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Rant

Intrusive, annoying, and dare I say, unnecessary. This is how I would describe their routine exams. I hate how every time I go to a doctor in this country, every hole in my body is invaded, blood samples are taken, and time is wasted.

As I mentioned before, I've been spotting a little after every workout. To be safe, I went to my physician today to get it checked out. I described everything that was going on, and based on the info I gave, she thought it is most likely no big deal, but to be sure, she ordered an ultrasound and referred me to a gynecologist. So far so good.

Then she's like, you had a pap smear recently, and you're not due for another one until next year, but why don't we do one anyway and test you again for chlamydia! .... WHY? :( My last pap results were fine, I am still with the same dude, no cheating on either side, so WHY? I told her that, and she said ok she'll just take a look to see if I have polyps.

So we go ahead with it. I am personally uncomfortable spreading my legs to strangers unless there is absolute necessity. Call me weird, but I don't like it. I do it anyway, and she reaches for the metal tongues. Those things have hard edges, and no amount of lubricant can change that. If the person is not careful, which is what happened the last time I did it, it can hurt. I looked a little uncomfortable/anxious because I was anticipating that, so she asked me if I am a virgin :S Of course non-virgins look zenful when they're about to get a pap smear right? And then a while later, she reaches for the cotton swab, which looks like a 10 inch wooden tooth pick with a soft tip. This is where I really worry. This thing is so thin and long, it's like a skewer that can pierce right through my uterus or something. Then, she started putting her fingers inside... Is this all really necessary?

After all this was done, she said she also ordered blood work while we're at it.

What was supposed to be a 20 minute appointment, ended up being 2 hours at that clinic, with blood work and pap smears and hole invasions "while we're at it". I have never walked into a doctor's office and not gotten blood work done "while we're at it".

In the past, 3 different people placed their fingers up my behind in the same week. The first one did it for a good reason and found everything to be ok. So why couldn't he just share his findings with the other physicians to spare me the awkwardness?

Finally, breast exams. Why did the nurse have to do it for me?! Refer me to a youtube or a brochure or something, and I can take care of it.

I am all for preventative care, but sometimes it gets too much.


Elaria Elaria 26-30, F 1 Response Jan 16, 2013

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Sorry that you find it intrusive. I agree that it is. But it is also necessary. A doctor is not a magician (I know... I am one). We try to figure out what hte problem is by listening to the story you tell us and then by doing the (dreaded) exam. So intrusive... absolutely. I hope the exam is done with sensitivity and respect. The exam is necessary otherwise you are asking a doctor to make a diagnosis with blindfolds on.

I agree with you that it can be necessary. I think at the bottom of it, what bothers me is their comment when I look a little uncomfortable. It is an implicit claim that this procedure is normal and well tolerated by all (not intrusive) and that there must be something off with me for finding it a little uncomfortable. I am also annoyed with the freebies that get tossed in (like the pap smear "while we're at it" , it was not part of the diagnosis process, just routine, once you say you are sexually active, no amount of pap smears is too much).