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27 Secrets Gynecologists Will Never Tell You

Seriously, we don't care if you've shaved your legs or groomed down there.

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Special thanks to the gynecologists who provided intel and anecdotes for this post: Dr. Alyssa Dweck, Dr. Christin Gillier, Dr. Elizabeth Dierking, Dr. Shenali Abeysekera, and Dr. Stephanie Lum.


3. When we make small talk, we're just trying to help you relax so we can make the exam as quick and painless as possible. / Via Instagram: @ohsewresinating

We've found that most of the time, people will relax their muscles as soon as they talk about something comfortable and familiar. That's why we tend to ask them simple questions about themselves while we're doing parts of the exam that may feel uncomfortable.

6. Everyone tells us they're self-conscious about what their vagina or vulva looks and smells like, BUT everyone is different. / Via Instagram: @suzanna_scott

No vulva is the same as another, and therefore there is no "normal vulva." Some vulvas have larger labias, some have smaller labias. The look, smell, size, and color varies, and we'd love for women to embrace that instead of buying products and trying to shove things up there that could put them at risk for infections.


7. But when we're at social gatherings, we don't really want to be asked about all the different types of vulvas and vaginas we get to see.

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There’s a place and a time. Obviously, that's not why we chose to go to school for 8+ years to become an OB-GYN.

8. By the way, all of us are FULLY TRAINED surgeons. We don't just give annual exams.

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Our job doesn't just consist of Pap smears and prescribing birth control. As gynecologists, some of us actually get to operate a bit, performing two of the most common surgeries: C-sections and hysterectomies.

10. And a lot of the time we don't know when our next meal is going to be.


You can try to plan out your day. But the truth is, babies rarely ever come on schedule. So sometimes you'll go an entire shift without eating, or you'll try to wolf down a meal as fast as you can in between appointments or surgeries because you never know when you're going to eat next.


12. And we usually have photos or videos of tumors, bacteria, huge cysts, or uteruses on our phone.

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These are usually to show patients what we took out of them after the surgery is over. As long as there's no patient identification, it's okay. And we might have videos of microscope slides showing bacteria swimming around from a vaginal swab to show patients what the bacteria looks like.

14. We're not here to judge your sexual history or preferences; we just want you to be honest with us so we can help you be safe. / Via Instagram: @bustle

Trust us, we hear it all. So there's not much that phases us. All we want is for you to tell us as much as possible so that we can help keep you healthy.


15. We live at a baseline of exhaustion, AKA we are always tired.


There's no restriction on how many hours that we work or when we have to work them. Some shifts can be extremely long because you can't predict how things are going to go.

16. It's not that we don't care, we just really don't know whether or not your STI means your partner cheated on you.

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When you get test results back that are positive for an STI, we know it's upsetting and we want to be there for you. But we don't really want to talk about whether or not your partner cheated on you because there's no way for us to give you that answer. We just really want you (and your partner) to take the medication.

17. It's really frustrating when patients come in and tell us the diagnosis they got from the internet.

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We went to school and trained for a long time in order to be able to exam you and diagnose you. Please, don't come in telling us that you already know the source of the issue because of something you read online and that you just want the treatment for it. We need to give you an exam and look over the results to make sure we know exactly what's going on.

18. We find lots of random, sometimes odd, objects in vaginas. / Via

We call them "retained foreign bodies." Please, please be careful about what you're sticking up there. Usually we find forgotten tampons and used condoms. But every now and then we'll find something else like marbles, Legos, keys, etc.


20. So our coworkers tend to become family because of how much time we spend together. / Via Instagram: @juanito73

It does differ from practice to practice, but there's a huge sense of camaraderie. We probably see them more than we see our own families.

21. We get a lot of middle-of-the-night phone calls, because we're basically on-call always.

There's a lot about the job that you can't predict or plan for. We'll get calls from patients at any hour asking what their symptoms mean or saying they think they their water broke. But even if we're up all night, we still have to make our morning appointments as scheduled.

22. And our days can sometimes be a mix of check-ups, surgeries, and deliveries.

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Our schedule is different every single day. We can have a surgery scheduled for the morning and then be back in the office that afternoon to give patients their exams or go over test results with them.


23. We really want people to understand that pelvic exams are not the same as Pap smears.


So even if you're not due for a Pap smear, you should still go in to see a gyno for a check-up and a pelvic exam once a year.

(Recommendations may vary by age and medical history, but the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends annual pelvic exams for anyone 21 and older.)

24. It's impossible for us to not to be affected by our jobs. / Via Instagram: @berkemokten

Many of us go into this field because we want to take care of women. We get incredibly invested in our patients and love seeing them thrive and raise their families. So yes, sometimes we get emotional after seeing patients. We cry from being happy and we cry from being heartbroken. We just find our own time to do it.


27. And honestly, we really want to see you at least once a year. / Via Instagram: @plannedparenthood

You can't tell how healthy you are down there from the outside, and sometimes getting your annual exams can be life-saving. We want to answer your questions if something seems off, provide you with birth control and information on how to use it if you need it, and make sure that everything is in tip-top shape down there. It's only a little bit of your time but it will always be worth it.