Vagina maintenance 101
Ladies, it’s time to talk about one thing we all find uncomfortable: the gynecologist. Nothing is more awkward than having someone poking around down there while asking you how things are going. It’s not the most enjoyable thing, but take it from me, it’s a necessity if you have a vagina.
A few months ago, I went in for a normal check-up. I left feeling only slightly violated and went about my week. Then I got the phone call. They told me I had abnormal looking cells in my cervix and that I should come back in six months for more tests. I was completely shocked. I’m 21 years old — there’s no way I can have cancer.
I tried to put it out of my head. I had a few nightmares here and there, but I didn’t want to worry about it. I didn’t even research it because, knowing me, I would obsess over it. The only person I told was my mom. After the second appointment, I did tell two friends, but only because I started to freak out about it and needed someone to calm me down.
I don’t know how many of you have had a biopsy of your cervix, but sweet baby Jesus, it hurt like hell. I had to be reminded to breathe. I wasn’t sure if I was going to pass out or puke. Probably a combination of both. My gyno told me it would feel like a cramp. HA! Yeah, cramp my ass. I cried a little. And by a little I mean a lot.
Thankfully, my test came back negative and I can continue to follow up with annual appointments. I am relieved. Knowing I’m okay was well worth the pain. It did get me thinking though — how many girls my age don’t see a gynecologist regularly? Or women for that matter? I know a few people who do everything in their power not to go. What if I had put off seeing my doctor and I actually did have cancer? Would it have been too late by the time I actually got around to making an appointment? There’s a reason people go to medical school for this stuff – because we need it.
Being embarrassed is the worst excuse not to go. And there is no excuse. You want to know what’s really embarrassing? Having to not only go to a male gynecologist, but he is also the doctor who delivered me, and my mom and aunts see him too. I always wonder what it’s like to be a man in that field. I’m sure it’s quite the adjustment to be seeing vaginas all day long. I remember telling a former boyfriend I see a male gynecologist and it made him so uncomfortable. I was the only one who thought it was funny.
So what have we learned? If you don’t see a gynecologist, go make an appointment right now. I said right now. It’s just a few minutes of unpleasantness once a year and it’s over. We all do it, so no need to feel weird about it. Not trying to scare you or anything, but it’s better to know that everything is how it should be than to just assume it is.