In a nutshell: I know I have trichomoniasis, I know the risks associated with this infection. I also have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and a history of Panic Disorder. Unfortunately, one of the most intense triggers for my anxiety disorders is the thought of having to undergo a pelvic exam. I fear everything about the process, the situation, the discussion, the results etc. and have resorted to researching extensively about what I could possibly have and maybe some tips to get through the situation and get the treatment I need. Despite all of this I cannot bring myself to do it and I know this is unhealthy for a plethora of reasons. Even the thought of calling to make an appointment catalyzes attacks. I can't talk about it because nobody understands the intensity of this fear and the urgency to eradicate it because of my infection. I fear that I will never have a healthy sex life again and will have to eternally deal with this discomfort because of my own fear. Is there anything I can do to get me through this ordeal? I understand that dealing with this much anxiety is a problem of its own, but does anybody have any good advice to get me through this specific situation?
I try to avoid the doctor as much as possible because of health anxiety. My blood pressure is always sky high (because of nervousness), and I just don't feel comfortable there, but I realize that regular checkups are necessary and a smart thing to do. Does your doctor know you are uncomfortable with this? Quite often, I find it very refreshing when I have an honest discussion with mine about what I am going through. Have you recieved counseling for your anxiety? Talk therapy for me, was a must in getting through this...keep us posted!
Since you have "resorted to researching extensively" what your symptoms could mean, and have arrived at the dx of trichomoniasis, then you also know that this is a sexually transmitted disease and your partner(s) need to be informed so they can receive treatment as well. More urgently if they have other partners.
In women, the diagnosis can usually be made within minutes by examining a sample of vaginal secretions under a microscope. (Tests for other sexually transmitted diseases are usually performed as well)
The test for men is much more complicated, as is the treatment. Usually a single dose of metronidazole (Flagyl) cures 95% of women, provided their sex partners are treated simultaneously. Because it's not known whether a single-dose treatment is effective in men, they are usually treated for 7 days.
I do understand that the information above is not what you asked for, but you need to understand that if you do, indeed, have trich, you absolutely MUST get tested!
Which does bring us to the reason you wrote.........your fear of the pelvic exam. Your writing did not make it clear, to ME at any rate, whether or not you've ever actually had one before or if your basing your fear on what other women have told you or what you've read. There is no doubt the "process" is embarrassing and uncomfortable and there isn't a woman in her right mind who looks forward to it, but it is simply one of those things that we must endure, like mammograms, to protect ourselves. And in your case, with the possibility of trich hanging over your head, the health of your partner(s) and anyone they have sex with.
I have no great advice or wisdom to help you deal with this specific situation. It appears to be wrapped up with your GAD and PD and as cj has suggested, therapy would definitely help you. Problem being, you don't have the time for therapy right now. Right now you need to get tested. So the question is: how do we get you into the doctors office NOW.
Since you've stated that even the thought of calling for an appointment brings on a panic attack, I suggest then that you have a good friend make the call for you. I further suggest that this friend ask to speak with the doctors nurse and explain your fear to her. It's possible the doctor may call in a perscription for an antianxiety med, (if you don't already have some to treat your GAD and panic) to be taken the day of your appointment. Even if you don't take medication the day of the exam, I would still ask my friend to accompany me to the appointment and get permission beforehand for her to be with you during the exam. Having an antianxiety med on board and holding the hand of a trusted friend will hopefully help you get through this. During the exam, I think it would be in your best interest to tell your doctor about your fear. Perhaps if she explains what she is doing behind curtain #3, your fears may be somewhat alleviated. (I keep saying "she" because I think for someone who has your particular fear, a woman gyno is the better choice to help you relax. I have no issue with male gynos, so please, other posters, don't accuse me of sexism)
Because of the possibility of trich, it is imperative you get to the doctors one way or another. I shall now be quite harsh and say that while I TOTALLY understand how certain situations can cause us to panic, in this case you need to put your "big girl panties" on and go. It's not just YOUR health we're dealing with here. Not getting tested, not getting treated and not telling your partner(s) is simply irresponsible. I think you're way smarter than that.
I'm a guy, I've been tested for trich, it's not so bad if you don't think about it! But it's really not that bad for a woman. Also, you'll feel a whole lot better after its done with for having done it. I know saying this doesn't help you any more than it helps me, but it is true. After you do it, you'll have one really great day for having done it. Maybe that can be an incentive to get you there, because if you do have trich it will cause more problems down the road if you don't get it treated.
I have this exact some fear. I just found out I'm pregnant and I realized I have to go to an OBGYN soon. Just the thought of going sends me into panic attacks, shaking, vomiting.. I thought I would never find anyone that understands. If you found anything helpful could you please share with me?? I have my appointment in 3 weeks and don't want to have to deal with this for the next 8 months..
I have the same fear and the only thing I've tried so far that worked was getting a shot of valium. I could only get that in the ER though. I have to get a pelvic Friday...and I'm absolutely terrified...but my psychiatrist prescribed medicine that should help with my anxiety, if it doesn't seem to help, I will likely ask the doctor at the appointment to give me something stronger. It helps if you try all options before resorting to an extreme option. So try anti anxiety meds, and if all else fails, ask your doctor for something stronger to calm your nerves at the appointment.
You've posted on an old thread. You'll get a much better response if you start a new thread. You can simply copy/paste your post (adding any relevant info) into a new thread. Do this by going to the main Anxiety Community page and click on the green button (top left) that says "Post a Question".
I too was very afraid to go to the Gyno. I suffer from anxiety. I finally bit the bullet and went. I was so relieved after I went and it was not a terrible experience. I would suggest a woman Dr. or nurse practitioner. I was too was embarassed to go. But they deal with these things everyday and see many things. You should go and get yourself checked out. Good Luck.
Well, Ladies, I am in your boat here, too. The first time I had a pelvic exam, I was unaware of the reaction I would have. I feel sorry for those poor nurses. As soon as she touched me 'there', I WIGGED OUT: screaming, kicking, hitting, and crying, and then I tried to bolt for the door in my gown. Fortunately, those nurses were on the ball and held me still long enough to calm down, and to comfort me, and to promise not to continue that day. Since then, the gyno there will call in a script for a single valium to be taken before my appointment. And I always bring my husband with me as a calming force. I do mostly ok that way, but they have had to make allowances for me in certain ways: by never using anything larger than a swab inside, and doing the rest of the exam outside by palpating my tummy and using ultrasound like with someone pregnant. I have come to really appreciate these special women... they really do understand. - Blu
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