review response 07
|how old are
you, and for how long have you been seeing your gynecologist?
my gyn is a nurse practioner and I have been going to her for almost
|how did you
find your first gynecologist? did your mother talk to you about it; did
she take you to see hers?
|| 1st gynecologist---i
had an exam when i was 19/20? because I had unexplained lower abdominal
pain and that was the first exam. At around 22 I went to a gyn recommended
by a friend because I wanted to go on birth control due to severe menstrual
cramps. Ironically my friend forgot to inform me that this gyn she sent
me too was morally opposed to birth control for unmarried people. Even
though I wasn't going on birth control for that reason, it wasn't really
her business to judge me. My mother never talks about anything related
to sex--- I didn't even tell her when I first got my period. Topics like
that were awkward to discuss as a teenager.
|do you feel
comfortable to ask questions about your body, what you are experiencing,
to discuss your sex-life?
|| 00% Unfortunately
that is due to being diagnosed with HSV, a later abnormal pap, and now
vestibulitis. Awesome. It would have been better to not to learn to be
assertive through these experiences, but I am very open with any doctor
do you see your gynecologist? what does a regular exam consist of?
||In the past
year, literally every other month due to vestibulitis and vulvodynia
symptoms. Those exams are different than the annual pap smear. Most often
there is not a manual exam of internal. Typically a sample was taken
to test for yeast or bacteria to rule that out. External exam was careful
because that's where most symptoms were. Fortunately, I convinced them
after the first two or three times (in as many months) to stop testing
for chlamydia & gonorrhea. I understand why they feel it is necessary
to press the issue (it's a college campus environment), but I was 100%
sure due to monogamous relationship that was not the problem.
recommend your gynecologist - why, or why not?
I have vulvar vestibulitis and without her careful diagnosis and continued
support to try and seek solutions and treatment, I would have to add
frustration to the list of symptoms. Fortunately, she has been knowledgeable
on the subject and extremely helpful & supportive. In addition, she
listens carefully, takes notes, and respects my lifestyle (and the importance
of relationship with significant other in regards to the treatment of
all the factors that go into how you feel about your experience with
does the reception and nursing staff play a role?
is there good reading material in the waiting room?
|| see above
regarding the individual. Ok, it's probably not great that the nursing
staff is my gynecologist---but I use a student health facility and the
NP (nurse practitioner's) role has been to step in and provide consistent
advisement, because in the beginning I had to meet a new rotating resident
with each visit which led to my being able to talk openly about whatever
was bothering me, but also took up a LOT of time. The reception is friendly
and helpful but not a factor, nor is the reading in the waiting room.
|is there something more
you'd like to be getting from your gynecologist that you aren't?
|have you been treated
for a disease or disorder? what was it? was it easily diagnosed? what
treatment was prescribed, and was it successful?
||Several. First HSV.
The gyn at the time didn't believe me at first, and then lectured me
about condom use. Which was fine, but I had already told her that I had
only one partner and we always used a condom. She did not, obviously
believe me. She also said there was no treatment (!!!!!!). Fortunately,
she kindly looked it up after I left and prescribed acyclovir. Public
service announcement: oral sex can result in herpes. Social service announcement:
It doesn't matter how you got it---deal with it and move on. (only had
one outbreak since in 5 years)
A couple of years later-- had an abnormal
pap and a followup copolscopy (spelling?) and everything was normal.
Specialist was very helpful and carefully explained everything that
And final big disorder---1 1/2 years ago ended up with recurring yeast
infections that led to vestibulitis. After the yeast medication didn't
work fully (tetrazol? something like that), the NP prescribed two weeks
of boric acid suppositories, which helped and for other pain, sitz
bath (pleasant, but a waste of time). After about 6 months with improvement
and then recurrence, she prescribed amitriptiline, worked up to a dosage
of 50 mg. Still working on it--have been on it for 2 months or so with
small improvement---but nowhere near normal. She also advised (if anyone
is interested) using Albolene as a lubricant during sex. It's actually
in the eye makeup remover section (I know it sounds strange). It doesn't
sting though (which can happen with other lubricants when you are sensitive)
|this conversation makes
|| This conversation makes
me think---why am I being so candid about this? I surfed into this site
looking for info about vestibulitis. I have just shared openly about
my experience contracting HSV. At that time, I had no problem telling
many people about that problem--- I didn't mind being a peer educator,
let's say. I was not embarassed--- I refused to be. But vestibulitis
and vulvar pain is different. The causes are not well understood and
I feel less like people understand. Of if you mention it once, they think
it's gone away. It has also made me responsible for talking openly to
health professionals about my vagina (as I like to call it, my vagina's
endless monologue). But this condition constantly complicates my relationship,
despite the fact that I have the most understanding partner imaginable.
I feel lucky to have the gynecological professional that I do---who recognized
the problem early and has been working to help me treat it. However,
I do think this professional is a nurse practitioner because most doctors
I have been too are condescending and often too busy to really listen
to what I am saying.