You’re not alone. Whether you’re worried about being in a vulnerable position or are afraid to receive test results, it’s very common to have fear and anxiety when going to the OB/GYN. It can feel uncomfortable uncovering the most private parts of your body. However, gynecologist appointments are important to your vaginal health and can catch problems early so that a doctor can treat them more effectively. Here are a few tips to help you overcome anxiety at the OB/GYN and get the medical care you need.
Get To Know Your Body
Breasts and vaginas are natural, and there’s nothing dirty or wrong about them. While it may sound cliché, loving your body, knowing what your most intimate parts look like, and being comfortable with them makes other people looking at your body feel less awkward. Additionally, when you love and cherish your body, it makes it easier to want to take care of it.
Find a Doctor That You’re Comfortable With
Going to any random doctor can be scary because you know nothing about them. Instead, try finding a gynecologist that comes highly reviewed, or find one that someone you know has seen. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to find a doctor that shares similar values and perspectives. If you want a doctor that has that speaks the same language or has the same race, ethnicity, religion, or gender as you, go for it! In fact, many women prefer to have female doctors treat them, especially gynecologists, because they feel that a female doctor will be more gentle, kind, and understanding.
Tell Your Doctor That You’re Nervous
Telling your doctor that you’re nervous may seem obvious, but it does more than you think. How they respond to your nervousness and emotions can either raise a red or green flag. If they brush you off and don’t make accommodations, you may want to find another doctor. However, a gynecologist that cares will walk you through the exam process, provide you with distractions, and help you relax. If necessary, talk to your doctor about anti-anxiety medication; just make sure you have someone to drive you home.
Bring a Trusted Family Member or Friend
One of the best ways to overcome anxiety at the OB/GYN is to bring a loved one with you to the appointment. Sometimes, having a trusted family member or friend can take some of the fear out of going to the gynecologist. If you talk with your doctor beforehand, you can even make arrangements for your person to come in during your exam. They can hold your hand and provide emotional support and distractions. While the doctor may ask to speak with you privately for a few minutes to discuss sensitive information, you don’t have to be alone while receiving an exam or test results.
Remember that a doctor’s job is to take care of you, and they should never make you feel embarrassed or ashamed because you need accommodations. Never work with a doctor that treats you as foolish. You deserve quality medical care from professionals that have your feelings and overall experience in mind.