Anxiety and Your Gynaecology Appointment: How do I overcome it?
It is completely normal to feel nervous about booking your first (or fifth) appointment to your gynaecologist. While it’s recommended that your start visiting a gynaecologist around the same time you start your period, you’ll really only need to book in when you are sexually active and perhaps have some questions about your body.
It’s really important to note that skipping recommended appointments by hoping nothing is wrong will only cause further detriment to your health. Yes, you may have age on your side but it is so important to follow our national pap smear guidelines – especially if you have received an abnormal smear within the last twelve months.
Crushing anxiety over your impending gyno appointment can be debilitating, but with a few tips up your sleeve, you’ll be able to prepare for your appointment with ease!
1. Find the Right Gynaecologist For You.
Don’t rely solely on your GP’s referral. Give the referred clinic a call and chat to the team. Sometime just vibing with the person on the other end of the call is enough to ease your concerns. Check out their website, reviews and socials. See how the team engage with their patients and the philosophies they align with.
2. Bring Along a Chaperone to Your Appointment
Our team strongly recommended that you bring a chaperone to your appointment to help overcome your anxiety about your gynaecology appointment. It can be a friend, mum, dad, sister, brother, partner. Bring someone who makes you feel comfortable and reassured. Once you arrive at your appointment, you may feel so at ease that you leave them behind in the waiting room. Better that than arriving alone and suddenly realising you cannot make it into the doctors room when you hear your name called!
3. Write Down Everything You’re Wanting to Ask/Know Prior to Your Appointment
Every question, concern, changes in how you feel or look down there. Relying on memory isn’t always enough, and you’re more than likely to forget the more nervous you are during your consultation. Write it all down and bring your notes to your appointment!
4. “Male Gynaecologists don’t Understand The Pain” is a Complete Myth
“OBGYN is a woman’s world” is quite contrary. While their is an obvious upside to more women entering the world of women’s reproductive health, that’s not to say that patient’s always feel more at ease with a woman gynaecologist. According to a 2010 Australian Medical Association survey,
some patient’s preferred male gynaecologists precisely because “they don’t know the pain associated with the anatomy and therefore have a gentler bedside manner”
5. Have an Honest Conversation With Yourself:
This one is SO important and cannot be stressed enough. If you think there is any chance your anxiety stems from past trauma that you’ve been unable to resolve, our team strongly suggest seeking professional therapy prior to or alongside your initial appointment.
No woman enjoys a speculum examination. We agree. It’s shit. But be reassured you are entering a safe space when coming to our clinic. Our all female reception team are available Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm to guide you through any procedures and consultation enquiries. Read over our tips, and re-read once again. Be assured that when you book with us, you are in caring hands.