In a Pap test, your doctor uses a vaginal speculum to hold your vaginal walls apart. Next, a sample of cells from your cervix is collected using a small cone-shaped brush and a tiny wooden spatula 1 and 2. Your doctor then rinses the brush and spatula in a liquid-filled vial 3 and sends the vial to a laboratory for testing.
Below are all the stories from female readers recalling times when doctors dismissed, downplayed, or misdiagnosed their painful health conditions. To join, email hello theatlantic. A reader adds another story to the nascent series :.
The first time Crystal Wang had a gynecological exam was at a large medical center in the central business district of Beijing. They asked her when she planned to have a baby, and although there was a huge line of women outside waiting to be examined, they answered all of her questions thoroughly. As she left the exam room, she noticed that another young woman who had been waiting was getting turned away.
Before the pelvic exam, your pediatrician will ask you questions about your health and your periods. So don't be surprised if you're asked questions like. Your pediatrician might also ask you about sex. You may be embarrassed or feel like your sex life is nobody else's business, but your pediatrician needs to know these things to help you protect your health.
Show less Gynecological exams are a crucial part of maintaining good health if you are a woman. These exams can detect health issues such as yeast infections, sexually transmitted infections, and even cancer.
My mom wants me to see a gynecologist. That scares me. What does the gynecologist do to a virgin like me during physical examination?
I remember being in so much pain that my mom, who was with me, had to leave the room when we were done. The Spec popped my cherry. And it hurt like hell.
I'm not ashamed of my virginity but I am worried that the doctor won't be able to perform the pelvic exam. Is it possible for a woman to be too small for the speculum? What's going to happen to my hymen?
When doctors are asked to perform virginity testing, they should refuse because it's not medically necessary and may cause psychological harm, some U. These pelvic exams are done in many parts of the world to determine suitability for marriage. But doctors shouldn't agree to these exams because they violate three core ethics of the profession - protecting patient welfare, respecting women's autonomy, and promoting justice - a group of ethicists wrote recently in an essay the Lancet.