Making an appointment to visit the gynecologist is something we might dread, but we all should be doing. Many of us compare it to making a visit to the dentist. We put it off until the last possible moment, often even rescheduling it numerous times before actually setting foot in the office. It can be uncomfortable sitting there completely exposed and vulnerable, waiting for a physician to examine your most private of areas. You might have questions to ask that leave you blushing, and secrets to tell that are for the ears of your most trusted doctor only.
Hopefully, most of us will have appointments that are uneventful. We go in, get examined and swabbed, maybe receive an updated prescription, and leave. Your gynecologist should be someone you trust to help you navigate your sex life, keep you safe and healthy, and even start you on the path to creating your family. Unfortunately, we’ve all heard horror stories of women who have had horrible gynecologist appointments with doctors from hell. There are rumors of doctors who have body shamed women, and those who have had awkward conversations with their patients while being elbow deep in their lady bits. However, there are two sides to every story, and in this article, gynecologists have their turn to share some of their most disturbing appointments.
These stories will have you cringing, while at the same time appreciating your boring visits. You may even now have a few questions to ask your own gynecologist, and may also have a new awareness of things not to do.
*Names have been changed to protect identity.
15 Growing Vegetables Instead of Babies
Dr. G recalls a time she had a patient named *Alice who came into an appointment complaining that she had vines coming out of her vagina. She was screaming that they were growing out of her private area, and taking over her body. Dr. G examined Alice, thinking she may have only left an old tampon in, or perhaps had a small piece of fabric or toilet paper lodged. She was shocked to discover that she indeed had something protruding from her vagina that resembled vines. It turns out that following her mother’s advice, Alice had inserted a potato into her vagina to prevent pregnancy. It had apparently worked since Alice wasn’t pregnant, but the vegetable had sprouted vines, and had begun to rot inside of her. Dr. G carefully removed the potato, and was sure to educate Alice on the dangers of inserting foreign objects inside of her body. She also went into detail on what kinds of contraceptives were available and how to use each one.
14 Babies Eating Babies
At a busy OBGYN office, a gynecologist was meeting a patient for the first time for a routine prenatal appointment. The patient was pregnant with twins, but proceeded to tell the doctor that one of her babies had eaten the other, so she was left with only one baby growing inside of her.
What the woman had experienced is called vanishing twin syndrome. This syndrome occurs when one twin disappears in the uterus as a result of a miscarriage of one of the twins. The fetal tissues are then absorbed completely by either the other twin or the placenta, and the pregnancy usually continues with no further complications. Modern ultrasounds are identifying twin pregnancies earlier than ever before, and also revealing losses that had previously gone undetected.
The doctor explained all of this to the patient, but still admitted to giggling a little about her belief of an eaten twin after the patient had left the appointment.
13 Severe Bleeding
Shortly after going home following a hospital birth, a new mother rushed into her OBGYN’s office in hysterics that her uterus had fallen out. After examining her, her doctor saw that she had been passing large blood clots after birth, and did not actually lose her uterus. The OBGYN had perform a procedure to scrape her uterus to remove some placenta that was left, to stop the bleeding.
Severe postpartum bleeding usually occurs within the first 24 hours of childbirth, but can also happen as late as 6 weeks after delivery. Also called a postpartum hemorrhage, the severe bleeding is caused by the uterus staying relaxed and not contracting after delivery. Nurses often massage the uterus of a woman numerous times following birth which can be uncomfortable, but necessary to help prevent postpartum hemorrhaging. Women who are more at risk are those who have experienced a hemorrhage with a previous pregnancy, those who have had more than 4 previous deliveries, those with blood clotting problems, and those who have fibroids, scars, or defects of the uterus.
12 Too Close Siblings
Quite a few OBGYN’s confessed that they have seen many new moms come in for their first checkup, just weeks after giving birth to their first child, to find out that they are pregnant with number two. Imagine the shock of telling a couple that they will have two children born within the same year.
A woman can ovulate as early as 25 days after giving birth if she isn’t breastfeeding. If you are planning on avoiding a pregnancy so soon after delivering a child, talk to your doctor about family planning options. This is important to do even if breastfeeding since you may not know when your cycle returns. If you do find yourself expecting shortly after your first birth, your doctor will give you personalized advice on how to have a safe and healthy pregnancy. Getting pregnant so soon after just having one, comes with risks such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and small size for gestational age.
11 Stinky Feet
A more common complaint gynecologists have, but will never admit to their patients, is that the stench of a woman’s feet is usually far worse than any smell that comes from her bottom. Many women will pay extra close attention to their private region, making sure it is clean, shaved, and smelling fresh. Unfortunately, many forget about seeing to the other parts of their body that are stuck up in the stirrups, directly by their physicians faces: their feet. The rancid smell coming from a woman’s feet can sometimes clear an exam room for hours. So, while attending your annual womanly checkup, you may want to do a quick wipe down of your feet, or even bring along clean socks to change into. And whatever you do, do not wear bare feet in leather shoes. The smell that results from that combo can sometimes be compared to that of a dead animal.
10 Poor Hygiene
During the exam of one morbidly obese woman, a physician was examining her breasts for lumps. Upon lifting one of the breasts, he found a half-eaten, soggy cookie. He discreetly disposed of it, but was sure to go over some hygiene tips with her before she left.
Maintaining good personal hygiene is important to prevent illness, infections, and bad odors. Genital areas are prone to bacterial infections if not kept clean. Both the genital area, and under the breasts can produce an unpleasant aroma when becoming sweaty and moist. Use mild soap and water to clean, and choose underclothes made of cotton to allow the areas to breathe. Avoid applying perfumes and deodorants directly to the genital area to avoided irritation.
Poor hygiene not only creates a breeding ground for infections, but also leads to poor body image. By ensuring that your body is clean, you are projecting a positive body image, and will feel more confident in social situations.
9 Bodily Fluids Spray
One physician explained that while examining a woman who was suffering from a prolapsed uterus, the patient suddenly coughed violently, accidentally spraying discharge and fecal matter directly into the physician’s face. The stunned doctor politely excused himself to clean up, while silently eyeing the nurse in the room as she was trying not to laugh. The nurse cleaned the patient up, and the doctor came back in to complete the exam as normal.
Even though doctors are prepared to be soaked with bodily fluids of any kind, especially those who are in the OBGYN field, the event can still take them by surprise. In a prolapsed uterus, the muscles and ligaments that hold the uterus in place inside the pelvis become stretched and weak. This weakness allows the uterus to sag, or possibly come completely out of a woman’s body. Depending on the severity of the prolapse, a woman may be offered medication, a supportive device, or surgery.
8 Yogurt Confusion
One gynecologist recalled a sweet lady who visited her office complaining of chronic yeast infections. After examining her, the doctor mentioned that yogurt was good for vaginal health, and encouraged her to try some. A month later, the lady came back for a repeat exam, and as the same doctor was performing another pelvic exam, she noticed the lady had spread strawberry Yoplait in and around her vagina. The doctor said that looking back, she should have been more specific in telling her she should eat the yogurt, and not insert it.
Yeast infections are the most common type of vaginal infection, and are the result of an overgrowth of the fungus Candida Albicans. They are usually treated with anti-fungal medications, but yogurt has been seen to provide results as well. Yogurt is full of good bacteria cultures that help keep your vagina healthy by restoring the friendly bacteria. It also balances the pH of the vagina, keeping things fresh down there.
7 Hairball Horror
A gynecologist practicing in the South claims to have had a patient come in who complained of having something stuck in her vagina. She was certain it was not a tampon, as she hadn’t inserted one in quite some time, and has never lost one before. During the pelvic exam, her doctor shocked the patient by pulling out a hairball from her vagina. It wasn’t from her own hair, but astonishingly from one of her cats. Apparently, her cat had coughed up a hairball on her bed, and at some point after, she and her partner had sex there unknowing. During intercourse, the hairball had gotten pushed into her vagina, causing it to become lodged. The doctor was able to remove it successfully.
Small foreign bodies that are inserted into the vagina, either accidentally or intentionally, generally do not cause pain. Usually a person will notice a fowl smelling discharge or some minor discomfort. While objects left in the vagina, often do not lead to serious complications, it is best to seek medical care to remove it.
6 Sharing Responsibility
A young lady and her boyfriend came in upset that they were pregnant. The woman was previously prescribed birth control pills, and they both stated they were being used daily. After a little prodding, the doctor learned that the woman did not seem to tolerate the pill well, so the boyfriend was taking it for her.
While it is sweet that the patient’s boyfriend wanted to ease her discomfort by taking her birth control pill for her, it was ineffective. There are other ways her partner could have taken control of their fertility options. When used perfectly, condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancies. They also help prevent the spread of diseases. They also could have abstained from sex, which is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy.
One of the most important things to do to prevent pregnancy is to become educated. Learn all you can about fertility, contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases, and about how your own body works. Never be afraid to ask your doctor any questions you may have, even if they are embarrassing.
5 Clean Rubbers
One gynecologist shared that a patient came into his office one day for a STD check. The young woman was very upset to have to take the test, because she swore she had only one sexual partner. As the doctor explained that she is still at risk if her partner is carrying the STD, or if he were having sex with other people. The patient then told her doctor that it didn’t matter if her partner was unfaithful. He used a condom every time, and washed it thoroughly after each use.
Not only helping to prevent unwanted pregnancies, condoms are highly effective against spreading sexually transmitted diseases. They also lower the risk of getting cervical cancer, and HPV related disease. However, each condom is for one time use only. NEVER reuse a condom. A reused condom poses a risk for tears, and can also contain pre-ejaculate, which increases the risk for becoming pregnant or transmitting a STD.
4 Getting Schooled
A couple came to visit a gynecologist after trying to get pregnant for over two years. The doctor had asked routine questions such as how often they were having sex, and if they had experienced any previous pregnancies. The doctor admitted the answers given by the couple felt off to her. She then came right out and asked if the husband was ejaculating inside the woman. After receiving confused looks from them both, the doctor learned that the couple had never had insertional sex. The doctor had to use diagrams to explain how to have sex using insertion.
Never feel ashamed or embarrassed to reach out to a doctor to receive any sexual education. There are also numerous websites that can possibly answer your questions. Visit sites such as I Wanna Know; It's Your Sex Life, and Your Tango. It’s important to be educated about your sex life to prevent diseases, unwanted pregnancies, and to keep yourself healthy.
3 Take As Prescribed
One patient came in upset that she had gotten pregnant while on a birth control pill. After questioning her during the exam, the doctor found out she was only taking the pill on days she was sexually active.
Birth control pills are great at preventing pregnancies. In fact, when used correctly, they are 99% effective. The one major thing that lowers the pill’s effectiveness is not taking it every day. The pill contains small amounts of the hormones estrogen and progestin, which inhibits the body’s natural hormones to prevent pregnancy. The pill usually stops the body from ovulating, but can also change the cervical mucous to make it harder for sperm to pass through the cervix and find an egg.
Birth control pills can cause some side effects such as nausea, weight gain, spotting between periods, lighter periods, or mood changes. Despite the side effects, birth control is safe to take by most women. When taken correctly, it is a highly effective form of birth control. Keep in mind that some antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of the pill, so make sure to mention that you are taking birth control when seeing your doctor for other visits.
2 Birth Control Isn't An Accessory
A successful gynecologist shared a story of a lady who was prescribed birth control in the form of NuvaRing. She came into the office a month later for a new one, and was spotted wearing the old one around her wrist like a bracelet.
NuvaRing is a small, flexible ring, inserted in the vagina to prevent pregnancy. It stays in the body for three weeks, at which time, you remove it and insert a new one a week later (after your menstrual cycle). It does not work, however, if you wear it around other parts of your body,
The advantages of NuvaRing is you don’t have to think about taking it every day. It’s easy to use, and is as effective as the pill when used as directed. Some side affects you may experience are irritation in your vagina, headaches, mood changes, nausea, weight gain, vaginal discharge, and vaginal discomfort. Like the pill, NuvaRing does not protect against HIV infections, or other sexually transmitted diseases.
1 Bad Habits
A West Coast gynecologist shared that he once had a patient come in for an annual Pap Smear. The appointment was near the noon hour, and the patient just happened to be eating a lunch consisting of McDonald's when the doctor walked into the room. As he asked her to lay upon the table, she didn’t stop eating, and in fact, ate her hamburger while the gynecologist inserted the speculum. He admitted it was an awkward exam, but he continued on as professionally as he could.
All gynecologists have certain things their patients do that bother them. Among just plain rude habits such as eating during an appointment, there are other things you may be doing that you have no idea irk your doctor. Self-diagnosing, not speaking up with things on your mind, and not informing your doctor about current meds you are taking, top the list of things doctor's wish their patients didn’t do.