What do women with CP need to do to have their womens health issues and sexual health issues taken seriously. My friend in her early 20's feels she is dismissed by her doctor because it is difficult for her to dress and undress. She is going to University and is anxious to know what might be ahead of her physically and sexually.Is it difficult for a spastic woman to have a pelvic exam? what kind of birth control do women with CP use?
Typically CP would have no effect on birth control type, although if she sits/uses a wheelchair all day, the doctor may be a bit wary of pills due to the increased risk of blood clots forming (for anyone who uses BC pills, not just someone with CP)
As far as the pelvic exam, I guess it depends on the amount of contractures/tightness in the hips and legs.... but I have contractures and have had exams, so it is possible. Just tell her to find a doctor she feels comfortable with...perhaps when calling to schedule an appointment, mention the CP and ask if they have had any experience, and if assistance with dressing/getting up onto the table would be a problem. The nurses at my doctor's are very helpful, so you just have to ask around
Anytime someone with any condition feels they have been dismissed then my advice would be to fight. Find another doctor and get them to listen.
In fighting for what we need I have found there are ways around most things and people out there who are able ready and willing to advise. So I would say go to a doctor she trusts and ask for help. If the doctor doesn't know then they should know someone who does and refer you on. There is no need to be dismissed.
Good luck to your friend, she is doing the right thing. Going to Uni is scary enough without added pressures.
Last edited by Basswife; 08-01-2010 at 08:07 AM.
The only thing I might add is a piece of advice someone once gave me: to always meet any new doctor before any exam. If your friend or the doctor are not comfortable it will be out in the air before the exam.
Hi, I'm Kelly, nearly 28, with mild CP. First, CP should have no affect whatsoever on your friend having her gynecological health issues taken seriously. CP or no CP every woman has the right to have her feelings respected and concerns addressed. If your friend is spastic in the pelvic region, it may be a little more difficult, I won't lie - it is for me. But, typically, my primary care doctor will give me a stronger muscle relaxer than I typically take (I normally take a low dose of Baclofen on a daily basis) to take 30 min to an hr. before a scheduled pelvic exam. Right now, I am having some issues with my menstrual cycles and need to have those addressed. In order to do this as effectively as possible, I have to take a muscle relaxer that is stronger than normal prior to the procedure I will be having to check on things.
I have been sexually active in the past (am not currently) and although pleasurable, sexual intercourse was a bit difficult, but my partner at the time and I discussed it, and he was fine with doing whatever was in his power to make the sexual experience more pleasurable for us both. I wish your friend the best of luck.