We’re Going There
Things Your Gynecologist Wants You To Know
All of us girls have to do it. And we all hate doing it. Even those of us who do this for a living hate doing it. What is “IT,” you ask? It is the trip to your friendly gynecologist. But it can be a little less stressful if you try to see the funny side of it all. We want to share some tips, tricks, and general observations to get you through this trying time.
- Let’s start with the urine sample. There is no graceful way to go in that tiny little cup in that tiny, little stall (double challenge if you are one of our pregnant patients!) Just do the best you can. If you drop the cup or the sticker, just come out and ask for a new one. It happens all the time.
- At the scales, it is okay to take off your shoes, and it is also okay not to look!
- Those paper gowns do not fit ANY body type! No one really knows the purpose of the little plastic tie that comes with the gown. Also, you should leave the gowns open to the front, not the back.
- It is okay to leave your socks and shoes on, but you WILL have to take your panties off (and usually your bra, too!)
- 99% of women fold their panties and bra and put them under their clothes so they cannot be seen. We do it too, but why? We are about to be seen naked by this other person. Why do we care if they see our bras and panties?
- Most gynecology tables have a heated drawer for the speculums (the duck-billed thingies) right under the seat. It is a great idea, but poor design. Because of that, everybody starts sweating, especially in those paper gowns that do not breathe! It happens to almost everyone, so do not fret about it.
- There is no such thing as boundaries or TMI in the world of women’s health. There is nothing you can say that will shock us. Trust us. We have heard it all (and more!) before. You can tell us anything; we do not judge.
- If you tell us not to look at your unshaven legs or toes badly in need of a pedicure, the first thing we do is look! Once again, it’s a no-judgment zone because we do not usually have fresh pedicures either! Also, grooming habits vary among women, and we do not judge those either!
- No one ever gets as far down the table as they need to on the first try. We spend half our day saying, “just one more scoot!” which is usually three or four scoots after you think you are already in the right place! Exams are a lot less uncomfortable if you are in the right spot on the table. If you feel like you are about to fall off the end of the table, you are there. Always scoot back a little BEFORE you sit up because that is how you fall off the bed. We have had it happen.
- We cannot check your hormones if you are actually on hormones (birth control counts.)
- There are ways we can help you avoid your period while you are on vacation, honeymoon, etc. But we need at least a month’s heads up. Because we typically use birth control to do this, it will not work if you wait until the week before to call us.
- Do not cancel your appointment just because you are on your period. You may not even need a pap at your visit; if you do, we can still do it. Pap testing is liquid-based, so red blood cells typically do not interfere with it. Remember, we see patients all the time for abnormal bleeding, and we have delivered lots of babies! Blood does not bother us.
- If you need a pad, pantiliner, or tampon after your visit, they are usually in a drawer or basket nearby. If you cannot find one, just ask!
- Above all, remember we are here to help and listen! We are all in this together. And yes, EVERYONE looks pretty much the same “down there,” so do not stress!
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
D’Andra D. Bingham, MD, FACOG and Laura Jackson, APRN, NP-C have worked together in Texarkana for almost 20 years. Dr. Bingham joined the OB/GYN department at Collom & Carney Clinic in 2003 right after finishing residency at UT Southwestern and Parkland Hospital in Dallas. They worked on Labor and Delivery at Christus St. Michael for 13 of Laura’s 17 years as a L&D nurse. According to Dr. Bingham “Laura and I have always been a great team. We just gelled from the first time we met. When she finished her NP in 2016, we knew we had to have her at Collom & Carney.” Together with the rest of our department we provide a full range of OB/GYN and women’s healthcare services.