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Tips to Ease Gynecologist Appointment Anxiety

Many women feel nervous or uncertain before/during their gynecology exams. If this sounds like you, try to dull those nerves with the following tips.

Understanding your lady parts 

Understanding you body will make you a more empowered patient in the office of your women’s health specialist. You and your doctor can engage in much smoother (and more comfortable) communication than if everything you’re told sounds like gibberish. Get to know yourself by looking up diagrams of vaginas first (note that everyone looks different), and then examine yourself with a mirror.

Research to find the right women’s health specialist for you

Ask friends and family for recommendations and feedback, and peruse websites such as EZDoctor, which often show information about doctors’ backgrounds as well as patient reviews. 

Write down everything. Questions, concerns, changes in how you feel and look down there – relying on memory isn’t good enough, especially if you tend to get nervous and are thus more likely to forget. Write it all down, and bring the paper to your appointment.

At the appointment, remember to breath. If you’re feeling anxious while sitting in the (relative) comfort of the waiting or exam room, chances are you won’t feel any calmer in stirrups. While waiting, try a relaxation technique, like progressive muscle relaxation. Slowly flex each muscle group for about five seconds and then release and relax them for about 30 seconds. Start at your toes and work up to your neck and head.

Talk openly with your doctor. If this is your first gynecologist exam, speak up! The doctor will likely go through each procedure more slowly and with more explanation. In fact, he or she may decide you don’t even need to have certain exams on the first visit. If you’ve been to the gynecologist a dozen times and simply get nervous and scared anyway, disclose that to the doctor, too.

Leave gynecologists that make you nervous. If your doctor made you uncomfortable during the appointment, by blowing off your concerns, not listening, rushing or seeming judgmental, drop that doctor and look for another. This is your health and comfort, so don’t settle.

 

Source: health.usnews.com

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