gynexamEver put off going to your gynecologist because you’re worried about the pain of a procedure, for instance, getting an IUD inserted or having an endometrial biopsy?

Who can blame you? After all, as humans we’re naturally wired to want to avoid pain as much as possible.

And, if you’re a woman who’s never given birth, you have a history of painful menstrual cramps, are postmenopausal or suffer from anxiety, you’re actually more likely to experience greater pain with gynecological procedures. So, that extra pinching and cramping you feel isn’t in your head. You really are more sensitive to discomfort.

But, what if you went into your gynecological exam knowing there were several ways you could significantly reduce or even eliminate your pain–would you make that appointment sooner?

Well, according to a 2016 study in the journal Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey, there are already several effective ways your pain can be minimized at your gynecologist’s office. These include topical anesthesia, oral painkillers, anti-anxiety medication, distracting yourself by listening to music on your MP3 player, watching a video on your tablet or holding the hand of a comforting nurse.

Some doctors are more proactive about minimizing your pain and will offer you some or all of these options. But, if yours doesn’t, speak up! Ask to use more of these pain-reducing techniques to help improve your comfort.

You’ll be helping yourself by making your gyn appointments less stressful, which will encourage you to make important gyn appointments sooner–a key way to protect your health.

And, you’ll be educating your doctor about the importance of and need for more pain management techniques in her or his clinic, so you’ll be helping other patients as well!

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