that you will do great. What time is your appointment? I will keep you in my prayers.

    #11176
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi Nakitalab. You wrote “Also, I told my nurse practitioner that I didn’t want to see the “s” as I personally have a real aversion to it.” This is something I never thought of and an absolutely EXCELLENT idea. There is no real reason that any of us should have to see the “s” in advance. It’s similar to someone that may have an aversion to needles and receiving shots. If they tell the nurse or doctor about this in advance, they ask them to simply turn their head and really help them to not have to even see it. Great idea!!!

    #11180
    Allie
    Participant

    Thanks Nakitalab. I will definitely dilate 2 hours before and arrive with the dilator in. My appt is at 10AM. I don’t feel comfortable taking any medications, (I haven’t taken any since I stopped the anxiety meds that totally messed me up so I’m too afraid). My husband will be able to come with me so that makes me feel better… It’s going to be a LONG weekend waiting for Monday to get here…

    #11181
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    So glad your hubby can go, Allie. I’m praying for you and especially for peace from now until your appointment and every time it pops in your head (no matter how many times), give it over to God. It truly will help. Sending you a big hug.

    #11217
    mmHeather34
    Moderator

    Hi Allie. I just wanted to let you know that everything is going to go so, so good for you this morning. You are in my thoughts and prayers!!!!

    #11218
    Nakitalab
    Participant

    Thinking of you this morning, Allie and praying. Have faith in yourself, you can do this. You will do great. Sending you a big hug.

    #11223
    Allie
    Participant

    Thank you both so much. I was able to see your posts right before my appt. I just left the dr and I am proud to say I was able to complete the exam! I dilated before and wore the blue to my appt. I took out the dilator right before my dr inserted the “S”. He patiently talked me through it and I did fine! So happy it’s over! Thank you everyone for the support and tips!

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