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Old 05-12-2010, 09:08 PM   #1
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Is Gyn Exam Necessary for me

Hi,
I have something that has been troubling me tremendously lately, and I need some answers.

I am an 18-year-old female pre-med college student. I am a virgin-- never had sex in any way, shape or form. I have always had very regular periods, no severe menstrual pain, never any abdominal pain, or any other reproductive-related problems or concern. I also do not have a family history of female reproductive problems like endometriosis, ovarian cysts, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, etc on either side.

About 1 month ago, I went to my family doctor for a sinus infection. He is a D.O. and not an MD. Anyway, he asked me when my last Pap Smear/ Pelvic exam was, and I told him I never had one. He went on and on for nearly 5 minutes trying to get me to schedule one with him and I refused. Then he recommended all types of female gynecologists within a 50 mile radius of my town, and I still refused to schedule this type of exam. He kept saying "Well, if you get cervical cancer, you will regret it." Then he kept trying to hound me to get Gardasil vaccine. I refused that as well. Finally I just said "Look! I'm not sexually active. I'm at no risk for HPV or STDs. I don't need any of this." I think he assumed I had been sexually active in the past, because he said "Even for those who are no longer sexually active..." and I just cut him off. I said "I have never, ever engaged in any sexual activity." And he just stares and me and goes "Well..." and there was awkward silence. Finally I asked him what good did immediately getting a pap smear, pelvic exam, and a cervical cancer vaccine to someone who is at absolutely no risk for STDs, pregnancy, etc. He didn't really have an answer. All he said is "It's recommended."

Since I am a pre-med student, I am well aware of preventative care, but I have also done extensive research about how certain preventative care procedures can actually be detrimental in they put people without any problems through more than necessary at all.

So my questions are:
-Is it absolutely crucial that an 18-year-old virgin with a completely regular cycle, no pain, and no reproductive issues and no history of family reproductive issues get a a pelvic exam, pap smear, and the Gardasil vaccine? Or is it just "recommended" because there is a *slight* chance that I *could possibly* develop some rare issue?

I would also like to add that I have serious religious beliefs again going through such medical procedures at this point. For religious reasons, I feel strongly against getting the Gardasil vaccine.
Also, for religious reasons, I believe that my future husband should be the first person to see and touch my body. Since I have never been seen or touched in my private places by another person, I feel I would be disrespecting my beliefs by doing what my doctor is pressing me to do and going for these procedures I feel are unnecessary at this point.

Please understand that I know these types of procedures will be necessary for me one day and plan to get them regularly at some point, but I do not feel like they are now, and I feel pressured by a doctor to have something done that I am not mentally, physically, or spiritually ready to handle at this point in time.

Sorry this is so long. I'm looking forward to feedback.

 
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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Re: Is Gyn Exam Necessary for me

If you are not sexually active, I don't see why you can't delay these exams until a later date. But if you develop any concerning issues, I would go get an exam. As far as your religious reasons for not going, I would just like to say that a pelvic exam is only for medical reasons and has nothing to do with a sexual act. I don't see how that could be considered unethical by any church, but you have the right to make those choices for yourself. Good luck to you!

 
Old 05-13-2010, 09:41 AM   #3
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Re: Is Gyn Exam Necessary for me

You may want to consider having an exam for the preventative measure I assume you are well aware of a pre-med student. Since you are not sexually active, I would recommend "interviewing" any doctor before scheduling the actual appointment, to be sure that they are understanding and respectful of you and your beliefs and will listen to your needs and concerns. Also I would ask for the smallest speculum possible, if you were to have an exam. A women may be preferable for you, as having a man look at your intimate parts is something you don't seem comfortable with unless he is your husband; many women prefer female doctors for their "female issues", no matter what their lifestyle or beliefs are.
Whatever you decide,I think the doctor who you saw was completely out of line for lecturing you and then not respecting your choice when you spoke up. In my opinion he should be fired and you should find another doctor.

Last edited by niknak77; 05-13-2010 at 09:42 AM.

 
Old 05-13-2010, 09:53 AM   #4
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Re: Is Gyn Exam Necessary for me

This is what the American Cancer Society and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend:

For effective cervical cancer screening, the American Cancer Society recommends that all women have an initial Pap smear by the age of 21 or after they've been sexually active for three years, whichever comes first. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women begin having Pap smears at age 21, regardless of when they become sexually active.

Hope this helps!

 
Old 05-13-2010, 11:07 AM   #5
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Re: Is Gyn Exam Necessary for me

No reason why you can't wait until you're 21 for your first pelvic and pap. And I don't blame you for not wanting the Gardasil shot! I'm reading all sorts of horror stories that make me glad it wasn't available when I was your age. Personally, I would not get one, nor the chicken pox vaccine either. But that's another topic for another post.

As to your religious reasons for not wanting to get a pelvic exam, just go to a female doc and problem solved. I'd never go to a male gyne myself and I don't have the same religious views. I just don't feel that a male gyne would understand my problems enough to help me. A man can study about cramps and read about what they feel like but they will never in their lives understand what it really feels like. Nor pregnancy and labor and childbirth. For me, there's no substitute for having been through all that in reality rather than reading it in a textbook. That's why I will never see a male gyne - ever.

 
Old 05-14-2010, 07:39 AM   #6
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Re: Is Gyn Exam Necessary for me

Thanks for the feedback, guys.

I'm going to stick to my decision not to have this done until I am 21 and/or sexually active.

I am going to stop going to this doctor... I mean, I know doctors are supposed to advocate for preventative healthcare, but when they are trying to push something on you that you feel very sensitive and strongly about, it's crossing the line.

EDIT:
I went back to that doctor today because I'd scheduled an appointment last week to get my sinus medication prescription from him. And the appointment went well until he was walking out of the room and he turns and he says "Ya know, you should really look into getting one of those big girl exams." Then he walked out. It just flew all over me. That is my LAST appointment with him!

Last edited by BrooxBroox; 05-14-2010 at 04:31 PM.

 
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