Jezebel has a post today written by a rape survivor on how to prepare for a pelvic exam after experiencing sexual assault. The writer advises disclosing one’s history of assault to the physician beforehand, whether verbally or in writing. Doing so may take a lot of courage on the part of the patient, but as the post describes, will aid the physician in better performing the exam. I do think there is a possibility that not all physicians will be equally receptive or sympathetic to this information, but they certainly ought to be. If feeling uncomfortable disclosing this information, perhaps take some steps beforehand to establish trust with one’s physician.
By taking steps to ensure one has control of the situation, the writer is able to turn a potentially frightening or triggering experience into an empowering one. These methods are applicable to anyone who may feel some discomfort with a pelvic exam, as everyone has the right to feel comfortable during any given medical exam.