I *really* hate having pelvic exams.
I have vulvodynia, and almost every time I have a pelvic exam it is at the very least uncomfortable, but there's usually smarting, swearing pain involved.
There is pretty much nothing I can do about that.
HOWEVER, there are some things I *can* change.
I loathe the dorsal lithotomy position, stuck on my back with my feet in the stirrups. It makes me feel way too vulnerable, and also, the sensation that I'm about to fall right off the table? NOT AWESOME.
I want to think about my alternatives here very seriously so that by the time I come into the office on Friday, I have a plan of how my exam is going down.
If I have to go through something I really hate doing, I want to feel like a participant in this exam, not like this exam is being done to me.
There are options:
Modified dorsal lithotomy (still on my back, feet on the table, not the stirrups).
Frog leg (still on my back, soles of my feet together)
Lateral (lying on my side, one leg raised and bent)
Knee-chest (basically downward-facing dog with knees bent, and rejected because I don't like this plan at all, but it IS an option -- often used for children)
Standing (it *can* be done for at least the manual part of the exam, but as empowering as it could be, it's really awkward for the doctor, and so I feel slightly ridiculous asking)
Squatting (rejected for being physically awkward)
Also, I'm thinking about draping. In your experience, is draping better or worse than no draping, and why?