8:05 pm - 12/05/2007

Gyno Visit While Menstruating

This may be a bit of a stupid question, but.

Can I go to the gynecologist while I'm on my period?

I realize they may not be able to examine you, but do you think I could still get birth control (which I expect may be a feat in and of itself, considering).

ETA: I live in a country where I don't speak the language well enough to call up the ladies' clinic, and it would be awkward to ask any native speakers I know (mostly my coworkers) to help me out.
mari_mac1109 5th-Dec-2007 11:15 am (UTC)
Call the office! The receptionist, a nurse of the gyno will be able to answer your question. And, if not, you'll be on the phone to reschedule!

Some places (including some Planned Parenthoods and health centers will give a limited supply of BC without an exam with the stipulation that you must get an exam before they will give you more. I have had friends who got 3 months of BC and then had to go in for paps/etc.

It also depends on if you have been sexually active or not, I believe. When I went to get BC, I had to get the full pap done because I had been sexually active. My friend, who was a virgin at the time, did not.
snugglepups 5th-Dec-2007 12:05 pm (UTC)
Problem! I live in Japan and don't speak Japanese, so calling the receptionist probably won't work. (I can get by on face-to-face interaction, but I'm crap with another language over the phone.)

Also, in Japan the Pill hasn't even been available for a full decade yet, and it's not commonly used by Japanese women at all, so I doubt I'd have an easy time getting it anywhere else anyway.

... fuck me, I was supposed to go last week, but overslept and then lost my virginity instead...
nemoing 5th-Dec-2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
Do you live close enough to the clinic where you could stop in and ask them face to face?
snugglepups 5th-Dec-2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
No, the clinic is about two hours out of my way. I'd never make it there before they closed after I get off work.
rachelish 5th-Dec-2007 11:59 am (UTC)
I agree with the above commenter. Call the office and ask. I go to a Planned Parenthood, and mine says not to come on your period because you won't be able to get the exam, and they won't give you BC without an initial exam.
snugglepups 5th-Dec-2007 12:06 pm (UTC)
Can't speak the language :(

I may not have my period when I go, I'm just worried it may show up a smidge early, is all.
ayearalone 5th-Dec-2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
I am not sure about Japan. In the U.S. they can give you up to 3 months of birth control without a pap smear.

You may want to try asking in the group expatsjapan. They have some posts here that relate to birth control but they don't answer your specific question.

I would go to your appointment and ask the receptionist when you check in. If you are on your period I would also explain that to them but say that you want birth control and could they give you that without a pap smear. I know that it's a hassle to reschedule medical procedures but it might be worth it just to know their policy for future reference.
marionravenwood 7th-Dec-2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
I am not sure about Japan. In the U.S. they can give you up to 3 months of birth control without a pap smear.

This is not true. In the US technically they could prescribe you birth control your entire life without a pap test: pap tests are NOT a clinical requirement for birth control. Neither the US Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization,Planned Parenthood Association, or the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists believe that a pelvic exam or pap smear should be required. It's common practice, yes, but there is no law or medical organization's recommendation that pap tests be tied to birth control at all, ever.
ayearalone 7th-Dec-2007 01:34 pm (UTC)
Sorry. Thanks for the correction.
vinaceous 5th-Dec-2007 02:07 pm (UTC)
Haha, alright, first of all, your list of interests is hilarious!

Second, my friend was in a very similar situation (she lived in Korea for several years.) She needed a pelvic exam, and ended up asking a young female co-worker who she trusted to help her set up the appointment. I know it's awkward, but do you work with any women who are friendly/open-minded/etc? You wouldn't need to get into the details, just say that you need help setting up an appointment with a gynecologist. I know I don't know the culture that well, but hopefully someone would be able to help you.

And I believe you can get BC while on your period, but the concern is that menstrual blood can create a false/incorrect pap smear reading. Other that than I haven't heard about any problems.

Good luck!!
mea_panda 5th-Dec-2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
if you can't ring, would you be able to go in to the office and ask them in person somehow? or maybe send them an email at all?
also, i don't really know how it goes in other countries but when i started the pill i only had my blood pressure taken and a few questions asked. i had my first downstairs examination this year (i've been on HBC for about 2 now)
for reference i live in australia.
whatever you end up doing i hope it works out. (i would definately agree that checking that expats community sounds like a good start) a few girls on here live in japan at the moment so hopefully they'll spot this post and pipe up :)
best of luck!
snugglepups 5th-Dec-2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
I'm going to a gyno that's been recc'ed to me by other English speakers, instead of the one nearest me, so no, I can't just pop in and ask in person because it's two hours to get there and two hours back, which I can't manage on a working weekday.

I am relieved to know you got the pill that easily. It'll be easier to get back there after the New Year, for me, I think, and it would make sense to have another visit after I'd started birth control anyway.
marionravenwood 7th-Dec-2007 01:23 pm (UTC)
I don't know about Japan, but there's no clinical reason to need a pelvic exam or pap test for birth control, so from a medical standpoint there's no reason you could not be prescribed birth control while on your period. What they need to be able to safely prescribe the pill is your blood pressure and your medical and family history of heart disease and stroke.
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