Teen daughters 1st pelvic exam...

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    Hi all! I think this is the right place to post?? Any ways, my 16 year old daughter has to have a pelvic exam and is absolutly petrified. She has heard the many horror stories from all her friends, and now is very shaken up. I have tried to explain that it really is not that bad, that it is a normal part of being female, etc.. Well do you have any ideas how to help her overcome her fear of this? I work in geriatrics, so I am pretty much useless when it comes to teens! She has a wonderful female doc who is great with teens, but she is still so afraid. Any advice is really appreciated! Thanks!!

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  2. 53 Comments...

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    No good advice here, but could use some myself.

    I still hate and fear gyn exams.
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    I know what you mean! They rank right up there with going to the dentist for me! I actually told my doc one time that I was probably gonna die right there in the stirrups!!! Course I cant tell my girl that!
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    No help here either, I hate going to the gyn worse than the dentist and the dentist usually has to knock me out for dental work.
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    I had a horrible experience with my first OB visit - It was in Russia and the woman obviously had no ethics, because when she hurt me with the primitive speculum they used back then, she was sure to comment on the fact that I wasn't a virgin and shouldn't complain about the pain.
    I have no fear of pelvic exams today.

    I guess my point is that I think if the OB is wonderful, your daughter should be fine and she will have a good experience. If someone has anxiety about something it is hard to relieve it, unless a person can touch it, see it, etc.
    sorry I wasn't more helpful/
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    You state that she has a wonderful female md -- call her ahead of time to discuss the situation with her -- perhaps she can make some suggestions. If you will be taking her to a gyn -- find the kindest, most knowledgeable, female ob/gyn with excellent interpersonal skills -- yes, they are out there. Ask around -- nurses on the gyn floors will be able to give you names of the best docs.
    Last edit by susanmary on Apr 2, '03
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    My first visit to the gyn was horribly traumatizing.
    I was 12. There was something wrong with me... I had just reached menarche a few months before, and I was bleeding excessively. I remember one night I went to bed in sweatpants, and I woke up the next morning soaked in blood all the way to my feet.
    So I went to the gynecologist my mom went to. She was a nun. It wasn't bad, she used the smallest speculum, but the whole experience was terrifying. To this day I've never had a normal cycle.
    Just have her relax, explain how essential it is to good health, find an experienced and friendly female doctor.
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    Had to have an unplanned visit a few months back when my dtr couldn 't remember if in the middle of the night she took out the first tampon beofre putting in the second. It is always a drama w this girl. Anyway, had a wonderful NP who allowed me to stay, had my dtr draped of course, and I stayed at her head, and held her hand. The NP reassured her that this happens all the time, not to be embarrassed. She used the smallest spec and made sure it was warmed. All in all, my dtr wasn't traumatized at all. I asked her if she wanted me to stay or not, and she did. I think going it alone, as most of us probably did b/c talking about that stuff was emabarrasing back then, is probably the biggest fear, of not knowing what to expect. Explain it to your dtr before hand, and yes having a sensitive doc is key, but a NP is better IMHO!
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    I had my first GYN exam when I was 16 also. I was terrified, and my BP showed it! My doc was a wonderful woman, who explained exactly what she was going to do. She sat down with me beforehand and explained that I would have to undress and gown. She showed me the speculum and told me that it was the smallest one. She explained the pap, and the mild discomfort I would feel.

    I went alone. I wanted to. Although it wasn't a great experience, especially considering that I had not been to the doc much as a child anyway, but I wasn't traumatised.

    I think that there is nothing you will be able to say to her to alleviate her fears and probable embarassment, but she needs to know how important it is to start getting her yearly exams. It is unfortunately just another great part of being a woman.

    Educate her on why she needs to go..... that the exam not only checks for precancerous cervical changes, but also gives the doc a baseline exam to compare with in the future. It can also helo detect any problems early on, and ultimately make her adult female life much easier.

    Make sure she is aware of her body and the special needs of a woman.

    And also make sure she knows that it doesn't take long to do the exam.
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    I was so scared of them, I didn't go for my first one until I was 23 years old...after I had been working in the ED, and had seen about a trillion of them, realizing it wasn't so bad after all, and that I would, in fact, survive the experience.

    (also b/c I've been raised in a Catholic family, with a mom who doesn't believe you need to go until you are having sex, and I wanted to wait until I had my own insurance so that she would never know I'd been...) :imbar


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