If a woman wants to avoid going to the gynecologist, well… she better rule out that option, as body swapping is not real. Going to the gynecologist is necessary for everyone born with a special lady’s place. Having to spread your legs around people you don’t know might be awkward, but there’s no doubt that gyno appointments are important to women’s health.
Note that while gynecologists specialize in women’s reproductive health, obstetricians care for women and their babies during pregnancy. An OB/GYN, on the other hand, is someone who can do all of these things and perform vital pelvic exams and surgeries.
It’s not a secret that a good doctor-patient relationship is important to help patients relax and even have a good laugh during their check. Sadly, there are some doctors that are way too rude, so it's no surprise that every woman wonders what their gyno might be thinking. "Do I look okay down there?" "Can they notice my old underwear?" "Will they discuss my stretch marks?"
No need to worry anymore! Here are 20 OB/GYNs dishing on their least favorite part of the job. You might be surprised that there’s nothing to be ashamed of, mama - just some habits that your doctor wants you to avoid. In the end, OB/GYNs are lovely people who help women bring new life into the world!
21 Just Google It
Self-diagnosis is the best patient Dr. Google has ever had. Googling symptoms can be helpful to some extent but there are so many health conditions out there, that one might start panicking. Interestingly, this phenomenon is similar to the notorious medical students’ disease, or when medical students report experiencing symptoms they’re studying.
Gynos admit they do not like dealing with patients who prefer Dr. Google.
In fact, Dr. Zamora told bustle.com "We often see patients with symptoms that can mimic infections or UTI but are actually more serious. It’s important to schedule an appointment for a check-up in order to receive an official diagnosis and treatment plan. Delaying seeing your OB/GYN can lead to unnecessary complications..."
20 Go With The Flow
Period stigma runs deep and menstrual taboos around the world can be fatal. In Nepal, for instance, women are forced to sleep in an outdoor hut while on their period. In fact, many psychologists believe that men are scared of our menstrual cycle because of the notorious fears, described in Sigmund Freud’s earliest theories.
However, gynos hate when women cancel their appointment because of their period. As Dr. Sulak adds,
"Gynecologists are accustomed to having to examine patients when they are experiencing heavy bleeding." And Dr. Dana Jacoby adds, "Remember, I’m an obstetrician - I help women give birth. I’ve seen a fair share of blood. I prefer my patients keep their appointments."
19 We Don’t Know If He Loves You
OB/GYNs have seen it all, but many admit they hate giving bad news. From infections to cervical cancer, doctors struggle with giving bad news to patients and their families.
Speaking of infections, doctors reveal that many women avoid talking about their romantic habits. But as Dr. Nicole Scott says, "We are not here to judge, but to help and also screen for conditions that these habits may put you at risk for."
And no, gynos do not know if your partner cheated on you; they just want you - and him - to take the medication they give you.
18 Why Wait?
Pap smears are essential. Although many healthy patients avoid gyno appointments, screening and testing can save lives. As Dr. Beth Battaglino says,
"We all know of patients who waited too long to get help for red-flag symptoms."
Women should get screened to reduce the risk of cervical cancer. Pap smears and HPV tests are mandatory. The good news is that newer Pap smear techniques allow experts to get accurate results even when you are on your period. Note that men should also get tested for HPV.
17 Sweaty And Smelly
People often juggle work, parenthood, social life, and traffic. So, it’s perfectly normal to sweat. Nevertheless, gynecologists don't like when their patients don’t change out of their sweaty clothes. In fact, sweat can be harmful. As Dr. Althea O’Shaughnessy says, "Excess moisture can lead to [...] irritation."
Actually, tight underwear can also lead to excessive sweating, infections, and ingrown hairs.
Therefore, keep your lacey underwear for special occasions and choose underwear with cotton lining on the inside. The good news is that, according to thetimes.co.uk, sales of push-up bras and thongs are decreasing as more and more women want something more comfortable and healthy.
16 Shave, Wax, Or Go Au Natural – It Doesn’t Matter
Industries have manipulated women to do lots of things that can be harmful. Although we see women with silky skin on TV and magazines, doctors hate when their patients worry about grooming. In fact, Dr. Patricia Sulak says, "It’s commonplace for women to shave their pubic hair, but there really is no hygienic reason to do this. Shaving and waxing [...] can easily cause infections and irritate your hair follicles."
Dr. Nicole Scott adds, "There is no need to worry about what you look like down there, unless it is a change for you or associated with other symptoms. Shave, wax, or go au natural - it doesn't matter to us!"
15 Something Smells Off
Google knows everything! It’s no surprise that many people use Google to diagnose themselves. Self-diagnosis can be dangerous, though, and gynos hate dealing with patients who rely on inaccurate data rather than scientific knowledge and lab results.
Interestingly enough, one of the common practices linked to self-diagnosis and self-treatment is douching, something many doctors dislike. Dr. Christine Greves told bustle.com, "Douching is definitely not recommended. It affects the pH [levels], which as many females know, is quite sensitive. If the pH gets thrown off, then certain bacteria may [...] decide to take over."
14 Friends Or Enemies
Gyno check-ups go hand in hand with fears. We worry not only about our appearance but also about all the silly questions we might have. In fact, many patients rarely open up and some even hide their symptoms.
They do not mind silly or weird questions at all. OB/GYNs, though, hate secrets. As Dr. Dana Jacoby says, "Our responsibility is to help our patients make good health care choices for themselves. Some problems can feel embarrassing, but they are problems we see every day." You might be shy or embarrassed about your wart down there, but do not worry - your doctor is not your enemy!
13 Don’t Dodge Us
Gyno appointments are not nice; they can be uncomfortable and even painful. Nevertheless, doctors hate when patients dodge them.
As Dr. Melodie Zamora says, "It’s more difficult to take care of a patient who doesn’t take care of herself. Using contraception to avoid pregnancy and infections, scheduling - and keeping - your annual appointment, and candidly talking to your doctor about your concerns are all very easy steps to take to protect your gynecological health. So many women prioritize caring for others before caring for themselves, but we really encourage our patients to do a few simple things that can make a big impact on their health." In the end, gynos are there to help us!
12 Paying Attention Is Key
We all love our phones - sometimes more than our health. Interestingly, according to theatlantic.com, the phenomenon of "phubbing" (from phone and snubbing) is the new social norm. However, being on the phone while talking to other people is rude, and gynos hate being "phubbed". Just imagine your gyno posting on Twitter while looking between your legs.
Funny enough, Dr. Arlene Kaelber told rd.com, "I once had a patient participate in a parent-teacher conference while I was doing her pelvic exam. Your appointment is the opportunity to ask me questions and for me to give you information, so paying attention is key."
11 Smell Like Daisies
We all want to look nice and smell like daisies. However, one thing gynos disapprove of is using douches, feminine sprays, soaps, and bubble baths that can only irritate a woman’s lady bits. In fact, Dr. Sulak told vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu, "I would advise women to refrain from using scented or perfumed bath products when bathing. You should be using the mildest soap possible to prevent skin irritation."
In addition, Dr. Greves says, "Using soap advertised just for [that] area isn't necessarily the wisest choice, despite what the commercials say. A simple unscented soap is best when used sparingly."
10 Mixing Meds
Infections are common. In fact, stats show that 75% of females, even girls, will have one at some point. Over-the-counter medications can help but gynos don’t like dealing with patients who mix medications or don't take meds as prescribed.
As a matter of fact, Dr. Nancy Lebowitz told rd.com, "Please don’t come in for an appointment while you’re in the middle of your treatment. We can’t do anything if you’ve already applied the medicine, since it gets too messy for us to do an accurate exam." And Dr. Beth Battaglino adds,
"Women normally feel better within 24 hours of starting an antibiotic, but that does not mean you stop taking medication."
9 Not Now
While it’s true that patients are the center of healthcare practices, we have to admit that some doctors are way too busy. As gynos have an allocated time for each patient, many admit that the least favorite part of the job is to answer questions at the end of the appointment.
Dr. Sara Twogood says, "Appointments are for an allocated amount of time and are usually scheduled according to what the patient says they need to be seen for. When a patient tacks on a complex issue at the end of the appointment, it may not be addressed as thoroughly as needed."
8 Don't Worry, Be Healthy
People are self-conscious about their appearance. Women, in particular, often worry about their private parts. Nevertheless, doctors say that no woman is alike and they’ve seen it all. So stop worrying about appearance.
Instead of worrying about the size of your lady bits, try to be healthy.
Dr. Sulak says, "I wish the majority of patients would invest in healthy living practices so they’re able to rely less on us. I’ve been practicing medicine for 35 years [...] More and more women are buying into the culture of unhealthy eating and it’s costing us with [...], diabetes and other problems."
7 Weird Science
Doctors have seen it all. But some things can even gross gynos out. ER physicians, in particular, have seen a fair share of things stuck in women’s private parts.
According to medicaldaily.com, a 10-year-old toy was discovered inside a woman. The woman said she used the toy under the influence. The consequences terrified the whole team: "The woman was diagnosed with [a] fistula, which is an abnormal tract that allows urine to flow [inwards]. This is what led to the patient’s obstructive uropathy. The blockage in her bladder was causing urine to collect in her kidney."
6 Smooth Legs? Who Cares!
Body hair is one of the main concerns women have – something our great-grandmothers wouldn’t even have thought of.
But doctors don’t care if you shaved your legs or not. As Dr. Maureen Mulvihill says, "I see so many patients who apologize for not shaving their legs. But I don’t notice, and I’ve never met another physician who does." And Dr. Lebowitz agrees. "We don’t care about your stubble - we want to make sure everything is healthy down there!"
"Hair is natural, and we’ve all got it."
In fact, women have the choice to shave or not to shave, so don’t worry and be healthy!
5 Smile And Wave
Perhaps the last thing you want to talk about is the weather – while waiting for your gyno to insert a speculum down there. However, many doctors admit they do not like dealing with patients who avoid small talk. According to buzzfeed.com,
When gynos make small talk, they’re just trying to help you relax.
In addition, Dr. Patricia Sulak says, "Your first exam will never be as bad as you imagine it to be. The speculum we normally use for this exam is about the size of a tampon. It may not be the most pleasant experience in your life, but most of my patients always leave with the perspective that it wasn’t as terrible as they envisioned."
4 Keep It Private
While OB/GYNs can be honest about all the habits they dislike in their patients, many doctors hate talking about their work outside of work. Whether it’s a night out or a family trip, doctors need some time off. Nobody likes bringing difficult work home or the discussion of infections at the dinner table.
What’s more, doctors respect their patients’ privacy and health, so do not avoid your appointments. As Dr. Zamora says, "An annual exam is one of those simple precautionary measures you can take to ensure you’re taking care of your health. Cervical cancer is one of the most slow-moving - and therefore most treatable - cancers that exist. It’s easily detected during a patient’s annual pap smear, which makes scheduling your annual exam critical."
3 Babies Don’t Come On Schedule
While annual exams can be scheduled, many OB/GYNs complain about their workload. From surgeries to exams, there are a million things OB/GYNs do. In fact, since OB/GYNs are trained surgeons, they are very good at holding their pee.
Also, according to buzzfeed.com, "You can try to plan out your day. But the truth is, babies rarely ever come on schedule. So sometimes you'll go an entire shift without eating, or you'll try to wolf down a meal as fast as you can in between appointments or surgeries because you never know when you're going to eat next."
2 No To Half-Truths
Secrets can be harmful, so can half-truths. Although your love life should be kept private, your OB/GYN needs to know everything. From acne meds to contraception, doctors need to get a bigger picture of their patients' health.
Dr. Patricia Sulak told vitalrecord.tamhsc.eduuld, "What’s important is many women come in for their annual exam and I diagnose other health problems like high blood pressure or emotional problems. It’s often not about a pelvic exam, but about preventing and treating other health issues in their life."
1 Men Vs. Women
Just like finding a therapist, finding the right gyno can be tough. Although in some countries men can’t become gynecologists due to religious and cultural differences, female and male doctors in the West are equally good. Although men can’t experience period and birth pain, gynos do not like when patients opt for a female or a male OB/GYN only. They are all professionals. As Dr. Zamora says, "We’re happy to work with you to find the one that best suits your preferences and lifestyle."
In the end, it’s all about trust and understanding. As a patient said, "I continued seeing him until I moved far away for graduate school, scheduling appointments on trips home from college and my first job."