This is the third post of my “Real and Raw” guest post series. This post, “Thoughts I Have Every Time I Visit The Gynecologist,” was written by my blogging bestie, the gorgeous Moksha of The Happy Panda. Moksha once described me as her older and wiser self. And I do believe we are true kindred spirits. Because I have always seen so much of my younger self in her, before she even made that comparison.
My friendship with Moksha has been such fun, so mutually supportive, and so validating. She is a true gift in my life. And honestly, I don’t know a single human being who has come into contact with Moksha, who hasn’t instantly fallen in love with her. She’s just so great! She also has a sustainable brand called Moksha, and I highly encourage you to visit her site and support her brand.
She’s real and raw like me, and she says whatever the F she thinks and feels. And most of the time, what she feels is super aligned with what many of us feel. She’s full of fiery, unapologetic passion, and she inspires me every time I read her words. So, I was SO excited when she told me she was going to write something about a visit to the gynecologist!
Without further ado, I give you Moksha’s real and raw reflections. And I hope you love reading this as much as I did!
BY MOKSHA HEGDE
I am terrified of doctors and visiting any doctor even if it is for a regular check-up. But my least favourite two doctors have to be the dentist and the gynecologist. My fear of visiting the dentist stems from the fact that I absolutely hate getting dental work done – it is always painful and uncomfortable. But my fear of visiting the gynecologist stems from completely irrational fears as well as some social stigma associated with unmarried women (because of the stigma around pre-marital sex) visiting a gynecologist in India.
Here are the thoughts I have every time I visit the gynecologist:
THOUGHT 1: “WHAT IF SHE TELLS ME THAT I AM INFERTILE?”
I really don’t know why this thought bothers me so much considering I am 100% sure that I don’t want to have biological children. I also know that my gynecologist can’t tell me I am infertile without conducting tests, but nevertheless, I am so consumed by overthinking this thought before my visit. While I don’t want to exercise my power of childbirth, it’s like this superpower I have that I don’t want to use but I still want to keep.
THOUGH 2: “WHAT IF SHE THINK THAT MY PRIVATES ARE UGLY?”
Yes, I went there. Every single time I get a check-up done down there – I am convinced that the first words out of my gynecologist’s mouth will be “damn, that is an ugly sight!” The minutes leading up to a physical check-up are excruciatingly anxiety-filled.
THOUGHT 3: “WHAT IF I AM INFECTED DOWN THERE?”
Ever since a couple of my friends got UTIs, my biggest fear has been catching a vaginal infection. I did a lot of research on UTIs and the stats say that about 50-60% of women are affected by UTIs at least once in their lifetime. And knowing that freaks me out even more. (Before I freak out any of the kids reading this – it is an easily curable infection, but getting regular check-ups done is key, especially since there is a chance of a reoccurrence. Also, there are STDs and other infections, so please practice safe sex.)
THOUGHT 4: “WHAT IF SHE ASKS ME ABOUT MY SEX LIFE?”
Most of the gynecologists that I have visited are usually older women. A lot of older Indian women are judgemental about pre-marital sex. I am unmarried. So the fact that a judgemental woman is going to sit across from me asking me uncomfortable questions about sex, partners, etc. is a total nightmare to me. I have been lucky to find very cool, non-judgemental gynecologists, but I still feel extremely uncomfortable sharing details with them, and keep hoping they’ll skip it. I literally rehearse my answers in my head before heading to the gynecologist.
THOUGHT 5: “WHAT IF MY MOM FINDS OUT?”
Yes, you read that right. Again, Indian moms get freaked out about their “unmarried” daughters going to the gynecologist because pre-marital sex is such a taboo. My mother is more chill in comparison to other Indian mothers, but the thought that other people might judge me (and in turn her) keeps her from being comfortable with the topic of sex in general. (Watch Lily Singh’s super relatable video on brown parents.) So, yes, as a 31-year-old woman, I still freak out about my mum finding out that I visited a gynecologist.
THOUGHT 6: “WHAT UNDERWEAR DO I WEAR?”
I am an overthinker and knowing that there is a slight chance that someone might get a glimpse of my innerwear, sends me spiralling trying to pick just the right one. The right one? It can’t be old and ugly (read as: period underwear), it can’t be sexy, it can’t be my funny ones (with fun prints on them) – just having to pick that right underwear to wear can be a task.
(PS: Read my experiences with period panties and sustainable menstrual products here.)
THOUGHT 7: “WHAT IF I’M DYING?”
This is the only reason that I do not like visiting ANY doctor – my fear of getting to know that I might be dying or have a serious disease/ailment. I would rather not know that I’m dying and just drop dead one day than get to know and have to get surgery and take medication. Yes, I am definitely a very weird adult. (Kids, please don’t be like me.) I know the chances that my gynecologist can tell that I am dying by just looking at me is close to zero, but it is a totally irrational fear that doesn’t go away.
I legit do not sleep the night before visiting the gynecologist because I spend it overthinking all of these thoughts. And I send my anxiety spiraling by constantly imagining answers to the questions I might have to answer. Thankfully, the two gynecologists I’ve had in the past few years have been the kinds that put me at ease. But I’ve heard of uncomfortable gynecologist experiences from my friends. Having said that, I definitely recommend changing gynecologists, talking to friends and getting recommendations to find that one that works for you.
How do you feel about visiting the gynecologist? Share your thoughts!
I want to thank Libby for giving me an opportunity to write for her amazing Goddess blog. I’ve been such a huge fan of how forthcoming Libby is with sharing her thoughts and experiences through her posts. While I try to do the same on my blog, I do censor out some aspects as I do have a lot of teenagers following me. While writing this post, I tried to be as forthcoming as possible about my personal experiences and I hope you enjoy reading it.
THANK YOU FOR READING!
So, isn’t Moksha just the greatest?! And by the way, what thoughts do you have when you visit the gynecologist? Can you relate to any of these? I can say that over the years I care less and less what my gynecologist thinks about me. And I honestly assume that she looks at so many vaginas a day, that she probably doesn’t even have time to pass judgements about any of them, ha!
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Featured photo by Arseny Togulev on Unsplash