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DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored conversation written by me with support from Hologic, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine.
It is the ‘to-do’ list line item that very few women want to think about. Setting aside time to schedule routine wellness exams and screenings. There’s a tendency to reserve the more intimate appointments such as pelvic exams and cervical screenings for last. Even once scheduled, so much focus can be placed on the anxiety and preparation that minimal thought is put into the part that we play in ensuring our exams are as thorough as possible..
Fear and insecurity start to kick in. There’s stress over the undergarments we are going to wear for the appointment. Extra effort is put into the personal hygiene routine. There’s mulling over a myriad of topics to talk about to keep the exam ‘upbeat and light’ – anything that’s not health-related will do.
A new survey exploring women’s sentiments from the stirrups uncovers their thoughts and behaviors before, during and after their gynecologic exams reveals:
• 85 percent of women consider their gynecologic appointment when they are getting ready that day
• 4 in 5 (80%) women prefer to wear granny panties instead of lingerie
• 7 in 10 women spend more time bathing/showering before their GYN exam – an average of 7 minutes more than usual
• 7 in 10 women specifically shave and wax for their GYN exam; in fact, around 1 in 10 (7%) women have specifically gotten a bikini or Brazilian wax for their GYN exam
• 4 in 5 (80%) women keep their socks on while in the stirrups
• 1 in 4 women would rather discuss their favorite TV show than the tests they receive at their GYN exam
The question is, why do we as women put ourselves through these things when our healthcare provider is the last person we should fear being candid and comfortable with? In fact, when it comes to pelvic exams and cervical screenings, our healthcare providers should be our BFFs. There are many reasons why this should be the case, but here are the top four.
Your Healthcare Provider Has Seen It All Before: They Are Not in Business to Judge You
Old socks? Unpolished toes? Granny Panties? Thongs? Bikini or Brazilian wax? ‘Fully Covered?’ Your healthcare providers have seen everything and anything you can possibly think of during a pelvic exam – and they’re okay with it. While hygiene is important in any situation, there’s no need to break out the expensive perfume and fancy socks, or run to the store for a new pack of underwear and waxing strips. In fact, most healthcare providers simply want you to feel comfortable during the exam so they can do their work.
Trust me, your healthcare provider is not there to judge your fashion choices – or you. They are there to help you. In fact:
Your Healthcare Provider Wants You to Feel Comfortable
Most healthcare providers simply want you to feel comfortable during the exam so they can do their work. Just like your high school lunch buddy or college roommate, your healthcare providers want you to feel comfortable in their presence. Enough to be unbothered by the exam gown and stirrups during your pelvic exam, and most of all, enough to raise any concerns you have about your body. Whether you’re a new patient or have been visiting the same provider for years, they all share the same sentiments.
Your Healthcare Provider Has (or can get) Answers to Your Questions About Cervical Health
Don’t leave your cervical health in the in the hands of Google! When it comes to accurate health information, don’t ask the internet or even your closest girlfriend. The best person to go to is your healthcare provider.
Don’t be afraid to take a proactive approach with your overall wellness, like asking about Pap+HPV Together if you are age 30 and over.
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers in the U.S. thanks largely to screening with the Pap test and the HPV test. The best part is Pap+HPV Together combines the tests into one swab so that your healthcare providers can better identify your risk for developing cancer in a less invasive manner.
Current medical practice guidelines recommend screening for cervical cancer with Pap+HPV Together for women 30-65 because it detects more cancer and pre-cancer than either test used alone.
Additionally, your healthcare providers have the expertise to help you stay on top of the latest information regarding your health, and make smart wellness choices for yourself and your family.
Your Healthcare Provider Is On Your Team
Any BFF that is worth their weight in salt wants the best for you. They want you to be healthy and happy. Your healthcare provider shares these same sentiments – desiring to see you have the ability to live life to the fullest by having the healthiest body possible. Communicate with your healthcare providers consistently and you’ll have a great line of support for years to come.
When the time comes for your routine wellness exam, leave the nervousness behind! Breathe, relax, and walk into the doctor’s office with your comfy clothes and your questions in hand – ensuring that one of those questions is about Pap+HPV Together.
And above all, keep a positive attitude and a smile on your face: remember that your healthcare provider really is your BFF.
How do you prepare for your wellness exam? What thoughts go through your mind before, during, and after the office visit? Share with me below or tell me about it at: [email protected] You can also join in the conversation on social media using the hashtag: #StirrupSentiments.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hologic. The opinions and text are all mine.