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Author Topic:   tips on dealing w/ the dreaded trip to the gyno after sex assualt?
calypsobreeze
Neophyte

Posts: 3
From: USA all the way
Registered: Sep 2001

posted 09-27-2001 02:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for calypsobreeze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm 18. I know I've avoided my visit the gynecologist as long as I can. Now it's time to schedule an appointment. I'm scheduling with a man my mother goes to, whom she says is very trustworthy and kind...he even helped deliver me as a baby. The problem is I was in an abusive relationship a year and a half ago where i was bullied into alot of things i didn't want to do. I do not wish to bring hurtful memories to any readers w/ similar experiences, but I'm scared to death of male doctors...not to mention the thought of having a male docter explore the areas in which i was so frequently and painfully violated. The guy i was with tried to rape me. While there was genital contact he didn't penetrate me all the way...I know that even with that there is risk for diseases. I've recieved counceling for several months and I'm recovering day by day. I've learned a lot- no guy has the right to violate a girl emotionally, physically, or sexually whether they are in a relationship or not. Never the less I did no know my self worth and those memories still hurt, and are still triggered my certain things. I'm afrain I'll panic during my exam...that all the memories will come hurling back. What can i do to get me through the exam without panic or serious consequences (i get physically sick or in pain) from the memories? I'm sorry this is so long! I would greatly appreciate and suggestions, advice, or even personal words of encouragement. Thanks.

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DarlingBri
Activist

Posts: 848
From: London, UK
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 09-27-2001 04:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DarlingBri     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi there

One small thing that may help: I'm not sure where you are located, but when I lived in the US (and where I live now) there *had* to be a female in the room; either the doctor, or a female nurse to hang out with your male doctor.

Secondly, you can certainly brng someone with you, perhaps your mother if that will make you feel better.

Third, let them know you are very nervious and that you want to know what's going on at every moment. Most GYN's I have experience with keep up a running commentary these days, anyway... "I'm just checking... now we're going to... you'll feel a..." to keep you informaed and in control.

Remember, you have a right to stop an exam at any point and ask for some time. Don't be afraid to say "I need this to stop right now" and get up if you need to.

Finally, you may feel more in control if you know what to expect. This site can help you:
http://www.gyn101.com/

Good luck,

Bri

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Hope this helps,
--Bri

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LilBlueSmurf
Sexpert

Posts: 5209
From: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 09-27-2001 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LilBlueSmurf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm glad you're recieving counseling. That's really the important thing here.

As for the GYN ... I had the same problem. I was molested a few years ago and i didn't want to bring back any memories that i wasn't fully ready to deal w/. But i went, i took my bf (at the time) w/ me and he held me tight and told me it was gonna be ok. And really, it was nothing like what happened before. Granted, someone is looking at and touching your private bits, but you're doing this for your health and well being.

And as Bri said, you can always have someone else in there w/ you. You can ask for a nurse to come in and she'll talk to you and tell you whats going on and just make general conversation. Or you can take your mom or someone else close to you in the room w/ you and they'll just be there for moral support. You know them and you know that they're not going to let anything bad happen. It really does help ... I've had two exams now and after the first time, i was fine.

It's okay to feel uncomfortable ... it's completely normal. Everyone does. And some women go home and cry b/c they feel violated, but you have to keep telling yourself that this is important to you. It's your health at risk if you don't do this, and your reproductive organs are the only one you have.

Be sure to tell your doctor why you're so nervous. If you communicate w/ him, maybe he can help you deal w/ it a little better. Maybe talk to you a little more than usual or explain all the funky lil instruments and what they're for. Or he might even suggest that you use one appointment to get to know him and become comfortable w/ him, and then come back a week later for an exam. You'll never know what he can offer you if you're not completely honest w/ him ...

Good luck

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lanegritalinda2002
Activist

Posts: 50
From: stnmtn ga usa
Registered: Sep 2001

posted 09-27-2001 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lanegritalinda2002     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Iam sorry to hear what happened to you and i hope youre NOT continuing a relationship with this person. has he been criminally charged???. also, try to have somebody supportive their with you. such as a sister or best friend, somebody who knows your situation.

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calypsobreeze
Neophyte

Posts: 3
From: USA all the way
Registered: Sep 2001

posted 09-28-2001 02:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for calypsobreeze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[QUOTE]Originally posted by lanegritalinda2002:
[B]Iam sorry to hear what happened to you and i hope youre NOT continuing a relationship with this person. has he been criminally charged???. also, try to have somebody supportive their with you. such as a sister or best friend, somebody who knows your situation.

Thank you all for your tips and compassion! He was not criminally charged...I don't know how he would be since it's been a little over a year. My mother and I have always been very close; sadly she went through something similar when she was my age...so she can offer support and also relate. I have been in a relationship with a guy who's been my best friend for the last two or three years; we've been dating for 10 months. I never knew it was possible to have a guy think you're sexy but respect your boundries. Even when things get steamy between us he STILL respects me and my body. He has never placed his hands in inappropriate places and continues to show me a selfless and pure love. I DID NOT KNOW THAT THERE WERE GUYS LIKE HIM OUT THERE (and he was right under my nose the entire time). He also knows a good ammounts of what went on in the previous relationship and offers me undying support (and is careful not to do anything that might bring back hurtful memories or make me feel trapped or out of control). There are really great guys out there...no girl should settle for less...no girl deserves anything less then pure respect. Anyways!Thanks to all who replied (i didn't expect much of a response when i posted my problem). Hope Always! Luv Jewelz

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kythryne
Advocate

Posts: 1685
From: New York City
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 10-09-2001 02:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kythryne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, this will probably be one of the hardest posts I've made here, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway, in hopes of helping someone else.

My ex raped me multiple times before I finally (with the help of the friend who is now my husband) left him last year. That's a long story, and I won't go into it now. Suffice it to say that it left me with some serious issues. I've been in therapy for about a year now, and it's helping a lot.

Back to the subject of gyn exams. I've been up in the stirrups since I was raped, and it was scary. I went by myself, which was a big mistake -- definitely take a good friend or a family member you can trust. The doctor I saw was a woman, which I think helped a lot. She was also very professional, and it was all very clinical -- which, of course, is exactly how a good doctor should be.

Is there any reason you have to see the male doctor your mom sees? If you'd be more comfortable with a woman, it would probably be a much better idea for you to seek out a female doctor.

Also, if you call your local domestic violence shelter or support group, they will probably be able to refer you to a doctor who has experience in treating survivors of sexual abuse. That might be a good way to find a sympathetic and understanding doctor.

When you go in for the exam, you may want to let the doctor know that you were sexually assulted. Ask the doctor to be as gentle as possible, and to explain everything she or he does *before* doing it. Better yet, request that they ask your permission before touching you in any way. If it gets too overwhelming, tell them you need to stop.

Breathe deeply during the whole visit, and try to stay as relaxed as possible. If you have a friend or relative with you, ask them to keep you distracted with light chatter when you're not talking to the doctor -- you should know what's going on, but at the same time, you probably don't want to think about it too much, y'know?

If you need to stop the exam at any point, do so. If you need to cry, do so. Don't let anyone bully you into anything you're seriously uncomfortable with.

Another tip -- ask the doc to use the smallest speculum they can, and to warm and lubricate it first. Male doctors are particularly bad about not doing that, in my experience.

I wish you the very best of luck, and I'm very glad you're taking care of your body despite your fears and your past experiences.

Kyth

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