There is no one technique or one way of doing a perfect examination. Every woman is different, with varying requirements. For nurses and physicians to be aware and adapting to these needs, is very helpful.
The factors that make an examination, pap test, vaginal procedure, colposcopy or vaginal ultrasound better is good communication before and during, inviting constant patient feedback if its not comfortable, in order to pause or stop the examination at any time. Other factors include correct positioning on the examination chair and using the smallest speculum possible.
Inviting conversation during an examination or procedure can also help and most patients find this distraction very helpful.
Everyone experiences an examination differently, and even if I do the same examination, the same way each time, responses are different, even for a returning patient.
There are some obvious reasons why an examination may not be well tolerated, even if done using the best technique and the tiniest speculum.
- Most common are existing physical or Gynecology concerns such as a small, narrow entrance, a painful entrance (vestibulodynia), a dry and thin vagina due to menopause, painful endometriosis, large fibroids, tearing or pain from sex, timing immediately before, during or after a period or during ovulation.
- Not using a small enough speculum
- Being more sensitive to pain
- General anxiety, body shape/size concerns, being shy or naïve about the genital area, cultural or knowledge influences, previous
Good communication before and during and respect for autonomy where a patient feels she has been heard and is in control, is so helpful, even if there is still unintentional discomfort or pain,
Due to our open communication with patients, it has become common for women to say to myself and the nurses that this was the easiest Gynecology examination they have had.
Open communication between the physician, nurse and you the patient, is so important for the quality of your care and the experience. I encourage you to be open with your physicians about both the positives and negatives of an appointment.
At Meridia Medical, we try everything in our power to create a positive experience both physically and emotionally. I focus on getting this right and have invested significantly to make our clinic accessible for all patients, no matter their size or physical predicament. This includes having a nurse assist you during every examination or procedure, speculums of every size, as well, having power examination chairs to allow for optimal positioning for all women of different shapes and sizes, or for those that are disabled or wheelchair dependent.
OUR RESULTS FROM PATIENTS LIKE YOU
We undertook an anonymous patient survey, which was analyzed independently to ensure legitimacy and accuracy. Just under 1800 patients participated. (See full survey results here)
- 99.8% said Dr David Gerber adequately reviewed why they were having the consultation.
- 99.7% said they were able to ask questions.
- 99.8% said that the pelvic/vaginal examination was easier/more comfortable or similar compared to previous ones they have had elsewhere.
- 99.3% said they were adequately informed what was going to happen before the examination or ultrasound.
- 99.6% said the felt comfortable and that they and their privacy were respected during the examination.
- 99.7% said an effort was made to make them comfortable during the examination.
- 99.7% said there was opportunity/respectful atmosphere to allow them to freely stop the examination if they wanted to.
- 96.5% said they were very satisfied or satisfied that their questions were addressed.