Question for the women, men enter at your own peril!

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Kythe
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/11/2008 12:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Do any of you women find your gyno exams to be extremely painful? I do, probably one of the most painful things that I have to go through, worse than my worst fibro flare. I know I need to make an appointment for my annual exam and I'm really dreading it. Last time I had it done was before the fibro got really bad, and now I'm afraid that it's going to be 10 times worse. I wouldn't even go, but my OB-GYN won't give me my birth control pills if I don't have an annual exam and I need them to treat my PCOS.

I always try to tell my OB-GYN how painful it is for me and she kind of just brushes it off and says it's just very painful for some women. Everyone says that it won't hurt if I just relax, but how can I relax if I already know it's going to be more painful than anything else I've ever gone through? I remember one time I asked if a smaller instrument could be used and it wasn't as painful that time. Then the visit after that I made the same request and it hurt like hell, so either the doctor ignored me that time, or I can't even handle the smaller instruments anymore. I guess it wouldn't surprise me if I couldn't handle the smaller instruments considering that I can't even use tampons.

I could really appreciate some advice or even just some stories from people going through the same thing so I know I'm not alone.
~Kythe
____________



Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia


Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 9/11/2008 1:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes they hurt for me too. as soon as they say now, just relax, is when I tense up the most. I try to relax, but it can be hard.
I, too hate this test and wonder why we need it every year! Can't they skip a year! Also sounds like the doctor is ignoring you about how painful it is for you.
Look into getting another Doctor ask around from your friends..........
Good luck to you and lots of soft hugz..........

Please amend your signature to less than 10 lines. Thank you.

Post Edited By Moderator (Jeannie143) : 9/11/2008 5:35:11 PM (GMT-6)


Sherrine
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17101
   Posted 9/11/2008 1:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I have that problem, too.  I needed a uterine biopsy last winter and they had to do it through outpatient surgery.  I was put under anesthesia for something that usually can be done in the office...painfully, albeit.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


jev
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 9/11/2008 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kythe! I'm REALLY AM so sorry that you and the other ladies that experience such pain & discomfort have to endure that. sad   I really, honestly, truly mean that with all my heart my dear! Now, so I don't risk further embarassment blush or tred upon waters way too deep to navigate, I think I'll just leave it at that! smilewinkgrin
 
It's your fault dear......you DARED me!!!!!! nono
 
Gentlest of hugs,
John


*****************
John (53)
*****************
Dx'd June 2008 with Fibromyalgia & CFS  possibly caused by chronic Epstein-Barr virus (many years of ongoing symptoms.....recently worsening)......also, previously dx'd sleep apnea, high blood pressure, hypothyroid, low testosterone, high cholesterol, heart arrythmia & headaches (all types)
 
*****************
Several meds too numerous to list or remember!

Post Edited (jev) : 9/11/2008 2:49:51 PM (GMT-6)


Irish Babe
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1371
   Posted 9/11/2008 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   

I find the exams very painful, the dr seems to push too hard, the instruments all feel too big, and the pressure is too much. I had a uterine biopsy a few yrs ago before the hysterectomy. I had it in the office and it hurt like crazy, the dr. couldn't believe it hurt that badly. And last but not least, why the heck are their hands always like ice? There is just nothing pleasant about those visits, but walking out and not coming back for a yr. I think I got that out of my system. smilewinkgrin

God bless.  Alice.


Kythe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/11/2008 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone for the support. *sighs* I wish I could ask friends for some recommendations for a new doctor, but none of my friends live anywhere near me so the doctors they see would be way too far away. I can't ask my mother either cause she sees the same doctor as me.

I'm thinking maybe when I call up to make the appointment, I should leave a message for the doctor asking her to call me so I can explain the situation and try to come up with a plan to make things easier. If it involves me taking muscle relaxants or something beforehand, then so be it. I usually hate taking anything that will make me sleepy, but it'd just be for one day.
~Kythe
____________



Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia


still_kickin_30
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/11/2008 10:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Your not alone hun. I think it is very common actually in women with fibro as well as the pcos I have that as well. I remeber begging my doc to cut out my ovary crying right there in her office saying how I just wanted to feel normal in that area anyway. I would get oversized cysts all the time that would rupture and take me out for days on end. The only thing that helped was depo. However even now most intimate contact down there can be sometimes very painful for me. I  never had this problem till after I had my son. Then my sex life went really down hill. It got to be almost impossible to even think about let alone do anything. I dread going to the gynocologist for anything anymore let alone a pelvic. No matter what you tell them they think your over reacting till one day I went in and I told the doc I was having a bad pain day and asked if she wouldn't mind using the speculum made for teenagers she kind of snickered under her breath and used the med to large adult one. I screamed so loud and out of reflex kicked her right in the head and almost punched her in the nose. Needless to say next time I went in she used the smallest speculum she had in the office. (not saying you need to kick your doc in the head but hey if talking doesn't work they can't say anything if you prewarn them lol) Just make the doctor take the time to sit down with you and explain your pain sensitivity due to the fibro and if she simply will not listen I would recomend finding a new doc, because she obviously doesn't care about your health and well being if she can knowingly inflict pain even after you explain your fears and concerns with her first. She may not be a specialist or have much knowledge with the disease because maybe he or she just may not feel it is relevent to their practice. You can do some research on the web about women with fibro and gynocological pain. Take it into them to read while you are getting ready or changing it maybe something they were not aware of. Many doctors if you have not noticed know less about the disease than the patients they are trying to treat. Hope this helps and don't feel bad my annual was due 2weeks ago and it kind of, sort of, but not really, convieniently, slipped my mind to go. Grrr now I have to reschedule yuck. But like you they won't give me my depo with out it so I have to go. Your not alone hun hope I at least made ya snicker a bit about my doc story. I will cross my fingers for you that the doc listens this time.

Piercings
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 9/11/2008 11:46 PM (GMT -7)   
still kickin...you made me grin tonight. I'm at work and was reading this. A couple of years ago I had to have a uterine biopsy as well. Now mind you this is a rather high end practice with where it was located. The doctor told me that some woman find it really uncomfortable. So of course that put my mind to ease and I tensed up oh so nicely. nono

As all the normal annual swabs are being done first I was busy cursing in my head. She went to grab the sample and as it hit, I bellowed. And it was not a pain howl. It was the F-bomb! And it was loud enough that the entire office went silent. I drew my legs up and said through my tears..."I'm sorry, I didn't mean to blurt that out." The other patients were probably un-nerved by the doc took it all in stride and said "I grew up in a military family, you're gonna have to come up with something better to shock me."

The next time that she had to do one...there was a goodly amount of valium involved beforehand.

Kythe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/12/2008 6:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Hehe, I wouldn't mind kicking her but I doubt I'd do that. What I was planning to do was not to let her touch me until she showed me all the instruments she has so I can pick the smallest one and make sure she uses it. As I said after I make the appointment I'll leave a message for her to call me so I can explain the situation and make sure that she's going to do everything in her power to make this as easy for me as possible and if she doesn't seem like she's going to cooperate, then I can just cancel and try to find a new doctor.
~Kythe
____________



Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia


Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/12/2008 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
They can't always use a smaller instrument, it really depends on how you are built internally. Some women have a cervix that is farther back, therefore a larger instrument is necessary. If your uterus is tilted or you have adhesions your cervix may be higher.

Some research was published a few years ago that said if a woman has had normal pap tests for years, she can safely have them every two or three years instead of every year. I can't remember the exact details but you can google it.

You can refuse the pap. Your doc can just do the lovely digital (fingers!) exam and check your ovaries. If your doc doesn't seem concerned about your pain, definately find another doc. There are many conditions that cause pain in a gyn exam so even if the doc isn't familar with fibro, she should still be aware and concerned about your pain. Brushing it off saying some women find it painful is unacceptable to me. If she won't help you come up with a plan to minimize your pain, find a new doc.

Kythe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/12/2008 9:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I wish I could refuse, but as I said, my doctor insists on these yearly exams or she won't give me the medication I need.
~Kythe
____________


Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia


Waterbaby
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 9/12/2008 11:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Could you ask her for some valium before the exam to help you relax a little?  You'd need to take it probably 15 minutes to a half hour before( I think. ) Tell your doctor how painful and stressful this is for you and ask for something to ease the pain.
bulging discs in neck & thoracic region, low back pain, arthritis in lumbar region, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety,
meds: enjuvia, pristiq, actos, amaryl, lyrica, hyzaar, elavil
 
 
"Two paths diverged in a yellow wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by...And that has made all the difference."  Robert Frost


SassyIsMyKitty
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 223
   Posted 9/13/2008 5:28 AM (GMT -7)   

They are painful for me too. Theyhae been painful for me before the idea of Fibro came up. They had never hurt before I had my son, and when I had the first test done after he was born, I was told it was because I was going back to normal down there. But they continue to hurt. No matter how gentle the doctor is, it just hurts so much that I start to cry. I read somewhere that Fibro can cause that kind of pain...

If I can be honest on here...I find it hard to be intimate with my husband anymore, even when I am in the mood, because it seems to hurt almost all the time. The only time it doesn't seem to hurt is when I am on my pain meds...It makes things hard, because it makes me feel like I am being a bad wife. I know that there is way more to a relationship than sex, but it still seems to fill the air with tension. Does anyone else have this problem?

(I feel slightly embarrassed about mentioning that, but I feel like I can be honest here...sorry if this offends anyone or anything like that...)


~MDD, Fibromyalgia, OCD, Anxiety Disorders, IBS, TMJ, Arthritis~
 
May your heart be filled with love and joy.
May your mind be clear and true.
May your smiles be many,
And may your tears be few. 
May God wrap you in His arms
Especially when you're feeling blue.


Kythe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/13/2008 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I could try some tranquilizers or muscle relaxants, I'd just need someone to drive me to my appointment because often I'm so out of it that I don't feel completely safe driving even when I'm not on meds.

You're certainly not alone Tiki. I'm young and have only ever been in one relationship where things got to that level. The first time we tried to be "intimate" it hurt so badly that I had to stop after a few minutes. Then after I got dressed I ran into the kitchen and started crying my eyes out. His parents came home and found me like that and immediately assumed that he had hurt me. Well I guess he did hurt me but it wasn't on purpose so I denied it to them.

We tried a couple of times afterward and the pain wasn't as severe and I was able to ride it out until he had finished, but I never got any enjoyment from it. I asked my gyno about it and she told me that it hurt because there wasn't enough foreplay and I wasn't aroused enough. She might have a point there, my libido has always been low and I had told my bf things he could do to get me more in the mood, but he wasn't willing to do those things. This whole thing was several years ago. Though even though that's part of the problem, I'm sure the fibro also plays a big role in the pain.


My current relationship is long distance and I'm actually glad for that. I really would like to see him more often, but at least the whole intimacy thing has never come up.
~Kythe
____________


Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia


alicat72
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 9/13/2008 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
yes. i hate going to the obgyn mad

when i was pregnant it was the worst. my doc had the hardest time examining me...i just could not relax because the pain was so intense....then while in labor i just about kicked her when she was checking me....

it's hard for someone who does not experience intensified pain to understand how we feel.....so they just brush it off like it can't be that bad...

Kythe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/16/2008 10:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Ok so I made an appointment for my annual exam. I left a doctor a message asking her to call me so we could come up with a plan to make the exam less painful for me. I received a call back from my doctor's nurse. She told me the doctor wanted me to take 600mg of ibuprofen before the I came in. Now this made no sense to me and I asked her to explain it. She said it would help prevent the pain and it would help relax me. Ok now I didn't know that ibuprofen could be used preventively but it seemed like something that might be possible. However I highly doubt that ibuprofen would have relaxing properties. As much doubt as I had about this course of action, I said that I would try it and said goodbye to nurse.

After I got off the phone I looked at the bottle of ibuprofen and saw that 600mg was only 3 pills. Now 3 pills hardly ever gives me any relief when I try taking it for headaches or menstrual cramps so I really don't have any confidence that dosage will provide any help for a pelvic exam. I also know I've never experienced any relaxing effect from that dosage. This seems like a bunch of bs to me like the doctor was hoping I'd just do it and it would have a placebo effect.

I called back and left another message saying that dosage of ibuprofen has little effect on me and that we need to come up with a better plan. If the doctor doesn't have any better suggestions then I'm just going to go ahead and take the left over muscle relaxants the rheumy gave me. They never helped for the fibro pain, but they certainly did relax me and made me feel all wobbly so I assume they must have been loosening my muscles up somewhat.

Edit: Well they called back and my OB-GYN won't proscribe me anything and sticks by her recommendation of 600mg of ibuprofen. She said that if I really need something stronger than that, then I need to talk to my rheumatologist about it. *sighs* I'd really rather not discuss this with my rheumy, he's a man and how could he understand about that kind of pain, plus it's just really uncomfortable to discuss this sort of thing with a man. Well I've got an appointment with him on Friday so I guess I'll have to suck it up and discuss it with him.

I don't know if I should find another gyno or not. I'll still keep this appointment with her, but I'm wondering if in the future I should see if I can find another doctor that is more concerned about my pain and does everything possible to make these pelvic exams as comfortable as possible for me. It just seems kind of ridiculous that I should have to coordinate with another doctor on this.
~Kythe
____________


Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia

Post Edited (Kythe) : 9/16/2008 1:45:20 PM (GMT-6)


still_kickin_30
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/16/2008 5:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Well to be honest the Ibuprofen will help ease any swollen tissues however, it may have little effect as to specified pain reduction in that area. Now On that note Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory so if you currently have any active cysts it can help with the reduction of the inflammation associated with the blood pocket filling over the ovary. This often does cause inflammation however, what the nurse you spoke with may not realize is that there is a major nerve cluster that runs the lining of both sides of the vaginal wall and how it can effect the nerve centers in a fibromyalgia patient. I am a nationally certified pharmacy technician and do have extensive training with other fibromyalgia related information. Also suffering from fibro has made me seek out medical information that the average patient doesn't get to see. One thing I would suggest you discuss with your rheumatologist is a specified dosing plan for things like this. One thing you do not want to do is to blindly follow a nurses advice as to taking prescription nsaids(like ibuprofen) as many other fibro medications can have serious drug interactions and possible life threatening side effects with medications this nurse may not be aware that you are taking. Always, and I can not stress this enough ALWAYS tell all doctors all meds you are taking and if you fill locally at one pharmacy and you also use a mail service pharmacy make sure everyone is 100% up to date on all medications as well as over the counter medications and vitamin supplements you may be taking. Sadly enough there are several patients who suffer horrible long term effects as well as many patients die every year from direct drug to drug interactions. So please make sure what ever dr you see has a complete list of all meds. I am guessing your gyno nurse is unaware of the medications you are on to manage your fibro on a daily basis and for her to blindly suggest an nsaid and insist this is the only option tells me she only is parroting what the dr had said and is not comfortable enough to deviate from what she was told to tell you. Many nsaids mixed with meds like cymbalta, lyrica ect. can cause an elevated risk of stroke, heart attack or death. So be sure YOU know as well as your DR knows everything you are taking. Sorry going to get off my soap box now. But I needed to let you know how important it is to discuss these things with your dr. I really hope some of this information helps you out. Don't mind me, I can ramble on sometimes when it comes to medications and medical professionals who make suggestions on medications without being fully aware of what the patient is taking in the first place. GRRRR

Anyway, Good luck with whatever you and your dr decide is best to help you ease the pain.

Still_Kickin_30

Post Edited (still_kickin_30) : 9/16/2008 7:55:15 PM (GMT-6)


Kythe
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 9/16/2008 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Well as far as I know, I don't have any cysts, but haven't had an ultrasound done in a long time. I know that you can have PCOS without actually having cysts and being on the birth control all this time has probably prevented them from developing.

Also not taking anything regularly to treat the fibro other than malic acid which I just started on recently, so there wouldn't be much problems with drug interaction.

Anyway I will discuss this with the rheumatologist. Normally I won't take any medications that can have sedating effects, but I'm willing to do it for this one occasion because I probably need it to get through this. Hopefully he'll tell me to take Skelaxin a muscle relaxant since I already have it and I don't want to pay for anything new. It never helped with the fibro pain but it did definitely have a muscle relaxing effect which would hopefully prevent pain from the pelvic exam.
~Kythe
____________


Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia


tyno3
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:19 PM (GMT -7)   
idea  I haven't had a pelvic exam in years. I had a hysterectomy in 2000, and they took ovaries and all. However, I've had extensive dental work done, in the past; root canals, extractions etc. I have found it very helpful to take a couple of tylenol and sometimes a xanax, or muscle relaxer, depending on what I have on hand to help my Fibro pain, prior to (1/2 hr.before) the procedure. It seems to help a lot to avoid the tensing up problem wherein I'm, as one nurse rudely put it, "creating your (my) own pain by being tense" as if I had any control over it.
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