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anatomy, health and wellbeing: gynecologist stories
 
gynecologists review - your gyno and you ·

gynecologist review 07

  gynecologist review response 07
how old are you, and for how long have you been seeing your gynecologist?

  28- my gyn is a nurse practioner and I have been going to her for almost 2 years.

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 now.

how often 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.

would you recommend your gynecologist - why, or why not?

  Absolutely. 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 vestibulitis)

what are all the factors that go into how you feel about your experience with your gyno?

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?

  no

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 would take place.

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 me think....

  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.

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