When things go pear-shaped at the gynae...

One of my cousin’s favourite stories is about a working mom who had to go for her yearly gynaecological exam. Despite careful planning that involved organising lift clubs, babysitters, and booking a long lunch hour, when the actual day dawned, of course all best laid plans were for nothing.

Her car got a flat tire, the nanny phoned in sick, and it was panic stations at work. So despite a flurry of activity that involved organising alternative transport, finishing spreadsheets and collecting her daughter from a ballet concert, she had no time to have a quick shower before the appointment as planned.

Instead, she just grabbed the nearest facecloth, gave herself a quick wipe, and off she went.
Throughout the examination she noticed that her gynae was looking at her a bit bemusedly, but she thought she was just being paranoid. When everything was done and she was on her way out, he told her that she really didn’t have to go through so much trouble next time.

Only when she arrived home and saw the facecloth in the sink did she realise that she had used the same one she had used to wipe the ballet concert glitter off her daughter’s face.

I’ll never know if this really happened to someone or whether it is just an urban legend, but it’s been cheering me up for years. Useful, since a visit to the lady doctor isn’t really one of the best experiences out there.

This is why women all over the world read the following story with such horror.

A gynaecologist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital had been secretly taking pictures of more than 8000 women and girls without their knowledge or consent. He has since committed suicide and the hospital is being sued.


All together now – GAH!

And yet, horrific as this story is, we shouldn’t let these random predators make us neglect our gynaecological health. Millions of women die across the world from cancers that could have been prevented by regular checkups.

That said, you shouldn’t assume your doctor is always completely above reproach. Doctors aren’t saints, they’re just people. And if he or she makes you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts. It’s your physical and psychological comfort you should think about first.

Now go and make those yearly appointments. 

Love and glitter-free nether regions,

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