Freaking out about internal exams post-birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-25-2011, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I had my gorgeous DD2 5 weeks ago and unfortunately ended up with a 3b tear.  It was sewn up in theatre with a spinal block and I feel like I'm healing fine with no continence problems.  I do have a cystocele (vaginal prolapse) which I know I need to see my GP about but that's a separate (ish) issue I think.  I've got an appointment booked for the hospital the week after next, this is a standard thing they do for 3rd and 4th degree tears.  I am really freaking out about the idea of having an internal exam, apparently this is what usually happens at these appointments as well as a rectal exam which I'm even more worried about.  Just thinking about it makes me cry.  I'm so worried it's going to hurt and I am mortally embarassed about the whole thing.  I don't know who the Dr will be and won't know until I turn up, if it's the consultant I don't like him and also he's got really big hands blush.gif. Even if it's not him it's quite likely to be a man and I would much prefer it was a woman. Thinking about the appointment makes me feel sick, I desperately don't want to go.


Not much point to this thread really but would appreciate some support!

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#2 of 7 Old 06-25-2011, 07:39 PM
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Hugs to you! I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. Your feelings are valid, of course. Any way you can call and find out who your appt is with? Could you schedule a follow up with someone you know and trust?

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#3 of 7 Old 06-25-2011, 09:26 PM
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That sounds very stressful!  I had a pap test done at my 6wk discharge appt at the midwife's office and I was worried about it hurting too (they use a speculum and I had a 2nd degree peri + a labial tear, no prolapse though).  I was surprised that it was only slightly more uncomfortable than a regular pap that I've had before, so it doesn't have to be all bad.  It actually encouraged me to have PP sex, lol.  Just wanted to share and maybe give you some hope that it won't be so bad!


Is there any way you could do this follow-up with your regular GP?  At least then it would be someone you know and (hopefully) trust.  Just because this appt at the hospital is the "standard" thing they do, doesn't mean you need to do it, choose another option that you are comfortable with!


BTW congrats on your beautiful baby!

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#4 of 7 Old 06-26-2011, 06:21 AM
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I went through something similar, although with an OB I trusted.  The office gave me a prescription for pre-meds (valium) and I brought my partner who held my hand through the exam-and it all went fine.


Are there insurance reasons that you have to do the follow-up at the hospital, or are you just doing it there because they told you to come back in and get checked?  If they aren't having a specific person follow up with you, I would go elsewhere.  Take some time, find an OB or midwife who you trust, do an introductory appointment that is just talking, and then go back for the exam (preferably with med and someone to hold your hand).  It may take some extra time to set that up, but it you aren't having problems I would imagine the delay would be fine.  If because of insurance you can't do extra appointments, I would go to your GP, explain the situation and ask if he/she can do the exam and give his/her opinion about whether you need to be seen by someone more specialized.


It is totally normal to not want to deal with a care provider is rough and unpleasant, especially after a tough delivery where you have pain while healing.  Care providers and be very dismissive.  If they see 9 women who don't feel pain and one woman who does, there must be something wrong with that one woman.  I'm always that one woman, and I am very firm with doctors.  I make sure to tell that that my experience is within the range of normal experiences and if they are decent people and good at their jobs, it really is their problem to make me feel reasonably comfortable-a conversation like that is what led my do to come up with the solution of having me come in with med and with a support person for a follow-up appointment.  Don't let anyone make you feel ashamed for a normal human emotion.  If they do they suck at being a doctor (or nurse, or midwife).

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#5 of 7 Old 06-26-2011, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies.  I meant to say in my original post that as I'm in the UK, it's all done on the NHS so it's not really an option for me to choose who I see or to find out who it will be with beforehand - I know the name of the consultant but don't know if it will be him or one of his registrars (more junior staff).  I think I'll have to go to it as the GP won't have the specialist knowledge required to assess any problems.  Having said that, I'm going to try and get a GP appointment this week to at least talk about it, and even if it means I end up being examined twice I might not feel so anxious if I've already been looked at and hopefully it won't be as awful as I expect.  I'm going to take my husband though, probably not in to the appointment but to come and wait with me.


I've also been reminding myself how many patients the doctors see - although it's embarassing for me, for them it's just run of the mill so in that respect I know I've got nothing to be embarassed about ~(although yes they should of course consider me as an individual)

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#6 of 7 Old 07-01-2011, 01:50 PM
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If I were you, (and I don't know if you'd get in trouble for this, but it might be worth it anyway) I would go to the appt., see who it was, and if it was the wrong person, I would walk right back out the door.  I know this isn't a big deal for many women, but for some it is VITAL, and believe me, being polite to the dr. is NOT worth the mental pain and sense of invasion and humiliation that follows.  You might be the 20th woman the dr. has seen that day, but he is the first and only stranger to intimately examine you!  PLEASE don't do what will cause you pain later.

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#7 of 7 Old 07-02-2011, 04:00 PM
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