I’m Afraid of the Gynecologist, Can I Skip It?

 
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@callmeharlot

 
 

I'm 16 years old. Do I have to go to the gynecologist? I'm afraid to. Is there any way I can skip it?

Sincerely, 

Afraid

 

 

Dear Afraid,

Yes. You have to go to the gynecologist. Especially if you are sexually active or there is a history of reproductive related health concerns in your family (like PCOS or Endometriosis). And no, I’m afraid you cannot skip it. Your reproductive health is just as important as your mental/emotion and physical health. 

Harlot has published a great article about how to have a more empowered pelvic exam. It outlines ways for you to open lines of communication between you and your doctor. For other references, there is a zine that is available from the wonderful Hannah Daisy from MakeDaisyChains on Instagram. The zine details exactly what happens in a visit to a gynecologist for a pap smear. The aim is to remove the fear and the unknown elements of the examination. I’ve been told that the individuals at Planned Parenthood are very understanding and patient for those who visiting the gynecologist for the first time. 

It’s okay to be afraid. What is not okay is letting that fear prevent you from taking care of yourself. 

You got this.

Best, 

Bethany


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Bethany Killen (she/her), whose time spent finding ways to navigate through her own personal struggles led her to pursue a career in social work.

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