Practically no-one looks forward to seeing a gynaecologist. I don’t take it personally. I know that most women referred to a gynaecologist are nervous because they have a problem which they are concerned about. But even if you’re only having a routine check you might still feel anxious. Some women worry about pain, or feel embarrassed, or are troubled by memories of past bad experiences. Gynaecologists know this, so we will understand if you are jittery and we will try hard to make it easy for you. We know too that the anxiety can get worse when it comes to that awkward examination bit.
In fact, it’s during an examination that I’m most often asked “What made you be a gynaecologist?” or “How do you do this all day?”. Fair question.
I do what I do because it’s a great job. Most often as gynaecologists we are helping intelligent, motivated women to maintain or improve their health. When there’s a problem, we have medical and surgical skills to be able to really help. It’s great to be able to do that.
But people can worry about the strangest things so, just so you know, here's what I don't do.
I do not think about and absolutely am not going to remember the holes in your socks, your hairy legs, pubic hair, lack of pubic hair, the size or shape of your labia, or your vagina. If you tell me that they are a problem for you then we will talk about it, but otherwise, nope. Maybe, if you have piercings or tattoos that I can see during the examination I might ask you about those, but then we will move on.
I can tell you that, with extremely rare exceptions, "down there" everyone is pretty much the same, and it takes a lot to surprise a gynaecologist. So if you do, be proud!
Also, my work stays at the office, so don’t worry if you see me at the supermarket or the gym. When I’m not actually working, I’m thinking about other stuff, like what we’re going to have for dinner tonight- I’m not thinking about your vagina.
What I am going to do, when I am actively talking to you and during the examination, is think about your health and how I can help you. I might ask you questions that do not seem directly related to the reason you have come, and they can get pretty personal. But don't worry, I am not here to judge you and I don’t care what you do or how you spend your time provided it’s legal. I’m here to give you information and provide choices.
And of course, when it comes to the examination part, the good news is that gynaecologists are really fast at doing pelvic exams and stuff, because we do them all the time. So relax!