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Cervical Screening - Severe Anxiety

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Cervical Screening - Severe Anxiety

Postby qwerty95 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:49 am

So, first I should mention that I’m in a really good place in terms of having gotten over a lot of the things that have happened in my childhood - but as an adult I’d always had issues with my sexuality & getting physically close to people (or rather letting people get physically close to me) - when i was a teen, I forced myself through some sexual acts to feel, I guess, a sense of normalcy... but those experiences led to serious whirlwinds of emotions afterwards & a lot of regret, difficulty etc. To date, I’ve only had one sexually comfortable relationship with a guy, who I completely trusted at the time & in many ways looking back, was in love with.. though maybe couldnt admit it to myself at the time. But I know that it took me a long time with him before we were able to have sex & once that sense of trust was there, I was able to let go, become completely comfortable & free in how I expressed myself sexually, because I guess by that point sex became more associated with love, intimacy & having feelings for someone as opposed to trauma. And being 24, I’ve never found myself comfortable with anyone in the same way. Anyway, reflecting on all that.. My issue is that I’ve avoided a cervical screening test for years for pretty much the fear of letting anyone roam around “down below.” I’ve always been somewhat of a hypochondriac and for the last few months I’ve been experiencing bleeding between my periods, which I’m not on any contraceptive medication or I dont have the implant, I dont have any STI’s, I’m not currently & havent been sexually active with another person in pretty much 2 years or thereabouts. I definitely dont have PCOS or endometriosis. The list of causes online seem to not offer much else besides possible cancer & suggests a cervical screening test to figure out the issue.
This is where my problem lies, I have some serious serious fear over letting a doctor get physically close to my down below. I seem to have no problems with being naked in front of a doctor, or even dealing with them having to touch my boobs or whatever, but I cant handle the fear of them inserting/touching or even looking at my vagina. Like, I cant even express in the words the fear that comes up. & I guess this is where underlying issues with sexual trauma are still showing up for me? I’m really wondering if anyone has any advice to offer to help get over this fear? I know that, right now, there’s dtraight up NO chance of me going for a screening test anytime soon, if ever... yet this bleeding between periods is concerning the hell out of me. On top of that, this $#%^ is turning me into an insommniac lately and it’s driving me nuts. - If anyone else has any experience with this kind of issue or can offer any 2 cents on it, I’d really appreciate it!
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Re: Cervical Screening - Severe Anxiety

Postby DaturaInnoxia » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:21 am

It's fantastic that you have managed to have a safe relationship where you could express your sexuality.

It makes sense that the thought of getting a cervical screening done triggers past sexual abuse trauma.

The first step is to stop using Google as a diagnostician; there's no better way to be convinced you're dying or horrible things are happening to your health.

Have you ever had a screening done before?

I would think it would be more about making yourself feel as comfortable as possible during the procedure (which is relatively short).

Ideas like:
Don't get one by the gender who abused you, bring a safe friend or relative to hold your hand or distract you, go in there with random medical questions to ask while the Dr does the screening so you remain distracted, If you haven't had one before ask your doctor how they do it to get an idea of what you're getting into, etc.

If getting a screening is too overwhelming and anxiety provoking, and you're worrying about the bleeding, it may be a good idea to work with a therapist (or EMDR) to move towards that goal.
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Re: Cervical Screening - Severe Anxiety

Postby Jen123 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:00 am

Hi Qwerty,

I have anxiety about going to the gyno too. I haven't been for awhile now but my new general doctor who I have been able to talk about my trauma said recently that gynos understand and that as a patient an exam can be refused. So, I thought maybe you could go to the gynecologist or general doctor and give them your symptoms. You might not even need an exam afterall. If they say you should have one you could reassess once you have more information as to the consequences of not doing it. In short, I think it is your choice to have the exam or not but you could still go to the doctor and jyst talk about your symptoms.

Also, when my doc told me this it made me realize the are so many of us, I'm sure that the gynos are very aware of us. They are always talking to me all softly and telling me to relax and breath as if my mind and body are connected in that moment :lol: Looking back I think all of my female gynecologists have been super nice and patient. Good luck. We're rooting for you!
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Re: Cervical Screening - Severe Anxiety

Postby realityhere » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:02 pm

The bleeding between periods may likely be a hormonal balance problem, something that can be corrected with prescribed medication. But your gyn is going to require a screening to rule out any other problems. I understand the anxiety of undergoing an exam, but wouldn't the anxiety of not knowing what's going on with your body be greater?

A female gynecologist definitely understands female sexuality and its functions, way better than a male doctor. Please get an appointment with one and let her know beforehand about the anxiety you feel towards such an exam, and ask the doctor's nurse to be there with you during the exam as well.

Is it possible for your partner to come with you to the doctor's office for support before and after the exam?
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