For those of you who are sexually active, do you take care of your sexual health? Do you see a GYN and get a full STD/STI screening annually?
Let's take the stigma off of taking care of ourselves and share our experiences.
I just had my annual two weeks ago (with not only a GYN, but with medical students observing the exam, no less), with my annual pap smear, HIV test and full STD/STI screen.
Took less then ten minutes, and I have a clean bill of sexual health for this year. It's a lot easier to feel confident about your sexuality and your sexual partnership(s) when you know you're healthy.
So, when's your appointment guys and gals? And how are you doing?
I am aiming to go the second week of May. I go to a local youth clinic. I started going there when I was in my early twenties and they said they will continue to see me even though I am no longer a youth.
I'll be getting everything tested that I can ask them to test- STDs and STIs. I have the doctor check my breasts once every couple of years to confirm my own self examination. Sicne we did that last exam I won't need that this time. I am going to be inquiring about a colonoscopy because my father died of colon cancer and that leaves me at risk. It isn't a sexual test exactly but it is pretty darn close to my genitals.
I was scared by the thought of the exam in a way the usual gynecological exam didn't scare me at all. I have over come those fears by learning more about the exam. I know I will go to a doctor that I feel comfortable with and with a shot of humor I will be just fine.
It is all part of me taking care of myself, respecting myself, as well as my partners (present and future).
------------------ Louise Lalonde -Scarleteen Sexpert & Volunteer du Jour
"Glad to have a friend like you, And glad to just be me" -Carol Hall
[This message has been edited by bettie (edited 04-14-2001).]
Okie ... I have been visiting this site regularly since about September. A month later, i became sexually active. And how long did it take you, Heather, to convince me that i needed to see a GYN? This, on top of all of my other health issues and the such ... So i did. But not until February.
It took me a LONG time to get the guts up to make the appt on my own. I saw a GYN (a big deal here, since GYN's are only used for "special cases" ... ) when i was around 7 or 8, b/c of my various genital area type problems. I've hated the idea ever since, b/c that doctor told me i was fat and had to lose weight. Somehow that would fix my vaginal problems (I don't think "doris" was getting enough air).
Anywhobies, i'm good now until February. I'm just hoping that my family doctor won't want to do another in August, when i go for my regular physical. I know it's a good possibility b/c I have changed partners (that counts right?) and my mom was diagnosed w/ cervical cancer about a decade ago ... Ahh, you do what ya gotta do right?
Truth be told, I've never been for a full STD screen. I know i was tested for a few when i went for my pap, but as which ones that was, your guess is as good (probably better!! hehe) as mine.
I went in September to make sure my uterus had gone back to its original size and my stitches had healed after Evan was born. Then I went again in November to have another HIV test / STD screen, since it was a year since I got pregnant and I wanted to be certain that I didn't get more than a baby out of the deal. I'm planning one more visit in May for yet another exam and full STD screen, and my fiance is going to be tested too. We worry a lot about our sexual health
------------------ "Why are the most closed-minded people... Also those with their mouths the most open?"
Annual exam in early October, which this year included my partner coming and reassuring me about something I was unafraid of, and getting pizza at the Market afterwards. The lunch-part made it much nicer, somehow, and when my partner went for his STD testing some months ago, we got sandwiches (I think), afterwards. It makes something that can be a bit nervewracking and uncomfortable (physically, it can be a little nasty, though hardly seriously) go easier when you can combine it with something good, and having a bit of moral support can help too.
Weird as this may sound, I don't think I'd mind having students see me, and I'm not even sure why. I guess if I can deal with a doctor poking around down there I can deal with anything
Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000
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I had my annual exam and STD screening back in July. I'm healthy with nothing to worry about.
It was my first time going and I was nervous but everything was over quickly. It wasn't as comfortable as I first thought. I think the worst part of it was me trying to figure out how to get on the examining table without ripping my beautiful-roll-of-paper-towel-like skirt. I managed.
------------------ You know, Hobbes, sometimes even my lucky rocketship underpants donít help. -Calvin
i go to my gyno at home when my mother thinks i need to. but i see the gyno at uni. health services. which reminds me, i am due for another screening like *now*. and after a little prodding, i got my boyfriend to get tested, too. he's clean, and last i checked, so was i.
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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000
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i went to the gyno for the 1st time ever a few days ago. i was *so* scared cause i've put myself at risk before, and got screened for everything as i was getting icky symptoms - which, thankfully ( or not, cause it hurts! ) turned out to be an infection in my urinary tract, which i'm undergoing treatment for! it's sooooo important to look after ur health. while i was waiting for results, i started to see sex in a whole new light - like, yeah it's good and all, but not worth risking your health for (i was using condoms, and on 2 occaisons they broke). it made me see how much responsibility sex entails - it isn't all about passion and pleasure! i had put off going 2 the clinic for so long, but i'm really glad i went as it's made my attitude to sex so much more responsible! 1 question tho' - the nurse told me that they don't tend to do smears for girls of my age (16) as my cells will always be changing and it's very rare i'll have cervical cancer - but i thought smears were vital for sexually active women???i've been sexually active for 2yrs so surely i ought to have one?
------------------ ~*smiles are kisses for the soul*~ ;)
I'm going to my first GYN checkup on friday, i'm scared, i know i can't have any std's unless i was born with them, because i have had one partner, to whom i am, their one partner, and we really have gone from first time touching breasts, to any thing above together, and only that.
I'm just worried though non-the-less, that there is something very wrong with me, but hey, if there is, i can get help. Thats the point of the checkup, eh?
Duff, in your other post you said you dislike condoms but please use them. I understand that you've only had one partner but please understand this:
quote:Often people ask us if they need to be worried about STDs or STD testing if they havenít ever had sexual contact with another person. The answer is yes, yes, and yes. ďSexually Transmitted DiseaseĒ means that the disease CAN be transmitted sexually ≠ not that it can ONLY be transmitted sexually.
Please have your partner get an STD screening also. I hope everything goes well on friday. =)
------------------ You know, Hobbes, sometimes even my lucky rocketship underpants donít help. -Calvin
I've never really been good with my sexual health, unfortunately. In the past I have rarely had partners who used condoms. Only now I am realizing the importance of taking care of my sexual health and that of my partners (mostly from coming here).
My last full STD/STI screening was in November, a month after breaking up with my boyfriend. My boyfriend at the time and I never used condoms and even though he had had a full screening right before we had sex, you never know. And I developed a nasty yeast infection, so out of fear that it might be an STI or STD I opted to get a full screening. I was clean, but I decided after that incident that condoms are good! I will be using them next time I have any kind of sex!
I've also been thinking of getting another screening, just to be on the safe side. Wouldn't I need another one anyway? Since when I got mine it was only a month after having unprotected sex?
I just had my first full physical. Complete with std/sti testing, and a pelvic examination.
I now know that I should have had the physical and testing before engaging in sex, but luckily I had a clean bill of health.
The actual internal itself wasn't that bad, it kinda hurt when she was swabbing my cervix, but nothing unbearable. I swithced doctors specifically for the full physical, and I am so much more comfortable with my new doctor, which I think is very important.
All in all, not a horrible expierience, but not something i'd want to do every week!
I get normal gyno check ups (including a breast exam, pelvic exam, pap smear) every 6 months, simply because this is standard procedure here in Germany for women on the pill and also because I have PCOS. I got my first full STD check in autumn last year, and have vowed to get it regularly from now on. I get regular physicals about once every year with my GP (whoís also a homeopath), too, and think I take pretty good care of health (both mental and physical), overall.
I enjoy going to my gyno. I really do. He rocks. He definitely is the coolest doc I have and I always look forward to my appointments, simply because I like him and the way he treats me and because I know itís good & important to look after my sexual & reproductive health. It really isnít a biggie for me, even though I of course get nervous right before the appointment (and hence always have heinous blood pressure levels there), simply because Iím worried about my health and always worry too much about everything. But once the exam is over, itís all good, really. Because it was never a biggie and because I went to my doc for the first time when I really wanted and needed and all, it still isnít a biggie. IĎve been going to my docís practice ever since I first wanted to go on the pill 5 years ago and was then diagnosed with PCOS, and heís always made a point of having me very well informed and doing extra tests when I needed or wanted them (such as the extra HPV test with the odd shaped brush thingy). I now live about 500km away from my parents (and my gyno) and hence need to plan a little in advance when I need an appointment. But it all works really well, and I canít be bothered to go on a gyno hunt down here (esp. with my medical history), when I know that I wonít be here for more than another year. My next appointment with my gyno will be the next time I go to see the rents, I really wanted to go this time, but because of all the holidays, that didnít work out. So I shall get that done soonish, sort of in 6 weeks or so.
Health wise, I think I need to work on watching my blood sugar and blood pressure and having that monitored better (because of the PCOS), and I think one day, I should get myself a gyno and an endocrinologist specialized in PCOS, especially when/if I want to get pregnant. But right now, that really isnít that important right now. And tis all well, really.
In regards to having med students watch (which Miz S mentioned) Ė if youíre ever asked whether med students can be present or can participate in your exam, please say yes. Most women say no, and hence most med students lack the possibility to practice Paps and pelvic exams often enough. So give it a go, they need to learn somewhere, eh? No biggie.
Well, I find what keeps me in line is to remember that to get my birth control pills' prescription renewed, I gotta go in to the gynecologist anyway -- and while I'm there, I might as well have everything checked out.
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