A below-the-belt inspection is integral for us girls. From regular pap smears to baby-prep, specialty consults and more, there’s a lot that can go on under the hood and a trip to the gyno is simply unavoidable. It’s daunting, but none the less, unavoidable. Let’s leave the nicknames at the door and grow a pair – vagina health is important and although half the population owns one, there’s a secret list of questions many of us ladies are dying to ask. So, I didn’t want to beat around the bush (pun intended) and have taken one for the team.
Recently, in an exam of my own, I attempted to ease the awkwardness (one-sided, felt by me) and pitch this story to my gyno as he was mid-consult with my cervix. I asked the questions we all want to know when it comes to a doc heading down under. Do they care if we’re manicured? Is there something I can do to win the ‘best vag of the day’ award?
So here we have it. My gyno, Doctor Matt Smith has fallen victim to the cause and has had an honest conversation with me, being as open as my legs were that day. Enjoy.
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How long have you been in the industry for?
I’ve worked as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist since 2014.
It is a mix of medicine and surgery, with many interesting people and problems.
Random fun-facts before we begin? (oh, how the tables can turn)
I have four kids, you have to believe in your product!
What prep can us ladies do, to make your job nicer and more pleasant?
Compared to having an internal scan or say, a baby, I’m doing okay - this should be about you! But if you are still asking, a polite laugh at a bad joke is always nice, finding appropriate gynecology based jokes is hard work.
Should women manicure prior to a consult?
Not especially for your gynecologist, in fact shaving or waxing down there can increase the risk of infection before some procedures; so best not to.
What do you wish women knew about a gyno consultation?
People often worry that their concerns or symptoms are silly or not important, in my experience, this is very far from the truth
In your opinion, what can you suggest women do to make their experience more pleasant?
1) Find someone you feel comfortable talking to as communication is key to getting correct diagnoses and the right treatment.
2) Make a list of questions before you come in, stage fright happens
3) Ask questions. As Gynecologists, at heart, are just nerds who are passionate about womens’ health, we actually like talking about this stuff
4) Treat it like any other medical appointment, because in the end, it is just like any other medical appointment.