Have you had a pelvic exam in the past? How have they been for you?
I don’t like them and have mostly avoided them.
This process will involve some regular pelvic exams. I’ll only ask to do them when they are necessary. But it will be more than you’ve probably done before. Is there anything I can do to make today’s exam more comfortable?
I get tense and it can be painful.
Where was the pain… on the outside or the inside? How would you feel about inserting the speculum yourself?
I don’t want to do that.
That’s fine. It’s important that you know we can stop at any time, for any reason. I will ask you throughout the exam to let me know when you are ready, so that I never start something without your consent.
Language that works for many of my patients is ‘pause’ which will cause me to stop moving until you tell me you are ready for me to continue, or ‘out’ which if I hear that I will take away my hands or swabs or speculum immediately. Will those words work for you or would something nonverbal, like raising your hand work better?
I can use those words.