9:51 pm - 12/29/2008

Almost 26yo virgin going to 1st gyno appointment

GULP. I just made an appt for a checkup and it includes a gynecololgy exam. It's going to be my first and I'm still a ridiculous virgin, at near 26 years old. Sigh... I don't know what's more embarrassing, that I'm still a virgin at 26 yo and someone is going to point me on it (or that I have to tell him), or spreading for a stranger.

Will my hymen break during the exam (I know, I know, I'm still a virgin until intercourse, but the pain and bleeding is what I worry about!!). And how about grooming down there? Should I shave it or what? And does a pelvic/pap hurt more when you're a virgin or hurts that same as after you're no longer virgin?

I had no idea I could get an appointment so fast... I was pretty irresponsible to delay it so long already, but I was thinking I would have a month or so to prepare and procrastinate over. Help!


xnera 30th-Dec-2008 03:02 am (UTC)
It is totally not ridiculous to be a virgin at 26. I was one until 27. :p There's probably VPers who lost their virginity even later than that.

Are you sure you have a hymen? Not everyone does, and it's often broken in other ways (horseback riding is a common method). Yours might be gone already. Even if it isn't, unless your hymen is really thick or almost completely covering the vagina, it likely won't break during the exam. Hymens are stretchy.

My first pap was in my teens, and I don't recall it hurting at all. I had an awesome gyne, though. She told me everything she was doing and went slow. The second one I had (still a virgin) was painful, but it was more cervical pain than vaginal. I had a horrid gyne that time, and didn't go back for YEARS because of it. So... hard to say whether it will hurt or not. I'd tell the doctor that it's your first time getting an exam and that you're a bit nervous about it. They'll take that into consideration, and maybe use a smaller speculum.

They usually ask if you are sexually active. Although I recommend being as honest as possible, if you're uncomfortable with saying you're a virgin, you can just say no, you're not active. They wouldn't be able to tell during the exam, anyway. Even women who have had sex sometimes retain part or all of their hymen, so if yours is still intact, that wouldn't indicate whether or not you're still a virgin.

ETA: You don't need to shave. Do it if it makes you more comfortable, but I've never shaved for a pap.

Edited at 2008-12-30 03:04 am (UTC)
emilymorgan 30th-Dec-2008 03:18 am (UTC)
agreed 100%. :)
hollywood848 30th-Dec-2008 03:02 am (UTC)
i also just made an appointment!! i've never been before and i was just about to post asking about the grooming stuff also :) i was thinking that maybe not shaving right before the appointment but maybe a few days before incase you get razor burn or anything, so it wont confuse them. but i'd think that it would be just common courtesy to atleast trim and tidy it up a bit down there....but its not like they're gonna throw you out cuz you've got some hair haha

i don't know the answer to any of your other questions! sorry :(
xnera 30th-Dec-2008 03:06 am (UTC)
You don't need to shave or trim. If it makes you more comfortable to do so, then most certainly go ahead. But I've never done either, and it's not a problem.

To both you and the OP: I forgot to mention in my previous comment that you shouldn't insert anything vaginally for 48 hours before the exam, as it can irritate the cervix and result in a bad sample for the pap.

edited for spelling

Edited at 2008-12-30 03:07 am (UTC)
queensugar 30th-Dec-2008 06:15 am (UTC)
but i'd think that it would be just common courtesy to atleast trim and tidy it up a bit down there

Nah. Pubic hair doesn't affect a pelvic exam or the doctor performing it in the slightest. As a funny note, all the doctors and gynecologists I've known are pretty anti-shaving or trimming for health reasons, and are more likely to encourage their clients not to alter their pubes than to do it, heh. :) But as xnera said, whatever makes you comfortable is best.

For the OP -- I don't shave or trim for paps or pelvics either. There's no "etiquette" about that... just go as you are, basically. The doctor doesn't even really "see" your pubic hair, if that makes sense.
literarygirl 30th-Dec-2008 03:04 am (UTC)
Being a virgin is never ridiculous, at any age. I waited until I was 25, and quite honestly, it was the best choice I have ever made in my life.

In regards to your appointment, you can request a smaller speculum for the exam.

For me, I didn't really notice any difference in the exams before and after becoming sexually active. Shaving is completely a personal preference. It is not necessary, but if you feel more comfortable doing it, than do so.
emilymorgan 30th-Dec-2008 03:20 am (UTC)
One quick warning about the smaller speculum thing- I did that once and she put it in and couldn't quite reach. As a result, I had to go through the insertion twice. So I'd pay attention to whether your cervix is at a higher or lower position at that point in your cycle, and only request the little speculum if your cervix is more reachable.
literarygirl 30th-Dec-2008 03:23 am (UTC)
Okay, this is why it worked in my case. I'm not very deep, so the smaller speculum was fine.

In that case, it would probably be best for the gynecologist to manually check your depth to gauge which speculum will work best.
emilymorgan 30th-Dec-2008 03:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, that makes sense to me.
darlahood 30th-Dec-2008 03:06 am (UTC)
And how about grooming down there? Should I shave it or what?

*head, desk*

NO, you don't have to shave!

I was a virgin for my first gyn appointment and my hymen did NOT break during the process. Tell them you're a virgin before the exam and they will be sure to be extra careful... least that was my experience.
shivadidj 30th-Dec-2008 03:13 am (UTC)
Don't headdesk her. It's a perfectly reasonable question.
tashieee 30th-Dec-2008 04:33 am (UTC)
Lol, seriously.
I think "headdesk" is rude... anytime.
frolicnaked 31st-Dec-2008 03:31 am (UTC)
Offering up a "*head, desk*" is probably not going to do a whole lot more than possibly make the OP feel bad or embarrassed for asking the question. I agree that it's not necessary to shave for a gynecologist exam. However, I also think that in VP, if someone asks a polite and serious question, it deserves a polite and serious response.
shivadidj 30th-Dec-2008 03:09 am (UTC)
I don't pay attention to shaving in regards to my pap. But -- when I happen to shave before a pap (for other reasons) that's when I feel a little self conscious. To me, shaving is something I do for my sexual life. So for my doctor to see my shaven parts, I feel more exposed. If I did or could plan for it, I would always let my hair grow for an appointment.

They're doctors though, they should not care or notice one way or another. If I ever got any sign that they did, I would not see that doctor again.
abalone99 30th-Dec-2008 04:51 am (UTC)
Haha I feel the same. It feels oddly too personal even though duh, there's someone down there sticking their hands up my cooter. Glad someone else can relate and thanks for chiding the *headdesk* comment, I felt it was really inappropriate as well.
superwomen02 30th-Dec-2008 03:35 am (UTC)
Honestly...I'm 24. Virgin and never had a gynecology exam. I've talked about it w/ the doc and she's ok w/ me not having at the moment. I'll probably have one in the next year or so.

hugs and good luck! :)
_rainbow_bright 30th-Dec-2008 04:40 am (UTC)
same with my doctor. I'm 22 and a virgin and she says for now we'll wait since I have regular periods and no issues or problems.
shellabelle81 30th-Dec-2008 03:51 am (UTC)
I went for my first exam earlier this year and I was a 27 year old virgin. It was slightly uncomfortable but not exactly painful. It went by really quickly and my gyno kept me occupied by chatting away. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, although I have been putting off going for my second exam, lol.
lavished 30th-Dec-2008 04:03 am (UTC)
I've been on the pill for several years now, so gynecologist appointments have been necessary, but I still haven't had a pap smear. Since I am still a virgin my OBGYN said that they could just do an ultrasound instead. (At the time, I hadn't even used tampons, so...she really seemed to think that a pap smear would be a bad idea.) Of course, idk how much age factors in to the necessity of a pap smear, since I'm about 10 years younger than you--but you could also bring up the possibility of NOT having one.
marionravenwood 30th-Dec-2008 09:23 am (UTC)
Of course, idk how much age factors in to the necessity of a pap smear,

It doesn't, if you've never been sexually active.

Pap tests are a tool for the early detection of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is caused by HPV which is an STI. Someone who has never had any sort of sexual contact with another person does not need a pap test.
lsmsrbls 3rd-Apr-2014 01:41 am (UTC)
Cervical cancer is not exclusively caused by HPV.
marionravenwood 3rd-Apr-2014 05:01 am (UTC)
Yes, it virtually always is:

"Human papillomavirus is a necessary cause of invasive cervical cancer worldwide" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10451482
lsmsrbls 3rd-Apr-2014 10:02 am (UTC)
Nearly always, but not always. The abstract you link estimates 99.7%. DES daughters (though the OP would not be one) still have heightened risk of cervical cancer even when HPV is not present.

(I followed a link and didn't realize this post was 5 years old when I commented--sorry about that)
whatsarahsaid 30th-Dec-2008 04:31 am (UTC)
I've had 2 gynecologist exams + paps and am a virgin, and didn't find them extremely uncomfortable. Yes, having a cold metal thing poked in your vagina isn't the most relaxing thing, but it definitely isn't bad. I think the worst part is being left with KY jelly all over your lady bits :P

Edited at 2008-12-30 04:32 am (UTC)
oopsiedaisies7 30th-Dec-2008 05:27 am (UTC)
My first pelvic exam was not even slightly uncomfortable, though I wasn't quite a virgin and your mileage may vary =) The worst part about it was having the doctor poke around at my breasts! It shocked me, I've never had anyone else touch them apart from my boyfriend =X (well, and one of my friends who gets grope-y when he's drunk, but that's not quite the same......)

I felt the same way about making my first appointment I was expecting at least a month or two of waiting and preparing for it, but the receptionist was, like, "HOW ABOUT MONDAY AT 9?" and I was, like, "UMM do you have anything for later? Like...the next week? Ooor the end of the month...?" But it was *kind of* nice to get it over with without having a chance to think about it too much.
oopsiedaisies7 30th-Dec-2008 05:28 am (UTC)
Ugh, sorry, I didn't mean to make a run-on sentence. There should be punctuation of some sort after "my first appointment". A semi-colon or an exclamation point or a period, whatev.
kimnastics 30th-Dec-2008 05:29 am (UTC)
I went when I was 18 for the first time, still a virgin, and the gyno told me I didn't have to have a pap because of it. That apparently is not what usually happens, considering all the responses with people saying they had exams as virgins, I thought it might be worth noting my experience.
823freckles 30th-Dec-2008 07:11 am (UTC)
Oh, it is so refreshing for me to read about other people being virgins. I'm glad I am still a virgin at 20 but sometimes I feel like an odd-girl out.

Anyways, I had my first gynecological exam last year. It was uncomfortable, but not painful, and I'm a big wimp, so I know many people wouldn't be bothered at all. Just tell him/her that it is your first time, breathe and relax, and you'll be fine.

As for trimming/shaving-do what you are comfortable with! I personally think shaving is extremely uncomfortable and kinda makes me feel pre-pubescent, but whatever you normally do is fine. Gynos have seen so many vaginas-whether yours is hairy or whatever will not even register. :P

Good luck! :)
paperispatient 30th-Dec-2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
Other VPers have answered your questions really well, but I'll just chime in. At my first gyno appointment, I was 21 and had never had PIV sex, and I didn't find it painful in the least. My doctor used the smaller speculum, something she continues to do even now that I've had PIV sex, I guess because I'm small? I mean, you'll notice that something is going on in your lady bits, but it has never been anything more than just slightly uncomfortable for me, and I didn't notice much if any difference in how it felt before I had PIV sex versus after. And as far as I know, how a pap test feels has nothing at all to do with whether or not you've had PIV sex. Some women's cervixes are more sensitive than others. My friend said that her first pap was painful; for me, it's equivalent to a poke in the arm.

And I felt exactly like you did going on, "I'm 21 and haven't even gotten laid, now I have to get to second base with my doctor." But it really wasn't as awkward as I thought it would be; my doctor is friendly but also businesslike. She explained what she was doing as she did it, which I appreciated because at my first appointment I knew what to expect but was SOOOO nervous, and we also chatted a bit, which made it less awkward for me.

And maybe it's good that you got an appointment so quickly - for me, the nerves leading up to the appointment were BY FAR the worst part of it. :)
Digi Chan 6th-Jul-2011 06:12 am (UTC)
Oh my. I feel so much better after reading this! I'm having my first next Tuesday, I was supposed today but my doctor canceled! (which was male, I was against it being male) and got re-appointed to a female GYN C: But I do feel that way! >u< I feel so much better. I was scared ;w;
archangelbeth 30th-Dec-2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
Everyone else is saying what I might say, and better. About the only thing I can suggest is... Remember to breathe, and it may help to find a headspace where this is, basically, much like getting your teeth cleaned. A bit awkward, sometimes a bit uncomfortable, but in the end, it's a professional thing. It's like... The dentist will check the soft tissues in your mouth, and poke and prod and hold your tongue in a bit of gauze, but that doesn't need to affect how you feel when you kiss someone, or call up the same emotions as a kiss.

Does that make sense? If it doesn't help, then just pitch it out the window, of course!

I hope everything goes well!
tacky_tramp 30th-Dec-2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
1) You're not ridiculous because you haven't had sex.

2) There's no need to shave for an exam. The doctor will be able to see everything s/he needs to.

3) Pelvics were more uncomfortable for me before I was used to the feeling of penetration. But they're quick, so honestly, don't stress too much.
four_alarm 30th-Dec-2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
I'm going to go with you here in the sense that I understand how you can feel embarrassed to be a virgin. I'm about to be 26 in a month and I'm still a virgin too. Most of the time it doesn't bother me, but sometimes I'm embarrassed about it because I'm the only one in my circle of friends. I don't really know what's embarrassing about it at these times (because it shouldn't be), but yeah, I totally know where you're coming from. It shouldn't be embarrassing, but I understand how it can be sometimes.

That said, I've been getting exams since I was 18 and went on BCP. I've always had pap smears, a couple of which have come back abnormal, but no biggie when we did them again. Just let your doctor be aware that you're a virgin. I request they use a small speculum because anything bigger hurts me (a small one is still uncomfortable, but doesn't hurt), but that's up to you and your doctor. Don't be afraid to ask questions of your doctor. They've pretty much heard and seen everything.
teasailor 31st-Dec-2008 04:37 am (UTC)
First off, there is nothing wrong with being a virgin at any age! If it makes you feel more comfortable, have a female doctor or nurse examine you. I am very lucky because my nurse is extremely gentle and kind. She never rushes things and always explains what is going on.

As far as the grooming, Gynos have seen all shapes and sizes of vaginas and the hair that comes with it. Don't be embarrassed about it. There is no need to trim if you don't want to.
vagrl82 20th-Feb-2009 04:51 am (UTC)
You have no idea how much better I feel after reading this thread. 26/virgin/no gyno yet. I am thinking about going for the first time, but haven't gotten the nerve yet.
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